The Transition From Novice To Pro Bettor
Published on 26/12/15
So you enjoy sport, even better you have used your knowledge to have some good betting wins. The thought must have occurred to you that it would be more interesting to do this full-time and not working 9 to 5. To do so you need to transition in a planned and methodical manner.
Recognize the dangers.
You don’t want to hand your notice in the day after a big win, and find that you can’t pay the mortgage or find another job three months later. If you have finished work you don’t want to weigh in your pension pot, and find yourself relying on state benefits for the rest of your life.
Prove it to yourself.
Becoming a professional bettor is a life changing step. Take another year to prove its viability to yourself. Bettors tend to remember the winners and forget the losers. Carefully record all of your betting activities for the next 12 months, all stakes and all returns. If at the end of that year you haven’t generated 25% profits on your total stakes forget it.
You need to get an initial investment together. If you underestimate this you risk your new career coming to an early end.
Take the annual salary you need to live on (say £25k) and put a quarter of it away (£5k.) This ensures that you will not be left destitute if it fails.
Next you need stake money. Take your annual salary (say £25k as above,) and add to it one year’s expenses for your new career. Betting tips; travel; internet connection; web-site subscriptions; newspapers; racecourse entry; and sustenance when travelling (say £10k.) Take this total (£35k) and divide it by 5 and then multiply it by 4. This gives the required annual stake pot at a 25% profit margin, in this case £28k. Divide this by 4, so that you have the availability of 3 months’ betting stakes (£7k.)
Finally you need set-up costs. You don’t want to work from home, you want to approach this in a serious disciplined fashion. Short term rent an office in a business centre with high-speed broadband. Get yourself the latest smart phone and fastest computer you can reasonably afford (say another £5k.)
So in the above example save a stash of (£5k+£7k+£5k) £17k is needed to launch as a pro. The availability of funds less than this risks premature failure or the inability to operate properly.
Open a separate bank account for your betting. Register with as many on-line bookmakers and betting exchanges as you can find.
You must treat your pro betting activities as a business not a hobby. This means doing three things: first record every transaction from a losing bet to a coffee at Wolverhampton; secondly do an annual budget; and thirdly monitor your actual performance against that budget weekly.
You must have discipline. You want to win a minimum amount after costs per annum. That equates to so much per month and so much per week. But you are going to have good weeks and bad weeks, it is consistent performance over a longer time that matters. Don’t be forced into less confident wagers by the lack of good betting opportunities and don’t panic if you have a loser and double-up to catch up.
Keep a low profile
As a pro punter you are the betting industry’s nightmare, someone who constantly erodes their profitability. Bookmakers aren’t stupid. Walk into your local high street bookmakers and try to put a bet down for £1000 and see what happens. The cashier calls over the manager. The manager rings head office. The discrete in shop CCTV (soon to become facial recognition) zooms in on you. The queue of six punters stood behind you trying to get their dog bets on start whispering. Go to different cities, place yourself in an internet café and put £100 win on at the ten bookmakers within easy walking distance.
Internet wise, again if you keep hitting one site you will soon be flagged up as bad news, and your account will be restricted to £25 maximum bet. Spread your bets among different sites, and keep individual stakes low even if you have to sacrifice better prices.
Finally on the course you will soon get spotted. Wear different clothes; avoid getting into conversations with people; be ready to travel to distant courses (rather than keep going to the nearest) and buy tickets for the cheap stalls (unless this will impede you sight of everything.)
The One Year assessment
Finally after one year, sit down and weigh up your achievements. If you haven’t won enough to cover your notional salary plus cover your expenses, give it up. If you have been disciplined and made an extra £10k or £20k, invest it in something else that give a steady return (bank deposit or shares.) Then analyse each losing bet, how can you eliminate it next year? In later years you will inevitable have to move more to the betting exchanges. No matter how discrete you have been you will find increasing restrictions. The betting exchanges work in a different way than bookmakers. They make their money on commission, and have no problem with you winning as much as you can. Most professionals are on the exchanges and you will end up betting against them, so make it a slow but steady transition.