Home > General > Time for a change

Time for a change

As of Monday there will be a significant change to the way I gamble – I’ll no longer be punting full-time as I have decided to go back to work!

I had been giving more and more thought to returning to work and had decided that it was something I was probably going to have to do in the not too distant future but I hadn’t really been looking for a job as such, this one more or less found me. It’s software testing again working for a company that develops software solutions for the oil and gas industry so it’s a domain I have experience of. I’ll also be working with a number of people I have worked with in a previous role which means I’ll be back among familiar faces. Add to that the fact that this is a part-time role and I’m starting on a temporary (three-month) contract and it’s about as gentle an introduction back into the world of work as I could have hoped for really. My health issues should all be behind me now but after more than two years away from the nine-to-five world I’m glad I’m not plunging back into the deep end with a full-time role working alongside people I don’t know.

Not that this really signals that much of a change for me, at least not in gambling terms. Despite what I may have  claimed in the past punting isn’t really a full-time occupation for me. It doesn’t take that long to get the bets on each day and enter them into my spreadsheet and it only takes a few minutes to enter the results and settle the bets. In fact I have taken several steps over the last few months to keep a lid on things somewhat such that if I needed to I could once more fit my gambling into a lunch hour, and that’s where I am now.

When I first set out along this path of the professional gambler I figured the time I wasn’t actively gambling would be spent doing research and so on. I’d be looking for ways in which I could make more money, either by analysing my own data or taking a detailed look at a number of commercial offerings but that’s not how it really worked out. In the early days I gave poker a serious bash, trying to play as much as possible, but that didn’t turn out to be quite as profitable as I’d hoped. I had the wrong mindset a lot of the time and that was holding me back. I knew the theory behind the game really well following years of reading numerous books and magazines on the subject but I wasn’t able to translate that into suitable profits at the tables so that went by the wayside. I did do some software development, knocking up a few VBA-based projects based around various ideas I’d had along the way as well as working on some data analysis and system/tipster reviews for other people, all of which obviously occupied some of my time but that wasn’t a long-term thing by any means. Thinking back now I can’t really see how I spent my time each day, which tends to suggest much of it was rather wasted. Sure, I was ill and so didn’t feel like putting in eight hours a day most of the time but even so I don’t have a lot to show for my time when I was allegedly a full-time gambler. However, now my non-work time is limited I hope to make much better use of it.

Some of this summer was spent on yet another attempt at working up an idea I had several years back but have never been able to see it through to fruition. It has changed forms several times over the years but earlier this year I finally worked out what I wanted from it (a database-driven gambling-related website) and set about teaching myself the necessary skills to get there. I bought a couple of books on web development and started to teach myself proper HTML (as opposed to the odds bits I had picked up along the way which had resulted in some pretty sloppy code) plus PHP and MySQL. I haven’t really touched it since I went into hospital a couple of months back but now I know I only have a few days a week on which to work on my own stuff I want to focus properly and spend that time learning the rest of the skills I need before cracking on with getting something online. The plan (as it stands) is to have a rough first draft website up by the end of the year. I don’t expect there to be much data or functionality in place at this stage but I want the basic site online so I can then develop the rest of it iteratively as time allows. Daft as it may sound, I’m not sure I would get as much done if I have five days a week rather than just the couple I will have now I have taken on this part-time job. I’d have too much time available without this job, and that means little or no pressure to deliver which in turn means I am unlikely to make a great deal of progress. That’s just how I operate it seems.

Even though this job offer came out the blue and I hadn’t really been looking for work I am confident that accepting it and going back to work is the right decision, for a variety of reasons that I don’t want to dwell on too much here. Punting for a living was putting too much pressure on me to deliver results and ultimately things just weren’t quite happening for me. I’m glad I had a go though and I hope to return to gambling for a living again in the future but I think I started down this route before I was really ready. Then again, circumstances suggested it was worth a go given I couldn’t hold down a proper job at that stage. So no regrets about the decision I made back then and none about my decision to return to work. It’s all about what feels right at the time, and this feels like the right move now.

Incidentally, the blog name won’t change despite the change in circumstances as I will still maintain a professional approach to things even if I am no longer full-time.

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Categories: General
  1. October 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Smart decision. There are plenty of opportunities as a part-time investor, and having a ‘proper’ job means that there is no pressure on you when trading or betting, and having no pressure means making the right decision. Good luck.

    • Mat
      October 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      I think it is a smart decision, yeah. A regular guaranteed income would certainly be welcome at this stage and will greatly ease the pressure on my betting. It will keep the missus off my back too 🙂

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