When to lay a bet...

Half full - or half empty?
I have just left a comment on Mark's Patient Speculation blog regarding his selection Strophic (4:30 Wolverhampton, Monday) which finished 4th after touching 1.04 on the in-play win market.

It caught my eye because I have had a number of bets to win over a 1,000, which have touched 1.03 etc and lost! Not only didn't I win a four-figure sum but I lost my stake money, too. Madness - that was the feeling. I must admit such losing bets stick in the mind - like they are super glued to my frontal lobe. Or more appropriately, due to the pain they caused, stapled. For that reason I have a policy (insurance policy) to lay any four-figure (potential) win bet at 1.10  in-play. Just in case I gut mugged!

I am not sure whether this is something you would consider. But I do it simply because I feel that protecting myself from such loses is the key to keeping a positive frame of mind rather than living with such a burning loss. Keeping that winning momentum is very important - but most crucially to feel confident in my own particular approach in that it works within my comfort zone. In the long term it may be better to just go with the flow - win or lose. But making a judgement regarding value - unless it is something you have considered before the race in that a horse is likely to front run and be struggling to maintain that lead to the line etc - there is so little time mid-race to make a decision regarding value that I would find it impossible to work. In fact, I feel - for me - it would most likely lead to mistakes.

I would be interested in hearing any of your views regarding such approaches to betting with the 'infamous insurance policy'. Does it work for you? Or if not, what is your reasoning? What do you have in place to protect you from those situations where you are so close to a big win and then it is taken away?

I can't help but smile thinking about that life insurance policy advertised on TV by Michael Parkinson. The one that says when you have 'gone' you get a sizable payout. It makes dying sound as though you have just popped out to the shops!

1 comment:

Mark said...

Hi Jason

One point that I would add to the debate is that you mention a lay bet at odds of 1.10 being your preference. I know others who put in a lay bet at even higher odds and as we have already spoken about, there are others who just let the bet run.

I believe that even though the greater value will most probably be achieved through letting the bet run, it will be at a cost of greater volatility to our betting banks; the higher the lay bet odds that are asked for the lower the volatility to our betting banks, but the less value will be achieved.

The decision that we as punters needs to make is what is more important, maximising the value achieved on each bet or sacrificing some of that value to limit the amount of volatility that our betting banks will be exposed to.

Thanks for raising this important issue.

Regards,
Mark