As some of you know, many years ago (2002) I wrote a book on how to turn a profit on the racing on TV of a Saturday. At the time, I was a small stakes semi-professional gambler. I sent the book to Alan Potts, who was the best bona fide professional gambler in the country. I say bona fide, because he wasn’t your stereotypical “professional gambler”.
He wasn’t the larger-than-life, look at me, I’m the fucking bollocks, high-staking gambler, of the type that blows into the horse-racing world once or twice a decade, getting mega media coverage, before exploding into penury in quite spectacular, but not as much reported, fashion. Nor was he the already rich bloke, money made from fastening himself onto the necks of the poor that make up the high-end of national hunt racing and who only punt when everything is in their favour/fixed.
He was a gambler, who had used his retirement money from IT drudgery and parlayed it into a modest living of sorts. Which made him a fucking hero to me. Plus, he’d written a couple of books on how to do it. Which are brilliant and I recommend you buy them ahead of mine. But they required a certain level of knowledge. What about something simpler, I thought? A primer. And that’s what I tried to write. And he wrote back to say he really liked it. Which was nice.
We met at Kempton races to talk about it. Daryl came with me. I had been Daryl’s boss at Commercial Union and had bored him silly with racing. Once we left he was on the cusp of catching the bug. Alan Potts was on good form, holding court, with an amazing memory for races and ratings, and was generous and kind. He gave me the name of a publisher, a promise to put a quote on the cover, and the name of the winner in the 4:15 at Uttoxeter, (which Daryl and I ignored, obviously).
The publisher loved it, we were ready to go, and then we weren’t, and the publisher disappeared and my introduction to the weft and warp of this publishing business was hard and sudden and good practice for a lifetime of disappointment and rejection, tempered only by my roll of good fortune with Karin and Farewell Trip. For me, it’s like landing a good-priced treble – work for it, but don’t expect it.
Anyway, only three other people have ever read it.
- Daryl, who has used its meanderings and been a profitable gambler ever since. His bank hasn’t done so well lately, but then the book is out of date and so is his approach. The merest tweak and he’d be back in business, for Daryl has discipline and that may well be the greatest gambling gift of all.
- Slipperytoad - the moniker of a chap who had a blog about his progress from mug punter to professional gambler. He’s a great bloke. And often cites me and my book as one of the reasons that he is now a successful professional punter. He’s badgered me for at least 10 years to publish the book, so this is for you Toad.
- Iain, who likes a Saturday punt, and to pass on tips, and then give it large when they are successful and who comes to visit us every Friday of the Aintree National meeting, to eat Anne’s Dorset Apple cake, walk the dog, imagine a life in the country and to win a huge gopping mouthful of poundage on some 33/1 shot in the 3 mile handicap – a feat he’s managed at least twice.
On the downside, the book is hopelessly out of date. Betfair didn’t even exist. I don’t bet on the races I recommend. My edge has changed beyond recognition. Often I don’t even recognise it myself. Then again, lots of the book are fundamental. If you don’t make money gambling, and would genuinely like to, this book will help. I promise. Plus the bit on jockeys is quite funny.
I’ve priced it fairly – if you can’t afford £15 for a book on how to do it better you definitely shouldn’t be gambling. If you buy it through Lulu, I make £5. If you buy it through Amazon, they make that much and don’t pay tax on it.
Alan Potts once said to me, the thing about blokes is there’s some things they think they don’t need lessons on. Sex and gambling are definitely two of them...
Buy it here...