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Punting professionally?

Here's an interesting letter from an anonymous person - let's call him Jason - probably because that's his name. I reproduce it here because I know it is what a ton of folk think about and worthy of comment. Here is part of his letter (the omitted bits referred to his methodology)......

I'm new to the racing/punting world, so forgive me if I sound like a git. :)

Firstly, I wanted to thank you for your website. It's a library of excellent information, and there's an honesty and transparency about your writing that's sorely lacking elsewhere!

Just before Christmas I started considering punting for a career. I've never been a gambler in any form, so this was a bit of a shock!

I started devising my own selection method, which I apply to horses, trots and greyhounds, seven days a week. I've been working with play-money only, and compiling the results in Excel.

I'm one of those rare blokes who is very methodical and dispassionate about punting ... I stick religiously to my rules and don't get carried away by emotion. I suspect, therefore, that I might be able make a living, long-term, from this. But I need to learn more ...

Thanks for the email – you ask a lot of interesting questions so let me start by writing what someone very smart said to me years and years ago: "You won’t make money out of gambling UNLESS that is the way you normally make money".

I know – that takes a bit of digestion as the implications are enormous :-0)

I stood at the door you are now contemplating entering in 1969 when Rain Lover won the Melbourne Cup for the second time and I had coupled it for (a lot of money at the time) with Daryl’s Joy in a feature double and won enough to tell the Queensland Public Service I didn’t need their trifling income ($23 a week) as a junior accounts clerk as I was now set on a path to fame and fortune. Ummm- wrong! Come to think about - REALLY wrong ..... and dumb!

You can’t do dogs and trots and horses all simultaneously. No one individual can. The hours spread is too great – the knowledge requirements too large and who the hell wants to do that 24/7 anyway. Sounds exciting but it’s dead boring.

To get to the stage where you are making REAL money out of gambling, you first have to lose a lot – that’s just what the apprenticeship costs.

You will pay this by chasing a lot of (expensive) ideas down dead ends and have a lot of ups and downs along the way until you “click” that what you are doing may not be correct. And the approach to staking may be wrong. And your target annual win amount in relation to your punting bank (substantial if you are relying on it to eat and live and accommodate yourself) may be wrong. And in most cases it will all be “wrong”.

If you’re smart enough, you’ll keep going back over your losing bets which you have boringly recorded - I know everyone, but everyone, says you have to keep a record – wonder why? – and analyse why they lost and decide were you just a victim of circumstances (and there are a genuine myriad of them) or could your methodology possible be (gulp) wrong?

And if you are relying on one methodology that you believe you have “proven” would you not be wiser to have quite a lot of those up your sleeve that save you when your one “sure fire plan” has an INEVITABLE run of outs?

I notice you are focussed on one idea and approach at the moment to succeed. That may be the biggest flaw in your approach.

With computer technology and software that is available these days that can do all the “heavy lifting” for any ideas you may have that rely on past performances as a base for going forward, any half way smart computer oriented person has absolutely no excuse for being reliant on one approach.

This multi-level approach is obviously one I have come to strongly believe in. You can (and should) question it and reject it if it does not fit with what YOUR brain tells you. Your approach will ALWAYS be better than mine because you have to live with it and operate within its confines.

So before you decide to take the leap of faith and jump in to the precipice of full time gambling, STOP and THINK. Most people will flame out in the first six weeks.

BEFORE you jump, KNOW that you can make from your gambling approach is MORE than your current employer is willing to pay you when they rent your time......and that is all they are doing - renting your time and perhaps expertise.

You should have proven this over AT LEAST a year of trying to do both. You must also believe that any extra time you put in to your approach by not having to rent your time out to others will return the equivalent AT LEAST of what you were being paid.

In most instances this will not be the case. Let me repeat that in bold so you know I really mean it: In most instances this will not be the case.

Nearly 100% of people are NOT cut out to gamble for a living – a lot can play with it as a hobby and do quite well from time to time and even make a modest profit with a carefully thought out approach. Most just make up the pools.

Now the “lecture” is over some specifics you asked:

Place versus Win - I notice that you sometimes bet for a Win, sometimes for a Place. What decides that for you?

Price alone – my magic “switch” price is $2.50

Your site has loads of different selection methods. I suspect that each one has its day: it works for a time, then stops. Is that true? Or does it go in cycles: will a system swing upwards again after a downwards swing?

They ALL are cyclic – that’s just the nature of the beast and, again, why I don’t rely on one but rather a host of them.

Somewhere on your site you say "Even when I lose, I'm winning". Can you explain that please?

Because I use a very modest (around 0.33%) stake recovery staking plan PLUS increasing target (minimum acceptable $2.50 price) – as outlined on the site – I am confident I will recover any losing bets before the INEVITABLE losing streak destroys my bank and, yes, I have more than ample to cover a series of banks. You simply have to have that degree of financial “back up”.


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