Bets during Baseball Season 

The Unlikely Journey of a Real Estate Director

On February 14th, 2023, world number 784 Matija Pecotic (+300) took down former top 10 American player Jack Sock (-400) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 at the Delray Beach Open. Pecotic is a former world number 206 and 10-time winner on the ITF tour. Pecotic’s full time job, however, is not tennis. He’s been on quite the journey to get to where he is now.

“I had to leave work early today,” Pecotic said, according to ESPN. “I had to send an email to the whole team. [My boss] let me off. I’m going to have to ask for another day off tomorrow.”
“But I figured if I could sink my teeth into the match and work on the two or three patterns I prepared before, that I’m going to have a chance.”

Pecotic works full time at a real estate investment fund. His boss, who he says he trains with daily, was in attendance as he pulled off the colossal upset. Pecotic is again a massive underdog (+450) to capture his second win of the tournament versus world number 55 Marcos Giron.

Looking Forward in the Journey

Last year, Giron fell in the round of 16 to, at the time, world number 150 John Millman in straight sets. While Giron should certainly be able to handle the challenge this time around, how he handles the pressure of being a heavy favorite again in Del Ray is yet to be seen. If Petocic can put together another elite performance he will move on to the Quarter finals, a result he and his team surely never saw coming.

If Petocic were to win the Delray Beach Open, it would surely be one of the greatest upset tales in all of sports.

Other Examples

Unexpected journeys are sometimes part of making one’s way to playing in a professional league game. Other examples of such journeys are akin to golf club professionals who will occasionally make a dent on the leaderboard of a PGA tournament for a day or two.

Another unexpected path to the pros comes via the NHL in the form of an emergency backup goalies. If both of a team’s goalies are unable to start or continue the game, a team can dress and play any available goalie who is eligible.

Just a few weeks ago, the Edmonton Oilers were faced with a situation where they were forced to carry an emergency backup goalie on the bench. The Oilers were able to cruise to a dominant win over the Blackhawks that night, and Matt Berlin, the emergency backup goalie, was called into play for the final minutes of the game where he made a save on the only shot he faced. It was reported that the goalie substitution was superstar Conor McDavid’s idea.

The wholesomeness players and fans receive when unlikely events occur in sports is part of the reason fans and athletes live for sports.

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