The Perception of the Gamble

Life's a gamble. 

That's what they say.

When people say they don't gamble, what do you think? Wise, stupid, intelligent, absurd? 

I guess when people say they don't gamble they simply mean they don't gamble with a regular bet on the horses, dogs, the proverbial two flies crawling up a wall.

I wonder how many of those people bet on the lottery?  

January 6th, 1996 saw the very first double rollover in the United Kingdom, prompting a staggering 86% of the population of Britain to dash out to buy a ticket!

Strangely, the majority of those people don't gamble. Or they would tell you they don't gamble. 

Well, they certainly did that week. 

The everyday gambler is seen as a mug punter. But as with every aspect of life, we go from the novice to the expert. The main difference between the two is that the expert has worked hard to understand their subject matter. They are wise, efficient and studious. That still doesn't guarantee they will be a winner or make money on their investments. 

Consider how differently you may view these professions: stockbroker, a professional gambler.  

The old stereotypes hit your synapses like a lorry smashing into a wall. 

Well, one is kind of a posh professional, while the other wears a dodgy mac, has a roll up hanging from his mouth and shifty looking. Is that a bundle of notes in his pocket or a gun or a sudden attack of arousal?

I guess you get a few stockbrokers who look the same but both are rather peculiar perceptions. Walter Lippman coined the phrase stereotype a fascinating, intelligent and noted Pulitzer Prize winner 1958, 1962. 

Roll a dice - one or six. What odds would tempt you to bet?

You know there is a price at which only a fool would turn down a gamble. Surely you are not one of those fools?

An example of stereotypes: if I said I knew a French professional gambler you may see an imagine of him riding a cycle, wearing a beret and a string of onions hanging around his neck. 

But that is the thing about the mysterious, illicit, looked-down upon everyday gambler. Look at that idiot, he thinks he can beat the bookmakers. 

Well, I'm here to tell you that's exactly what many gamblers do on a regular basis. The perception is that a bookmaker will always triumph over a gambler. He's the vampire bat sucking the blood out of a nieve punter who doesn't even realise its latched on the back of his neck.

It is difficult to draw the line between where a gamble starts and finished. You are not probably conscious of the gambles you are taking on a daily basis. Perhaps you are. Lucky you...

When crossing the road, few people are stupid enough to walk across without taking a glance left and right. If you are super cautious you may even look in the air for falling pianos and the like.The odds of getting knocked down on the road are real. They don't simply disappear because you haven't given them the time of day. Insurance companies could tell you the odds and they would rob you blind if you asked for a bet on that poor old dear who isn't as nimble as she once was on her feet.

Wouldn't you rather be conscious of the gamble? You may be able to negate those odds, increase your chance of winning or even life a little longer than you thought.

The Punter, his Betting Slip and the Chinese Burn Society

It's a funny, old world. Well, the world, itself, isn't funny in a patronising, critical, irritating kind of way that is usually left to homo sapiens. 

You probably wonder what I am talking about. 

Giving horse racing tips, selling information, it can be a pain in the arse. Why? Because you are often tarred with the same brush as those who didn't make the last person they dealt with feel so good. I am a calm, sensible, logical person who even when someone is plainly wrong I try to see the reason from their point of view. 

I know a lot about horse racing. It is my business to know. I detail some of the best two-year-old horses in training. I give 10 Dark horses. They are, in general, very good. Very, very good. But we are dealing with opinions, flesh and blood, not machines or a science set in stone. 

I felt a touch irritates by recent proceedings. The first dark horse given didn't send because of an issue with Mailchimp who forward the mailings. This horse hadn't raced before and was trained by Richard Hannon for owners Al Shaqab Racing. Its name is Denaar. It won easily, followed up next start and will be heading to Royal Ascot. By all accounts I was correct. 

The second horse I sent, which got delivered, was a horse trained by Mark Johnston called Jive Lady. The reason it was detailed was because the stable had given it a Listed race entry which suggested to me it is a talent. Remember this is the trainer's opinion. If the trainer is wrong I am wrong.

Well, it drifted markedly in the betting. It didn't fill me with confidence. The filly led and then tired quickly beaten a good number of lengths. I was disappointed. it isn't ideal especially after the first horse that didn't get mailed was so bloody good. Even a bonus horse I gave after Validator won comfortable and will no doubt be racing at group level. 

Well, I received a message from one person from over 600+ on my list to say that it was ''a load of crap''... that I was ''ripping people off''. 

Very strange. 

This is a classic case of people reacting to their emotions rather than using logic.  I've heard these things all before. I had someone say the same thing in the past who was even more up in arms about something which basically made no sense.

How can giving something for free be ripping people off? If after 10 Dark Horses people don't want to pay a measly £37.5 a year for hundreds of hours of my work then don't. It makes no difference to me if people join or not. 

The fact what I find ''illogical'' is that someone tries to judge you on one horse. Is it just me or am I missing something here? I could understand it with ten horses. The stupid fact is that I have mentioned three horses and they have achieved three wins from four races and two of the three will be racing at group class. 

Just because the Johnston horse disappointed doesn't mean it has no ability. Sometimes the best horses run terribly on debut. Time will tell. 

In truth, this message and the one received from Mr Someone wasn't actually about horse racing at all. It was about a person's distorted, if not irrational musing, which lacked reason. It lacks reason in the sense that if they had done exactly what I had and responded the way they had I'm pretty sure they would feel rather disappointed by the comments. 

One horse. How can you base some on a solitary finding? I dug one hole and didn't find any gold but the other 99 that I could have done. 

I am fair with people, generous, a hard worker who knows more about two-year-old horse racing than anyone I have met. If someone thinks they no more then come and say hello because I will know I have met another bloody hard worker. 

The day will come when I keep all of my knowledge and money to myself. 

It will be a day too, even if you don't realise, that you missed an opportunity to actually learn something valuable for free.

Now, does that sound like a wise man?

Experience, Knowledge & Wealth

I studied psychology at Open University. The male equivalent to Educating Rita. I always found Willy Russell's screenplay, directed by Lewis Gilbert, an exceptional film. Readers may remember the fine performances by Micheal Caine, Julie Walters & Maureen Lipman. 

The 1983 film won numerous awards and was nominated for three Oscars. 

I guess a lot of people have watched it. It's worth a second viewing because it is exceptional with many subplots. At the heart of the subject, it is about identity. 

Rita, desperate to change, while Frank Bryant (Caine) an alcoholic, disillusioned by his past successes which have faded with time to a point where he ridiculed his former achievement as a gifted poet. 

Experience is so often taken for granted by those who have it and so wished for by those who are caught in its tide. I guess for most people wisdom, skill, knowledge becomes so implicit that it is difficult to view those years of inexperience. 

Gambling is very similar. I'm talking about a true insight, not someone thumbing their way through the sports pages of the nearest red top. Each to their own. I don't mean those words to sound critical but there is a difference between the expert and the novice. It is a fundamental difference which identifies a deeper understanding which most people would not even consider or even appreciate if spoken. 

From a psychological point of view, expertese comes at a price. That price is time. Ericsson (1990) says it take 10,000 hours to become an expert. 

It is a deliberate practice

They say knowledge is power. It is lots of things. Perhaps power is at the top of the list for those who wish to dictate.  

I studied psychology because it interested me. The reason why I studied to gain a degree was quite simple. To prove I could do it. Studying is hard work in ways but simple in others. It is simple in the sense that there is a clear path to success.

It's like watching The Wizard of Oz 

You follow the yellow brick road, bump into a scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion, avoiding the odd witch with striped socks, steal her ruby slippers, annoy another green-faced bitch, an apple tree that throws apples, visit the Emerald City, meet a wizard who sets you a challenge, get caught by flying monkeys, melt a witch, steal her broomstick, joyously sing ''the witch is dead'' before going back the the wizard and fly off in an errant balloon only to wake up to find it was all a dream. 

Hey presto, you have a certficate hanging on the wall. 

At the heart of the story, experience, you realised you learned something that you had all the time.  

A chosen, directed path, is something very few people can enjoy in most aspects of life. A lack of direction in life, business, health etc can be a problem. 

It can lead to your death.

One of the greatest strengths I have as a gambler is a strange concept for most people to understand. I am good at gambling because I don't really enjoy gambling at all. My judgment, logic and rationalisation are based on a discipline that states I bet because I know long term I have the odds in my favour. 

Another concept of psychology is called the Fundamental Attribution Error. A complicated word for a simple reasoning. A phrased coined by Lee Ross. 

Here is a definition: In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error, also known as the correspondence bias or attribution effect, is the claim that in contrast to interpretations of their own behavior, people place undue emphasis on internal characteristics of the agent (character or intention), rather than external factors, in explaining other people's behavior.

Basically, people interpret your behaviour differently to theirs. They blame you for mistakes but reason that it was another factor for theirs. 

You dropped that cup while washing up because you are clumsy not that it was slippery as hell. 

If you need to understand someone it is best to ask what they are thinking or show interest in their explanation. 

As with gambling, just because you do not know the key to success it doesn't mean that others cannot prove with their expertise they can win. 


Betting Like It's 1984

How many times have you searched Google for winning racing tips? 

What did you find? 

You may have found a number of successful websites including one of ours called Eric Winner. The trouble with so many punters is that they are not looking for long-term profits but an instant return on investment. Nothing wrong with that thought. In fact, it is something that all gamblers, bettors, investors would love to have in their armoury.  

Reading the literature to many ''Get Rich Quick'' schemes you kind of notice the fancy font that's highlighted in bold.   

I guess many people are not really looking for a gamble at all. Just a way of pretty much guaranteeing that they will win. 

Would you like a crystal ball?

Now you are probably reading that last sentence thinking I am making fun of the situation that so many gamblers find themselves. Who can tell the future? 

However, all investments are basically trying to foretell the future. If only I could see five minutes into the future! For starters, I would win Lotto. That would be a cool million or so even on a bad Saturday night. I guess if we could do that we would be hoping we could choose when we had that five minutes just to take advantage of the Euro Lottery for a £100M. 

Sadly, we can't see into the future. Well, not just yet. 

You've seen the film Groundhog Day?  Re-living the same day time after time, in the hope of making it to a  

I have found a novel approach to gambling which is very much like a cross between Groundhog Day with a touch of uncertainty, but giving enough confidence that you should make a profit. 


Here's an interesting question. Would you like to know which horse is likely (ideally definitely as we are talking Groundhogs here) to be backed? 

You are watching the betting pretty much sure Joe Bloggs racing in the 4:20 Wolverhampton is going to be backed. Substantially backed. 

It would be like knowing the future. Wouldn't you like to know how to do that?

You won't believe this...

I'm going to tell you how to do it for free.


Well, you may never have considered that non-runners are very interesting. Frustrating. Yes. You notice a non-runner when eight runners turn to seven and your each-way bet comes third. Bloody non-runners. 

However, these non-runners are like a goldmine.I know you have a puzzled look on your face. You're thinking I've either been drinking grandpa's medicine or taken a knock to the head or wallet. 

They are a goldmine!!!!!!!!!

Here's what you are looking for. A non-runner which is heavily backed. It's as simple as that. Because you can pretty much guarantee the same horse, running at a similar level will be backed next start. I've seen it happen time after time. Obviously, you need to be betting on the exchanges to make a profit or hold a juicy no-lose gamble. But it is a glimpse into the future without the need for a time machine or crystal ball. 

Don't believe it works? Watch and you will see. 

6:45 Newcastle Racing Tips (24th March) Sprint Handicap (Class 4) (4yo+)

Even with only 8 runners this race is looking quite hard to solve, mainly as there's no known front runners plus I've got 3 that could be hidden dangers and then very closely rated are my top 3, Newsteads Abbey is my 4th top rated but this might be the wrong course and distance and the jockey is 0-28 for the stable, Aprovado and Burtonwood are my joint 2nd top rated and both are being ridden by 7lb claimers which would move them to joint top rated above Money Team my original top rated, I think that the bottom weight Burtonwood may be outclassed in this class 4 race, so I will go with backing both APROVADO 9/2 and MONEY TEAM 15/2 to small stakes to show a profit whichever one wins the race.

Aprovado 9/2 1st
Money Team 15/2 6th

ATP & WTA Miami Ante-Post Starts 3pm Wednesday live on Sky Sports and BT Sports

Angelique Kerber
The second leg of the March/Spring double that carries Masters 1000 points for the Men and is the second Premier Mandatory event of the year in the Woman's event.

The big shock coming out of Miami this week is the news both the top two in the World, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic (3x Defending Champion) have withdrawn due to elbow injuries.

This leaves very much a wide open tournament and a one that should be very competitive.
The Big 4, Djokovic (25), Nadal (13), Murray (10), Federer (9), have won a combined 57 of the last 62 Masters 1000 events but with Murray and Djokovic out of the equation I am happy to take on the ageing Federer who is favourite at 7/2 despite a 13-1 winning record in 2017 has only won back to back Spring Doubles at Indian Wells and Miami once which was way back in 2006. This is a tough feat and something only Novak Djokovic has been able to do in recent years at his peak of his powers, so I am happy to be against the skinny 7/2 for the 4th seed jolly in conditions that will be far tougher for him and slower than what he prefers.

Rafa Nadal is the second favourite at 6/1 and he should at least reach the last eight this week but is another that was unable to win this title at his peak so is happily swerved at the prices.

Kei Nishikori is the 2nd seed and he loves playing here in Miami. The Japanese star reached the final last year and fitness, durability, defensive skills, speed, footwork will all come into play here along with handling the humidity. Nishikori has lived in Florida for many years now and also is far better suited to Miami over Indian Wells and signs were bright on the back of his Indian Wells run to the Quarter Finals that he is in good form coming into this event.

Nishikori is a big price at 17/2 with Coral or 7/1 Bet365, William Hill and Betway acceptable, considering the big two are out of the equation and I prefer the all-around skills of last year's runner-up to come out on top over a potential career-changing triumph for the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Dominic Thiem, Alexandr Zverev who could come out the pack but for now are a good 12-18 months shy of a Masters 1000 breakthrough in my opinion.

Milos Raonic is at 9/1 and his recent return from injury appears open to how fit he will be as is the norm. The best effort here of quarter finals in 2014 and 2016 won't inspire many to get on board the 3rd seed and the top half could be between top seed Stan Wawrinka at 10/1 although his runner-up appearance in Indian Wells is sure to have taken its toll and I am not a fan of Stan at this time of the season in any case, and the European clay could be his next success as durability is rarely a tick in the box for Wawrinka, which is a key ingredient to success here in Miami. 

The top half really is wide open and for me, any one of Federer, Stan, Krygios or Thiem could come through that but it is Nishikori who I favour over all potential finalists from the opposing half this week.

WTA Miami

Top seed and World number one, Angelique Kerber, could come alive over this 12 days of play.  The 7/1 second favourite behind in-form Karolina Pliskova at 5/1 will be able to show off her excellent defensive skills and durability this week.

Kerber is usually a springtime of the year player and with the field minus Serena Williams in what is like the men's, a wide open looking draw, Kerber will surely eye this as a great opportunity in favourable conditions unlike what she encountered at Indian Wells where she regularly losses early and comes here crucially fresh.

Pliskova lost in the semi-finals last week 7-6 7-6 to Svetlana Kuznetsova to scupper our 9/2 selection. The Czech 2nd seed is in the form of her life but is short enough at 5/1 and feel her best chance of a title in March came last week and to be honest she wouldn't tempt me unless I saw 10 or 12/1 for her.

Kerber is housed in the same half of the draw as high seeds Simona Halep (3) and Madison Keys (8) both on only their second tournament back from long term injury.

I don't feel Halep will be strong enough for a run in the near future and we won't see the best of Madison Keys until the green grass is Beneath her where she will a very lively threat at Eastbourne and Wimbledon, in particular, this year if fully fit.

Cibulkova, Radwaska, and Muguruza, are a trio of out of form 4th, 5th, and 6th seeds, and for me - two players offering top 5 form at present are 9th seed Elena Svitolina 16/1 and 12th seed Caroline Wozniacki 14/1 who both will favour these courts and have the talents to show off their footwork and defensive skills required where both are also bang in-form.

They are both housed in a bottom heavy draw so my preference as highlighted is to side with Angelique Kerber who can claim her first title of the season at 7/1 general from the far easier top half of the draw.


ATP Miami to win Outright - Kei Nishikori @ 15/2 Coral or 7/1 Bet365, William Hill & Betway.

WTA Miami To Win Outright  - Angelique Kerber @ 7/1 General.

4:00 Kempton Racing Tips (20th March) Maiden Stakes (Class 5) (3yo+)

2yo racing tips - sky equine
A Maiden Stakes over 6f on Standard going.  

Twelve runners aged from six-year-olds to three. Very few horse are priced to have any particular chance. In fact, just four horses are prices 10-1 and less at the time of writing. 

For many punters, this race is all about one horse. Tom Marquand is booked to ride Richard Hannon's twice raced Ashwaq. This chestnut filly is a daughter of Sepoy in the ownership of Al Shaqab Racing. She was bought in a private sale at Arqana Deaville August Yearling Sales 2015 for 200,000E. We saw a promising run on debut at Newmarket when racing over 7f priced 8-1. Returning in November, this February foal finished second when losing by half a length at odds of 10/11f. She is likely to be odds-on today. 

A big shout.