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House money?

[ 2010-11-19 13:21]     字号 [] [] []  
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House money?

Reader question:

Please explain “house money”, as in the following: “This year lost about two-thirds of my father’s money in the market. Thank heavens it was “house money”, or profits from previous trades.

My comments:

“House money” here refers to profits made from previous trades, in other words not money earned by his father through sweat and toil, such as from the savings from a salary of someone who works 9 to 5.

Otherwise, the son would have felt guilty – for losing his father’s hard earned savings.

Now, “house money” is a term borrowed from the casino, or betting house.

I’ve been told that first-time visitors to the casino tend to win at, say, the slot machine. I wonder if you can verify these stories but more than once I’ve been told this, that the first time player tends to have what is called the new man’s luck. That is, the new comer tends to win on the strength of pure luck.

The theory they have with the casino is – again, I’ve nowhere to verify this – that by letting new comers win, the casino house has a greater chance of retaining them as potential regular visitors, you know, by encouraging the new customer to keep playing, and hopefully getting them addicted, and hooked, to the house.

Once they’re addicted and hooked, well, the rest is history, or eventually will be.

Anyways, house money refers to the money one wins in the casino house, or figuratively speaking any easy money made from the stock market, the lottery or what have you.

And people playing with house money are generally speaking more liberal, in addition to pressure less and care free, than if they’re playing with money they earn the hard way – say, again, from the salary of a 9-5 job. That’s just human nature. As a result, house money is also easily squandered and lost. The first-time visitor to the casino, for example, wins a small sum at the slot machine, becomes greedy and exited, keeps playing and making greater bets till he loses all that he has.

In other words, easy come, easy go.

Alright, here are recent media examples of “house money”:

1. Although ample playoff history suggests only Kobe can stop Kobe, he credited his unimpressive numbers to the Thunder’s defense and a team-wide attempt to get the ball inside.

“(Oklahoma City) is a young team that plays hard, that’s playing with house money, so they go in there and let it all hang out, Bryant said. “It’s a series, it’s a challenge. It’s how playoff basketball should be.”

- Bryant rests up, predicts better effort by Lakers, AP, April 26, 2010.

2. No matter what happens over the next two weeks, the U.S. national men’s soccer team is a success.

By reaching the knockout stages of South Africa 2010, Bob Bradley’s team has achieved its most important goal of the summer.

“Throughout the entire period leading into this World Cup we’ve talked about different goals and we’re pleased that we accomplished the first one,” said Bradley.

It also made some history along the way, becoming the first American team to both win a four-team World Cup group and go unbeaten in group play.

And they did it in style, producing two of the most entertaining matches of the group stage by coming back from a two-goal deficit to tie Slovenia 2-2 and then snatching Group C at the death on Landon Donovan’s heart-stopping late goal to beat Algeria on Wednesday.

Who would have thought the most forgettable U.S. match of the group stage would be the much-anticipated match with England?

So the U.S. is playing with house money entering this morning’s round-of-16 match with Ghana.

Which just may ease the pressure and help the team play the type of confident, carefree soccer that could see it make a serious run.

- U.S. playing Ghana with house money, VCStar.com, June 25, 2010.

3. The Jazz are not the only ones who’ve gone down but refused to stay there.

Already this season, there have been 10 games a team lost after leading by 15 or more points, according to STATS LLC. It happened on the first night of the season, when the Houston Rockets could have spoiled the Los Angeles Lakers’ ring ceremony but couldn’t protect a 15-point, third-quarter advantage.

When you’re down, you’re playing with house money. The shot’s a lot freer and when you’re up, you’re trying to protect that lead,” Houston forward Shane Battier said. “It’s so tough to get a lead in this league. So combination of confidence when you’re down and you make a few, and the tightening of the, let me put this nicely, the tightening of the buttocks when you start to feel that lead slip away.”

- Jazz prove ‘no lead is safe’ isn’t just a cliche, AP, November 15, 2010.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


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