One of the most frustrating elements of betting is that, despite trying to learn from mistakes, and despite analysing your shortcomings and errors, there always seems to be a new way to cock-up just around the corner.
Alistair at 'Betyourlife.blogspot.com' often chastises himself for his mental failings, and his latest post revolves around the ease with which he can lose focus.
My own evening began with a classic cock-up, and a first-time error to boot, caused by the fact that I was never 'in focus' to begin with.
Whilst driving home from work, I was aware of UEFA Cup 2nd leg games that were underway in Eastern Europe. Upon arrival at home, I immediately turned on my laptop to look for betting opportunities. This is a recipe for cock-up opportunities.
The matches underway were the all-Ukrainian clash at Kharkiv, the third Ukrainian participant, Shakhtar to home to CSKA Moscow, and the Zenit/Udinese game. I opened up Soccerway.com, my usual footy stats link, to check the 1st leg scores. Kharkiv were 3-2 up with 10 minutes to go, and I was interested in the overall score situation. I noted that CSKA Moscow won their first leg 1-0, and in my head saw a situation where CSKA would just hold the position for the last 10 minutes for an 'away-goals' win. Er, you may have spotted that CSKA weren't playing Kharkiv. I didn't.
So I placed a lay on CSKA. Then followed a comic-book 6 or 7 minutes where I counted down the minutes in the Kharkiv game on one screen, whilst also looking at the Betfair screen for the CSKA game. Only at that point did the slow rate of change in odds trigger the realisation that I had bet on the wrong game!
Fortunately, no goals had been scored in either match, and I escaped rapidly for a £3.00 gain.
Learning outcome - only place bets when you have prepared yourself for the session, and have an adequate level of concentration.