Gambling is a lifelong contest. You can’t win the game with your next bet, but you can certainly lose it.
Looking at it any other way is a losing proposition.
Gamblers who take a short-term approach get stuck in a vicious cycle. They build their bankroll, add to it with a hot streak and then eventually watch it go up in smoke when they hit the inevitable skids. The most unfortunate of them do it over and over and over again.
Tommy Angelo, a noted Las Vegas poker coach and author of Elements of Poker, regularly works with gamblers who are caught in the cycle. The key to freeing yourself, Angelo says, is looking at the big picture and exercising constant self-evaluation.
“Taking the long view is not only logical, but it’s also profitable,” emphasized Angelo.
Ask yourself this: Do you plan to stop betting someday down the road? If you’re reading this, I’m guessing the answer is no. The real degenerates out there will probably place their last bet from their death bed. I have no problem with that. Heck, I might be one of them.
But how do we make sure we have the opportunity to make our death-bed bet?
“The process of continual self-observation and continued self-awareness is the most important factor in long-term gambling success,” said Angelo.
Struggling poker players usually show up on Angelo’s couch after they’ve been through the cycle of building and blowing their bankroll several times. If that situation sounds a lot like your sports betting career, Angelo suggests taking a close look at why your bankroll keeps vanishing.
“We’re looking for patterns, exploitable patterns,” said Angelo. “If you’ve got a pattern of boom and bust, doing well, playing well, gambling well and then for some reason it ends … what are the differences in the cycles?”
Think back to the last time you lost your entire bankroll. Did it happen quickly, within a week or even a couple of days? Did it happen shortly after you went on a hot streak? Do you remember suffering a tough beat and then trying to play catch-up by betting a few additional games that you originally didn’t intend to play?
It happens. The time after you suffer a bad beat or go through an extended losing streak is extremely dangerous, especially if you’re not taking a long-term approach.
“The long view can really help us get through the emotional turmoil of the short range,” Angelo explained. “When we know the fluctuation is bound to deal us 10 losing Monday night games in a row or 10 missed flush draws in a row, taking a long-term view should ease the pain when it happens. The whole theory behind easing the pain when it happens is so we don’t tilt as badly or for as long; so we’re capable of making more rational decisions quicker.”
Now, think back to the last time you were sizzling hot. You were seeing things clearly. Games were playing out like you expected. Your bankroll was surging. What were the characteristics of your hot streak?
Did you tighten up your cards? Did you spend more time handicapping? What teams were you betting? Did you have more underdogs on your card? You’re looking for anything that represents a pattern that might be contributing to your success.
Nevertheless, your streak will end and eventually be followed by a losing streak of at least equal proportions and often worse. You must anticipate and prepare for the down turn.
“When you’re running good and everything’s good, that’s the time you have to plan for when things run bad,” Angelo added. “Make your plans right when you feel invincible, because it will happen.”Payneful Picks
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