Over my many years of sports betting and 14+ years of posting sports handicapping plays daily, I have had some interesting drawdowns. About 4 or 5 years ago I went through a 30 unit drawdown in the NBA and it was almost straight down.
Also, a number of years ago I had an MLB season where I went through 30 to 40 units.
These drawdowns fortunately only come around every 4 or 5 years. Interestingly almost with the same frequency, a full-time limit poker player would experience.
We are in the midst of another drawdown precipitated by College Hoops underperforming compared to when I first started handicapping college hoops.
I had always avoided this sport because of the time-consuming nature of handicapping 100 games a day. But as time progressed and my techniques became easier to apply in a systematic manner I decided to give College Hoops a spin.
And, almost instantly, college hoops became the most profitable of all sports. Some of it was due to positive variance and some were due to solid handicapping.
But there was a pattern that developed that has held true. The most profitable part of college hoops is the period of time before conference play begins. The least profitable is conference play. And right in the middle is March Madness.
But this season we have had a dramatic departure from previous seasons in my handicapping results. We started out heading south and although I have switched back to my original solid handicapping without the frills I added this season, we have slowed the slide but have not turned it around.
Part of this is due to us being in conference play. The other part I am still analyzing.
So, what is one to do when what was once a solid 10 to 20 units a year sport turns into a headscratcher?
Gambling is a tough endeavor. It’s even tough when you have a grasp on variance and how it enters into the equation of positive EV.
To the gamblers that have no idea about variance, they do not have a chance. As they have no perspective in which to determine their edge and drawdown.
It’s very similar to poker players I played with in home games who after losing several hands would get up off their chair and walk around their chair 3 or 4 times to change their luck:)
Or poker players that constantly ask for deck changes or to shuffle the deck.
Assuming you have a positive EV to start with its all a question of variance and whether you can withstand both financially and psychologically the drawdowns.
Financially is easy to keep in line. With an appropriate bankroll and bet sizing technique financial should never be a worry. If it is even in the slightest, then your bankroll size is too large, and the % you have allocated to your bet size might also be too large.
The 2nd part of the equation, however, is the tough part. I have always said that human nature is the biggest cause of failure not only in gambling but in most everything one undertakes in our life journey.
From the extreme of outright self-destructive behavior to the subtle mental machinations that take place all the time.
Human nature works against you all the time when you are gambling. Fear of losing, greed, paranoia, superstition are just a few of the things that can get you off your gameplan.
Combine that with the idea that as you have more stress these factors have a tendency to come into play more often with many.And Gambling daily can be a very stressful endeavor.
The whole point of the above is that if you try to quantify your decision making regarding when to give up, you will most likely fail unless your a proven seasoned professional gambler.
So the easy way to figure it out is to make it simple. If you’re not having fun betting sports. Quite for awhile. That is easy to determine.
If you have lost your sense of humor, quit for awhile. If your getting +10 and the game goes into OT and you lose by a last second 3 pointer in OT and you get mad, quit for awhile.
The goal is to view the outer edges of variance you experience in amusement rather than “Damn, I lost another bet”
If you cannot do that or have no desire to do that, let me save you some grief. Quite betting, as you will eventually have to quit anyway.
As my subscribers have noticed, I have quit charging for current subscribers until MLB season begins.
I made a promise to myself that if I ever got to the point where I did not think I could produce value, I would at the very least stop charging.
I am not even close to being at that point, however, I felt because some of my “1/2 play new” wagers have contributed to the drawdown, it would only be the right thing to do, to suspend subscription charges until MLB begins.
My time and expenses go on but I always operate on the premise of doing what I think is the correct thing regardless of the cost.
MLB is a good time to start up again as the Overnights are the best technique so far that I have come across for MLB.
The proof is in the fact that the line move went our way over 65% of the time. So we had better than the line 2 to 1 over the course of the season. If we would have been betting 1 unit on these from day 1 we would have made somewhere between 30 to 40 units in that alone in MLB.
Of course, you have to have access to overnight lines.
So that is where we are at right now. The NFL has been a profitable season. Our preseason leans went 2-1 and our regular season leans were 3-0. 1 unit plays 13-10 +2.05 units, 1/2 unit plays 9-3 +2.85 units and 1/2 unit totals 6-4 +.8 units.
We still have the Superbowl of course but based on 45 wagers we are +5.7 units or 12.66 % ROI.
If anyone has any questions or comments I can be reached either via email or on Skype.
Good Luck Today
RickJ’s Handicapping Picks
“Human nature works against you all the time when you are gambling” is the truest truism in this article. Sportsbooks typically beat the public because they have deep pockets and no emotions. People typically burn themselves out.