I have been interested in betting since my teens, when I was lucky enough to land a winning Yankee with my first bet. That really was a stroke of luck, because I didn’t have a clue as to how I’d managed to pick four winning horses, but turning a blank betting slip and a bit of pocket change into a handful of fivers felt like some kind of alchemy, and I was motivated to repeat the act as often as possible.
Unfortunately, I soon discovered that simply wanting to win wasn’t enough, so I spent a few years looking at what winners in all sports had in common. Good recent form was obviously a big predictor of future success, and so I set about finding ways of quantifying past performance using a pocket calculator and various self-made numerical ratings methods.
There were plenty of ‘back to the drawing board’ moments, but I came up with quite a few methods that helped me to win fairly consistently. In 1993 I published a small booklet for bettors that provided a simple but effective mathematical formula for predicting the most likely outcome of any football match, and in 1995 I released a similar systematic approach to success in horse racing.
I have been writing about sports and other forms of betting ever since, but as a bettor my proudest moment was landing a 17 match accumulator on first-round matches in the 2005 Australian Open. The odds for each of my ‘nailed on’ selections were paltry, but the bet paid me just under £1,000 for a £20 stake, so it’s one that’s easy to remember.
These days, internet betting makes things even more exciting for me, and I’m a big fan of betting in running, hedging positions whenever possible to lock in profits well before an event is over. I also enjoy playing casino games from time to time, but I’m more likely to be found at online Sit and Go poker tables, as I like the fact that they only take an hour or so to play and the outlay is known at the outset.
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