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I've made good money betting on horse racing at a professional level. It has been a learning curve.
''You never stop learning''.
It's the keystone to stay at a level which keeps bookmakers and layers at bay.
Nothing is easy, hey?
Then again, working 9-5 is a slog few enjoy.
Training to be a carpenter, bricklayer or mechanic is no easy deal. It takes time, discipline - bloody hard work. Psychologists say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. In truth, that is probably a rather novice-expert. I always remember listening to an antique dealer. He bought and sold Clarice Cliff Art Deco ceramics. This bloke made a living from buying and selling. He was very down-to-earth and seemingly without ego. He was content in his knowledge to make a profit from something he loved. One of the lucky few whose hobby turned into a profession. From the outside looking in, I thought he must have had an exceptional knowledge (which he may have done). However, when asked why he made money while other would-be dealers failed he said:
''I know a little bit more than most!''
It's intriguing the perception we have of others. The successful put on a pedestal, while those who fail sometimes viewed as fools. I would suggest there isn't always a great deal of difference between those who battle with success and failure.
I knew someone who took the challenge to become a professional gambler. With a little bit of luck, he could have made it big. That may sound a ridiculous statement but sometimes you need a little bit of luck in those photo-finishes.
He worked as a plasterer but a keen gambler and very knowledgeable man when it came to two-year-old horse racing. He decided to take a break from the building trade for 6 months and see what he could achieve.
When you have to make a living from gambling to pay the bills, especially when getting started, it is a pressured existence. He borrowed some money to tide him over. It was of paramount importance to focus on the horse racing. Things didn't go well at the start. Finding his feet was an expensive lesson. But he gradually worked his magic. Toward the end of the season, he made £4-5K in one week, from betting basic money. Time was running out. The pressures of gambling increasing. Lady luck most certainly needed to show her pretty face.
So close. So, so close...
The winner that would have, probably changed his life. A bet to win £14,000 foiled by a nose defeat. His horse leading all the way to be beaten by a ''beast'' that literally weaved its way through the eye of a needle.
The Flat turf season was coming to a close. Time to make a decision: continue or get back to the daily grind of guaranteed work and wage.
In truth, the experience was not lost on him. But it did take him a long time to find the money to pay back what he owed. He didn't actually lose gambling but the costs of living ate through his money like a ravenous horse.
Gambling is something that many will try and few will succeed.
As F.E Higgins once said: What is life if not a gamble?