I have been betting on sport for many years and one of the things I always enjoyed was treating myself and the family to a nice meal or even a trip to the coast after a good win.
2018 has been a pretty good year despite the fact that my form took a dip a few weeks ago and I have drawn more money from the bookmakers than I have deposited. Going back a decade or so this would have meant treats for the family but these days when I draw the money out it gets swallowed up into a black hole of expenses. The money hits my bank account and before I can think of any exciting plans for it, it disappears. As I have got older I have had more responsibilities and a couple of teenage children means plenty of expenses, so the general cost of living and the fact that in real terms, like many South Africans, I am earning less each year is certainly one of the reasons why any profits are used to keep the wolves at bay before anything else.
The other thing which I have given thought to over recent weeks is the fact that my betting stake is not much bigger than it was 10 or perhaps even 20 years ago. I recall having a solid bet on Sergio Garcia to win the Nedbank Challenge back in 2001 and this year I was on the Spaniard again although my stake was actually half of what I placed that year. The fact that I have not increased my stake significantly over the years is probably another reason why my wins have not been as significant but I guess I have to look at the positive side in that I am taking care of expenses first and I am only betting with what could be considered disposable income. I suspect my wife would argue that last one though.
As we wind down to the end of the year I will be reflecting not only on my 2018 punting performance but also to the year that lies ahead and what goals I am going to set myself from a betting perspective. It is of course a double World Cup year with the Cricket and my personal highlight, the Rugby in Japan.
With a bit of luck perhaps I can take the family for KFC at the end of 2019!
This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 6th of December 2018.