I’m A Degenerate

I’m starting at $0. Sort of. Couple the online legalization of sports betting in Pennsylvania with my yearning to creatively engage with sports and you find these words, on this page, on this website. The first of what may be many posts about my degeneracy and gambling antics.

I’ve written and talked a lot about sports in the past. I somehow won a Fantasy Sports Writers Association award while writing for DailyRoto.com. I know some things, have won some things, and I WANT to be sharp. I follow smart people and try to immerse myself in their understanding of sports and gambling. I want to be them. But I also love being a degenerate.

I WANT to live bet US Open tennis qualifiers on a Monday afternoon. I HAVE to find some action on afternoon baseball. I NEED to believe Pitt basketball is decent and can cover against non-conference opponents at home.

Yet, I’m not a true “grinder.” I look for edges, but frequently yield them. I understand expected value, but commonly ignore it. Despite the myriad of resources at my disposal, I have committed many egregious fouls.

Looking for a few bad examples? Here’s a pair:

1) After a few drinks, betting $700 on the Portland Trailblazers (my favorite NBA team) because it was “free money.”

I somehow escaped this unscathed and luckily did not have to suffer the sweat as a few more drinks without charging my phone led to a complete blackout. I was missing this win probability graph.

ESPN Win Probability Graph

Courtesy of ESPN : Win probability from Feb 24th, 2018 Blazers @ Suns

Yeah – I was really lucky. The Blazers erased a 10 point fourth quarter deficit. Dame Time is the best time. 

2) After being upset at a local trivia outing (still not happy about this), I bet $1000 on the Virginia ML to beat Purdue during March Madness. Again, I fall into the trap of betting a huge favorite just because they’re a huge favorite. Secondly I made the fishiest mistake disregarding any notion of “units” or “bankroll management.” If you think I was bailed out by the Dame antics above….how about this finish?

I watched the finish of this game from some random person’s basement in the middle of the woods. Afterwards, I bought a friend a $50 pair of shoes just for sweating it out with me. He knows nothing about sports…and you’re probably thinking, neither do I.

Surviving with any money to this point has been more miraculous than the Diakite shot, but I’m here. I started at the bottom and I’m here.

I’m aware of my sins and have confessed them today. It’s plausible that five Hail Mary’s may save me this football season.