Recognizing risk is one of many variables to success as a sports bettor

Jul 31, 2018 3:01 AM

One of the questions I receive weekly is, “How do I maintain my composure during losing streaks?”

The grim reality is sports betting can be hazardous to your wealth. Let’s take an honest look at sports betting without the hype and emotion that surrounds the subject, and find out what it takes to be a successful sports bettor.

We go to school, gain an education, and either become employed, or start a business. We learn what we need to become successful; however, nothing in our education or work experience provides the comprehensive knowledge or psychological control necessary for success as a sports bettor.

Unfortunately, it is human nature to assume if we succeed in one area we will automatically succeed in another. Most people who enter this market with the idea of becoming a professional sports bettor have a feeling of invincibility, superiority, and do not have a clue of what they are about to experience. The dream of quick money and financial success can very quickly become a living nightmare.

You have to maintain the proper psychological mindset in order to be successful. Sports bettors should never “overbet” and should establish “risk tolerance.” A successful sports bettor quantifies, analyzes, and truly understands and accepts risk. Emotional and psychological acceptance of risk is what determines your mental state in each bet. Approximately 95% of all sports bettors do not have any idea of their risk tolerance.

As a professional sports better, you must select a betting method that reflects your timeframe and risk tolerance. Just mentioning the word “risk” conjures up images of fear and panic. The term “risk” is properly defined as the measurable probability of loss. The key words, of course, being “measurable probability.” Most people think of risk as uncertain and not quantifiable. This is not the case.

A proper risk tolerance of a 1% to 2% per wager is key to long term success. It sounds small, however, the dollar amount per wager will grow as long as you are successful. You need to keep your ego in check along the way also.

Your ego and money can make you broke. Winning can create powerful emotions that distort reality. The more you win, the better you feel, which can cause your ego to take over. The joy of winning is the drug gamblers live for. A gambler will lose money chasing this high if ego gets in the way.

Most people new to sports betting also have the wrong focus. If money is your focus, then you have little chance of success. Many that are new look at this as a way to escape a job they hate. They also know they have to make a certain amount of money to pay the bills and that can easily lead to becoming over-stressed.

When the bettor fails to meet the goal, he begins to push his betting beyond his true ability and skill. The result is a series of losing bets that could have been avoided if he had the correct focus. If the focus is money, it leads to emotional decisions and emotional decisions lead to uncontrolled losses. Successful sports bettors make decisions based on fact and analysis. Do this, and money will follow if your methodology is a sound one.

Betting against the Yankees (as I have previously predicted in a few articles) the last month has proved to be a one of those successful decisions. Let’s not stop the money train. Keep your eyes open for the same juicy spots this next week.