Mike Quigley

Irish horse racing, betting and other stuff

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My betting history



"I heard you bid once or twice 
Were you wondering was the gamble worth the price
Pack it in
I heard you did! Pack it in
Was it hard to fold a hand you knew could win?"   (Joni Mitchell: That Song About The Midway)

 
From 1996 to date I have treated my betting activities seriously by devising and then adhering to my ten golden rules - in particular meticulously recording every bet placed. The profitability of my strategies very much depended on having a wide range of bookmaker prices to choose from. After all betting is all about getting the best price available. However during 2011/12 many of my internet bookmaker accounts have effectively been closed. (Bookmakers restrict one's bets to £1 or £2 rather than actually close accounts to minimize bad publicity). Therefore I have decided to retire from heavy betting and enjoy the fruits of my 17 years' trading! 
 
My betting is mainly recreational now although I still made decent profits in calendar years 2013 & 2014 despite reduced activity and fewer bookmakers with whom to bet.
 
Comments on punters' profitability
 
How many punters make a profit? Very few I believe. Those that do will be heavily restricted or have their accounts closed. Certainly less than 5% of all people who bet show a profit and indeed recently I have read that as many as 97% of punters lose
 
In terms of "professional" punters (that's not me - I don't bet for a living), the legendary punter Patrick Veitch won over 16% on turnover during his professional phase. In contrast Alex Bird won less than 2% and obviously struggled to make a profit when 4% tax was introduced. Harry Findlay*, who I regard as a gambler rather than an investor, says no-one can win more than 8%. His winning percentage would be low I suspect as he concentrates on short-priced favourites.  During my "serious" 20-year phase (to 31st December 2015) I achieved accumulative profit of a fraction over 10% of turnover, so we'll have to disagree on that 8% Harry!
 
I started my betting blog in December 2009 (it was available at mikequigley.blogspot.com). It continued n a regular basis until closing on 1st November 2015.
 
Lists of bets published are available here: 2009/10 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 and those which were unsettled at 1st November 2015 are here: 2016 b/f
 
The accumulative position of all blogged bets was 1,622 points profit (+21.5%) at 31 December 2016.
 
*As at 26 Dec 2012 Harry Findlay was the manager of Coventry greyhound track and one suspects is no longer a professional gambler.