Pricewise has been on fire recently and, having got stuck into some big double-figure winners, it's got me thinking about what life would be like as a professional practitioner of the backing/laying battle.. I don't want to be a professional punter, as I love to lay on the exchanges, and so I've started considering some mantras and mindsets to help me on my way..
To see Pricewise's recent form, check out http://tipsterform.com/category/tom-segal-tips/pricewise-tips/
I have to credit (or blame) the Racing Post's excellently entertaining golfing tipster Steve Palmer @stevepalmer78, his colleague Jeremy Chapman, the oracle known as Tom Segal (his surname is pronounced See-gal as in "legal" and "eagle", rather than Se-GAL, which is how most people say it!) and Pete Nordsted @petenordsted, author of the excellent "Mastering Betfair" for my recent changes in attitude towards/fortune on the markets. After some early luck gambling, and a brief period thinking I understood the intricacies of the exchanges, I've realised some hard truths:
1. I am mortal - after a few wins, don't think you can't lose - don't get greedy with profits and end up "sinking" - see previous post "How involved in the markets are you?"
2. Get out when you can - have a profit in mind before entering a market, particularly a long-term one like the winner of a football league, sports personality of the year or the next london mayor.. if things start turning against you, get out early and accept a small loss rather than "riding it out" and losing a boot load
3. Go hard and with conviction - this kind of counteracts the above but I now see that some of Pricewise's very clear recommendations are worth lumping on big time. Don't just look at his bold numbers, but actually read the prose. I'm convinced that Segal uses superlatives sparingly and when you read, and re-read his words, you can see that he doesn't REALLY want you to go with just 1pt on everything to win! There are lays to be found in there too and the skill in following pricewise in is looking for the subtle tips and not just the obvious ones. Thanks Paolo for the brainwave on this one! Palmer's recent "betting highs" have also shown the merits in going gung-ho and searching for that "face-spitting" win.. the win that boosts your bank balance to such a significant level that you can a) resign from your job and b) do so by flobbing a greeny straight into your boss's face!
4. Feed money in and out of betfair - don't leave a load of cash in your account - you'll only spend it on stuff you don't want to get involved in.. those extra few minutes to deposit funds may well provide much needed clarity to a situation.
5. Don't bet on stuff you can't keep an eye on - unless you are just going for a straightforward punt on something, I think it's essential to be able to watch the event "live" whenever possible.
6. Use stop losses and limit orders - if you have to go out, this is useful, but even not, put the bets onto the Betfair exchange and leave them unmatched - this way you can think with head rather than heart .. just make sure you check the box to keep the bet live after the event turns in-play.. Look for horses that come from the back with a late surge, and place a bet up to 10 times bigger than the SP in the hope that it will get matched after a few furlongs.. equally place a lay to cover your stake on those "Frankels" that shorten early and could potentially come unstuck one day .. *maybe Frankel isn't a great example for this!
7. Have a strategy / tactical plan in mind for an event - I've been guilty of breaking this rule too many times in the past. Think about what you will be prepared to accept (wins & losses) and act with a clear head rather than blind panic
I know that a fellow punter, Si Nicoll is keen to develop a ten-commandments of betting, and I invite you to share with me your rules of attacking various sporting events with the power of your CVV code so we can exapand upon some of these ramblings!