Pro Punters is a series of interviews with professional sports punters based in London. 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 interview is with a 28 year old Englishman who works in the betting industry and loves predicting sports events.
What do you think about online sports betting?
I think it’s quite a good one given that I work in the industry. It's a good way to not just involve yourself in the sports event that is just happening, but also to test your knowledge. I guess that's what it comes down to for me. It’s not just whether I can make money or be entertained. I look at it more as to whether I'm good at predicting something I tend to talk about on a day-to-day level. It's the ultimate settler when it comes to debates with friends. As long as your focus is on predicting the sports events and not on the money you can make out of it, you can make a profit.
Can you tell us a bit more about the frequency of your betting and the sizes of the stakes?
Normally I bet on the major football leagues. In most cases pre-match betting, as I'm not much into betting live. I like to play singles as I'm not a massive fan of placing multiples and normally I would try and look at what sort of value I'm getting. One of the niches at the moment is looking at stats betting, which a few operators offer. For example, bets on ball possession, corners and a few other markets of that sort. The stake really varies on what sort of returns I'm looking at. As I'm not placing multiples, the stakes tend to be slightly bigger than normal punters - between £50 and £100.
Are you tracking your bets?
Yes, I've got an excel spreadsheet to determine on a day-to-day level what the returns are, what the bet was, what the outcome was. I've been using it ever since I got into betting, which was about 2 years ago. However, my betting sort of slowed down as few bookies have dropped my account down. So I'm not able to do that as frequently as I was previously.
Tell us what's good about your current betting methodology and what's not?
When you're tracking, you see what you win, what your frequency of winning is, what the most right predictions are and what aren't. For example, I can see that all the bets I placed on odds under 7/10 (decimal 1.70) had a 66% of being right and benchmark that against predictions when I was going for value. Obviously, the value is built in the actual odds. The lower the odds, the more likely you are of course to hit it. At the same time, it gives you an idea of what you're good at and what you're not good at. That way, one can have an idea of where I should invest more and where I should invest less, because then it becomes a percentage game.
Would you be interested in improving the analysis and understanding of your betting behavior?
Yes, definitely. I know that what I currently do is quite crude in comparison to Betting.com. Another thing that can improve my betting is looking for the actual value in bets. Most of the value betting software out there is available for quite a few American sports and basketball. I know quite a few professional punters who end up using them fairly often due to the benefits. Effectively, it’s more of looking into stats based data of historical bets and events and then seeing what outcomes are more likely. Almost like bet advisors and tipsters. Though they're not so much into analysis of your bets but analysis of which bets are likely to go through based on their know-how.
With the growing trend of the tipster services, how can we go about finding the best?
Nowadays, tipping forums are indeed quite frequent. But how much do you believe in the advice they give out? If there is something reliable out there, which works, trial period is key. That's why I always liked testing - it gives you a better sleep at night.
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