Saturday, 17 October 2020

Professional Gamblers: Gamble, but Don't F*** with Time

Time waits for no man. 

That's the saying, hey?

Think about those words for a fleeting few seconds, but not too long. 

Also, I didn't mean to be sexist with my quote, it must hark back to some Victorian time. 

When it comes to analysis of data, you can look at it so many ways and none are wrong. The other day, I had a conversation with Eric Winner talking about data, betting and its perception. You kind of see what you want to see but you could well be missing the good stuff because you just didn't really appreciate it was worthy of your time. 

Going back twenty years or so, horse racing information was pretty thin on the ground. 

If you purchased the Racing Post on a daily basis you were semi-pro. 

In many ways, I loved the old days of reading the form, the rarity of watching a race on TV. 

It sounds crazy but I'm pretty sure I was a better gambler then than I am now. Not because of the data - just the enthusiasm that comes with youth. 

My Dad used to say: ''I don't know why you don't bet.'' 

It was a fact, in those days, we (that's my brother and I) didn't really like betting. I still don't like it because gambling, in my opinion, shouldn't be something you do for fun, entertainment or the buzz. 

If you find losing money exciting then you may have to start questioning your sanity. 

But it's true that we rarely bet in those days. 

Why?

Well, it was more of a game to understand and learn. We viewed it similar to going to school and taking a test. You don't take the exam before you have put in hundreds of hours of revision. 

Else, it's arse about face. And no one (generally) wants an arse in their face.

But Dad was correct in questioning why we didn't bet. I often think back and consider why we didn't. My father was a very hardworking man who for the sake of working for himself he never earned a great deal of money. 

However, for all the hardship he was a rich man in the sense he did his own thing. Although he was always at the mercy of work and the restrictions it placed on his life and ours as a family. 

In truth, he was a very rich man in the property he owned but it was worthless until the day he would decide to stop, cash in the chips and enjoy his retirement. 

Sadly, that day never come. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour and at the age of 62 he passed away. 

There is no fairness in life. 

So often the good, kind decent people, so deserving sadly miss out on the life they really have worked so hard for. 

If only we had all been brave enough in those teenage years if we had said to our Dad lets have a real good gamble and see if we can transform our lives. As two young men it wasn't a gamble for us and for our Dad it would have been a chance to escape the problems of a struggling business and the endless waiting one does in hope of a brighter day. 

I would hate to think that my Dad didn't have a good life but compared with the limitless possibilities he was hindered, in ways, as we all were, by our lack of trying. 

For that reason, I would like to say that each and everyone of us has one life to live. As my old rugby player friend used to say: ''It isn't a dress rehearsal.''

But for so many, even myself, tomorrow isn't a given, and our failings to accept that time is finite can be crushing. 

One day someone asks about you and someone replies: ''Sadly, he passed away last week.''

I was watching a TV program where a relatively young man was given the news he had terminal cancer. 

He sat and considered the doctor's words before replying : ''There are so many things I want to do.''

If you have hopes and dreams, be careful not to wait too long because young or old tomorrow isn't a given. 

The most precious thing in life is time.

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