When are we in our punting prime?
Racing Editor for bettingexpert. Always searching for winners "against the crowd" and trying to find the value.
Email : stephen at bettingexpert.com
At what stage in life are we most primed to be a successful punter? On our blog today Stephen takes a look at how our potential to succeed in the betting game changes as we grow with experience.
Where are you in the betting cycle of life? And what experiences have you had so far in the ever changing world of betting?
We all enter the world of gambling a bit similar to a child entering a sweet shop. Its an amazing new world and the pitfalls are not yet apparent. We tend to bet in a very recreational manner, perhaps accompanied by alcohol and watching live sports with mates. Bets are probably relatively small and not price sensitive at all. We use a layer who we have seen an advert for or got a free offer and tend to have spells of smashing away dependent on what else is happening in life. Often bets will be multiples or trying to win the lottery by finding huge odds accumulators. In summary these punters are ideal fodder for the betting industry.
Of course not all newbies fit this stereotype. Pat Veitch in his excellent autobiography "Enemy Number 0ne" details how he set up an extremely profitable tipping line whilst studying maths at Cambridge University, having several phonelines in his student lodgings manned by pals, and building up a huge customer base because of his amazing hit-rate at finding winners. He is now the leading pro-punter of horses in Britain and owns a large string of properties and racehorses as a result of his long established success.
Most of us though are mere mortals at this stage of life and tend to find our way by regular failures on the betting front. I remember still with a feeling of embarrassment getting my first ever "credit" account with William Hill in the 1990's and betting wildly between the odd politics lecture at university. The following summer was spent grafting in a number of positions to repay a rather large debt that was obviously accrued. (I blush everytime I see a lawnmower having cut more lawns in 8 weeks than most people do in a lifetime.)
This is the beginning of a golden age in ones betting "career". The initial errors of the novice punter have been overcome, the temptation to chase any losses have hopefully eroded and one has hopefully gained experience in a certain field where specialising ensures that the opinion formed is a decent one. The importance of getting value becomes clear and the achievement of regular betting profits is within reach.
Personally this time in my life was slightly different as I became a bookmaker in my own right at the local greyhound stadium as well as betting fairly heavily on horse racing on the betting exchanges and with on-line layers. I recall with fondness these "hungry" years on both sides of the fence as one had very few responsibilties or distractions, and was totally focussed on finding an edge wherever possible. There was no magic formula for success, but just pure hard graft, watching videos (as they were then, no DVDs or rapid access to replays via downloads) and making endless notes on the run-styles/form/analysis of many thousands of horse and greyhound races. This gave me a fairly unique insight and being a layer at the course meant I had to be really on the ball to stay ahead of the game. If I ever made an error in pricing the on-course punters would very soon tell me in hard cash!
A difficult time for all punters when life can sometimes compete with the abiltity to bet profitably. Many people settle down, buy property, have children etc etc and all these amazing things can have a negative effect on the ability to focus totally. Also having a growing career can mean time for betting professionally is at a premium.
I remember my typical day in my mid/late 20s was something of a whirlwind and now as I am a bit older I can't imagine how it was possible...
6am - Up and get ready for salaried job (senior trader with large spread-betting firm in London)
8am- 5pm - Price up and trade live the days main horse race meetings - (around 20 different markets)
5pm - Taxi across London to Paddington ....Train to Reading (on board price up next days horses)....Taxi to greyhound stadium.
7pm....Final pricing of dog card ....then price up and bet on 12 greyhound races with a staff of three (clerk, bagman, tictac to help...)
10.45pm...collect video of nights meeting and head home.....(via taxi if good night...train if not!)
11.45pm...Watch video and notes/analysis on all the runs.....price up card for next meeting to 100pc......
1.30am - sleep!
This was repeated everyday when there was a greyhound meeting (three a week) and was quite demanding.....but as I say these are the "hungry" years for all of us trying to win regularly.
A testing time for all punters and a dangerous one at that where many can fall out of the game because other pressures. Most players have settled down but that brings with it a range of responsibiites, usually financial, that mean risk taking has added impact on other peoples lives and not just your own.
From my own perspective I had done well enough from betting to get the nice house, car etc and had a growing family and was very content in my early thirties. However I mentally "relaxed" into this great situation and eased off on the most important thing of all, putting the research and effort into maintaining an excellent opinion on the sports one is wagering on. This complacency is important to overcome rapidly as it has a huge negative effect on profits. The initial "hunger" and desire to win at betting has been quenched but it is essential that the level of punting is matched by an equal level of research, analysis and recording of bets. "Easing off" with the hard graft is a temptation that must be avoided, even at this busy time in most punters lives.
A time in life I imagine being relatively settled. The area of betting expertise is firmly established and perhaps stakes are lowered with the desire to take chances reduced. Hopefully all the failings of chasing losses have gone and every price is hunted down to get the most valuable possible. Getting bets on is often the hardest problem with all account options used up with all the online layers and perhaps the middle aged punter has become solely reliant on the betting exchanges after his successes in the past.
Betting is now a recreational pursuit as life slows down a bit! (I imagine.)
You can follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenh61
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:
You must be logged in to post a comment! Sign up + or log in in the top right corner.
Enjoyed this post Stephen. I would even suggest that consistently posting tips on BettingExpert is only going to accelerate the climb in punting proficiency for younger less experienced punters. The experience gained by posting tips, learning from mistakes and developing a betting mindset is what creates consistent success down the road.
A topic well commented upon. There is a very intimate link between betting and one's personal life, and this article expounds very well on that. I think most of the people around here will readily see themselves in this. Good attempt at formulating these tentative stages of the betting cycle Stephen.
It's an interesting blogpost and there's a lot of truth to it. If anything I'd have to argue you forgot one dimension though: Start of punting career. For example a friend of mine never got started until he was 27 (just recently actually), so naturally he is just in his infant stages.