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How to not get ruined with Options - Part 3a of 4 - Simple Strategies
Post 1: Basics: CALL, PUT, exercise, ITM, ATM, OTM Post 2: Basics: Buying and Selling, the Greeks Post 3a: Simple Strategies Post 3b: Advanced Strategies Post 4a: Example of trades (short puts, covered calls, and verticals) submitted by _WhatchaDoin_ to investing [link] [comments]
Post 4b: Example of trades (calendars and hedges)
Ok. So I lied. This post was getting way too long, so I had to split in two (3a and 3b
In the previous posts 1
, I explained how to buy and sell options, and how their price is calculated and evolves over time depending on the share price, volatility, and days to expiration.
In this post 3a (and the next 3b
), I am going to explain in more detail how and when you can use multiple contracts together to create more profitable trades in various market conditions.
Just a reminder of the building blocks:
You expect that, by expiration, the stock price will …
... go up more than the premium you paid → Buy a call
… go down more than the premium you paid → Buy a put
... not go up more than the premium you got paid → Sell a call
... not go down more than the premium you got paid → Sell a put Buying Straight Calls:
But why would you buy calls to begin with? Why not just buy the underlying shares? Conversely, why would you buy puts? Why not just short the underlying shares?
Let’s take long shares and long calls as an example, but this applies with puts as well.
If you were to buy 100 shares of the company ABC currently trading at $20. You would have to spend $2000. Now imagine that the share price goes up to $25, you would now have $2500 worth of shares. Or a 25% profit.
If you were convinced that the price would go up, you could instead buy call options ATM or OTM. For example, an ATM call with a strike of $20 might be worth $2 per share, so $200 per contract. You buy 10 contracts for $2000, so the same cost as buying 100 shares. Except that this time, if the share price hits $25 at expiration, each contract is now worth $500, and you now have $5000, for a $3000 gain, or a 150% profit. You could even have bought an OTM call with a strike of $22.50 for a lower premium and an even higher profit.
But it is fairly obvious that this method of buying calls is a good way to lose money quickly. When you own shares, the price goes up and down, but as long as the company does not get bankrupt or never recovers, you will always have your shares. Sometimes you just have to be very patient for the shares to come back (buying an index ETF increases your chances there). But by buying $2000 worth of calls, if you are wrong on the direction, the amplitude, or the time, those options become worthless, and it’s a 100% loss, which rarely happens when you buy shares.
Now, you could buy only one contract for $200. Except for the premium that you paid, you would have a similar profit curve as buying the shares outright. You have the advantage though that if the stock price dropped to $15, instead of losing $500 by owning the shares, you would only lose the $200 you paid for the premium. However, if you lose these $200 the first month, what about the next month? Are you going to bet $200 again, and again… You can see that buying calls outright is not scalable long term. You need a very strong conviction over a specific period of time. How to buy cheaper shares? Sell Cash Covered Put.
Let’s continue on the example above with the company ABC trading at $20. You may think that it is a bit expensive, and you consider that $18 is a more acceptable price for you to own that company.
You could sell a put ATM with a $20 strike, for $2. Your break-even point would be $18, i.e. you would start losing money if the share price dropped below $18. But also remember that if you did buy the shares outright, you would have lost more money in case of a price drop, because you did not get a premium to offset that loss. If the price stays above $20, your return for the month will be 11% ($200 / $1800).
Note that in this example, we picked the ATM strike of $20, but you could have picked a lower strike for your short put, like an OTM strike of $17.50. Sure, the premium would be lower, maybe $1 per share, but your break-even point would drop from $18 to $16.50 (only 6% return then per month, not too shabby).
The option trade will usually be written like this:
SELL -1 ABC 100 17 JUL 20 17.5 PUT @ 1.00
This means we sold 1 PUT on ABC, 100 shares per contract, the expiration date is July 17, 2020, and the strike is $17.5, and we sold it for $1 per share (so $100 credit minus fees).
With your $20 short put, you will get assigned the shares if the price drops below $20 and you keep it until expiration, however, you will have paid them the equivalent of $18 each (we’ll actually talk more about the assignment later). If your short put expires worthless, you keep the premium, and you may decide to redo the same trade again. The share price may have gone up so much that the new ATM strike does not make you comfortable, and that’s fine as you were not willing to spend more than $18 per share, to begin with, anyway. You will have to wait for some better conditions.
This strategy is called a cash covered put. In a taxable account, depending on your broker, you can have it on margin with no cash needed (you will need to have some other positions to provide the buying power). Beware that if you don’t have the cash to cover the shares, it is adding some leverage to your overall position. Make sure you account for all your potential risks at all times.
The nice thing about this position is that as long as you are not assigned, you don’t actually need to borrow some money, it won’t cost you anything. In an IRA account, you will need to have the cash available for the assignment (remember in this example, you only need $1800, plus trading fees). Let’s roll!
Now one month later, the share price is between $18 and $22, there are few days of expiration left, and you don’t want to be assigned, but you want to continue the same process for next month. You could close the current position, and reopen a new short put, or you could in one single transaction buy back your current short put, and sell another put for next month. Doing one trade instead of two is usually cheaper because you reduce the slippage cost. The closing of the old position and re-opening of a new short position for the next expiration is called rolling the short option (from month to month, but you can also do this with weekly options).
The croll can be done a week or even a few days before expiration. Remember to avoid expiration days, and be careful being short an option on ex-dividend dates. When you roll month to month with the same strike, for most cases, you will get some money out of it. However, the farther your strike is from the current share price, the less additional premium you will get (due to the lower extrinsic value on the new option), and it can end up being close to $0. At that point, given the risk incurred, you may prefer to close the trade altogether or just be assigned. During the roll, depending on if the share price moved a bit, you can adjust the roll up or down. For example, you buy back your short put at $18, and you sell a new short put at $17 or $19, or whatever value makes the most sense. Assignment
Now, let’s say that the share price finally dropped below $20, and you decided not to roll, or it dropped so much that the roll would not make sense. You ended up getting your shares assigned at a strike price of $18 per share. Note that the assigned share may have a current price much lower than $18 though. If that’s the case, remember that you earned more money than if you bought the shares outright at $20 (at least, you got to keep the $2 premium). And if you rolled multiple times, every premium that you got is additional money in your account. Want to sell at a premium? Sell Covered Calls.
You could decide to hold onto the shares that you got at a discount, or you may decide that the stock price is going to go sideways, and you are fine collecting more theta. For example, you could sell a call at a strike of $20, for example for $1 (as it is OTM now given the stock price dropped).
SELL -1 ABC 100 17 JUL 20 20 CALL @ 1.00
When close to the expiration time, you can either roll your calls again, the same way that you rolled your puts, as much as you can, or just get assigned if the share price went up. As you get assigned, your shares are called away, and you receive $2000 from the 100 shares at $20 each. Except that you accumulated more money due to all the premiums you got along the way.
This sequence of the short put, roll, roll, roll, assignment, the short call, roll, roll, roll, is called the wheel.
It is a great strategy to use when the market is trading sideways and volatility is high (like currently). It is a low-risk trade provided that the share you pick is not a risky one (pick a market ETF to start) perfect to get create some income with options. There are two drawbacks though:
- If the share dropped too much, you are stuck with it.
You will have to be patient for the share to go back up, but often you can end up with many shares at a loss if the market has been tanking. As a rule of thumb, if I get assigned, I never ever sell a call below my assignment strike minus the premium. In case the market jumps back up, I can get back to my original position, with an additional premium on the way. Market and shares can drop like a stone and bounce back up very quickly (you remember this March and April?), and you really don’t want to lock a loss.
Here is a very quick example of something to not do: Assigned at $18, current price is $15, sell a call at $16 for $1, share goes back up to $22. I get assigned at $16. In summary, I bought a share at $18, and sold it at $17 ($16 + $1 premium), I lost $1 between the two assignments. That’s bad.
- If the share goes up too fast, you missed some opportunity for gain, potentially big gains.
You will have to find some other companies to do the wheel on. If it softens the blow a bit, your retirement account may be purely long, so you’ll not have totally missed the upside anyway.
A short put is a bullish position. A short call is a bearish position. Alternating between the two gives you a strategy looking for a reversion to the mean. Both of these positions are positive theta, and negative vega (see part 2).
Now that I explained the advantage of the long calls and puts, and how to use short calls and puts, we can explore a combination of both. Verticals
Most option beginners are going to use long calls (or even puts). They are going to gain some money here and there, but for most parts, they will lose money. It is worse if they profited a bit at the beginning, they became confident, bet a bigger amount, and ended up losing a lot. They either buy too much (50% of my account on this call trade that can’t fail), too high of a volatility (got to buy those NKLA calls or puts), or too short / too long of an expiration (I don’t want to lose theta, or I overspent on theta).
As we discussed earlier, a straight long call or put is one of the worst positions to be in. You are significantly negative theta and positive vega. But if you take a step back, you will realize that not accounting for the premium, buying a call gives you the upside of stock up to the infinity (and buying a put gives you the upside of the stock going to $0). But in reality, you rarely are betting that the stock will go to infinity (or to $0). You are often just betting that the stock will go up (or down) by X%. Although the stock could go up (or down) by more than X%, you intuitively understand that there is a smaller chance for this to happen. Options are giving you leverage already, you don’t need to target even more gain. More importantly, you probably should not pay for a profit/risk profile that you don’t think is going to happen.
Enter verticals. It is a combination of long and short calls (or puts). Say, the company ABC trades at $20, you want to take a bullish position, and the ATM call is $2. You probably would be happy if the stock reaches $25, and you don’t think that it will go much higher than that.
You can buy a $20 call for $2, and sell a $25 call for $0.65. You will get the upside from $20 to $25, and you let someone else take the $25 to infinity range (highly improbable). The cost is $1.35 per share ($2.00 - $0.65).
BUY +1 VERTICAL ABC 100 17 JUL 20 20/25 CALL @ 1.35
This position is interesting for multiple reasons. First, you still get the most probable range for profitability ($20 to $25). Your cost is $1.35 so 33% cheaper than the long call, and your max profit is $5 - $1.35 = $3.65. So your max gain is 270% of the risked amount, and this is for only a 25% increase in the stock price. This is really good already. You reduced your dependency on theta and vega, because the short side of the vertical is reducing your long side’s. You let someone else pay for it.
Another advantage is that it limits your max profit, and it is not a bad thing. Why is it a good thing? Because it is too easy to be greedy and always wanting and hoping for more profit. The share reached $25. What about $30? It reached $30, what about $35? Dang it dropped back to $20, I should have sold everything at the top, now my call expires worthless. But with a vertical, you know the max gain, and you paid a premium for an exact profit/risk profile. As soon as you enter the vertical, you could enter a close order at 90% of the max value (buy at $1.35, sell at $4.50), good till to cancel, and you hope that the trade will eventually be executed. It can only hit 100% profit at expiration, so you have to target a bit less to get out as soon as you can once you have a good enough profit. This way you lock your profit, and you have no risk anymore in case the market drops afterwards.
These verticals (also called spreads) can be bullish or bearish and constructed as debit (you pay some money) or credit (you get paid some money). The debit or credit versions are equivalent, the credit version has a bit of a higher chance to get assigned sooner, but as long as you check the extrinsic value, ex-dividend date, and are not too deep ITM you will be fine. I personally prefer getting paid some money, I like having a bigger balance and never have to pay for margin. :)
Here are the 4 trades for a $20 share price:
CALL BUY 20 ATM / SELL 25 OTM - Bullish spread - Debit
CALL BUY 25 OTM / SELL 20 ATM - Bearish spread - Credit
PUT BUY 20 ATM / SELL 25 ITM - Bullish spread - Credit
PUT BUY 25 ITM / SELL 20 ATM - Bearish spread - Debit
Because both bullish trades are equivalent, you will notice that they both have the same profit/risk profile (despite having different debit and credit prices due to the OTM/ITM differences). Same for the bearish trades. Remember that the cost of an ITM option is greater than ATM, which in turn is greater than an OTM. And that relationship is what makes a vertical a credit or a debit.
I understand that it can be a lot to take in. Let’s take a step back here. I picked a $20/$25 vertical, but with the share price at $20, I could have a similar $5 spread with $15/$20 (with the same 4 constructs). Or instead of 1 vertical $20/$25, I could have bought 5 verticals $20/$21. This is a $5 range as well, except that it has a higher probability for the share to be above $21. However, it also means that the spread will be more expensive (you’ll have to play with your broker tool to understand this better), and it also increases the trading fees and potentially overall slippage, as you have 5 times more contracts. Or you could even decide to pick OTM $25/$30, which would be even cheaper. In this case, you don’t need the share to reach $30 to get a lot of profit. The contracts will be much cheaper (for example, like $0.40 per share), and if the share price goes up to $25 quickly long before expiration, the vertical could be worth $1.00, and you would have 150% of profit without the share having to reach $30.
If you decide to trade these verticals the first few times, look a lot at the numbers before you trade to make sure you are not making a mistake. With a debit vertical, the most you can lose per contract is the premium you paid. With a credit vertical, the most you can lose is the difference between your strikes, minus the premium you received. One last but important note about verticals:
If your short side is too deep ITM, you may be assigned. It happens. If you bought some vertical with a high strike value, for example:
SELL +20 VERTICAL SPY 100 17 JUL 20 350/351 PUT @ 0.95
Here, not accounting for trading fees and slippage, you paid $0.95 per share for 20 contracts that will be worth $1 per share if SPY is less than $350 by mid-July, which is pretty certain. That’s a 5% return in 4 weeks (in reality, the trading fees are going to reduce most of that). Your actual risk on this trade is $1900 (20 contracts * 100 shares * $0.95) plus trading fees. That’s a small trade, however the underlying instrument you are controlling is much more than that.
Let’s see this in more detail: You enter the trade with a $1900 potential max loss, and you get assigned on the short put side (strike of $350) after a few weeks. Someone paid expensive puts and exercised 20 puts with a strike of $350 on their existing SPY shares (2000 of them, 20 contracts * 100 shares). You will suddenly receive 2000 shares on your account, that you paid $350 each. Thus your balance is going to show -$700,000 (you have 2000 shares to balance that).
If that happens to you: DON’T PANIC. BREATHE. YOU ARE FINE.
You owe $700k to your broker, but you have roughly the same amount in shares anyway. You are STILL protected by your long $351 puts. If the share price goes up by $1, you gain $2000 from the shares, but your long $351 put will lose $2000. Nothing changed. If the share price goes down by $1, you lose $2000 from the shares, but your long $350 put will gain $2000. Nothing changed. Just close your position nicely by selling your shares first, and just after selling your puts. Some brokers can do that in one single trade (put based covered stock). Don’t let the panic set in. Remember that you are hedged. Don’t forget about the slippage, don’t let the market makers take advantage of your panic. Worst case scenario, if you use a quality broker with good customer service, call them, and they will close your position for you, especially if this happens in an IRA.
The reason I am insisting so much on this is because of last week’s event
. Yes, the RH platform may have shown incorrect numbers for a while, but before you trade options you need to understand the various edge cases. Again if this happens to you, don’t panic, breathe, and please be safe.
This concludes my post 3a. We talked about the trade-offs between buying shares, buying calls instead, selling puts to get some premium to buy some shares at a cheaper price, rolling your short puts, getting your puts assigned, selling calls to get some additional money in sideways markets, rolling your short calls, having your calls assigned too. We talked about the wheel, being this whole sequence spanning multiple months. After that, we discussed the concept of verticals, with bullish and bearish spreads that can be either built as a debit or a credit.
And if there is one thing you need to learn from this, avoid buying straight calls or puts but use verticals instead, especially if the volatility is very high. And do not ever sell naked calls, again use verticals.
post will explain more advanced and interesting option strategies.
--- Post 1: Basics: CALL, PUT, exercise, ITM, ATM, OTM Post 2: Basics: Buying and Selling, the greeks Post 3a: Simple Strategies Post 3b: Advanced Strategies Post 4a: Example of trades (short puts, covered calls, and verticals)
Post 4b: Example of trades (calendars and hedges)
DKNG - Fundamental DD Inside - DKNG
submitted by IAMB4TMAN to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]
This is an example of fundamental DD that takes place at ‘smart’ money institutions based on my professional experience in IBD, Private Equity & most recently at a HF (mods can message me for proof). Not thoroughly fleshed out b/c you autists have limited attention spans, but a summary. Figured I’d take the time to give back to this community that has provided many lolz, & should be a good measuring stick when evaluating other forms of fundamental DD posted here.
- DraftKings, Inc.: vertically integrated US mobile betting operator that also provides retail sports betting & back-end betting solutions through SBTech. Think of SBTech as the tech ‘market-maker’ for traditional sports betting, they do all the funny math to set the betting odds & seem to be working on back-end solutions for DKNG Casino The Big Picture
- Total annual US Gambling Revenue: ~$90Bn 
- Casinos: ~$75Bn
- Illegal Sports Betting: ~$13Bn
- Horse Racing: ~$0.8Bn
- Daily Fantasy Sports: ~$0.4Bn
Only ~2% of the ~$90Bn gambling revenues were placed online which is the lowest in the world where betting online is legal. For example, in other countries online gaming activity represents ~6% - ~52% of total gambling revenues, with ~12% being the average.
Wall Street expects online gaming revenue to be $20Bn-$40Bn within the next 10 years. For this to be achieved, the online gambling market will have to achieve a ~30% penetration rate on total country gaming revenues. There is an expectation that this is could be easily achievable given penetration trends overseas - see page 11 of this: https://s1.rationalcdn.com/vendors/stars-group/documents/presentations/TSG-Investor-Day_March-27-2019.pdf
Other catalysts include increasing adaptation of sports betting in more states. States that have both legal sports betting + online sports betting permitted: NV, NJ, WV, PA, IA. Sports betting permitted but no online: DE, MS, RI, MO, AR. Prior to COVID there was ongoing discussions across many States, especially ones with growing deficits to explore how permitting sports betting could create a fresh avenue of tax dollars. Post COVID there is an expectation that these discussions will be given extra focus as many States will be hungry for incremental tax dollars. Important to note that currently 43/50 States allow DFS, but given the small share DFS has on total Gaming Revenues, it increasingly looks like DKNG is banking on traditional sports betting for a variety of reasons, more later.
There are entire articles on Google arguing this catalyst so I’ll end this here. Digging Deeper
DKNG’s main offerings are Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) products & traditional sports book products to its clients. Long story short, a metric to look for in my opinion (that is curiously not reported by management or remarked on) is the hold % in traditional gaming sector parlance or the ‘rake’ & compare it to the ‘traditional’ gaming products like sports betting & Blackjack.
For DFS: DKNG takes ~15% of the prize pool (note: used to be ~6-11% ). Curiously, their main competitor FanDuel also has moved up to a ~15% rake recently. Google searches show the smaller competitors have a rake in the ~13% range.
This ‘rake’ has grown ~2x in 6 years, but it has been a delicate move on behalf of management. Why? B/c the more ‘sophisticated’ DFS players (equal to autistic day traders on Robinhood) have noted this increase & based on some Googling, some have moved down market to the smaller players. As a side note, many live casino games have their rules altered to grow the Hold %. For example, Blackjack games with 6:5 payouts on 21 have materially higher Hold % than the traditional BJ rules that pay out 3:2. Given the findings so far, DKNG may not have much room to materially increase its hold % in DFS games in the near-term from current of 15%. More on this later.
Now why the fuck is this important? This is important b/c the typical sports book (ex-Parlays) have a ~5% hold %/rake. Parlays have up to a ~30% hold (which is why it’s commonly known as the sucker’s bet), & just for reference, the average Blackjack table clocks in 14.5%. What this means: Every dollar put into these games, the “House” or DKNG, will take 15% of your money for DFS games, for sports bets they will be pocketing ~5%, up to ~30% if you’re into parlays, & we’ll just use the standard 14.5% BJ hold for the DraftKings Casino platform.
So why the acquisition of SBTech & a foray into the traditional sports gambling market? As you can see previously, the illegal sports betting market is >30x
the size of the current daily fantasy sports market. So it’s clear that the DFS providers including DKNG are foraying into the space to capture this user base & hopefully convert them into games that have a higher hold %, such as DFS/DKNG Casino.
As of May 2020, DKNG has achieved a 30% penetration rate on its ~4mm ‘monetized’ DFS clientele to its Online Sports Book (OSB), from the OSB+DFS clientele, DKNG has converted 50% into its DraftKings Casino platform.
Including non-monetized users, user base totals at 12mm. Based on these unit economics: every 1mm of additional users -> 333k monetized users for DFS -> 100k users for OSB -> 50k users for DraftKings Casino. Some Numbers – Italicized/Bolded the important
Numbers that represent Risks to Long Thesis
- In total, DKNG has DFS paying clientele of ~4mm, the metric management focuses on is “Monthly Unique Payers (MUP)” which spans across DFS & online sports betting***. As of Q1’20 they reported 720,000*** MUPs, representing +16% YoY growth 
- Average revenue per monthly user (ARPU) of ~$41, +11% YoY
- Based on previous observation of Hold %, looks like ARPU growth will be limited
- Since ’17, MUP has grown at a ~11% CAGR & ARPU has grown at a ~19% CAGR
- As a side note: the ~4mm monetized user base was acquired at ~$122/user over 3 years. Total users cost them $41/user over the last 3 years .
- They are currently EBITDA negative & Wall St expects them to be positive by 2023
- I took a dive into the math driving this, here is a summary:
- Based on their current cost structure they will need to have ~1.7mm MUPs at an ARPU of ~$46 to break-even. This implies total monetized users of ~10mm from ~4mm currently
Things to look for when going Long
- DKNG’s user base of ~12mm is on the low end of the sector vs. its ‘brick & mortar’ competitor's user bases (online betting platforms with physical casino presence)
- CZR with 55mm, MGM with 33mm, ERI with 10mm (in pending merger with CZR, could have a lot of overlap), FanDuel with 8.5mm
- Is there a concern for increased marketing costs to increase user base? Let’s look at a case study of NJ, the first state to open both mobile & retail sports betting:
- FanDuel + DraftKings have held 80%+ of the OSB market share since 12/2018 which is estimated to be driven by the conversion opportunity from DFS that is unique to both companies 
- On the flipside, a case study to examine going forward is how DKNG can get OSB customers in a State that does not allow DFS. Nevada. Home to Las fucking Vegas. Prior to NV pushing FanDuel/DKNG out (highly likely due to casino lobbying), NV was a top-15 State in terms of revenue for them. NV is home to the fattest sports book in the US, & recently the gaming commission started to parse the data on sportsbook wagers done online vs. in-person, & it came out to roughly 50/50. It will be interesting to see how they try to capture market share in a state with no DFS
- Long-term EBITDA margin target of 35% requires huge growth in MUPs
- Based on their estimated '22 cost structure: Holding ARPU of ~$46, MUPs will have to be ~5.2mm, a 7x increase from current to achieve a EBITDA margin of 35%
- A focus on future earnings will be management's ability to shift to a more fixed-cost structure which would effectively lower the MUP requirement for profitability
- Progress of additional States legalizing sports betting – specifically, States with DFS already legalized
- Cost structure evolving to a more fixed mix vs. the mostly variable mix currently as this will be the forward figure that determines profitability
- Increasing User Base (Curr.: 12mm) -> Monetized Base (Curr.: 4mm) -> MUP (1Q’20: 0.7mm)
Share Price Target
- Management seems to be focused more on the first step, but one thing to note is that the 33% monetization rate is very high when compared to something like League of Legends which isn’t entirely comparable but in 2013 had a ~4% monetization rate . This, combined with the below implies that this conversion rate may be the ceiling for now
- As a side note, ~6 years ago FanDuel had ~300k monetized on an ~800k user base for a monetization rate of ~37% 
Given the cost structure of the company, I’m going to base the price targets around Enterprise Value / Revenues (driven by MUPs & ARPUs).
Bear Case MUP: 5mm -> $20.32 - $45.73 Base Case MUP: 5.5mm -> $22.27 - $50.10 Bull Case MUP: 6mm -> $24.21 - $54.47
- MUP sensitivity of 5mm - 6mm
- ARPU sensitivity from $41 - $47 for an average of $44, just a $3 increase from current of $41.
- Share Price targets based on 2.0x - 4.5x EV / Sales.
- Note: Flutter Entertainment (FanDuel ParentCo) trades at ~3.6x EV/Sales
These MUPs imply a monetized customer base of 28mm – 33mm. At the high-end, this implies that DKNG monetized customer base will equal MGM’s current total user base.
At yesterday’s close of $43.70, DKNG is trading at 3.5x – 4.5x forward Revenues on an expected >5,000 MUPs.
Share Price drivers / considerations:
- Continued multiple expansion
- Consideration: A 1x premium to FanDuel's 3.6x, implies a ~15% upside to current. They're bigger than FanDuel, do they deserve the premium?
- MUP Growth exceeding beyond targets
- Consideration: Stock currently implies that they should on average be growing at 40% QoQ – during 2018 they had on average +30% growth QoQ in MUPs, marking their best year
Jason Robins, 39 – Co-Founder & CEO. Duke BA, started DraftKings from day 1 in 2011. The 2 other buddies he started the Company with are still at DKNG. Dude navigated the Company through the scandal that rocked them in ’15 & ’16, and was the trailblazer in getting DFS labeled as a non-gambling product that enabled it to open in States without a gaming designation. This shit is the stuff that gets people in history books. His accomplishments make him seem like a very competent guy. Has 3 kids now, and only ~3% economic ownership in DKNG but has 90% of the voting power through his Class B share ownership. Also he actively participates in venture investments, sitting on 10 boards.
His comp plan performance bonus target is pretty murky, but main drivers are EPS growth, revenue growth, then a bunch of margin & return metrics, along with share price returns. Overall, very open-ended & it’s safe to say as long as shit doesn’t hit the fan, he will be eligible for his max payouts year over year. I’m assuming the lawyers tried to encompass everything possible for maximum flexibility to justify him earning his max comp as long as DKNG is still around.
Since he’s got voting control of 90%, I’ll end the specific-person overview here, but want to note that they have a very bloated C-suite. 12 folks at DKNG, 8 folks at SBTech, all with C-suite designations. Whereas their main competitor FanDuel, has 3 guys with a C-suite designations & 1 EVP, but is a sub under a larger ParentCo that has its own management team of ~5 guys.
Looking through glassdoor you can see the biggest complaint among employees giving bad reviews is based on management, all of the specific issues they point out IMO are a result of a top-heavy company. Seems like a good starting point to optimize their cost structure, but given Robins' history of sticking this entire thing through with his co-founders since '11 stuff like this doesn't seem to be a part of his playbook. They’re a public company now though, so it’s going to be interesting to see going forward.
If I were to initiate a position in DKNG, the stock would have to fall to the $35-$37 range for me to be a buyer of the stock, and based on this rough intro analysis I'll be considering Put options if it breaches $50. I would not touch Calls at this level.
 Susquehanna Research – U.S. Online Gambling 6/27/19
 Goldman Sachs Research – DKNG Initiation 5/19/20
I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part One
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NOTE: Although I was originally planning on posting this whole review at once, I was about a third of the way through the book when I realized that I was already quickly approaching the full length of my previous posts. So, in the interest of making this a pleasant experience for us all, I'm sharing the first half now, and will follow up with the second half in a few days. And honestly, KKB's writing reminds me of Inception
in that it's almost certainly hazardous to spend too much time immersed in any single sitting. So fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride!
So, a lot of you guys have been asking about Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot!
(wow, is this what it feels like to be an influencer?), and I am thrilled to report that my adventure through this book's 264 pages was even more confounding than I could have possibly anticipated. I have a feeling that I'll need every ounce of my strength if I want to have any shot at conveying to you all exactly how bonkers this purported self-help book is, so -- without further ado -- let's begin. I Can Make You Hot!,
subtitled The Supermodel Diet
, has a fairly straightforward premise. Kelly, who "has done it all when it comes to nutrition and her body," will share her hard-earned wisdom with us, her humble readers. Or, as she says in her own words on the back cover:
In I Can Make You Hot! I'm going to clue you in to all the tricks I've learned from a variety of experts and that I now use to live my own life. I want you to be the best you -- happy, attractive, shapely, interested, interesting, and most of all, smokin' HOT!
The blurb promises that the experience of reading this book will be "like rooming with a supermodel and going on a diet together." Truly, only someone with Kelly Bensimon's tenuous grasp on reality would say this as if it were something exciting, rather than a scenario taken directly out of the third circle of hell.
But before we can truly learn what it means to be HOT!, we're treated to a foreword by none other than Russell Simmons. As he shares with us:
Kelly is a great mother and is constantly instilling strong principals [sic] in her daughters. In my opinion, that's the essence of being HOT. Kelly is smokin'.
And just like that, I Can Make You Hot!
is knocked out of the running for First-Book-I've-Read-By-A-Bravolebrity-That-Is-Also-Free-From-Glaring-Typographical-Errors. Better luck next time, champ!
In case you were at all hesitant about Kelly's suitability for the job of helping the less fortunate among us reach their maximum potential, Russell clarifies:
Her beauty truly comes from within, and her clear internal compass and well-balanced lifestyle is what makes her an arbiter for what's hot. She has always had her own individual road map and is one of those people who beats to their own drum. Many are amazed by her leaps of faith and courage, which are products of her sustainable soul. And back to that energy! I used to think: If we could only package it. And now Kelly has!
I would kill
to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Russell Simmons and Kelly Bensimon. But all of these endorsements are making me impatient to dig into Kelly's advice, so I skim over the next few pages and arrive at the introduction: "What's HOT and What's Not." Almost immediately, Kelly reassures us that she was not always the gorgeous, talented socialite she is today -- "No. Let's just say that I was never one of those tiny, cute blonde girls who guys named their hamsters after." Excuse you what?
I literally just walked away from my laptop to go talk to my boyfriend and make sure I'm not just ignorant of some otherwise well-known traditional male courtship ritual in which young men adopt rodents and christen them after the women they love. That doesn't seem to be the case, although please reach out if you can shed any additional light on this situation.
Reasonably enough, before we can learn how to be
hot, we have to know what hot
is. Fortunately, Kelly wastes no time in getting us up to speed:
When I was trying to come up with a title for this book, I kept asking myself how I would define what I love. "HOT" is the word that best describes what I love, and it's not a word I throw around lightly. "HOT" is attractive, unique, and first-rate -- never mediocre. Avril Lavigne made a video called "HOT." There are "HOT" issues of all my favorite magazines. Hotmail.com was given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service, and www.urbandictionary.com, whose definitions are created by their readers, defines "hot" as (among other things) attractive, the best, and someone who makes you wish you had a pause button when they walk by because you don't want that moment to end. (I want you to feel like that "someone.") Health, wellness, and fitness are always hot topics. "HOT" may be a buzzword but it's also how I describe the best there is and the best you can be. I've used the words "smokin' hot" for everything from a killer chicken wing red sauce to a coveted couture gown.
There is…a lot to unpack here. My leading hypothesis is that Kelly must have accidentally exposed her internal circuitry to water and started shorting out while writing this passage, causing her to string together a rambling parade of incoherent sentences with no relationship to one another, save a tangential association with the amorphous concept of hotness. Also, it's factually inaccurate. A cursory Google search reveals that Hotmail.com was not
"given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service." Rather, the service's name was selected as a reference to the use of HTML to create webpages, as is more apparent from the original stylization, HoTMaiL. I know from her savvy allusion to "www.urbandictionary.com
" that Kelly is capable of navigating the Internet, so I'm disappointed that she's made such a careless oversight within the first three pages of the book proper.
Kelly next takes us through a few scenes from her past to illustrate how she has come to understand the true meaning of "HOT." Here are just a few of the assorted pearls of wisdom that Kelly is gracious enough to share with us:
Is skinny hot? Naturally skinny is hot. Starving yourself in order to change your natural body type in order to get skinny is not hot.
For me, the ultimate HOT girl is the nineteenth-century Gibson girl.
…Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack and didn’t let it stop her from pursuing a sport she loves. She's smokin' HOT.
pregnancy is smokin' HOT
I'm distracted from my diligent note-taking by a line that truly makes me laugh out loud.
I don't want to pretend that I'm "just like you." To do that would be disingenuous, and you wouldn't believe me anyway. But I may be more like you than you think. My hair may be ready for Victoria's Secret, but my values are still Midwestern.
I appreciate the honesty! As I continue reading, I am pleased to learn that I am, in fact, already consuming this piece of literature in the appropriate way. As Kelly says:
I urge you to make notes as you go along, either in the book itself or, if writing in a book is anathema to you, in a little notebook to use as your own personal guide. Jotting down ideas as they pop into your head is the best way to process them and be sure that they don't leave again before you've had a chance to commit them to long-term memory. Then, if you've made a mistake, when you go back and see it there on paper, you'll remind yourself not to do it again. Or, as I like to say, you'll avoid getting bitten by the same food dog twice!
Bitten…by the same….food...dog? Never change, KKB. (As an aside, what's the oveunder on Kelly having even the slightest idea what the word 'anathema' means?) If I'm being totally honest, this book is making me feel a little superfluous. What more can I add when the source material is so impenetrable to begin with? How does one parse the unparseable? Newly humbled, I suppose I'll have to be content with just gaping in confusion alongside the rest of you. And now that I think about it, what better book to build me up from these insecurities and encourage me to be my best? In the words of Kelly herself:
After all, why wouldn't you want to be HOT? What's the alternative? Being "not so hot"?
The book is organized into seven chapters, one for each day of the week, focusing on seven distinct facets of hotness. We start our journey on "Monday: Make a List -- Plan and Prepare!" and are immediately blessed with another one of Kelly's philosophical ramblings:
To me, living well is the only option. What, after all, is the only alternative? Living badly? Who aspires to live badly? I want you to live well, and that's going to take some planning.
Eager to improve myself, I read on:
What are your goals for yourself? If you're going to make changes in your life, you need to have a plan, you need to prepare, and you need to take the time to get it right -- so that you don't wind up wasting your time. This is my plan, and from now on it's going to be yours. Monday is going to be the day you make a HOT plan and prepare for the rest of your week. Let's get started together!
I can't help but feel like this is one of those answers that beauty pageant contestants give when they don't actually know how to respond to a question. Or like a motivational speech written by a rudimentary AI. I can't quite articulate exactly what it is that makes Kelly's writing seem so utterly devoid of logical coherence, but it truly falls into the literary equivalent of the Uncanny Valley.
Reminding us that "this isn't just about budgeting your food; it's about budgeting your life," Kelly peppers us with even more helpful tips -- "You don't want to be that person who is snacking while you're shopping. That's not hot -- period." and shares a stream-of-consciousness-style list of "Staples I keep in my house." Which may possibly be some kind of freeform postmodern poetry. Judge for yourself.
Kelly advises the reader to "get out your calendar or PDA" to get a sense of your schedule. "Then use your PDA to find the closest well-stocked market and go there. Making life easy for yourself is what it's all about." Now is as good a time as any to clarify that this book was published in 2012. I'd be lying if I said reading so many consecutive Housewives
memoirs hasn't made my grasp on sanity a bit shaky, but I am fairly positive that 2012 was not a banner year for the Personal Digital Assistant.
Kelly has taken the time to pluck out a few particularly incisive pearls of wisdom throughout the book to highlight as "Kelly's Cardinal Rules."
I would love to help clarify exactly what this one means, but I'm afraid I'm utterly clueless. One thing I do know for certain, however, as the chapter comes to a close, is that "human contact is HOT; texting is not!"
The week continues with "Tuesday: A Little Ohm
and a Little Oh Yeah! -- It's All About Balance." It is imperative that you work out, says Kelly, adding, "I've never met a smokin' hot couch potato and I bet you haven't either." Her personal exercise routine, as she shares, combines aerobics and yoga "because life is all about balance." As she quips, "I'm sure even Gandhi cracked a smile from time to time." A panel titled "HOT Tip" admonishes the reader: "Don't call it working out because exercise shouldn't be work!"
If you'd like to spend a morning in the style of Kelly Bensimon, it's as easy as eating "a couple of oranges" and drinking coffee -- "I love coffee; I would probably marry coffee if it proposed." She also lets us in on some of her secret, highly advanced workout routines designed to maximize your time in the gym and propel you towards your full potential. Such as the "Happy Twenty," in which you run for 18 minutes and then do 2 minutes of squats.
We get further instruction on the hottest ways to run on the following page, where a two-page spread advertises "a few of my HOT tips for having a fun run." To ensure that you're able to start your journey to HOT as quickly as possible, I've taken the liberty of transcribing one of her most valuable nuggets below:
Run in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I took a lot of flack for this when they filmed me on Season 2 of the Real Housewives of New York City. The thing is, I think that people walking down the street while texting are a lot more dangerous than a car. Drivers will go out of their way to avoid you (accidents are too much paperwork, and they really mess up a day), but strolling texters will walk right into you without even seeing you. You could also get smacked by a shopping bag, a stroller, or even an oversized purse. Sidewalks are really obstacle courses. Beware!
Kelly shares some standout tracks from her workout playlist ("It's much more fun exercising to music!"), including the perennial pump-up-the-jam classic, "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver. With no regard for thematic continuity or overarching structure, the next page is dominated by the header "Get Leggier Legs."
An April 10, 2009, article about me in Harper's Bazaar captioned one of the photos "She's got legs." I was born blessed with long lean legs, but I work very hard to keep them looking the way they do. I'm tall, but I could just as easily have long, large legs. And long and large is not hot. Unfortunately I can't give you my legs. But I can help you to be the best you can be.
Truly inspirational. I think.
We continue on with Kelly's advice for "how to avoid the 'freshman fifteen," accompanied by a list of what she refers to as "Kelly rules." These run the gamut from near-sinister
Get rid of any negative thoughts. Negative-town isn't Fun-town.
For every cheeseburger and fries, you owe me 12 cartwheels on the quad with your friends.
to bizarrely specific and also racially insensitive.
If you starve yourself for a day because you want to lose weight for Homecoming, you owe me 5 minutes of sitting Indian style in a corner and meditating on why you thought that was a good option.
Upon further reflection, I think I would actually be extremely motivated to stick to a diet if the alternative was being reprimanded by Kelly and forced to think about my poor life choices.
As a scientist myself, I was ecstatic to see that Kelly has drawn from a diverse array of scientific disciplines to develop her HOT tips and tricks. Physics, for example:
From Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion
A body in motion stays in motion. The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. So if you want to step up your exercise routine, try running in sand instead of on the pavement, or bike through gravel. That way your body will have to work harder in order to stay in motion.
Even biology has something to teach us about how to be HOT:
You are a living organism; life is an organic process. You need to be up and active, ready to enjoy the process. Be open and available and ready to do fun stuff. Participating in what you love is HOT.
I'm truly impressed by Kelly Bensimon's unparalleled ability to reframe the most basic common sense as divinely inspired wisdom. We see this in lines like
If you're feeling a bit frazzled and you need to calm down, you might want to take a yoga class.
or, as we read in another "HOT Tip" panel
Don't be afraid to drink water while working out.
I refuse to believe that this is a problem any person has ever faced. Even Aviva Drescher is not afraid of drinking water while working out (although, for the record, she is afraid of aluminum foil). Kelly closes out this chapter by encouraging the reader to "do one thing every day that takes you out of your comfort zone." If you find yourself lacking inspiration, she provides helpful suggestions, such as "try a fruit you've never eaten" and "try tap dancing." As she asserts, "there's nothing more foolish than sitting on your butt when you could be moving your body and having fun."
I turn the page, and the clock rolls over to Wednesday -- "Diet = 'DIE with a T.'" Cute. I bet Kelly would find that Tumblr post that's like "she
" to be unbearably clever. She wastes no time in letting us know:
I don't believe in diets; diets are for people who want to get skinny. I want you to be happy. If you feel good about yourself, you'll make good choices. If you starve yourself to be skinny, you'll be undermining your sense of self-worth and you'll be unhappy every day. Eating well -- a variety of high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods -- is for people who want to be happy -- and if you're not happy you won't be hot! Happy is always better than skinny.
This is starting to feel like some sort of word problem from Algebra II. If happy is better than skinny, but hot is equal to happy, diet = die + t???
Kelly tells us that all women fall into two categories: overachievers and underachievers. Being an overachiever is good, and being an underachiever is bad. Here are some things you can do to become an overachiever:
Make good choices.
When in doubt, have fun.
Kelly's motivational-phrasebook app apparently starts to glitch out right about here, but she continues on:
Stay positive and move forward. This is your last try at today. Yesterday may not have been great, but, today is better -- you just need to see it that way. The choice is up to you.
The idea of someone being in such a dark psychological place that they are able to find inspiration in those words is so deeply sad to me that I can hardly bear to consider it. Thankfully, Kelly has already taken a hard left turn into what I think is some sort of extended metaphor:
I've already said that you need to treat your body like a Ferrari, but maybe you prefer a Maserati, an Aston Martin, a Corvette, or even a Bentley. Whatever your luxury car of choice, if you treat it well, it will increase in value; if you treat it like a bargain rental car, it's just going to wear out -- and being worn out is not hot!
Ah, yes, I'd momentarily forgotten that cars almost always increase in value after they're purchased, and don't have a culturally ubiquitous reputation for losing most of their resale value immediately. Solid analogy. Apropos of nothing, we get a "HOT Tip" list of "model diet secrets that DON'T work." I'm extremely glad that Kelly encouraged us to take notes while reading -- I'd be devastated if any of these pointers had escaped my attention.
Eating Kleenex to make yourself feel full does not work.
The Graham cracker diet does not work.
Drugs do not work.
Well, I suppose this clears up some Scary Island confusion. Had Kelly indeed been doing meth (as the reported cat-pee smell might suggest), she would be fully aware that many drugs are, in fact, extremely effective ways to lose weight. But lest you start to lose faith in the expertise of our fearless leader, read on: "when it comes to food choices, I've probably made every mistake in the book." By which she means that she ate Chinese chicken soup before giving birth to her first daughter and it made her sick, so she ate a turkey sandwich before giving birth to her second daughter and she didn’t get sick. To be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to find a way to apply this wisdom to my own life, but I'm sure it will become clear in no time!
Kelly is relatable for the first time so far in the following passage:
When I was accused of being a "bitch" on national television, I was really upset. My response was to find comfort in Mexican food and margaritas for lunch and dinner three days straight.
But we promptly return to form on the next page as she recounts her daily diet of "2 green juices," "a KKBfit lunch," and "a KKBfit dinner." I'd like to take a moment to appreciate how generous it is of Kelly to share her wisdom -- earned through a lifetime of catastrophic missteps -- so freely. It certainly didn’t come without a cost, as the following anecdote illustrates:
On the last day of my juice fast, I took my older daughter to a Yankees game where we gorged on sushi. (Yes, they have sushi at Yankee Stadium) As a result, I was stuffed and blinded by carbs when A-Rod came up to bat and hit a home run. Was I able to savor that A-Rod moment with my daughter? Absolutely not. I was in a food coma. Will I ever let myself be thrown into a food frenzy again? No! Lesson learned: I made another stupid food choice, and because of that choice I missed that home run moment with my daughter. From now on, when I go to a Yankees game I'll have a small hot dog instead….I want you to do the same.
Verily! Heed her words of wisdom, lest ye not also lose the precious chance for thine own A-Rod moment.
But don’t think this caution means that you have to get caught up in the minutia of your day-to-day. On the contrary, appropriate planning means "you can stop obsessing about your carrot intake and concentrate on what it is that's going to make you a great person in life." To help illustrate this point, Kelly introduces us to the "Kelly pie."
Otherwise known as a pie chart. This is a helpful way to really visualize how much time you'll have now that you can cut that pesky carrot-pondering out of your day! Kelly even offers some thoughtful "hints" to divide your pie:
Ooh, sorry Brad, I won't be able to make it to this afternoon's meeting -- it actually conflicts with my daily session of believing in my ability to make good choices today and every day. No, I understand how that could seem like an abstract sentiment rather than something that actually takes up time within your daily schedule, but if Kelly has to do it, so do I! And to be honest, my day is packed enough as it is -- it takes at least a second or two for me to tell myself I look HOT (because I do!), and I'm just worried that if I try to squeeze anything else in, it will cut into my mid-morning health celebration. Wish I could help!
- Celebrate your own health. We take health for granted.
- Get up in the morning and say, "I'm so grateful to be where I am and look the way I do," no matter what your size is.
- Tell yourself you look HOT, because you do.
- Believe in your ability to make good choices today and every day.
- Be mindful of what you eat. If I have to be mindful of what I eat, so do you. We're in this together.
In a strangely threatening aside, Kelly commands: "Write down what you ate for the last two days. Don't lie. We can start fresh tomorrow, one bite at a time."
In a section titled, "What I Eat Every Day," Kelly enumerates her "three go-to breakfasts": "two oranges or a plate of mixed berries if I'm not going to be very active, all-bran cereal or some other high-fiber cereal with almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk if I'm going on a long run, riding, or doing something else that requires extra energy, and on weekends, I love making pancakes to eat with my girls." As should be apparent, this is far more than three breakfasts. I am irrationally angry, in the same way I was when a Bachelor
contestant said their favorite food was a charcuterie platter. That's cheating. (And yes, I do strongly identify with my Virgo moon, thanks for asking.)
Kelly inexplicably (apologies if I've used that word for the zillionth time already) tells us that "a plastic cup that says 'Forced Family Fun' from www.themonogramshops.com
makes the smoothie go down with a giggle." Also, "sitting alone in front of the TV eating ice cream is not hot!
" We are then introduced to one of Kelly's more advanced strategies, which she calls "Energy Economics." This means that you might need to eat more on days when you are busy and/or exercising, and less on days when you're relaxing. So many innovative ideas, this book has really packed a punch for its < $5 price tag!
Another ingenious idea? "Stuff cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, or even onions with ground meat, chicken or turkey seasoned with salt and pepper. Bake until the meat is cooked through and the vegetable is softened." Granted, I have been a pescatarian for almost a decade at this point. But disemboweling an onion, jamming it full of hamburger meat, and cooking it for some indeterminate amount of time at an unspecified temperature seems…wrong.
Circling back to her theory of Energy Economics, Kelly explains,
If I don't eat [well], I'm violating my own laws of energy economics and my body goes either into inflation mode (too much energy when I don't need it) or recession mode (not enough energy in the bank for me to draw from). The key is to create economic equilibrium: eating well so that I feel good, which allows me to be happy.
I am begging
someone to start a GoFundMe where we raise money to pay Kelly to explain how the economy works. The next page introduces us to "The KKB 3-Day Supermodel Diet," which is less of a diet and more a random assortment of miscellaneous health-related sentiments that reek of the 2009 pro-ana tumblrsphere:
Chew your food 8 times instead of 3 or 4.
Brush your teeth and chew mint gum as soon as you finished eating. When your mouth is fresh and minty, you'll be less tempted to eat again.
The final tip ("nurture yourself") includes a reminder to "blush your checks [sic]." Which may be a typo, but could also very well just be some strange Kelly saying that no one else has ever used in the history of the English language. On the next page, we're introduced to "Kelly's Food Plate."
Which other, less sophisticated people typically refer to as the food pyramid. Kelly also takes a brief aside (in a feature box labeled "hot button issue") to expound upon her favorite delicacy, the humble jelly bean:
If you're a fan of the Real Housewives of New York City you probably remember that on Season 3 I took a lot of flack for eating jelly beans and talking about processed and unprocessed foods. I was actually making light of that food snob moment. Who stops at a gas station and asks for carrots? Did you bring your organic food cooler with you on this road trip? The important part is not to be a food snob; but when in doubt choose the best option. Sometimes it's better to be happy than it is to be right. Was I able to make my point? Clearly it wasn’t in the cards at that moment.
This is a truly stunning synthesis of her experience. Underestimate Kelly at your own peril -- this girl has been playing 4D chess for longer than we know.
The chapter continues with some tips from Kelly on how to make the most of your meal planning and shopping experience. And no -- you have no excuses:
There's absolutely no reason why you, wherever you live, can't eat "colorful" foods. All over the country there are "gi-normous" supermarkets where fruit and vegetable aisles are bursting with every color of the rainbow.
I am starting to get a "gi-normous" headache trying to make sense of this chaos. Kelly's advice that we can "mix and match what's there to make a FrenAsian or an ItaloGreek meal" is not helping. We also get some tips for how to grocery shop responsibly:
- Always go with a list and never buy more than two items you planned on taking home.
This is incoherent, right? I know I need to wrap up Part 1 of this write-up pretty soon, because I've read this sentence at least two dozen times trying to make some sense of it, and am still at an utter loss. I assume she's left out a negative somewhere, but at this point, I realize I've already thought about this tip for approximately ten times longer than Kelly ever has, so I'll move on.
For the third or fourth time so far this book, Kelly segues into a literal grocery list. To be fair, this is a very effective strategy to take up several pages with minimal text. And what could be more compelling than
Shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs
Truly the voice of a generation! Decades from now, English teachers will be teaching their students about a fabled wordsmith who once uttered those eternal words, "shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs." Because this book has absolutely no respect for logical cohesion, we are hurled immediately into a diatribe about how expensive it can be to buy organic -- "I recently walked out of an organic market having paid $400 for just three bags of groceries." As I read on, however, it becomes quickly apparent that Kelly has no idea what the concept of 'organic' even means:
"Organic," in any case, seems like something of a misnomer to me. I know the Food and Drug Administration has regulations for certifying foods organic, but to me, for foods to be truly and totally organic, they would have to be grown in a test tube or a greenhouse with no exposure to the natural elements.
Well, sure Kelly. If that's what you would like to use the word "organic" to mean, be my guest. She tosses us another crumb of helpful guidance, but it only serves to make me feel exceptionally sorry for Kelly's daughters and everything they have to endure:
Plate your food as if it were being served to you in a fine restaurant. Use a fancy foreign accent as you invite everyone to come to the table. Or try saying it in French. My girls love it when I announce, "Le dîner est servi!"
We learn in yet another "HOT tip" that "fast food doesn't have to be fat food," and Kelly tells us for the eighth time that she eats two oranges every morning. In what has already become a recurring theme for me in this book, the following passage makes me desperately curious to know how Kelly thinks science works:
One question people frequently ask me is whether I believe in taking vitamins or supplements, and the answer is "yes, I do," because, even though I know my diet is healthy, I can't be sure that I'm getting all the nutrients I need. All the vitamins and minerals we need can be found naturally in foods, but how do we know, even if we're eating a healthy diet, that we're getting everything we need?
I flip back two pages to confirm that Kelly told us quite recently how important it is to read nutrition labels to know what is in the food we eat (to make sure we avoid foods "whose labels are full of words you can't pronounce"). Exactly how she is reading these nutrition labels yet still manages to have no inkling how anyone could possibly begin to assess their vitamin and mineral intake eludes me. She continues:
I don't want to take that chance. I think of the food I eat as fuel and vitamins as my oil -- my body's engine needs both. Vitamins and supplements are not food replacements, but we're exposed to so many environmental toxins on a daily basis that I believe we need to supplement our diets to counteract all the harm those substances can cause.
I can certainly think of something
that is causing harm to my psychological stability at this particular moment, which I should probably take as a sign to wrap things up for today and go read some incredibly dense Victorian prose or something to remind myself what a properly constructed sentence looks like. Promise I won't leave you waiting for long!!
Is trading gambling?
Had this conversation again the other day with another trader. Many traders don't like to be accused of gambling (which I fully understand) - yet gamblers place capital at risk on uncertain events. submitted by shiftingshares to UKInvesting [link] [comments]
Traders also place capital at risk on uncertain events. We don't have any control over the outcome, and there is no guarantee that we will make money in the long run. To me this seems like gambling.
Why the negativity? One reason is because of the negative connotations of a gambler. We tend to think of drunk, unkempt and unshaven old men, sitting around the bookmakers betting on horses, or feeding the FOBT machines and losing their cash.
But whereas in gambling, the odds are set for you (by the house - which does always win in the long run), in trading - the odds are set by us.
We have control of our entry. We have control of our exit. We have control of our emotions, control of our discipline, control of our position size. Yet most traders focuses on the one thing we can't control… the outcome!
Why the outcome is not important
In the long run, the outcome is of course important. If you’re not making money over an extended period of time then that’s a serious problem. But if you have three bad trades, that means little.
One reason many traders struggle to make money is because they consistently system hop. They try a few things, and tinker around, and then when it stops working for a few trades - they run somewhere else and try that.
I’m convinced you could give people an exact step-by-step guide to making money – and out of 100 people, ten might listen, five might give it a go, and one person might stick to it after a few losing trades. This is why 90%+ of traders don’t make any money (Barber, B.M., Lee, Y.-T., Liu, Y.-J. and Odean, T. (2017). Do Day Traders Rationally Learn About Their Ability?).
It's not the competition from elsewhere that beats them. It’s the competition within themselves. The struggle to control emotions, and the struggle to remain consistent, is a struggle for many traders. If you can’t get comfortable with a few losing trades, then you’re probably trading too big.
Managing positions to a point where losses are no longer outcome dependent is a good idea.
Any trader who puts 20% of their capital into a single trade will be heavily invested in the outcome.
However, if this was 2% - they probably wouldn't be so bothered. Position sizing is the key to trading success.
I have never heard of anyone going bust from trading too small. In every instance, the factors were either trading too large, or leverage, and huge unexpected volatility. Often, it was a combination of these factors of the people that I know that have blown accounts.
Trading is gambling with an edge
Trading offers unlimited freedom and expression of creativity. But the reality is that profitable trading is about following strict rules and exercising discipline. In my view trading is gambling but with an edge. The edge is something that delivers positive returns in the long run.
For many new traders, who come to the market with little idea of what they're doing, and punt around on stocks without any system - that is gambling as there is no logically application and the punter is purely playing the odds.
Backtesting methods to check for an edge and alpha generation, and sticking to these until it is clear there is no longer any edge, is the only way to trade in my opinion.
S&P 1700 within 6 Months
submitted by DongusMcLongus to StockMarket [link] [comments]
This is a new post after some interest in a comment why I believed the S&P is going to 1700
. Update 3:
I am going to limit my answers in the comments guys; as the post becomes more popular it is becoming more diluted with snark etc. I don't expect anyone to follow my opinions; I just want to share one aspect of why I am making the trades I am. I maybe wrong. Random walk and all that.. Original Disclaimer
: This is based on historical precedence and we are in unprecedented times but, with history as our guide a strong argument can be made for the S&P to decline to a level that is currently inconceivable. I have disclosed all my positions near the bottom. Update 1
: Slightly long; happy to be challenged in the comments, it is late in the UK (2am) so may tidy it up and add more references and charts tomorrow. Update 2: Have expanded the post to answer as many comments and requests for references wherever possible and tagged in the requestors.
Intro: Are we in a recession?
If you believe so, or that we are heading into a recession then there are four things needed to support a genuine rally out of a recession
- Fiscal policy
- Monetary policy
- Improving economic health indicators
- Accurate pricing reflecting the end of the recession and tempered optimism
We are missing 2 out of those 4 criteria; the overwhelming monetary and fiscal policy (world-records) are compensating for lack of positive indicators
and volatile and bullish pricing
What do you mean by pricing?
It can be argued that the current price of stocks is not discounting for the acute and likely chronic harm to consumer sentiment and spending power. For example; the UK clothing retailer Next Group closed their bricks and mortar stores (share price increased 4%) then they cancelled all online shopping (share price increased 3%) and finally they cancelled all orders with their supply chain (shares leapt 12.8% during the rally.) There is the massive amount of second, third and fourth order effects that this one company does to the UK economy (and Turkish factories). Suppliers, shipping, design, marketing etc all cancelled and the staff furloughed.
This is one example but the indexes are currently full of similar examples and some analysts are ringing the alarm bells.
Lazard Asset Management are concerned that the pandemic “will persist longer than many investors suspect and that the economic damage will be deeper and potentially longer-lasting”.
Reddit is quick to mention that stonks
only go up but there is some truth to that sentiment at present since any negative factors
are dismissed as being priced in and all positive factors are heralded as a cause for stocks to rally. If priced in was accurate then we would not see record-beating market rallies back to back. 10% volatility swings over 48 hours is the very definition of not priced in.
There is evidence to suggest that, well, the bullish sentiment is wrong and mainly because it is retail investors being taken for a ride
whilst funds re-balance and offload.
Retail traders "buying the dips" is normally a contrarian signal, meaning that it's time to sell. This section is for u/lntoIerant
in response to a comment.
Edit to answer some comments about this portion thus far. Do retail investors move the market?
Are retail investors buying in greater volumes?
- No, they act as a sentiment indicator that the market is reaching a peak absurdity. Similar sentiments have preceded major recessions in the past. When you hear a layman offering stock tips or googling how to buy stocks then we are reaching the precipice of a depression. new market entrants are not the same as traditional retail investors.
Are retail investors dumb money?
- That is hard to say because the majority of retail trades are done off-book. The trades are mixed in with portfolio moves or using the retail service which is a dark pool.
- Well, no. Kind of. It depends. This white paper indicates that retail investors are more knowledgeable, more profitable and better informed than previously thought. However, a lot of their trades, as mentioned above, are done off-book as part of a larger portfolio and they simply lose a fraction of a basis point because market timing is not that critical.
What does this have to do with the S&P dividend and the EPS?
Major indexes are comprised of stocks that pay handsome dividends
; normally 2% yield a year. The companies have reached their limit of growth (HSBC haven't discovered 5 million new customers and Shell are not finding new fossil fuels) so investors hold the stock for income-seeking reasons
The FTSE 100 was priced in to generate £89 billion in dividends for 2019 and £90 billion+ in 2020. That has largely collapsed.
The only companies that pay dividends are those taking on debt to do so like Shell. And they have; a 10Bn credit line to maintain dividends
. The Bank of Englandhad to slap 5 UK banks
from issuing dividends at this time. That means that their primary valuations as income-generating stocks are questionable...
...especially since the dividends are not expected to return to the 2020 levels for another 10 years now. Edit to add: This portion is taken from the market report by BNY Mellon. You can see the chart here
. The analyst is John Velis of BNY. Thanks to u/flash_aaaah_ahhhhh
for prompting me.
“By 2021, the market expects dividends per share for the S&P 500 to be down to under $38 per share (a staggering 41 per cent drop from recent highs of approximately $63 per share) and then to start slowly rising again. Going out 10 years to 2030, the expectation is that dividends will just about recover to pre-Covid-19 levels.”
Main body: Onto the S&P
In 2021 the market expects the dividends per share for the S&P to be reduced to $38 per share. That is priced in and common knowledge.
That is a 41% drop from the recent highs of $63 a share and seems alarming for income seeking investors since we are not expected to recover to those prices for 8-10 years. Source.
But DataTrek have noted that we are still currently trading at 21X
the trailing 10 year earnings of $122 a share.
Dividends per share normally don't fall as far as earnings per share. But they are inverted at present.
For the S&P to be trading at 2,650 level (or even higher) it means the market does not believe the pandemic or recession will have any long-term damage. That puts us squarely at odds with items 3 and 4 in our list of factors needed to exit a bear market.
Talk to me about 2008!
Thanks to u/mister_woody
for asking for more data.
- S&P 500 high: 1565.15, Oct. 9, 2007
- Low: 682.55, March 5, 2009
- S&P 500 loss: 56.4 percent
- Duration: 17 monthts
- EPS decline: 86 to 7
- Dividend decline: 26-28 down to 22-24
In other recessions, including 2008, the dividend price per share drops approximately 12-15% but the earnings per share drop by considerably more; as much as 85%.
That means that in 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bear market; the dividends per share dropped by a lower percentage amount than the total index value drop
You can see that in this chart here
- The market drop was approximately 56% and the Dividend drop was 14%
- The market drop was 56% and the earnings drop was 85%
Right now, we have the reverse. Dividend share drop in this market
is 41% (which is chilling) and market drop was approximately only 30% and rallying heavily back to the mid-20's only. That makes no financial sense unless the assets were being propped up by buyers...
- S&P ATH: 3386 to 2488 on April 4th (26.5% drop)
- S&P ATH Dividend: From $63 expected to $38 (a 41% drop)
- S&P ATH EPS:
If the S&P follows the same playbook at 2008-9, then we would expect to see levels of around 1400 at the bottom but that seems extremely
bearish expecting that this crisis is worse than 2008.
If previous indications hold true, then we would expect the S&P to drop by approximately 50-60%ish at the true bottom to reflect the 41% decrease in expected shares plus additional discounts and negative market sentiment.
In reality, we are probably likely to pull back to between 13X and 15X trailing average which puts the S&P between 1600 (low side) and 1800 (high side).
You are putting a lot of faith in a re-run of the 2008 crisis
I am. No doubt about it. After October 2008, stocks fell for another four months
, piling up 40% of losses before the recently ended bull market began in March 2009.
New market indicators
Since I wrote this post, the DJIA was up over 4% and closed down on the day.
Thank you to theTwitter feed of Jim Bianco
for this: Since 1925 (95 yrs!), up more than 4% and closing down on the day has happened only one other time ... Oct 14, 2008 (Tsy Sec Hank Paulson forced the banks to take TARP money). The S&P 500 was up 3.5% at the high and closed down on the day. Since April 1982 (daily H,L,C began) has happened three other times...Oct 3, 08, Oct 14, 08, and Oct 17, 08.
This mkt continues to trade like Oct 08. It was six months and another 25% down before the low. Bezinga are also playing up the 2008 similarities
Why is bullish sentiment so wrong?
The negative reports are so wildly negative that the almost defy belief. We are dealing with insane numbers way beyond our traditional frame of reasoning. This is topped only by the insanity of the scale of quantitative easing. Less than a year ago, a small movement in the non-farm payrolls would lead to a 2-3% move in the markets; now we are hitting 700K jobs lost, a truly ugly number and the market rallies hugely. Future economic students will study this to try and understand what was happening.
In the space of weeks
the majority of the Western economies have swung to being effectively state-sponsored, centralised economies and no one really knows how to unwind these positions.
It is impossible to reconcile being a bull with a centralised state economy and blue-chip stocks that refuse to pay dividends but the share price remains at the same levels as when they paid a 2% yield.
The UK forecast
is for the deepest contraction since 1900. Business surveys have shown activity crashing
faster in March than during the financial crisis. The Office for National Statistics has published experimental research on the impact
of Covid-19 on the economy.
With entire swaths of the economy having shut down “traditional forecasting methods become irrelevant”, warned Chiara Zangarelli, economist at investment bank Nomura.
Michelle Girard, economist at NatWest, said that while there was huge uncertainty about the precise magnitude of the contraction in gross domestic product in the second quarter, “there is little doubt that it will be off the scale” That is not a bullish sentiment. It means markets are acting irrationally since fundamentals are being dismissed as priced-in. In reality; nothing is priced in.
- I am long VIX to 78 (expected by end of Apri but ideally by 24/4)
- I am short India to 7800 (expected by 15/05)
- I am short S&P to 2200 (expected by mid-late of May) and will be to 1810-50
- I am short Dow to 19000 (expected by mid-late May) and will be again to 17000
- I am short FTSE to 5200 and will be again to 4800 (expected by mid-late May)
- No current active hedges / all spreads due to being tax free profits in the UK
- Further spread betting the swings to the upside where I can to scalp
- I am holding a portfolio of streaming services and gaming companies
- I am holding Microsoft and Disney
- I own a very small quantity of crypto, primarily XRP
Edit to add: So, your entire thesis is totally destroyed if companies keep paying dividends?
In a nutshell.
But something else will be destroyed; the western taxpayer and future growth.
- If companies are using 0% interest rates to take out loans and then transferring those loans a small 1% of the populace via dividends; that bill will come due to the citizen taxpayer and/or shareholder of the future
- If companies are taking federal or governmental aid to furlough workers but still paying dividends to shareholders? That bill will come due to the citizen taxpayer and effectively is an even more extreme form of socialising market losses; it means that we truly can never have a correction since the top 1% will lose. Not lose the investment itself, which can rebound, but will simply lose the yield on an investment and only for a short period of time. If we have reached a point where that is considered unacceptable then we truly are living in a new socialist, centrally planned world.
- Here is Tesco defending their decision today of £635m in dividends...despite receiving considerable amounts of VAT, Rates and Rental relief from the UK Government (£585m)...they have done an admirable job and are profitable but this market signal and their stated reasons for doing so are alarming.
CEO said 'every pound we receive [in rates relief] will be invested in ensuring Tesco is able to support British shoppers...' That is tax payers paying a subsidy to a free-market company for the ability to shop...and also...
Mr Lewis said that the needs of savers and pension funds also needed to be considered in the debate around dividends. “We’ve thought long and hard about our responsibilities here . . . we are in a strong position to pay out for the benefit of those people
Edit to add: What about the FED and stimulus
OK - to truly test my own assumptions; here is my argument AGAINST my position.
The Fed have not quite printed money
as Reddit loves to meme. They have issued liquidity
and central banks worldwide have allowed banks to relax their requirement to hold reserves of cash. That injects money into the business world by allowing lending and borrowing to continue. It also reduces theoretical
risk since the models are back within tolerance.
When the time comes they will remove the credits
gradually without causing hyperinflation. They do this by paying banks not to lend back into the system by holding a % of their assets at the Federal Reserve. So they pay the banks but the banks keep the deposit at the Fed and don't pass on the liquidity to potential borrowers..gradually and sustainably. https://www.aier.org/article/powells-new-monetary-regime/
That means the borrower of the future (home purchasers, entreprenuers etc) will have very few credit facilities available so RIP to the long-term economic growth.
We also have unprecedented
government support for citizens. The largest social security welfare plan since WW2, especially in Europe.
If you believe that the Western economies can weather this storm using the bridging devices by central banks then it pays to dollar cost average
into the market and keep buying the dips as a retail investor.
Lots of buoyant news from European nations and China about the slowing pandemic is overwhelming the negative leading and lagging economic indicators about economic data. If you believe the economy can return to normal within 36 months, then it pay to be bullish and invest.
If you are day-trading, swing-trading or short-term options trading then the overwhelming market moves are likely to crush people as the system flexes under lots of volatility. You are also likely prioritising the negative news and technical analysis in your filter bubble and de-prioritising the positive news particularly when that news is fiscal or monetary policy since those things are dry, boring and incomprehensible half the time.
So you miss Fed backstops critical bankingi
and instead hear UK Prime Minister in intensive care.
If you want to know what is going on...
- Look at the short term fundamentals
- Zoom out. Re-look.
- Zoom out to an even longer timeline. Re-look.
- Zoom out to an even even longer timeline. Re-look.
- Zoom out to an even even even longer timeline. Re-look.
Decide where you making a prediction. Plan your trade, trade your plan. How do the FED take money back out of the economy?
They FED purchase the security initially to then sell it back to the asset-holder later. So the balance of credit-deficit merely swaps but by paying a small premium on the excesses that they hold, they can cushion the inflation or deflation of the currency.
So, they effectively give the bank liquidity and then remove that liquidity later by passing the asset back...but also provide a small premium to cushion the blow; 50% of the premium is then held on Federal Reserve books so that the market is not flooded with new money.
The FED previously reduced their balance sheet from $4.4 trillion to $3.7 trillion
but it remains to be seen if they can unwind a position of this size.
- 2 out of the 4 necessities for exiting a recession are not present
- S&P currently trading at 21X the trailing 10 year average dividend
- In previous recessions a 50% drop in the market was accompanied by a 15% drop in dividends
- Market analysts expecting for a 41% drop in dividends but only trading a 26% drop in the market. At present the S&P dividend per share drop is 41% but the S&P is rallying back to less than 20% drop...whilst dividends are not expected to return to 2019 levels of income for 8-10 years
- In previous recessions the dividend per share drop is much less than the overall index drop
- S&P highly overvalued, completely inverted when compared with dividend expectation and market dividend pricing
- S&P pull back to 1600-1800 over short-medium time frame (1 month-6 months).
- If market history is to be believed then 1400 is not unfeasible based on percentages but you have to be hoping for a total economic destruction for this to happen.; expect a total Governmental response if this happens.
- If S&P continues to rise then it indicates companies are taking on debt or other instruments to pay dividends rather than innovate, upgrade or consolidate their business position which some are (Shell etc).
- Economic data will eventually overpower the stimulus and the Coronavirus is not priced in; hardly anything is priced in and analysts are now saying so publicly.
How To Actually Get Over A Breakup and Get Your Ex Back (Based on Science) [Revised Edition]
submitted by CognitivelyPositive to BreakUps [link] [comments]
I know you are going through hell right now. You are sad, confused, angry, depressed, and sometimes numb. You go from sad to angry then to numb. Or you are just sad all the time or even just angry all the time. I am here to tell you that whatever emotions you are going through is normal. It is totally normal to feel these painful emotions and even be confused by them. You don't go from grief to anger, you switch around a lot. Your emotions are basically all over the place. Guilt, shame, disappointment, and hopelessness are quite common too. You might be also experiencing panic and anxiety attacks, heartache (literally), episodes of depression, headaches, stomach problems, loss of appetite, insomnia. You can't stop thinking about your Ex and what they have done to you.
To make matters worse, our friends and family aren't being the most helpful. At first, maybe they were supportive. And then later they just started being dismissive to our feelings by saying things like "Just move on already" or "There is a lot of fish in the sea". This causes us to feel like there is something wrong with us, that we should have moved on already. This notion makes us blame ourselves for feeling this pain. I am here to tell you that there is NOTHING wrong with you for feeling this way. There is no RIGHT amount of time to take to "move on" and none of it is your fault.
Heartbreak is universal and has existed for more than thousands if not millions of years of our existence (Fisher, 2017). You can trace poems about broken hearts from the ancient Egyptian pyramids to ancient Inuit cave dwellings. Look at the top 100 songs on the billboards right now, the majority are songs about our broken hearts. Where there is love, there will be heartbreak. Your experience is excruciating, but fortunately not unique. Our species has survived and thrived after getting their hearts smashed into bits for thousands of years. So, YOU can too.
You don't feel like yourself. You don't think you will ever be happy again. Fortunately, you are going to be OKAY. It will take a while but you will get back to who you were before. I promise on our broken-hearted ancestors. I prepared this guide so this process is much easier. This guide also outlines the best way to get your ex back, if you want that. These tips are not in chronological order, you do not need to follow them one after another. 1) Acceptance
Maybe you realized before it happened or maybe the break up got you by surprise. Either way, it’s devastating. You hope this is some nightmare and you will get up and everything will get back to normal. But no, this is your reality right now. The relationship is over. It’s okay to be in shock and denial in the first few weeks but eventually, you will just have to accept it. It will be difficult to accept it, but you have to do it to get to the next healing stage. Accept what happened. Denial will only prolong your suffering. 2) Grieve your loss
Cry your heart out, doesn't matter if you are a guy or a girl. Start your day with a good cry. It lifts a huge burden and you walk lighter throughout the day. Break up music, pictures of your ex, old texts are all good things to use to start bawling if you are having trouble crying. Angry? Punch a pillow, yell into the pillow! Do whatever it takes to get your anger out, as long as it's not harming anyone else. This grief will come in waves. Some days you might not feel it as much, but some days it hits you hard. That is normal. So cry! Process your emotions, don't hold it in. Holding it in will compound it and it will come out in different ways. There is no timeline for you to process grief. Don't let anybody tell you "In 6 months you will stop crying". Your healing process is YOUR healing process. Take however long. It might also hit you unexpectedly, a year into the healing journey when you think you are doing great then you hear a song you both liked and boom. You are hit with sadness. It does diminish over time so, be patient. The intensity and frequency of "grief attacks" and "anger attacks" lessen over time.
Sometimes we are disappointed not because they left but because they did not fulfill our expectations. Such as getting married to us, having our babies, etc. These dreams can be fulfilled by somebody else. You are not sad because they were the one, you are sad because you THOUGHT they were. 3) Understanding what is going on in your head right now
Humans are social animals. Our survival depended on our ability to forge relationships with others (Buss, 2019). Hence, our brain evolved to instill mechanisms that would help us keep these relationships. So when a prehistoric bear tried to kidnap your mate, you would enter fight or flight mode which would make you jump into action and do everything to save them. As you heard the cries of your mate, your cortisol would shoot through the roof, adrenaline and norepinephrine would pump into your body which helps you to run faster, fight harder and feel less pain. These chemicals motivate you to take massive action. You might scream at the bear while chucking rocks at his head or run back to the village super fast and call for backup. Were they always successful in warding the bear off? Nope, but they were successful enough to pass this evolutionary advantageous trait to us since our ancestors who did not possess this trait died off. Therefore it would make sense if you have an eerily similar reaction if some random guy in a trench coat tried to kidnap your little brother. Unfortunately, for people going through a breakup, this mechanism gets triggered since a relationship is potentially ending and our brain is freaking the fuck out. This mechanism might make us call them a 100 times, scream at them, make big romantic gestures, hold on to their leg while they are trying to walk away (metaphorically or even LITERALLY). We try reasoning with them, we try everything to get them back to calm our head but it doesn't work. (Will get into why it doesn't work later on). Even if it does work, it does not last long. This fight or flight response persists because we failed to keep our relationship. Our body is riddled with agonizing anxiety all day because those stress chemicals I mentioned earlier are still doing their magic on your system. This may persist, days or even months. This phase won't last forever. You just need to make sure to not do anything stupid, you know like CALLING THEM A 100 TIMES but even if did do something stupid. Don't be too hard on yourself. 4) Be patient
I know hurts. It's horrible. It is going to be like this for a bit but you will get better eventually. People don't take 2 weeks to 'Get over it'. Be patient, trust the process. 5) Cut off all contact, go No contact (For your own healing)
Don't text them, don't call them, don't snap them, don't like their photos, don't do anything to contact them, don't even try to send a pigeon. If they message or call you, let them know straight up that if they want to try the relationship again they can call or text you. Otherwise, tell them not to contact you under any circumstances. No need to be mean, do it politely. "If you ever want to give another try with our relationship, only then contact me. Otherwise refrain from contacting me. I want some space, thank you." Why are we being so cruel?
Love activates all your happy chemicals. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin (Zeki, 2007). When the person dumps you, they cut you off all these happy chemicals causing massive withdrawal symptoms. Interestingly people going through a drug withdrawal show the exact same symptoms (Fisher, 2017). Why? Because love is the ultimate drug and you are addicted.
Your brain is addicted to your ex. To cure this addiction you have to go cold turkey. Will it be dreadful? YES. Is it necessary? Yes. You might think keeping in contact as friends will cushion the blow. In the long term, it will be more painful to be their friend because you will see them moving on without you. Talking to them is like re-opening a wound over and over again.
This is actually the hardest part since you are literally fighting against your basic human instinct I talked about earlier that prevents the loss of a loved one. Your brain is screaming at you "WE NEED TO GET THEM BACK! CALL THEM, TEXT THEM etc". Once we fear we are losing a loved one our brain will try to do everything to get them back. If a bear was running off with them, then it would have helped but in this case, reaching out to them will further push them back. They want some space from you right now.
This includes stalking them on social media, don't do it. It complicates your healing since you are reopening a wound over and over again. Easier said than done though. If you really struggle with this, maybe try to ween off it slowly. Let yourself see their fb twice a week at first, then twice in two weeks etc. Slowly ween off doing it at all. I suggest unfollowing them at least.
Coincidentally, No Contact is the same move to make if you want to win them back. It is a double-edged sword. Whether you want them back or heal your heart OR BOTH. Your best move is to go No Contact. 6) Using No Contact to get them back
You might be wondering that if you do no contact, they might actually forget about you and move on. WRONG! How many times do you think about water a day? Not a lot. Lets just imagine that your house runs out of water, the whole city runs out of water. All you can think about now is water. You are thirsty, you want to take a shower, you want to cook....the lack of water has forced you to think of it. Its the scarcity effect, we long for things that are scarce more than we long for things that are plenty (Cialdini, 2014). Hence, no contact makes your ex think about you way more than they would have if you kept badgering them. You need to be completely out of the picture for them to miss you. They must feel your void.
You might feel that begging them to come back would work, it won't. They have already made the decision to leave you and prepared for you to react like this. You think you can reason with them to take you back. You can't. Because right now they aren't emotionally neutral enough to hear any logical arguments.
Why can't you convince them? Its because they have made a decision already. Humans want to stay consistent with their decisions due to the consistency principle (Cialdini, 2014). The decision to break up is not made logically, its made emotionally, hence using logic to reason with them is useless.
Hence, you can't change their mind right now. The only person that can change their minds is themselves. You help them do that by going No Contact.
Show yourself that you respect yourself enough to NOT chase after someone who left you. Neediness is unattractive, show your ex that you don't need them. Here are more reasons to not chase them.
- When they broke up with you, they expected you to still be in the sidelines as a friend or something. So they don't have to fear losing you. Well, don't give them what they expect, leave the situation. Vanish out of her life completely. So they start actually fearing that they might lose you. Fear of loss is a great motivation for action in humans since we are loss averse (Kahneman, 2011). This will make it more likely they will want to get back with you.
- You not being in their loop anymore, causes them to get curious about you. After curiosity comes attraction. When their attraction towards you has reached a level, they will contact you.
- They actually start respecting you since they assumed you were going to beg and plead. Respect is essential for attraction.
- Over time, they will forget all the negative things about you and the situation that made them break up with you. Negative memories lose their intensity faster than positive ones. As more time passes, you will look better due to the faded affect bias (Gibbons, 2011) 7) How to actually do "No contact"
When my ex broke up with me I could not believe what was happening. This was the closest thing to hell I have ever experienced. I have been hit hard by life many times. But this punch, it nearly killed me. Nothing could ever prepare me for this. It was absolute agony. I would go to sleep and start dreaming about being together with her. I would wake up and realize the reality of the situation and start bawling like a mad man (thats a positive though, you should cry it out). All my dreams I had with her were all shattered. I didn't know what to do. The life I planned with her is nothing but a sad memory now. I started researching and went down the rabbit hole of "Win your ex back". I found out about the no contact policy and started doing it.
The first seven days were brutal. The only thing I told myself was "Just survive the first 7 days". Every inch of my body wanted to reach out to her. To beg her to come back. I knew it wouldn't work. So through sheer will and determination, I didn't reach out to her. As I explained before, my brain was in fight or flight. I was also suffering from withdrawal symptoms of love. I just told myself, "Survive 7 days". That is all I did. I survived 7 days at a time. Maybe you can only survive 1 day at a time. Do that! Tell yourself that "Okay okay, I will contact them in a month". Then when a month rolls by "Okay, next month I will contact her". Then when the next month rolls by tell yourself "Okay, I will contact her in the next 3 months". The trick is to lie to yourself that you will contact them eventually but you never will. (That includes not contacting them on birthdays, holidays, valentine's day, death of a loved one etc). People that join the '12 steps program', are not told to NEVER drink again. That is putting the goal post way out of your reach. The addicts are instructed to NOT drink one day at a time, then a week, then a month, then a year, and then finally for a lifetime.
Another trick I used was to believe that if I did contact them. I would push them farther back and lose them forever. Which is true, breaking no contact will lower your chances of getting them back.
Another trick I used was the progress meter. For every month I took a piece of A4 size paper and drew 30 squares (Each square represents a day). I hung it on my bedroom wall. After each day was over I would put a tick mark on one of the 30 boxes. The tick mark is meant to signify that I have finished another day while following no contact. Once you complete 7 days, it looks really nice, like you have completed a streak. Keeping your streak can be a huge motivator for not breaking no contact (Clear, 2018). It gives you a sense of accomplishment and keeps you on track, you will think twice before breaking your streak. After you tick marked all 30 days, take yourself out for a date, and treat yourself. Then hang up another A4 size paper and keep repeating the process. One day you will tell yourself, "I really don't care anymore to tick mark a box for not contacting my ex", that's the day you can stop. You will stop when you become completely indifferent. The opposite of love isn't hate, its indifference.
This will no doubt be the hardest thing you have ever done. You are fighting against your basic human instincts (to connect and reunite) that has been instilled into us since the beginning of time.. You are fighting the neurological mechanism that was set in place to KEEP your loved ones. Hence, the difficulty.
Bonus trick to keep doing no contact (Might not be the healthiest way, but it works). Use only if you are really struggling with no contact. You need to get into the devil mindset.
Realize they have stabbed you through the heart. You are in pain because of them. Time for you to strike back. The best way for them to feel the pain and consequences of losing you is to keep NOT contacting them. Put them in a state of doubt about their decision by not reaching out to them. Let them feel the pain. Remember, if you break no contact. You will stop their pain but we don't want that, do we? In the first few months, they will be fine but slowly they will start feeling the hurt. Is this mindset petty? Yes. But it is way better than contacting them and ruining the chances of healing and/or getting them back. Your last words before starting no-contact should be kind, not anything mean. If you insult or demean them, you will come off as immature and petty. Making them less doubtful about their decision.
For true healing, your no-contact needs to come from a healthier place. After a period, abandon this "devil mindset", see your ex with compassionate curiosity and forgive them. The last thing they wanted to do was to hurt you but there was no other way. 8) Why you should reject their offer of friendship
Sometimes the dumper doesn't want to be so cruel so they try to be your friend. To reduce their guilt and reduce their pain of losing you. Don't give them that. Let them feel the pain of losing you. If you want them back or if you want to move on, the best way is to let them go. They need to miss you, to want you again. The dumper has all the power in this breakup, since they are rejecting you. Take back a little of that power by rejecting their offer of friendship. Do you really want to see them dating new people and asking for your advice? You might think that if you are around her she won't move on and she will realize what an amazing person you are and get back with you. WRONG! What ends up happening is they start categorizing you as a friend rather than a romantic interest. Let's avoid that. You need to let them know that if they want to get back into your life. They can only get back as a romantic interest. Nothing less, nothing more. 9) Stop trying to find the "Real" reason for the breakup
You are going through every conversation you had with her. You are analyzing her texts, you are asking your friends "Could she have left because I didn't share my custard with her on our 12th date ?" You feel like you are Sherlock Holmes, figuring out clues that will lead you to the "real" reason. In reality, they don't even know why they broke up with you. They have an idea of why, but the reason is more emotional than logical so they can't give you a really good reason. I get it, you want closure. The only person that can give you closure is you! Think, think hard why they left you. Write it down on a piece of paper and just learn to accept it. General incompatibility? Poor communication? Lack of time spent? Circumstance? Mental health issues? What do YOU think the reason was? What does your heart tell you? Mystery solved. Remember, if you do reach out to them and try to get closure, no matter what they tell you. It will never be enough. 10) Don't blame yourself
We tend to blame ourselves and our imperfections for the breakup. This person didn't just reject you, they rejected you after knowing you inside out. That is why it hurts so much. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with you! Yes, you aren't perfect. You have your flaws. You deserve someone that stays with you regardless of your flaws, not someone who refuses to work on them with you. Sometimes people break up because of the circumstances. It has nothing to do with you. It might just be a bad time and place. All that being said, you deserve someone that makes every excuse to be with you. Not someone who makes every excuse to NOT be with you. Life is hard and complicated, relationships aren't ideal all the time. It's easy to stay in a relationship during the good times, but hard to stay in it in the bad times. The bad times are the times that show you if the other person is worth it or not. 11) Don't idealize your Ex and put them on a pedestal
Drug addicts in withdrawal often highlight only the positives of the drug they were addicted to (Winch, 2018). They conveniently forget how that drug turned their life upside down. People who got dumped do that too. I am not saying your ex turned your life upside down but they weren't perfect. Write down their flaws and things that annoyed you on a piece of paper. Write down what may have attracted you to them but later made you feel like shit. For example, you might have liked the fact they were dominant, but later on it just felt like they were very controlling. When you think about her again, focus on her flaws.
Them dumping you might intensify your feelings towards them. This feeling is not based entirely on love, it's based on adversity. Scientists made a monkey expect treats at a certain time. When they stopped giving them the treat to study its effect on dopamine in their brain. The monkeys thrashed around in fury. Nothing odd about that, but the odd thing was the monkey's brain produced more dopamine when the monkey did NOT get the treat. This extra dopamine meant that the monkey's want for the treat increased when he did not get his treat that he expected. This is called Frustration Attraction (Fisher). We long for things way more when we expect it but don't get it. You expected your ex to be in your life, them not being there anymore made you want them even more. Your love did not increase. This is frustration attraction in play. Don't confuse this with genuine attraction. 12) Don't change your life to avoid pain
Don't avoid the restaurants you used to go to. Don't avoid the activities you used to do together. Yes, when you go to the restaurant you used to go to together might be painful at first. But after a few times, you bring your friends there or even a new date there. Your brain starts creating new memories with that restaurant and the new memories override the old memories and you feel much better. Sure, it was where you and your ex used to have tea but now its where you and your friends spill the tea. You guys used to do yoga together? Try doing it alone or with someone else. Obviously don't resume activities just after the breakup but eventually get to that point. 13) Get rid of the reminders of them
Your ex already occupies your mind a lot. let's not let them haunt you physically too. If they have given you gifts, love letters, old pictures of them etc. We need to remove them. Yes, for the time being at least. Keep them in a box and shove it down a room or place you don't go to. *However these old mementos are very useful to induce crying. I used my ex's love letter to cry my heart out, I read it over and over. Then one day it wasn't really helping me cry, so I decided to get rid of it. Yes, I burned it. It felt pretty awesome and cathartic. So do get rid of these old mementos eventually, no rush. Holding onto vivid reminders of them does not let your wound heal properly. Getting rid of them signals your brain to let go. Its a short term sacrifice for a long term gain. A lot of people report an immediate boost in mood after they purged the physical reminders (Winch, 2018). This also includes their photos on your phone. YES, even the nudes. Let it go. 14) Be compassionate to yourself
Develop a non-judgmental inner voice that is actually kind to you. Instead of beating yourself up with insults, talk to yourself kinder. If you have a thought like "I can't even open a ketchup bottle easily, I am such a dumbass...no wonder she left me", counter this thought with "I am only human and these ketchup bottles are really complex these days, I am not a dumbass.". Respond to the mistakes you make with compassion. Write down all the bad things you say to yourself in a day and look at it. Think about it. Would you ever tell a good friend these things? No. Then don't tell them to yourself. 15) Fill the void with Self Improvement
Now you feel like there is a huge void in your life. Your ex might have been a big part of your life. Fill that void up by adopting a new hobby, learning a new skill, or any passion of yours you wanted to always try but didn't have the time to. Don't fret if you don't have a hobby or a new skill to learn. The journey to finding these things is an awesome adventure on its own. It took me a long while to realize that I really love human psychology and self-improvement books. Read! READ! Increase your knowledge and unlock your full potential. Commit yourself to become a better person. So you don't make the same mistakes you did in your last relationship. Life is about growth but that can't happen without failure. A child doesn't learn how to walk without falling a hundred times first. I will have a recommended book list at the end of the article. 16) Don't "Get busy" to avoid thinking about them
All you are doing is delaying your pain by distracting yourself from thinking about them. Let the thoughts about them come. If you can't cry. Close your eyes and focus on the pain. Be with the body, don't judge the pain. Just notice it. Keep noticing it, till it goes away. That is how you process your pain to go through you and not get buried. 17) Battle the obsession of your ex with mindful meditation
Every waking moment of your day is filled by ruminating about your ex. You will think about them 24/7 for a while. No need to panic. It's totally normal. One thing that can help you do this less is mindful meditation. Mindful meditation is linked to a million other benefits for your physical and mental health, so it's a no brainer (Cho, 2016). You also need to understand that it takes a while for you to get the hang of it. Try using the headspace app's trial feature to learn how to do it. 18) Talk to a professional (therapist)
A break up is a tumultuous time for anyone. Hence seeking professional help isn't the worst idea. When someone breaks up with us, we don't just grieve for our ex. We start grieving for every attachment trauma we ever endured in our lives. Grief is like picking up a paper clip that is connected to other paper clips. You can't grief for your ex alone, you will unconsciously end up grieving about all your attachment trauma. A good therapist can help you through that process. 19) Rely on all your social support systems
Feeling sad? Reach out to friends and family to vent. Sometimes just straight up tell them that you just want to vent and don't want their advice. Your loved ones are here for you to utilize them. But do give them breaks from venting here and there. They are human and they sometimes can get tired of your break up story. 20) Rebuild your identity
When we are in a relationship we tend to merge our identities with our other half. That is why we feel so lost when they leave us. We are so used to having them as our "better" half's that we forget who we were when we never met them in the first place. Maybe you gave up a hobby or activity when you were dating them to have more time with them. Now is the best time to reclaim that part of yourself that you lost when you guys were dating. It is also the best time to figure out who you are and what you truly want. If you always wanted to travel and live in some country for a few months but you couldn't because you were in a committed relationship, now is the perfect opportunity to do so. You aren't tethered by anyone, fly free. 21) Get some physical exercise
Well, the first few months of the breakup I guess its okay if you don't work out at all since you might be too depressed to get out of bed or have any motivation to do anything (I couldn't get up for two months, some other people were fine after a week. So heal in your own time, again there is no timeline to grieve). But eventually, I want you to start exercising regularly to pump your brain with all those feel-good chemicals. 15 to 30 min a day is a good start, hell even just 5 min is great. You can try yoga too if working out isn't your thing. Becoming a bit sexier in the process is a pretty good bonus too. 22) Write letters to them but don't actually send it to them
Write however many letters you want. Write whatever you want to write. Whatever you ever wanted to say to them. Go ahead and say it in the letter. Pour your heart out, leave nothing unsaid. I personally used tape recorders rather than letters. I got too lazy and used the voice recorder on my phone to have a "pretend" one-sided conversation. It felt really good afterward. It cleared my head and gave me a bit of closure. But eventually, burn these letters and delete these recordings by also "Thanking them and forgiving them" in your own words. Every time you burn a letter, thank them and forgive them. You don't need to hold this grudge your whole life, it's not good for you. Forgiving is not for them, its for your own healing. No matter what they did, you have to be able to forgive them eventually. In your own time! There is no time limit. Remember to forgive yourself too for the mistakes you might have made, you are only human after all. 23) Start Journaling
At the end of everyday write or (record your feelings). It helps you process your feelings better. Write about how you feel. Are you feeling sad? Angry? Confused? Putting them down on paper takes a bit of the emotional intensity off you. The first few months you should journal every day but as time goes on, decrease your frequency. After a 3 or 6 month period read your early journal entries and compare them to your most recent journal entries and you will notice how much better you are doing, which will give you a much-needed boost to healing. 24) Start a gratitude journal
Yes, I bet you heard that a million times already. It does increase your happiness quotient (Connor, 2010). Make a habit of listing three things you are grateful for before you go to sleep. When you say these things actually feel it and let the joy of that thing warm you up. It could be as little thing as the dinner you had that day or it could be something really special such as being grateful for your parents. 25) Set ambitious new goals for your life
Is there something you always wanted to do or be? Set your horizons on it and start chasing your new hopes and dreams. 26) Start Dating again
You would eventually want to start dating again. Have fun with your single life. Have some exciting romantic encounters with some girl on vacation. Flirt with that handsome guy at the bar. Have fun, enjoy yourself. Take it slow and be wary of any early red flags. Trust your gut. Maybe you knew your ex was an alcoholic but still went out with him. Don't make the same mistakes you made last time. But if you want to stay single for a while, that is okay too. Do you, there is no right or wrong here. Think of dating as a source of possible romantic interests, it keeps the pressure off you. 27) Antidote to Suffering
In my lowest moments after the breakup. I had symptoms of clinical depression. I couldn't get out of bed. All I would do is sleep. Some days I would lie in my bed awake riddled with agonizing anxiety. To make things worse my obsessive-compulsive disorder was acting up too. I simply did not have the energy to manage it anymore as I used to. I gave up my will to live a couple of times. I stopped eating and drinking. I just couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to die but I didn't have the energy to commit suicide so I thought it be best to die starving in my bed. Waking up was a pain, going through my days were a pain. One morning a thought occurred to me that gave me the will to live again "I have to save others from this pain and suffering, I can't do that if I am dead. I am going to become the world's greatest therapist and help people with OCD and breakups, I have to live!" From that moment on, I started getting up and eating and drinking water more regularly and then going back to bed to sleep all day. Slowly but surely, I would sleep less on the day and get more things done. I didn't get this thought because I am some Mother Theresa or anything. It was for selfish reasons. I needed a reason to live. I needed meaning for my suffering to survive and withstand it.
The antidote to suffering is finding meaning in it. This is not my wisdom. Its what I learned reading Viktor Frankl's Man's search for meaning. "A man who has a why can endure any how", this famous quote of Nietzsche gives more support to this idea. The meaning of your life must be more specific though. You have to have a meaning and purpose that nobody else other than you can fulfill. You can't just say "I want to help people", sure that is noble but it's not specific enough. You want to help people? But how? There are millions of ways to help people, what's the way you would like to help them? Which way would let you help them the best? My purpose and meaning are helping people with a very specific kind of OCD. Its called Purely obsessional OCD, this ocd has no physical compulsions, only mental ones. A lot of therapists and psychiatrists don't know how to address it properly. I want to change that. I also want to help people going through breakups. Especially dumpees who are anxiously attached. Breakups are extra hard on these types of people. To achieve this goal I am happy to suffer. I will keep on going regardless of how bad and hard it gets.
Find the meaning of your suffering. Do you want to create amazing art that will make people think deeply? Do you want to direct a documentary exposing a problem? Do you just want to make old people at the nursery home smile more? It can be whatever you want it to. Ask yourself, if you would gladly suffer for this purpose? If the answer is 'No', don't pursue that. The agony you are experiencing currently will be more bearable after you start taking steps to find and pursue your meaning.
However, you might be in the team who thinks everything is inherently meaningless. Nothing really matters. There is no meaning in life. There is no meaning in our suffering. All the pain and agony our ancestors went through to build the foundation of this world is meaningless. All the people that suffered without surrendering their morals in the holocaust were wasting their time. All the people that refused to turn in their friends in the face of brutal torture in the gulags made a stupid choice.
All the people that died for a better world wasted their lives because it doesn't mean anything. How about all the people that sacrificed their happiness for the good of humanity? Were their lives meaningless? The only reason we still exist is because of the sacrifices that were made by our ancestors through blood, sweat, and a lot of tears. We are only standing because we are standing on their corpses. Billions of billions of corpses. Is it all meaningless? Are their lives and deaths meaningless? NO! They weren't. It is us, the living that must give their suffering meaning! After we are dead, our future generations will look back to us for their meaning. Therefore I think it is our responsibility to pursue meaning to respect our ancestor's sacrifice. If we don't, it will deem all their suffering meaningless!
A prisoner in Auschwitz was told to get into the gas chamber. At that time it was just a rumor that people died in the showers. Most of the victims didn't know or didn't want to believe that it was true. But somehow this man knew what fate awaited him. He smuggled a piece of paper and wrote "Shema Yisrael" (it's traditional for Jewish people to say this as last words) and stuffed it in his shirt, then he undressed. He walked into the chamber upright and with dignity and before the gas was released his last words were also probably "Shema Yisrael". In this context Shema means "listen", Yisrael means "people (or congregation of Israel)". Its a prayer in Judaism. It's traditional for Jewish people to say this as their last words. But why did this man have to write it in a piece of paper? Couldn't he just have said "Shema Yisrael" before he died? Why did he need to go through all the trouble to smuggle a piece of paper and use his own blood to write this?
He was trying to send a message to humanity as a whole. He was trying to talk to the people that survived. He was trying to talk to us. He was trying to say "Listen people, do you see me? I have been through a lot here. But it didn't ruin my faith in god. Don't lose faith. Don't lose hope. Suffer with dignity." This is how I interpreted it to fit my own narrative. You can do the same. Every time I reach a very low spot mental health-wise and I don't think I can take it anymore. I say to myself, "Shema Yisrael" and remember this man and his message. After I say these words I immediately feel better. It doesn't lower my pain, it increases my ability to withstand it. He found meaning in his death by sending this message to us. I took his message and used it to handle my pain. I am writing this article because of my own pain, if this article helps you. You give meaning to all the pain I been through. Thank you for giving my pain meaning. I hope this breakup teaches you things that you can pass on to someone else so they give meaning to your suffering.
Loved this post? Give my podcast a listen. I go into more depth, share more advice and interesting personal stories. (Its FREE!)
Inspiration for this paragraph
- Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
- The Gulag of Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- The Story Of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant
- Attack on Titans season 3 episode 16 "Erwin's Speech"
*I will also make individual posts about all the points I made here in the coming weeks.
- How to Win friends and Influence people by Dale Carnegie
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
- 12 Rules for life by Jordan Peterson
- Subtle art of not giving a fuck by Mark Manson
Buss, D. M. (2019). Evolutionary psychology: the new science of the mind. New York: Routledge.Cho, J. (2016, July 14).
6 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Mindfulness And Meditation. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeenacho/2016/07/14/10-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-mindfulness-and-meditation/#664308da63ce
Cialdini, R. B. (2014). Influence: science and practice. Harlow, Essex: Pearson.
Clear, J. (2018). Atomic habits: tiny changes. New York: Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
OConnor, R. (2010). Happy at last. New York: St. Martins Griffin.
Winch, G. (2018). How to Fix a Broken Heart. Simon & Schuster.
Zeki, S.(2007), The neurobiology of love, FEBS Letters, 581, doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2007.03.094
Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Gibbons, J. A., Lee, S. A. and Walker, W. R. (2011), The fading affect bias begins within 12 hours and persists for 3 months. Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 25: 663-672. doi:10.1002/acp.1738
Fisher, H. E. (2017). Anatomy of love.New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Kubala, the path to glory of Barcelona's most loved legend: A story of overcoming, adventures, crazy nights, majestic matches and of a good man who made everybody around him happy.
Nothing in Kubala's life was normal. Now that TV series about sportsmen are fashionable, the one that could be made about the adventures of Ladislao Kubala Stecz (Budapest, 1927) would raze through many seasons. In one season we could go deeper into his facet of legendary footballer, capable of changing the way of playing this sport, how he saved his life at the very last moment by not getting on the Torino plane that crashed in Superga, or how he was ten minutes away from signing for Real Madrid or enrolling in the Pirate League of Colombia, all of this in order to end being Barcelona's biggest icon... who ended playing for Espanyol. We could add a season of adventures due to his incredible escape from communist Hungary. His journey through Italy with a football team, the Hungaria, of stateless people in which in addition to Hungarians also played Croats, Albanians, Romanians and Serbs who were looking for a life as good as they could get. One could also add to this the facet of the social phenomenon that dazzled a country during the dark years of Franco's regime by becoming a pop star, and end up with another season about the legends, real, invented or simply exaggerated, of his adventures in Barcelona's nightclubs. Everything about Kubala is like a movie. Born in Budapest to a Hungarian man and a Slovakian woman, he always considered himself as both Hungarian and Slovakian, even when this republic was part of the now extinct Czechoslovakia. By the age of 20, Kubala was a football star known for his performances with Slovan Bratislava and Vasas Budapest. In fact, he had already been capped by Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Later, he would go on to play for Spain, and is still the only player to have been capped by three countries. But fed up with the system that was preventing him from developing his professional football career, he embarked on an escape proper of a movie to the West. He contacted a human trafficking organisation, a mafia that, in exchange for a large amount of money, facilitated a partial escape. As is now the case with criminals who gamble with the lives of people who want to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe or pass to the United States through the southern border, the smugglers did not secure anything. The last part of the journey depended on the luck and expertise of the escapees and often ended tragically. submitted by HippoBigga to Barca [link] [comments]
"I remember that when I escaped from Hungary I was just a kid. The traffickers left us in the middle of a mountain to do the last stretch on foot. We were a large group. The adults gathered the children and gave us palinka. A liquor similar to brandy to get us drunk and fall asleep. A child's cry could alert the border guards patrolling the mountain. And they had orders to shoot to kill. The group split in two. My group was lucky and we were able to win the Austrian border. Once we were safe, we learned that the other group that had travelled with us and took another road was discovered and killed." The chilling story is that of Zoltan Czibor, the son of the former Barça player who tells how he had to flee Hungary with his family to join his father in Italy. The odyssey of Kubala, six years earlier, was mirrored.
The traffickers disguised Kubala as a Russian soldier and put him in a truck that would leave the escapees at an undetermined point in the mountains so that they could cross the border into Austria on their own. Kubala remembered that this journey scared him to death because unlike his comrades, he was a national celebrity and any soldier who checked the military truck would recognize him. He was endangering his life and the lives of those who accompanied him.
When they were left in the mountain on January 27, 1949, Kubala walked, and crossing a river helped by a tire that carried him, managed to reach Innsbuck, Austria, without any documentation. He was a stateless man starting from scratch.
In Austria he managed to sign with Pro Patria, a team from Milan, but he could only play friendly matches. His escape provoked the anger of the Hungarian regime, which denounced him and blocked his registration. Kubala had married Anna Daucik two years earlier, sister of Fernando Daucik, a veteran player of the era who would later become a famous coach. When Kubala fled, he left behind his family, whom he was unable to reunite with until six months later, when Anna was able to cross the border and meet Ladislao in Udine. He arrived with one more member of the family. A baby, her firstborn, whom Kubala did not yet know.
While he is irregularly enrolled in the Pro Patria, he gets the chance to sign with Torino, Italy's dominant team at the time. He is offered a trial match. Nothing better than a friendly match that Il Grande Torino had in Lisbon as a tribute to Xico Ferreira. However, when the Turin team's plane is about to take off, the president of Torino prevents Kubala from boarding because he fears a federal sanction. On the return flight, on 4 May 1949, the Fiat G 212 of Avio Linee Italiana crashed into the retaining wall of the Basilica of Superga due to the wind, poor visibility and an error in the altimeter of the aircraft. At 180 kilometres per hour and with a visibility of 40 metres, the pilot saw the stone wall of the basilica too late when he thought the plane was at 2,000 metres and was actually at 690 metres above sea level. The 31 people who were travelling in that aircraft died. Kubala had saved his life again.
With no possibility of playing in Italy because the back then very powerful Italian Communist Party was pressing to prevent people fleeing from countries in the orbit of the USSR from taking refuge in Italy, Kubala had no choice but to form a team of stateless people who hired their services throughout Europe to play friendly matches against whoever hired them.
The team was called Hungaria, was managed by his brother-in-law Fernando Daucik and was mainly made up of Hungarians, although there were also players of other nationalities. It was made up of: Kis, Marik, Torok, Mogoy, Lami, Rákosi, Hrotko, Majteny, Nagy, Kubala, Otto, Licker, Turbeky, Monsider (Croatian), De Lorenzi (Albanian), Szegedi (Romanian) and Arangelovic (Serbian).
They played their first match against Italy's B team, but again pressure from the PCI forced them to play outside Italy. And that is how they arrived in Spain, hired by Santiago Bernabéu. On June 5, 1950, they faced Real Madrid in Chamartin, losing 4-2, but with a stellar performance by Kubala, who scored both of his team's goals. Three days later, they beat the Spanish team that was preparing for the World Cup in Brazil, where they came in fourth, 1-2 again with a great performance by Kubala, who received an offer from Real Madrid to be signed.
Kubala requires that to join the team, Madrid must also hire Daucik as a coach, something that Bernabéu does not agree to. The Madrid coach at that time was the Briton Keeping, a great connoisseur of WM tactics. Daucik is offered to train the Plus Ultra, a Madrid branch that plays in the third division. That negative and the federative problems that drags Kubala cause that Madrid becomes disinterested in his transfer, that was already agreed lacking of some fringes that turned out to be determinant.
The Hungaria moves two days later to Barcelona, where on June 10 plays against Espanyol losing 6-4 in a match with Pepe Samitier, the technical secretary of Barça, in the stands. It is necessary to emphasize that Hungaria had been playing three matches in five days with a very short team and without being able to make substitutions. Even so, Kubala amazes and Samitier does not mess around. Six days after that match, on 16 June 1950, at half past six in the evening, Kubala signed his three-year contract with Barça at the Pasaje Méndez Vigo. Obviously, with Fernando Daucik as coach. President Montal, Sr., signed him as an "amateur player" in order to avoid any trouble for the federation.
Real Madrid rages and is shocked. Pablo Hernández, general secretary of the white entity and Santiago Bernabéu's right hand, assures that Barça had broken a non-aggression pact between both teams and had hired a player with whom they were in talks. Samitier, who was unbeatable in the media, declares that he had been following Kubala for months and that the pact had not been broken because it referred only to players who played in Spanish teams. And Hungaria was not Spanish. In fact, it wasn't from anywhere.
But Kubala's problems didn't end there. He still didn't have a registration card or an international certificate. Vasas in Budapest and the Hungarian Federation had reported him to FIFA. Barça used the weak argument that since professionalism had been abolished in Hungary, any amateur player could choose his destiny. But the fight was not going to be so easy.
Barça, it is fair to say, had the total support of the regime and the Federation to carry out the transfer. At the level of anti-communist propaganda, Kubala was perfect. A young and extraordinary sportsman who fled from the red hell to take refuge in Franco's Spain was a candy too sweet to let go. Muñoz Calero, president of the Federation, rowed in favor of Barça as did Ricardo Cabot, secretary of the organization, who, in addition to his affection for the regime, was a well-known Barcelona supporter.
But the procedures were very slow and Kubala could only play friendly matches. He made his debut against Osasuna on 12 October, scoring two goals on the day the Barça fans knew instantly that they had just signed a star. Then he played against Zaragoza, Frankfurt twice, Girona and the Badalona. In six friendlies he scored 11 goals. The fans and the player himself were eager to meet in an official match. For all this, the Federation to play the role with FIFA fined Barça every time he lined up Kubala with the symbolic figure of 50 pesetas.
It is at this time that Kubala is about to leave everything and go away from Barça. He needed the money and wanted to play at the highest level and in Colombia he was offered the chance to do so. The South American country had organised the so-called Pirate League outside FIFA and many of the world's biggest stars joined, including Alfredo Di Stefano who went to Millonarios in Bogota. Kubala had a tempting offer from Atletico Bucaramanga. With the option of Kubala leaving, events accelerated. To begin with, Barça fixed his financial situation by means of a peculiar amateur contract in which they paid him 1,200 pesetas for "compensation" and 3,800 for "encouragement and overfeeding".
On April 2, 1951, he was granted the status of political refugee as a stateless person, which was a step towards granting him Spanish nationality. But for this step, Kubala first had to be converted to Catholicism through the sacrament of baptism. Every Spaniard had to be a Catholic. Kubala was baptized in Aguilas, Murcia, the birthplace of Muñoz Calero, president of the Federation. It is then when Barça, to avoid problems, settles its differences economically with Vasas, which despite being against capitalism accepts a payment of 300,000 pesetas to provide the transfer, while the Pro Patria, which also complained, is satisfied with 12 million lire.
The Kubala era could now really commence.
Kubala made his official debut with Barcelona in Sevilla in a cup match. The Sevillistas at that time were one of the best teams. Sevilla and Barça had developed in that period a great rivalry in the high places of the table. In 1946 Sevilla had stolen the possibility of winning the championship from Barça by drawing in Les Corts on the last day, in 1948 Barça beat the Sevillians in the final of the Eva Perón Cup (which would be the current Supercup) and in that campaign a Barça without Kubala had lost all its options to win La Liga after losing 4-0 in Nervión three days before the end of the season.
The Cup, by that time was played once the regular season was over and in those circumstances the official debut of Kubala took place. On April 29th in Nervion, Barça arrived to play against Sevilla in the middle of a difficult atmosphere. The Andalusians had lost the league in a dramatic outcome when they drew at home in the last match against Atletico Madrid with a refereeing performance that the locals judged scandalous. For further concern, the Federation allowed Kubala to line up with Barça in the first round of the Cup, which in Sevilla was taken as a surprise.
With the stadium full to the flag, Barcelona defeated Sevilla in an exhibition of Kubala. He wasn't just the best of the match but he showed Spain a way of playing football unthinkable until that time: chest controls, shots with curve, millimetric changes of play of 40 meters, protection of the ball with his back, use of the body in the shot and touches with the heel.
Domenech, Sevilla's attacker who was the direct protagonist of that match, explained years later how he remembered that day.
"It was something never seen before. Ramallets kicked it and he would receive her with his chest, or with either of his legs. If you tackled him he would dribble you in a brick. He'd put the ball where he wanted her. Besides, from time to time he changed with César, he'd be a center forward and César would be a midfielder. They drove us crazy. The anger of the people became clamours. We were witnessing something extraordinary. It was like going from black and white cinema to colour," explained the former Sevilla player. The Sevilla crowd, who had welcomed Barça and its new superstar with anger, ended up giving Kubala a standing ovation for every action as if they were watching a glorious bullfighting performance.
Kubala's actions on the field change football forever. Since there was no television, his exploits are reported orally. There is no other way to see it than to go to the field of Les Corts, which is packed for every game Barça plays as a local. It is a very common argument to say that Kubala forced Barça to build the Camp Nou because the old Les Corts was not enough to accommodate all the people who wanted to admire him. Maybe he had an influence, but as the journalist Frederic Porta, author of an interesting biography of Kubala (Kubala, l'heroi que va canviar la història del Barça. Ed. Saldonar) explains, "the truth is that Barça had already bought the land to build the Camp Nou two years before and the idea of making a bigger field already existed, but Kubala advanced everything and justified the change".
Blessed with brutal technique, a sensational strike of the ball and an unusual physical strength, Kubala changed football. He would throw free-kicks over the wall with curve or by making the ball bounce in front of the goalkeeper, he would take penalties (he was practically infallible) with what was later called paradinha and was credited with the Brazilians although he was the first in Europe to do so. Physically he was a bull. In his youth he had practiced boxing and if he didn't become a recognized fighter with a great career it was because he had short arms. His lower body was sensational. He had a butt and legs that allowed him to protect the ball like no one else. Frederic Porta says that "in his time of splendour they measured his thighs and each one had a circumference of 69 centimetres, which would be the waist of one of his companions". He was also capable of running the 100 metres in less than 11 seconds. A total athlete with a very refined technique.
However, that physical strength and the confidence he had in her, for he never avoided a collision, were his downfall. Kubala became the target of a hunt by rival defenders. He never went into hiding and that's why in eleven years at Barcelona he suffered up to eleven injuries of some seriousness. With matches without television, the harshness that bordered on violence was the order of the day. He was being kicked to death.
But Barça was living its most golden period to date. Moreover, the club revolved around Kubala. Frederic Porta compares it with the present time: "Now they say that Messi commands the club and surely he commands, but nothing to do with the influence that Kubala had. Kubala was the boss and even the one who decided the transfers. And no one was surprised. That Barça adopted the socks with the horizontal stripes blaugrana is his imposition. He saw them on the rugby team, liked them and incorporated them into the football team by decree. In fact, it is he who insists on signing Luis Suarez when he impresses him in a match against Deportivo. Kubala was Suarez's first fan, but what happened in the stands, which was divided between Suaristas and Kubalistas, is another matter.
Suarez was eight years younger than Kubala. He arrived at Barcelona at the age of 19, Kubala was 27 and his physique was very punished by his injuries and the life he was living, as he did not deprive himself of anything. If he held out, it was because of privileged genetics.
Therefore, there never was a real competition between them, but there was a lot of influence here from the figure of Helenio Herrera, the Barça manager, who saw Kubala as older and slower and was looking forward to a quick change by the young Galician as the leader of the team. The debate reached the stands and the media. It was an absurd debate, because they didn't play in the same position, with whom Kubala really had a certain rivalry with Eulogio Martínez, who was the one with whom he alternated the position.
Kubala's physical problems were not only due to injuries. He had the whole of Spain in suspense when he suffered a tuberculosis that could have cost him his life. There are apocryphal versions that explain that this tuberculosis was actually a stab wound he suffered in a fight in a cheap pub in the fifth district (Barcelona's Chinatown) and he has to retire to Montseny to recover. Nobody is betting on his return to the pitch if he survives a "hole in the lung the size of a silver bullet" according to the chronicles of the time. But once again, Kubala's ability to survive prevails. He returns to the pitches, but already heavily punished and slowed down.
It is against this backdrop that the 1961 European Cup final arrives, with Kubala arriving at the age of 34 with a herniated disc that barely allows him to walk, but he wants to play. He knows that the club is going through a critical situation despite having reached the final of the maximum trophy for the first time: the club is bankrupt because of the construction of the Camp Nou, the fights in the board of directors are chaotic, Luis Suarez has signed for Inter (the one in Bern will be his last game with Barça), which was where Helenio Herrera had left the team in the hands of Enrique Orizaola.
Kubala tells Orizaola to line him up, that like all the Portuguese will go for him and he can barely move because of the back pain and will play with painkillers, it will give more opportunities to his teammates. But the match is a pile of misfortunes for Barcelona. Ramallets scores an own goal, Barça shoots three times to the damn square posts of the goals (from then on they would change their shape) even Kubala kicked a ball that hit a post, went through the goal line until it hit the other post and came out repelled. Barça lost and Kubala's time at Barcelona came to an end.
Kubala's significance goes beyond the playing field. According to a vote made for Radio Barcelona by journalist Joaquín Soler Serrano in the mid-50s, the Catalans most loved by their fellow citizens were Doctor Barraquer and Ladislao Kubala.
"He was literally the most famous person in the city, people really venerated him, and even Messi's influence cannot be compared to that of Kubala in those years," explains Porta.
His life off the field was notorious. An unrepentant night owl, it was common to see him in Barcelona's fashionable coffee shops and nightclubs. He was a man who stood out. Alfredo Relaño defines him in some of his articles as "a demigod. Tall, strong, blond with blue eyes and an overflowing personality. He aroused the admiration of men and women alike. An idol". Frederic Porta sums it up with the argument that "he would be the sum of Messi and Beckham and on top of that, he would go out every night".
Faced with Kubala's disorganised life, the Barcelona management decided to set up a private detective agency to follow him at night. The reports of the detectives are still in the Centre de Documentació del FC Barcelona and Frederic Porta published them in the history magazine 'Sàpiens'. In them, he gives a detailed account of the nocturnal wanderings of "Mr. K.", the code name of the Blaugrana star in an exercise in absurd discretion. There is also a letter from a Sabadell businessman in the club's archives, expressing concern that Kubala and Czibor had been "found in a Sabadell establishment after 2.30 in the morning accompanied by some of those ladies who were once gentlemen, I don't know if you understand". What the businessman doesn't explain in the letter is what he was doing in the same place.
Kubala's fondness for drinking was no secret. Helenio Herrera explains in a television interview that "one day at an airport in customs they asked Kubala if he had anything to declare and he said two bottles of whisky. The official asked him to show them to him and he, laughing, touched his belly and said: 'X-ray, I have them inside'. On another occasion, in the same situation, but carrying the bottle in the bag, he was told to leave it at the airport because no alcoholic drinks were allowed to be taken on board. Neither shy nor lazy, he drank it in front of the astonished official.
The legends about the occasions when the night was made longer and he did not arrive at training sessions or matches were recurrent. In that case, he called on the services of Angel Mur Sr., the team masseur who knew where to find him. He would start a pilgrimage through the usual places or floors until he found him, took him to the changing room, gave him a cold shower, a coffee with salt, a massage and played. The fans forgave him everything and were aware that their star was a man of joyful life. But he never failed on the field. Among the crowd at the time there were comments about the Kubala ritual in those games that followed a busy night. "He started off badly, and vaguely, but the signal was when, ten minutes into the game, he rolled up his sleeves as if to say 'I'm here, let's start, I've already cleared off', and the machine started to work.
You can't find anyone in the world who speaks ill of Kubala. Absolutely no one. Everyone highlights his huge heart and that despite being by far the highest paid player of the time (he earned six times more than his teammates) he didn't have a no for anyone. His detachment from money was legendary.
As proof, the anecdote explained by his biographer Porta: "one day he arrived at the dressing room and commented that his car had been stolen and that in the glove compartment he was carrying an envelope with 200,000 pesetas, which was a fortune for the time (a good apartment could cost 130,000 pesetas). When his colleagues tried to encourage him, he simply said: someone who needs it more than I do must have taken it".
It was also usual for him to take off his coat and give it to a poor man who begged in Barcelona's winter, or to take in any Hungarian who came to Barcelona asking for help in his house in Carrer Duquesa d'Orleans. Kubala, remembering his times as a stateless refugee without papers, asked nothing. He would take them home and pay them a boat ticket to America. The motto among the refugees fleeing the Iron Curtain was that "if you get to Barcelona, look for Kubala, he will help you". He never failed.
Later, now retired, he set up a bar next to Czibor in Capitan Arenas Street, the mythical Kep Duna (blue Danube in Hungarian) that became an unofficial refugee reception centre that was monitored by the secret services of the United States, the USSR and the Spanish police. Something like the Rick's Café in the film Casablanca, but in the upper area of Barcelona.
He was the great character of Barcelona loved by all, but there was a moment when this was almost broken, strange as it may seem. It coincided with the defeat in Bern, when a part of the press came to write that "Barça must be de-Kubalized as the Soviet Union must be de-Stalinized" and, especially, when he signed for Espanyol. The earthquake was a huge one.
After the defeat in Bern's final, Kubala announced his retirement from the fields. He had taken the coaching course and was ranked number one in his class. He made a pact with the president Llaudet, who was also an interesting character as we will see, that in principle he would take charge of the footballers' school of the club and that in a couple of years he would be in charge of the first team.
Meanwhile, Barcelona is directed by Lluís Miró who faces a team in disarray. Suarez has been transferred to Inter in the worst decision in the club's history and myths such as Ramallets, Tejada and Czibor were in the decline of their careers. The season starts badly and after losing at Mestalla to Valencia by a humiliating 6-2 that forces the resignation of Miro. It was time for Kubala, who was promoted to the first team in front of the joy of the fans. And the project results from the beginning. The Barça of the second part of season 61-62 recovers in La Liga and finishes second (the distance with the white ones when Kubala arrived was almost insurmountable) and avenges the 6-2 of Mestalla beating Valencia in the Camp Nou 4-0.
Facing the next season, the 62-63, Kubala can make his team by giving painful drops of some of his former teammates as it is the case of Eulogio Martinez or Evaristo. One of Llaudet's reluctances to give Kubala the job of coach was that he would have to manage some of his former teammates.
The positive expectations about Kubala's first full project were frustrated at first when the Blaugrana team had to play the final of the Copa de Ferias against Valencia, the team that caused the fall of Miró and the promotion of Kubala. And the history, by rare that it seems, repeats: Valencia returns to him to put 6-2 to the Barça. The fans explode against the team. In the return match, obviously, there is nothing to do, but Llaudet's ability to self-flagellation has no limits. As Alfredo Relaño writes, the Blaugrana president calls a dinner with the press the day before the game and makes this statement that if it happened today would open all the news.
Llaudet, in front of the press and accompanied by the coach Kubala and Gràcia as captain, asks the fans to forgive him and announces changes in the protocol of the start of the second leg. "Valencia will go out first to receive the applause, then Barcelona, to receive the whistles. Then Kubala will come out, so he can get the thunders. And finally me, so that all the whistles fall on my person, because I am the barcelonist who loves the club the most and who is destined to die on the pitch, if necessary...". He ends his speech crying. As we can see, Gaspart didn't invent anything.
The match ended in a draw and Kubala's project as Barça's coach was doomed. The manager is fired in the middle of the season and then a bomb explodes in Barcelona. Kubala accepts the offer to return to the pitch, but not as a coach, will be as a player and nothing more and nothing less than in Espanyol, Barça's eternal rival.
On 3 September 1963 Espanyol, then Español, announced that Kubala would be hired as a player. At 36 years of age, he was capable of being competitive.
His decision divides the public opinion. On the one hand, Federico Gallo and Juan José Castillo support his decision, on the other hand, Carlos Pardo or Ibáñez Escofet shoot at him. They call him a "Jew who sells himself for a plate of beans", a "traitor" and they see political interests in his decision.
Kubala explains that he wanted to continue playing and that he saw himself capable of doing so, although he accepted that he was not at Barcelona's level. He had received offers from important clubs, including River Plate and Juventus, but he doesn't want to leave Barcelona, where he feels like another Barcelonian. The Espanyol meets his expectations.
His start of the season is not bad, on the contrary, he scores in his first two games, but the team doesn't work out. The coexistence between the veteran newcomer Kubala and the team's symbol, Argilés, is not easy. Scopelli is dismissed as coach and de facto command of the team is given to the two team leaders despite their differences. The crisis erupts when the Spaniard visits the Camp Nou. The periquitos lose by 5-0 in a match in which the Barcelona crowd booed Kubala who they are eager to humiliate with his new team. Even so, at the end of the match, Kubala has a gesture to his former team that shows that he does not hold any grudge against what he has heard from the stands. At the end of the match, he organizes his teammates to make the corridor to Barça applauding the rival in recognition of the exhibition made. That gesture feels bad among the Espanyol fans and among some of his teammates. Argilés does not make the corridor and goes straight to the changing rooms.
The following year, Kubala becomes a manager-player and among the departures that he causes, there is the one of Argilés, but by contrast, Di Stéfano arrives, also hurt by his bad exit from Madrid fighting against Bernabéu.
Di Stefano and Kubala are like brothers. Even though they haven't officially played together, they have a special chemistry. A friendship that is forged when the Argentinian is about to sign for Barcelona.
When Di Stéfano arrives in Barcelona to sign for Español, he stays first at the Avenida Palace Hotel, but after a month he is living in Kubala's house as one of the family. The children of both always maintained a relationship as if they were brothers.
One of the players under Kubala's command was Jose Maria Rodilla, one of the players who would soon form the famous 'Dolphins' forward line. At 80 years of age, Rodilla remembers Kubala.
"I have a wonderful memory of Kubala, I always had a special affection for him. Not in vain, he was the one who signed me for Espanyol", he remembers when answering the call of this newspaper to which he confesses that* "normally I do not make declarations, but to speak about Kubala I do whatever is needed"*.
Rodilla, former teammate at Espanyol, has clear that "he was the best player in the world in terms of technique. Di Stéfano was the best footballer, but he didn't have his technique. Alfredo was more intense and more player of the whole field, but he could not do things that Kubala did"
Those who had the privilege of playing with both of them remember that "for example, Di Stefano wouldn't leave you alone for a minute, he was all over you and the fights were intense, but he always set an example, he never asked you for anything that he didn't do. Kubala was more paternalistic and tolerant. For example, he would ask us to do as he did in training, and while sitting down he would be able to make 3,000 touches on the ball without dropping it. Only he could do that."
Rodilla adds a story that explains Kubala's quality as a player-coach at the age of 38: "We went to play a friendly at Amposta and they called a foul on the edge of the box. Kubala takes the ball and whacks it into the corner. The referee made him repeat it because someone had moved or I don't know what. Kubala takes the ball and wham, back to the square. And the referee tells him that he has to repeat. That day Kubala got angry and left the field."
Rodilla recalls that Kubala's move from Barça to Espanyol created controversy in the city, but that he was oblivious to it. "He was still a magnificent person, I never heard him say a bad word against anyone. He never got into an argument, he was goodness personified, he was unlucky in his time as a coach, but as a coach he is one of the best I've ever had, with a great love for young players and always trying to help you improve."
He extended his playing career for a couple more years by playing for Zurich and even trying out the American adventure at the Toronto Falcons, where he coincides with Branko and Daucik's son. At the age of 40 he played 19 games and scored 5 goals.
In 1968 he returned to Spain and trained the Córdoba team for a short period of time until he was called up to the national team. Kubala will manage the Spanish team until 1980, when he signs for Barcelona again as a coach.
Kubala's debut with Spain was, once again, a propaganda match for the regime. It was played in the Estadio de la Línea de la Concepción against Finland and Spain beat their rivals 6-0 in a match that was no longer useful. Spain had missed out on qualifying for the Mexico '70 World Cup, but the idea of that game was to showcase a great field that could be seen from Gibraltar as if to give jealousy to those in the Rock for the sports culture of Spain. Dictatorship things.
It's true that at that time Spain was struggling more than anything else on the international scene. It did not qualify for the 1974 World Cup because of Katalinski's goal in the play-off match in Frankfurt, and in both the 1978 World Cup and the 1980 European Championship the team fell in the first round, but there is still no one from that era who will make a judgement against Kubala.
"Kubala, one ahead of his time. No doubt he had a lot to do with his past as a footballer. And not just like any other player, like the best! I remember him always saying to me: 'Ruben, you have to get out of the way on the other side of the ball. Look for the space, not the ball. The goal I scored in Yugoslavia has to do with everything he taught me," he told Fermin de la Calle in an interview with AS Ruben Cano, the hero of the famous 'Battle of Belgrade' in the match that took Spain to the World Cup in Argentina. Yes, the one with the goal by Cardeñosa that could have changed Kubala's record with the national team.
He did a lot to improve Spanish football and his idea regarding the incorporation of foreigners to improve the level of Spanish football was key in the future development of the Spanish competitive level.
His players remember him as a didactic person, tactically bold and very close. At a time when fury was the hallmark of the game, Kubala never forgot that he was the heir to the Magyar tradition of the Honved and the Hungary who, by moving the ball, shocked the world the day they destroyed England at Wembley 3-6.
For the average football fan, Kubala may have been a half-hearted coach who embodied an era of the national team in which nothing was won, as has been the case most of the time, and he became popular for his expressions that would now be meme material on social networks. The national team was known as the 'Kubala boys' and the coach's catchphrase before the matches saying "boys well, optimal morale" was the fashionable phrase in the coffee shops of the 70s in Spain.
But among his colleagues, Kubala still deserved reverential respect. "The first goal was authentically Latin, cunningly scored and perfectly studied. I can only congratulate Kubala on his previous tactical work," said German boss Helmut Schön after facing and losing to Spain in a friendly in which the recent world semi-finalist and next world champion fell to the Kubala boys at the Sanchez Pizjuan with two strategic goals from Arieta. Yes, Arieta against Müller. Seeler, Beckembauer, Maier, Netzer and company.
He left the national team in 1980 to join Barça as the coach of Núñez's second project in an operation that was the prelude to what would happen in the World Cup in Russia with Lopetegui. Kubala committed to Barça while he was coach and tried to alternate functions, but Porta refused. Finally, on 8 June 1980, four days before the start of the European Championship, Kubala signed for the Blaugrana team, which he would join after the European Championship.
His second spell at the head of Barça did not go well either and he was dismissed mid-season. He continued his adventure on the bench as coach of Saudi Arabia (in that he was also a pioneer), training Malaga and the Paraguayan national team before retiring from football on the bench of Elche.
He spent his final years in Barcelona as active as ever. Playing with Barça veterans, helping his teammates, not having a no for anyone and playing tennis every day or going for a run or cycling routes exhibiting an enviable physical condition.
Until the light of genius and the glory faded away 18 years ago. A degenerative brain disease put an end to the adventure, but not to the legend of a world football myth. An icon that changed the lives of so many people that they wouldn't fit even in a stadium.
The coffin with the mortal remains of Kubala was carried on shoulders, amidst the applause of the fans who gathered at the doors of the church of Santa Tecla, by Alfredo Di Stéfano, Gustau Biosca, Eduardo Manchón, Estanislao Basora, Joan Segarra, Josep Bartomeu, Luis Suárez, Antoni Ramallets and Gonzalvo III.
He rests in the cemetery of Les Corts, next to the Camp Nou because that is what he left written in his will, while Serrat sang to him about how...
...Pelé was Pelé and Maradona was the one and that's it. Di Stéfano was a pit of mischief. Honour and glory to those who made the sun shine on our football. Everyone has his merits; to each his own, but for me none is like Kubala. Respectable silence is requested, for those who haven't enjoyed him, I'll say four things: he stops it with his head, he drops it on with his chest, he sleeps it off with his left, crosses the pitch with the ball attached to the boot, leaves the midfield and enters the box showing the ball, hides it with his body, pushes with his ass and gets in with his heels. He pisses on the centerback with a dedicated piece. and touches her gently to put her on the path to glory.
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