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Understanding Gambling


Preambling Understanding Gambling

Adam is not a gambler, but in this series- using his “last” £8, he attempts to understand the world of sports betting over several weeks. Or until the money runs out. He will be chronicling his journey right here on the Hellraiser website.

Adam's Gambling Oddessy 

by Adam Thorn

As a fully grown adult, I am legally able to gamble. The Lottery doesn’t really count, I’m told. I do have a membership at a West End casino, but I’ve only ever used it as a place to go for a drink when I’m up that way and the pubs are all too busy. So, whenever I’m in the West End. Because I now work in an industry where odds and bets are quite prominent, I wanted to learn to understand gambling through my favourite sport, boxing. Sensibly. I’m well aware that it can spiral get away from people, so one must be careful.

Getting a bit caught up in the Anthony Joshua versus Wladimir Klitschko fight, which I wasn’t alone in doing, I put a score down on various different outcomes with an online bookie who will remain nameless. Blown over with adrenaline from the fight, in my excitement I realised I’d also won my first ever bet! Almost forty notes back! Not huge money but I felt like a million dollars; which probably speaks volumes about what I’ll do for forty quid. I was so excited, I turned it into sixty pound on the website’s roulette table, before promptly losing it all.

My sensible, safe start was completely blown. I felt like a tool, and chastised myself never to bet again. It’s probably best to make that mistake only once, and for a small amount, and to learn from it. However, weeks later, I realised I still had eight pounds or so in the account. Shame to leave it there doing nothing, I thought.

Hellraiser’s Darryll Williams and Asinia Byfield had fights that weekend and so confident was I that they would win, I decided to empty the account on one fight and see how it went, betting on favourites. Darryll was favourite, where Asinia was not, so I bet on Darryll. Asinia obliterated Sammy McNess, and I got a cool twelve pounds back when Darryll retained his English super middleweight title against Jahmaine Smyle at the Copperbox. I’m no expert but I’d say that means I got odds of 3/1.*

But where next for this mountain of cash I had sat in the ether? I decided last weekend to do the same, and take a relatively low risk, low return approach. I was tempted by Lee Selby , as I thought he was a shoe in, but the odds truly reflected that; I would have received just under fourteen pound back for twelve invested.

I settled instead on Robert Guerrero, a fighter I have enjoyed watching over the years, but who has been in sharp decline since losing to Mayweather in 2013. He was fighting Ricky Burns conqueror, and unbeaten fighter Omar Figueroa Jr. The odds offered were a generous 1.33 (the website I use does them this way, I discovered**) meaning I could expect £16 back if I won. Or more accurately if Guerrero lost.

Robert was put down five times in three rounds en route to retirement. I’m glad he’s chosen to retire at the right time: that time being a day after earning me £4. What next for me and my pot of gold? It might have to wait a few weeks until the season starts properly, but I’m still four pounds off the original twenty I laid on AJ, so I’m going to wait for the right fight to place it on. I will be here prior to that bet, seeing what you all think I should risk my money on.

Once I’m back in the black this becomes a game of chicken, can I get the pot up to an amount reasonable enough to have considered myself a victor and cash out, or will I blow it and return to my previous gambling life of only playing Euromillions when it gets over £30 millions pounds (because otherwise it’s not worth the £2.50p)? I’m hoping to earn a few bob, but more importantly, have a bit of fun and learn to understand this odds thing!

*Gambling learning number 1: I have been reliably informed this meant odds of 1/3

**Gambling learning number 2: This is the same as odds of 1/3 apparently. It’s a more modern way of putting it

Posted: 22nd Jul 2017

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