Why I Don't Gamble

Category: By Christian
When I was in grade school, I shocked my parents one day with my stunning commentary on a Blazers game. After hearing the score, I remarked that they had been favored to win by more points. My parents were immediately worried that their young son was a gambling degenerate, and they started in with a bevy of follow-up questions. Not to worry. I hadn't lost all the money in my piggy bank to a bookie, nor was I running bets on the playground.

What I was doing, however, was reading the sports section every day. I loved basketball, so I read all of the stories, stats, schedules and standings. I even read the betting lines. To my credit, I assumed they were just in there as a public service. I didn't know they were business.

The good news is that I still don't gamble. Why?

In four simple words...I suck at it.

Good thing I was able to find out without spending any money. ESPN has this free game going right now. It's called Streak for the Cash. Pretty simple stuff. Every day, the game moderator throws a handful of games or prop-bets on the board. Then, you pick one. Or you don't. But it's harder to win if you don't.

The goal of the game is to build up a streak where you make 25 consecutive pics correctly. Do that and you get a million bucks. It sounds easy, but it is actually impossible. Now, all of the bets are (in theory) 50-50 shots. The moderator picks bets that have low point spreads, meaning Vegas things they are close. In all the time I've been playing, I've seen three people get over 20 in a row. A lot of people get to 15 or so before they crap out.

Me? A lousy streak of 5. That's it. And not for lack of effort. My overall record is a paltry one game over .500. 47 correct, 46 incorrect. Stinky. If you wish, you can follow my inability to streak well here.

That's why I don't gamble. Because it's hard, I'm not good, and Vegas doesn't build billion dollar hotels by giving out more money than they take in.

But I do play free games on ESPN.

Renew and Restore.

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