To Bet Or Not To Bet? Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Happy, Healthy Gambler?
I placed my first bet when I was at university. I did not do it to make money, that was just a by-product of what I was really after - the thrill. You see, my first bet was for a total of 50 pence and if it won it was only going to make me 4 or 5 times my investment, but after placing it I felt a rush unlike any other. I was now in direct competition with the bookmaker and I wanted to beat him.
It just so happens that I lost.
I had just challenged a seemingly unbeatable force and lost, but I felt great. Just to have tried was enough to fill me with a great sense of satisfaction, and even though it took me another 5 bets before I won, after each loss I still felt good about myself.
I still place bets today and I still get that same feeling. I have gained experience, I have gained knowledge and as a result my bets are slightly higher these days, but that's only as part of the battle I fight against the bookmaker. I still don't care much about the money; I only increase my bet size as a defiant message to the bookmakers saying that I will not be broken. Because after all, isn't that what they are trying to do?
They have no morals, no sense of right or wrong, all they want to do is squeeze every last drop of money you have as fast as possible and leave you to clean up after you have given them that very pleasure. I have not given them that pleasure.
We all know that gambling can be very addictive, but it does not need to be. All it needs is the right mentality, a positive mentality.
Even when I lose I still count myself a winner. The bookmaker has got my money but I have something that they will never take from me; my self control. To lose this to them would ultimately lead to financial disaster and I am not willing to allow this. As long as I am in control over my bets I still have the upper hand; they may win many a battle but they will never win the war.
If everyone were to bet like this then the bookmakers would lose. They would have lost the only thing that keeps them going - their superiority over us. To have a strong mind in tough situations, to take a loss on the chin and still come out fighting are priceless qualities and gambling could very well help you achieve these properties.
I know that I am a stronger person for it. I have great confidence in myself now, knowing that I am always going to be in control. Nobody can make me feel small because I am in control.
This is how to bet; bet with your head not with your heart. Be smart not foolish. If you aren't having fun when you bet, then do not do it; if you cannot realise that winning isn't everything then you, my friend, are destined to lose your own personal war with the bookmakers and I would hate to see that happen.
"Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories" - Sun Tzu (ca. 500BC)