By The King Maker
We all know that proper money management and a decent winning percentage are all you need to survive in the world of gambling. Anyone that can manage their impulses and stick to a conservative plan will do well in a business that preys on the multiple faults of its practitioners. The foundation of the gaming industry was fostered within the fractured psyche of of the world's most unprofessional, deluded, intoxicated, and irresponsible client bases. And it continues every year with no change.
We can't halt process of personal decline, failure, and rage, but maybe we can put a dent in the woes of gambling in the early weeks of a given season.
Have you heard of "Paper Trading"?
Paper trading is placing wagers without putting any money at risk; in other words, "on paper". When a gambler "paper trades", he is simulating real life gambling by performing every task that leads up to the actual transmission of money. He follows his normal processes, and posts the wager by making it known to his spouce, friend, or forum, then he watches the results and grades his performance the same way that he would grade his actual accounts.
I aggressively "paper trade" at the beginning of every season. This is why you see very few plays from me in the first few weeks of a given season, and it's why you'll see many professionals limiting their wagers in the early stages of any sport.
In the age of free agency, early departures to the professional ranks, and overlapping sporting seasons, there are too many alternating variables to deal with. Many of you will notice that your winning percentages rise, significantly, as the season progresses, and the reasons for this are obvious. You have more data, more film, more of a sense of the speed of each wager, and you have loads of analysis from other sources that have learned as much as you have during the season.
How many of you have been forced to dig yourself out of a hole due to early season losses? How many of you have had to "re-load" your accounts by week 4? Most people won't answer those questions, but the phenomenon certainly exists, and repeats itself every season.
Everyone can paper trade!
Would you consider "paper trading" your wagers in the early weeks of each season? This doesn't mean that you shouldn't gamble each day, but could you consider pulling money back from the window, and play 70% of your early action on paper? Clearly, some of you are superior handicappers, so my suggestion may not have any weight, but I know that 80% of the viewers out there are not 20 year gamblers, and I know that the guys that have been at this for 20-plus years are "paper traders" in their own right. They call it something different in each circle. It's called "conservatism", "common sense", "risk management", and "the path of the unafflicted", but it's "paper trading" none-the-less.
As a secondary note: You know you're not addicted if you can pull wagers back and "paper trade". You know that you're not in it for short-term euphoria if you "paper trade". You know that you can manage your money if you "paper trade".
I have saved thousands of dollars by sitting back and watching the early weeks go by. As a professional handicapper, I may lose clients by sitting back and waiting for the dust to settle, but it's been one of the reasons why I've stayed afloat for so many years. It took a decade to realize it, but somewhere in my late 20's I realized that I didn't know everything; and now, at 39 years of age, I feel as if I've protected myself against myself.
It's better to TEST the market. Paper trading is the best way to do it. Every professional stock trader does it. Every professional handicapper does it. All industries support the concept of TESTING the process, so why can't we.
Whether you like it or not, your gambling assets should be protected by proper testing practices. Paper trading or outright restraint are the best way to accomplish the task.
Just my opinion, boys.
Good luck today!