My question to you today is, how much profit are you really making from gambling? (And please be brutally honest with yourself when answering that question!)
I hope you are winning! If you are then well done to you, as that surely is the goal for most people, but even if you are a rare winning gambler, are you making as much as you could? However if you're not a winner then don't worry as your not alone. In fact you're in very good company, as an amazing 98% of gamblers lose money long term.
So assuming you are not winning, do you know why?
Well I'm going to hazard a guess the reasons are something like this;
a) Betting in the wrong types of races,
b) Blindly backing favourites (especially odds on shots)
c) No sense of money management,
d) Undisciplined approach
e) Chasing losses
f) Maintaining a 'gamblers mentality'.
However if 98% of people are losing money it stands to reason that 2% must be winning, so who are these elite 2% and what is it that they do differently to the majority?
Well the elite 2% are the professionals and semi-professionals like me and we approach betting as a business. The betting industry like to call us 'professional gamblers' but lets just make one thing absolutely clear here, one thing we are NOT are gamblers and this description couldn't be further from the truth - we don't bet for fun, or for the sake or thrill of it. We bet for one reason and one reason alone - TO MAKE A PROFIT!
I've said this many times before and I'm going to say it again - 'Betting is a business and gambling is for idiots' - So let me try and explain the difference between betting and gambling.
As I have already stated I am a professional and as such I am in the business of betting for only one reason - to secure slow and steady long term profitability. To achieve this outcome betting professionally has to be BORING and MUNDANE, from a psychological point of view the result of just one race becomes almost irrelevant to me, as in the long term I know I will make a profit from my betting strategies.
The point of running any business is to make a profit and to achieve this outcome I need the following three elements to work in my favour:
a) A betting bank,
b) A staking plan
c) A betting strategy which will deliver profits over the long term.
The betting bank needs to be big enough relative to my stake size to withstand the inevitable losing runs. It is also important that psychologically the betting stakes are well within my betting comfort zone, meaning that my pulse is never racing either before during or after a bet.
The moment your pulse starts to race should immediately alert you to the fact that you have stopped betting and are instead gambling, something has gone wrong with your strategy and you have become either uncomfortable with the size of your stake or have lost confidence in your chosen betting strategy. The inevitable result of this will be a breakdown of discipline and a desire to start chasing your losses, which is something I NEVER do. When I have a poor day then my attitude is always the same 'cest la vie', there will always another day.
I have many diverse and varied betting strategies within my betting portfolio but for the purposes of this exercise let me use my 'Hughie' Place Betting Strategy as an example of the above philosophy in action.
'Hughie' Place Betting Strategy
Here are the Hughie results for the six months to 01 June 2009. (I could use any 6 month period from over the past 9 years, in fact some previous half yearly figures would show higher profits. But these are the latest figures and emphasise the points I am trying to make.
The results are based on a betting bank of £400 and the stakes being used are as follows £2, £4, £8 and £12
Oct 1 + 77.63
Nov 1 +129.90
Dec 1 + 14.34
Jan 1 +179.83
Feb 1 +116.37
Mar 1 +169.58
Apr 1 - 3.62
May 1 + 13.81
Jun 1 + 77.78
The first thing you will notice is the relatively small and 'boring' size of the stakes I am using in relation to the size of the betting bank. By staking such a small percentage of the betting bank on the 'Hughies' takes all the stress away instantly, as the bank is never in any danger of going bust and the stake size is always well inside my betting comfort zone. Some of my members bet the 'Hughies' to much bigger stakes, however if the stakes are doubled or trebled then so must the bank.
As you can see you could comfortably follow this particular betting strategy to the advised stakes and at betfair sp safe in the knowledge that win, lose or draw over a long term period of say 6 months you would be comfortably in profit. You wouldn't need to watch any races biting your finger nails praying that a particular horse hung on for a place, because you would be confident that the strategy works and one or two horses not placing wouldn't make one jot of difference to the ability of the strategy to deliver a long term profit.
I keep using the phrase 'long term' because it is essential that you understand that it takes this long-term approach in order to succeed with any betting strategy. Just have another look at the 'Hughie' results above and you will clearly see that the months of March and April were not good months for the 'Hughies'. At the time I remember saying regularly in my daily column that it was probably down to the transitional period of switching codes from the 'jumps' to the 'flat'. For me though that's just part and parcel of any strategy - we will have these bumps but will come away unscathed as all that matters is to maintain a long term strategy. The plan works, as it doesn't require me to either lose faith or panic. That said any member who joined in March or April and followed my advice to concentrate on the 'Hughies' would have been pretty downhearted by the end of April as it would appear to them that the 'Hughies' are a poor bet. However any member joining last December enjoyed a terrific run and would have had a totally different opinion of both 'place betting' and me.
I think this point clearly demonstrates the importance of taking a long-term view of any betting strategy (12 months minimum I would argue)
Anyway this example of how safe, slow, steady, boring but consistent profits are generated month after month after month is just one aspect of a strategic and professional betting approach and hopefully demonstrates the difference between the excitement of gambling which is for thrill seekers and the boredom of betting which is my business.