Monday, 12 August 2019

Should You Get Angry When Your Bet Loses?

Should You Get Angry When Your Bet Loses?
I'm sure YOU have had one of those days when a losing bet makes your blood pressure hit the roof.

If you bet on a regular basis it is par for the course (especially if you bet on golf). 

It has happened to me umpteen times and I could tell you stories about winning and losing bets which make you smile like a Cheshire Cat and others turn your hair grey overnight.

The losers can be hard to swallow. Like a jagged little pill. Those horses that get caught on the line. Those that run on like a steam train but lose on the nod. The worst are those bets which you realise (sometime before, definitely after the event) were a complete, bloody, irritating mistake (keep calm). Like the day I didn't lay off a horse in running at 1.03 (1/33) for a couple of grand. That was a mistake. A frustrating, stupid, irritating mistake. The days I have been thinking about betting on an outsider (a couple at 200/1 on Betfair) and seeing it, them, many of them, win. Heartbreaking. But whose fault was it? 


''MINE'' 

In some respect, if I have to learn a lesson, I would rather learn it quick and make sure it doesn't happen again. We all know they do happen again until the day comes when we are so sick of the stupidity of a missed or absurd bet that we start to carve an answer in stone. I think every gambler needs their very own 10 Commandments. Guidelines which keep them on the right track. As a gambler, If you feel you don't need guidelines I would question your thinking. You don't have to write them down or carve them in stone but they are there firing on all cylinders as synaptic nerves in that grey matter. Those delicious neurotransmitters which make sense, logic, reason and a myriad of emotions. 


''No wonder some people take Prozac'' 


I've had this conversation with my good friend Eric Winner. He is a sprint race analyst and has been betting even longer than myself. Eric says: ''He doesn't bet with emotional attachment'', because his method is objective and data-driven. There is a lot to be said for taking the emotion out of gambling. Emotion is called the why of behaviour. 

What motivates you? 

Anyway, my way of betting is data-driven, emotionally driven and based on a multitude of information both qualitative, quantitative, nomothetic and idiographic. So I can register with the temperament of gambling - winning and losing. Feelings of blood-boiling annoyance whether directed at a jockey (who looked like he was slurping a cool beer in an armchair) and predominantly at myself for not seeing the obvious. That horse is too keen every race so why should this day be any different? 

But does being angry about a racing result mean it is a bad thing? 

Some people would say yes. 

It probably varies from one person to the next and dependent on who they are as an individual. 

But for me being angry about a losing bet is fuel to find an answer to a question. To make sure, if possible, it doesn't happen again. And, yes, be, perhaps, even madder the next time if it happens again because I didn't learn from the last lesson. 

If I make a bad decision and the horse loses then I need to learn. Sure, there are plenty of horses that lose and run to their best. Those are not the issue. I have lost many times and even though it isn't ideal I am happy in the assessment of my choice and decision. But not when making a ridiculous mistake of a bet. That is a different story and needs to be knocked on the head. A sledgehammer to drive a six-inch nail deep into a piece of wood. Where it remains fast. 


So emotions when betting can be the curse of many a gambler. They can, to some extent, distort the mind. But they can also help build new understanding and discipline which can make those days of high emotion a thing of the past. 

Never Act Like These Idiots


Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Betting Outside Your Comfort Zone

Betting outside your comfort zoneBetting. 

How much would you have to bet before you felt uneasy? In ''uneasy'' I mean how many pounds, shilling and pence before you'd feel pretty peed off if it lost? 

The old maxim: ''Bet what you can afford to lose'' is, I guess, what most people do. 

Sensible.

Very few people bet crazy amounts of money fun. A percentage do who have a problem. But even those of a compulsive nature probably do their dough betting £20, £50 or £100 a time. 

Please, don't bet if you do not have a good reason why you can win. If you are basing your ''skills'' on looking at the form on the wall of your local bookmakers your knowledge base isn't likely to put you ahead of the game.  It's like studying for a test without really reading the book. There are plenty of pages bar the first and last. 

I love to watch business stuff, videos, info and people chatting about investing money. This bloke asked how much money would you invest. Basically, investing money you can afford to lose. He said about 30% of his savings. But this varies from person to person. Makes sense, hey!   

It depends on your comfort zone. It's a similar question with betting. How much is too much for you?

We have all seen people who have lost too much. While others are enjoying their day they sit withdrawn, blank expression, thinking how the hell did I lose all that money. They are struggling because it was more than they wanted to lose. Not a good feeling. Stepping outside that comfort zone.

Very few people would contemplate betting all their money on the spin of a roulette wheel. 

Black or red? 

Not many people would feel comfortable doing that. But how many could bet all their money - lose - and say: ''Let's go get something to eat, and you're paying'' and act as though nothing happened? In actual fact, not caring that it had happened?

I guess there are some people who could. I would love to meet them because they must be very confident they can make that money again. 

I imagine a number of people who have bet and lost all of their money are more likely to climb the stairs of the nearest high building and jump than decide which burger they want to eat.  

When betting, don't push yourself to the extreme if you cannot handle the consequence of the loss. Don't just think of the small loss on the day. If you have lost a fortune over the years, what is the total? It could well be £50,000. Did breaking those bets into smaller sums make it easier to swallow? 

I guess so. But it's still the same as betting a bloody big wedge. 


Be wise when you bet. 



Tuesday, 9 July 2019

10 Things A Professional Gambler Never Tells You

You gamble.

This day and age it seems like every man, woman and child are betting via one form or the other. 

But what makes the difference between an amateur and professional? In many ways, it's like a someone who does a little bit of DIY on the weekends to a master carpenter. What's the difference between to two: experience.  

The word experience covers many and varied traits. It is a wisdom which means they understand the majority of their work without thinking. Intuitive. 

So what are the 10 things a professional gambler never tells you:
  • Emotions play havoc with how they think (the enemy of the gambler)
  • They are either crazy gamblers, living on their wits or exceptionally calculated
  • The best and most successful gamblers will rarely tell you how much they bet or boast about winnings
  • In fact, most are more likely to tell you when they lose
  • They never stop working - trying to improve but frightened of ruining what they have achieved
  • They know a lot about their subject but little about much else
  • A pro gambler hates losing but appreciates at time you lose big
  • Betting isn't for fun and they don't like mixing business with pleasure
  • They will rarely tell people what they do for a living 
  • They don't talk to people unless they respect their opinion

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Do Slot Machines use Psychology to Get You Addicted?

Do Slot Machines use Psychology to Get You Addicted?
A quick answer: You bet they do!

There has been lots of media coverage about the addictive nature of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. Basically, an FOBT is a betting machine where you can choose a myriad of games to play and bet. 

Whether you play roulette, slot machines or whatever games they display they have become a problem. 

I can't say I have ever bet on one of these machines in the bookies. I'm not keen on bookmakers as I find them depressing places where most people lose money. The FOBT terminals have been in the news because many punters were becoming addicted to playing them which had devastating effects on their finances and family life. Such was the uproar that the government restricted the amount gamblers could bet. I think it was at a level of £100 a spin. Not that I can see the difference between these betting machines than going to a brick-and-mortar casino. I honestly think it was a public relations episode to take the heat off the gambling problem that seems to cut across the country if not the world. 

I did play on the virtual slot machine via Betfair, one evening when I was a bit bored. I actually won a few quid. But it made me think how these games use psychology to keep you playing (and losing). The main psychological fact which they use is making a real song and dance when you get a small win. Also, it is nearly impossible from looking at the symbols on the reels that it is very difficult to work out whether you have won on any spin. In fact, I was left thinking I had won almost every go. This clearly is made to make gamblers carry on betting. I always, remember reading, in the good old day that slot machines are the most addictive form of gambling and that was decades ago. I would hate to imagine what they are like now. With the advancement of psychology as a tool to manipulate there is little doubt that most people can easily succumb to this gambling problem. 

After winning on the first hour or so of play I was tempted to have another go. Well, betting at small stakes, I soon realised I wasn't going to be winning £100K as the adverts like to proclaim. The small wins kept coming. I loved that jingle and the sound of virtual money dropping at will. However, the small wins didn't outweigh the bigger losses and after a while, I realised I had lost all the money I had won. 

What I found was that it is very difficult to stop pressing that play button. I felt like one of those pigeons in a psychological experiment where I pecked a disc when I saw a different colour and for my action received some corn. The trouble with playing the slots is that even a pigeon would stop sooner than most men or women! Yes, that is a joke. However, the psychology behind the slot machine is now so advanced that they are extremely addictive to a point that logic or common sense goes by the way. 

I would say never bet on these slot machines because they are truly bad news.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Horse Racing Analysis: Finding A Winning Angle

Let's face it, there must be a million and one ways to try to pick a winning horse at the races. 

They go from the sublime to the ridiculous.

There are some very strange ways of picking a horse and you will read about them in the next section. 




Here are a few ideas:

  • Paying for tips
  • Lucky pin
  • Favourite colours
  • Name
  • It's the favourite 
  • The outsider of three
  • That trainer's in form
  • Ryan Moore is the best jockey
  • My mate knows his stuff
  • Derek Tompson's Tips

I think the strangest thing I ever saw was a psychic tipster. I thought that was pretty unusual. I have no idea if they had any success or not. 

Anyway, each to their own. You know the best assessment of picking which horse to bet? If the result makes a profit or not. Even if it seems like the ludicrous idea as long as it's in the black it's all good news until it goes into the red. 

My brother is very good at horse racing. But one of the best approaches he uses is simply liking the look of a horse. It's physical stature, how it is put together, not sure if I would call it conformation but a liking for how a horse catches his eye.

It's possible he would like a horse while another person would not. So it is very idiosyncratic. 

But he has backed a lot of huge priced winners simply because he likes the look of it. Colt, filly or gelding. 

I remember one horse called Puggy. This was a number of years ago but it's a day I won't forget and he most definitely will not. A day to remember because it filled his pockets with a huge wad of cash. 

Puggy was making her debut at Salisbury and trained by Roy Kvisla, a trainer, if I remember correctly, who originally trained horses in Sweden or Norway or some Scandinavian country. 

The bookies didn't have any idea if he could train a winner or not. By the betting odds of 66/1, it was given no chance. And on Betfair is was amazingly 200/1. My brother had £20 to win £4000. 

Astonishing as it may seem, it won quite easily. 

So what am I saying? There are plenty of ways to pick a winner, probably even more to pick a loser. 

But use your own ideas as well as those of informed opinion as they may reveal a profit. 

Friday, 7 June 2019

Gambling: Learned Helplessness

Lots of people gamble. 

If anything, there are more people gambling than ever. Men, women and children (given half a chance). This must have much to do with the increasing number of adverts pushed across the board. 

Football, darts, horse racing... At the commercial break you find you have been transported to a universe populated by Ray Winston and a variety of bets. Or some other geezer, who suggests you can boost your bet. That's trumped by a celebrity who says you can create your own bets. 

Planet Bet. A place where insurance brokers have fixed gadgets to zebra crossings so you can see the changing odds and likelihood that you may be run over or disabled by drunk driver or some old dear who is rushing home to check her Lotto. 

I wonder if adverts for gambling will go the same way as smoking? Every other sport was sponsored by Embassy or Benson & Hedges. You get the feeling that betting will follow suit as more and more people fall prey to what seems an innocent pastime. 

This post is about the more established gambler. The kind of gamblers who should know better. They love to bet. They win. They lose. But here's an interesting question. Do they ever learn?

It may seem a strange question to ask. However, has your approach to the way you bet changed with time? Have to become more successful? Have you stayed exactly where you started? 

If you went to evening school for five years, it would seem a touch different if you never progressed past basic mathematics. If someone asked how your studies were going and you said: ''I'm still taking basic maths'' you may get an odd look. 

''Wasn't you taking that class five years ago?''

''Yes!''

If that is the case for your betting, then perhaps you need to stop for a moment and consider a rethink. 

Why? 

Because what you've been doing doesn't make sense. 

Is the fact that people consider they cannot win at gambling the reason why they don't question an irrational behaviour? Perhaps, it is just an addicts mind? But I don't think so. In psychology there is a theory called learned helplessness. Where an animal receives an electric shock when it wanders to a certain part of its cage. Every time it goes there, it had a painful experience. Not surprisingly, after a while, it simply keeps away from this part. However, this behaviour remains even when the electricity is switched off. The dog, cat, rabbit, human has learned to be helpless.

Definition: Learned Helplessness

A condition in which a person suffers from a sense of powerlessness, arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure to succeed. It is thought to be one of the underlying causes of depression.

Is the fact that so many gamblers have resigned themselves to losing that they never progress to win?

Monday, 27 May 2019

Charlie Appleby Vs Saeed bin Suroor 2yo Challenge

Godolphin is one, if not the strongest, horse racing team on planet Earth. I have no idea who is their major trainers around the world. 

However, I certainly no that Charlie Appleby & Saeed bin Suroor are the men to watch out for in Great Britain. 

My niche is two-year-old horse racing. Both trainers are exceptional in ways because they have trained umpteen winners including Classics. They have won races across the globe. But if you had to choose between the two on a particular betting approach who would you side with?

If there was a competition where Charlie Appleby Vs Saeed bin Suroor, I would have to side with the former with two-year-olds making their debut. 

Both stables have very good statistics at short odds. In fact, priced 11/4 and less sp they are very likely to win.

Both are consistent. 

However, in my opinion, Charlie Appleby is much more consistent with debutantes. 

Friday, 29 March 2019

Five ATC Australian Derby Facts

Australian Derby Facts
The Group 1 ATC Australian Derby is the premier distance race in Australia and it always generates huge attention from the betting public. The prize money stands at a cool $2 million and it carries a great deal of prestige, so you always see a large and stellar field. The 2019 ATC Australian Derby will take place at Randwick on Saturday, 6 April, the opening day of The Championships. Here are five key facts about this race: 

It was inaugurated all the way back in 1861. 

This race is positively steeped in rich history and that helps to ensure its status as the top-ranked event for three-year-olds in Australian and New Zealand race classifications. It was originally run at 1.5 miles and then changed to 2,400m in 1972 as the metric system was introduced. It is a set weight contest for three-year-olds only, and it has seen some very famous winners over the years. It’s A Dundeel, Octagonal and Bonecrusher are some of the most famous winners, while Levendi beat Ace High in a thriller last year. There was all manner of controversy as Tye Angland, rider of Ace High, sounded the protest alarm, arguing Levendi twice laid in and made contact in the final 100m, while Corey Brown suffered chest injuries in a fall. The race often produces plenty of drama, and punters should expect another exhilarating spectacle this year. 

Colts and geldings dominate the Australian Derby. 

Shamrocker is the only filly to win this race in the past 27 years as the males have totally dominated proceedings. Part of the reason for that trend is that the Australian Oaks takes place over the same distance the following Saturday and many prefer to rest their star females for that. You do see a few fillies gunning for glory though and they can take inspiration from the performance of Shamrocker, who upstaged the boys for a second time in 2011 and raced into the history books. That saw her become the first filly to ever win the Group 1 Australian Guineas / Group 1 AJC Derby double, and it sparked scenes of celebration in her native New Zealand. 

Eleven favourites have won this race in the past 36 years. 

The last favourite to salute was Criterion at $2.88 as he surged to victory in 2014. Since then Mongolian Khan won at $6.50, Tavago defied odds of $31 to win in 2016 and $7.50 shot Jon Snow landed the race in 2017. Last year Ace High went off as the $5 favourite and he lost to $6 second favourite Levendi by a nose. This year it looks like either Chapada or Global Exchange could go off as the ATC Australian Derby favourite, according to the odds currently listed at https://www.punters.com.au/. The shortest priced favourite was It’s A Dundeel, who headed into the 2013 renewal in sensational form and lived up to the hype by winning at just $1.25. The worst performing favourite in recent times was Sunray, who finished 11th. 

Barrier 8 has yielded seven winners since 1983. 

That makes it the most successful barrier in that period, although Barrier 1 is not far behind as it has produced six winners. Barrier 3 has yielded five winners, while Barriers 2, 4, 9 and 14 have accounted for two each. Barriers 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16 are the least successful, with just one win. Last year’s winner, Levendi, came from Barrier 3, while second-placed Ace High was in Barrier 2. Barrier 8 failed to live up to its name as Mission Hill finished all the way back in 13th place. 

Octagonal holds the record time for this race.

‘The Big O’ was an absolute legend and he remains the last horse to have won the Triple Crown. He was crowned Australian Champion Two-Year-Old after delivering a superb autumn campaign and he roared into his three-year-old season with tremendous promise. He delivered on that in style, landing the Cox Plate, the Victoria Derby, the Canterbury Guineas, the Rosehill Guineas and the Mercedes Classic, all at Group 1. ‘The Occy’ capped it all by seizing the Australian Derby in his final appearance of the season, leaving Saintly and the rest of the chasing pack well behind. His time of 2:28.41 remains a record to this day and it would take a phenomenal effort from one of this year’s hopefuls to knock Octagonal off his perch.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Assessing Your Bets to Win More Money

Assess Your Betting to Win
Even without realising you probably bet a certain way. This may be the case if you don't assess your bets. It's good reason why you need to take note of each and every wager: course, code of racing (Flat/NH), betting odds, going... The more info you detail the better. It will help you consider, perhaps, the strength and weakness of your betting day, week, month or year(s).

It is all too easy to bet without thinking. Automatic. Perhaps subconsciously you have a losing pattern which is blighting your success without even appreciating its affect. 

If you are winning money, you may consider you don't need to investigate. That may be a mistake because minor improvement can make a huge difference to your fortunes. If you are losing consistently, this assessment it crucial. Review your bets. No need to obsess about it but be mindful. 

You don't need to do anything there and then but just take note. 

It might be: ''Another odds-on shot, beaten''

''Every time I bet on a double-figure priced, the horse runs horrendously''

''Soft ground. Why do I keep betting when the ground changes?''

You may be quite happy with your bets and consider they cover a variety of bets and money backed. 

It is possible you notice that when you increase your stake you find a loser. Perhaps after a couple of losing bets you half your stake. Sod's Law, it wins.

There is no right way to bet, because everyone has their own approach, likes, dislikes, sport, bet type... 

But within that range you may just notice an anomaly.

If you can weed out one or two weak bets you can use this money to bet on your greater chances. 

For that reason, it is good to keep a diary or notepad and make assessments throughout the season. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The Reality of a Professional Gambler

Professional gambler storiesSo many punters would love to be a professional gambler. I must admit, I love a good professional gambler story. 

They detail often gritty, determined if not private people who have both ability and a dream. The focus being able to make a living and stay ahead of the game. No easy task. I noticed this comment from an anonymous reader who took the plunge and decided he could make it as a professional gambler. 

When betting it pays to use a decent website which offers the best bookmaker deals and check out odds because each point makes a difference over a season. Presently, punters are taking note of the next horse racing events. Take a look at the top 10 betting sites for horse racing, offer and more.

In response to this insightful post Becoming a Professional Gambler Anonymous said... 

This post is a true reflection of being a professional horse gambler. I tried to go pro a few years ago after a number of profitable years as a semi-pro. I had won around 15 grand over a 6 year period and decided to go for it. Unfortunately, it did not go to plan. Being a gambler doesn’t mean you have to spend a day on a horse racecourse and spend an entire paycheck. Usually, the things don’t go the way you want, and your favourite horse finishes the race behind all other – that’s a bad luck – but you also should know when to stop. 

The pressure is different when you go full time. You can try too hard or get negative when things don't go your way. With only betting the flat it is a short season to make money and I had a bad start to the season which really put me on the back foot. During the year I missed out on 2 big priced winners through family commitments both costing me nearly 100 points profit. These missed chances were very hard to take. I managed to get my act together late on in the year and won 5 grand in the last 10 weeks of my season but it was all too late. 

I had missed my chance and had to go back to working full time. It was a difficult time but I learnt a lot. I don't regret taking my chance. During my gambling over the last decade I have had a number of near misses to land big wins to break into the big time and with a little luck I know I could be betting full time now,. There is a very thin line between gambling and investing, the horse races are sometimes decided by inches and photo-finish, so it is always good to have a few horses as back up plan.

I have had 4 or 5 narrow defeats that cost me 25 grand in winnings. I even had 2 near misses in one week that cost me winnings of 12 grand. You are always left with the feeling of what if! I have had numerous big price winners. Horse racing can be lucrative in gambling, but you also have to think outside the “box” sometimes, if things are going south for your pocket. I have won 4 grand, and lots of 2 grand on single bets in my time to relatively small stakes but it is hard to break through when you have a family and commitments.

Have you ever fancied yourself as a professional gambler? Perhaps you gave it a go or still winning and making a living from what you know best. Great story from Tony Ansell: I've Made £750k Betting Honestly on horse racing. Good luck to all.