Talking Betting with........Steve Noyce
Racing Editor for bettingexpert. Always searching for winners "against the crowd" and trying to find the value.
How do you succeed in betting long term? What does it take to become a professional punter? Today on the blog we speak with professional punter Steve Noyce who shares his insights into successful betting.
Steve Noyce is a regular at the races in the South of England where he specialises in betting in-running on the betting exchanges. He has been steadily successful in the past decade and now has an interest in several racehorses, inclduding Court Gamble currently in training with the up-and-coming Neil Mulholland. I had the opportunity to ask Steve a few questions about betting and the world of professional punting.
1-How did you first get into the world of betting and gambling?
As a small nipper I went regularly to my local course at Newbury with my Uncle. This ignited my interest in horse racing and betting and meant I have spent my whole life since involved in the game in one form or another.
2-What jobs have you done in the industry?
I started out as a racecourse clerk for a number of bookmakers learning the craft and seeing how some of the best layers traded in times when turnover was much much larger than it is now at the courses. I also became a tictac and in later years have had my own share in a point-to-point bookmaking pitch, something I really enjoy. Point to Point racing occupies me on most Saturdays and Sundays through the season and is a welcome diversion from the huge crowds that prevail and ruin racing for me on those "big" days.
3-What is the biggest win you have ever had?
It's not my style to aim for big wins, it is a huge failing of many punters who try and get greedy and go for the jackpot with every bet. That said my biggest win was around £33,000 a few years ago on some each-way trebles and accas. The French Furze winning at 33-1 made the bet when he defeated a long odds-on favourite.
4-How do you deal with the inevitable losing runs?
I draw a deep breath and avoid getting hotted up and chasing. I plod myself back into form without rushing as I know over time I am favourite to win.
5-What advice would you give to any aspiring punters trying to do it professionally?
Play every race entirely on its merits unrelated to how you are going on the day. Have a plan but be flexible enough to adapt to a change in circumstance. I watch the horses carefully in the paddock and more importantly on the way to post...it is amazing how many pull hard, sweat up, bolt to post etc etc and this provides an edge that very few stay at home punters possess.
6-How has the game changed in recent years?
It has become totally impossible to get any sort of bet on in any size with any company. I play exclusively on the betting exchanges now which is a shame as it has removed a lot of the excitement of having a bet in the morning that you believed was value. The off-course firms have become arcades only and the on-course layers are basically arbers trying to grind out tiny wages using "the machine" (betfair) to hedge all their turnover through.
7-What are the hardest things about being a pro-punter?
The driving can become a real pain, with many hours spent on snarled up motorways trying to get to and from the courses. Paper prices which used to guide the industry are now redundant, with betfair providing an accurate "tissue" an edge which used to exist has been removed. 95pc of my betting is now solely in running as a result. Corruption is now far bigger than it has ever been in my opinion, with the dominance of the exchanges a direct cause of this growth coupled with the absoutely dire state of prize money at the lower level.
8-What mentality do you need to survive?
Stoic, steady and unruffled. Stay in second gear and don't get involved bigger than you should. Be a Deep Run not a Tina's Pet (stayer rather than a speedball!)
9-Do you use "inside" information or purely your own judgement?
Not really, my eyes are my only guide. In my experience it is often much better not to know everything that has gone wrong or right with a horses preparation. I have found my opinion has stood the test of time and I'm happy to back it with my own hard cash.
10-How do you see the game developing in the next ten years?
I am pessimistic about the game that I love. 0n course betting is dying a fast death and racing has prostituted itself to the high street bookmakers for far too long. 1400 fixtures is far too many and deters many punters away from following the sport, especially in the flat season when it is completely out of control.
You can follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenh61
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