Learning When To Stop

Well, Cheltenham is well and truly over and, I have to say I'm disappointed. Not with the racing, which was great, but with the bet-matching I did on those races offered by Bet365.

With 5 races on each of the 4 days, I was looking forward to making some easy money, though looking back over the meeting, I didn't make as much as I had hoped.


There were a number of problems with Cheltenham this week:

1. The odds were, in general, too high and/or the spread was too great. It was hard work finding decent spreads at sensible odds. That's the reason I only did 14 races. Even then, I took a big risk in a couple of races and laid off in-running in order to obtain a decent spread.

2. With such large high quality fields, it was always going to be difficult finding winners, which is where the best returns come from using this technique.

3. I made two mistakes which cost me roughly £20 profit. The worst of these was over laying 'Wichita Lineman' in the 2:40 on Tuesday after mistakenly thinking that the SP was 6.5 and not the 6.00 that I had backed at. In retrospect, I could have backed it for a small amount when its odds shot out early in the race, but who'd have thought it would mount such a dramatic fightback to win on the line? Not me, but then, what do I know?

With only £37 to show for my efforts at the big meeting, I'm glad that the greyhounds have kept the fire burning brightly.

Over the four days of the Cheltenham Festival the dogs have earned me £117 with the results just getting better and better as the week has gone on. I must confess, this came as a pleasant surprise as I had thought that the dog markets would die a death with the big race meeting on. If anything, they were better than I've seen them for some time.

I've also, off and on, been trading the evening horse races, without much success it has to be said. Since I decided I was going to go back to basics, I've traded 19 races and increased my little trading bank by only £2.46 and at no time have I enjoyed any of it. I just do not get it and show no signs of doing so.

Despite my successes this week, indeed, this month, I'm getting more and more frustrated with the number of days I wind up disappointed or annoyed simply because I spend all day achieving a reasonable profit, which I then start to erode later in the day.

Today was a perfect example. In the latter races of the afternoon greyhound card, I desperately tried to break through the £60 mark, but stopped for dinner a few pence short of it. I was more than happy with this, and, combined with the £26 I'd made through the matched betting today, I was delighted with the total.

Afterwards, I returned to get that extra few pence and spent the next 90 mins alternating between wins and losses. Still, although I lost £4.50 trying in vain to trade the horse win market of the 7:20 at Wolverhampton, my dog profit edged to almost £70 when I got caught in successive races losing nearly £12 in the process. At which point I stopped.

And here's my point. That loss has really put a major dampener on today's achievements, even though at the start of the day I would have settled for the £80 I eventually achieved. I find it frustrating that I am continually doing such things and consequently always finishing the day on a downer rather than being extremely pleased with the results I've achieved.

I've never been one for setting hard and fast targets. I do not believe that I should stop when I've reached a particular predetermined point. If things are going well and I'm a roll, then I do not see the point of stopping. However, I really need to learn to recognise when I should stop.

I've always been a person who tends to dismiss my successes as unimportant and take them for granted, yet I let my failures bug the hell out of me. This is a perfect example of that.

1 comment:

PhilipH said...

I can fully understand your frustration when things do not go the way you think or hope they should. I suffer from this self-flagellation at times and this attitude can be most stressful. If the mindset gets firmly hooked on the errors or bad decisions then it is extremely hard to stop them going round and round in one's head. Can even stop one getting to sleep at times.

I've been "dabbling" on Betdaq over the past few days and I have won a small amount. I think I have given up the idea of trading on the first/second favs as this is only of benefit if using fairly high stakes, say £25-£50 a time. I have changed my attitude and have simply sorted out one or two in the race as potential winners, purely my "fancy" and limited knowledge of the choice(s). I do not care what the price is and I back them for small amounts, say £2 a time, and then as soon as I can I lay them off, even if I only stand to make pennies. I had a nice winner in a bumper race today which I backed and laid, which went on to win - getting me about £8. I am much happier doing it this way as it is similar to just punting with a lot lesser risk.

I hope you can tame the tiger in your mind when things do not go as you hoped or wished. Cheers, Phil.