Attention all punters! How are you? No, I mean it. How are you really? Are you coping without being able to have a flutter on football or the horses? What are you coping strategies?
Are you missing the excitement of watching a race unfold, a race in which you have a financial investment? Are you football punters aching for the thrill of deciding whether or not to cash out on an accumulator?
Betting online can be a lonely business at the best of times. Friends or family don’t understand why you do it. They think you are one of those addicted gamblers they read about in the Daily Mail or hear about on phone-in shows that wildly exaggerate the problem. They don’t believe you when you say it’s fun, or that you make an annual profit from punting. Some of these people who live in a different universe actually pity you.
Forgive them. Those who do not bet on sport. For they do not understand what you do or how you do it.
But these are testing times. Your fingers may be getting twitchy. You may have funds sitting in your online bookmaker account (BANK IT!)
Do not respond to e-mails from the big firms who invite you into their online casinos (DON’T GO THERE!)
Resist betting on sports you know nothing about that may be taking in parts of the world you’ve never heard of.
We punters are having to be patient like never before. Our patience is being tested to the limit. Not because we’re addicted to betting. But because we enjoy it. There are far more harmful ways to pass your time. But patience truly is our best friend and so we must embrace it.
The time spent not betting can be used constructively in all manner of ways. You can do as I am doing and research deeper into what happened during the 2019 flat season, in the hope we get to see at least some of those horses this summer. You can check out your pre-season football bets and try to work out which will be the better or worse for this long lay off. Will a team you have predicted to be relegated do better when football returns because crucial players who were out injured in March, will be fit to play should the game resume in May or June? Have you bets you can cash out? Perhaps one or more of them now look shaky, what with the suspension of the racing and football seasons?
The loneliness of an isolated punter and tipster is something I live with daily. But I am not alone. Members of VG Tips have handled this absence of punting superbly. I am truly impressed and flattered by the messages I have received from many of them. I always knew my subscribers were a special bunch, with their heads held high and with reality running through their veins. But the past month has made me admire them all the more. They already know that profitable punting is a marathon and not a sprint. That you should judge your success over the long term, not based on one day, week or month.
VG Tips members appreciate that before racing was suspended we together enjoyed seven winners at the Cheltenham Festival, the last of which was the massive price winner, Indefatigable.
When racing and football return we will appreciate all the more what we enjoy about them. We’ll back winners and losers. Over the course of the year, however, we’ll finish ahead of the bookies, as I have done since 1998. I’ll not be able to shout about twelve months of punting profit in 2020. Although I was ahead of the bookie when the sports were suspended, I’m not about to base my results on three months work or an incomplete year. So 2020 will have to be the first year in twenty two when I’ll not be able to calculate a year of bets.
Now we must wait. As long as it takes. I am as eager as the next punter to see the likes of Pinatubo race. But we all know there are much more important things at stake right now. Racing and football must only return when it’s safe for participants to take part and, probably later down the line, for spectators to attend.
I’ll be ready. I’m still here. I’m still working for members, currently watching back flat races from last year, reminding myself of those horses who did well for us twelve months ago in anticipation of being able to back them again in the coming months.
I am feeling what many of you reading this may be feeling. Frustration. Without racing and football, not knowing what day of the week it is. Feeling as though every day is Groundhog Day. But then I receive a supportive e-mail or tweet from a grateful subscriber who knows that their membership is being extended to cover any period of time that we are without racing and/or football in the UK. As always, they’re not losing out by being part of the long established and detailed service I offer.
I’m not missing them because they are still with me. As I am still here for them.
Thank you all.
Stay safe. Stay well. Stay home.