Sports Betting Odds For the NBA

Betting in sports is enticing for any sports enthusiast; besides that it spices up the game even more with all those screaming bettors around you, it can be a rewarding leisure that boasts of lump sum of cash winnings. Nevertheless, what are the sports betting odds for something like the NBA?

If you based it on sports book, sports betting odds are generally unaffected or fixed. They say nothing can be done to effect change. But other sports enthusiasts believe otherwise. They consider the possibilities of maximizing the sports betting odds and successful chances to hit big time in sports betting, whether in the NBA or any other sport in the United States.

The first thing to consider is to have a sports betting system to rely on, which helps you sift through different games and identify where to bet best. By doing so, you have higher chances in sports betting odds by 97% for any NBA game. But still never bet your whole bankroll in one game. So how do you know which system works for your game?

There are online sports betting experts that can hand out pieces of advices that can assist you in every bet that you make on a game. Although they are not saying that by having a workable system, you are not liable anymore to losses in any game. There is risk wherever you are at, but having an effective system lowers your risk on terrible betting losses and increases your sports betting odds. These sports betting systems are good enough to be used universally, as long as sports betting are deemed legal.

Betting in games is so far not completely regarded as a legal form of gambling, because there are countries that still find such form as unethical and illegal in their state laws. Do we have to blame such states? No, despite their love for games such as the NBA, they find many of their people addicted to the idea of betting to the point of having to lose everything that his family has. This is where they draw the line for their laws, similar to restricting having casinos in their premises.

But it does not happen to everybody else; that is why in the United States sports betting is open and available. Drawing the line between addiction and balanced betting already depends on the hands of the bettor. Besides, sports betting has always been considered as a moneymaking opportunity for all citizens, without having to leave the comforts of your home or spend endless hours working at night.

If you want better sports betting odds in all NBA games, finding a good betting system is easy, so long as you pay enough attention to details being served on the internet. Upon taking hold of what you think should be your betting system, nothing can stop you from deserving successive wins in the games of betting. Well, of course, be reminded that it also takes some smarts to get ahead in every bet of every game.

Common Online Gambling Games

It was 1994 in the tiny island country of Antigua and Barbuda, a certain law was passed which made the location a legal jurisdiction, allowing it to issue gambling licenses. This law paved way for online gaming and until today, most gambling companies would base their business in the country to utilize their license.

The gaming software came years before the commencement of online gaming. An Isle on Man-based software company called Microgaming developed the first fully operational online casino software which gave birth to many online gambling sites. Whereas Cryptologic, an online security software company, provided the indispensable software which made internet transaction safe, secure and workable. By 1995, the first online casino was launched.

Like many things that did not have a smooth start, the launch of online gambling also met many obstacles. One major problem it met along the way was the legality of the trade. The very idea and concept of online gambling was opposed and resisted by many and especially in the United States. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona for several times tried to prevent American citizens from gambling online and also promoted anti-gambling campaigns.

Recently, on September 30, 2006, the US Congress passed a bill stating the it is illegal for banks and credit card companies to process payments from US residents to online gambling companies. This bill later became a law which President Bush signed on October 13.

But although online gambling have up to now been fought against by many individuals, organizations and even the government, many are still captivated by the allure of this addiction. Thus despite all the disputes, supporters and players around the world are hooked in participating to online gambling. Most common online gambling games are:

  • Online Poker, or Internet Poker, is known to be partially responsible for the dramatic increase in the number of poker players worldwide. Online poker tables mostly host games of Texas hold ’em, Omaha, Seven-card stud and razz, both in tournament and ring game structures.
  • Online Casinos utilize the internet to play casino games roulette, blackjack, pachinko, baccarat and many others. Internet casinos may also be divided into three groups according to their interface: Web based casinos, Download-based casinos, and Live casinos. Web based casinos are played without the need to download software for playing games. Plug-ins must be installed in the browser to accommodate such games. Download-based casinos require clients to download software in order to play and wager on the casino games offered. The software connects to the casino service provider and handles contact without browser support. Whereas Live-based casinos allow online players to play and interact with the games played in real world casinos. In this setting, players connected online could see, hear and interact with live dealers at tables in casino studios around the world.
  • Online Sports Betting, where there are a variety of sporting events that a player could wager over the internet like fixed-odds gambling. Wagering or betting could be done through Bookmakers, spread betting firms and betting exchanges.
  • Online bingos are also available via the internet. Also for Mobile gambling, there are now developments in the utility of wireless and cellular devices in gambling notwithstanding the raucous debates for gambling online.

8 Signs to Know You Are Addicted

Rose was a young intern at a financial agency. This was her first experience of working in corporate sector and she was pretty excited. She adjusted to the work culture soon and performed well to gain rewards and promotion. Long hours of work would often end with a glass of wine or two with her colleagues at a club or a café.

Soon, the occasional drinking sessions became regular as it made her feel happy and relaxed. Slowly, she got addicted. She needed alcohol to relieve her tense muscles and prepare her for the next day. As the work pressure increased, she started binge drinking. This resulted in night outs, hangovers, absence from work and the day came when she was fired. Her addiction cost her the job she loved and was so proud of.

Like Rose, many of us develop liking for something that causes more harm than benefit. One could be addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, video games, gambling or even shopping. And when the matter goes out of hand, a person has to be encouraged to seek help from an addiction help center that treats the underlying problem in a holistic manner during recovery as well as through an aftercare program.

It is possible to control the situation and prevent it from worsening. All one needs is to watch out for the signs that signal an addiction and take action immediately. Some of the red flags could be:

  1. Continuing an addiction despite negative effects – When an addiction takes over, the affected person has the tendency to ignore the red flags and continue pursuing the substance or a habit regardless of the impact it might have on physical and psychological health, relationships or job.
  2. Quitting social events – Those addicted could become so obsessed with their addiction that over time, they may quit attending social gatherings they liked before as the events may not give them the opportunity or time to use their substance of abuse.
  3. Suffering from withdrawal symptoms – When a person tries to quit addiction, he/she may suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms. This is because the body gets so used to a substance that it gets distressed in its absence. The withdrawal symptoms could be physical as well as psychological, and in some case life-threatening too.
  4. Keeping addiction a secret – People tend to mask addiction by keeping it a secret. They fear being judged, so they try to hide their habit from friends and family.
  5. Increasing tolerance – When an addiction develops, over time, the body starts getting used to it and to produce the same high, it needs more amount of the substance, leading to tolerance. Addiction can take over mind and body completely.
  6. Not being able to stop – Addiction can be so overpowering that despite the best of intentions, a person is just not able to quit or taper off. One loses self-control and allows himself/herself to be swayed by it.
  7. Taking risks – An addicted brain has a tendency to take risks. Under the influence of a substance, one might lose his or her guard and indulge in risk-taking behavior. An addicted person might steal something, indulge in unsafe sexual practices, drive under the influence or pick up fights and get abusive.
  8. Making excuses – When a person develops an addiction, his/her life becomes a web of lies and excuses. When friends and loved ones express concern, he/she may resort to all the means to evade them and shut himself/herself in their own world.

Seek help before it’s late

Fortunately, it is possible to deal with alcohol or drug addiction if one agrees that he or she has a problem and is willing to take help for the same. Delaying the matter will worsen health and diminish chances of full recovery.

Marriage is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 B.C. during the first Persian invasion. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, Greece, and the Persian forces under the rule of the Persian King Darius. A fabled run of a Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, is the basis for the modern marathon, held in cities across the world, with the larger ones having tens of thousands of runners participating.

The marathon is a long-distance, foot race on the road with an official distance of 26 7/32 miles, requiring great strength and endurance. A sprint, on the other hand, is a short distance run, requiring a burst of energy, to run at one’s full speed. Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint.

From the website Marathon Rookie, I found the Top 10 Rookie Mistakes for beginner marathon runners, which apply to marriage as well. They are: injury, hydration, lack of knowledge, starting too fast, wrong goal, motivation, lack of belief, lack of support, and underestimate stretching. Let’s look at each one of these for why marriages are often troubled, and fail.

1. Injury. A couple comes into marriage, bringing emotional and spiritual baggage, and often many wounds. MarathonRookie.com says that many beginner runners “notice soreness in their shins or knees and ignore it. They keep running and BAM, it hits them. They’re done. Game Over. Be aware of the warning signs and how to treat them.”

If one person in the marriage is injured, then the marriage’s health will be affected as well. We need to realize that it is only God who can heal us and make us whole – not our spouse. Men love to fix things, but they can’t fix their wives. Vice versa for wives trying to change, fix, or improve their husbands.

Jesus is the healer of wounded hearts. Sometimes healing from deep hurts such as parental rejection, abandonment, childhood abuse, dysfunctional relationships in adulthood, abortion, drug, alcohol, or pornography and gambling addictions may require professional counseling, spiritual deliverance, and/or pastoral accountability.

Ultimately as we seek God’s face, study His word, and obey Him, we will receive our healing. Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.”

2. Hydration. MarathonRookie.com says that runners get dehydrated because they underestimate how much water their bodies need during training. Married couples don’t realize how much they need Jesus’ “living waters” each day for their marriage to last. In John 4:10 (NKJV), Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, “Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

3. Lack of knowledge. When you’re dating, let’s face it, your fiance’ doesn’t realize what he’s really getting himself into! He doesn’t know that you’re a clean-freak, you hate to cook, and you aren’t a morning person. After all, you go out on weekend dates to the Japanese or Italian restaurant, where they cook the delicious food, wash the dishes, and after your talks and snuggles til midnight at his house, you go home and crash – and sleep in the next morning!

Couples may see some things that concern them while they date, but they often don’t really see with their “love blinders” on. They’re too focused on how wonderful this person is, and how they’re going to be happy for the rest of their lives. A longer dating period, asking probing questions, and paying attention to little details, will help you to get to know your fiance better – and you will have less unpleasant “surprises,” such as him being a “messy” or her having a new shoes addiction – after saying “I do.”

4. Starting too fast. MarathonRookie.com says that beginner runners try to run more miles than the scheduled training. “If you feel really strong when you begin training and want to run more, PLEASE resist the temptation. By going the extra mile, you are substantially increasing the likelihood of injury.”

Going too fast in a relationship can increase your chances of being hurt, too. This is especially true in a relationship where there’s lots of intense chemistry. Lust will not see you through the years; commitment and love will! Take it slow, and get to know this person before the wedding day!

5. Wrong training program. In Luke 6:47-49 (NKJV), the story of the man building his house on the foundation of the rock, and it standing in the fierce storm is a perfect picture of a good marriage that will last. Married couples will face many storms through the years, and having their marriage built on the principles of God’s word is what will get them through these storms.

Some couples had the wrong “training program,” in that they were never taught the truth of God’s word, and don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. MarathonRunner.com says some runners choose a program that is more difficult than they can handle, and they wind up quitting. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Apart from Me you can do nothing.” We need God’s help with our marriage problems. All we have to do is come to Him in humble faith, and He will give us all we need.

6. Wrong goal. Some runners focus on finishing the marathon quickly. This is the wrong goal, and increases the chances of injury and not finishing at all. The goal of the marathon for a beginner should be just to finish. This should be our goal in marriage, too, doing all we can to prevent divorce. It takes long-term love, mutual honor, commitment, affection, and open and honest communication to make marriage work over the long haul. A great sense of humor helps, too!

Some people go into marriage with a goal of the other person making them happy, and completing them. Only God can fill us up and complete us. We need to lay aside unreasonable expectations of our husband or wife, and not put that kind of pressure on them.

We may also have other goals that are quite selfish in nature, such as our own person career or business success, to the detriment of the marriage and family – ambitiously spending all our time on personal projects to get “ahead,” while neglecting the very ones we love. Balance is the key. Time with our husband or wife lets them know we love them, and enjoy them.

7. Motivation. Just as in a run when there’s bad weather, an injury, illness, or work that can keep him from a run, and cause him to lose his motivation to continue, there are problems that occur in marriage which causes a husband or a wife to lose their motivation to continue the marriage. Financial stresses, the demands of children, relatives and friends who intrude, pressures at work, a nagging spouse, infidelity or pornography, addictions, fatigue, boredom can all play a part in one of the partners wanting to bail out of the marriage. Keep your eye on the goal; to finish strong. Never give up!

8. Lack of belief. In Mark 6: 5-6, unbelief hindered the purposes of God. People often give up far too easily and quickly today, and file for divorce. “Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”

MarathonRookie.Com says that beginner runners begin training and have a hard time finishing their first five-mile run. After that, they give up, thinking they could never do a marathon. “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26, NKJV) We need to have faith and believe that God will heal our marriages.

9. Lack of support. The world is far too eager to tell you that marriage is too hard, and it’s just much better (for your sake, for your children’s sake, for your career’s sake, for your sanity’s or checking account’s sake) to get a divorce. Many married couples do not get the support they need to help their marriages succeed from family, friends, co-workers, and even professional counselors and spiritual advisors.

If you are counseling with a professional counselor who tells you to divorce your spouse for any reason other than unfaithfulness, spouse or child abuse or neglect, then RUN! Sometimes a couple may need to draw boundaries with people who are critical of their marriage, or are giving one or both of them ungodly advice. You might even have to cut off contact with them for a season, or permanently. Your marriage is your most important priority, under God.

As the marriage goes, the family goes. As the family goes, the community goes. As the community goes, the state goes. As the state goes, the nation goes. As the nation goes, the world goes! Successful marriages have far-reaching consequences!

God told Abraham that he and his descendants would be blessed forever, to all future generations! Because of Abraham’s and Sarah’s faith in and obedience to God, and due to their committed marriage, their children and all future generations were blessed!

Don’t you think their marriage might have been strained just a little when Abraham slept with Sarah’s maid, and she became pregnant with Ishmael, after Sarah had years of barrenness? Yet Sarah stayed, despite her great pain and emptiness…and God rewarded her with her own baby boy, Isaac, which means “laughter.”

10. Stretching. Beginner runners often underestimate the importance of stretching, which gives them less soreness, puts them at less risk for injury, and gives them greater flexibility and a longer stride. Stretch out your arms to Jesus and to your husband or wife. Go all out in your love and devotion. Bend, cooperate, be understanding, show mercy and forgiveness. This will help your marriage to last.

Don’t be so rigid and set in your ways, insisting that you are right all the time, that you can’t meet your spouse half-way or more. Lay your life down for the sake of your marriage. Through the years of your marriage, you will learn that “stretching” yourself in faith and love will enhance your marriage relationship, and create greater tenderness, affection, respect, and passion in your marriage.

A sprint may get you to the finish line faster, but a marathon has incredible awards. Go for the gold in marriage. Do the marathon, and win!

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – Unknown

Perpetually Erect Penis – Sex Addiction or Normal Male Desire?

At some point, most men probably wonder whether they might have a sex addiction or whether that always-ready erect penis is just part of being a man. Clearly, a tool that is always at the ready is a sign of good penis health, but even so, the possibility that he may have a sex addiction problem can make a man feel quite uncomfortable. So how is a guy supposed to tell if he is addicted?

What is sex addiction?

Sex addiction – also known by the term “hypersexuality” – is a cause for enormous debate among the medical and psychiatric communities. Some people believe that there is no such thing; others believe that it most certainly does exist. But even among the latter group, there is a range of opinions concerning how to define it – and how to diagnose it.

Writing on PsychCentral, Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, defines sex addiction as “a dysfunctional preoccupation with sexual fantasy, often in combination with the obsessive pursuit of casual or non-intimate sex; pornography; compulsive masturbation; romantic intensity and objectified partner sex for a period of at least six months.”

Weiss also states that an addiction may exist if this obsessive behavior continues despite efforts to stop it and despite the impact that it has on relationships, social life and work. He compares it to other obsessive addictive behaviors like gambling and binge eating.

If it feels good, is it addiction?

One of the traits of sex addiction is that sex is often used to make a person feel better; rather than soothing oneself in a non-sexual manner or talking to others about problems they are experiencing, sex addicts tend to turn to sexual behaviors to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

That does not mean that a guy who occasionally fondles his tool when he’s feeling stressed or seeks to bed someone when he’s blue is a sex addict; but if this kind of behavior occurs with great frequency and if it cannot really be controlled by the man, then an addiction is quite likely.

The un-controlled aspect is key; many men have extremely high sex drives and engage in sex with an above average frequency; but they do this by choice. So, just because it feels good to have sex and a man does it often does not mean he has an addiction.

Seeking help

If a man does think that perhaps his sexual activity goes beyond normal and has the possibility of being an addiction, he should definitely seek help. There are recovery programs, such as Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous, that can provide support and aid in dealing with the issue. Mental health professionals, such as psychotherapists, psychiatrists and some social workers, are another resource; those with training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can men develop strategies to meet their sex addiction challenges. Certain medications, such as SSRIs (often used in treating depression and anxiety), may be prescribed by doctors to help control sexually compulsive behaviors; various mood stabilizers may also be used. Seeking help for a sex addiction is very important; as more becomes known about this condition in future years, more therapies will be developed to help those suffering from it.

Many men who experience a sex addiction engage in sex so frequently or with such aggressive behavior that their erect penis can become damaged – raw and sore or even de-sensitized — due to rough handling. And it’s not just hypersexual men who encounter this; many men find themselves in the same boat. This is why it’s crucial that men make a habit of using a superior penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) on a regular basis. A cream with shea butter and vitamin E will nourish and moisturize the skin; if the cream also contains acetyl L carnitine, which is neuroprotective, it can help restore sensitivity lost due to peripheral nerve damage caused by rough use. And if L-arginine is also present in the cream, there will be a benefit to penis blood flow, as that ingredient aids the process which keeps blood vessels open.

Abstinence Vs Sobriety

When deciding to get clean or sober, in some cases both, it doesn’t matter what your addiction is. Whether it is alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, sex or tobacco. Addiction is the problem and stopping whatever yours is, is a start. But, there is so much more to sobriety than just stopping. Living a life of just abstinence without sobriety (recovery) is a fast way to relapse and go right back to where you stopped at.

In recovery, the word Sobriety means so much more than being abstinent from alcohol and drugs. Abstinence is something that can be forced on a person through circumstances and by others, as well. While Sobriety is a lifelong personal commitment that requires effort and dedication to living a different lifestyle than we were before. Everything must change. Our way of thinking to how we handle stress if we want to live a life of sobriety and not just abstinence.

There is literally so many different ways to phrase being sober but not in sobriety. What it all comes down to is are you an addict/alcoholic? Okay, I am an addict. Did you stop using drugs or alcohol? Yes, I no longer get high. I stopped using heroin. Are you working on your recovery? Yes, I am working on my recovery on a daily basis. There you have it, three pretty simple questions. To see if you are living a life of sobriety or are you just being abstinent from drugs and alcohol and minus the recovery process.

Abstinence vs Sobriety- Which one do you want? I know that I chose a life of sobriety and it has been the best decision I ever made. I tried abstinence before and I didn’t get high but I was miserable and still living and acting like I was in my addiction. Today, I will choose sobriety because it is my priority! Please, make it yours.

I would like to say one more thing. This is to you, reading this right now. I do not care if you are the addict/alcoholic or someone you love is. Either way, you are suffering. No matter what in life is your obstacle only you really know. I am not here to judge you or anyone else. I’m saying this so you always know that you’re an amazing person who’s worthy of living a life of happiness and free from the pain you’ve been living with. Let it go and free you. You are worth it!

Common Themes in Addictions

It doesn’t matter whether the addiction is to substances, gambling, alcohol, shopping or sex. All those with an addiction share common things:

1. Strong Feelings – Everyone has a wide range of feelings that can be positive or negative. People who lead with their feelings, however, often end up living in the ditch! I have found, over the years that many of my clients who suffer from an addiction state that their anxiety motivates them to turn to unhealthy coping strategies. Their unmanageable feels often play a key role in their addiction pattern.

2. Lack of skills – Those who don’t know how to deal with their feelings in a healthy way, look for alternate methods. For example, someone who has problems with relationships and doesn’t have a good self-image, might be a likely candidate to become a workaholic. They might become very valuable in the workplace and learn specific work skills but doesn’t solve their other personal problems.

3. Enablers – Most people with addictions can name the person who first introduced them to the substance or activity that led to an addiction. They also usually have people in their lives who have contributed to or allowed the addiction to continue with their inappropriate behaviours.

4. Fantasy and Cravings – When a person is thinking about the addiction in an obsessive manner and has cravings to use their focus is not available for their responsibilities.

5. Detachment – Sometimes it may seem like the addict has two people living inside. There is the public person who presents well and the private person who is involved in a secret lifestyle. In many cases, the person has been able to detach one from the other and sometimes even doesn’t remember doing specific things because they have become so good at separating the two. This is common with a number of problem areas such as eating disorders and sexual addictions.

6. Tolerance – Over time, the amount or strength of a substance or activity that is needed to produce a high will need to be increased in order to get the same effect. Those who begin by looking at pornography, for example, may increasingly require more frequent or more powerful images. Some may advance into chat lines and affairs, begin hiring prostitutes or add violence to their sexual experiences.

7. Withdrawal – Distress can occur when the addiction is not fed. A person may become frustrated, angry or unable to function when they are abstaining. Withdrawal can be physiological and/or psychological in nature.

8. Consequences – Those with addictions often also experience relationship problems, financial and employment issues, legal encounters, deteriorating health, shame and self-loathing. Over time, their lives can become unmanageable.

9. Defense Mechanisms – Denial, projection, blaming, repression, rationalization, intellectualization, minimization, deflection and manipulation are some of the ways that the person avoids facing reality and getting treatment.

10. Temptations – A person who is addicted has formed a life that promotes the addiction. Their friends, activities, schedule and habits all revolve around the addiction. S/he are able to get a shot-term “fix” easily as that has been their pattern. Recovery therefore involves facing one day at a time, knowing that commitment to change long-term will be difficult.

11. Opportunities to change – It doesn’t matter where one goes in the world, there are supports and resources to help the person who is addicted. But that person has to be ready and willing to change. Alcoholics Anonymous, group therapy, public agencies and private therapists are only a phone call away. Employers offer Employee Assistant programs and insurance companies usually recognize addiction as a medical issue that qualifies for disability benefits.

12. People who love them – If you are worried about someone who is involved with an addiction, you need help. You cannot change another person but you can work on yourself. The best thing you can do today is book an appointment with a psychologist who specializes in addictions so you can begin working on your healthy future.

The Truth About ‘How To Place Bet on Favorites’ Horse Racing System

Mr. Mohammed Ali (not the boxer) is the creator of ‘how to place bets on favorites’ horse race betting system. I first heard about him at a bookstore a Barnes & Noble in Hartford Connecticut. I was sitting at a table sipping a coffee when a gentleman seated at the table next to me noticed I was reading a book on horse racing and started a conversation with me.

As the conversation progressed I soon realized he made his living as a professional punter. He revealed to me the system he used was the ‘how to place bet on favorites’ by Mr. Ali. At the time I knew absolutely nothing about horse racing and the book I was reading at the bookstore was the first one I ever picked up about it. I learned the basic terms; win, place, show, trifecta, the whole lingo associated with punting.

James Landau, the gentleman seated next to me, proceeded to tell me that Mohamed Ali’s horse racing system is wonderful because it’s simple and very much common sense racing system. He explained that the system was all about following eight strict rules. If you can discipline yourself to only bet on a horse race that follows these eight specific rules then you can make a living at horse betting.

Mr. Landou explained to me that he downloaded the [how to place bet on favorites] system from the internet and that it was an instantly downloadable PDF file. He also explained that the $50 horse racing system comes with a 60 day money back guarantee. At that time I was making a fairly decent living cleaning carpets. However I hated what I did for a living.

Obviously given the position that I was in (that I hated what I did for a living) and was just starting to entertain the idea of doing punting to make some extra money plus the conversation I had with Mr. James Landau my curiosity was piqued enough to where I put the betting web address for the [how the place bet on favorites] system in my pocket and when I got home that day took a look at the website.

The website itself is quite thorough in that each page of the website is devoted to telling a bit about what each chapter of the ‘how to place bet system’ is about. I proceeded to download the racing system. One thing that got my attention right away was the horse racing system was designed with a total novice horse punter in mind. It starts out by defining the different terms related to horse racing and the basics of horse racing. The book proceeded to reveal why most people fail to produce consistent profits with horse racing. The main reason for that is a lack of a system and a lack of discipline.

As Mr. James Landau had explained to me there are eight specific rules that a horse race must adhere strictly to otherwise you don’t place a bet. I guess the main problem is that most people who get involved with horse racing have a gambling problem or a gambling addiction and they have a problem disciplining themselves. These people seem to be wired for action of any sort even if it’s bad action.

Another feature or characteristic of the ‘how to place bet on favorites’ horse racing system that I really liked was the entire system was very conservative in its approach. It is designed so you can go to the racetrack with only $15 so the overall risk is very minimal.

The bottom line is the strategy that is in this punting e-book is very much common sense. You only bet on a super favorite that passes all eight tests. Simple but effective. I can attest to the effectiveness as I now have been using this system for quite some time and it is a system that I can and will continue to rely on for a substantial extra income for many years to come.

Also remember this can be used on races were you actually go to the track but you can also use it to bet online as well and there are several well-known online gambling sites that allow you to place thoroughbred race bets like Betfair website.

All in all the “how to place bets on favorites” gets a solid two thumbs up from me.

Big Charms Comes With Big, Charming Bonuses in Diablo 2 – Your Guide to Gheeds

Gheed is the obsequious traveling merchant who takes shelter behind the safe walls of the Rogue Encampment in Act 1. He sells armors and weapons and also offers your characters the chance to Gamble for better equipment.

In honor of Gheed, we have Gheed’s Fortune, a unique Large Charm much desired by Diablo 2 players.

As a unique Large Charm, you may only carry one in your backpack at any one time.

The Stats

Required Level: 62

80-160% Extra Gold From Monsters

Reduces All Vendor Prices 10-15%

20-40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

80-160% Extra Gold From Monsters

Gold is used primarily to maintain your weapons and armor, and also for Gambling. Some weapons and armor require an exorbitant amount of gold to repair at the blacksmith, and this is where this nice mod comes into play. With a Gheed’s fortune in your inventory, you will find less difficult to maintain enough gold for fixing your equipment, and for those who are Gambling addicts, this mod is a godsend.

Reduces All Vendor Prices 10-15%

This mod is very attractive to those players who like to spend their gold on Gambling for better equipment.

Players can gamble for better equipment by visiting the merchant in the headquarters for a particular Act. In Act 1, this would be Gheed.

What then happens is that when you select the Gambling option, you will have the opportunity to buy a few choices of items from the merchant. Once you have done so, it goes into your inventory and is immediately identified. There is chance that the item you have bought is a normal Magical item (89.85%), a Rare Item (10%), a Set item (0.10%) or a Unique item (0.05%).

Gheed’s fortune is attractive to players who like to gamble because not only do you get more gold from killing (as explained above), but the items available on the Gambling window are cheaper as well, meaning that you get more bang for your buck!

20-40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Diablo 2 is all about getting the best items for your character. With the right items, your character becomes tougher to kill, is able to deal more damage, and just generally becomes more of a bad-ass.

An MF  (Magic Find) Run in a Diablo 2 game is where players equip their characters with items that offers the mod %Better chance of Getting Magic Items, where a higher % is better in terms of increasing the chances of getting better item drops from unique monsters, but while still being able to dish out decent damage.

Gheed’s Fortune is a fantastic addition when you eventually decide to do your MF Run, especially if you get a near perfect or perfect Gheed (where near perfect would be around 35-40% MF).

Summary:

Gheed’s Fortune is a unique charm highly valued by players who enjoy Gambling (almost all players) and players who enjoy getting better gear by doing MF Runs (all players). The only bad thing that could be said about Gheed’s Fortune is the fact that your character hasn’t found it yet!

Recovery From Addiction Through Basic Mindfulness

Introduction

Currently, there is no clear consensus among health professionals in precisely defining addiction. Historically, it has been defined narrowly only in relation to psychoactive substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

Increasingly in recent years, however, many dysfunctional behavioral patterns that are not specifically substance-based are viewed by many professionals also as “addictions.” Some common examples are addictions to: gambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, video games, watching TV, dieting, internet use, work, exercise, shopping, cutting/burning oneself, etc.

A common unifying theme with the victims of all of these disorders is how powerfully and repetitively they are internally driven to engage in the particular activity that defines their addiction.

There is, moreover, growing evidence from neuroscience research that the neurophysiology of ALL addictive disorders, whether substance-based or behavioral, is very similar in many ways. Endorphins (or endogenous morphine), for example, as well as key transmitter substances such as dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin are common mediating factors in all of these disorders.

The prevalence of these addictions in the modern world is staggeringly high. In the U.S. alone 15.1 million people are addicted to alcohol, 4 million to drugs, and over 20% of the population is still addicted to tobacco.

Although there is no reliable way to estimate the total prevalence of all the behavioral addictions, there is abundant evidence that they are extremely common. As a matter of fact, there are probably very few people alive today who are not subject to some form of addictive behavior.

In this regard, answering the following question with complete honesty will help you determine if you may be one of them: Do I ever feel driven to engage in any form of behavior that I personally regard as self-defeating or harmful and about which I later feel guilt, shame, embarrassment and/or remorse to some degree?

A New Way to Understand Addictions

The following formulation, although grossly oversimplified in many ways, is intended to help provide an initial rough framework for understanding how Basic Mindfulness offers a highly effective way to deconstruct the brain/mind formations that underlie all addictive behaviors.

Like all other creatures on this planet, humans universally tend to seek pleasure and to avoid or escape from pain. Although these two extremely strong genetic instincts have been and continue to be essential to survival, they are also the extremely fertile common ground in which all addictive behaviors become strongly rooted and sustained.

The basic habit patterns that comprise the core of these addictions start developing out of these intrinsic propensities in a very natural and lawful way even before we are born and continue to proliferate from that point onward.

The twin principles that govern their natural initial development can be stated quite simply, although they progressively evolve into highly complex and subtle brain/mind processes that are much more challenging to understand.

Principle #1: Whenever we do anything that is followed by an increase in subjective pleasure or satisfaction, the probability that we will do it again increases to some degree. In general, the probability of recurrence of such a behavior is proportional to the degree of pleasure/satisfaction experienced.

Each subsequent repetition of this particular sequence further increases the probability of its future recurrence or its “habit strength.” As it continues to develop, it will tend to become increasingly streamlined or “automatic,” requiring progressively less conscious awareness and/or intentionality for its occurrence. An automatic habit pattern that has developed primarily in this way will be referred to here as a pleasure-seeking reaction.

Principle #2: Whenever we do anything that is followed by a decrease in subjective physical/emotional pain, discomfort or dissatisfaction, the probability that we will do it again also increases slightly. Again, this increment in the probability of recurrence is generally proportional to the degree of reduction in subjective pain/dissatisfaction that is experienced.

Each subsequent repetition of this sequence similarly increases the probability of its future recurrence or its “habit strength.” As this happens, it will also become progressively more automatic as described above. This type of automatic habit pattern will be referred to here as a terminating reaction.

As used above, the words, “do anything,” refer to external behaviors as well as to their internal representations -i.e., the emotional feelings, mental imagery and/or self-talk to which they give rise. Typically, these internal representations are strongly linked to the external behavioral reactions from which they are derived and thus become a key part of the overall reactive pattern. Very commonly, they also play an important part in activating the external behavioral part of the reaction.

For example, thinking about/imaging a piece of chocolate cake in the refrigerator will tend to activate the corresponding pleasure-seeking reaction of actually eating it. Similarly, if you have a headache, your terminating reaction of taking an aspirin is highly likely to be preceded by thinking, for example, “I need an aspirin,” and/or an image of taking one and getting relief.

As nearly everyone knows from much personal experience, reliving a pleasure-seeking reaction in imagery tends to activate–at least to some degree-subtle feelings of pleasure; conversely, reliving a terminating reaction in imagery similarly tends to activate subtle feelings of getting relief from pain/discomfort. The same is true of anticipatory imagery and/or engaging in internal self-talk about future occurrences of pleasure or pain.

For example, someone experiencing a lot of stress at work may repeatedly imagine what she is going to do when the weekend comes and/or think repetitiously, “I can hardly wait to….” Both of these internal processes can be understood as subtle, garden-variety internal terminating reactions. It’s very important to understand that they also commonly occur very automatically, without any conscious awareness.

Within this framework, then, an addictive behavior can be defined as any pleasure-seeking reaction, terminating reaction, or a combination of both that is significantly harmful to oneself and/or others and that has become sufficiently strong and automatic that it effectively overrides-at least on some occasions– one’s intentionally conscious efforts to suppress or control it.

By this definition, all addictions cause pain-physical and/or emotional; and since pain tends to activate automatic terminating reactions, this sets up a self-perpetuating process or “vicious circle.”

Consider, for example, an alcoholic who chronically worries about how to pay his bills and who has had a highly stressful week at work. Predictably, this triggers a strong terminating reaction of stopping for “happy hour” at his favorite bar, where he ends up getting drunk, spending a large part of his paycheck, and staying until the bar closes.

His wife, expecting him to come home to participate in a special birthday celebration for one of their children, becomes very emotionally upset, as do all of the children. They are traumatized further by the loud argument that ensues between their parents after he finally gets home.

When he wakes up the next morning, he has a terrible hangover and is filled with intense guilt, shame, and self-loathing about what he has done. His baseline level of emotional pain, which he temporarily terminated through ingesting a large amount of alcohol, has now increased tremendously-far above its original high base level.

Given this level of pain, it is extremely likely that the same terminating reaction will be quickly reactivated, setting off another addictive round in this tragically vicious circle.

How Basic Mindfulness Fosters Recovery from Addiction

Mindfulness meditation was originally discovered in India over 25 centuries ago by a young prince named Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as the Buddha. He made this discovery after five years of intensively searching for an effective way to end suffering. He subsequently spent 40 years teaching this method to his many followers. Since then it has been practiced ardently by hundreds of millions of people-mainly in Asian countries.

Since it was successfully introduced into Western countries a few short decades ago, it has quickly merged into the cultural mainstream-especially in areas such as psychology, medicine, education, and generalized personal development. At this point, it has also become a very hot topic in Neuroscience research.

A Definition of Basic Mindfulness

Basic Mindfulness, as I will refer to it here, consists of three powerful interrelated mental skills:

1) Concentration power;

2) sensory clarity; and

3) equanimity.

With adequate guidance and through disciplined practice, this skill set can be developed to a very high degree by nearly anyone. Once acquired, it can be applied effectively to every area of one’s life.

In particular, it is a means second to none for enhancing conscious awareness and thus become liberated from a wide array of highly automatic and unskillful habit patterns-which, very importantly, includes all addictions. Likewise, it provides a way to enjoy all of life’s pleasures much more fully, while also offering a very powerful means of coping with all forms of physical and mental pain.

Here are brief definitions of the three sub-skills of Basic Mindfulness:

Concentration power is defined simply as the ability to attend selectively and consistently to whatever you consider as relevant at any given time.

Sensory clarity consists in being consciously aware of, and perceiving clearly, all of the endlessly changing external and internal sensory events to which we are subject continuously.

Very importantly, this includes the subtle internal mental states mentioned previously that are incorporated into pleasure-seeking and terminating reactions. These transient states typically occur very automatically and with little or no conscious awareness.

Without mindfulness training, an average person will not perceive them clearly for what they are, but rather will typically experience them as a powerful and highly compelling urge to behave addictively in order to get relief. As a result, then, they commonly give rise to highly automatic and unskillful behavioral reactions.

These internal states fall into three basic categories:

1) Emotional feelings in the body;

2) mental imagery; and

3) verbal thinking

Equanimity entails letting go of negative judgments about what you are experiencing and consciously replacing them with an attitude of loving acceptance and gentle matter-of-factness. Effectively, then, it allows our internal mental processes to flow without resistance or interference.

Very importantly, equanimity does NOT in any way imply apathy. Actually, in fact, it is the opposite of apathy in that it frees up internal energy to respond more fully and consciously to external situations.

It is also the opposite of suppression in that it entails radical permission to feel. With regard to expressing feelings externally, however, it empowers one to choose skillfully what is most appropriate to her/his particular life situation.

How Basic Mindfulness Helps in Recovery from Addictions

In keeping with the introductory nature of this article, the following brief description is intended to convey only an initial understanding of the formal practice of Basic Mindfulness and how it can help in recovery from addictions. What it highlights, however, will hopefully help readers recognize some of its unique potential in this regard. (Much more comprehensive information about this approach is provided through my blog, mentioned below.)

The formal practice of Basic Mindfulness is most commonly carried out with eyes gently closed while seated in an upright, but relaxed, posture.

The duration of a typical mindfulness practice session ranges from 10 to 45 minutes. After a few weeks of basic training, more extended periods of practice can accelerate one’s progress greatly. This is commonly carried out in “retreat” settings that are specifically set up to support this type of more intense practice for periods ranging from a few consecutive hours up to several days, or even weeks.

The initial phase of practice emphasizes concentration power, which is of key importance in subsequently developing both sensory clarity and equanimity.

Concentration power then functions much like an internal microscope, allowing one to become clearly and continuously aware of all external and internal sensory events-very importantly, including emotional feeling, mental images, and verbal self-talk.

As an aid to this continuous, detailed observation, the meditator formally “notes” these sensory states with a simple sub-vocal label (e.g., “feel,” “image,” “talk,” etc.). In doing so, s/he also “embraces” all of them lovingly and equally with deep equanimity-that is, with complete acceptance and non-reactivity.

This state of equanimity arises very naturally as a result of applying concentration and includes, very importantly, deep body-mind relaxation. As such, it is intrinsically comforting and satisfying and, for people who are addicted, it often gives rise to the dramatic insight that what they have been compulsively seeking through external addictive objects is actually abundantly available from within.

Through this highly focused and non-reactive observational process, internal states that were previously experienced as being vaguely global, static and overpowering are clearly re-perceived as nothing other than an impersonal and impermanent flow of subtle mental events. Shinzen Young, who is a master teacher of Basic Mindfulness, sometimes refers to this highly empowering process of fine-grained perception as a “divide and conquer” strategy.

In the traditional practice of mindfulness, this simple process of systematically bringing clear, highly discriminating awareness and equanimity to internal sensory states that have been previously out of awareness has been found to be powerfully “purifying.” That is, it gradually-or sometimes quite suddenly and dramatically-reduces or eliminates completely the potential of these internal states to activate automatic unskillful reactions.

This application of Basic Mindfulness, then, provides a powerful means of recovery from all forms of addiction. Interestingly in this regard, it effectively utilizes pure awareness as a “higher power” instead of relying on ego-based “will power,” which has repeatedly proven to be highly ineffective in achieving lasting recovery.

Noah Levine, author of the book, Dharma Punx, is an outstanding exemplar of someone who has made a highly impressive recovery from severe drug addiction through the intensive practice of mindfulness. For more in-depth information and guidance in applying mindfulness to recovery from addiction, please visit my blog, “Wise Ways to Happiness.”