The Opportunities of a Professional Gambler: Eddy Murray

One year as a Professional Gambler 2004-2005

This is a post from Eddy Murray:

This was my original post on the Betfair forum about my first year as a professional gambler.  This article led Inside Edge magazine to get in touch with me, and my work for both Inside Edge magazine and The Sportsman newspaper stemmed from it.

The first week of March last year I left work to go full time, and one year on, I'd like to put this thread up as perhaps some people may find it helpful.


Being a gambler is not something I ever expected to become. The advent of the internet, and the exchanges, have changed my life (for now) dramatically. I still can't quite believe its been just twelve months, but I for one have a lot to thank Andrew Black and Ed Wray for.

The twelve months started fairly badly after nearly being killed in a car crash in Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote. That was a bit of a disappointment. However, on return to the UK, I had two or three very successful months, until suddenly I was hit by a double whammy. I had originally been winning on three different types of market, and suddenly overnight became a big loser on two of them. At the same time I had been guilty of expanding my own lifestyle and expectations (in a very human, but perhaps unwise way), and had also spent a third of my bank buying (music) recording studio equipment – the one thing which I'd always dreamed of having.

Losing half of my remaining bank in the space of a fortnight last June left me in deep trouble, and it looked like I was in danger of having made a massive mistake. There was one point where I had one final bet (not a huge one though) where I promised myself if it lost to stop and never bet ever again. It did end up winning. I asked Gamcare for advice, who were very helpful. When gambling messes up your sleeping, as well as your waking hours, it is a crushing realisation that you are in a mess.

There are no evening classes, A-levels, or MBAs in gambling. There are a small band of hardcore professional gamblers, nearly all of them at least partially on Betfair, who are literally some of the sharpest minds there are. Any amounts on any market above £100 are likely to be bets placed up there by one of them. They are equally as talented at gambling as a top barrister or doctor would be at their trade. Nobody walks into a courtroom and decides to be a top lawyer for the day, nor operate in theatre at the local hospital. The difference with betting is that everyone can (and most do) have a bet. What can be much simpler than having £10 on Manchester United to win a football match?

Last June (only three months after leaving work), I was in fairly heavy trouble. I had a certain level of my bank which I had set as a level I would try to never go below. When it reached that level, it looked like taking the gamble on becoming a gambler was one I was on the brink of losing.

At that point, the advice I received from another gambler changed everything. I was in contact with a number of people, mainly originally through Betfair's forum, but one of them I hold my hat off to, and have an enormous gratitude to, and respect for (you know who you are guv'nor). I managed to cross over and adapt my skills across a wide range of markets/sports, so that I had degrees of success in new areas. A key part of remaining a pro is the ability to adapt to a constantly changing market. You literally have to run to stand still to be successful in as fiercely competitive an environment as Betfair.

Winning money through betting is paradoxically something I feel very uncomfortable with morally. Are there people on the other side of these bets who are risking more than they can afford to lose? All the money originally deposited into Betfair has at some stage been earned in an office, a factory, a checkout, forecourt or salon. Much of it has real blood sweat and tears behind it. It makes me incredibly sad to read the figures from the big 3 that they have around 200,000 customers a year losing an average of £3,000 a year into FOBT's, as reported on a number of threads on the General Betting forum. One of my ex-girlfriends had only come to England with her mother many years ago, after her father's gambling addiction took their family to financial and emotional ruin, and her parents separated. There are real human beings out there who become just further statistics to fall by the wayside in the current pro-gambling British culture.

There's always the hope that if you do win, it's off a rich city trader, who is punting silly money for fun. Betfair has a very small number of seriously big winners (of which I am not one), but very few if any big losers. It has a vast legion of small losers. A football match can be more fun with a bet having been placed on it. The people who gamble for entertainment (whether they win or lose), as an enjoyable hobby to complement an already balanced life are perhaps the real winners. Given to this group of its customers, it is the better value and accessibility to a product they enjoy, that is perhaps Betfair's greatest success.

For every 100 winners in a calendar year, many of them will fall by the wayside the following year. One of the most famous posts on this forum has been 'The Story of Ster', who went from being a big winner to someone whose methods became horribly outmoded, and he found himself deceiving his family about his gambling problems. According to his last post he found happiness and support from his loved ones. For every passage of time, past present and future, there will be a number who are crushed through indiscipline/addiction/chasing/recklessness and/or greed.

A year full time feels like a lifetime. Gambling is neither a hobby nor a job, it is a lifestyle. One thread on here has had a user called TETO setting a target of £50 a day, whilst another has a user called 'Doubled' seeking to make £25,000 a year. Everyone starts gambling with £1's and £2's, and if they are good, that progresses to fivers, tenners, fifties, and then hundreds. There are people who bet tens of thousands of pounds per football match, horse or rugby team on Betfair, without blinking an eyelid. If you have two gamblers, one of them 5% better than the other, one could realistically make £20,000 a year from it, the second one could make £70,000. The difference between earning £26,000 a year in the workplace, and £32,000 a year could be four or five years' hard graft and promotion. A small difference in gambling skill can make an astronomical difference to the bottom line here though. The real shrewdies who use Betfair make about 10% profit on turnover, with a fairly astonishing turnover level by any layman's standards.

There is no security in the future of any gambler, bar their own ability to stash away whatever they can for a rainy day. I am 26, and I know that when I do go back into the workplace (something I hope to do) it will be at the bottom rung again. Each year spent as a full timer doesn't knock off a year of your real career at the bottom end of the ladder, it knocks off one of the best years at the end of it. It is quite a heavy burden for me, when most of my peers are doing well and forging ahead as consultants/analysts/bankers/lawyers/accountants/actuaries. Only hindsight will let me know if I did actually make the right decision at this stage in my life.

I'd like to put forward my own opinions of the kind of people who I think would make successful pro gamblers. Every school boy wants to be captain of the football team, or seeing the prettiest girl in the school. I was neither, just a quiet studious swot who probably annoyed people by continually beating everyone in the exams, as well as probably other various nerdy and equally nefarious activities. Pets don't win prizes, geeks do. If you can remember the class genius/nerd, I don't think you're cut out to be a winner on Betfair. If you were the nerd, you have a chance. As I said before, nobody expects to turn up and be a brilliant doctor or lawyer, but everybody likes to have a punt, and most are happy to bet until they've done their cobblers.

I've personally written two specific programs/models which have proved invaluable on certain markets. One has half a million variables. The other I'm incredibly proud of, and wouldn't sell for 30k. Winning at gambling is extraordinarily hard to do consistently, and it takes an armoury of graft, skill and discipline to succeed. The technical skill and wizardry behind some of the API programming is itself several steps up from a relatively small fish like me.

Nobody is ever a real winner from gambling until the day they cash in their chips, and leave the casino. There are gamblers throughout history who have won millions, and lost it all back. If somebody asked me if it can be done, could I truthfully say 'yes'? I'm not sure that I could. I could easily be one of the hundred pros who whilst being successful for the last year, may fall by the wayside over the next. There is no tragedy in that – all that a man can ask for in life is the freedom to live by the sword, and you can only do that if it's possible to die by the sword if you fail.

Starting out as a full timer is not something I would recommend to almost any other person (out of a sense of moral responsibility, not attempted protection of an imaginary part of some imaginary pot of gold). It has been the most astonishing learning curve, and in my first few months I experienced both sustained exhilaration and sustained depression. Gambling success is a fickle mistress, with incredible runs of both victories and defeats entwined illogically by fate. Value is all-important – not winners. That's the first lesson to any gambler, and one which the majority don't ever start to comprehend. The secret is not getting more heads than tails, its winning more when a coin comes up heads than you lose when it's tails.

To be a real pro, gambling ends up becoming almost like a form of accountancy, with a good staking plan, and calculation of value as and when it arises. I no longer have any thrill whatsoever from winning or losing a bet.

It has been an amazing twelve months, and I am very fortunate to have been successful for now. I'm sorry if some of this thread comes across as arrogant – it's all genuine from this side. Some people reading this will be thinking about going pro, and I'm sure other people will be reading too. If you do go pro, then try to remember how much of a rollercoaster emotionally it can be especially at first. Have a level of your bank which you will not go below, and promise yourself you won't go below it. Then make sure you keep that promise. If I've learnt anything its how unimportant money is, and how precious the people around you are.

I hope some of this helps other people. There'll be another geek out there like me who is at the stage I was at a year ago. I hope everyone finds fulfilment and happiness, which is much more than gambling in itself will ever have to offer.

Eddy Murray , Spring 2005

http://www.eddymurray.com/

Meet the 9 - 5 Gamblers

An old story originally published in BBC News Magazine by Denis Winterman, 2005.

Forget those ideas about card sharps and hustlers, a new breed of white-collar gambler is using statistics and the power of the internet to turn a profit. Welcome to gambling as a career option.


Despite the stereotypes of smoke-filled betting shops and glitzy Mayfair casinos, gambling is not what it once was.


The abolition of betting tax for punters in 2001 and the growth of internet gambling have revolutionised the industry and opened the door to a new breed of gambler, who is choosing it as a career.

Matthew Benham, managing director of Smartodds, had placed just a handful of bets in his life before he became a professional gambler last year. He was a City trader for eight years before setting up his company, which bets exclusively on football.


Suspicion


The 36-year-old employs 13 full-time staff, mainly made up of mathematicians and statisticians. He also has 25 part-time employees around the world who collate data on their country's league. Once the analysis is done, he and just one other colleague decide what bets to place.


"After leaving my job I was looking for something new," he says. "I have always been into football and I noticed betting on games was really taking off. A lot of what I did in the City feeds into what I do now. I use the spreadsheets and financial models I did as a trader to assess odds.


"Five years ago professional gambling was hard work, but times have changed. With the internet it is much easier, from getting all the data to analyse a bet to placing it.


"I know more and more people who are taking it up full time and it is becoming a legitimate career choice. Some people are still suspicious of what I do and expect me to carry round suitcases full of cash."


Benham says it is his unemotional attitude towards gambling that makes him successful - he makes a profit, although declines to say how much.


"I never bet for fun, it is purely a job," he says. "You have to be unemotional because if you do it for the thrill you might not make sensible decisions."


There are no figures for how many people gamble professionally, but the money staked in all gambling style activities rose to £63.8bn in 2002-03, according to the government.


Dangerous passion


Politics graduate Paul Motty, 32, worked in the betting industry after school but left in 1997 to go to university because there were few prospects and full-time punting was too difficult. But after the explosion of internet betting sites he became a full-time gambler last year.


"The internet has changed the whole industry," he says. "The key to being a good gambler is research. It used to take days hunched over the papers to research a bet, now it takes minutes.


"Gambling is losing its seedy image. It is a massive global industry and doing it professionally is now a viable career. Effectively, it is just stock broking."



Taking a punt


£50 - What six out of 10 Britons spend a month on gambling


£20 - Average spend per customer at bingo on one night


£2.49 - What average household spends on Saturday's Lotto draw


He knows more and more people who are taking it up professionally and they are mainly young.


"Younger people are computer literate and use internet sites. For us gambling doesn't have the same stigma, it is a job and we set ourselves strict limits," he says.



Experts agree changes in the industry have made it more feasible to turn a punt into profit - but say it is not an easy way to make money.


"There has always been scope for smart people, with sufficient time to invest, to make it a full-time job of gambling," said Dr David Forrest, reader in economics at the Centre for Gambling at the University of Salford.


"But until recently winning didn't always convert into high returns because the taxman and bookmaker took a cut. Now it is more feasible that your time will deliver a positive financial outcome."


The university runs a degree in business and gambling studies and for the first time last year a student left to become a professional gambler after graduating.


Dedication


"You have to be very dedicated - it is not an easy job," says Dr Forrest. "That's the mistake some people make."


Gordon House knows just how many people can't cope. The UK's only charity offering residential treatment programmes for gambling addicts, it has seen a huge increase in inquiries in recent years and places are massively oversubscribed.


Managing director Faith Freestone says there is a potential risk for anyone who gambles. "Professional gamblers talk about being in control but the problems start when gambling controls you," she says.


Despite his success Motty says he would not advise anyone to take it up.


"You have to take the emotion and passion out of it to be a good gambler and a lot of people just aren't able to do that."

Professional Gamblers: Barney Curley

A Gentleman
Who is Barney Curley? Why is he so feared by bookmakers and one of the most is celebrated and respected punters in their field? The reason Barney Curley has been the annoyance of bookmakers and one of the most renowned punters of modern times can be traced back to a night at a Belfast race track over forty years ago.

Free Horse Racing Tips, Click Here!Barney's father, a grocer by trade, decided to take a gamble. He bet and bet big on one of his own dogs. During the race, the dog fell and broke his neck at the first bend. The sight of his dad walking back up the track, cradling the dead dog, has haunted Barney ever since. The consequences were devastating, yet would be the backbone of the driving force in Curley becoming in a league of his own where punters are concerned.


Curley's father, Curley senior, took Barney, the oldest of six siblings, out of school and sentenced him to 15 months of working double shifts at the plastics factory in Manchester. The two Curley's stayed in Manchester working until enough was saved to pay off all his debts from the gamble.


Curley's father taught him what honour and pride was the best way he knew how. "My father wouldn't come back to Ireland until everyone was paid" Barney recalled. This fact was a good lesson even though it really left him scarred. Each and every winning bet he makes is a bit more retribution for the ways that the bookies made him feel that night and suffer for the next 15 months. Barney has secured betting accounts with bookies all over the world. His most wicked pleasure came in the late 1980's. William Hill decided that he no longer wanted to conduct business with Curley. Over the previous two years Barney had taken them for £200,000.


Barney did not get his start in the business world as a punter. At the tender age of 24 he began by managing bands. Eventually, he added to his plate the ownership of a few pubs and betting shops. Later he decided it was not enough and packed up, closing shop, and moved south of the border to start his punting career into overdrive.


"I wanted to prove myself, " he says. "You have to be out of the ordinary to make money." "I fancied myself as a race reader and I thought I could crack the system. My first big win was about £80,000 and within 6 weeks it had all vanished. I was drinking. I soon discovered that drinking and gambling don't go together!"


The largest venture Curley orchestrated in Ireland was the ever famous 'Yellow Sam' coup. In this one endeavour he netted almost £300,000. The race was a race that took place at the Mount Hanover Amateur Riders Handicap Hurdle at Bellewstown on the 25th of June 1975. Bellewstown, a small country Track, just north of Dublin, at the time had just one phone line. Curley and his team got work backing the horse off-course in stakes up to £50, while the others involved made sure the phone was occupied. This was pre-modern technology days so it was impossible for the bookmakers to notify their representatives at the track that a coup was underway. Yellow Sam, who had shown little to no form in his nine previous runs, started the complete outsider at 20/1. At the end of the race, Yellow Sam won with a full 2 ½ lengths ahead of the rest


Like all the other professional punters, Barney Curley made a very comfortable living from racing. His house is a seven bedroom mansion near Newmarket, complete with an indoor swimming pool there's a Mercedes in the driveway. Its number plate simply puts it "I BET".


When asked what advice he would give to the average punter, his answer was not entirely positive. "It's very difficult to make racing pay in the bookmakers' shops with their computerised tracking systems and expert analysts. Always go to the course if you can. You will invariably get better prices by shopping around. The important thing is to control your emotions and don't chase your losses. There's always another day. I know my judgement of form is sound enough to pay off in the end." This statement helps separate Curley from a number of his peers. He knows that no matter how seasoned, there is no such thing as a sure bet and knows everyone can lose.


In conclusion, it is clear Curley is a man of skill. He was brought up to know the value of hard work and the importance of the value of ones word. Curley took a hard life and made it successful.




Alex Bird
Dave Nevison
Paul Cooper
Phil Bull
Many More

Saturday Tipping Competition

The final week of June's Competition. It's all change. Alan Winter (pro) - always a good judge - found another juicy winner (12/1) to sit at the top of the leader board with 26pts. Jodonovan (pro) has been in form and second top with 21pts. Davidson (pro) has 17pts in third. With the next best being Stephenson (9pts) in fourth, it looks a three-tipster race. It's not over until the final horses passes the finishing line and one horse to prove you are the tipster to steal the show. 1PM Deadline. Good luck to all.

Tipster selections:

1:25 Newcastle - Fidra Bay 2pt w (HCE) Unp
1:45 Newmarket - Ubla 2pt w (Bobby Talk) Unp
1:55 Chester     - Cappy Brown 2pt w (Longbow) Unp
2:35 Newcastle - Seek The Sun 2pt w (Capt Heathcliffe) 2nd
2:35 Newcastle - Kimberella 2pt w (Shukman) Unp
2:35 Newcastle - Arctic Feeling 2pt w (Me Old Mum) 3rd
2:35 Newcastle - No Leaf Clover 2pt w (Gareth) Unp
2:35 Newcastle - Demora 2pt w (Inittowinit) Unp
2:50 Newmarket - Sixties Sue 1pt ew ( Winter) 4th
2:50 Newmarket - Lido Lady 2pt w (Emanuel) Unp 
3:10 Newcastle  - Dubai Dynamo 2pt w (Rawnsley) Unp
3:25 Newmarket - Horse De Combat 2pt w (Jodonovan) 2nd
3:45 Newcastle - Notarised 2pt w (Mark) Unp
3:45 Newcastle - Oasis Fantasy 2pt w(Davidson) Unp
3:45 Newcastle - Angel Gabriel 2pt w (Danny) 4th
3:45 Newcastle - Blue Surf 2pt w (Bird) Unp
3:45 Newcastle - Totalize 2pt w (Racing Mama) Unp
5:10 Newmarket - Wee Jean 2pt w (Clint) Unp
4:15 Chester     - Rowlestone Lass 2pt w (Waterhouse) 2nd
4:55 Newcastle - Oregan Gift 2pt w (Uncle Keith/Paul) Unp
4:50 Chester     - Tyfos 2pt w (Eric) Unp

Good luck to all 

Congratulations to Alan Winter who won the free and pro competition with 26pts, second Jodonovan 21pts & Davidson 17pts thirds. 

 

A Random Professional Gambler's Story


The first week of March last year I left work to go full time, and one year on, I’d like to put this thread up as perhaps some people may find it helpful. Being a gambler is not something I ever expected to become. The advent of the Internet, and the exchanges, have changed my life (for now) dramatically. I still can’t quite believe its been just twelve months, but I for one have a lot to thank Andrew Black and Ed Wray for.


The twelve months started fairly badly after nearly being killed in a car crash in Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote. That was a bit of a disappointment. However, on return to the UK, I had two or three very successful months, until suddenly I was hit by a double whammy. I had originally been winning on three different types of market, and suddenly overnight became a big loser on two of them. At the same time I had been guilty of expanding my own lifestyle and expectations (in a very human, but perhaps unwise way), and had also spent a third of my bank buying (music) recording studio equipment – the one thing which I’d always dreamed of having.

Losing half of my remaining bank in the space of a fortnight last June left me in deep trouble, and it looked like I was in danger of having made a massive mistake. There was one point where I had one final bet (not a huge one though) where I promised myself if it lost to stop and never bet ever again. It did end up winning. I asked Gamcare for advice, who were very helpful. When gambling messes up your sleeping, as well as your waking hours, it is a crushing realisation that you are in a mess.


There are no evening classes, A-levels, or MBAs in gambling. There are a small band of hardcore professional gamblers, nearly all of them at least partially on Betfair, who are literally some of the sharpest minds there are. Any amounts on any market above £100 are likely to be bets placed up there by one of them. They are equally as talented at gambling as a top barrister or doctor would be at their trade. Nobody walks into a courtroom and decides to be a top lawyer for the day, nor operate in theatre at the local hospital. The difference with betting is that everyone can (and most do) have a bet. What can be much simpler than having £10 on Manchester United to win a football match?


Last June (only three months after leaving work), I was in fairly heavy trouble. I had a certain level of my bank which I had set as a level I would try to never go below. When it reached that level, it looked like taking the gamble on becoming a gambler was one I was on the brink of losing.

At that point, the advice I received from another gambler changed everything. I was in contact with a number of people, mainly originally through Betfair’s forum, but one of them I hold my hat off to, and have an enormous gratitude to, and respect for (you know who you are guv'nor). I managed to cross over and adapt my skills across a wide range of markets/sports, so that I had degrees of success in new areas. A key part of remaining a pro is the ability to adapt to a constantly changing market. You literally have to run to stand still to be successful in as fiercely competitive an environment as Betfair.

Winning money through betting is paradoxically something I feel very uncomfortable with morally. Are there people on the other side of these bets who are risking more than they can afford to lose? All the money originally deposited into Betfair has at some stage been earned in an office, a factory, a checkout, forecourt or salon. Much of it has real blood sweat and tears behind it. It makes me incredibly sad to read the figures from the big 3 that they have around 200,000 customers a year losing an average of £3,000 a year into FOBT’s, as reported on a number of threads on the General Betting forum. One of my ex-girlfriends had only come to England with her mother many years ago, after her father’s gambling addiction took their family to financial and emotional ruin, and her parents separated. There are real human beings out there who become just further statistics to fall by the wayside in the current pro-gambling British culture.

There’s always the hope that if you do win, it’s off a rich city trader, who is punting silly money for fun. Betfair has a very small number of seriously big winners (of which I am not one), but very few if any big losers. It has a vast legion of small losers. A football match can be more fun with a bet having been placed on it. The people who gamble for entertainment (whether they win or lose), as an enjoyable hobby to complement an already balanced life are perhaps the real winners. Given to this group of its customers, it is the better value and accessibility to a product they enjoy, that is perhaps Betfair’s greatest success.


For every 100 winners in a calendar year, many of them will fall by the wayside the following year. One of the most famous posts on this forum has been ‘The Story of Ster’, who went from being a big winner to someone whose methods became horribly outmoded, and he found himself deceiving his family about his gambling problems. According to his last post he found happiness and support from his loved ones. For every passage of time, past present and future, there will be a number who are crushed through indiscipline/addiction/chasing/recklessness and/or greed.


A year full time feels like a lifetime. Gambling is neither a hobby nor a job, it is a lifestyle. One thread on here has had a user called TETO setting a target of £50 a day, whilst another has a user called ‘Doubled’ seeking to make £25,000 a year. Everyone starts gambling with £1’s and £2’s, and if they are good, that progresses to fivers, tenners, fifties, and then hundreds. There are people who bet tens of thousands of pounds per football match, horse or rugby team on Betfair, without blinking an eyelid. If you have two gamblers, one of them 5% better than the other, one could realistically make £20,000 a year from it, the second one could make £70,000. The difference between earning £26,000 a year in the workplace, and £32,000 a year could be four or five years’ hard graft and promotion. A small difference in gambling skill can make an astronomical difference to the bottom line here though. The real shrewdies who use Betfair make about 10% profit on turnover, with a fairly astonishing turnover level by any layman’s standards.


There is no security in the future of any gambler, bar their own ability to stash away whatever they can for a rainy day. I am 26, and I know that when I do go back into the workplace (something I hope to do) it will be at the bottom rung again. Each year spent as a full timer doesn’t knock off a year of your real career at the bottom end of the ladder, it knocks off one of the best years at the end of it. It is quite a heavy burden for me, when most of my peers are doing well and forging ahead as consultants/analysts/bankers/lawyers/accountants/actuaries. Only hindsight will let me know if I did actually make the right decision at this stage in my life.


I’d like to put forward my own opinions of the kind of people who I think would make successful pro gamblers. Every school boy wants to be captain of the football team, or seeing the prettiest girl in the school. I was neither, just a quiet studious swot who probably annoyed people by continually beating everyone in the exams, as well as probably other various nerdy and equally nefarious activities. Pets don’t win prizes, geeks do. If you can remember the class genius/nerd, I don’t think you’re cut out to be a winner on Betfair. If you were the nerd, you have a chance. As I said before, nobody expects to turn up and be a brilliant doctor or lawyer, but everybody likes to have a punt, and most are happy to bet until they’ve done their cobblers.


I’ve personally written two specific programs/models which have proved invaluable on certain markets. One has half a million variables. The other I’m incredibly proud of, and wouldn’t sell for 30k. Winning at gambling is extraordinarily hard to do consistently, and it takes an armoury of graft, skill and discipline to succeed. The technical skill and wizardry behind some of the API programming is itself several steps up from a relatively small fish like me.

Nobody is ever a real winner from gambling until the day they cash in their chips, and leave the casino. There are gamblers throughout history who have won millions, and lost it all back. If somebody asked me if it can be done, could I truthfully say ‘yes’? I’m not sure that I could. I could easily be one of the hundred pros who whilst being successful for the last year, may fall by the wayside over the next. There is no tragedy in that – all that a man can ask for in life is the freedom to live by the sword, and you can only do that if it’s possible to die by the sword if you fail.


Starting out as a full timer is not something I would recommend to almost any other person (out of a sense of moral responsibility, not attempted protection of an imaginary part of some imaginary pot of gold). It has been the most astonishing learning curve, and in my first few months I experienced both sustained exhilaration and sustained depression. Gambling success is a fickle mistress, with incredible runs of both victories and defeats entwined illogically by fate. Value is all-important – not winners. That’s the first lesson to any gambler, and one which the majority don’t ever start to comprehend. The secret is not getting more heads than tails, its winning more when a coin comes up heads than you lose when it’s tails.




To be a real pro, gambling ends up becoming almost like a form of accountancy, with a good staking plan, and calculation of value as and when it arises. I no longer have any thrill whatsoever from winning or losing a bet.

It has been an amazing twelve months, and I am very fortunate to have been successful for now. I’m sorry if some of this thread comes across as arrogant – it’s all genuine from this side. Some people reading this will be thinking about going pro, and I’m sure other people will be reading too. If you do go pro, then try to remember how much of a rollercoaster emotionally it can be especially at first. Have a level of your bank which you will not go below, and promise yourself you won’t go below it. Then make sure you keep that promise. If I’ve learnt anything its how unimportant money is, and how precious the people around you are.


I hope some of this helps other people. There’ll be another geek out there like me who is at the stage I was at a year ago. I hope everyone finds fulfilment and happiness, which is much more than gambling in itself will ever have to offer.

Professional Gamblers: Sidney Harris

Harris - like a hawk

Who is Sidney Harris? He is a famous punter that became interested in horses in his mid-forties. Sidney Harris was a stock market trader before he became a professional punter. Sidney made his largest gamble on Black Monday. The 19th of October 1987.

As the financial advisors' sat stunned unable to move watching their VDU screens losing their fortunes, Sidney had a lunchtime bet that the market would continue to fall and the public would continue to panic. That day Sidney netted over £60,000. He was one of the few individuals that were able to see a chance for profit from very adverse circumstances.


Free Horse Racing Tips, Click Here!Since his retirement from stocks he has since retiring from the Stock Market, Sidney has dedicated his life and time to horse racing. Sidney has also developed some remarkably good associates. When Sidney wrote his book, 'Horse Racing, The Essential Guide To Backing Winners', he had been a professional gambler for seven years. He recalled how he became a professional punter on the 26th of August 1993; one day after the 'Largest Bookmakers in the World' made the definite decision to disallow his betting. Their reason for the suspension of his accounts was they believed he was winning too much.

For the most part punters tend to rely on luck. No instance is the saying 'the harder you work the luckier you get', more applicable than in horse racing. According to Harris, 'each punter's journey is unique. Each travels a path that has no signs guiding them.'

Well established and often misguided ideas, will often lead many to repeat mistakes that eventually become debilitating and regularly indulged habits. You must have a defined strategy so you can easily see your mistakes and correct them. It is important to develop a common sense of sorts.



Fundamental Rules For Gambling - Suggestions Harris gives for professional gamblers:



1.Never back a horse unproven on the going.

2.Never back a horse from an out of form stable.

3.Never back a horse unsuited to a track.

4.Never back a horse ridden by a jockey with a poor track record.

5.Never back a horse whose trainer has a poor track record.

Bookmakers and layers look for horses with a minimum of one of the 5 rules above. The horses that have one of the 5 conditions listed do make a above credentials as they make magnificent favorite pick. To put it bluntly, the punters that can not see past the bookmakers and layers fake hot picks will find themselves backing the losing "favorites".

If you successfully remove horses that have or meet one of the above listed conditions, you will have greatly limited the playing field. Thus you will have saved yourself enormous amounts of time.

Statistically speaking, it is very rare for an animal with such damaging characteristics rarely win the race. Harris remarks that you need to make sure your potential selections pass the above filters, the Fundamental Rules listed above.

Now if you want to think in more positive ways, there are other characteristics in a horse that you should look at.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PICKING A HORSE:

1.Always back trainers who are in form. To find them look in 'today's trainers' in the Racing Post or on their website. You will be able to look and see if a stable is in form.

2.Always back a trainer with a good record at a familiar track. Turn to the Top Trainers section for the track in question in the Racing Post or click the appropriate button on the R.P. website and you will see which trainers are likely to be in contention.

3.Aim to back jockeys with a good track record. Turn to the Top Jockeys section and you'll see at a glance which jockeys regularly do the business at this track.

4.Check out horses with future 'multiple entries'. Multiple entries are a useful positive factor. A trainer looking for the right race will enter a horse in various races. Horses with multiple entries deserve extra scrutiny. Check the races these horses might have run in. If they've been pulled out of higher grade races and will still be running in lower grade affairs - they start to look interesting!

When asked for advice he would give to an armature or semi-professional punter Sidney Harris expressed, "Horse Racing is fraught with financial danger. You can literally lose your shirt and indeed your house on racehorses. Awareness is the key to finding winners in horse races. Every decent priced winner you'll ever find starts with one clue from a repertory of hundreds of possible clues. Once you find such clues - you're well on your way to uncovering profit."

In conclusion, Sidney Harris is a well educated, self made winner in the punters circuit. He literally has applied his knowledge of business smarts into making punting a profitable business for himself. Follow his guidelines and you too may find yourself successful.

What Happened to Eoghan O'Neill?

It's all French to me

You may remember reading this headline: Shock split as Fretwell withdraws horses from O'Neill yard. But what happened to the once winning partnership and what did the future hold for this talenetd trainer? 





EXCLUSIVE by COLIN MACKENZIE



Last updated at 20:44 17 March 2008



Midlands businessman John Fretwell, whose lime green colours have been so successful in recent seasons, has shocked trainer Eoghan O'Neill by severing their partnership and removing many of his horses.

O'Neill answered an advertisement to train for Fretwell four years ago and moved from Newmarket to his purpose-built stables at Averham Park just outside Newark, Nottinghamshire after impressing his new boss in an interview.

There were 72 applicants.

The ambitious Irishman delivered the goods with Fretwell's bargain-basement youngsters, many of whom were sold on at a profit at the end of their two-yearold careers.

The horses have now been split between his other existing trainer Ed McMahon, as well as new trainers Kevin Ryan, Peter Chapple- Hyam and Jeremy Noseda.

Chapple-Hyam is believed to be receiving four-year-old Medicine Path, who had a poor season last year but was runner-up to Admiralofthefleet in the Royal Lodge and third to Authorized in the Racing Post Trophy the previous season.

O'Neill, 38, married with three children and a former assistant to John Gosden and Sir Mark Prescott, was contacted yesterday, but said: "I don't want to talk about it."

He has delivered wins in the Group Two Champagne Stakes (Silent Times) and Richmond Stakes (Always Hopeful) for his principal patron, who was unavailable for comment.

O'Neill moved to Averham Park in August 2004 and since the start of 2005 had trained 96 winners.

He has had eight winners from 23 runners so far this year including four from four runs with Rapidity (not owned by Fretwell) who made all to register wins at each of the four all-weather tracks from February 3-15, a record.

Fretwell and his son Paul are frequent buyers at Doncaster Sales where they have been more than adept in spotting yearling talent.

Fretwell, 59, sold his cash-and-carry business, where he employed 600 people, four years ago and is one of the few owners in racing claiming to make a profit out of his hobby



Eoghan O'Neill
 About Eoghan O'Neill

Eoghan has held a trainers licence since 2000 in the UK and more recently in France since 2010.


During his short career as a trainer, O’Neill has sent out the winners of over 200 races, however his forte appears to be his brilliance at placing horses at black type level ensuring, for their owners, maximum value for future sales and for breeding.

O'Neill has trained the winners of the Champagne Stakes Gr 2, Firth of Clyde Gr 2, Weld Stakes Gr 3 and countless other Listed and Group races. He was denied by inches of Classic glory in 2007 in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket when Vital Equine was beaten into second place, however his quest for glory in the Newmarket classic still remains his biggest ambition after coming so desperately close.

O'Neill lives at EMLASA farm with is wife Melissa and four children, Luke, Alice, Sophie and Annabel.


O'Neill’s path to EMLASA has been a long one, having been raised on a farm in Ireland, O’Neill spent Summer holidays working with Robert Collet in Chantilly.Following O'Neill’s graduation from university where he obtained a degree in Economics and Psychology and a post-graduate degree in Business Studies from the Smurfit International School of Business at University College, Dublin he took a position as assistant trainer with Sir Mark Prescott BT at Newmarket and enjoyed three wonderful years being associated with such horses as Wizard King, Hasten To Add, Pivotal and Last Second.

Following his time with Sir Mark Prescott he joined John Gosden as assistant trainer for a further three years, where he was associated with such horses as Benny The Dip, Shantou and Ryafan. Following his experiences with such great professionals O’Neill then felt in 2000 that it was the time for him to branch out on his own.


Where is Eoghan O'Neill now?


EMLASA Farm, France
 Set in the depths of the Orne Valley in South Normandy, France lies EMLASA Farm; a purpose built equestrian property for the training of thoroughbred racehorses.


The farm has a 300 year history of successful breeding until it was recently purchased by it’s current owners Eoghan and Melissa O’Neill and their young family.

EMLASA offers a tranquil environment with 120 acres of lush grass paddocks and also second to none gallop facilities. EMLASA has two training tracks, one of natural sand and the other of SOFTRACK. The most recent innovation in gallop surfaces created by the SOFTRACK team led by Robert Brazil and Hugh Daly.

SOFTRACK is probably the best synthetic riding surface in the world and with it’s superb composition it gives Eoghan O’Neill an edge in terms of the soundness of his horses and increases the longevity of their racing careers.

The SOFTRACK gallop at EMLASA is 1200 metres on a gentle, sweeping incline.

This gives all horses, but in particular two year olds, the opportunity to experience racing conditions at home prior to racing.The sand gallop at EMLASA Farm which is 1400 metres in an oval is ideal for horses where long distance racing is their forte.

EMLASA Farm consists of a 60 box complex in two American style barns with also some loose boxes in the main yard. Each barn is equipped with horse showers, so horses can properly avail of being washed down after exercise. Plans are currently afoot and an equine swimming pool will be installed in the coming months.

There are also advanced plans for the construction of an indoor canter. This will further enhance the service Eoghan O’Neill can provide together with the current facilities described above which also include 2 horse walkers.

Why France?
 
We are currently in the early part of our racing season here in France which will be our first full season, having only moved from the UK last July. Apart from the fabulous facilities that EMLASA provides France is the world leader in terms of prize money which horses can earn by racing here, infact it is 56% better than the UK for example.


France also has a lucrative premium system for French bred horses which provides 75% premium on top of any prize money won by a French bred two year old, 63% for a French bred three year old and 48% for a French bred four year old and older.

France actually gives racehorse owners a chance to enjoy their racing without it being a continuous drain on an owners resources. For many racehorse owners France provides a nice racing environment and an opportunity of making it pay.


O'Neill Loving French Connection


May 7th, 2010

Eoghan O'Neill could make a rapid return to the big stage if his well-crafted plans work out.

British racegoers have seen a lot less of the 39-year-old since he bought a yard for the majority of his horses in France during the spring and he managed to slip under the punting radar with a 20-1 success in last Saturday's Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar.

O'Neill has never been a trainer prepared to stick to conventional boundaries and was sending out runners - and winners - all over Europe during the earlier parts of his career from bases in Newmarket and then Nottinghamshire and it is no surprise that Redcar star Lucky Like could be off travelling too.

"We'll definitely run him again," said O'Neill.

"He might go for the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte (November 3) or there is also the option of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"I've always thought he was nice but Franny Norton got off him on Saturday and described him as a proper horse. He won very easily so we're excited about him."

Lucky Like is not the only horse in the yard with important targets. O'Neill plans to get Kieren Fallon to ride Maroon Machine in the Dewhurst and of others, he revealed:

"Times Vital is a definite runner in the Cesarewitch and Franny will ride him too. Philander is also a definite runner in the Racing Post Trophy." A former protg of Sir Mark Prescott and John Gosden, O'Neill's ambition impressed wealthy owner John Fretwell enough to invite him to train at his establishment in Averham Park near Newark in 2004.

In a four-year partnership, they shared notable victories in races like the Champagne and the Richmond Stakes.

O'Neill still has a link with Nottinghamshire and sets himself a pretty busy schedule.

"I have two bases. My satellite yard is a 120-acre farm with two Polytracks on it. We bought that in March and the easiest way to describe where it lies is to say it's 100 miles west of Paris. It's isolated, but that's the way I like it.

"I have another base at Southwell so I commute between the two. I might spend four days in France, then two in England.

"Some horses like England, some France, but the main thing we have over here (France) is the prize money, even for run-of-the-mill stuff.

"I just got fed up wi other day (Green Dandy). She's a fair filly but she came fifth and we came back with over eight grand."

O'Neill's international outlook is causing him few problems in settling in.

He explains: "I have worked in France for many years so it's not a place that is new to me. It's just nice to get back used to it again.

"I did my apprenticeship with Robert Collet, and I've had runners in Germany, Italy, England and Ireland, so I have had the experience, and a lot of people do want to send horses to me.

"Perhaps it just seems a very fresh, new idea, and people have caught on to it. Some like the idea of having a horse trained over here and they notice someone new has made the break."

Latest News
HomeLatest NewsContactLeading race horse trainers based in France


BROOX WINS DECISIVELY AT CHANTILLY

June 28th, 2010

Broox an €18,000 purchase by Eoghan O’Neill at the October Arqana Sale at Deauville, ran out an hugely impressive winner of a class B conditions race at Chantilly on Tuesday 22nd June stamping himself as one of the leading 2 year olds seen out this year in France. Olivier Peslier never had a moments worry and without moving a muscle he was a comfortable 4 length winner. After the race Eoghan O’Neill commented “He’s the best 2 year old colt I have and probably the best I’ve had since Vital Equine, he’s a very straightforward horse and enjoys his work, his relaxed nature is a big help to him and both the facilities at Emlasa Farm and my staff have done a marvellous job with him. The intention is to run in the Prix Robert Papin on 25th July at Maisons-Laffitte and we’re looking forward to his next assignment.”

Since, Broox has won at Group level with over £100,000 prize money.
To see his full race record (click)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Caunton Beck sold to continue racing career in Switzerland

June 11th, 2010

Caunton Beck has been sold to new Swiss owners in a deal completed by Guy Petit Bloodstock. It is understood that the new owners have purchased Caunton Beck to run in the Swiss Derby on 20th June 2010.

Commenting on the sale, Eoghan O’Neill said “Caunton Beck is a progressive 3 year old stayer, with a great constitution and an invaluable toughness, he has been a great money spinner for the owners having cost €16,000, winning €66,000 and selling him for a substantial figure. We wish his new owners and trainer the very best of luck with him.”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Broox next outing announced

June 11th, 2010

Trainer Eoghan O’Neill announced today that Broox, the highly impressive winner at Chantilly on 21st May 2010 (Prix du Berceau) will return to the same course for his next outing on 22nd June 2010.

O’Neill commented “Broox came back from his win at Chantilly in great form, it is my intention to take little steps with him and he will run in a conditions race at Chantilly on 22nd June. If this race proves successful we will look at stepping him up to black-type company.”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

O’Neill Loving French Connection

May 25th, 2010

Eoghan O’Neill could make a rapid return to the big stage if his well-crafted plans work out.

British racegoers have seen a lot less of the 39-year-old since he bought a yard for the majority of his horses in France during the spring and he managed to slip under the punting radar with a 20-1 success in last Saturday’s Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar.

O’Neill has never been a trainer prepared to stick to conventional boundaries and was sending out runners – and winners – all over Europe during the earlier parts of his career from bases in Newmarket and then Nottinghamshire and it is no surprise that Redcar star Lucky Like could be off travelling too.

“We’ll definitely run him again,” said O’Neill.

“He might go for the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte (November 3) or there is also the option of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

“I’ve always thought he was nice but Franny Norton got off him on Saturday and described him as a proper horse. He won very easily so we’re excited about him.”

Lucky Like is not the only horse in the yard with important targets. O’Neill plans to get Kieren Fallon to ride Maroon Machine in the Dewhurst.

O’Neill’s international outlook is causing him few problems in settling in. He explains: “I have worked in France for many years so it’s not a place that is new to me. It’s just nice to get back used to it again.

“I did my apprenticeship with Robert Collet, and I’ve had runners in Germany, Italy, England and Ireland, so I have had the experience, and a lot of people do want to send horses to me.

“Perhaps it just seems a very fresh, new idea, and people have caught on to it. Some like the idea of having a horse trained over here and they notice someone new has made the break.”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

O’Neill enjoys lucky strike

May 22nd, 2010

Lucky Like stretched right away from his rivals to run out a hugely impressive winner of the totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar.

Eoghan O’Neill’s juvenile was sent off at 20-1 having had four of his previous five outings in France but his jockey Francis Norton appeared confident throughout.

Once given the office, Lucky Like quickly put distance between himself and his rivals and he was fully four lengths ahead of Kaptain Kirkup passing the post.

There will be a 15p in the pound Rule 4 deduction for winning punters as leading fancy Pastoral Player was withdrawn at the start.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Welcome to the brand new EJ O’Neill Website (click)

April 22nd, 2010

We have just uploaded and unveiled our brand new website where you can find out all about our latest news, developments and learn all about EMLASA Farm and why we operate currently in France.

Find out more about ‘About Eoghan O’Neill’ »


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


See his latest result (click) 

Please e-mail us on info@ejoneillracing.com

2015 June - 

Congratulations to connections and their Royal Ascot Chesham Stakes Listed winner, Suits You, ridden by Cristian Demoro. See the result here



Saturday Tipping Competition

The third week of this month's tipping competition. Dive for cover! It's warming up. As yet, the pro competitors are shooting clear of the field - gallant in their two-finger salute to all who dare look ahead. Davison (pro) - bolstered by last month's win - fired a scud missile of a winner in his attempt to depose Jodonovan (pro) from his bunker at the top of the leader table. But in an astute military riposte [from an evasive Passato Sotto] John dropped a hefty mortar bomb stunning his rivals to lead with 21pts. Davidson has 17pts in second place. Next best is Stephenson (free) on 9pts, with Rawnsley (pro) on 5pts in fourth. Most tipsters have struggled to find their aim - keeping their powder dry - but with two weeks to go I'm expecting a couple of petrol bombs to be slung over my fence this weekend. 1PM Deadline. Good luck to all. 

Tipster selections:

2:05 Redcar        - Receding Waves 2pt w (Waterhouse) 1st (6.5pts)
2:10 Newmarket - Il Picolo Grande 2pt w (Longbow) Unp
2:10 Newmarket - It's A Sheila Thing 1pt ew (Inittowinit) Unp
2:10 Newmarket - Parafin Young 2pt w (Glueythepig) Unp
2:30 Ascot          - Force 2pt w (HCE) 5th
2:30 Ascot          - Tonkinese 2pt w (Emanuel) Unp
2:30 Ascot          - Red Artist 2pt w (Me Old Mum) Unp 
2:55 Ayr              - Dubai Dynamo 1pt ew (Rawnsley) Unp
3:05 Ascot          - Fire Fighting 2pt w (OneEyeEnos)  3rd 
3:05 Ascot          - Sennokian Star 2pt w (Shukman) 2nd 
3:05 Ascot          - Sennokian Star 2pt w (Mark) 2nd
3:40 Ascot          - Snow Sky 2pt w (Winter) 1st (26pts) 
4:10 Ayr             - Holly Shiftwell 2pt w (Eric) 2nd
4:20 Ascot          - Tropics 2pt w (Danny) Unp
4:20 Ascot          - Ansgar 1pt ew (Racing Mama) Unp
4:20 Ascot          - Tropics 2pt w (Capt Heathcliffe) Unp
5:00 Ascot          - Kickboxer 2pt w (Uncle Keith/Paul) Unp
5:00 Ascot          - *Huntsman's Close 2pt w (Davidson)  Unp
5:35 Ascot          - Marzocco 2pt w (Jodonovan) 5th
6:00 Lingfield      - Turn Tide 2pt w (Bobby Talk) 1st 4.5pts
6:00 Lingfield      - *Mirsaalah 2pt w (The Smooo)  1st 4.5pts
6:15 Haydock     - Stormy Art 2pt w (Gareth) Unp
6:15 Haydock     - Stormy Art 2pt w (Clint) Unp
6:15 Haydock     - Chicago School 2pt w (Pam) Unp
6:15 Haydock     - thatsallimsaying 1pt ew (Bird) Unp 

*NR Placed on lowest number favourite
Good luck to all 

Table Toppers

26pts Winter
21pts Jodonovan

17pts Davidson
9pts Stephenson
6.5pts Waterhouse
5pts Rawnsley
4.5pts Bobby Talk 
4.5pts The Smooo