You might be over the moon or you might be tearing your hairs out as you frantically search for an answer, but eventually you’ll have to concede that the verdict is in: you’ve been had.
That is, after placing a wager on the Septum market. As the name would have it, Septum was (and still is) the seventeenth hole on the nineteenth hole golf course at the Trump World Golf Club in California, USA. On September 6, 2012, the last day of the tournament, amateur golfer Corey Pavin matched par (4), beating Hunter Mahan (9) and Jim Furyk (14) by one stroke to win the trophy. It was, at the time, the largest comeback in PGA Tour history. And you, my friend, bankrolled the winning shot!
You might be wondering what happened and how you could have been so foolish as to put your hard-earned money on a gamble that went so horribly wrong. Let’s walk you through the steps that doomed you to inevitable suffering.
Familiarize Yourself With The Basics
First, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of betting on sports. You’re more likely to get your moneys worth if you know how odds work and how to evaluate a given situation. For example, if you’re searching for value propositions, you should look into the handicapping of the golfers; that is, which players are most likely to perform well against a particular golf course, weather conditions, and such.
What’s more, you should read up on the history between the involved teams. Sure, you might be able to pick up some pointers from watching the games and keeping track of the scores, but even the best players in the world can’t always control the conditions and pitfalls that come with the game. The odds might be in your favor, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to win.
Don’t Go In With More Than You Can Afford To Lose
When it comes to betting on sports, it’s all about money management. A lot of people will tell you that you should never go in with more than you can afford to lose; that is, if you’re risking something precious (like your hard-earned cash), you should make sure that you can recoup at least part of that loss (through winning bets, of course).
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. We’re a driven species, and we constantly want to seek out chances to win, especially when we’re winning in other areas of life. When you’re winning at the slot machines, you want to keep feeding them. Why? You’ll never know when you might hit a jackpot and be able to afford that expensive smartwatch you’ve always wanted. Or, if you’ve finally managed to save enough money to buy that car you’ve been wanting for years, you might opt to go ahead and purchase it, even if you have a surplus of cash.
This brings us to our next point. In the same way that casinos thrive on compulsive gamblers, bookmakers make their money off people who want to win and can’t stop themselves from taking risky bets. It’s very difficult to avoid getting sucked into the frenzy if you’re constantly winning at the slots or the blackjack tables. Even when you tell yourself that you’re putting all the winnings on the next spin of the roulette wheel or the next turn of the card game, you’ll find yourself reaching for that purse or pocket book, hoping for that magic number to show up.
Don’t Be Foolhardy
It’s a common mistake for novices to think that because they understand sports betting, they can apply the same logic to other areas of life. It’s not that simple. You might have the best information available, but that doesn’t mean you’ll win every time. And, in some cases, it can even mean that you’ll lose.
For example, many gamblers believe that because they understand the concept of leverage, they can apply it to investing. The truth is, leverage only makes sense in certain situations and can be very harmful if used incorrectly. The same goes for betting. You’ll never know how much leverage you need until you’re actually in the middle of a bet, and then it’s too late to figure out whether or not you want to continue, because you’re committed.
Don’t Forget The Lessons You Learned
No, you didn’t absorb all that information in one sitting; it’s very likely that you had to study hard to get those pretty much flawless grades. That is, unless you were one of those lucky few who are born with an inborn sporting talent. Even then, you probably had to develop your own method of keeping track of all the relevant stats and tendencies associated with your chosen sport.
Now that you’re an expert in the field, you’ll want to use what you’ve learned to its advantage. Instead of blindly following the crowd and going with the popular picks, you’ll instead investigate the underdogs with good odds of winning. It’s all about having the knowledge and the willpower not to fall into the same trap again. The key is to remember what you’ve learned and not let yourself get sucked in by false prophets, crooked bookmakers, or (gasp!) the opinion of someone who has more money than brains.
Be Careful With Your Lifestyle
A lot of sports betting enthusiasts like to get in shape by running, cycling, swimming, or taking part in other forms of physical activity. While all of these are good for you and can help you destress, you have to be careful about what kind of habits they might form, especially if you’re not used to being active. For example, if you’re a runner and you bet on a cycling event, you might feel compelled to go for a jog after the race, since that is the only exercise you’ve ever really done.
Similarly, if you enjoy weightlifting, it might be difficult to pass up the opportunity to hit the iron rack after a stressful day at work. Even if you know that the damage is minimal, it’s still going to be there, constantly reminding you that you have plenty of fat to shift around.
If you want to get in shape and de-stress, try taking up yoga or meditation, or join a gym where you can socialize with other people who are also trying to improve their lifestyle.
In the end, none of this is to suggest that you shouldn’t place bets on sports. On the contrary, if you’ve worked hard to get where you are, built a good reputation, and accumulated enough money to be comfortable, you might find it intriguing to gamble on a game you’re familiar with.
The key is to be smart about it and understand that it is not always an easy road to riches and self-rediscovery. Just because you’re familiar with the concept of gambling and sports betting doesn’t make it easy. Sometimes you’re going to win, sometimes you’re going to lose, but in the end, it’s all about learning to be a better person.