Mike Tyson may have taken a few too many hits to the head during his boxing career, but he once said something that was both brilliant and simple:
“Everyone’s got a plan. Until they get hit in the mouth”.
And that famous quote applies just as much to a betting plan as it does to boxing.
Many bettors come up with a clear plan on how they are going to turn their results around and win consistently. They decide on how they are going to handicap games, manage their money and win big.
But even the best-laid plans rarely come true. Game day arrives and the bettor gets ‘hit’ when their first few bets all lose. A well-constructed plan goes out the window and is replaced by one or more of the following:
More bets and/or higher stakes than originally planned.
Some bettors quickly lose the courage of their convictions and either don’t back the teams they originally intended to, or reduce their outlay.
Some bettors think the next bet will win just because ‘it has to’ since the last few lost. But that’s known as the gambler’s fallacy and is something that has led many bettors to lose a lot more than they should have. It’s important to understand that (with the obvious exception of correlated parlays) every bet is an independent event. There is no mathematical reason why a previous result would have any effect on the next one. Whether you are 0-3 or 3-0 has no effect on the likely result of your next bet.
Suddenly the picks of friends, TV ‘experts’ or people on social media are treated with far too much importance.
Chasing, losing confidence, falling for the gambler’s fallacy or listening to bettors who have no edge all have the same end result – you will be a losing bettor. There may be the occasional day where one or more of these get you out of trouble, but sooner or later the undisciplined approach will blow up your bank.
Many bettors have read and listened to professionals talk about the importance of discipline, but very few are able to stay disciplined when the going gets tough. Most professional bettors operate on relatively small margins and stick with their plan on good days and bad. They know they are betting with an edge, but understand that variance means they have to stay disciplined on good days and bad.
So to paraphrase Mike Tyson and relate it back to betting:
“Everyone’s got a plan. Until they go on a run.”
As a bettor you must expect to get hit because it happens to everyone. Even the most successful bettors who have ever lived like the legendary Billy Walters.
Know how you’re going to deal with a losing run before it occurs. That way when it does happen you’re fully prepared. This preparation and mindset is the only way you will be able to maintain discipline during the adrenaline rush that is gameday.
Another Mike Tyson quote is a great way to finish this piece:
“As long as we persevere and endure, we can get anything we want.”