Outside the street’s on fire in a real death waltz
Between flesh and what’s fantasy and the poets down here
Don’t write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand but they wind up wounded, not even dead
Tonight in Jungleland

(Excerpt from ‘Jungleland’ by Bruce Springsteen, from his 1975 album, Born to Run)

January 2016

About me

Hey, welcome to my blog. My name’s Andrew, I’m 31 and I live on the outskirts of London. I’ll keep this frank. It’s been many years since I last had a job and I’ve ended up turning to sports betting for my sole source of income. My struggles have erased my social life and even my family can’t understand why I’ve sacrificed so much.

Strangely enough, I chose this path purely out of principle. The way I see it, the longer we fall in line and accept the grind along with all the other norms, the more we lose touch with what really matters. Most people obstinately say ‘that’s life’ but I suspect they’d be more forgiving if they had a second chance. The truth is I don’t regret my choice at all in spite of everything, including the fact that I haven’t even managed to make ends meet since…

I was set up for a high-paying career but the moment I stepped onto the merry-go-round I knew in the back of my mind that I’d soon have to get off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not short of gratitude; I know how tough it is out there. I quit my last job a few years later but, of course, you can’t get out of the woods so easily. Money’s had its chokehold on me for bang on a decade now, hence the blog title.

I’ve been working on the betting on and off for the last four years with nothing material to show for it yet. That isn’t as alarming as it sounds, all things considered, but then bettors tend to play up their chances. All I know for sure is that there’s no Plan B yet, which is probably due to confidence and desperation in equal measure. I recently made a move to ramp up my efforts but I’ll leave my fingers crossed for the time being.

About this blog

Even though betting is my life right now, the last thing I want to do is start a betting blog (see next section); I give it a place here only to explain where I’m coming from personally. Actually, my life’s ambition has always been to get academically involved in philosophy—who knows, maybe this blog will become a part of that someday. But for now, I just want a creative outlet to ride out these dark nights. It’ll be worthwhile if it ever resonates in some small corner out there.

I’m a big believer in a few things, especially when they come together: creative expression, ethical engagement and critical thinking. Ordinary folk are becoming increasingly removed from each of those, which is tragic if you ask me. No wonder the individual is all but extinct these days. I see this blog as an opportunity to buck that trend, even if it gets drowned out by all the noise. You know, there was a time when I snubbed the blogosphere (and still do in some respects), but things change with age.

Comments are always welcome and I read them all. I never close them on older posts so feel free to come in on those too, whatever the time stamp. I don’t really care for blogging etiquette either—so long as a comment is clearly genuine, it’ll pass.

 I’d also be grateful for any feedback or suggestions about the site.

About my betting project

A little betting background might be helpful even for non-bettors. My goal is to get to a point where most of my time can be better spent and I need to find out for myself whether this is a pipe dream. Profit-wise, this means nothing more than minimum wage territory. I’ve been trying to make a maths-based approach work—not easy when you’re more of an art guy. My sole focus is on tennis, mainly because I fell in love with the sport way back during Pete Sampras’s glory days (forever the best fast courter in my book).

Beyond that, I’d rather not go into any detail, for a few reasons:

  1. Although professional betting isn’t your average desk job, it’s essentially a business like any other. And to put it plainly, business stinks whenever money is the end rather than the means. I look at my betting project as a necessary evil. Just the thought of revelling in the ‘pro gambler’ outfit makes me queasy.
  2. On the one hand, I don’t like the idea of passing down scraps of betting wisdom from up on high. On the other, full disclosure would defeat the object of the whole thing—you can’t win a race by offering a real helping hand. Perhaps a betting savant could strike the right balance, but that ain’t me.
  3. I’m no stickler for the rules but I don’t want to encourage freeloading. It’s hard enough for blue-collar bettors as it is and some of us play a fair game. Honest efforts shouldn’t go down the pan at the hands of freeloaders.

Disclaimer

I should make it clear that I would never recommend gambling to anyone. I couldn’t care less for the obligatory, ego-fuelled lecturing. No, the thing is, getting in waist-deep is the only aptitude test there is, by which time you could be sorry. You can have all the skills but they won’t count for anything if your personal circumstances won’t allow for it. The choice is an entirely personal one.

And I hate to have to say it: I don’t accept any responsibility or liability for any losses or damages sustained by anyone using this site.

I respect the copyright of others and I make every effort to credit sources (even when no attribution is required). If you want to copy or adapt any of the content on this site for non-commercial purposes then please do—all I ask is for the same in return. If you’re a one-man band like me without a business agenda then a quick mention with a link back would be awesome. Should anyone else ever be interested, the low-down on the license for this site can be found here. (All the images on this site are used under the CC0 license or are in the public domain unless stated otherwise.)

If you want to ignore all that then I won’t dig a trench. I just find that the ‘do unto others’ rule usually lends itself to a good night’s kip.

About the Bruce Springsteen references

The blog title is a Springsteen lyric, in case you don’t know your rock ‘n’ roll. It suffices to say that I’m a real fan of The Boss and I just want to end on a special mention; (he never took to his nickname but I’ve always thought that the irony is a nice touch). To me, Bruce’s work can’t be beat. I hope I live long enough to wither away in old age someday, just to see the fire he started in me as a kid still burning bright; it would be an honour.

 

night-time cityscape through broken wire fence

 

Photo by Pierre Rougier / retouched

Blog header image credits: US dollar bill obverse by Cekli829 (see this); city skyline by Caleb Morris; Springsteen image (author and copyright info unavailable—I hold my hands up on this one…)

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