Every punter must know the feeling – the sapping misery of not being able to win a bet for love nor money. The randy piss-artist on the ten-to-two sweep of the provincial night club cannot sense desperation like it.
It’s the state I’ve found myself in (betting, not the nightclub). Since I made a tidy profit when ‘Jackpot’ Adrian Lewis lifted the PDC darts crown (although what nerve-shredding nonsense he put me through to get there) – nothing, not a sniff.
Whether its Nick Evans contracting a case of Clegg-itis for Quins and leaving his kicking boots behind (big loss buying kicking metres on Sporting Index) or Arsenal contriving to pull defeat from the jaws of victory against Fulham and Swansea (unhappy flip-flops on what I thought were safe supremacy markets) – sometimes you get the feeling that whichever way you go, the sporting universe is conspiring against you.
The next step for the cursing punter is the emotional hedge. You pile in against your team in the knowledge that losing your stake is tempered by a Baggies win. I get on Cardiff to do Albion in the FA Cup 3rd round, not the world’s worst bet in my opinion. We run out winners 4-2 after an unpleasant 90 minutes experiencing the uneasy limbo that the emotional hedger, the Schrodinger’s cat of the gambling world, knows so well.
So I think, that was karma punishing me for betraying my loyalties. I buy Albion at 0.6 over Norwich on SpIn (a crap price in hindsight). We lose 2-1. Boing Boing.
Finally, one abandons all pretense of sporting knowledge, throws loyalty out of the window and jettisons reason in favour of stabs in the dark: Hail Marys on unfancied nags with quirky names, novelty markets at the Masters snooker (rainbow roulette anyone?) or crossing the Atlantic and taking positions on matches when you’re not even sure of the sport in question.
Is there method in the madness? The twisted logic of the desperate is that losing bets don’t sting as much – they were guesses after all – and, you never know, Alf Ramsey’s Porn Dungeon might come in in the 4.10 at Ayr.
Of course, it doesn’t happen and the results are predictably disastrous.
Enough. Time to regain perspective and start thinking again.