Hopeless on the punt – part 2

I am a hopeless gambler.  As part of my confessional on this site earlier this year, I laid out my gambling for all to see.


My online betting account was opened in February 2010 with $100.  It currently holds $169.59.  The balance has never been higher, but it was as low as $39 before the 2010 grand final.


I am a tight-arse when it comes to betting.  I happily spend money on tools I might use twice a year, second hand books I might not read for three years and home brew supplies that don’t last too long.


I ensure my family is looked after, all utility bills are paid and the cupboard is full.  Sometime in the near future, I am hoping to extend my mortgage for a renovation.


All that evidence is proof I am not a tight-arse in everyday life.  But when it comes to gambling, there are some weeks I don’t even study the odds, to save me from laying a $10 or $20 bet.


Simply, I don’t have the gambling gene that excites many and causes much heartache.


There was much discussion earlier this year on the Footy Almanac website about the dangers of betting.  There are horror stories, marriage breakups, houses lost, superannuation lost, along with dignity.


Gambling is dangerous.


Back in the nineties, a wise old truck-driver said there was one basic rule of gambling; never bet on anything that can talk or anything that can’t talk.


Over the years I have received a lot of free gambling advice.  In 2011, a mate said I would never make money by betting $20 a week.  Two hard years later he was telling me to bet small and build gradually.


I worked with several people nicknamed Punter.  They didn’t play football.  They never discussed their losses but flashed their winning tickets around like they’d won the lottery.  Their colleagues wanted to know how they went.  Their betting started conversations, and it ended them.


In 2013 I bet once, on the grand final.  Ignoring my brother’s advice to put money on Brian Lake, I bet on a Fremantle win.


This year I have bet on five games for four wins, which is a huge year.  Generally I make excuses not to bet.  I am not prepared to back myself and bet the balance of my account.  I am not prepared to bet, which is what a betting account is designed for.


To bet means you must be prepared to lose and I hate losing.


In May, my mate Russ suggested we talk each Friday about the odds and games we want to bet on.  The limit was $20.  I guess we figured if we talked about betting, it would make it easier to bet.


Our conversations have been infrequent.  My account is a waste of time.  Since 2010, I’ve probably laid 15 bets.


Of course, if I did bet I might win half the time.  Most weeks, six or seven favourites get up. The trick is to pick the right games, but when you’re betting $20 on short odds, one loss can wreck your weekend.


When I opened my account, I figured it wouldn’t take long to lose my hundred.  I also figured I’d bet occasionally instead of annually.


This week I have decided to bet on each game.  It is something I have been pondering for a while.  The bets will be small.  I might pick a few multi-bets or bet the margin in a few games.


Gambling is a shithouse fantasy, but without actually betting, the shithouse fantasy lives on.


Have no fear, I’m not going to become the next Frank Lefty Rosenthal.  I just want to see what happens.


Got any tips???


About Matt Watson

My name is Matt Watson, avid AFL, cricket and boxing fan. Since 2005 I’ve been employed as a journalist, but I’ve been writing about sport for more than a decade. In that time I’ve interviewed legends of sport and the unsung heroes who so often don’t command the headlines. The Ramble, as you will find among the pages of this website, is an exhaustive, unbiased, non-commercial analysis of sport and life. I believe there is always more to the story. If you love sport like I do, you will love the Ramble…


  1. Tips:
    1. Close the account and spend the money on a good outing with your family. Even when you win the return is never worse the anxiety.
    2. “Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.”
    3. The Dockers couldn’t beat Geelong if they started now.

    Take your pick.

  2. matt watson says

    Thanks Peter,
    Was just saying to a mate that I will close the account at the end of the year.
    It really has been a waste of energy. Couldn’t enjoy the games I bet on, didn’t want to bet.
    There is no point.
    So I’m taking note of all your tips, particularly number 3…


  4. Easy money, Matt.
    Maybe time to close the account.

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