Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gamblers Opening Strategy

This is not my idea. It was given to me by someone else, who got it from someone else, who... well, you get the picture. I further tweaked the method.


  1. Each obstacle has a point value based on the relative amount of time it takes a dog to complete it. I call these "magic points".
  2. Obstacles are assumed to be spaced 15-20 feet.
  3. Any dead space greater than 20 feet in a sequence counts as a magic point.
  4. The better the flow, the more magic points needed.
  5. Almost every dog, regardless of size or speed, averages 12-16 magic points in a 30-second opening sequence.
  1. Each jump counts as one (1) magic point.
  2. Each contact counts as at least two (2) magic points. If the dog has a slow dog walk, then that obstacle may count as 2.5 or 3 magic points.
  3. A set of 6 weaves is one (1) magic point for a good weaver.
  4. A set of 12 weaves is two (2) magic points for a good weaver.
  5. Tunnels count as one (1) magic point.
  6. Any dead space distance greater than 20 feet counts as a magic point.
  7. Jumpers caveat: 4 consecutive jumps count as 3 magic points.
If you can't have someone track the obstacles you do in a set time, then use a standard run without a table. Count the magic points for each obstacle, divide by the time completed and multiply by 30. That is the number of magic points, on average, you need in your opening for gamblers.

The example I am posting is theoretical. Pretend that there is no table in this run:
There are 22 magic points. If I completed the course in 44 seconds, then I have averaged 0.5 magic points per second. Multiply by a 30 second opening, and that is 15 magic points.

The following is a Masters/PIII Gamblers course from 02/14/09, Saguaro Scramblers, with Sheri Boone as the judge. The opening is 25 seconds.
Scout and I sought 13 magic points (about half of 25, using my example ratio above). The buzzer blew right as she took what would be the 13th magic point. This left us with a nice entry into the gamble.
This method works nicely, of course, for time gambles, and for estimating what you can do in snooker.