Father was an avid horse racing gambler for 40 years, grew up as a ‘punter’, first got involved with Betfair back in 2006 using the API to get data on Exchange games (typically Poker). Bit of a break and some years later discovered trading and trading software.
Now on a quest to make a decent second income with sports trading and building out systems to help identify opportunities!
Can you imagine trying to be professional gambler back in the 1960s? That’s what my father wanted to be, in fact he left his job and gave it a year to try….but it didn’t work.
Sadly he passed away 2 years ago but horse racing was his life, and I mean his life! My whole childhood I remember him going to the bookies every day and each morning would start with 2 hours of studying form.
He always did, in his own words; ‘OK’, but I often joked how he drove battered old cars while his bookmaker always had a brand new mercedes! (In the days when bookmakers were independant).
I was never that interested in horse racing. I was more into the pub games like snooker and darts and International soccer. I would have a bet on the grand national but other than that not really into gambling as such. In fact I was never interested in fruit machines even, preferring to spend my time in video arcades playing Asteroids, Galaxians and Defender.
When I left school I went to work and want to do avionics, being colour blind meant that was a no-no so the nearest I could get was testing models of planes in wind tunnels and studying aeronautical engineering. However before this I had caught the ‘bug’ of writing software on the home computers that were everywhere in the 1980s.
I soon got work coding and thats where I stayed. I never thought much about using data for any kind of trading until I started playing poker. It was around this time (2006) that I started using Betfair.
I discovered the ‘Exchange Games’ on Betfair; Poker, Blackjack etc. I had a strategy for Poker so thought I know what I’ll do: I’ll use the API to mine previous hands data and can then backtest my strategy.
Failure! What I discovered from the looking at the hands of 12,000 games was that in fact all 4 hands had about the same chance of winning! It was like a 4 sided coin flip! My problem is that I was using my ‘poker head’ and applying a strategy to what is simply a game of chance.
Fast forward a couple of years and I got ‘back in the gane’, first into Horse Racing and now football but using trading software now. The plan is to use data and software to help get an edge, primarily focused on football but with expansion into horse racing and tennis trading also planned.