Using "Magic Points" can easily help you with a Time Gamble.
Here is the USDAA DAM/PVP Time Gamble from Mark Wirant at Good Dog Agility in Tempe, AZ. In a nutshell, the ideal time to cross the finish jump was between 30.01 and 31 seconds in a 1-2-3-5 system.
A couple of considerations:
- In a 1-2-3-5 system, the value of the contacts and weaves, unless one is the 5-point obstacle, is not much compared to the jumps and round things. It is to your advantage in a 1-2-3-5 system to get the 5-point obstacle twice, and focus on round things (tire and tunnel). Round things and jumps are cheap and fast, usually faster than contacts and weaves.
- Tire is always your friend! It is fast and easy, and worth more points than a regular jump.
I did a couple of things I would not normally do: 3 back-to-back obstacles. I did, however, allow Scout to safely exit the obstacle and nicely turn around to re-perform it.
Because of her speed on the tunnel-jump sequence that EVERYONE took on the exit, I opted to toss in a back-to-back tunnel by the exit jump.
Finish time: 30.30 seconds.
Opening Points: 28
Gamble Points: 15
Placement: 1st, P16 (my partner finished at 30.36 with extra jumps - the double the wrong direction, and a dropped bar), and highest in PVP Class
The following was my strategy, red text shows the sequence numbering and magic points, blue shows the obstacle values: