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Your Lifestyle

MLB Betting: Your Lifestyle

By Loot, MLB Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

It seems strange to mention lifestyle when discussing baseball wagering. After all, we're not the players. Go walk into a sportsbook in the height of baseball season and it will be difficult to see anyone placing a premium on "lifestyle." No one is saying you have to be Jack LaLanne, but believe it or not, there are lifestyle concerns to take into account when wagering on baseball.

Unlike other sports, with the possible exception of basketball, MLB wagering is a daily enterprise. When looking for the best bets, it's a daily event. In football and other sports, we can take time off. We can leave it to do later or get it done early. Baseball never stops. For over 6 months, there are games daily.

That presents a lot of social issues for the typical betting man. When neck-deep in baseball betting, it's hard to not let other things suffer. We all have family and friends. We have to go here, we have to go there. Dogs need to be walked. Women need attention. Kids have stuff going on and would like their fathers to be part of it. Oh, and then there's jobs. We all have to make a living.

Our recommendation is to never handicap and wager on games while sacrificing something meaningful in your life. It doesn't even need to be that important. I've been there. I went 0-6 in Las Vegas one day betting on baseball and then had to break it to my girlfriend that instead of Cirque du Soleil and dinner at a snazzy restaurant, that we're going to the buffet at the Excalibur and then go watch the volcano at the Mirage. Then I think of when I missed my friend's daughter's birthday because I was moping around after losing a bunch of baseball bets.

Those are bad signs. They may seem insignificant. I'm not the first guy to skip out on a birthday party, but it showed me that I was having a problem incorporating baseball betting into my life properly. Gambling is supposed to be fun, even if you're serious about it. It's supposed to spice up your life, not take it over.

You know yourself and when bad thoughts start filling your head. If after a series of losses, do you start thinking of things you won't buy now? As if deciding not to buy items you planned to purchase makes it all better. It's a bad thought. You're sending bad messages to your brain. Listen, baseball wagering is gambling. It's not as degenerate as a guy playing video poker or a slot machine, but it is gambling. We know gambling is a potential problem for people and has been so for centuries.

So we need to be mindful of what we're dealing with the moment we place our first baseball wager. Unchecked, it has the potential of spinning out of control. It can begin to play too big of a role in our lives, as other things fall by the wayside--more important things.

All the things that were important to you before you bet on baseball should remain so. If you're an active person who likes to stay in shape, don't let baseball wagering turn you into a couch potato. If you're a family guy, keep on being one. If you are typically available to your friends and value them in your life, don't start putting them on the back-burner because you have to watch a Indians-Orioles game in May.

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Betting in any form always seems to have a bad affect on the body. You could take a decathlete and put him in sportsbook for 6 months, and he'll leave looking like Jackie Gleason. Getting older doesn't help either, but we need to make sure the hours spent handicapping, wagering, and watching games doesn't result in a total loss of form.

This is just a cautionary reminder to keep baseball wagering in its rightful category. Everyone has their own circumstances. If you're a hermit on a mountain somewhere, knock yourself out. But even that guy has things to tend to. He's got a friend up the road. He has to cook his food. He has to clean up his place. Whatever it is. Once a person establishes that baseball wagering is their career (a very unlikely scenario), then you can treat it like a job and neglect a lot of things that fall behind the category of "making a living," which are numerous. For most of us, however, we can't really make a case for it being number-one in our lives.

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