There's an old truism about gambling: When you're losing you're never as bad as you think you are, and when you're winning you're never as good as you think you are.
And it was when I was winning that I was on red alert for any hubristic comments that made it sound like I'd got the game cracked. No matter how provable my edge may have been, it was critical to act as though it was the gods who had decided to grant me my own pay-window. And that I acknowledged they could take it back at any time if I ever suggested my success was down to myself.
I actually went a little mad trying to appease the gods. I took to seeing people on the streets of London as their agents. Beggars, Big Issue sellers, anyone similar were like choric characters on my gambling journey. If I didn't give them a pound, my head would say “the gambling gods were watching”. I often had to turn around and walk a mile back to someone I'd ignored. It got so bad that I couldn't leave the house without a pocket bulging full of pound coins. Not forgetting that it cost me a fortune. When I moved to Shropshire there weren't any beggars. So I stopped. And so did my gambling success. Almost overnight.
I write this because part of me feels like I've been responsible for a terrible act of hubris, for which someone else has been punished. And part of me thinks it's doubly inexcusable because my gambling experiences should have alerted me to the consequences. (See Writing area of this blog for more details).