As you have already might know we are closely collaborating with one of the leading UK tipsters Mike from Winabobatoo who has been online since 2006 - only a very few people managed to stay up and running in the extremely competitive tipping industry. In today’s article he is talking about how it feels to make your living from sports betting. Please enjoy the read below and do not forget to share it with your friends.
Betting attracts people from all walks of life. If we did a survey of the day jobs of everyone who reads this article, I’m sure it’d cover a wide range of professions. Regardless of our profession, the one thing we all most certainly have in common is that we want the bookmakers to help increase our bank balance!
I gave up my day job in 1987 to try to make my living from betting. This was probably the single biggest decision I have ever made in my life. At the time, I wasn’t new to betting. I’d been betting for a number of years. The successes I’d had over those early years led me to believe I could make a similar amount from betting as I could from going to work every day.
I perhaps need to start by explaining how much the world of betting has changed during the last 30 years. In the UK, betting tax had to be paid on all wagers, unless you were betting “on course”. On course betting meant placing bets on horses at the racecourse, as opposed to betting in the betting shops. There was no online betting, or exchanges, in those days.
In the 1980s, there was a 10% betting tax, eventually reduced to 9%, payable on all bets placed in betting shops. This high level of taxation meant that even if someone was clever enough to be able to beat the bookmakers, they almost certainly wouldn’t be able to beat the taxman. In truth, it was almost impossible for anyone to make any meaningful profits by betting “off course”.
Attitudes to gambling were much different to today. Betting was generally viewed as a pastime for the foolish. We lived in a much less liberal society. There were no gambling adverts on TV and the betting shops were seedy places where people did not want to be seen. It’s hard to imagine that environment now.
In the 1980s and 1990s, betting on football matches was completely different too. It wasn’t possible to place single win bets. All football bets had to be multiple bets. If you wanted to back home teams, you’d got to place a five match accumulator as a minimum, away bets had to be trebles as a minimum.
The racecourse hadn’t always been a tax free betting environment either. Prior to 1987, there was a 4% betting tax due on bets placed at the racecourse. This made making money on course possible but still quite difficult. Things were improved considerably when the 4% on-course tax was removed. Had this change not actually taken place in 1987, I may not have felt the option to become a full-time bettor was a sensible one.
I would imagine quite a lot of you may also have desires to make betting your full-time job. The job title of professional gambler has a nice ring to it. It sounds like a way to make easy money and have a lifestyle that is much better than you may otherwise have been able to afford.
In my opinion, there are three main qualities needed:
- The first may seem very obvious but you need to have a betting strategy that gives you a genuine edge over the bookmakers.
- The second quality is that you must have the right temperament for the job
- The third quality requires that your approach must be business-like at all times. You must apply the same levels of dedication to betting that you would apply to your normal full-time job.
What other things do you need to consider before deciding to go full-time?
If you are relying on tips from tipsters, what would happen if the service (or services) you follow ceased to exist?
When I chose to go full-time, I was self-sufficient in that I was personally responsible for selecting all the bets I placed. I wasn’t relying on anyone else, apart from the Racing Post and the other publications I subscribed to at the time. I certainly would not have gone full-time had I been relying on other people to provide my profits. It was essential that I had full control of the situation myself.
I cannot stress highly enough that having the right temperament is absolutely vital. We can all cope with winning; it’s when the going gets tough that our resolve is tested. A betting professional has the same losing runs as everyone else. The difference is that they can deal with those pressures better. They can deal with those pressures without it adversely affecting their emotions.
After two years of making money in the full-time betting environment my temperament was then tested to the limits. I hit a very difficult time. I had a sequence where I only backed one winner in 23 bets. This bad run was closely followed by another one on a similar scale.
The impact was that it made me question whether I really did know what I was doing. Had I been lucky in the previous years? Was I really skilful or had I been kidding myself? These are the thoughts that go through your mind.
At that time, it took a lot of courage and a lot of self-belief to continue. I was fortunate that my life-style wasn’t adversely affected by the financial losses as I was losing money that I had previously won but had I started out with this bad run, I may well have regretted giving up my previous job!
Being properly bankrolled is critical. The bankroll has to take the strain when the bad times come along or else the pressures that you will feel will be magnified ten times over. I have never put myself in a position where my livelihood would be adversely affected by any losses I incurred from betting. When I say that, I mean affected in a way that my home life would become uncomfortable.
One thing that certainly has not changed over the years is the bookmakers’ intolerance to people winning money. Prior to online betting, it was much more difficult for them to keep tabs on successful bettors. A winning bettor could spread bets around numerous different bookmakers’ shops to avoid being noticed, although the amount that could be staked has always been limited. In the late 1980s, most shops operated a policy where any bet of £100 or greater had to be approved by their head office. It wasn’t possible to stake to high levels without being noticed or without being monitored. I don’t place any bets in betting shops these days, so I’m not aware of their current limits.
Betting with racecourse bookmakers was very different to betting in betting shops. I very rarely had any bets refused (or knocked back) by the bookies. I wasn’t betting to extremely high stakes. This allowed me to trade with almost all of the bookmakers in the betting ring. Never once did I have any disputes with them. I had a respect for them as they were doing their job, and they seemed to have a respect for me as I was doing my job.
I recall a funny incident from a race meeting at Market Rasen from around 1989. I’d placed a bet with a bookmaker on a race being run at another meeting. After the last race at Market Rasen had been run, I went to check the result from the other track (there were no mobile phones in those days!). The horse was running in the very last race at the other meeting. The horse had won at 4/1. I went to collect my money but the bookmaker wasn’t there!
I asked the bookmaker in the adjacent pitch where my bookmaker had gone. He said, he’d left early to avoid the traffic and that if your bet won he’d pay you out when he next sees you. My wife at the time was livid. She thought he’d deliberately done a runner with my money! I got some serious grief over it!
As it turned out, I didn’t see the offending bookmaker for around three weeks as I mainly visited tracks in the north of England and he mainly covered tracks in the midlands. I eventually caught up with him at a meeting in Nottingham. When he saw me, he had a big smile on his face, and gave me the money he owed me without me having to ask for it!
There was also another occasion I remember well. This was at Pontefract races. When collecting a winning bet, I would go up to the bookmaker and tell them how much I wanted. In this particular race, the result was a dead-heat. I miscalculated the amount I was due to collect but the bookie gave me what I asked for without question.
When I got home and recorded my bets in my betting records, I realised he’d given me too much. I caught up with that bookmaker three days later at Ripon races and gave him the money back. The fact that he might not have known was irrelevant. It was his money, not mine, and I had to give it back to him.
Bookmakers are often referred to as “the enemy”. I never viewed the on-course bookmakers as the enemy. We were both in the same business of making money from the losing wagers of other bettors. I had a really good working relationship with the bookmakers during the 12 years I was betting full-time at the tracks.
I switched from betting on horses in the late 1990s to spending my time researching football betting. I do miss the old days but I can’t say that I miss the travelling that was involved.
Is being a full-time betting professional the right move for most people?
Once a hobby becomes your full-time job, it takes on a completely different dimension. It’s no longer the thing that brings you fun and pleasure, it’s the thing that puts food on your table!
Does it lead to an easy life?
It most certainly does not. I have no doubt whatsoever that I have worked considerably harder over the last 30 years than I would have done had I been doing a proper job. I’ve never managed to get to a stage where I can sit with my feet up all day. This may be the image that some successful bettors try to portray but in my experience that isn’t how things work. The bookmakers are constantly striving to become better at what they do, and bettors have to do the same, or else you will get left behind. If you get left behind your profitable edge will be lost.
Ultimately, the main question any potential full-time bettor needs to ask themselves, even if you tick the other boxes, is whether you can afford to do it? How much do you presently earn? How much would you be able to earn in a full-time betting environment?
Working on the basis of making 5% profit on turnover, if your present job brings in £25,000, you would need to turnover £500,000 per year in order to make £25,000 in profit. That equates to betting almost £9,700 every week, or £1,400 every day.
What size of bankroll would you need to safely operate at those staking levels? The simple answer is a very big one!
As much as the attraction of being a full-time gambler may seem appealing, I would strongly recommend that most successful bettors will be much better off if they continue with the day job, supplementing their income through betting winnings. It’s much less stressful and it won’t jeopardise your lifestyle.
When I decided to take the plunge all those years ago, I was in a fortunate position. My wife was earning a reasonable wage and we could manage on her income alone. That made the risks considerably lower than they would otherwise have been. Had I been single at the time, I almost certainly wouldn’t have been brave enough to do it.
It makes perfect sense to try to top up your income from betting but, in my view, making it your full-time job would almost certainly be the wrong option in the vast majority of cases.
Take betting seriously, you have to do that to be a winner, but giving up the day job probably won’t be the right move for 99.9% of successful bettors.
In case you feel that Mike Lindley may be the right person to follow do not hesitate to go ahead and check his website www.winabobatoo.co.uk. His service is indeed among the best once in UK and it focuses not only on providing tips but educating and supplying you with the right information and tools to make informed betting decisions.
Hopefully you enjoyed what you read, it takes quite some time to write such an article. There are all in total three people working on this reading piece. We will appreciate if you share this reading material with your friends, certainly that will help many people to the much important reality check and decide whether full time betting carrier is for them.
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