You know, writing this stuff about full time gambling this week has really got the old grey matter working. When you start scratching at the surface of the subject a little, you soon realise that there's an awful lot involved in making such a move. A huge amount to think about.
I think the one myth that is very easy to dismiss is the notion that somehow professional gambling is an "easy life". Stick your bets on, count the winnings. Nothing could be further from the truth. I work hard at my gambling now, whilst it is still just a supplement to my main source of income. I try and be as professional as possible without being neurotic about it all. I appreciate the need to secure the best odds possible on each bet and I'm aware that we're working to pretty tight margins, so everything that can be done to maximise that margin should and must be done, within reason. I understand the importance of keeping bookmaker accounts viable for as long as possible and the compromises that sometimes brings. And I have researched, analysed, tapped up others for insight and finally identified a way forward without having to worry quite so much that my betting is going to come to a grinding halt any day now, simply because I can't get a bet on.
The methodologies I follow and the principles of professionalism that I try to bring to the way I gamble would, I hope, make the actual, physical transition into betting for a living a pretty smooth one to make. Anon, in the comments section, forwarded the very sensible viewpoint that professional gambling was no different to any other type of job in the sense that it is something that you get better at over time and with practice. When I think back over the three years that I have been gambling "properly", I cringe at some of the crass mistakes I used to make. And you know something? I still make mistakes, it's just that they tend not to be quite so basic nowadays.
Looking at running my portfolio this context, I see these last three years as amounting to an apprenticeship served. I've completed the YTS scheme (do they still do those?) and am ready to jump into the grown up world and make my way. That is, in terms of the hands-on physical running of the betting portfolio. But there's so much more to the equation than that, isn't there? The actual doing is really only half the battle.
The other half is all in the head. Alan, as is his wont, made a very valid point a couple of days ago in a very succinct manner. He said:
Isn t it amazing how being in profit changes your thinking.
Would you have been asking yourself the same question at this time last year? No. last year the question was, "is this all worth it"
And he's right. Things have gone pretty well on the profit and loss front since last Autumn (although I seem to remember December being a bit sticky). There was a weekend two or three months back that proved so frustrating that I let my pent-up, gloomy thoughts loose on the blog, but generally speaking, things have been going ok. If they hadn't, would I have even raised the subject of betting full time? No.
What I would say though is that I have a keener sense of direction now with my portfolio; a definite strategy, and that helps enormously. Cutting back the number of horse racing bets (through necessity, I might add) has helped massively with the mental side of things. I feel a lot more comfortable with my portfolio now, and that is probably bourne out of the shorter losing runs suffered when betting predominantly on shorter priced football selections. So I would suggest to anyone considering going full time and relying on tipster services, they really do need to mould their portfolio into a shape that fits their psychological profile as snugly as it possibly can. It also makes me realise that I am not much of a gambler, which is kind of ironic, don't you think? I don't like gambling. I do enjoy investing and the challenges it brings, and am prepared to take a risk when doing so. But to be honest, I believe that if I were betting full time, I would feel, no, would know, that what I was doing was running a business. A small one admittedly, but a business nevertheless. Strange that that outlook doesn't provoke the feelings of fear when considering the risks involved as does simply saying simply, "I'm going to gamble for my living".
The final point I want to consider is that of putting your financial security into the hands of others...of relying on the expertise of others to make money compared to finding and exploiting your own edge to exploit. Ian, in the Comments sections said:
I guess things are very different now to what they were 13 years ago when I gave up work. Plus things are very difft running a site which provides an income and relying on my own info for betting. Therein lies the crux - relying on other people would make things extremely difficult
Ian's rationale behind his assertion was that putting your fate into the hands of others leads quite naturally to feelings of angst and frustration when things go badly. Far better, he feels, to find your own way and rely on your own resources. I can see where Ian is coming from, I really can. It all depends I suppose, how much faith you have in the tipsters you're following. But placing this to one side, I would suggest that being able to generate a level of income to add to that generated by the use of third party tipsters would be the ideal scenario?
My vision, my ambition, is to manoeuvre myself into such a position. I have neglected my trading for a little while for various reasons, but it is not something that I have forgotten about. Far from it. The trouble I have of course is that the time I can dedicate to trading is minimal. That of course, wouldn't be the case were I gambling/trading for a living. It would take me time to get to the point where I could come to rely on my trading as a consistent source of income; it would represent another apprenticeship to serve. But, a situation whereby I'm generating a decent income from both gambling and trading does not seem to me to be an impossible dream. In fact, it sounds like a plan.
Great end to the month for The Market Examiner, following yesterday's winner with a grand one today (Autarch - Brighton - 10/1). Northern Monkey found a nice one to place and provide a very small profit from two selections (Weapon Of Choice - Sandown - 14/1). Finally, no success with a small each way double for Winning Racing Tips.
And that brings an end to another month. Not been too shabby, although not as successful as had appeared possible a couple of weeks ago. I'm off on holiday now for a week so there will be no blog until I return and no monthly review until then. Bottom line though...just over £7k staked and a profit running at a shade over 9%. Not going to complain.
Finally, a big thanks to everyone who contributed this week. Very much appreciated.
See you all later. :)