Add another contest final to the WILD CARD tally--it made the Long Contemporary finals in the Winter Rose contest.
I've been trying to pick and choose my contest entries based on a handful of criteria: who the final round judge is and whether or not she's already seen the work I want to enter; how many pages at a time I can enter (the more, the better); the contest's prestige and whether or not I have a new book that I want feedback on.
Primarily, however, I'm looking at the final round judges, because I've had a lot of luck using contest finals as queries. Four of my completed manuscripts have finaled in multiple contests. So far, three of those manuscripts have been requested by editors through contests. The fourth may yet, as it's only finaled three times and the final winners haven't been announced yet.
I like the idea of using contests as a sort of backdoor query. I've had occasional trouble getting an editor to ask to see my book off a query/synopsis; contests make the editors read my first chapter and let my writing sell itself. Not to say that knowing how to write a query and a good synopsis isn't important; it is. But contests take the pressure off me AND give me contest finals and wins to put on my writing resume. Two birds, one stone, etc. etc.
Even when I don't final, I usually get plenty of useful feedback on my stories, which is well worth the entry fee. There's just not much of a downside to entering contests that fit my criteria.