I finally understood there's a difference between odds and risk.
It sounds like we're talking about the same thing. Your odds are your risk, your risk is your odds, right? That's how it works with any game of chance.
But not in the stock market.
If you have a mid-range stock that has 1 in 3 odds of going down, it is not the same as a stock at the top of a failed morning spike that has 1 in 3 odds of going down. Your risk in the first example is big, because the stock has a chance of spiking up before doing exactly what you think.
Your risk in the second example is small, because there is less room for the spike to go against you even if it eventually goes in your favor.
I finally grokked that it is better to wait for the smaller odds of a stock first spiking, before I short it (because it has minimal risk) than to go for a stock that's very likely to drop but could also go up first.
The odds are the same in both (in the example). But the risk is lower. And the game here is low risk AND high odds, not just high odds.
Took me months and I got it. And that was a domino in learning to be more patient for a perfect setup.