Hi Graham, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. Could you just sum up who you are and what you do?
Back in the early noughties I bought quite a few betting systems and subscribed to services that promised easy profits but all ended up costing me money not only in losses from the betting activities but also from the cost of the systems and services. After a couple of years of struggling to find anything that worked I decided to start up a simple blog as a way for me to keep a public record of the systems and services I was trying out. At the time nobody else was doing anything like it and pretty soon I started getting quite a few readers. Many of them started asking me to test out certain systems and services they had come across so that they could see if they were worthwhile before wasting their own money on them, and pretty soon there was just too much to do by myself.
Fortunately, since we all had a shared interest, over the years many of my readers have volunteered to test out systems and services for me, and report their findings on the blog, and over the last decade there have been nearly 50 individual reviewers helping out, although there have generally been a core group of about eight bloggers working on the site.
The only requirement I ask is that they are thorough in their tests and honest in their reviews. It’s this philosophy that has made the site so popular as everyone that reads it knows that the reviews are genuine and not simply there to make an affiliate commission on sales (as some other unscrupulous sites have been known to do).
There have been quite a few copycat sites that have set up over years that have almost entirely emulated my model, but that’s ok as it’s always good to get a second opinion on something.
I updated my site (found at cash-master.com) this year after ten years of running to make it easily readable on smartphones and tablets and so whilst it now looks fairly professional it’s still a small operation of essentially me and a few core reviewers continuously testing out the new products and services hitting the market. This means that when someone contacts me through the site, it goes through to me and I answer them personally, and I think people like that.
How did you acquire the betting knowledge you now have today?
Research, research, research. I’d always had a flutter on the horses since I was a young man, and when I used to work in Covent Garden market the other stall holders always watched my stall while I nipped down to William Hill to put my bets on for the day. I never made much money from it until I started following a tipster that had a phenomenal year and at one point I was putting £200 down on the nose on each tip. I still remember hitting a 20/1 winner and picking up £4k in cash… I had to go back the next day for it as they didn’t have enough in the shop and I remember the thick wad of notes smelling of engine oil and tobacco. Sadly that service closed when the owner died in a car accident.
Since then sheer volume of services and systems I’ve tested over the years has been quite an education for me and as I’ve been doing this pretty much full time for the last decade, I’ve learned a lot.
Are there any free or paid resources or tools you think all punters should add to their arsenal?
That’s a difficult question to answer because if I’ve learned one thing over the years it’s that everyone is different and everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to betting. If you really love horse racing it makes sense to have a working knowledge of the Racing Post website but there is an even better resource in the form of geegeez.com which is like the Racing Post on steroids… a wealth of free information and an even greater wealth of knowledge available for paid subscribers that is worth every penny. Of course there are similar sites for different fields, whether it’s football betting, golf, tennis etc and I cover a lot of this on my site.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to go from being a hobbyist gambler to a professional punter?
Always go for value prices and you’re guaranteed to profit over the long term. Find what sort of betting you love doing and really learn that niche. Always use a sensible betting bank. A awful lot of people fool themselves over their betting bank. You wouldn’t believe the amount of e-mails I’ve had over the years from people that told me that they had quit using a system or service after they had lost half their bank…. a true betting bank is what you set aside to use for any particular system or service and you set your stake as a percentage of that betting bank. If you quit the system or service half way through then that means you were really only prepared to lose half of what you told yourself you were, and therefore your stakes should have been half as big as you were staking. A professional gambler told me once that your betting bank should be an amount of money you could comfortably set light to and watch it burn.
In your opinion, can someone produce a long term income by following a tipster or a portfolio of tipsters?
Yes. It’s always better to have a portfolio of tipsters as all tipsters have up and down months. By using a portfolio the chances are that one tipsters bad month is offset by another tipsters good month and that should smooth out your own betting drawdowns.
You review a lot of tipsters, what is it you look for in a tipster and what makes a good tipster besides profit?
Good communication and, probably more importantly, realistic and honest reporting of profits. Too many tipsters claim high points profit each month but when you drill down into their results you see that they are staking 5-10 points per bet. It’s ok to have varied point staking for different strength of bets but the base line should always be 1 point, and upwards from there. Some sites claim 50-60 points profit a month and have every single bet as 10 points…. so that’s really only 5-6 points profit but they multiply by ten just to make the results look more impressive than they are. Also, beware of ‘advised prices’. Many tipsters report results based on odds they have achieved that were never genuinely attainable by the time subscribers went to put their bets on. A good tipster will be very transparent about prices, often reporting prices that subscribers could actually beat!
If a tipster is open about their results you can be confident they are genuine and that the tipster is serious.
We’re big fans of yours, but why should our readers head over to your site and check you out?
Because you can be sure all the reviews are genuine. None of my reviewers get paid or receive any form of kickback that might influence their review and therefore there is no incentive for them to approve a system or service that might not deserve it. Also because there’s a lot of info on there that they almost certainly will not be aware of covering all aspects of betting and trading and, importantly, all the info is free.
Do you have any final advice our words of wisdom for readers and punters out there?
If you want to get somewhere directly and safely use a map and avoid the bits where it says ‘Here be dragons’. I hope your readers find my map useful.