professionally on horse racing
blogs, bookies and betting web sites are full of people dreaming of
becoming professional gamblers. Being your own boss, working when
you feel like it, making loads of money and watching racing for a
living is certainly appealing to most people. Let this post (and the
rest of this blog) be a reality check.
see a lot of people wanting to give up jobs to do this after a short
time punting. They think it’s easy and straight forward, they
think it will last forever. They haven’t thought it through.
you give up your job, you’re not only going to be risking your
money gambling, but your entire future job prospects. Let me tell
you, gamblers are not viewed in the same way as someone who works
in a normal job. Compare the reaction you get when you tell
someone you are a gambler to when you tell them you work in a bank.
(Too true) Even if you compare it to being a “day
trader”, the reaction is a mixture of contempt, fascination
people will flatly not believe you. Gamblers are the vagrants of society.
The losers that hang around race tracks, wasting their family income
on an addiction. No one believes it is possible to win, and if you
have – it’s just luck. Like it or not, this is how you
will be viewed. Some will feel sorry for you, others will not give
you the time of day. You are going to be one of society’s outsiders.
relationships can be strained and tested. It takes a lot of understanding
from family and friends and this can weigh on your mind whilst you
are gambling. A stable family life is important, it spills over into
your work – few jobs are affected as much by this.
(True) You need stability and space to work well. And
vice versa, a bad day at the office should not affect the way you
treat those closest to you. Can you really say that you won’t
be in a terrible mood when you lose $1000 on some horse at Horsham?
financial future is now uncertain. You are no longer contributing
to society, you are not paying tax – an advantage to the gambler
sure, but it doesn't improve your self esteem and further enhances
the feeling of being an outsider.
to borrow money from the bank? It’s easier said than done. This
is why you need to try to secure your future financially as far in
advance as you can before you make it your sole income.
about future job prospects? If you need to work again, do you really
think future employers are going to be happy with you spending a year
or two gambling for a living when they read your cv.
much have you won before you turn pro? It’s hardly ever enough.
You need to make many times your current annual income before you
do it. Make sure you have savings that are stashed away, preferably
making you a reasonable amount of interest. You cannot perform in
this game if you are too worried about losing your hard earned cash.
Pressure on your profit and loss is deadly.
about when you do take the plunge, your day to day life is going to
change dramatically in ways you may not have imagined. Interaction
with other people becomes scarce. You will be spending long
periods of time alone, clicking away staring at a screen all day.
The temptation to live up to the stereotype is obvious. Why bother
making an effort when you can get up, do some work and go back to
bed again. Discipline. Working alone throws up serious challenges.
Your health and fitness can suffer drastically. The way you interact
with other people can take a tumble. Prepare for this in advance.
not all excitement and glamour. It can be downright boring
doing the same things day in day out. Boredom for some gamblers can
be their most dangerous adversary. You can end up working on things
you don’t need to be. Betting too much and over trading for
the sake of it.
certainly doesn’t owe you a living. A normal job pays you for
turning up, no one’s going to do that here – they are
going to try to take money off you for turning up. It’s you
against a world of other people, all of whom have opinions, some
of them most definitely better informed than you. Just how
professional are you when it comes to the crunch, are you certain
you are at the top of the tree? How consistent is your performance
going to be to combat everyone else and stay ahead of the game. There
are some brilliant brains out there trying to beat you at every turn
– be wise to the available strategies and the people you are
up against and give them respect – it’s your money and
therefore livelihood they are after.
are very few real professional gamblers, the reasons above outline
why. It’s incredibly tough to do. You are going to be tested
mentally every day and you will need to guard against developing bad
psychological habits. There are reasons why gambling can cause problems
for most people. There is a fine line between problem gambling, pathological
gambling and professional gambling. Many professionals develop problems,
be aware of the risks. With all the negative problems you can face
as a professional gambler, you better make sure you are being compensated.
Ask yourself what a fair amount is for enduring these problems, if
you aren’t already making that then is it really worthwhile.
about your life situation and your family life. You are risking your
money and theirs. I was fortunate when I began that
I was young, single and in a job that didn’t pay that much and
I was able to spend as much time as I liked pursuing it, without overheads
and relationship damaging consequences. It’s extraordinarily
time consuming to begin with, especially as you are going to have
to work hard to increase from little to a sum of money suitable to
work from. Don’t underestimate the time this takes, and the
time you will be spending away from family chasing something that
might not even work out.
know this post is quite pessimistic. I think it’s supposed to
be. I’ve heard it said before that professional gamblers are
pessimists, I’m not sure I agree completely, but in this post
I certainly think it’s a good idea to be. No matter how much
you think you are ready, wait a while longer. Wait until you are sure
you aren’t just lucky, then wait some more. Know why you aren’t
plain lucky, and be big enough to admit defeat if you have been
racing systems and research