Friday 26 May 2017

Obliteration v Decimation

Courtesy of a post on Megarain's blog, I was drawn to a thread on the Bet Angel forum which was kicked off on May 18th by user Rstrach:

First of all i will not go into details but i have been suffering from mental illness for the past year. I have had external factors influence my trading and when that happens you should really just walk away. I am 20 years old and have just wasted in total 8900 pounds of my trading bank which has decimated it to my original 1000. I am very embarrassed to say this but i have blown it all by acting like a gambling addict and haven't even opened B.A today.

I attended Perth today and tried to put on a mask on here and with whom i attended with that i was okay. I was not. I am clearly not cut out for the trading world and will be seeking full time employment again. I really can't put my finger on it but i feel physically sick and drained. I feel there is no point in going on, i have not only invested money but time into this world that has drawn me by my own keenness to learn and improve away from my social circles and family which may have triggered today's events. I am now in a position where my safety bank is running low for necessities and my mortgage. My relationship has been affected and my morale and self confidence an all time low.

I do not want pity i am simply posting one last time on here to show it's not all glamour in this world and you're either cut out for it or you're not. The tears roll down my cheeks as i type this goodbye. To the people who advised me thank you, to the friends i have made thank you and to Peter Webb thank you the most for providing my last 2 years with drive and passion wanting to better myself as a trader and person with you as my role model. (cheesy) I now have nothing and it is through not anyone's fault but my own and my own mind.
The world of betting / trading / gambling sadly appear to be a magnet for people suffering from mental illness, but credit to Rstrach for facing up to his issues and whatever the 'external factors' he mentions were. 

To build up a bank from £1,000 to close to £10,000 is a good effort, although his success may not have all been down to skill or even luck as we will see later.

Megarain's take on the incident was this, and he doesn't mince words:
So, there is a thread on Bet Angel, re a trader who has decided to call it quits. He's 20 yrs old .. grew a bank from 1k to 10k, then lost all of the winnings, in 1 day.
He's decided to quit .. and the thread has run to 5 pages.
I am now, tired/jaded and not in a good mood to be compassionate .. which, is a neg EV play anyway.
People don't like the truth. He should quit, and move on, but basically wants sympathy.
We all want sympathy. Everyone has a good story, about how hard they work. Details are just details, if u haven't got the self-motivation/life skills to be a pro-gambler, then the market will get you.
Whether or not Rstrach's retirement is permanent remains to be seen. The wounds of a bad loss were still fresh when he wrote that, and time has a strange way of changing ones perspective. 

From the limited details we have, it does appear that the wheels came off in a big way, with all discipline being lost.

As Megarain says, people don't like the truth. Just four months ago (January 19th), Rstrach was writing:
I have seen my invested amount grow by 7 fold in just over a year. I have learnt a lot from Peter and the forum and i want to thank you for that. Do you have any tips on making and sustaining a living full time?
I am 19 and in an unstable but well paying job i have incredible passion for sports and trading the array of markets available on betfair.
Any help appreciated.
Uh oh. Another young person, presumably not without the ability to hold down a reasonable job given that he has a mortgage at such a young age, looking to give it all up to go full-time as a trader. The problem is that his success doesn't appear to have been from any unique talent for trading, but from getting inside information:
i get good consistent info from a friend that is a work rider so most of my biggest trades swing off this.
Sadly it appears that in April, our friend 'took the plunge' and quit his well paying job, writing on the 26th: 
love the positive vibes and im taking the plunge tomorrow just typed my notice and set up my configurations for B.A to my most profitable (i have been experimenting with different layouts of market screens etc.) and planned my days. Luckily for me with a big-ish festival taking away a lot of smaller races im making more dough. Epsom a delight today! You shall hear how it goes
Well, we saw how it went, and in less than a month. Once again, if you are capable of holding down  job, and not everyone with mental health issues is, then trading and betting on sports is not a full-time activity. However uniquely great you think you are, you are probably not, and if you happen to be the greatest, you won't be for long.

If you must trade sports, do it in your spare time as a hobby. If you are one of the few who are able to make some money from it, consider it a bonus on top of your base (regular job) income. To walk away from that base income after a profitable year or two is really short-sighted.

One final word on Rstrach's use of the word 'decimated' in reference to his trading bank. It's a word that is frequently misused.

Historically, the meaning of 'decimate' was one in ten, e.g. an army was decimated if it lost one-tenth of its soldiers, or if Rstrach's trading bank went from £10,000 to £9,000.

However, modern usage of decimated seems to be to indicate that one-tenth remains, a far more significant loss of course. 
Decimate literally means to reduce something by a tenth, but many people use it instead to mean "totally destroy." The word "obliterate" would be a better choice than "decimate."
I thought you'd all like to know that.  

1 comment:

BotTrader said...

Gambling forums will always be littered with Walter Mitty types like Rstrach, thankfully they only ever lose winnings they've built up and not their original bank so no real harm done.

I'm sure Rstrach must have been overwhelmed the great and the good from the Bet Angel forum all came out to offer advice of how they'd overcome similar situations. One can only hope Rstrach uses his remaining bank to attend a training course, or at the very least pick up a few ebooks, and return triumphantly to such a supportive forum.