I want to have a talk with you about gambling addiction. Two things I promised myself when starting BookieBacker; don’t lie and don’t get people addicted. Don’t lie means: all my tips are always online, for free, and my history of results is always accurate. Even if I have a bad month. Don’t get people addicted means: always and always encourage people to see gambling as a fun activity and in no way a substitute for a steady income. Supposedly there are a few people who can survive on betting alone, but those are well beyond my realm of influence.
I’ve been there, not addicted but way, WAY to emotionally invested. During the late summer/beginning of fall, when all the European competitions started and I was still actively providing tips for Japan, China, South Korea, USA, Brazil and Argentina, there was always, and I do mean ALWAYS a game that I was betting on running. Because of different time zones I was invested in games during the morning, afternoon, evening and night.
Let me tell you what happens. Seeing your team on 0-0 makes you nervous if they will ever make that opening goal. The longer it takes for the goal to be scored the harder it gets. Seeing your team 1-0 ahead makes you nervous whether they can hang on. Seeing them 1-0 behind annoys you and makes you check whether they finally scored the equalizer. Does seeing your team in a two or three goal lead give you inner piece? Hardly, I’ve lost tons of 2-0 leads and even one 3-0 lead in the 77′ minute. I had a bet on AC Milan in that ridiculous final against Liverpool. Unless a final whistle sounds, there is stress. Imagine this, every weekend, all the time.
There are weekends where it seems that all the football gods are up against you. You lose 5 games in a row and read the match reports about missed penalties, disallowed goals without a proper offside ruling, hitting the woodwork and straight up miracles like the first home loss in 2 years. All stacked against you. You tend to forget the weekends where it’s the other way around.
I remember being at a friend’s birthday one weekend. She just got 30 years old. There was a good crowd, a singer and a great vibe. I was having one of those weekends where everything falls apart in terms of betting. You don’t want to know just how many times I picked up my phone to show someone and to complain. ‘Do you believe this shit, they conceded an equalizer AGAIN’, ‘First loss in 3 months just when I pick them for a bet’. Not everyone was interested, but I didn’t see. I got home, pretty annoyed about it, got in bed next to my girlfriend and sort of growled at the cat you get out of the room because she was making noise. Couldn’t sleep for hours.
The next morning my girlfriend stated how worried she was that there was a big cluster of annoyance next to her in bed. It hit me then, I was letting really short term results getting to me. I was, even though I am good at my profession and overall getting good results, letting the fact that one guy who I don’t even know misses a penalty influence my sense of self-worth. Even worse, it made sure that I couldn’t focus my attention on a friend and her special day, because I had to make it about me and my obsession for eleven strangers failing to find the net. Really makes you feel like a dick.
You see, addiction is not a black and white thing. It’s a slippery slope of growing investment in gambling and not putting your real life first. You are not fine until your house is being sold due to debt. You stopped being fine long, looooooong, before then.