The Addictive Personality, Part One

How do you envision someone with an addictive personality? Do you picture an alcoholic, someone strung out on drugs, a chain smoker, or a gambler down on his luck?

Addictive behaviors are commonly thought of as behaviors that impair a person’s ability to function. Often they do but not all addictive behaviors have that effect. Some addictive behaviors do not negatively influence or impact the person’s life.

Many people are unaware that they even have the tendency because their behavior doesn’t fit the image they have in their mind of those who do. Someone with an addictive personality can turn a positive activity, such as exercising, into an obsession. As one mental health expert put it, healthy people plan exercise around their life. Addicts plan their life around exercise.

Those with addictive personalities have urges other people don’t have that can impede their ability to make good decisions. They have the tendency to do things that are fine in moderation, things that those without addictive personalities do with no problem, and become addicted to them. They are prone to becoming dependent on substances, activities, and other people-just about anything. And they are especially at high at risk of becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, pornography, exercise, work, and codependency.

It is theorized that 15% of American people have a predisposition to addiction. Doctors and clinicians still debate whether or not the addictive personality exists. The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls it a brain disease. Though addictive personality has not been classified as a personality disorder by the American Psychological Association, there are common traits that those with the tendency have-certain characteristics that make them more susceptible to physical or psychological dependencies that may negatively impact their quality of life. Not everyone demonstrating these characteristic will develop an addiction.

A common characteristic of the addictive personality is poor stress management skills. Without the benefit of healthy coping skills they are prone to using substances, activities, or other people as a way to manage their emotional discomfort and alleviate stress. They have the tendency to self-medicate, believing they are only using it symptomatically, but in fact are using it as a way to cope with life. Some have social anxiety or have trouble letting their guard down. Substances help them let go and have fun.

Many with addictive personalities suffer from insecurity or are excessive approval seekers. They may use substances such as drugs and alcohol to provide a temporary sense of worth, a pseudo-identity. Though they are aware that the sense of worth achieved that way is false, they like the way it feels and crave it more and more. They may turn to addictive substances in order to deal with insecurity, or they may ultimately feel powerless to stop an addiction once it starts.

Another marker of the addictive personality is the lack of ability to get in touch with feelings. The feelings are there but they may be too painful to look at. Feeling makes them feel vulnerable and out of control. This causes someone to focus outward, searching for anything that makes them feel good inside and comforts them.

Those with addictive personalities often have the need for instant gratification. They crave the quick, powerful feeling that makes them feel good in ways nothing else can. The euphoric feeling is short-lived so they are constantly seeking more. This sometimes occurs with those who have obsessive or compulsive personalities, and those who are perfectionists.

The inability to form emotional attachments with other people is another characteristic of those with addictive personalities. Many of these people are unable to make relationship commitments. Some alienate themselves from others believing that trusting relationships are unattainable. Some have brief, superficial relationships filled with emotional turmoil, and often with those who also have addictive personalities or are abusive. Substances such as drugs or alcohol become substitutes for the bond they lack with others.

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Arbitrage Betting Formula 1 – Part 3 – Sports Betting

Technology has always played a big part in affecting the outcome of a Formula 1 race. During the 60 years or so of its existence, the championship has seen advances in technology, although never forgetting the importance of the driver.

Two of the major innovations occurred during the early years – during the 1950s, Cooper’s revolutionary rear engine design led to two championship titles for Jack Brabham and in 1962, Lotus introduced their one piece chassis.

Technology developed rapidly during the 1970s and 80s and Formula 1 engineers began to be referred to as designers. The late 1970s saw the introduction of wings; and the early 1980s saw the widespread use of turbochargers.

Perhaps one of the most significant innovations was the so-called “ground effect” which used underbody design and side skirts, hugging the car to the ground. Improvements in design continue to play a big part in racing performance today. Several races are traditionally the highlights of the season. The Monaco Grand Prix which takes place through the winding streets of the principality is always exciting to watch.

At Monaco, the driver who gets pole position has an excellent chance of winning, as it is extremely difficult to overtake on the tight circuit. And in the UK, the British Grand Prix has become something of an institution since its inception in 1909, meaning a variety of betting options are available.

Sports betting is risky for the most part – many people who bet just occasionally are inexperienced and not knowledgeable. Many sports fans simply bet on their favorite team and often do not care too much whether they win or lose.

In fact, over 90% of people who bet on sporting events lose money; only a small percentage actually wins on a regular basis. However, there is a method of increasing the chances of winning, which is both easy and effective.

Getting an Edge in Sports Betting: Contrarian Sports Investing

Many people enjoy sports, and sports fans often enjoy placing wagers on the outcomes of sporting events. Most casual sports bettors lose money over time, creating a bad name for the sports betting industry. But what if we could “even the playing field?”

If we transform sports betting into a more business-like and professional endeavor, there is a higher likelihood that we can make the case for sports betting as an investment.

The Sports Marketplace as an Asset Class

How can we make the jump from gambling to investing? Working with a team of analysts, economists, and Wall Street professionals – we often toss the phrase “sports investing” around. But what makes something an “asset class?”

An asset class is often described as an investment with a marketplace – that has an inherent return. The sports betting world clearly has a marketplace – but what about a source of returns?

For instance, investors earn interest on bonds in exchange for lending money. Stockholders earn long-term returns by owning a portion of a company. Some economists say that “sports investors” have a built-in inherent return in the form of “risk transfer.” That is, sports investors can earn returns by helping provide liquidity and transferring risk amongst other sports marketplace participants (such as the betting public and sportsbooks).

Sports Investing Indicators

We can take this investing analogy a step further by studying the sports betting “marketplace.” Just like more traditional assets such as stocks and bonds are based on price, dividend yield, and interest rates – the sports marketplace “price” is based on point spreads or money line odds. These lines and odds change over time, just like stock prices rise and fall.

To further our goal of making sports gambling a more business-like endeavor, and to study the sports marketplace further, we collect several additional indicators. In particular, we collect public “betting percentages” to study “money flows” and sports marketplace activity. In addition, just as the financial headlines shout, “Stocks rally on heavy volume,” we also track the volume of betting activity in the sports gambling market.

Sports Marketplace Participants

Earlier, we discussed “risk transfer” and the sports marketplace participants. In the sports betting world, the sportsbooks serve a similar purpose as the investing world’s brokers and market-makers. They also sometimes act in manner similar to institutional investors.

In the investing world, the general public is known as the “small investor.” Similarly, the general public often makes small bets in the sports marketplace. The small bettor often bets with their heart, roots for their favorite teams, and has certain tendencies that can be exploited by other market participants.

“Sports investors” are participants who take on a similar role as a market-maker or institutional investor. Sports investors use a business-like approach to profit from sports betting. In effect, they take on a risk transfer role and are able to capture the inherent returns of the sports betting industry.

Contrarian Methods

How can we capture the inherent returns of the sports market? One method is to use a contrarian approach and bet against the public to capture value. This is one reason why we collect and study “betting percentages” from several major online sports books. Studying this data allows us to feel the pulse of the market action – and carve out the performance of the “general public.”

This, combined with point spread movement, and the “volume” of betting activity can give us an idea of what various participants are doing. Our research shows that the public, or “small bettors” – typically underperform in the sports betting industry. This, in turn, allows us to systematically capture value by using sports investing methods. Our goal is to apply a systematic and academic approach to the sports betting industry.

Casino Online – New Online Casinos Technologies

Computers and the Internet probably is the most fast-growing field of technology, so, in the nature of things, the casinos and poker-rooms try to ride the ground-swell and use new technologies that became available recently wherever it is possible.

The first online casinos have been made in simple HTML, but since the advent of Java language as well as with spread of flash technology online casinos started to use these technologies. In the course of time, offline casinos have improved graphics and sound and have added new games. Advent of online casinos had become the first considerate achievement in online gambling together with development of broadband access. In these casinos one plays not against computer dealer but against real dealers playing on the real equipment and the player may receive the video record of the course of this game. Roulette had become the first online game as it is easily broadcasted online and any number of players can parlay on one table because there is no need to make any decisions.

The stakes are placed on a virtual table and after that the real spin is made; all gamblers receive one final number and payments corresponding to their bets. By the way, if there are a lot of gamblers in one casino it becomes unprofitable and almost impossible for the latter to swindle and that increases the attractiveness of game. Soon baccarat had become online too: the player does not make any decisions in the course of game and the cards dealing is made on a standard pattern. But in case of another popular game – blackjack had appeared some difficulties. Many players cannot simultaneously play at one table because they decide to take or not to take the card and these decisions may be different so the dealer cannot simultaneously execute them. That’s why online blackjack, as well as real, is played by one dealer against only a few players simultaneously. As a result this game usually has quite high bets.

Nowadays, there are a lot of online casinos offering three abovementioned games (for example, such games are usually offered in casinos with Playtech software), but at present there is no video poker, although there is talk on its promotion. There is an idea to propose players to use their web-cams: each player will film himself during game and transmit the data to a server which will distribute this data among other players. As a result one can see the opponent’s face during the game and that will add new options, especially for players’ psychology experts. Of course, these proposals are not realized nowadays but when they will be realized the Internet-poker will become quite similar to offline poker.

Another latest thing that is used in gambling is 3D graphics. Some years ago Intercasino had announced the advent of new version of software – “the first 3D casino”, although, in fact there were a few static 3D portraits of players. Since that time quite many casinos and some poker-rooms had produced so-called 3D software; usually there were completely static, pre-rendered pictures of people and table which had little in common with “real 3D”. But, in general, tridimensionality in casino is not very interesting – 3D table or even a dealer will not be a revolution, though 3D effect of poker had become quite revolutionary. PKR had become the first real 3D poker-room: it had been opened just on a year ago and during this short term it had become among the leaders on visiting statistics (more than 5000 players at a time, although some of them play for love), even despite of absence of Americans and option of one table game.

PKR offers the option to look at the table from different views as well as to pick the unique appearance of player, and this is the case: there are a lot of types of faces, hair styles, hair colors, clothes, footwear and accessories, so it is almost impossible to meet two similar players not just at one table but in all room. Appearance and standard clothes are possible to obtain free of charge, though expensive suit or accessories are to be purchased for points (which are collected easily and quickly), and the player can digitize his own face so that his poker avatar is his perfect copy! The players do not sit still – they really move dibs, look at cards (your cards are not shown all the time, it is necessary to press the special button and the player will look at them), express emotions (some standard emotions – from pleasure up to teasing), to play tricks with dibs (a few tricks are free of charge and other are to be purchased for points), pronounce their actions and it is possible to choose the player’s accent. In general, all players agree, that PKR is most realistic of all computer rooms. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for all that beauty: firstly, the game runs a little bit slower than in other rooms, secondly, you can play only at one table, thirdly, the game is resource-hungry and on slow PC it runs slower. And finally this game is recommended only to owners of unlimited Internet access (as well as online casinos, however), because it requires quite a lot of traffic. Only its installation requires more than 600 Mb, and during the game the room eats away nearly 10 Mb per hour.

Nobody knows the future result of gambling and technology mix; maybe in some tens of years the effect of presence will be reached, though now we can play the real roulette by means of video broadcast and 3D graphics makes a computer game nearly real. We’ll wait for new interesting decisions which will make the game even more convenient and pleasant.