The first time I laid down a sports bet I was 24 years old, working in a monotonous office environment in London. A self described gambling wizard work colleague of mine took my computer and within three seconds, spread 30 english pounds of my money on the William Hill website on 5 different Wimbledon matches. I woke up the next morning with 240 pounds in my account. WOW, that easy huh? I was hooked. Every day I would pour money into William Hill, losing on Philippine Basketball and Indian Premier league Cricket. I was losing the vast majority but I would look over to Mickey Brown, the Gambling wizard and he would show me his accounts of 20k wins and I was convinced I would win big one of these days. I never did. What he wasn’t showing me were his losses. I remember one tuesday afternoon a delivery man marched into our office with a paper package over four feet long for him. Turns out Bet365 had sent him an entire smoked salmon for being a valued customer which seemed to be a red flag (AKA losing thousands of pounds on their website). Either way, it was a costly lesson but did not come without learning a thing or two.
Learn about a new sport
Due to the timezones and the fact that I was betting on company time, it made betting money on generic sports pretty tricky, so I ended up betting on pretty obscure sports. I took a particular interest in Indian Premier league cricket and I researched the hell out of it in order to place what I thought to be at the time, well thought out bets. I ended up falling in love with the sport and once a year I head over to India to see a match of my beloved Delhi Daredevils live with my extensive network for cricket friends.
Financial Problem Solving
Chronically betting on sports gives you a pretty transparent view of your financials and how you value your time and money. It forces you to take a long hard look in the mirror. Willing to bet your months rent on the next UFC fight that you know nothing about?! WHERE ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?!
Finding Common ground with people
Like alcoholics and drug addicts, Gamblers are the same- it is a lot more comforting when you know people around you are also making the same mistakes as you. “You putting any money on the fight this weekend nik?!” my boss would yell across the office – “Yes I got Froch in the ninth”, banter and eventual connection based promotions ensues. Truth be told I didn’t want to make that bet, but desperately wanted to connect with my boss and you have to put your money where your mouth is.
Realizing the House always wins
Sometimes it is a hard pill to swallow, but you’re not that smart. A valuable lesson of mortality in many aspects of life. Sports betting is a multi billion dollar economy for a reason.