Beyond my grandparents allowing me to fill in my own pools coupon when I was old enough to sit unsupported, my first real taste of gambling was in a Manchester branch of Ladbrokes. The irony wasn't lost on me – I soon noticed it was full of lads who were broke. I was persuaded to do a Lucky 15 on the day's nags and three of my four selections came in. While my dreams of putting a down payment on a DeLorean were dashed I had enough winnings to buy an England shirt which I wore with pride until the Germans knocked us out on penalties.
Since then, my only relationship with horses has been in the steadfast avoidance of looking gift ones in the mouth. Despite my instant success, I quickly realised that multiples weren't the way forward to consistent winnings and in the last 20 years I've worked hard at applying logic, knowledge and, wherever possible, inside information to my punting. I've learned that only the most thorough, considered and analytical approach can bear fruit in the long run.
Nowadays, I set realistic, achievable goals, keep up-to-date spreadsheets and extrapolate the most relevant statistical evidence available before making any investment. In other words, the age-old: "100/1? That's got to be worth a couple of quid" attitude is doomed to failure – unless of course you know you can lay it off later.
My main areas of expertise are darts, snooker and football. I love making money from sports I enjoy playing and watching, and there simply aren't enough hours in the day to try and gain sufficient expertise to claim punting proficiency in more.
I've been paid for my wise words on betting many years now, initially emerging as one of the UK's first professional online tipsters on zoobet.com and latterly featuring regularly on betting.betfair.com.
Betfair has of course allowed me to add trading to my extensive armoury of betting skills as live coverage of my preferred sports offers up a myriad of trading opportunities to effectively manage any element of risk.
The bottom line is that I always look to take the gamble out of punting with a view to creating a steady income stream. I look forward to sharing some of my selections, and the strategies underpinning them, with zerohype.co.uk's ever-growing subscriber base.