Degenerate Gambler: The losing streak

I parked my car on the side of the street and stood beside the fence that bordered the 16th hole of my country club, like some stooge who holds the cue cards for the dialogue in a porno. The grass was lush and I saw a foursome soldiering up the fairway. It was now official, the golf season had started without me. My fingers were hooked into the wire mesh above my head and my back was soaking up a steady stream of UV rays.  All was beautiful, except for the fact that my financial sitiuation was in dire straights.

The course was in great shape and it's familiar rolling hills made me nostalgic of a time when I was a kid and I could spend all summer playing the game I love. I'm an adult now, with adult responsibilities, bills to pay, and a bankroll that's suffering from George Costanza-like shrinkage. I selfishly didn't want the rain and cold weather to end because I lost my membership money when the Washington Capitals couldn't close out the Flyers at home in Game 7 during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I thought the bet had good value, but I may have let the performance of Russian phenomenon Alex Ovechkin in Game 6 blind me like a lover who bets with his heart. I'm going through a slump that could rival the Washington Generals. If I had any luck, I wouldn't be on the outside looking in. If the Mets just could have covered a couple nights ago I would be strolling down fairways today instead of catching a golfer’s tan from the sidewalk.

I thought I had a nice edge when the Mets hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates for their home opener at Shea Stadium in the middle of last week. The Mets had their ace pitcher, Johan Santana, starting on five days of rest, so I laid a nice chunk on them and needed a win by a deuce. I took the runline because my bankroll couldn't survive paying the juice on the moneyline with the Mets laying heavy chalk. The gambling gods must have been trying to tell me something when the game got rained out, but all my inner voice kept telling me was that if I liked Johan on five days of rest, I should love him on six.

So like the degenerate I am, I doubled the bet. Long story short, the Mets stranded more guys than a Boy Scouts camping trip gone wrong and the relief pitcher gave up more hits in one inning than Santana gave up in six innings. The Mets end up winning 5-4 in extra innings, but I took the loss right over the head. I haven't always been 'The Cooler'. There have been moments of greatness. But the days of winning 12k at poker and cashing in 30k after a six-day blackjack bender seem like a lifetime ago. I've had my runs on sports too, but these victories were fleeting, but what else can a gambler do?

We gamble. That's what we do. After those huge wins I should have been smart and injected the cash into my bankroll and focused on whatever it was that I was winning with at the time, instead of getting fall down drunk and buying this Cadillac. Bryan Brown puts it all in perspective when his character Douglas Coglin says this famous quote to a young Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail: “If i would have stuck to what I knew best, which was basically nothing, I would have been fine...but, I invested everything into stocks and commodities, and blew the whole f---ing lot.”

Now I'm stuck. I have no choice but to chase my losses, and hope I run down a golf membership at the end of this rat race. Now that the weather has thawed out the course and it's ready for play I'm losing money every day I'm not out there knocking down birdies and fist pumping in these pretty boys’ faces. Hustling the pigeons and pelicans who hang around the golf club looking for action is what I do. It's my bread and butter. Not having my membership is like a cab driver losing his license on a sloppy DUI, it's a loss of my livleyhood.

Instead of making straight bets, I've resorted to working the sucker’s bet of three and four-game parlays to try to smack a couple dimes out of these bookies. Last Saturday night I thought my problems were over. Bet the Pistons, Jim Furyk to beat Carlos Villegas, Bolton to beat Sunderland and the Montreal Canadiens to win at home. The Pistons are always solid and I religiously take Jim Furyk or Stewart Cink on the weekends because they are such blue collar, hard working men. Bolton easily won their match 2-0 and when the Habs had a stranglehold on Philadelphia mid-way through the second period, I busted the golf clubs out from out of the back of the closet and dusted them off.

Faster than a three-putt at Augusta, the Flyers scored three goals and my fantasies were relegated back to the driving range. Although I lost, the wager made sense to me. Montreal's star goalie was getting a chance to redeem himself after a few bad outings and I thought he would stand on his head. I was wrong. Pressure can be a funny thing. After I put the head covers back on my clubs, I stuffed them back into the closet. That's when they started mocking me, like my Eldorado does when it sits in the driveway begging me for a drive when I don’t even have enough for gas money.

Besides bad luck, desperation, and a bankroll that would make any woman point and laugh at, I'm also working with a pathetic selection of games to wager on. What has my gambling carreer come to when I'm watching the scoreboards for arena football games and cheering for the Cleveland Gladiators and the Arizona Rattlers to cover? How can I justify laying down a man size wager on playoff hockey or basketball or some ubiquitus soccer game? Baseball isn't my forte, I just hope I don't starve to death before the NFL kicks off.

As the sun warmed my back, like a succesfull wager warms my pocket, I scrambled for ways to get back to the country club. I could work a little overtime, find a second job.

But nah. I'm just gonna find a couple locks on the menu next week and lay the rest of my working capital down on some sexy action. Wish me luck.

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Posted by jmoo2k8
5 years ago

Great story, I am in the middle of a bad summer. I have lost picking teams pitching no hitters, lost picking the under 9.5 and the game was 1-0 in the 9th, lost after a team got a 9spot, lost on late touchdowns and wide open receivers stepping out of bounds. missed on small parlays by a .5point and none of my books i use would let you buy a .5 point on the wnba. I have been there and taking another hiatus for a little while to regroup.
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Posted by Buckey321
6 years ago

Da Generate - I have weaned myself off of casignos and sports betting. I was no good at it. I do gamble like a schoolgirl online Poker only. BUt let me tell you my story which is defeinietly related as it involves penny stock trading. from Sept 1999 to March 2000 I had turned my $1,000 trading account into $120,000 like a lot of other fools and thought for sure I would have millions soon as I was a trading demon. By July 2000 I was flat broke again and out of work also with my recent 6 month severence blown on golf clubs memberships and some bad nights at the casino. But I was still trading - I was gonna get it all back. But I now realize I gotta get back to a real job so I am in Boston for a job interview but I am trading CGX energy the day before I went to Boston (symbol OYL.U on the TSE.) I am trading more that I should and I am in for about $8k and near market close I decide to sell for A SMALL LOSS as I will be away the next day. I hit buy instead of Sell DOHHHH I bought more at .90 and it dips to .88 or something and I have ten minutes to correct this mistaken buy. I have no way to cover this extra buy as my account is now negative by that extra $8k plus half of the original position so about $12k in total. So instead of correcting it I get reckless and I just let it ride and worry about the money in 3 days LOLOL So I'm off to Boston in the morning but I decide to get SMART - I place stop loss orders - but at Scotia the stop loss cannot trigger a market sell it can only trigger a sell with a limit so you must place a sell limit price in addition to the stop. So I place my stop loss at .68c with a limit of .50 - plenty safe. Stock was at .88 so I didnt think they would even be hit and hopefully I would be offered job which had a $20,000 signing bonus. That day I am in Boston the stock is halted as their offshore drilling rig they plowed every cent into gets towed away by the Suriname Navy off the coast of Guyana. The stock OPENS so you are saying OH well I am out a lot of that $16k or whatever it was but NOOOOOOOOOOOO MY stops never got executed as my limit was .50. I also had other buys in at .35 which is where it opened - I am now in for something like $35,000 in total and am $31,000 short in paying. All my buys got filled and I still have the original positions. While in Boston I get back to the airport to go home at noon and no internet terminal or anything just phones - My plane gets delayed 7 hours - I got so stinky drunk at the bar its amazing they let me on the plane. I do not even realize how much I am into this for and panicking bad. Now I am extremely hung over for the DAY after so what do I do - see below - This is day three of the mess now The stock goes immediately to .15 so I am in a loss for 30 of my 35 k - so I just do what desperate people do - I buy another 100,000 shares for $15,000 at .15 and a bit more at .20 and have no idea how all these buys are being allowed but they are even though my account balance is red red red At this point I am assuming I have lost the house and as a direct result my wife and family. The stock gets back to .35 shortly and when it was all said and done I made $1,000. I was overdrawn a few days and the debited my bank account which of course diodnt have the funds either. I think for two day I was $50,000 OD in bank account and made up lies to banker it was a mistake that his own brokerage arm had made. he beleived me.
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Posted by Da_Generate
6 years ago

HEY GUYS.. i am the author of that priceless piece of literature written above..i was just informed that the piece was published..so i apologize for not responding to some of you earlier..and i want to thank you all for enjoying the artcile and i appreciate the feedback even more...now to address some of the comments... cd329--you are 100% correct.worst bet in baseball..not only do i lose a set of at bats but even if the games goes into extra innings i cant cover because the game ends after the first guy crosses the plate...if couldnt afford the juice and should have not played it on the run line..your 100% right..and i paid the price.. and it wont happen again austintx36---i feel your pain..good news is you didnt lose any real money and your kid loves you bud aussieguy---your 100% right...it is a sad state of affairs but like "golfkat" says..i got hope..and i appreciate your advice..and you are spot on with it golfkat--i love they way you romanticise this sick life we lead..people do need to focus more on what are motivations to gamble besides the chance of winning the cash..your 100% right the way you describe the anticipation and the rush before the result is final..i am worried by one of your comments though..when you talk about your love of golf and gambling you finish your response you say "i loved it" in the past tence and i felt a sence of loss in the tone..are you retired golfkat? from golf and wagering? i hope not brother..get back to me boston ken---me and you need to hit the town, chase some tail and knock out a couple pretty boys at last call just to vent a little frustration..leave a trail of dna and busted heads in our drunken wake vic-vega--lets play a little steelers wheel and cut off a guys ear..best part of the whole scene is whe he has the cops ear in his hand and he puts it up to his mouth like a wonkey walkie talkie and says "can you hear me now"..lol..and your advice is accuate as well west_a--your right as well..nice dress.love that shoulder clevage rissygold--i love your mechanical point of view iamnomad--i understand there are locks brother..i was being sarcastic..lighten up a little fun boy new article will be out every tuesday muchachos--peace
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Posted by iamnomad
6 years ago

"Im just going to find a couple of locks..." You really are an unsophisticated degenerate if you think there is such a thing as a lock. I'm playing a baseball system now that's won over 100 straight. All that means is that for every subsequent winner, the system is one step closer to a losing bet. There's no crying in baseball, and there are no locks in sports betting.
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Posted by RissyGold
6 years ago

I'm not sure I got the story. Upfront, I'm a square. I enjoy beating the game (the house). Money is just a way to keep score. There are so many offerings during the year that Discipline & Self Control (as Vic stated before me) is a vital component to any kind of success. I'd also include (Do Your) Homework with those other items. There are 10,000 lined games and totals during the year. 3 wagers a night = about 10% of the entire board...and absolutely no one can survive long term at that pace. Sure, there will be nice short term runs. But long term, it's just too much to overcome. Discipline does mean that you will miss out on some winners. And, yes, that sucks. However, you also will be avoiding many losers too Control has the ability to bring focus. Realize the MLB for most bettors is profit time and that the NFL is a rough grind that most people lose at regularly. If you are not good at handicapping a sport, don't bet it. Even if it looks like a "sure thing", let it go! Homework - you had to do it grade school and you have to do it now. And there is no excuse for not doing it. There are too many website that supply basic information for free. Freak, MLB-NFL-NBA, all have detailed stats on their sites! Pick winners to win (make money)...if you want action, go to some poker.net site and wager mythical points that don't mean squat!
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Posted by Ettik
6 years ago

thanks that was a good read, I'd be bored out of my mind without gambling. told myself no more bets until monday, lakers/jazz game is so tempting though ;)
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Posted by West_a
6 years ago

Take it from AussieGuy and Vic-Vega. Discipline and proper money management. If you are given a $600 credit to wager for the week. Plan it properely and know just how much money to wager on a certain day.
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Posted by Goepfi
6 years ago

Great Article! Thumps up!
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Posted by BigEv617
6 years ago

boston ken is lost.. haha aussie ur the man
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Posted by Vic-Vega
6 years ago

Its frightening when a total stranger speaks about the demons inside you that you think the outside world has no idea of. 1. Discipline & Self Control 2. Money Management 3. Stay clear of parlays 4. Learn how to have that "cleansing period" during winning and losing periods. I know what is required yet I fail to practise the above important laws of gambling time and time again and it all begins with falling at the first hurdle....."Discipline & Self Control".
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Posted by acutance
6 years ago

A nice article. One of the classic rules of gambling is plunge when you're winning, pull back when you're not. When I look over my history, there's a lot of losing parlays and teasers, and a lot of winning straight bets. I've finally broke the teaser habit, but the parlays still suck me in. If you win the first two legs of a triple, there's a lot options and hedges you can play with on the last game. Now will someone tell me how to add a pic to my identity? Thanks.
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Posted by peter86754
6 years ago

great honest story about all gamblers. In the end, we keep chasing the chase until we are forced to reign back our discipline and face whatever we have created. A dangerous dangerous game, good luck.
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Posted by mstef8
6 years ago

Love all the golfing talk, but it looks as if you are a serious Chalker. What countryclub is this? Never give up the precious things we love in life like Golf for gambling. If your taht good of a golfer...find the serious games on the course and put your luck into your own hands instead of some dummies who accidentally run out of bounds or miss layups or strike out with bases loaded.
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Posted by 666LES
6 years ago

austintex36....What was the line on your kids game?If you tell me off the board,what were you wasting time on no action on the SuperBowl of racing Sat.Some things are important and some things are IMPORTANT.
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Posted by RichieRich24
6 years ago

im a degenerate... weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Posted by golfkat
6 years ago

You got it made pal. There is nothing in life like being a degenerate gambler. Firing up every quarter you can get your hands on. Just having that "hope" is great stuff. The feeling you get before the games start is incredible, knowing you have a great shot to win. Then when you are in the middle of the game, the tension, and how, "in tuned" you are to the game. You are like part of it. Then the "win", it was like you had some magical insight that only a few possessed, "yes,I am gifted". Yes, you hold the magical parlay. You can gamble on the golf course which is the best. There is nothing better than finding someone that thinks he can beat you and you him. That feeling coming down the lane, with all the money on the line. Golf is wonderful because there is so much time between shots. You get to know who you really are. any number of thoughts run through you head, in the heat of battle. There is nothing like betting all your money, in a tough match. I loved it.
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Posted by Aussieguy
6 years ago

Interesting but sad sad sad story Robb! Appreciate the vulnerabilty though. Without sounding like a major expert, I believe your downfall has been Parlaying and doing your Multi bets, Chasing the fatter odds or the "easy" money! If We ALL look at this as an investment as you would in the stock market, then you wouldn't be in major strife! You've got to control your mind and emotions. I believe that in this business, much more important than betting the right team and placing the right wager, is to keep your emotions under control. I've learned to take my LOSS just as "content" as I'd take my WIN! Simple as that. If I lost Toronto in the first game, I wouldn't double, triple or quadriple up with Golden State in the last game of the night. I won't chase my loss. Period. Also another important thing is to keep your bets at a minimum. I see some of the guys here that bet 7 games per night!!!! That my friend, plainly put, is fkd up! Keep it to a bare minimum 1 or 2 max plays per day/night! Win or Lose stick with those 1 or 2 plays. There's always tomorrow! It's only Christmas day that you cannot place a bet, otherwise you have 364 days a year to knock yourself out. Be Patient! By the way, I love George costanza, I've watched every single episode several times over. My favourite piece of TV of all time. Oh yeah I have some advice for those going thru' a losing streak: Keep yelling SERENITY NOW ... Cheers and Best wishes to ALL AUSSIE
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Posted by sean2114
6 years ago

i hear ya, the last three months have consisted of one blown third period lead after another then a month ago bases came around and the trend has continued one blown 8th or 9th inning lead after another, bottom line a hockey season that once had me up over 40 units finished just up 5 and and bases which could easily be up 20-25 units is just up 5, i am trying to focus on the postivie and realize that with the last three months being some of the worst luck i have had over my gambling lifetime i am still ahead money. i just keep waking up everyday thinking it has to get better soon.
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Posted by austintx36
6 years ago

My god, you sound just like me. My 10-team desperation parlay on Saturday got crushed and my Kentucky Derby winning trifecta (would've cashed $15K) bet never was placed b/c my kid's little league baseball game ran long. Oh well, it's only money.
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Posted by cd329
6 years ago

should be worst bet in baseball
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Posted by cd329
6 years ago

worts bet in baseball is laying -1- runs with the home team. Dont you guys realize that you are short changing yourself on a half of inning of play. If you cant lay -1 run or the moneyline, then pass the game.
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Posted by asloper6001
6 years ago

Wow bro, great write up. I too love golf and gambling. Your story hit very close to home. Jump over that fence and tell one of those punks who thinks they are good in golf, and say "hey if you beat me, I will pay for you and your buddies round today", "but if I win you all pay me for a the price of the round". P.S hopefully your country club is expensive. You will always get worked over working the system, but each day you are on top feels great. Great story.
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Posted by thip
6 years ago

Great article, all of us degenerates could tell a similar story inserting different teams. garbage, when my wife reads our next bank statment and see's that my droken behind took out money for the Derby last saturday, it will be WWII. Is It all about winning $ or possibly more about the action?
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Top Response

Posted by Buckey321
6 years ago

"Da Generate - I have weaned myself off of casignos and sports betting. I was no good at it. I do gamble like a schoolgirl online Poker only. BUt let me tell you my story which is defeinietly related as it involves penny stock trading. from Se..."