I've won more money than I've lost. I have the stats, records and graphs to prove it. It's still hard to lose.
It's easy to get cocky and over-confident when your bets are winning and your bankroll keeps growing.
It's only when the winning stops and the losing streak from hell shows up when you get to find out what you're really made of.
A lot of sports bettors have wondered if they could bet on sports for a living. I would bet that most of them don't track their bets, would have no idea what their yield is, don't practice consistent bankroll management, and haven't learned the painful lesson of how to handle a losing streak.
It doesn't matter how confident you are.
It doesn't matter how much money you make.
It doesn't matter how long you've been betting on sports.
It doesn't matter that your model is bulletproof, that you use Poisson distribution, or that you strictly bet with a quarter-Kelly criterion staking plan correlated to the calculated edge you have for any particular bet.
Sooner or later, you will encounter the losing streak from hell.
Every single sports bettor has to learn how to handle a losing streak.
If they don't, they will never be profitable.
They will never be successful.
They will bounce around from handicapper to handicapper, from system to system.
They will continuously deposit money into a sportsbook, or pay their bookie weekly.
They will eventually convince themselves that it's just for entertainment. Just like going to Vegas. They know they're going to lose, and they're "okay with that".
I'm not okay with losing money.
I like to make money. And in order for me to make money by betting on sports, I had to learn the same lesson that every other successful sports bettor has had to learn...
You see, your mind likes to play tricks on you.
It'll create these "what-if" scenarios that cause you to doubt and second-guess your entire operation.
Any time you step outside of your comfort zone, your mind will quickly try to bring you back to the known, even if it has to ask you questions like What if this doesn't work? or tell you things like Everybody loses - Vegas exists for a reason.
So how do you tell your brain to shut the fuck up?
How do you override your own built-in protection mechanisms to keep you safe?
How do you keep going, when that little voice in your head tells you to stop; that you can't do it? That you were stupid for thinking that you could be one of those people that beat the system.
I won't lie; it's difficult.
When you keep losing money week after week, and month after month, it's easy to second-guess yourself. It's easy to give in and let your brain convince you that you were wrong for stepping outside of your comfort zone.
But you know what?
If sports betting for a living was easy, then a lot more people would be doing it.
In order to handle a losing streak, you're going to need evidence.
You see, your brain likes to play the roles of the judge, the jury, and the executioner.
The only way that you are going to be able to override your internal protection mechanism (your brain) is if you have evidence. Cold, hard, facts. In this case, numbers.
That's the only thing that will work.
If you've been tracking your bets, and your record shows that you're profitable over the long-term (for more than 1,000 bets), then that's all the proof that you need.
If you haven't recorded 1,000 bets yet (but you've started tracking your record), then just keep at it, because every bet that you track is just one more piece of evidence that you know what you're doing is working and that you can actually make money betting on sports.
Now that's all fine and dandy - until the next losing streak comes. Then your mind decides to kick it up a notch.
You start to think ...
What if my system just doesn't work anymore?
What if the market has corrected itself?
What if the handicapper's systems aren't working anymore?
And if your brain really wants to mess with you, and I mean really pull out all the negative stuff, you might even think things like...
I knew it. I'm not smart enough. I was a fucking idiot to think I was smarter than the Vegas billionaires. It can't be done. The people that do it are just too smart, and I'm not good enough.
When this happens, you better hope that you have 3 key pieces of information (if not, you're gonna need some iron-clad motivation to keep going):
If you don't have those numbers, then it's going to be hard to reason with yourself, and convince yourself that what you're doing is actually working.
You have to be able to completely 100% trust the system(s) that you are using to bet and/or trade with.
If you track your bets over 1,000+ picks, then you'll have the statistics that you'll need in order to know what to expect about your betting performance.
You will learn something from every streak that you experience (whether it's a winning or a losing streak).
You will build confidence the more you bet. Once you hit 1,000 bets, it gets easier.
With every additional 1,000 bets that you add to your total record, your confidence will keep growing.
Once you hit 5,000 bets, while the thoughts will still pop into your head, you will have learned how to handle them.
And after you reach 10,000 bets? Well, if you have a positive ROI/yield after 10,000 bets, and your overall profit-growth graph is an upward-trending line, then congratulations. You've made it.
BTW, if that's you, I would love to interview you. We can keep it as anonymous as you like. Definitely hit me up; I love talking to my readers.
Steve firmly believes that most meals can be improved with mac n cheese. When he's not helping people make money betting on sports, Steve loves mountain biking, playing video games with his son, & annoying his wife. Oh, and he's a big Dallas Cowboys fan. Don't hate.