Slow day today so thought I would respond to an email:

I’ve followed you for some time now, and never posted nor e-mailed.  This is my first contact.  I’ve been sports betting for about 5 years now.
My first couple of years were break even, then I had a winning year or so, but I have fallen into a 10 or 11 month slump where I can do nothing but lose.
It has really added up to some substantial losses financially.  It’s pretty much crippled me.
I am not walking away from it, I’m looking for answers.
A major problem since September has been my inability to resist teasers and parlays.
I need to get back to 80% Straight betting.  The only time I want to utilize a parlay is to reduce the vig on a moneyline.  I.E. Yankees-170, and Phillies-240.  A situation that I think both teams may win, but I do not want to place a runline bet.  I just want to play that the two teams will win.  Those parlays, I don’t object to, but I have been doing crazy stuff.
i am already down; either for the week, or the feeling of just consecutive losing.  So I will tease 3 or 4 games, and just over-react to my present situation by some desperation bet.
I see all the errors of my ways on Monday morning, but when it is a Friday and I am down $300, I will TILT and drive that $300 up to a $3500 LOSS!
I’ve drastically reduced my betting amounts. I am on the path of Straight Bets.  I do have in a parlay today as I described to you.  Today I have 2 Straight bets, and 1 parlay (Yankees-165, Rangers-160)
I journal sometimes, so I’ve got some of what I need already in writing, but my question to you is this:

Can you recommend any literature, or website that might just cover what I need to hear right now.  I need to re-establish my discipline.  I need to get back to money-management, and STRAIGHT betting.  I need a good lesson in the basics of how to Win at Sports Betting.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I am happy you decided to keep the girls around.  Sometimes I refresh the page, just to see who’s next.”

My Response:

The first thing I would advise is to take a couple of months off from betting on any sports. Its hard for anyone to evaluate what they  should be doing without getting the problem to a neutral position.

Next would be to educate yourself on the psychology of gamblers. When I wrote more about poker I made the comment that most of us that are driven to gambling whether it be handicapping , poker or whatever usually have some self destructive tendencies they need to know about and deal with.

No problem can be resolved without an understanding of the motivation behind it. So if your gambling and losing …and still gambling. You need to figure out why. But take my word for it…..its that self destructive tendency at work.

Almost every successful gambler that I know has had to deal with it before they turn the corner to be positive ev players that have things under complete control.

So….take a few month break…and do whatever you think you need to do to get your compulsive behavior behind you. Sometimes its as simple as an intellectual excerise (similar to the movie “A beautiful Mind” but oftentimes it takes more intense efforts)

But until you get a handle on need to get away from the betting.

Myself I am compulsive about gambling only in situations I feel I have a positive ev. I have often said I dont need the best of it to make a wager…but I do need to think I have the best of it:)

Also while your away from sports betting……go rent or buy ” the gambler” with James Caan.  That should give you a start in understanding what might be going on.

Other then that….I cant really give you much other advise.

Good Luck


Showing 3 comments
  • Ed

    Also, please read (or reread) rick’s “required reading”. He talks about variance and discipline. And stop betting stupid parlays and teasers…..and stop betting favorites in baseball:)

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks Rick

    Also, parlaying two teams that you just “know will win” in the long run is a sucker play. The lines are shaded towards favorites in those situations, as the public is all over it, especially with teams like the Yankees, or teams that have been “hot” like Texas today. If there is a mathematical reason the teams should win more often then they are favored to, fine. But if you’re just parlaying heavy favorites, long term you CAN NOT win that way.

  • Adam

    The thing we really haven’t addressed is whether you want to or expect to be a +EV player. I doubt there are many if any +EV players out there who would have placed the parlay you described.

    If you bet for fun, bet $10 or smaller units. If you have more fun betting $100 for fun than betting $10, you have a problem, and should refer back to what Rick said about self destructive personalities etc.

    If you consider yourself a +EV player, quantify your edge, calculate your bankroll, and remember the toughest thing in the betting world is to be +EV and also have a good time doing it, because there are drawdowns, other knocks along the way, and books trying to shut you down left right and centre when you do win. Scams, payment processor problems, bloodsucking touts making false promises, and a million other factors; the market gets smarter all the time, and every year it gets harder.

    In all honesty from the post the one thing I gleaned is that you are NOT a +EV player at the moment, so you need to either accept that and bet very small for fun, or turn it around by reading sites like this one and many of the other good ones online. Or, option 3, suck it up and take the losses you have incurred, and plough on regardless, but having read the email, I don’t think that’s what you want to do.

    Remember, winning is hard. REALLY hard. Breaking even isn’t a bad feat (if you aren’t a pro – if you are it makes it tough to eat etc!).

    Parlays, tilt plays, multiple teasers – it really sounds like option 1 (or even giving up altogether if you find betting very small an unpalatable option) is the way forwards for you – good luck and keep us posted. If you are determined to play on, Rick’s advice is great, i’ll give you some more. Make every play that Rick does (the ones he tweets, not the NBA). Don’t miss a play, get the tweets to your cell, and be organized about getting on. Don’t make a single other bet for a few months.

    If you can’t manage to do that, you need to have a good look at yourself, because gambling may well not be for you and you’ll struggle to become a +EV player if you fall at that first hurdle.

    Oh and remember bases is a grind, so there probably won’t be more than 5-10 units profit on the table after those few months. If you are feeling like it isn’t enough, or you need action everyday, you need to stop betting altogether, IMO.

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