Last week, Banaz left a comment under the post "What's it all about then?"; a comment so much of which I agreed with completely. I found myself nodding as I read it, thinking this chap and I seem to have a lot in common. The first paragraph said:
"I think its important if you are treating your gambling seriously to have some sort of medium or long term goal for yourself. For a small few going professional would be the ultimate goal and with Betfair (concerns re premium charges noted), a decent bankroll, a stable of decent tipsters or systems that is much more a possibility than ever before. For most that is a goal that is either not realistic or even desirable. I’m not sure the solitary lifestyle is good for most people and the financial uncertainty is a factor too easily glossed over before taking the leap."
Very important things, goals. Without them I feel it is all too easy for one's focus to become blurred. The emotional investment of day to day gambling can very easily result in the long term aim being forgotten as the daily grind takes it's toll. Perhaps some are capable of completely blocking out the negative emotion that follows a bad day or a losing run and remain completely detached from their gambling affairs. I can't. I'm getting better at coping with the downs, but still when things are not going as I would like, I am vulnerable to the influence of the punting devils that whisper their malicious mutterings into my ear, implanting dangerous thoughts deep into my psyche. I must admit, as far as keeping my emotions in check, I find it much easier to not get carried away by the excitement of a good day or a winning spell. I guess I'm just a miserable bugger.
One way to avoid getting caught up in the here and now and instead remain focused on what exactly it is we are trying to achieve is to set a mental road map which charts each stopping off point on the way to our ultimate destination. The first service station I wanted to reach was to get to the stage of having put together a stable portfolio consisting of services which I felt comfortable with. It took me two years or so to get there but I arrived at this stopping point eventually. Looking ahead now, I can see on my mind map that my next target is for this portfolio to be cost-efficient over a decent period of time - ie. to deliver sufficient rewards to recompense the effort put in - and as I mentioned yesterday, to build up a trading side of the "business". If in two years time, I am running a profitable tipster portfolio and trading with a modicum of success, then I'll be a happy man.
Turning professional? Tough one to answer. I have the feeling that the idea of gambling as a full time profession (can gambling be called a profession - I'm not sure it can but perhaps that's the traditionalist in me) is probably something that is better than actually being a pro. I must confess though, the idea is a tempting one. As I suggested last week, whilst I hold no delusions of full time gambling being an easy job, the lack of official working hours can lead to a lot of potential for doing things that being tied to an office (in my case) prevent. I have absolutely no qualms about the solitary nature of the role. I've never been one to socialise much and in fact positively shy away from social interaction as much as possible. Yes I play sports and I see my team mates as friends, but real friends? The sort of friend that you'd trust with your life? As far as those I see regularly are concerned, I have one. I can always Skype him, can't I?
Going a step further, I have no doubt that my future involves living rurally, preferably by the sea, ideally on the part of the South Devon coast that I know so well. I would love to do this whilst my children are still young. They have a darned good lifestyle where they are, but relocating here would make their life idealistic. For two kids who love fresh air, being active, and are sports mad, the surfing/sea sports and other more traditional sporting activities would lead to much fun and frolic I'm sure.
However, before getting carried away, one must recognise a rather large caveat. Such an idyllic lifestyle wouldn't actually be that idyllic if constantly worried about sources of income. So whereas I can quite confidently say that coping with the solitary lifestyle of the gambler would provide no significant barrier psychologically, I am certainly not going to gloss over "the financial uncertainty" that would. In the meantime, this realisation that I am in effect a million miles away from achieving my ultimate ambition, focuses the mind. And I do believe that that is what I'm looking for. A focused mind.
A good day for ProBandit who dutched in one race and found a very nice winner (Highland Harvest - Lingfield - 8/1).
Winning Racing Tips found two to place from three but a loss overall. No joy for Northern Monkey (0/2), On The Nose (0/1) or The Market Examiner (0/1).
Northern Monkey: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 1.25pts, +2.45pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 2.4pts, -0.71pts.
Monday 8th August: Staked £261, -£26.40.
August to date: Staked £1,526, +£601.91, roi 39.44%.
Running total (inc. fees): +£293.11, roi 3.33%.