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Worst weekend gambling

3.13 am on Monday morning after the worst weekend of 2011. Isn't Spring a wonderful time of the year? A couple of lessons have been learned - and you never know so much that you can't learn.

Lesson 1: Striking yourself in the leg with an angle grinder turning at 10000 rpm tends to get your attention very quickly. This is not a good thing to do. It also tends to get spouses very upset when the blood and the swearing starts. People at the emergency section of your local hospital will tell you they see this every weekend. Only a few every year are fatal.

Surprisingly there is actually very little pain when you first try to cut your leg off. It is only after a few minutes that the pain really begins. Copious quantities of Ibuprofen doesn't really help. This is not a recommended procedure.

Lesson 2: No matter how consistent for however long, no method is immune from loss and winning expectations are very hard to rationalise when they're not met. Let me illustrate. Our OutRater method has performed very very well this year. In fact it is one of the very few that we have continued on with after our official "test period" and use alongside new ideas and approaches that we are testing all the time and have done for many years.

Week after week our expectation - based on a lengthy test period of 1000 bets - had been that on an average Saturday, spread over all five States, we could rationally expect between 8 and 13 winners and a total of about 20 - 25+ place getters. It's just what happened. Those are the long term expectations we held so Saturday was a real eye opener. On this method we have been betting both for a win and a place at level stakes which tended to ameliorate any long run of outs on the win side of the ledger.

This approach was also foiled on the weekend. If I had to listen to one more commentator say those immortal words "and officially fourth was......" I think I would have turned it up and made my own way to the crematorium and saved them the transport costs.

So that was Saturday and Sunday was no better. So what changed with the intricacies of the "formula"? Nothing. What was I doing wrong? Nothing. What was I forgetting? Nothing.

It just "was".

Good old Tiger Woods was asked just before the PGA Championship last month how he thought he'd go and he simply said he expected to win. As he'd played in one tournament since April, it rather interested me that his winning expectation would still be so high. Then again, knowing the success this guy has had, it shouldn't really have surprised me at all. How far in front over his golfing career do you think he is in regard to his expenses vs his winnings? So what if he didn't win the PGA? What minute percentage change was there to his overall bottom line?

The gambling expectations I hold are that at the end of the year I will have more in my punting bank than I had on January 1 and for the last several years this has proven to be true so while Saturday was an unmitigated mess, the long term plan is still well and truly on track and panic never entered the equation. (Another good reason to put all your bets on in advance and then go and do something else - like meet new people at the emergency section of your local hospital)

At the height of Saturday's doom and gloom I got an email from a guy in Elizabeth over the moon because he'd been using our older Counters method and had just saluted with Just Sybil at nearly 50/1. Life's a marvellous thing isn't it?

The way to success at punting, really, is quite simple. Consistency. Patience. Long term goals. As we've written on this site many times before, there are no worthwhile short term goals in gambling that you should aspire to because very few are attainable unless blessed with an unsustainable run of good luck. Luck, of course, comes and goes. Knowledge stays forever.

Running more than one approach tends to also counter days like the weekend just passed when nothing seems to go right and against all historical data but, in a lot of cases, it's hard enough to focus on one idea completely, let alone multiples. One guy that writes quite often runs up to 11 selection methods at a time through a complicated set up on his computer. I couldn't do that. Three or four pull me up.

Hopefully, the worst weekend's result for 2011 is now behind us but of course there are no guarantees. Short term variances of "the norm" happen all the time in gambling. The long term percentages really vary only marginally. It's how casinos survive. Long term percentages.

The very hardest question for the average punter like me is what do you do if this "worst run of outs" scenario occurs at the beginning of a betting sequence when you're trying your damnedest to establish a long term bank? Well it has happened to me on quite a few occasions. I generally give each methodology up to three "starts" at establishing a long term bank before I discard them. If they don't click for me after three they're never going to and I lose interest. And by the way, I don't bet very big to achieve the results I do. Read "Greedy Gambling" also on this site. When I start looking at new methodology I generally establish a notional "bank" of $250. If I run that up to around $500 I will then commit to a test bank of $1000 and see where we go from there.

You generally don't win or lose in a straight line. It mostly occurs in a series of plus or minus curves within a (mostly) consistent distribution pattern that will trend either up or down over a longer period. Riding out the down curves without panicking is the key to the whole shebang and the key that most people fail to find.

So the weekend could have been worse. It wasn't. My 2011 long term bank is going okay. I still have two legs. And a sense of humour.