October 10, 2010

Why I Don't bet On Sports Anymore

I used to bet pretty much every day of the baseball season. I was pretty good at it, but it took a lot of work and I would be captivated from my first bet to my last and not being to play enough hands. Plus the edge is smaller in sports betting so I decided to give it up with the exception of the occasional futures bet or when I'm in Vegas as I would spend a lot of my days watching baseball instead of taking breaks to play poker.

So on Friday night the month of October was off to a great start poker wise. I was waiting for game 2 of the Giants-Braves series to start and I decided to take a look at the line of the game for some reason. The Giants were a slight favorite which felt pretty far off considering the pitching match-ups, home/road splits, etc. So I crunched some numbers and decided that the Giants should've been favored by quite a bit more and put money on the game. There's a thread on 2+2 in the HSNL  forum where you can make bets so I eventually made the choice to put 805 to win 700 on the Giants. Not sure how I got 700, seemed like a good number.

The game got off to a great start, Burrell hit a 3 run homer in the first and the Giants tacked on another in the second. At this point the Giants were 86% to win the game. At 4-1 going into the 8th they were 94% favorites. Some bad defense and bad pitches led to the game being tied. Then in the bottom of the 10th inning with the bases loaded one out and Buster Posey up the Giants were then an 84% favorite to win the game. Long story short the Giants lost in 11 innings and that will be my last ever non-futures sporting bet thanks to Ramon Ramirez who I thought I was done having to root for.

What's amazing is that I show no emotion when I bet on a sports game. I've seen people do a number of things when they have money on the game, I've just never felt the need to do that. Obviously this loss stung but when Ankiel homered in the 11th I just thought to myself "That's gone" as if I was watching it with no rooting interest. I get much more upset or excited while watching the Redsox play or playing poker with the former being the one I show much more emotion during. It's more or less I shrug my shoulders and know that ultimately it's out of my control. However I can't help but smile when thinking back on last nights game. While writing this blog was the first time I checked the win % numbers.

The best part about this story is I have a couple friends who are huge Braves fan. There's not much like the thrill of an improbable comeback during a playoff game. The range of emotions you go through is insane and I couldn't be happier for them. The one I talked to a couple times during the game and he had no idea I had that much money on it. When the Braves won he called, not sure why I didn't have my phone on me but I checked it the next morning and saw I had a voicemail from him. I still haven't been able to listen to it and don't know if I ever will or will just leave it on my phone for a while before eventually deleting it. While I'm happy for him I'm not in a hurry to relive the loss.

So while I wish I never placed the bet for obvious reasons, it's a hell of a way to go out.


One loss is good for the soul, Too many losses is not good for the coach.
Knute Rockne

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