Curious to know how others handle losing streaks ... how do your betting habits change IN a losing streak and what is your advice on getting OUT of a losing streak?
Although I had a good 2011, I had to survive a couple of bad losing streaks this year. The worst streak that had the most significant effect on my bankroll occurred in December, capped off by a brutal week 16 in the NFL.
I took a couple days off after that difficult stretch and audited my performance on the year to identify losing behaviors that might surface when I'm in a losing streak. What do I do differently when I'm on a losing streak? Is there a weakness in my game that exposes me when I'm mired in a losing streak? Or, more importantly, do I do anything that makes me more susceptible to these streaks? So in the review of my "balance sheet", I asked myself the following:
- Do I press and start to bet too many games?
- Am I losing discipline with my bet size?
- Do I tend to play more favorites during a losing streak?
- Do I start reaching for dead side dogs?
- Do I tend to play more totals than normal or more sides than normal?
I made a few interesting observations/behaviors. The jury is still out on whether these observations represent a Correlation or Causation to losing streaks ... need to assess that further, but here are some of the observations:
Hopefully this insight into my betting habits doesn't reveal that I'm a square! I assure you these losing behaviors only occur when I'm in a losing streak.
- My longest losing streaks occur in basketball. Ironically, I consider basketball to be my strongest sport. But my theory on why my longest losing streaks occur in basketball is twofold, #1 is pure volume, I make more bets on basketball than any other sport by about a 3:2 clip so I'm more prone to streaks ... #2 perhaps I become too stubborn in my "best" sport and I become unwilling to accept defeat and continue to fire too hastily.
- My losing streaks are least likely to occur during baseball, although one caveat here is that a 3-game losing streak betting MLB chalk can be monetarily equivalent to losing 6 basketball games.
- My bet size typically remains the same and my bet volume doesn't go up during a losing streak. But, I did notice that my bet volume does increase slightly after a bad beat, I don't consider myself a chaser but this is clearly evidence of pressing, forcing the action and not letting the games come to me.
- I miss winning opportunities when I'm running bad ... for example, let's say I like two games that tip off at 7pm and one game that tips off at 9pm, I'll only bet one of the early games and bet the 9pm game according to how my early bet is playing out. First, this is ridiculous b/c I'm throwing out a game and missing out on a side that I like due to an arbitrary start time (dumb), and this behavior can result in a worse line in the late game. Note to self: Put the blinders on and trust your opinions.
- I also tend to become too focused on just trying to stop the bleeding. I take on the just-give-me-a-winner-to-stop-the-streak mentality. Like in a basketball game when your opponent goes on an 8-0 run, I pass up on an open look from 3 just to get a higher percentage shot. Nothing worse than passing on winners I would otherwise have action on if I wasn't caught up in "the streak".
- It appears as though I have a hard time coming out of a streak. I don't go 0-9 then rebound by going 5-0 ... I go from cold to choppy before I string together a couple 2-0 or 3-1 nights.
- I'm more apt to tail others when I'm slumping. I am not a follower, I always have my ears on but I'm not a follower. However there are times when I am inclined to tail (my EOG brethren), and I label all these plays as such to keep them separate from my own opinions. Interestingly enough, the majority of my tails have come after losing days or in losing streaks.
- One last tendancy... I seem to bet on higher profile games the deeper into a losing streak I get. Might be another indication of losing my patience, not studying the entire card thoroughly and simply jumping on the first game I might consider.
So what say you? How does your betting strategy change when you're in a losing streak? How do you avoid losing streaks and how do you pull out of losing streaks?