What is the difference between a Pro and a Punter?
Millions of human beings regularly gamble.
And 99% of them lose.
The answer is simple;
Amateur gamblers bet with the odds against them. Professionals bet with the odds in their favour. It’s not about luck.
Professionals bet with the sole intention of making a profit, and expect to win.
Amateurs bet for entertainment, and hope to win. But they don’t really expect to. Not really. They gamble for the entertainment that the act of gambling provides.
They pay to experience the thrill of putting money down. The excitement of watching the sporting event, the lottery draw or following the company share price.
They enjoy the random dance of the ball in the roulette wheel, and get a little hit of adrenaline as it comes to rest. There is the suspense of waiting for the turn of the last playing card, experiencing the thing that decides whether they lose or win.
They are paying for that entertainment, that chance of feeling the adrenaline thrill, through the long term losses they are almost inevitably going to incur.
It’s a hobby. They take a punt. We can call them ‘Punters‘.
Amateur betting is a fine hobby. There is no problem with a punter betting on sports recreationally, buying a lottery ticket, going to the casino occasionally or speculating on shares.
But this blog, and the Soccerbrain Betting Service is not for punters. Punters are well catered for with loads of publications websites and tipsters to satisfy the demand generated by people pursuing gambling as a hobby.
And really, punters don’t need most of this advice. If the object of pursuing a hobby is enjoyment, then amateurs shouldn’t worry too much about how good they are at it. Being good isn’t the object of the exercise. Enjoying the act itself is.
So punters should bet on whatever they like, but just do it with small enough stake sizes that the losses they suffer don’t cause material damage to their wealth and standard of living. And make sure they don’t get addicted.
Professional gambling is a totally different thing. The difference between a Punter and a Professional Gambler is as stark as a 20 handicap golfer to Rory Mcllroy.
The 20 handicapper plays golf as a hobby. He plays in the club medal on a Saturday morning for entertainment. He has no serious pretensions to ever play the game at scratch or better. Much less to ever be a tournament pro, and make a living from playing the game.
He’ll relish the occasional ‘wins’ when he hits a good shot or holes a putt. But ‘winning’ overall at the game, by making a living from playing it, is not remotely on his radar. It’s not the reason he plays.
So this blog is not about preaching to the nonconvertible. If you’re a punter and you’re happy being a punter then my advice would simply be; bet small, and have fun.
Bet using small amounts of money. You will lose a % of whatever you invest, so make sure that it adds up to a small amount of cash at the end of a year. If you’re a 20 handicap golfer, then for God’s sake don’t go spending two grand on a new set of irons.
The enjoyment you get from winning a £5 bet isn’t all that different from winning a £500 bet. If you’re a 20 handicap golfer, you’re going to hit a set of 2nd hand irons just about as well as the two grand set.
Recognise your gambling for what it is. It’s a hobby. Something you do in your leisure time that gives you some enjoyment.
Anyone who keeps preaching at punters trying to make them gamble like professionals is as misguided as a tedious golf driving range zealot, walking around telling everyone to practice their chipping and putting. ‘That’s the only way to improve your game!’.
He misses the point. Most people don’t play golf with any serious intention of getting really good. They do it for fun, to enjoy the experience. They want to go to the driving range, pull the driver out and try to smash the ball as far as they can. Because that’s fun. Good on them. That’s what a hobby should be about.
Professional gambling involves a whole lot of time doing the equivalent of working on putting and chipping. It ain’t glamorous and it ain’t a whole load of fun.
Professional gambling involves discipline and strategy. It requires taking a long term view, being patient. It can be rewarding of course. Hugely rewarding if you get really good at it. But it’s not ‘fun’. It’s not a hobby. It’s a job, a business.
This blog is for people who are interested in professional gambling. In the theory and the processes. It’s for people who want to earn an income from investing.
Professional gambling involves looking at the world in a different way than most people see it. Almost everyone who gambles loses. If you look at things the same way they do, you’ll lose too.
Of the 0.002% of gamblers who win, half of them are lottery winners. Punters who got lucky with one, never to be repeated, stroke of fortune. They had their ‘bolt of lightning’ moment and they cashed in. They had the discipline not to give it all back.
But despite what anyone might tell you, nobody can predict where a bolt of lightning is going to strike. These guys are not professional gamblers. They are amateurs who got lucky. Good luck to them. But don’t kid yourself that ‘it could be you’. It’s almost certain that it won’t be.
The others are the 0.001% who are professionals.
For these people the founding principles of professional gambling are the same no matter what they’re actually gambling on.
There is one ‘Sacred Secret’ and two ‘Golden Rules’ of professional gambling.
I’ll explain what these are in a future post.
But the Secret and Rules of professional gambling apply equally to betting on sports, playing poker, spread betting on financial markets, casinos, buying shares – any form of gambling. Professional ‘gambling’ and ‘investing’ are the same things.
Amateur gambling is a hobby, something that provides entertainment and interest. Professional gambling is betting with the odds in your favour. It’s about taking a long term view about making an overall profit. And making it.