Here is the blog version to accompany our Professional Gambler Q&A – Ask a Sports Betting Professional video. Hopefully, this will give Betting-Analyst.com users some perspective of how we make a living from betting. (scroll for video)
WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY INTO GAMBLING? – PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER Q&A
When I was still at Grammar school, I saw a friends dad constantly losing money to bookmakers. That made me interested in taking bets, so I started offering football odds to my classmates. I soon knew I wanted to be an on-course bookmaker, and it later became a reality!
At the age of 18, I had set aside £300 for the three-day meeting at York. I had planned on staying the whole week, but after the 4th race, I had lost half of my money. Although it was reckless, I said to myself, today is going to be all or nothing. With £150 left, I bet £80 on the next 7/2 winner. I went on to bet the last two winners, including a 10/1 shot with 100 staked!
Day two another good day, and I left the track with 11k in my pocket. On day 3, I started with a loser but was soon back winning the next two. In the 4th race, I had convinced myself this was a strong bet, and I had 4K on a 2/1 winner. By the end, I had turned £300 into £30K.
Back at home, I hatched a plan to mix education with betting. A short time later, I was the youngest person in the UK to be granted a betting license. My bookmaker journey started on the dog tracks and backlines of Horse race meetings!
Further down the line came consulting the first online bookmakers. They needed betting licenses, and I was the first to obtain remote licenses in both Malta and Gibraltar. My client base was international, and I spent most of my time in Germany, Malta, and Sweden.
With a partner we set up a data analytics company, providing a leading bookmaker with odds. The parallel was investment in technology, and starting a betting syndicate.
Other than that, I worked on several well-known Sales & Acquisitions, advising lawyers on what to consider. On the journey, I have managed to build a solid network of gaming professionals and taken equity in companies.
WHAT SPORTS ARE YOU BETTING & MOST PROFITABLE?
Our in-house betting syndicate focuses on football. We have continued to grow over the years, and nothing will change.
WTA betting is a joint venture with a private group of pro gamblers. At the major tournaments, we get big money down. However, it becomes hard work to get laid at lower-graded events.
With regards to US sport, we work with other people but are probably staking less than before. One of the reasons is the time zone and the need to sleep at some stage.
UK Horse racing is the best for ROI (17.5%), albeit French racing is lucrative since UK bookmakers introduced fixed odds.
For the most profitable, it takes some explaining. In short, Horse Racing has the highest ROI, but it costs to get on. Sending runners to betting shops is settled at 3% on turnover. Using third party betting accounts will take 5% from the 17.5 profit!
With top league football, we can bet millions on our own back without hassle. Profit margins might be lower, but that does not matter with big numbers.
WTA is a safe bet and serves a purpose. For those with more time on their hands, WTA is a great sport for betting.
THOUGHTS ON ARBING? – PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER Q&A
While it would be wrong for me to say I never Arb, the truth is I’m not a big fan. Maybe my ego and arrogance stand in the way, but I hate giving value back to the bookmaker. Imagine this scenario;
9 Bookmakers are giving Team A at odds of 2.00, and only one is offering Team B at 2.10. The out of line value odds is team B, and I would make that bet without cover. The Arb becomes more interesting when 5 of the bookmakers are Team A at odds of 2.05 and the other five Team B at 2.05.
WHAT ABOUT TRADING?
If you mean buying/selling odds, I never spent long days trading on betting exchanges. While it used to be possible to carve out a fair return trading, the Betfair Premium charge (up to 65% on total win) put an end to that.
With that said, on occasions, we over-bet if we believe the odds will fall significantly. An example of such;
Bet 2000 @ odds 7/4 (win 3500)
Lay 1000 @ odds 6/4 (lose 1500)
New Risk 1000 (2000-1000 = 1000), Potential win 2000 (3500-1500 = 2000). The bet/new odds is 1000 to win 2000 = 2/1
DO YOU PLACE OWN BETS?
Very rare! We have people with quicker fingers who specialise in placing bets. However, we do have control over the odds taken, and that also applies to runners placing bets in betting shops.
One exception could be if I am on the racecourse. The other is private bets in betting shops.
ARE YOU USING BETTING EXCHANGES? – PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER Q&A
Not as much as I used to, but the answer is yes. Being a former on-course bookmaker, I still fancy myself as a layer. Furthermore, we use betting exchanges for selling a few dummies, knowing bookmakers will often follow. It is sometimes possible to manipulate the betting market, and exchanges are the perfect tool.
Here is a tip! If you are betting high volume through exchanges, contact the Betfair Premium accounts manager and negotiate a better commission. with big accounts, 1.7% is possible. Alternatively, use agents for 3% fixed rates.
WHY ARE YOU OFFERING ONE-ON-ONE COACHING?
The simple answer is to prove a point, and certainly not for the money! While my partners believe I’m nuts for doing one-on-one coaching, it is rewarding watching others start the journey.
I should say super knowledgeable is not required to take advantage of bookmakers. A person with half a brain, bookmaker accounts, a betting bank, and self-control will profit quickly.
The challenge for the punter is to treat betting as a business. It is down to the individual to see it through. The more you learn, the more you earn!
DO YOU USE SPORTS MODELLING & ANY ADVICE? – PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER Q&A
As a founder of a data analyst company, Sports-modelling has always been high on the priority list. We have been using algorithms for the best part of 15 years and invested heavily in the project. From a punting perspective, betting is a numbers game and finding more opportunities helps increase volume.
It takes years to refine a sports-modelling system. My advice to anybody having a go for the first time is to avoid complex. Why not start with a best of two-sport such as Tennis?
It shouldn’t take long to learn the ELO points-based model. Factors involved in a tennis match are substantially less than a football game, for example;
Player rankings; Can also make a ranking system!
Surface; No surfaces are alike. Understand player expectancy.
Head to head; Take into consideration when they played & surface.
Current form; Look for reasons and expectancy.
Past tournament performance (horses for courses)
Proximity; Winning a final on Sunday and playing 5000km away the next day!
Type of Player; Consider performance against similar opponents!
Stage of Tournament; The nerves factor! Other players grow into tournaments!
Travelling; Long flights are just one aspect!
Any outlining injuries; Watch for movement, bandaging, body language.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES GOING FORWARDS?
Professional betting is a postcode lottery. If a punter doesn’t have the legal means to place bets, the challenge is a big one.
Licensing barriers are going up all the time, and increased regulation is becoming problematic. An example of such is the UK means test, with punters expected to show proof of income. It is like applying for a credit card, and many punters are refusing to comply with providing personal details.
Check out the new rules from the UKGC
Many Bookmakers are importing odds from the 3rd-party services (Betradar). It makes for less competition and much of a muchness.
Cross border betting depends on your residence. Punters need to be aware of any legal issues.
If you have the means, using bet placers is a clever move. Most betting syndicates use this method, with winnings booked in as a consultancy service. For an individual, moving to a gaming-friendly country might help. Malta is an ideal choice (not legal advice). Alternatively, structure a business to handle transactions, we advise Professionals on possibilities. Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHERS STARTING SUCH A JOURNEY? – PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER Q&A
If you are not all-in, don’t waste your time! Professional betting is a life choice and needs treating like a business. In short, live it, breathe it, love it!
For those still wanting to give it a go, my advice would be;
Don’t overthink it; Baby steps, use cash flow (winnings) to become more efficient.
Have a strong mindset, don’t get egged on or follow the herd.
If the odds have gone, don’t bet! As with bises, the next will be along shortly.
Learn how to odds watch. There are times for jumping-in, and others when you should wait!
More betting accounts mean more opportunity. Play the numbers game!
Emotions have no place in business, and the same applies to betting.
Do not dip (take money) winning accounts with soft bookmakers until they are limited.
Make sure you are legally covered. Even if you buy in accounts, do it right!
ANY FUNNY – NOT SO FUNNY STORIES TO SHARE?
Too many! I gave three on the video. Watch that for more detail, they were;
+ Getting hit for 30% tax in Switzerland.
+ Collaborating with betting shop owners in Malta on odds discrepancies.
+ The Baden Baden racecourse bookmaker who laid us 50K in bets on day one. He banned us the next day!
Want to learn how to beat the bookmaker with our one on one coaching;
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