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Gambling Resolutions

The start of a new year gives all of us a chance to reflect on the year that was while also “promising” to make changes to our lives moving forward.  Some of us vow to be nicer to our family, others say going to the gym will become a priority, and there’s even a faction that says putting in longer hours at work is their goal. Instead the reality is February 1 we find ourselves right back in the same routine as every other year. As sports gamblers I think it’s equally as important to force yourself to try new things, getting out of the comfort zone to take the next step in handicapping development. Here’s my 2015 list of New Year’s resolutions for the recreational bettor…that even the most hardened veteran can learn from too.

Learn to live bet

This is the wave of the future…and for most of the world not in the United States the future is already here. Live betting gives the sophisticated bettor an opportunity to get in at a better price than what may have been available before kickoff but most importantly for bookmakers it keeps folks in action. For those more comfortable watching match-ups emerge or breaking down X’s and O’s in real time this is one of the best ways to maximize profits during the game. The major pitfall is finding a shop that allows regular limits and doesn’t use .30 to .40 cents line for dynamic wagering. In-play wagering represents the majority of betting handle that takes place on soccer matches throughout Europe. It’s been painfully slow coming to Vegas but it should be widely available at most offshore books where you’d consider depositing.

Keep an accurate accounting of your bets

No matter if you find yourself betting $5 a game or $5,000, keep tabs on where your money is going. The best bettors know exactly what their ROI, win percentage, and average juice looks like at all times. It’s a good practice for any recreational bettor looking to get more serious about his/her gambling moving forward as well. We’ve all been there before…when our brain has a funny way of mis-remembering facts so unless you see those betting habits in black and white, you’ll never be able to identify true strengths or weaknesses in your game.

Make yourself accountable

Gambling is a funny hobby/business: everyone has an opinion (some better than others) often times making it difficult to take a ton of valuable information and consolidate it into a well informed position. Remember you become your own judge, jury, and executioner for every single wager you make. No one forces you to pull the trigger on a bet meaning the faster you come to understand that accountability is king maturation as a bettor can take place. I can’t tell you how tiresome it is to hear friends, family, or folks on social media play Monday morning quarterback criticizing others for a gambling opinion after a game has gone final. If you don’t like what they’re saying, go the other way…but if you’re going to take credit for a win don’t look to pass the buck when a game loses.

Find at least one additional out

We all start somewhere: the local bookie. Eventually that single book gets supplemented with an online shop or second local and the lid on Pandora’s box is officially blown off. The deeper you get into this business, the more important outs become…always looking to stay one step ahead of the curve. Whether you have 1, 5, 10, or 20 different books to take your action make it a chore this year to get yourself another out. Even the most casual bettor needs to have a few places to get down eliminating even the slightest chance of taking a bad number. This business has such razor thin margins for success as is, don’t make it even harder on yourself by limiting opportunities.

Avoid chasing or the “action” bet

Everyone’s been there; searching for the late game on a busy Saturday just to stop the bleeding. Well you know what, how about you stop the bleeding yourself by living to fight another day? I’m always keen on a saying that it’s easier to get out of a ditch than the Grand Canyon when it comes to gambling losses. There is no due factor in sports betting, sometimes even the best most advantaged players in the world fall into prolonged slumps. The key during these rough patches is mitigating losses, weathering the storm until things turn around for the better. Same rules apply out of boredom betting: just because a football game is on in primetime doesn’t mean it warrants a wager. With 2nd half options, live betting, or even props explore derivative markets for a small play always making sure to differentiate your units if you’re in it for the fix…not firing with an edge.

Don’t hold grudges

There isn’t a bettor out there who hasn’t been frustrated by a certain player, coach, or team over the years. It becomes a personal vendetta you need appeased after losing 5 games betting either on or against them. Rather than the “get your money back” mentality usually it’s best just to let it go, acknowledging the fact you don’t have a good read on their particular strengths or weaknesses. For me this NFL season that team was the KC Chiefs. I found myself on or against them nearly every week with the result being the same each time: a damn loss. Stubbornness can be good when you trust the process…it’s not when you insist on betting games of certain teams that own you. Instead of chasing dead money with the fresh stuff, review your notes and just walk away. There’s nothing worse than checking your balance ledger at the end of the year realizing one team really got the best of you almost every single time.