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Life of a professional gambler


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Apologies if this has been uploaded before at some point.

The video features the life a pro gambler and was recorded back in the mid 90's and was uploaded to YouTube a few years ago.

There are meant to be four parts each lasting for around 30 minutes although the final part seems to be missing. Perhaps it was filmed during a losing streak. :lol

I watched it the other day and found it very interesting even though the picture quality was not the best but I suppose that's understandable. Back then he didn't have the internet at his disposal but what he had in his armoury was a number of racing contacts.

A typical day involved spending around five hours research on the following days racing where usually one or two bets were found but sometimes none were deemed to be worthwhile. He also spent most days traveling to racecourses up to a couple of hours drive from his home in Yorkshire.

 

 

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Jesus this takes me back!!

I watched this a few years ago and to be honest I wasn't that impressed by the guy.

I felt he missed loads of stuff out and didnt come over very well. I admit it was a lot different back then but I couldn't find him very believable.

I preferred the Harry Findlay doc or the Matchroom videos:ok

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I thought he came across fairly plausible although he did raise an eyebrow or two when he stated that a successful punter needs to be at the racecourse and admits as a pro to betting on a 32 horse race.

He does sell his tips too which does beg the question, why? Is it for an ego trip or simply because he doesn't make enough from gambling to fill up the petrol tank?

 

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4 hours ago, Escaping Captivity said:

 he did raise an eyebrow or two when he stated that a successful punter needs to be at the racecourse

You had to be at the course in those days to avoid paying tax,

Betting shops charged about 5% on winnings on top of a 120% - 130% books,If I remember right :loon

No shopping around for best prices then

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My memory is that betting tax was 10% in the 1980s

My regular bet in those days was a 50p Patent and I'm sure I'd have struggled to work out 9% of £3.50 ……… :loon

Of course you also had the choice of paying 10% (or 9% if that's what it was) on your stake or having the bookie take off 10% of any winnings

I think most small scale punters like me paid on the stake

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had a mate who was basically a pro back in the day, well before internets. 

his house had literally nothing in it except 2 armchairs, a tv, 1 each cup plate glass piece of cutlery, and about 300 gigantic ring binders. 

was quite the different world...

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2 hours ago, BillyHills said:

It was 9% betting tax when I worked in the industry!
Criminal when you think about it.

:ok

I wasn't quite sure but 9% does ring a bell now (cant remember what I did Monday never mind 30 odd years ago :eyes )

As Trotter says You could pay either tax on your stake or tax if you won .

Edited by Valiant Thor
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I haven't watched all of this but as it is set in the days before betting exchanges and when the UK betting market was dominated by betting on horse racing it seems something of a timepiece. A few observations :

It assumes that anyone who wants to be a professional gambler will automatically gravitate towards betting on horse racing. That was true then but I doubt if it is now. With the markets for the ordinary day to day racing so weak the pro's must find it hard to get serious money on. I would guess that a young person thinking now about becoming a pro gambler might well think about poker ahead of horse racing.

Pro's of today tend not to be at the racecourse but rather sitting at home betting on the exchanges - a bit ironic as I would have thought that one of the attractions of becoming a pro was so that you didn't have to spend your day staring at a computer screen! The weakness of the on course betting market is the reason. It never fails to amaze me how weak that market has become. Even last year there were bookmakers guaranteeing to lay a horse to lose £5k - but that seems to have gone. Last month at Ascot I had a look at the racecourse bookmaker's guarantees. The largest was a guarantee by a rails bookmaker to lay a horse to lose £3k. William Hill appeared to be guaranteeing a horse to lose £2k; when you think of the size of bets the founder of that firm was prepared to stand it makes you want to weep.

The guy takes 5 hours a day to study the form. That is a good indication of how tough a life it is - anyone who has read Patrick Veitch's book will know that he was working phenomenal hours to stay ahead of the game - and having what seemed to be an army of employees/helpers alongside him.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Alastair said:

 It never fails to amaze me how weak that market has become. Even last year there were bookmakers guaranteeing to lay a horse to lose £5k - but that seems to have gone. Last month at Ascot I had a look at the racecourse bookmaker's guarantees. The largest was a guarantee by a rails bookmaker to lay a horse to lose £3k. William Hill appeared to be guaranteeing a horse to lose £2k; when you think of the size of bets the founder of that firm was prepared to stand it makes you want to weep.

Yet you still get the B'Sht off the tv pundits saying Blah Blah bookie has just laid 150K from a punter at blah blah price to win Blah Blah Blah , load of crap IMO.

Apart from Coral (as long as your winnings are not over 2k ) try putting £250 on a horse without the teller nearly having a coronary and having to ring every man and his dog to see if he can take £50 at price and £200 at SP .

Now they've had their cash cow machines reduced they might actually start to lay a bet now and again.

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Yes I think the best thing that could have happened was the change in stakes on the machines. It may not seem that way in the short term when many shops will close but they will be the shops that were only ever there as gaming arcades anyway.

Once things settle sown we 'may' get back to actually using a betting shop to place a bet.

I suppose they will ramp up the betting on the 'numbers' games like they used to with the Irish Lottery and Rapido or whatever it was called!

Thinking back about the god old days, wasnt there a 5% Tax on course too? I should know as I stood at Epsom one year but my memory is fading. Lester Piggott rode a double or a treble and Henbit won the Derby, we lost on the day!!

:ok

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On 6/9/2018 at 5:33 AM, Valiant Thor said:

You had to be at the course in those days to avoid paying tax,

Betting shops charged about 5% on winnings on top of a 120% - 130% books,If I remember right :loon

No shopping around for best prices then

Maybe, but that didn't necessarily mean an individual couldn't become successful off-course. 

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23 hours ago, Alastair said:

It assumes that anyone who wants to be a professional gambler will automatically gravitate towards betting on horse racing. That was true then but I doubt if it is now. With the markets for the ordinary day to day racing so weak the pro's must find it hard to get serious money on. I would guess that a young person thinking now about becoming a pro gambler might well think about poker ahead of horse racing.

 

 

 

Poker is more suited to the maverick type of punter whereas finding winners in horse racing suits the more cautious individual who is prepared to engage in the nerdy every day activities like collating and analyzing data and working with spreadsheets. This doesn't mean one has to spend a number hours per day finding appropriate betting opportunities. It's possible to do this within the hour. From my perspective, the real hard work comes into play is in the form of studying past races in what makes a horse victorious - and that knowledge won't suddenly appear overnight. 

I think any youngster who wishes to become successful in horse racing or poker needs to evaluate which one would suit him better because horse racing isn't for everyone.

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1 hour ago, Escaping Captivity said:

Maybe, but that didn't necessarily mean an individual couldn't become successful off-course. 

I never said it didnt

But if you could beat a 120% - 130% book regularly which would be hard enough only an idiot would want to give up another 9% willingly

Edited by Valiant Thor
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2 minutes ago, Valiant Thor said:

I never said it didnt

But if you could beat a 120% - 130% book regularly which would be hard enough only an idiot would want to give up another 9% 

 

I was referring to the comment in his video where he claimed that an individual couldn't be successful by betting off-course. Obviously it makes sense to travel a fair way if he's betting with £250 but if for example it was £50 and taking into consideration the cost of travel, would it still be worth it?

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Just now, Escaping Captivity said:

 

I was referring to the comment in his video where he claimed that an individual couldn't be successful by betting off-course. Obviously it makes sense to travel a fair way if he's betting with £250 but if for example it was £50 and taking into consideration the cost of travel, would it still be worth it?

In the video he is talking betting professionally so I doubt betting £50 would come into the equation

Quote

would it still be worth it?

, I very much doubt it.

 

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1 hour ago, Valiant Thor said:

In the video he is talking betting professionally so I doubt betting £50 would come into the equation.

Not for him perhaps. Based on that comment of his my guess he started off his gambling exploits with a betting bank of around ten grand but not all gamblers obviously can begin at that level hence the smaller stakes such as £50 and less.

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Betting tax in shops was 10% when I started gambling in 1996. It was reduced to 9%, which you couldn't actually complain about but made calculations that much fiddlier, and then abolished completely in 2001. You didn't pay any tax on course, which was a big draw.

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38 minutes ago, Lynx said:

Betting tax in shops was 10% when I started gambling in 1996. It was reduced to 9%, which you couldn't actually complain about but made calculations that much fiddlier, and then abolished completely in 2001. You didn't pay any tax on course, which was a big draw.

cheers …….. I did remember it being 10%

I don't remember the 9% as I had a break from racing & betting for about 12 years from the mid 90s ……. the 9% must have came and went during that period

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I thought i remembered a tax on the racecourse.

You paid 4% up until 1987

 

Extract from Independent in 1997:

Quote

It is 10 years since Nigel Lawson abolished the on-course betting tax of four per cent in the 1987 Budget, but deductions from bets with bookmakers at the track could soon be a reality once again.In its submission to a Levy Board committee considering the administration of betting rings, the Racecourse Association (RCA) is demanding the right to impose a charge of three per cent of turnover on the bookmakers operating in its enclosures - a charge which would, almost inevitably, be passed on to their customers.

It never happened and courses have remained tax free ever since.

Betting shops on racetracks paid 6% tax, I worked at Stratford race course for many years. It was a nightmare as we had to have the tills changed each meeting. We borrowed tills from the local shops and they were set at 9%. Good old days.

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