Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Gambler's Cycle

You know what I'm talking about! Here's mine:

A) Nice full bank, pressure off, strategy memorised and raring to go. A few small reds here and there but that's to be expected. I can handle that, it's all about consistency and I just need to keep following the strategy.

B) Not long before I'm in 'the zone', where every trade seems so smooth, quick and easy. Nothing to this trading lark, right?

C) Start to get over-confident. I'm doing well, won't hurt to try something a little different, move things along a tad quicker. It works, so I try a bit more of a gamble, let one or two trades run longer. I can do no wrong, why not?!

D) Stray from the strategy one time too many or take my eye off the ball and suffer a big loss. I'm pissed off now. Will try to recoup it on the next game.

E) Next game is a loss. Would have been a win but I stayed in for too long trying to recoup the last game's losses. Now I'm really frustrated.

F) Become bothered by things which did not bother me at the start - failure to get matched, not staying in longer and missing more profit etc. I make silly mistakes and become enraged and in a fit of fury decide to chase just one more time, to recoup all those recent losses in one go. It fails.

G) Bank is now decimated. I have lost all confidence in my strategy, start to question it. I try experimenting with new ideas but without testing them out first. I think I may have found something better but the wins are only short term. In the mean time, I'm losing out on opportunities for my strategy and getting more angry.

H) Decide to go back to basics and use my own strategy all the time. But I'm impatient now, can't wait for the opportunities to come to me and start forcing things. When an opportunity does arise, I'm too tentative, scared to lose and so go in with half stakes or wait too long. I miss out on good greens that I used to get easily. The reds are now outweighing the greens.

I) Pressure is massive now that money is drying up and I become desperate, putting on straight bets, riding them all the way to the end of the match. I don't even bother researching properly or following the game, I just place them and pray. Eventually get caught out and my bank is almost empty.

J) Decide I've hit rock bottom and have no option but to just start again, slowly building up small greens. I follow the strategy rigidly. I have a stuttering start - small greens and small reds in equal amounts. Can't get any rhythm going as too emotionally drained to concentrate - still making small errors.

K) Greens start to slowly filter through and reds lessen. Confidence returns along with enthusiasm. Eventually return to step A.

I'm currently at step J, as you can see from today's P&L. This blog has seen me through the whole cycle now! This time, I must break it. Thanks for all the encouragement that you guys have posted, it has helped spur me on for another crack at this.

I started badly today by once more getting involved too early. But this time, I held my anger inside and quickly ended trading at around the £50 mark, as per my rules. I am really pleased with my reaction following this. I just got my head down and played two of the most perfect trades I have ever placed on the Bartoli and Wozniacki games. I then was doing ok with the Simon v Gasquet game when I was caught offguard by an unexpected over-reaction from the market at the end of the 2nd set. I was about to get out for a scratch trade when money piled in for Simon - completely wrong as Gasquet was well on top. But it put me back in the red and I had to accept a loss, almost getting myself in very hot water. This lead to me getting pissed off and placing a trade I wouldn't normally do on Mannarino but I quickly regained my composure without hystrionics and ended the day well. So no profit but undoubtedly, I feel different to yesterday. Less angry, more calm. Time for stage K...........

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