Sharplayer

Riding the variance wave to value

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Accounts and admin: keeping track of your money

When gambling, keeping records of your wins/losses is important to determine that your play has a positive long term return. Beyond this, it's of negligible use, and is an area of great diversity across advantage players. I've put up a couple of graphs which show my cumulative totals over the last few months. These are very simply pulled from what little account keeping I maintain of my gambling activities. I've tried everything from painstakingly detailed records of every deposit, withdrawal, bet and loss to absolutely no account keeping at all. I now keep track of my profit/loss from every move, and a quick note of the date, place and offer I was chasing.

I started keeping records again after taking a large 4 figure loss at the beginning of last year. The loss came due to wrongly hedging a line, which I hadn't backed. At the time it was a fairly painful amount since I was part-time, and only making a few thousand each month. I decided to make a new rule for myself: That I would keep track of all my bets again, so as to create a 'check' on my actions. Making records of my moves has built-in a safety check on my activity, so I don't write in expected profit/loss until I check the bet is confirmed, and the hedge matched if necessary. It takes me less than 3 seconds per wager to record this data, and has certainly reduced the likelihood of making errors. In practice, the long term cost of the error that day was equal to the commission I paid and any market distortion, but it was bad for my psyche.

The other reason I keep records now is to be able to set targets. Another rule I have made for myself since I went full time, is to set profit targets for each month. My accounts record my profit and loss from every wager, and give me a total at the end of the month. I use this to set targets, and incentivise myself to work harder/take time off. Combined with the value I get from my records as a safety-check, the 3 seconds per wager they take to make is definitely worth it given the incentives to work hard targets create.

Finally my records also create to-do lists which help me stay focussed. Short notes remind me to chase withdrawals, and a daily column has me consolidate a days work-load and slowly cross it off as I progress. This increases my efficiency, and stops me getting distracted. Whilst drinking my morning coffee I write my days list and chase up any outstanding admin tasks, this saves me from needing to regularly allocating entire days to tedious admin. As a result, I run through my admin every 6-12 months, or when the stress of having all my capital locked up becomes too pressing

How I Became a Professional Gambler

On Tynan

I had never gambled before and knew nothing about it, but I'd gotten too many e-mails like it. I was at my parents house for winter break during my first year at UT, and I was bored.

"Free $50 just for downloading our casino!"

Hmm. That doesn't seem very risky. I might as well download to see what it's all about.

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