A win that inspires me (Caro blog)

  • By Mike Caro | Exit
Poker1.com default content graphicEntry #26 (2011-10-12) 

Winning at poker is all about competition. Success inspires us.

But in a minute we’re going to watch a video together. It was uploaded to YouTube in 2007 by “Dingerz” and resubmitted slightly enhanced in 2012 — the version embedded below. And it inspires me.

I often watch it when I feel disheartened and, like magic, my urge to accomplish stuff and to kick ass returns.

The video isn’t about poker. And it isn’t wholly about human beings, although they played their part. Here is rare color footage of an original 1973 CBS-televised event that made history.

As it happened

I watched this race as it happened. I was in a TV room at the Horseshoe Club in Gardena, California. Let’s not confuse that with Binion’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which offers all forms of gambling.

The Horshoe Club, although it operated legally in accordance with state and city law, only offered poker for real money. Oh, I almost forgot. Poker wasn’t the only game. You could also gamble at a form of rummy called Pan.

So, anyway, we’re all watching the Belmont Stakes. Secretariat has already won the Kentucky Derby and then the Preakness Stakes. If he wins today, he will capture horse racing’s most cherished prize — the Triple Crown.

I remember a fellow poker player in his early thirties sitting next to me. He had bet large on Secretariat. Suddenly, he became greatly upset when Secretariat raced hard from the beginning and was neck-and-neck with the great horse Sham halfway through.

Can’t win now

“They ran him out!” the guy shouted, whatever that meant. “He can’t win now! How stupid can they be?”

I wasn’t an expert on horse racing, so I sort of assumed the guy knew what he was talking about. I’ve researched this in recent years.

It turns out that, yes, Secretariat had become famous by coming from the back of the pack to win in the final stretch. This race was longer than Secretariat was accustomed to running.

And it was feared that this horse would tire unless he was paced carefully. That meant he probably should be held back, in order to avoid expending too much energy until the very end.

Anyway, that was the theory…

And that was the result.  —  MC

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.


16 thoughts on “A win that inspires me (Caro blog)”

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  1. Why did they only have 5 horses in 73 and then have so many in the 2014 Belmont. Almost guaranteeing that California Chrome couldn’t get out of the crowd and win the Triple Crown?

  2. That young fella was right. But it was Sham that should have paced himself. Once Secretariat looked Sham in the eye, it was all over. I once went to a big race at Pimico racetrack and the two favorites were saddled side by side in the paddock and one looked over at the other and the other tried his best to leave his stall. I forget the horses but they were famous. I went and bet the eye baller and he blew the otherse horse away something like this race.

  3. And I don't believe the clock was broken at the Preakness either.  He also destroyed that field. Remember the races well.

  4.   I never get tired of watching "Big Red" win the Belmont and win the Triple Crown.  Some horses can run either way (off the pace or in front – and some in-between like laying way out of it early, close to the pace but just off – geez, alot of different running styles) but usually it's the training in the morning that let's the trainer know if a horse is able to change running styles.  Also the jockey has alot to do with it.  Some are exceptional at getting a horse to relax wether it's on the front end or to rate in behind horses.  Then it all comes down to what happens during the running of the race itself.  A million ways to get beat in horse racing just like in poker…..but if you have a good idea of what your opponents are up to – well that's quite a big edge.  I don't know if you can quite understand the nuances of horse racing but they are very similar to poker.  In my humble opinion all I can say is both Mike Caro and Doyle Brunson are the equivialnt to Secretariat in the poker world, Champions.
       I'm glad you put the clip up so I could watch again, I never get tired of watching it!
    Tracy C.

  5. This was a lucky break. It is not often that something like this happens. The horse has to be re-trained. Was Secretariat re-trained for this one event? Maybe it was a surprise, to get their opponents off guard since they were not expecting him to make his move until the final stretch.

  6. There’s only one thing I can say – that horse can sure run fast! And everyone else who knew Secretariat and bet on him must have been screaming the same thing as that guy did.

  7. A friend of mine told me about a film called Secretariat, he said I had to watch it, I was reluctant as I have never been in to horses at all, In the end I watched the film…….WOW, what a story since watched it a few times just amazing.

  8. Well that horse probably knew a thing or two about changing his playstyle just like when playing poker. You can’t be predictable always and expect to win. I guess this is what made Secretariat a great horse.

  9. I guess Secretariat got tired of staying in the back and looking at his fellow horse arses and decided to just sprint it through the entire run. If horses can talk I bet this is what he said: “Eat dust slow pokes! This time you see my rear end all the way.” LOL! :D

  10. Wow! I’m all psyched out. what a performance, I’ve got goose bumps:-)

    1. How perfect that the time for this post is 2:24 — for never again shall we see a horse negotiate a mile and a half of Belmont dirt in exactly that time!

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