A few weeks ago I wrote an article about managing bankroll when you are running HOT! You can find the article at (https://thesharpplays.net/bm-when-on-fire/). In that article I mention that in the weeks ahead I would be putting together an article on managing bankroll when you are COLD! Well, no better time than the present! With the Robin Hood Club on a cold streak, I thought it was a good time to go over the topic. I wanted to discuss what I do when I am cold and how my tactic helps maximize my ROI, minimize losses, maintain my sanity and still keep me in the action! Without question there are many different strategies for cold streaks but I will go over the one that works best for me.
Last Saturday I lost the 1 unit Robin Hood Selection on Akron. It was a tough loss as the difference was the missed field goal and extra point by Akron. We get those 4 points and there’s no Robin Hood Club this week! Well, we didn’t get those 4 points! So, the Robin Hood Club opened last Saturday and has been open through to today. Since that Akron loss it has been ICE COLD in the Robin Hood Club. The Robin Hood stands at 3-14-1 which includes Akron which started it all. With that bad of a record, you would probably think that everyone in the Club is down 11-12 units or more. Actually, the Club is “only” down 3.57 units. The reason for the big difference is due to my bankroll management strategy.
You can never get rid of losing streaks. I don’t care what your style of betting. I don’t care if you are the best sports gambler to ever live. Everyone has rough losing streaks. It is unavoidable. Now of course a guy like Mr. Poison has more losing streaks than some professional bettor. However the professional bettor is not immune to the cold front moving into their betting. What separates the professional bettor from the amateur bettor is how they manage their bankroll and handle cold streaks.
The amateur bettor will often press and chase when they are losing. Those are the two things YOU NEVER WANT TO DO! Yet most amateurs do it. Think about the rationale for a minute. I cannot seem to win a bet lately, what should I do??? I know, I will increase my bets and also bet games that are not my top plays! Makes sense! LOL!!! However that is what most amateurs will do. It is the definition of being “on tilt”!
The professional bettor will recognize that they are in the midst of a cold streak. The professional will immediately adjust their wagering style to go into protection mode. The goal being to protect their bankroll. By protecting their bankroll when they are losing they ensure that they have as much bankroll as possible when the betting turns in their favor again.
Last year someone made analogy about gamblers that stuck with me. It’s that the average gambler has the memory of a goldfish. For those that don’t know the background… It has been said that goldfish have a memory that lasts three seconds. Regardless of whether this is scientifically accurate, let’s pretend it is for the analogy. What a three second memory means is when a goldfish is hungry, it feels like it has been hungry its whole life. When a goldfish is ill, it feels like it has been ill its whole life. When a goldfish is dying, it feels it has been dying its whole life. The goldfish has no capacity to understand the entirety of their life. They don’t remember the times they were full, when they were healthy, when they were not dying. Most sports bettors are EXACTLY LIKE GOLDFISH!!! When they are losing they feel as though they have been losing their whole lives. When they are winning, they feel that they are the greatest gambler to ever walk the face of the earth.
Using the goldfish example, when you are losing you feel life is awful. You feel it well never get better and you have been losing your whole life. It is this negative mindset that leads to frustration and poor decision-making. When you are losing, you kind of lose your mind. The reason you lose your mind is you realize you have little control over winning and losing. You make the decisions but once you make the decision on a bet, the actual outcome is left to teams, officials, the weather, etc. Technically, you can control winning because you could have picked the other team. However beyond the luck of picking the right team, a lot of factors are out of your control. Since you cannot force losing to end by sheer desire, you feel powerless. In the powerless state you try to add power of will by pressing and chasing your bets. You think your aggression will brings wins. It won’t, at least not over time.
I have been putting out my algorithms on Twitter since March. Prior to that time I just did my personal plays and discussed big action offshore. However since 2011, when I opened my Twitter account, my personal plays have hit over 60%. My algorithm plays overall since March are absolute money. I mean I won over 38 units just on MLB totals this season and have winning performances in soccer, hockey, NBA, NCAABB, golf, tennis, props and more. The Robin Hood Selections/Club, has been active since March of this year as well. In that time the Robin Hood Selections are 11-7 for 61.1% and +19.3 units thanks to the Profit Promise on every play! Take all that as a whole and the content I put out (my biased assessment) is HEAVILY profitable! Why then, when I am 3-14-1 and down only -3.57 units over just the past week is it treated like it is the end of the world? The record and especially the unit performance are a tiny loss when taken over the entirety of my work. The reason for the despair is simple… gambling goldfish memory. Goldfish memory can make you lose total perception of reality. It is this type of memory that can make you do stupid thing in your betting. So how should you handle a cold streak properly?
First, lose the goldfish memory! It will allow you to keep perspective that your losing streak is not the end of the world, it is just the next down wave on the ocean of sports betting. You can then prepare yourself to ride the wave with intelligence and discipline. By losing the goldfish memory you will realize you have had these losing streaks before, however bad the current one may be and you will get through it. Just like you did all the other times the losing will end and it will usher in the next winning run. Hopefully realizing this is just a bump in the road and not a sinkhole into oblivion will help you manage the emotions of losing. The emotions can create a lot of trouble on your finances if they are not managed properly. Now that you have prevented yourself from losing your mind. Now it is time to institute some bankroll management!
Second, what I do when I am losing is hide in a bunker! OK, not really but I do put my bankroll in a bunker. For my personal betting I maintain a standard bet of 1 unit. So, 90% of my bets in a given year are 1 unit wagers. When I am losing, there is no reason to be risking 1 unit. Here’s where FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) can come in. If you have FOMO, the thought of not risking 1 unit on a bet and instead betting less is tough to stomach. Betting less, in your mind, means you are missing out on a possible opportunity to win 1 unit. Well, if you are losing, you also run the risk of losing a lot of 1 unit bets. Losing and winning typically come in streaks. So, until the losing streak ends and you see a clear performance change, there is no reason to risk 1 unit per bet. Herein lies the nice part of the sportsbook, most do not have minimum wagers (beyond maybe $5 or $10). So, you don’t have to bet 1 unit if you want action. By lowering your risk, you might be missing out on winning more money but you are also missing out on losing more money. I would much rather win less than lose more! As soon as I recognize I am in the midst of a losing streak, my strategy is to immediately drop my bets from the normal 1 unit, down to 0.5 units. If the losing continues, I have no problem dropping my bets down to 0.2 units or even taking a break for a few days. Sure I am not risking much so when I win it doesn’t return a lot. However the lower units keep me in the game with minimal risk. If the streak does turn, then even at small units I will cut into the losses from the streak. Once it has turned then I can increase my wagers and erase the losses from the losing streak. There will always be plenty of bets in the future. So there is no need to rush anything right now when the cards are against me. Just let the losing streak play out, wait for the next winning streak and when the winning arrives, then you can increase your bets back to normal.
Third, how do we know we are in a losing streak? The simple answer is… you know. If you have had several losing bets or losing days in a row, you are in a losing streak. How do you know your losing streak is more than just a bad day or bad weekend? Simple, when it lasts longer! So, if you start betting on Saturday and lose, then you lose on Sunday… your radar should be up that there is a good chance you are in a losing streak. When the losing continues on Monday too, then you should realize it is a losing streak. It might be just a minor one at that point but you can’t get to a major losing streak until you first have a minor losing streak. So, while the winning may return on the next bet, you just don’t know. What you do know is if you lower your risk immediately, you will lose less no matter what happens. Which takes me back to the point, I rather miss out on wins than be betting on losses. Missing wins prevents me from getting something I don’t have right now. Betting on losses means I am losing something that is already in my possession.
Summing it all up, when my radar triggers that I am in a losing streak, my first move is to lose the goldfish memory so I can maintain rational thought! The next step now that I have my sanity is to lower my unit risk per bet. As the losing continues I drop my betting down to 20% (.20 units) of my normal bet (1 unit). Dropping the risk allows me to be in action if the return to a winning streak is immediate. It also prevents me from losing more if the losing is going to continue. Don’t succumb to FOMO as you think about the winnings you are missing out on by betting 0.2 units instead of 1 unit. There are no winnings!!! You are in a losing streak so you are just missing out on more losses. If you have any question of whether this strategy works, just look to the Robin Hood Club this week. The Robin Hood Club is -3.57 units despite having 11 net losses (3-14-1). Which means the Robin Hood Club is only 4 normal bets (1 unit) away from profit. It shows that my strategy keeps me a close distance to profitability, allows me to still have action should things warm up and I get to keep the bulk of my previously gained profits secure in the vault. When the losing ends, which it always does… even Mr. Poison had a hot streak, then you expand your unit risk right back to normal levels. The 3-14-1 run is my coldest run of the year for anything I bet or released… in my coldest run I am only down 3.57 units despite 18 bets and an 18% win percentage during the run. Is my method perfect? Maybe not but it works for me and has greatly protected my bankroll while also keeping me a couple bets away from profitability!
Good luck in your action!
~ The Sharp Plays