As a horseplayer I never really address losing bets. I only talk about how I select key horses to bet and score. However, through record keeping by recording my winning and losing bets as well as the stat that was the reason why I made the bet is the way I became a successful horseplayer.

I have a 25% cash rate. I average 4 bets a day, hit 1 and make a living.

The problem is accepting averages which is a middle number from a list of numbers added together to strike an average. Averages give me the tendency of my selection. The reality of betting into a percentage is much more difficult to understand than you would think. 1 win from 4 bets I would say is an approach I could bet every day and go home happy. The problem with averages is that it is not the way I score. If in fact I hit 1 from every 4 bets instead of averaging 1 hit from every 4 bets I made there would be no emotional response to my losing selection. This is the difference between the average of betting and winning and betting and losing.

When I first used record keeping as a tool I recorded each bet. I did not really know what I was supposed to figure out from my betting records. I did like most players would do, concentrate on the bets I cashed on and I ignored the losing ones. Handling the emotions of a losing streak is part of betting for a living. Hitting 1 from every 4 bets includes a series of never ending losing streaks and a constant awareness of my emotions.

I recorded each bet by month which limited my expectations for a 25% hit rate because I always felt next month could be an improvement from last month. I could also see all the bets I cashed on in one spread sheet. At first I did not realize that record keeping is about the losing bets and not the winning bets. The losing bets are where the improvement of my playing came from.

After my second year of betting for a living I transferred each month onto one spread sheet to view all my selections for the year and how I won and lost. It was an eye opener. I had made 1,000 bets, averaging 83 a month, 4.15 bets per day. I had 240 bets that I cashed on that second year and I wanted to congratulate myself on being a successful horse player from those 240 wins.

I turned off the lights, got a bottle of coke and hit the page down button on my computer key pad 14 times. On each page I could see the big bets I cashed. I noted the smaller 7 horse field exactas that I cashed on prevented the losing side of betting from overwhelming me and these hits kept my emotions in check.

I sat there smiling. I had done it. I can make a living betting on the horses. I would never have to go to another job interview and go to work for some company ever again. What a feeling.

I paged up to find big hits and hits that I needed timing wise that would end a losing streak. It was fun. These 240 hits were personally rewarding. At times I sat in my office chair and my legs would go straight out and I would get an emotional response to what I have accomplished. 14 pages of big wins, great memories and a feeling of triumph.

I hit page down to see all the bets I had lost. I kept hitting the down arrow over and over. 22 pages produced 760 losing bets, an accepted compromise of losing to get 14 pages with 240 wins. I knew these 22 pages are where I had to study. Learning how I lose is as important as finding out how I win. The reason is emotions; how to handle my anger or disappointment when I lost and particularly the close calls that I bet and lost on. I sorted again to find out how.

My longest winning streak was 6 in a row. This took 2 days 5 exactas and 1 trifecta. My longest losing streak was 32 in a row. This took 8 days, almost 2 straight weeks of losing. I had kept betting at the same size, always aware of any change I made which I did not.

I averaged 1 to 2 hits a day 12 days a month. I have 8 days a month where I have no hits and I still maintain a 25% cash rate. Every week I produce either a 10 or a 12 race losing streak from 21 bets a week. That is every week. My worst month I lost 75 from 83 bets, 8 winners and I had a hit rate of 9%. I was down over half of my betting bank. My best month was 29 wins from 85 bets for a 34% hit rate. I tripled my racing bank.

I knew that this is probably the best I could do betting for a living and that the payouts would vary. The question is could I get these numbers month after month year after year. The size of my hits I would cash on would vary. If I could control my emotions and not let that loss rate scare me into betting favorites to produce a hit to end a bad run of losing bets I knew I could bet like this for years.

If you know where you lose, then you can figure out how to win.

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One Reply to “Emotion”

  1. the emotional roller coaster of losing bets is a personal negative. I started using your stats to try my best to overcome this issue. What is happening so far is that I have confidence in the bets I make but the results, to this point, are not quite what I know they can be. The reason I am sure of this is because the stats eliminate quite a bit of subjective input which is what I need to eliminate. Consistency and confidence with the stats will be key. By the way, win betting is still my thing and I can see no reason why this can’t continue—at least for a while longer.

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