After the anger subsided, I felt relieved, finally, the bubble burst and I lost. Not to say I hadn’t lost on random games in the last few months, but week on week, month on month I was just stacking it up. The pressure was building on me, I was getting erratic and I knew it. I bought a bunch of books, of all 10 titles I bought “What I learned losing a million dollars” by Brendan Moynihan jumped out at me. Almost as if I knew I was getting wild and wanted to help protect what I have achieved in this first 9 months of trading.
It’s not as if I wanted to lose, but it was inevitable, the way in which I lost it though was avoidable and that’s where the anger came from. I remember when I used to come home early from a poker session sometimes and Bec would know usually I had done my balls. “Did you play bad or did run bad”? she would ask. Knowing that if I lost playing bad I’d be upset with myself. In fact, when I had played great poker and just got unlucky I was rarely upset (on the back end of a 4 month break even stretch those sessions started to take their toll too but for 99% of the time I was fine). It was the bad play where I used to relive the hand countless times and think about how or what I should have done better. I think its the fact that the mistake is often so elementary and one you’ve made before that pisses you off.
Over confidence and the “invincibility cloak” activated. Really that’s all I can put it down too, the fact that I started to believe I was going to be able to dig myself out of anything. Everything I’ve touched has turned to gold of late and I started getting loose. What started as a small investment with some hedges in place on Mexico against Chile turned into a monster $3,000 loss after I compounded the error by trying to buy my way out of trouble. It wasn’t just the fact I was betting where I have no edge, but I chased, tut tut, naughty boy.
Money lost, nothing lost, confidence lost everything lost. It’s amazing how quickly confidence comes and goes. With those errors came back questions about my lack of judgement in the moment, as well as concerns on discipline and abilities to learn from my mistakes. These were issues I’ve dealt with firstly in poker but trading sport too. I’ve always considered myself a very astute bankroll/ exposure limit manager. I remember seeing people in for $1500, $2000, $3000 in a $2/$3 game of cards and wonder where their limit was. I mean, those games don’t run deep enough that you can ever get that sort of money back in a session, not to mention you ain’t thinking right when you that far down the well. I always limited myself to 2 buy-ins per session with a third available if the game was crazy hot and there were whales throwing good money after bad. In fact I saw it as a big edge I had over my competitors on the felt. They didn’t know how not to lose. By that I mean when they lost, they lost big, when I lost, I lost small. The same principle is helpful in sports too in my opinion.
One quick war story, the one that got away. Missed a big payday the other night, I was fucking spewing. I had a theory that seemed fine but sadly the theory didn’t play out in practice. I’ve attached some screenshots so you can see how things progressed. The short of the long was I had a nice green level book in the Manly v Penrith game a couple of weekends ago. Manly scored probably their 4th try to go out by 20 early in the second half. At Brooky, 20 in front, Penrith playing pretty average, but still, 35 mins to go. Haven’t seen this volume before, but someone comes in and lumps on $25,000 at $1.06 on Manly. Penrith get a scrum inside attacking 30 and I decided to lay $5,000 of the now $12,000 left with some of my green, Mansour over in the corner. When the margin got back to 10 and Manly got 2 repeat sets I decided to hedge at $1.10. Manly seemed to have settled to me and I picked up a few ticks, if they went over in the 4th set, prices would be $1.02. They didn’t score and although I had plans to re-enter, that wasn’t practical as the liquidity isn’t there like it was when the person lumped at $1.06. I hedged for $1,000 profit but Penrith went on to score 27 unanswered points in 35 mins to win the game and I missed out on $3,000 of green. Dirty. Mind you, not as dirty as the backer at $1.06, literally from the moment he backed them, Manly never scored another point.
Period 1: +$10,425.07
Period 2: -$2,371.68
Account balance +$49,857.76 (9 months)