Saturday, 6 August 2011

Why am I doing this?

After my last post and teasing you with a potentially very long post about how I ended up where I’m at, I remembered that a lot of what I was going to write has already been written by me! It’s either on my first blog or on here.

This post above was written by me on 30th January 2008 when I started my old blog. The purpose of the blog was to track my progress as I learned to trade on Betfair and throughout the 12 months on that blog, I developed a methodology for using my pre-race trading skills, my form study and the ability to leave IR lays on Betfair.

I started this footie blog in August 2010 and I wrote a couple of posts about my recent history and how I ended up looking at football systems.

Here’s both parts of the story:

So, I think that probably saves me about 2 hours of writing and a lot of thinking back to when I was younger and trying to understand how I’ve ended up here.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me as I’m always pretty open about things and I’ve got nothing to hide. I read back to some of the posts on my first blog when I started out with no idea of how to make money on Betfair and no real edge at what I was doing and sadly, no understanding on how to develop an edge.

I’ve obviously had lots of help along the way from a number of people who’ve offered me advice through blog comments, forums and emails. There are too many people to mention by name but everyone who has helped me knows who they are.

Anyway, it is now 4 and a half years since I started out on this venture. I started my first blog just over 3 and a half years ago but I spent a year at the outset reading blogs, reading books about Betfair and familiarising myself with horseracing form and how to pick winners.

One thing I should say is that for me personally, this has always been a hobby. Like anyone else who plays this game, you do get the odd thought at times that it would be great to do this full-time but for me personally, I could never do it. Back when I was learning to trade, I arranged to get some time off work in the afternoons to learn to trade the horseracing and basically, I found it nearly impossible due to the fact I knew I was missing out on money by not being at work. The pressure was immense and that was me just trying to replace the money I was foregoing from not being at work for a couple of afternoons a week!

I think the reason I do OK at this game is because I do it when I want to do it, I play with money I can afford to lose and overall, I enjoy the challenge of trying to make extra money to buy nice things with.

I don’t want to throw around figures of how much I’ve won since I set out as it’s all relative. £1k to one person may mean a lot more to someone else. What I would say is that the £6,800 I made in my first year on Betfair and through selling my horseracing tips meant a lot more to me than most people know. I’d just bought a house the previous year and it had really taken its toll on my finances. I wouldn’t say we were struggling to eat as that would be a bit of an exaggeration but simply, we had no spare income in any month.

We’d miscalculated how much our outgoings would be when we moved to a much bigger house and simply, we saw the house as an investment and people always say you should stretch yourself when you’re young to maximise this investment. We went a bit far I think! Anyway, the income from the first year on Betfair really made a difference to our lives which looking back now, is something I’m quite proud of.

I made slightly more in my second year on Betfair although it was all to do with the run I experienced on the horseracing in the Summer of 2009 although what happened with the tipping service hurt my profits as well as affected my mental state a fair bit.

My 3rd year wasn’t so good and I made a little less than I made in my first year. However, I was now developing my football ratings and systems and therefore, I could live with this as I knew I was investing in something that could help me long-term.

Last season on the footie, I made a lot of money to Christmas. Looking at my P&L, it was hardly a smooth journey but I doubled my bank a couple of times at various points in time. However, after Christmas, I increased stakes, increased the number of systems I was following and lost more money than I ever thought I’d feel comfortable losing. It was money I’d won earlier on in the season though.

All in all, I’ve made around £20k in 4.5 years. Again, it’s all relative as big gamblers would laugh at this as they can make this every year and other smaller punters might think this is OK as a hobby.

I think one important thing to mention is for me personally, this game has always been more than just me trying to maximise my profits from gambling and trading. I’m not sure what is behind this really as I’ve thought about it myself a few times but I have always tried to help others make money from this game too. I don’t want to rattle off all I’ve done in past couple of years as those I have helped know what I’ve done but it can range from advice on portfolio betting, advice on tipsters, help with recording of results, spreadsheet advice to racing tips, football systems etc. As I say, I don’t want to dwell on this too much but it’s something I’m quite proud of.

Of course, helping people out in the gambling game always means that people will always think you’re hoping to get something back from it. Over the last couple of years, I’ve met (online) an amazing amount of people who have helped me out and therefore, I’d like to think that I’m giving a little back by helping other people out when I can. However, every so often, I come across people who see me as just another intelligent guy who might be trying to pull off some sort of massive con to make myself money.

It’s for this reason I think that I hide behind the TFA forum a fair bit these days. There is a group of people in there who have known me for a couple of years and therefore, I feel completely at ease in there. The guys are all very supportive of what I’m doing on the footie and importantly for me, when things didn’t work out with the horseracing, they supported me through it and if it wasn’t for them, I’m not sure I’d still be gambling today. Therefore, when anyone in that place asks me to help them out with anything, I’ll always try my best to do it.

I’ve recently started to get more involved in the SBC forum and I’m enjoying being part of that forum too. At first, apart from the odd comment, I felt like I couldn’t get too involved as people were always wary of me and the fact I always seemed to be helping people out. However, I’d like to think that more people now understand me more than ever, so I’m in a good place.

So, getting back to Rowan’s question the other day on his blog, what am I trying to achieve and where is it going?

Well, having written the above, I think it’s clearer in my head than it’s ever been. It is a combination of two things.

One is to make myself some money at this game and hopefully, this money can make a difference to my life in some way. Whether it be paying for a holiday every year, DIY improvements on the house, being able to splash out on nice gifts for my future wife (we get married in 3 weeks!) or being able to help my family out where possible. All of these things are the reasons I play this game. It has nothing to do with trying to turn into a professional gambler, trying to give up my job, trying to retire early and so on. It is much smaller than that and there are no thoughts to make it any bigger than it is at the moment.

The other reason though is something that is also important to me but may not cross most punters minds. It’s about helping others playing this game being able to achieve their targets and aims and of course, to help them make a profit. On a small scale, this would be helping people out with spreadsheets, analysis of results, advice on portfolios and so on. However, on a much larger scale, this would be giving people access to a system or a method to make consistent profits.

I think that is behind the reason I’ve got this blog. It started off as a bit of a ego trip where I wanted to show I could find an edge on a sport I don’t have a particular passion for (horseracing is my passion) but now, it’s much more than that. It’s about being able to use my work to help others make money from betting on football.

So, there you have it. I think that’s the two main reasons why I put as much time into this as I do. It’s to make myself a little bit of money and to hopefully help others make money too.


  1. Great to learn more about your background Graeme. You really do seem like a nice chap and best of luck for this season.


  2. Really interesting reading.

  3. Hi Eric.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Cheers anonymous.