Pro Punters is a series of interviews with sports punters based in London who treat betting as an investment. We've asked them a set of questions to learn more about their lives and betting behaviour, so read on to learn how they make informed betting decisions to increase their profits. For anonymity reasons, their names are not used.
This week’s interview is with a 42-year-old born and brewed Londoner.
What do you think about online sports betting?
I think it’s a very crowded market. I use comparison sites to find the best odds, but I find that - with all the different events and different sports you can bet on - it's almost mind bubbling, very extensive. It's just catering to the massive interest, isn't it? I enjoy the competition as well; different bookmakers make it better for the punter.
What is the frequency of your betting and the staking sizes?
I probably bet more when there are events going on, like the Euros or Wimbledon. I would say I bet every week on football and horse racing mainly. I have accounts with pretty much every bookie, so I can get the best odds as well. Amounts regularly around £25 or £50. For example, yesterday I put a lot of bets on Premier League and Champions League - which team will get promoted, which team will get relegated, etc. I am also interested in the lower leagues like English Championship and League One, as they tend to get quite competitive and it's fantastic football quality. I put money on Newcastle to win the Championship 17/18 and they are quite sure odds now as well. Aston Villa was my other pick, but this is not happening for them this season.
Are you already tracking your bets?
I do. During tournaments like the Champions League or Wimbledon I will track exactly what bets I put on, as you get a lot of promotional offers during these events. The offers increase the amount of bets I would usually place. Also, you need to keep track of that to kind of know what is happening, and particularly when you bet with so many bookmakers you cannot keep all that in your head as to what bets you got with what bookie. So I tend to document all those and keep an eye on those bets. Sometimes, I might put a bet on a horse and check it after a couple of days, but not necessarily put it down on paper. That's simply because this bet is purely for entertainment and not part of my betting strategies.
How are you tracking your bets?
(Laughs) Pen and paper. I note and write down what bookies, what prices, etc. This is how we Londoners did it back in the days. It might be old school... the important part is keeping the diary.
Can you please tell us what's good about this approach and what isn't?
I think the good thing is that you can see in one place exactly what bets you got on what bookies. My diary currently showcases what open bets I have and where, but I am not going into a specific level of detail.
Do you perform any analysis on your bets? Which leagues have been good to you or which horses have been profitable?
For horseracing, I kind of do that sub-consciously as in which horses have done well as I follow them through the years. I do more thorough analysis on football. Last season I spread my money on top 8 favourites to win the English Championship, because generally I know that through the years one of these teams will always come out on top. But the bookies are always really unsure of it. The English Championship is an open race, anyone can win it. But if you look at the data, it's generally a team from the top 8 favourites. So that worked out quite well. Some of the bets you have to cash out during the season if a major player is sold, etc. That's an approach I use in other sports as well. Doesn't always work though - Leicester in the Premier League!
Nowadays, punters are becoming more and more sophisticated. Do you think that data and analytics can contribute to profits?
Definitely, I will always be interested in something that can put just a bit more analysis and more level of detail behind what I am doing. Because at the moment it does feel a bit hit and miss. Ideally, if Bettingmetrics can do that for me, I will be interested. I am looking forward to using it over the next few months.
Would you like to learn more? Our next interview is coming soon. In the meantime, head to the blog and learn about our journey.
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