Walking The Blogs is back with its second edition - Patient Speculation. Mark's blog [now under new ownership] has made quite an impact and has become very popular in our blogging community. With regular updates, his blog is always a good read and his each way winning selections have already been noted by eager eyes. This question and answer format is very similar to the Weekender's Off Piste and gives a fascinating insight into the man behind the blog.
HCE: 'I would like to thank Mark for taking the time to make this submission.'
What inspired you to become a blogger?
When I decided to take my betting education seriously. I was always reading about the importance of keeping a journal and I also started collecting all sorts of information about the subject that was stored on either my laptop, Main PC, iPhone, or as paper cuttings etc. I also started to collect books on the subject. The problem was that whenever I was after a piece of information, that I knew I had, I could not find it.
I eventually decided the best course of action would be to start a blog, primarily to store everything in one place and also to share with others in the hope that in the act of sharing the information I would gain from the feedback of the blogs’ readers.
I started a blog called Edgehunters about a year ago and everything appeared to be fine. The blog became a very busy place and I received lots of feedback. The success of the blog caused a big problem though. I had created the blog on a blogging platform called Wordpress which I found took a lot of maintaining and, for me, had a very time-consuming learning curve. To cut a long story short, I simply became overloaded and decided that I could not keep the blog going, so just a few months after starting I decided to shut it down.
The strange thing was that I missed it so much that I started to look for alternatives to Wordpress and decided to investigate Blogger as a platform – my logic was that Google makes everything else simple so why not their blogging platform. I took to Blogger like a duck to water and Patient Speculation was born.
What was your biggest gambling mistake of all time?
When I joined Betfair I was the victim of beginners luck! I built a bank that included a few zeros in the number quite quickly. I began to believe that I had this business cracked and that I was invincible. Of course, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened and I lost the lot!
I then committed the cardinal sin of chasing with my own money, which left me with a minus profit and loss that included a few zeros! The whole experience left me feeling punch drunk, so I walked away from the whole idea for a while, which in hindsight was probably the best move I could make.
Eventually, I began to dip my toe back in the water and decided that I would treat the whole business a lot more seriously.
What are your favourite sports to punt/trade on?
Up to now Horse racing and football, primarily because they are the sports I love and know the most about. But this year I am determined to look for angles in tennis and possibly golf, again because they are both sports that I am passionate about.
What would you do to improve horse racing?
There is not a simple solution. But my own solution would be to cut down on the number of meetings so that the quality of racing will improve. Also, keep the cost of entry to the courses as low as possible so as to get more people through the gates.
Who do you most admire in racing and why?
It has got to be AP McCoy. The reason is purely and simply that I have never seen him give less than 100%. I know if he is riding one of my selections it won’t lose because of lack of effort by the Jockey. I also dread it when my selection is neck and neck with a horse he is riding because invariably his mount will start to inch ahead to victory.
Who is your favourite racehorse of all time?
Denman. As much as I try to keep emotion out of my betting I just love that horse, pretty much for the same reasons as I so admire AP McCoy, The horse just keeps going and you can never count him out.
What's your personal ambition?
That’s an easy one. My ambition is to become a full-time profitable sports speculator. I love the whole idea of pitting my wits against the markets and winning.
Who would you like to be for a day?
That’s another easy one. Roger Federer, the day he wins his next major (and yes I believe he will).
The best advice I have been given?
Life is short - make the most of it.
Dream holiday destination?
Do I have to take the wife? No, seriously, I would love to go on around the World cruise. (As long as the ship had a decent broadband connection)
If you had a dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Robin Williams for entertainment, Roger Federer, Lance Armstrong & AP to talk about winning and Warren buffet to talk about making money, oh and finally Natalie Portman so I would have someone to stare at!!!