I have had plenty of ups and downs in my sports betting career (the amount of time I spend on it I think you could call it a “career”) but 2017 is going to do down as the one in which I lost my discipline and a whole lot of cash.
After a solid enough start to the year I began to get greedy in Super Rugby and after a couple of horror weekends I tried to bet myself out of trouble. Never a good move. The problem is I chose the Sharks v Rebels game and went high on points and tries in the spreads markets. The game if I recall correctly finished 9-9 and you could stick a fork in me because I was most certainly done.
Before I go on (and in case my mother in law reads this) I must point out that I bet with a bankroll which was set aside many years ago and it had also grown nicely during a very successful 2016. So I am not playing with the grocery money but a knock to the bankroll hurts nonetheless and it also puts me under pressure as I obviously love my betting and would not like to be in a position where I have to restock it.
I felt a strange sense of relief after the Sharks game and I think this was because I was now basically forced to take a break from sports betting. I laid low for almost 3 months and when I returned I had a more disciplined approach and gradually began to claw back some losses.
This has actually been a regular pattern in past years but this time just as I was gaining momentum I began to get greedy. I started increasing my stake and often had bets riding on multiple games taking place at the same time. I was no longer treating sports betting as a game of skill but rather one of chance and I paid the price.
As 2017 draws to a close I have to reflect on what has been a poor punting year and one in which he I broke many of my own rules and lost my discipline. I am off to the coast in a couple of weeks and it will be time to clear my mind and to focus on getting things back on track in 2018.
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This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 23rd of November 2017.