This past weekend’s semi finals were a huge lesson in not letting the sport of betting get in the way of a passion for sport, as I came away with a profit and the most enjoyment I’ve had watching rugby in years.
In speaking with the MoneyMan on Thursday, we made similar picks, putting our respective amounts towards England, under favoured in a match that, prior to kickoff, was a 50-50 in the minds of most, and the Springboks to win. But the money that paid off from both those matches complimented what was, for me, the dream rugby viewing experience, almost detached from betting.
As I watched England come out the blocks, I was tempted to start placing little running bets as I’d done the previous week in the Ireland vs New Zealand game. But as dominant as England were, New Zealand always have the ability to pull a game back out of nowhere and on the basis of this unpredictability I logged out my accounts, placing no more bets than the initial call for England to win. In doing this, I relaxed into the best game of rugby I’ve watched this year, my bet hardly in doubt, and the payoff was the cherry on top of the feeling one’s left with after a brilliant game.
Similarly on Sunday, I was rushing, pushing for signal just before kickoff, to try place a small bet on Handre Pollard to score more than 12 points. Again, the final decision was to just put my phone away and enjoy the occasion. And what an occasion it would turn into, a memorable one in Springbok World Cup history and a lovely morning. While the Pollard bet would have been a good one as he racked up 14 points, I came away with the confidence that it would have been the right bet, the payoff from the call of the Boks to win, and a second morning of a fantastic rugby viewing experience.
My bets this weekend were driven by a passion for rugby. Similarly any greed or need to bet was outweighed by this same passion. As I’m becoming more and more comfortable in my betting, I’m coming to realize too that the joy following a match shouldn’t be just the monetary reward, but rather the comfort that I’ve placed what I believe to be the right bet (regardless of outcome), and that any need to bet hasn’t compromised my enjoyment of the occasion.