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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Big Picture

It's hard to do something hard. It's even harder to do something hard badly. Winning at sport's gambling is hard. In addition to this little fact of life, I was also not very good at it. Combine the two ideas with a good dose of pride and you have a receipt for complete disaster, utter failure and total collapse. To what degree I would experience these hells, was apparently up to me, but I was beginning to wonder if secretly I wasn't a sadomasochistic.

The phrase, "Never again" was repeated so many times in my head that I thought it was my middle name. Obviously it eventually became a joke and I realized it would take more than short fits of emotion to shake the sport's gambling monkey off my back. How did I eventually do it? I didn't. It was done for me. All I had to do was not bet. There was no one forcing me to do it. I was doing it because I liked it. I enjoyed it. At least part of it. The watching and winning part. The watching and losing part I was not so much a fan of. In fact, it eventually became like eating unflavored liver and drinking warm Heineken beer.  And as the former watching part gave way to just way too much of the latter watching part, becoming so small as to almost be nonexistent... Well, I may be an idiot, but I'm not stupid.

Still, I wanted to go out a "winner". How exactly that would be accomplished I hadn't really understood, looking back on it all. I mean, the idea was to just win some of it back - "it" being the shitloads of money I'd already lost - then I would quit and go out a "winner". Even though I was still in the red overall. No matter, my pride would be spared and I could walk out of the whole sordid affair with my chin up. So what if the winner label would cost me much more than it was worth! I'd be a winner.

But with that comforting idea, erroneous as it may have been, came another one that said, "Someday never comes." And, "Just more rationalization to keep the madness going." I mean what is a "winner" anyway? More on that later I'm sure, but for now, the "going out a winner" idea kept me chasing after the great mighty fire-breathing gambling dragon with my little 8 oz. bottle of seltzer water and toothpick sword.

The problem with this type of thinking is it's always changing to meet the situation, ignoring the fact that it has no legs to stand on, because it has no principal to stand on. So when the "going out on a winning note" time comes, it's usually greeted with the "Why quit now when you're winning?" thought. And remember, the winning part is what we like. So the former idea about quitting is often overridden by the latter idea about quitting and the only real way out is to see the overall big picture and behave with that in mind as opposed to opting for the occasional and short-lived gratification of the whole unholy process. And the overall big picture quite clearly demonstrates unequivocally that the business of trying to "beat the odds", any odds, is the business of finding out in the long run, it simply can't be done. Especially if reincarnation is true. I mean, you could spend two or three lifetimes winning big, followed by a hundred or so lifetimes of losing your shirt. In the end, over time, the odds always get ya. And time is much longer than most people realize. Much, much longer. Like infinite. In fact, it goes on forever

gambling  n.  1. An improvident activity in which winning gleefully proceeds losing.