Being a full time punter or tipster can be a lonely business. No work mates. No office banter. No works canteen to spend time in, chatting with colleagues.
No. My day is spent alone, in a room, staring at a computer. I’m not complaining. Far from it. Rather this than being surrounded by office politics. I much prefer working for myself than for a boss who knows less than I do. Or accepting a high paid job being offered by a bully whose every second word rhymes with puck!
I pride myself on the detailed and dedicated service I offer to subscribers. Or, as I prefer to call them, the members of VG Tips.
So what characteristics does someone doing what I do all year long need in order to be a profitable punter?
He or she must be happy in their own company. His glass should always be half full, not half empty. Especially on those days when the Gods conspire against you. Such as when your horse falls at the final fence when miles clear. Or a footballer misses a late penalty that would have seen you win hundreds of pounds for a small stakes accumulator.
A profitable punter must be picky. He must plan ahead and look out for the best quality race meetings and research those, while leaving the rubbish events alone. He needs to be aware of breaking sports stories. Or those that may be breaking any day now. He or she must decide whether to trust the Met Office when it comes to weather forecasts for racecourses. The weather conditions can play a big part in the outcome of races.
On the football front, be aware of changes in management or player injuries. A football team that is on a terrible losing run can suddenly be revitalised by a new manager. A regular anytime goalscorer bet may become redundant if that player is out injured. And to expect the unexpected is fast becoming the norm in the English and Scottish leagues. We’ve already seen some crazy results this football season.
Reading between the lines of what a racehorse trainer or jockey says during an interview can also help you maintain your life as a profitable punter. After decades of experience, I tend to know which racing people speak the truth, which talk in riddles and which will say black is white no matter what the evidence before your eyes tells you.
My continuing mission is as it has been for decades. To work hard for my members and to offer them not only tips, but also tips about how to bet better.
The full time punter has to learn the art of time management. At least I have. Back in the day, when working for a succession of television broadcasters, time management was not essential because it was there time I could be wasting. Now it would be my own. Never bet or study form when tired. While by far the majority of a ‘going day’ will be spent in front of screens, watching back past races or studying form for future events, you don’t want to work so long that what is in front of you becomes a blur.
Consistency is the key. On this matter I agree with Tom Segal, Pricewise in the Racing Post. He has long advised punters to stick true to the way of betting that has worked for them – even after days when it does not. We all have bad days at the office. It doesn’t matter how experienced a punter you are, that will happen. But throwing the baby out with the bath water is not something you should do. If over a sustained period of time you have found a way that works for you, keep the faith. Be safe in the knowledge that any losing run is always followed by a winning one. Be confident in your own ability to win much more often than you lose.
Price matters. Value is vital. Your decision as to whether a bet is worth placing should be based on the odds on offer. Ask yourself: Does the price on offer represent potential value? Are the odds on offer more in favour of you, the punter, and not the bookie? Even if you are convinced a horse will win, if you think the price is too short, let it win.
Via this link you can read about other do’s and don’ts I suggest you would be wise to adhere to if you want to, like me, end the year as a profitable punter.
We can all make mistakes. Any punter can be guilty of attaching themselves to certain horses. Of betting on them too often, ever hopeful that the next time will be the time that horse wins. But try to stop short of following any horse off a cliff, so to speak. Knowing when to give up on a horse or a football team is a must.
We should all learn from our mistakes. Over the years, even I have been guilty of making the same mistake twice. That cardinal sin of changing your mind about a selection for a race. I confess. I’ve done it! I have found that changing your mind pays off far less often than you are left regretting switching from one horse to another.