How to cope with losing in sport betting business !



Like death and taxes, losing runs when betting are part and parcel of life. They can cause endless frustration and defy logic at times. Here i examine ways of coping and limiting the damage from these times when whatever can go wrong does.




1. Take a Break
Pro-punter John Basquill, who has enjoyed a supremely successful decade of betting for a living, correctly identified that the fifteen minutes after a poorly judged bet or moment of misfortune is the most dangerous time for all punters. This is the time when we are all at risk of getting "hotted up" and all reasoning and rationale goes flying out the window as we seek to recoup the losses.
This is obviously a completely illogical reaction to bad luck, but a completely human one that we all experience when the unexpected occurs. The last flight faller or last second goal can tip anyone over the edge, no matter how disciplined they believe they are with their betting.
The best policy seems to be avoid time-frames with betting. Don't have daily targets, or amounts one is trying to win in any given time period. Instead analyse the bottom line profit and loss during a period when actual trading or betting is not taking place, calmly and dispassionately, away from the action at the end of each month.
Only this way can one see where bad calls are being made and change course accordingly, safely away from the "red mist" that can descend when matters go wrong.


2. Change Strategy

Patrick Veitch, one of the most feared full time gamblers in the UK since the 1990's is constantly evolving strategies in the battle to stay ahead of the game. Punters have never had a wider range of betting opportunities or choice, although it has to be said that "getting on" has never been harder for those with any kind of intelligence about value.
With this in mind Veitch now zones in on the shortest price horses each day and, after detailed research in depth into the races they are competing in, decides on a price that he is happy to back or lay. These decisions now form the basis of a largely exchange based operation, something totally different to the way he operated only five or six years ago.
The dangers of standing still when it starts to go wrong can be illustrated by many failed punters, often some who have for years earned incredibly well from the game in the past. Johnny "Lights" Herndall was a massive player on the rails at racecourses in the South of England during the 80s and 90s before retiring. He was extremely well connected, an excellent judge of price and when to play and in what races, either as a layer or punter. However, with the arrival of the betting exchanges, the "secrets" that only he and a few others knew were "shopped" and his edge rapidly disappeared.
Before Betfair he might be given the "stable cash" to bet one of a leading yards newcomers in a modest maiden race, and would be aware that this horse was very strongly fancied (while the bookmakers were in the dark and pricing up largely off an untested industry tissue). With the dominance of the exchanges the odds of 4.00 or bigger that he might be able to bet at, now became 2.50 or less and the profit margin effectively evaporated overnight.


3. Reduce Stakes and Limit maximum losses

The best advice when the wheels come off and a succession of losers come along is to reduce stakes until feeling that your confidence has returned. If the punter's usual stake is 100, try reducing that to 25. What actually often happens to many of us is we increase our betting levels when we are out of form, trying to chase after previous losses, and it is during this time that all the previous hard work and profits can be thrown away.
As on-course pro-punter Steve Noyce explained, "It is far better to plod along, in first gear and try to become a marathon runner rather than a sprinter who burns himself out". Getting the staking right is the hardest part of betting and it is far better to play bigger when things are going well, than to try and smash out of trouble when they aren't.


4. Play more carefully and try and restore confidence

Less bets, more carefully thought through and placed only when an edge can be obtained. Cut out all the "interest" bets, i.e when a live match is on, and focus solely on an area where you have the most knowledge. Obvious advice, but it is so often ignored, especially when matters go wrong.
An excellent punter makes a decent living solely from trading football in running, where he has an array of complex algorithms that he follows to work out any slight edge or discrepancy in the prices offered between asian and exchange based markets. He can grind out superb yearly profits doing this and has no other source of income, so is entirely reliant on making it pay betting. However, if he makes an error or a late goal goes against him, he can very quickly go on "tilt" and turn to any sport to try and recoup what he has just lost in the last ninety minutes. This can involve laying a horse or greyhound in a far larger stake than he would normally play at in-running.
Into his forties now, he recognises completely the madness of this approach, but it still makes a very big dent in his yearly income and cannot overcome it. Admitting frailties and vulnerabilities is a great first step for any punter, although doing something to combat it can be another matter!


5. Give up the game completely

The dreaded advice that no serious punter can counter. Often heard muttered by friends or family when a losing run is explained, it is not something that those of us who love the game can imagine. Throwing in the towel, never betting again is a temptation when fate conspires against you, but imagine a life wondering around garden centres or National Trust properties while the racing or soccer is on, and you soon realise that one must refine rather than retire.
The search for better, more profitable betting is a never ending one, and "adapt or die" is a very good modus operandi in the rapidly changing world of punting.


comment if you have any other suggestions !

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