Gamble with a Game Plan

Charles Barkley told this amazing story one time on Inside the NBA on TNT about the urge athletes have to gamble and how their competitive nature gives people, especially an athlete, a certain high when gambling. It took Barkley, an openly avid gambler, a conversation with a casino owner to finally change his gambling approach. The owner was joking with Barkley one day that athletes and jocks are his favorite customers because they feel like they can't lose.

Charles Barkley, hall of fame basketball player, has openly admitted he's lost and won millions of dollars gambling. From casinos to betting on golf to just sports betting, you can quickly lose sight of what's at stake.  

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I've gambled, I gamble, and will continue to gamble in moderation. There's a certain feeling you get that comes with gambling that gives you a high. There's just something about seeing the ball bounce on your number or finally beating the dealer that gets your competitive juices flowing. Like anyone who has gambled, I've had ups and down, but luckily for me, everything has been in moderation and I've had way more ups than downs. I can easily see how gambling can become addictive. After being in the League and having friends in other leagues as well as hearing the stories  you see how easy it is to go down that path. Jay Williams in his book, Life is not an Accident, describes how teammates would play hands for thousands of dollars on the charter flights. If you recall, that is how Gilbert Arenas and a former teammate got in a big scuffle over an unpaid bet. It makes my bet for 5 dollars on who hits crossbar first look like a joke. 

Gambling every now and then when you go to Vegas is no problem but you should never let gambling take over your life and affect your personal life... So let me share a couple ways to winning the gambling battle.

Gamble for Fun and Not to Win

When you come in trying to win, that alters your thinking and away from making smart decisions when it comes your money. Charles Barkley said that when he finally changed his mindset to enjoying the moment and that's when he stopped losing enormous amounts of money gambling.

The Dealer/House Always Wins

You may have heard that saying, but it's true. Vegas will win no matter what! On one trip, you may up, but be sure they will get their money back one way or another, Whether it's you immediately spending the earned winnings or using the upgraded promotion they gave you to lure you to come back to gamble again. I know you may want to ride out your hot streak but you need to know when it's time to cash out.

Bring a Set Amount of Cash

Don't ever bring your debit/credit cards with you to gamble. If you go on a cold streak, the competitor in you may not take a loss too kindly. You are chancing going to the ATM and restocking. If you have a set amount of cash that you know you wouldn't be mad losing, it can make the gambling experience more enjoyable.

Set a limit on your card

If you are too stubborn to listen to the cash-only rule than put a limit on your card. I've seen guys when you keep chasing with no limit on your card, there is no limit to stop you.

Be cautious of your drinks

Gambling and drinking will impair you from making smarter decisions, like knowing when to leave.

Don't Double or Nothing (Chase) 

You are already in a hole...don't run the risk of digging yourself a deeper hole.

Pro Tip: Instead of gambling in casinos or with friends, gamble on the S&P 500. It may be boring but the probability of winning over time  is better