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The pessimistic strategy

The pessimistic strategy

Many people may think that because I'm a pessimist I focus on the worst and believe everything will go wrong. That's not it! I only predict bad possibilities and prepare for them. By doing this I always have my feet on the ground, which gives me the confidance to move on.

by Josué Ramos   |   comments 0
Wednesday, June 1 2016

In the past I used to believe that I was going through a negative period and that in the future everything would be better. That typical teenager optimism! I studied, worked hard and focused on my dreams. I took advices. I did everything I was told to do. I remained optimistic and hoped for the best, from life and people. And the future finally arrived... I have lost people I loved, I saw my dreams reduced to dust, witnessed the departure of my life pillars and, one day, a day like any other, someone opened my chest and ripped my heart out with bear hands. It wasn't what I had expected from life or certain people. But that was what happened. I was left at the bottom of a pit, with no one to through me a rope.

Many people would tell me to believe in myself and move on. But believing in one self is more than a simple optimistic thought. It implies trust. Many confuse confidence with optimism, but confidence is the result of hard work and learning. We have to earn it and only then can we truly believe in ourselves.

Pessimism makes a man cautious, while optimism makes him reckless.



What makes a pessimist different from an optimist? Maybe it's the fact that he not only knows what can go wrong, but also what to do when something goes wrong.

As with anything in life, being optimistic isn't helpful in sports betting.

My job is to predict all possibilities regarding an event and calculate a percentage for each. But this is a description and not reality itself. The most important factor is, in fact, risk assessment.

That's right. What are the risks associated with a particular possibility? Which are the variables? What can go wrong? Remember Murphy's Law.

Knowing the risks associated with a bet is crucial. Only then can we calculate if it's of good value to bet or "drop out", as my friend Victor Vaz would say.

A good bettor isn't evaluated by the bets he gets right or wrong, but by the bets he avoids making. There is a hidden meaning to this, but the key point is that: you should know when not to bet.

When I place a bet, I'm not focused on winning or losing it. The way I see it, the money is gone when I place the bet and hopefully sometimes I get it back with a profit. Therefore, when I lose a bet, nothing changes.

No bet is won the moment you place it. There are no sure bets. No matter how high the probability of winning is, there's always a chance you may lose. Those who believe they're always right are just idiots in sports betting, because the variables are constantly changing.

The strategy of a pessimist in sports betting consists of:

  • Knowing how to assess risks for each possibility, to know if it's of good value to bet at a given odd;
  • Calculating the impact of a particular choice in the long term;
  • Having a strategy for when things go wrong, because you need to know what to do to overcome negative periods.

Are you like a clown on a tightrope, balancing profits and losses with a pole, praying to get through to the other side safely? Or are you like a "Philippe Petit"?

Have confidence, mate!

If you ask me if I'm going to have a profit by the end of a season, I will answear with all convinction that I will! This is not optimism but confidence. I developed this skill through a lot of study and dedication, not through positive thinking and prayers. I'm a man deprived of faith in this matter, but confidant in my work.

The most obvious example I can give you of this is the following:

  • Imagine a h2h between the leader of a league, playing at home, and a team from the bottom of the table in one of the last rounds. Obviously, the home team is the clear favourite. Both teams come to the match in full strength. The best feature of the home team is offensive aerial play and their weakest is defensive aerial play. The away team is strong in offensive aerial play, controls ball possession and has players of high stature, while having problems with offensive play and defence ability to react. What can go wrong for the home team in such a match?
  • Many things! Particularly since the odds available in favour of the home team will probably be very low. It may be a mistake to bet in favour of the home team in a match in which their weakness matches the strength of the away team, which is desperate to win points and leave the bottom of the table. Never underestimate desperation!
  • The odd in favour of the home team would probably be very low (a negative expected value bet) and a bet with negative handicap would be too risky, given the low odd.

Remember the fair lines. The odd should be higher than the fair value to have positive EV.

Many people may think that because I'm a pessimist I focus on the worst case scenario and always expect the worse. That's not it! I just predict bad possibilities and prepare for them. By doing this I always have my feet on the ground, which gives me the confidence to move on.

In conclusion, I believe that in life, as in sports betting, you need to have both feet on the ground, because no one can stay airborne forever. Sooner or later, gravity will bring you down. But if you insist on flying, at least brace yourself for the fall.

I hope you've enjoyed this article. Hugs and good bets everyone!