The Day Your Number Couldn’t Hit The Board
By Bobby DiScipio
Can you imagine buying a Jai Alai trifecta that couldn’t hit the board?
Think that is impossible? If you do, you better think again because it really happened. This occurred at Berenson’s Hartford Jai Alai during the infamous strike in the Spring of 1988. Because of the player strike there was a lack of quality players (few!).
Both the State of Connecticut, Division of Special Revenue, and Buddy Berenson, owner and president of Hartford Jai Alai, devised a way to continue by allowing 6 posts in a game, while still maintaining Spectacular 7 rules, where points doubled after the first round of play.
Realizing the obvious change in the mathematics of a 6 post game, I ran hundreds of thousands of game simulations only to find some numbers never won (example 4-6-5). I also performed a series of hand calculations with the same results.
Not only was there a lack of concern for striking Jai Alai players, and fairness to them, but now it was the bettors turn, and the overall integrity of the game itself.
I made a call to the Division of Special Revenue to report the problem, and told them that the games being run should not be allowed, citing the fact that certain numbers could not hit the board. They said they would get back to me. A week went by and nothing, no call back. So, I called again, and the answer I got back was incredible. Their position was that a bettor could still win on any 3 numbers! of course, but only by way of a consolation, say a 4-6-All, for example. Unbelievable, but true.
I will say that something finally sunk in because the State discontinued those games several weeks later, but not a word was ever published about it.
So there you have it, the day your number couldn’t hit the board!