Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Gambling: When the Fun Stops, Stop!

Watching TV.  One thing you may have noticed is the amount of advertising from leading bookmakers. Casino. Slots. Two flies crawling up a wall. 

Recently watching the Darts World Championship 2018. 

Love a bit of darts action. But what do we see each and every advert? More reasons to gamble on just about everything! 

The problem with gambling is that it isn't, for many, as easy as saying: 'When the fun stops, STOP!'

What a ridiculous statement. Seemingly negating any responsibility for those who can't stop gambling. Addiction is clearly a problem for many people. I have never had a gambling problem simply because I am very disciplined and don't bet for fun. I would suggest that most people shouldn't be for 'pleasure'. Firstly there is nothing fun, funny, humorous about losing money. If you want to bet for any reason than making money, then play with matchsticks or casino chips you can buy without any great cost. You can learn how to bet more successfully. When you consider it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert (it takes longer) then a novice has much to learn.

Why shouldn't you bet for fun? Because it encourages people to not take their gambling/investing seriously. Money is a serious business. Gambling is even more serious because not only do you have the opportunity to make lots of money but the majority it is an opportunity to lose what they cannot afford. 

That's why I would suggest if you bet for fun then take a moment to re-assess why you are betting in the first place. 

There are lots of very naive gamblers attracted by adverts promoting 'fun'. They suck people in who simply do not have the experience or understanding to appreciate what they are dealing with. It's akin to playing with that ouija board and daring to ask the question: What date will I die?

Perhaps that question is going beyond what people ask before, during or after gambling. They could simply ask: How much will I win (positive) or how much will I lose (perhaps, realistic if you are betting for 'fun').

People need to appreciate that gambling isn't fun. To win you need to be better your opponents. You wouldn't fancy your chances racing Usain Bolt over 100m and you shouldn't fancy yourself to beat a bookmaker, layer or informed bloke in the pub if he is willing to take your bet. Unless you are very confident you will win.

In legal terms they say buyer beware. It is a good maxim for those who wish to bet. Gambler beware.

The bookmakers filter people like a sieve. 

If you win too much they will soon close your account. They need new 'clients' and as long as you lose they will allow you to bet. That's why you are best to use betting exchanges. 

I do have concerns about the impact of children watching sport and being tainted by bookmaker advertising. 'Can I bet, Dad?'

What are your thoughts on gambling advertising? 

Monday, 29 April 2019

2019 Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) Fillies With Star Potential

The 2019 Flat turf season is underway. 

Although slower than many age groups to get to full speed, the two-year-old (2yo) racing is starting to pick up and already we have seen a few talented juveniles who could well be heading to the Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot 2019.

Let's take a brief look at a few exciting 2yo prospects who made a winning debut and look hot properties.

Lady Kermit

Archie Watson has proven himself to be a real star trainer when it comes to two-year-olds and Lady Kermit is a filly who will be heading to Royal Ascot 2019. She trounced the opposition on debut at Kempton when starting a short-priced favourite. Then made the most of her experience to win a Class 2 race at Newcastle. A blistering start had rivals on the back foot. She carried a win penalty that day, which is an example of a horse with some quality. She isn't the biggest horse but a very speedy type who likes a fast five-furlongs. 

Chasing Dreams

Charlie Appleby knows a talented 2yo when he sees one and Chasing Dreams has got to be a leading chance for Royal Ascot after a sublime debut at Newmarket. The 4/9 favourite stormed clear of the opposition. The second that day has won since. This daughter of Starspangledbanner cost 750,000 guineas at the yearling sales. Connections will be excited to see how she goes next start. I wouldn't want to bet against her. 

Lady Pauline - 

Some times you have to look further afield to find a star two-year-old. Who better to focus your attention than Wesley Ward. You know this American trainer only brings quality juveniles from across the pond because they have one racecourse on their horizon. It doesn't take much working out, it's Royal Ascot. Who could forget the astounding win of Lady Aurelia (pictured) when she won the Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot by an ''impressive'' seven lengths. Lady Pauline is following a similar route as she won her debut at Keeneland over four-and-a-half furlongs by an incredible nine-and-three-quarter length. This chestnut daughter of Munnings is a half-sister to Lady Aurelia. A very exciting prospect who could well start favourite in this year's Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2). 

Three super talented fillies you cannot afford to miss.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Chasing Dreams Shines on Debut at Newmarket for Godolphin

Charlie Appleby 2yo Chasing Dreams
Sure, it's early season. 

We have just tripped over the other side of March. 

The Brocklesby Stakes has come and gone. The two-year-olds are coming thick and fast. Archie Watson has dazzled the likes of Mark Johnson with four debut winners in twelve days. Nothing stands still. Trainers, let alone horses, smirk at the grass growing under their feet. Winners, they look so effortless, but you talk to the owners of those who fill the places in behind. A dream left slightly tattered and torn. When you hope your horse disappointed to cling onto the vain hope it has ability. Don't despair, even the best horses lose. 


The small trainers make hay while the sun shines on even a cloudy afternoon at Pontefract as Yorkshire folk talk of the history of the great and the good. 

For years I thought a Pontefract cake was some kind of exotic pastry... 

While the big guns keep their powder dry a small child chews on a small circular sweet made of liquorice. 

Victory is often sweeter than butterscotch Angel Delight...

Charlie Appebly hasn't felt the cold of a winter breeze for many a year. Winners come 'easy' when you train horses whose blood is as blue as the colour of the silks you wear. 

Newmarket 16th April. 

The first two-year-old of the season for Godolphin, racing at headquarters. Chasing Dreams knows the time of day. A race that takes just over one minute, a fraction after ten past four. This chestnut filly, a daughter of Starspangledbanner out of a winning mare (A Huge Dream). One thing that all racegoers couldn't miss was Chasing Dream's price tag. You know you can buy a lot of yearlings for 750,000 guineas. But would you swap them for Chasing Dream's after she trotted up at Newmarket, winning a five-furlong sprint in a less taxing manner than shown on the gallops at home? 

Yes, she was expected to win. Bookies didn't chalk up odds of 4/9f for fun. More in fear of a small field and limited opposition, to a point. I'm sure Appleby applied the hood so she wouldn't hear the cheering crowd because he doesn't want her to get a big head and struggle to get through the stable door. 

What's the betting Chasing Dreams lines up at Royal Ascot? 

As always, only time will tell.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

What do Pigeons and Gambling Addicts have in Common?

It sounds a strange pairing. 

Two love birds. One playing a FOBT in the betting shop. The other looking through the window, flapping his wings with an air of impulsivity. 

Both hoping for that elusive, big win: money or corn!

Perhaps, it's where the term: ''Do you fancy a flutter'' came from? 

However, joking aside, there is nothing humourous about problem gambling. It has a hugely negative affect on the individual if not their family, friends and society as a whole.

Research from the University of Kentucky found that pigeons and problem gamblers seem to have a trait in common. They both display impulsive behaviour!

This psychological research is important as it details that impulse control could be the answer in finding an approach that helps with this addiction.

Although you may never have thought about it - pigeons love to gamble. 

They consistently pecked a target that would result in a ''big jackpot'' of corn in favour pecking a target that offered 100% wins but less corn. On average the ''big jackpot'' paid out two corn seeds while the guaranteed win paid three. (Not the wisest gamble).

Researchers questioned whether this tendency to gamble was related to impulsivitiy. 

Lead author of the research, doctorate psychology student Jennifer Laude and colleagues, found that more impulsive birds were likely to gamble for the big payout rather than wait 20 seconds. The pigeons behaviour detailed they gave more significance to winning the jackpot than losing. 

This is the same behaviour displayed by addictive or problem gamblers. This relates to an impulse control disorder. In this way pathological gamblers aren't interested in their losses as they focus on the big win. 

This research indicates that impulsivity may make people more prone to gambling. Consequently, training impulsive behaviours may help control problem gambling.   

Monday, 1 April 2019

Psychology can improve your betting performance

Psychology: the study of behaviour and mind. To many, this offshoot of philosophy is akin to witchcraft. Others, it is just common sense. While for the majority: ''mumbo jumbo''. 

The strange thing about psychology is that we know it works. There have been studies which show when you walk into a supermarket, we walk so many paces before stopping, turning, and look around. You've probably done it a thousand times and never thought about it. It's walking, you stopped, so what! 

That's why someone had the brainwave of making sure the isles, offers or security guard (joke) are seemingly waiting at the right place to get you to buy. 

It begs the question, how many other things work like that? It is worrying to some extent as you may find yourself buying things, saying yes to someone who five minutes ago gave you a free pen, or liking someone or something that in ways always repulsed you before. You just put it down to being Friday! 

The power of psychology. Neuromarketing. Mumbo jumbo. 

Have you ever watched a TV advert and thought 'what's that all about'. McDonald's with its catchy whistle. Tapping into all those difference senses so you when you want a burger, you find yourself in their queue ''Cheeseburger, please!''. 

You robot! 

I guess we are a little fearful of the unknown. What's happening to me? I went to the shops to buy a packet of sweets and returned with a vacuum cleaner.

What are those bookmakers are doing with all this witchcraft? 

If you open a new account, we will give you 10/1 that Chelsea beat Whatever United! I see it somewhere else 5/4. 

But what about all those subtle things. You go in the bookies and someone asks if you want a cup of tea. Milk. Sugar. (How much did that cost me?)

I studied psychology and gained a degree a number of years ago. Social psychology is intriguing because it finds ways of tapping into the human condition to get you buying. Why is one salesman so much better than the rest of the team? If you studied this person you would identify how and why.

But how does this all related to an individual like you or me making psychology work for us to be a better gambler or win more money?

The key to finding winners is , in many ways, watching, taking note, and understanding winners. For instance, one aspect which often reveals bigger odds (value) is the contrast theory. Basically, if one horse beats another, many punters, bookmakers, layers will fancy the same result if they oppose each other at a later date. I know there may be changing variables such as weight, going, distance etc. However, it has been proven that people often assess the likelihood of the previous winner as having a greater chance of victory than it does. Meaning that the favourite is often under priced whereas the beaten horse is actually value at bigger odds.

Just stop for a moment, and consider how many other aspect of psychology could be at play when you bet. 

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Gambler Wins At Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth Grosvenor Casino We're back from our annual pilgrimage to Great Yarmouth. 

It's in memory of my late father, Colin and many relatives sadly passed including uncle Fred, Keith, Roy and their friends who loved a bet. 

Avid readers will probably know we go to Yarmouth for fun, gambling and good food. The gambling part takes centre stage although I don't bet big money at the races on holiday compared with working from home. I find it difficult to be as professional as in my daily routines. The caravan I shared with a group of five isn't the most ideal place to contemplate wise bets although I did settle in with the holiday distractions better than I thought. 

I went to a couple of the race meetings and found a few winners which made it worthwhile. 

I missed meeting up with Jerry Banks which is a real shame. Jerry runs the great website called Jerry's Best Bets. He found the winner in the Listed race at Yarmouth, Beautiful Morning, who pretty much sauntered home in style. 

The casino wasn't such a pleasurable experience. I do enjoy the Grosvenor Casino because it is an old listed building with real character and charm. It is a great place to go for a cheap meal. They want to get you through the door and lose your money. I have done well at the casino over the last few years and, believe it or not, won money. This time the roulette wheel was spinning without luck and over three nights took a wedge out of my wallet. Not good. It can be depressing betting, watching that bloody ball stop in a number you haven't picked. 

It seems so easy after it has stopped! 

I'm still winning long term but not a great deal. The casino tempts punters from the races by giving a free drink and free bet to all who take their race badge. Basically, it is like them giving you £10 for free. Considering most people lose it is probably the best £10 they have ever spend on marketing. 

It is interesting watching others gamble. 

You get a real mix of people. Some betting 50p chips, £1 chips...while a few are either there to impress or just don't know when to stop. 

I guess everyone has their limit. 

I've been to the Grosvenor a lot and you see a few familiar faces. I'm pretty sure the majority of their customers are regular bettors. I say that because even mid-week they look a familiar crowd. 

A couple of them pretty big gamblers.

Each to their own. I have chatted to one or two in passing but not to appreciate their background or where they made their money. However, they are clearly not short of cash by the manner they bet. 

One of the regulars is Graham. He dresses in a comfortable fashion which belies how much he bets. He isn't there to impress in the fashion stakes but boy does he get the money out as that roulette wheel spins for its life scorching the veneer while fate decides your fortune. 

Graham didn't have the normal pink chips worth £100. In fact, at first, I couldn't see where he was getting his chips from. The croupier kept pushing £500 of £5 chips in his direction and then five £100 chips. So he was cashing up £1000 a time. I noticed he had a number of light-blue chips worth a grand a piece. 

To be fair, he was having about as much luck as me for the most part. He wistfully placed £500 in £5 chips across the table and lost the lot in about six consecutive spins. He carried on betting regardless if not with extra verve as he started putting the five £100 chips on too hoping lady luck would come smiling after a number of dastardly verdicts. 

Thankfully, Graham hit a single number with one of his £100 chips winning £3500. I heard him mention he was down £6000 before that win. I had seen him on the other table a bit earlier. 

Where do these people get all their money from? I will have to get chatting to him some time although he isn't really my kind of person or at least that is how I feel.  

The fine dining part comes from visiting Pamela's restaurant just around the corner from the casino. A jewel in the crown of Yarmouth. Well worth a visit with exceptional service and gourmet delights. I had one of those cocktails made with dry ice which looks rather spectacular if not difficult to drink as I kept breathing in those fumes. A great few days down Yarmouth. 

Thinking of those loving people past & present. 

Monday, 18 March 2019

How Can I Make Money Gambling?

Know Your Sport

It sounds obvious but it's true. To find an edge betting you need to know your niche. It isn't about being the best gambler on earth. The key is to be better than most. It is very much the same in every field of expertise. As the saying goes: Jack of all trades and master of none. I specialise within two-year-old horse racing because there simply isn't enough time to master all other age groups. Working from your own perspective reveals many opportunities to take advantage of layers. Also, let's consider your advantage over a bookmaker - you don't have to bet on every race. That selective nature is worth its weight in gold. In addition, you don't need to bet every day. Some people don't like to let the grass grow under their feet or wallet but if you could find 20 great bets every year and make a profit plus, hopefully, lots of free time to enjoy it isn't a bad life. Time is the most precious commodity of all. Use it wisely.  

Your expertise must be skill based.   

Favourites Don't Always Win

Look through the racing results. What do you see? That the favourites don't win every race. That point in itself should bring joy to your heart and add a few zeros to your bank account. It is one reason why I would always suggest gamblers bet level stakes because it is often the case when backing an outsider people reduce their stake. These bets are often the making of a great season.    

Shop Around

The discipline of betting, its foundation knowledge, practices and philosophy are as crucial, if not more important, than the selection itself. It sounds crazy but the better you hone your skills the more you realise this point is true. Bookmakers prices vary - take the best odds, offers, opportunities. If you bet big priced selections you are wise to bet on the exchanges. When a horse is chalked up at 25/1 it is likely to be 50/1 on the machines. Double the price is the same as having your mate double your bet just for fun. Over a year, this difference can equate to a substantial amount of money. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to hedge your bet if seriously backed. Why would you keep a bet if you took 5/1 and just before the off it is 6/4?   

Be Selective

Your strength as a gambler, investor (name it what you like) is being selective. You don't need to push too hard because you will pressure yourself either with the workload or just crack under stress. Don't look for bets. The best stand out from the crowd. 

Avoid Odds On Bets

If your speciality is betting odds-on shots then you know your stuff. I wouldn't ever say this or that bet type is wrong. Why? Because just because I don't know something it doesn't mean someone else doesn't. However, if you are tempted to bet on an odds-on shot just because it is a short price, then I would suggest you count to ten. In many respects being successful betting at prohibitive odds is as difficult as betting on huge priced outsiders. All is rosy in the garden until you hit a string of losers. It may get to the point where you cannot claw those losses back and get back into the black. 

There Are Lots Of Markets

So you love football. Horse racing. Tennis. You only have to look at sports betting to realise there are umpteen markets you can dip your toe or become an expert. The only negative for an obscure sport is that you may not have much liquidity or bookmakers may shy away from your wagers if you prove you know more than them. I have seen a few people betting on weather, of all things, and I'm not just talking about a white Christmas. Within a given sport there are numerous division or categories. Let's say you know an individual football player better than just about anyone on earth. How can you use that information to win? I have spent a lot of time unearthing the best unraced two-year-old colts and fillies in training. Think what that information can mean when betting. I'm not saying I'm the only person who knows that information but I know a million times more than the average punter who may well be laying a horse on the exchange. My brother won £4,000 for a £20 bet when realising a small horse trainer had a wonder horse. The layers just couldn't get their heads around the fact a small trainer could have a horse that could even win let alone be such a talent it went on to run in the 1000 Guineas. 

Understand Your Markets

With experience, you will be in tune with your niche and the betting. Experience helps answer so many questions. Take your time to appreciate that to be a successful gambler (investor) it is a long road. You don't wake up one morning to find you are a professional gambler. Relish the challenge but be patient. 

Don't Bet With Your Heart

You often hear die-hard football supporters following their team and their heart by lumping on when everyone is looking on bemused. If you have to bet with your heart, bet for fun. Unless you are very disciplined don't bet for fun. Why? Because it is a slippery slope which may lead to betting without discipline. It's not a good idea. Betting with emotions is illogical. Emotions are dangerous at the best of times and mixed with gambling and too much money a distressing road to take. How many people have you seen chasing losses? How many times have you seen them win? Betting is about knowing more not shouting the loudest because you have an anger inside.