Pro Gambler Philosophy
The theory of value one of the most important principles in the Professional’s armory. Every pro knows that whenever he places a bet, the price he has taken from the bookmaker is over and above the true price of the outcome which he has calculated. So once you know the true price of a selection, simply find a bookmaker who is willing to offer a price that exceeds your calculated price. In essence, this is what makes the difference between a pro and an amateur. 93% of gamblers lose their money to the bookmakers in the long run. The remaining 7% cream 23% of total bookmaker profits. How does a professional calculate the true odds of an outcome? This is a fine art and not quickly learned. The professional will use the tools of research, precedents, weather forecasts, exchange price movements, key bookmaker movements and personal judgment in order to make this calculation. He will formulate his price and THEN examine what is on offer by the bookmakers, and will only place bets where the price offered is far greater than the true odds. A simple analogy would be to look at an event where there can only be two outcomes – the flip of a coin. If one was able to obtain a price greater than even money (say 6/5) for each flip, in the long run, you will win more than you lose. Note the odds offered for the coin-toss in the Superbowl – 5/6 heads, 5/6 tails. A fine example of poor value. For further information on this example and a discussion of house edge and value please consult the house edge section in mathematics of gambling.
Money management and record keeping is vital to the professional. He will only risk a percentage of his available funds in accordance with the odds on offer. Example he will risk say 5% on a 6/4 shot and only say 1.5% on a 9/1 shot as he knows that although the prices he has obtained are greater than the true probability of the selected outcome, the bankroll must be protected against the expected losses from low probability selections.If the professional has calculated the true probability of the 6/4 selection at 60% he is prepared for his selection to lose 4 out of every ten times. Using a controlled bankroll, he is able to sustain such losses without going bankrupt. Maintaining a record of selections and outcomes enables the professional to fine tune his pricing skills. If over the course of 200 selections, he finds that he has backed 10 even money selections for a profit of only 0.5 point in say a 20 point bankroll, this implies that his pricing technique used for those selections must be not as rock solid as he had thought, otherwise he would have shown profits in line with the remainder of his portfolio, say 25% over and above total stakes. Winning 0.5 points from total stakes of 10 points represents only a 5% return. The time taken to research those 10 selections, plus the time between the events relating to the selections imply that he would have been better off with a fixed interest deposit in a bank over that time period.