If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
This is truly a masterful poem which hold truths for every generation and every walk of life. And there are a number of very important suggestions for gamblers.
Of course we have the unambiguous advice about making a “heap of all your winnings … and never breathe a word about your loss.” It’s very easy to become bitter and blame everyone and everything. Aside from the alienation that a bitter man can cause, not accepting responsibility for one’s actions must surely be a route to ruin. But I believe we can learn from a message much more subtle than the obvious. And the message is this:
If we play games of “pitch-and-toss” then we are playing the odds; we accept that losers are just as likely as winners. We may have long winning sequences and long losing sequences, runs of “luck” and “bad luck”. But ultimately profits and losses are ours and ours alone. To blame Real Madrid for not scoring in the 2nd half is to shirk responsibility for our actions. We weighed up the likelihood of Real scoring, and we accepted the prices offered. All outcomes are possible. We must NOT blame the game.
The second idea which sticks out like a Michael Essien goal is the line: “If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,”. When it comes to successful betting patience really is a virtue. A lack of patience leads to over-staking and chasing. Some of my biggest winning months have come from the last few days of betting – seemingly impossible “bad luck” suddenly turns and everything “comes good”. It’s very easy to become disillusioned and lose hope, but we must not. The message? If we have a system (or method, or skill) which we trust, then be patient and trust it.
Just one more line to add to the poem, as dictated by Mike Bassett:
England will be playing four four f*cking two!