This week Bet Advisor and SBC teams interview horse racing export Matt Walker. Matt’s knowledge of horst racing markets helps him generate a 10% yield on his bet wagers. A keen sports enthusiast, Matt sheds advise on how to find the best horse racing value in the market
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SBC: How did you first get into sports betting?
Matt: My first real experience was as a young boy where I was given a line on the football pools coupon and my task was to predict as many draws as possible in the hope of receiving a large dividend. This fascinated me up to a point with the only downside I could see being the chances of getting eight draws from ten selections quite difficult. Reality soon kicked in and I was introduced to my first real taste of long losing runs. So I moved onto horse racing, using my Granddad as the runner to put my bets on due to the fact I was still at school, selecting doubles and trebles mainly on the favorites which gave me winning days from time to time and the feeling of success!
SBC: At what point did you realize that you can make some real money from sports betting?
Matt: Once the penny dropped regarding the rules of finding value more importantly than looking for just winners, I became confident that over time I would be able to take advantage of the markets and build up profits.
SBC: How did you come to select Horse Racing as your chosen sport?
Matt: I actually became quite successful in my early twenties playing the UK football markets, keeping form cards and stats. Nevertheless the thing that really caught my eye as time went on was the fact that racing was effectively all year round and you could participate in so many different races. I therefore set about creating a working form model based on horse racing.
SBC: Are there any particular events that you look forward to throughout the year?
Matt: Yes, my favorite time of the year without doubt is March and the Cheltenham Festival. I always try and visit for at least one day of the festival week.
SBC: What was your best ever bet?
Matt: In my latter days of school life I remember backing the ‘The Thinker’ to win the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in 1987 at 12/1. I rushed back to find out the result only to discover the race had been delayed due to a snow blizzard. Having the chance to sit there and watch the whole race and seeing my horse come through and win was a memorable moment.
SBC: What kind of factors do you evaluate before making a selection?
Matt: My betting is underpinned by a custom made database which has many variables built into it. The systems/strategies have many years of data to rely on which form a shortlist of selections and estimated prices every morning, these are then cross checked against the markets to pass the final test of VALUE. Consequently you can have blank days with no bets due to the fact there is just not enough margin in the prices. This has been the most important filter applied to date and I believe is the key to long term success.
SBC: Do you have any future plans in regards to your service?
Matt:This is the one thing I think about quite a lot. I came to the conclusion many months back that we all confront betting and deal with the highs and lows in different ways and that the best way forward was to put myself in the clients shoes and try and provide what they would like from the service, thus consolidating our relationship going forward. The obvious starting point is profit, not so much in big waves but maybe more evenly spread out. This is not so easy to control although by working at the shorter end of the market it is possible to be able to smooth out the returns a little. The biggest problem with the shorter prices in horse racing is how incredibly difficult it is to find a long term edge with a good margin, yet that is the task I’ve been prepared to take on and I have tailored the service to suit. The market has become very sophisticated and unless you adapt, your edge will erode over time.
SBC: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your betting career?
Matt: Pushing on and constantly refining and adjusting strategies just to stay in front of the crowd. As one door closes you must be prepared to find another one opening! At the end of the day your betting profit/loss will be the best judge of your abilities and determine whether you’re successful or not.
SBC: Do you have a favorite horse that you follow regularly?
Matt:Not really at the moment. The most recent horse I admired was probably Denman and his battles with Kauto Star. Known as the Tank he showed great heart and galloped relentlessly like a good old fashioned chaser.
SBC: How do you organize your bank management?
Regarding Bet Advisor, I decided to keep the stake% the same for every selection to keep it simple for the clients. I’m not a high volume type tipster and so I felt I could afford to do this. My estimated edge on different selections tends to be similar due to the nature of the prices I work within and the time of day I release them where the margins are already tightening up.
SBC: What is the best reason you could give to anyone who was thinking about following your service?
Matt: Trust me! Every selection you are advised to bet on I will be backing too. I’ve been around a long time making healthy returns from the betting markets and as long as you treat it as a long term investment you will not be disappointed.
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