32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 1999
Considering how many people like to have a bet, there are relatively few good books about the gambling. True, there do exist slim volumes of esoteric mathematically-based rhetoric of the sort that make the outpourings of Einstein and Russell seem like pulp fiction, but accessible, interesting books about punting are few and far between. This makes Alan Potts's book, The Inside Track, his second, all the more refreshing. Having seen him on television, I know him to be an unprepossessing character with a dry sense of humour. The very opposite, in fact, of the wide boy image most of us have of a professional gambler. Sky Masterson he ain't. In fact, he looks more like a bank manager or a computer programmer, which is what he used to do before becoming a full-time punter. Despite this - or perhaps because of it, The Inside Track is free of too much in the way of facts and figures, particularly the latter which can turn such books into the aforementioned mathematical theses. Instead, Potts tries to explain his methods and strategies with as little jargon (and as much humour) as possible. He is also willing to analyse those of his bets that have gone wrong in order to hone his skills... and make more money. Remember, this man actually does this for a living so it is more important for him to show a profit than brag about backing a winning outsider. He stresses the importance not only of keeping records (and even for non-professionals this is important as it may be the difference between a habit and an addiction), but of analysing them as well. The only thing he forgets to mention is how painful such analysis can be, showing as it does all those daft bets we are all prone to. Perhaps because he regularly talks to 'ordinary' race-goers, he also shows great understanding of how most people think (or not as the case may be) when they have a bet, even if it is only once or twice a year. However salutary it is to recognise one's own bad habits in his portraits of mug punters, Potts is never patronising despite his recognition of the rather chilling fact that success at gambling depends on another's failure. I now realise that I have never won money from a bookmaker because the money originally belonged to another, losing punter. This book should not be viewed purely as a self-help manual for those of us daft enough to think we might have a hope of making a profit from our punting. If you have a gambling friend or partner and would like to understand some of the (mostly) pain and (occasional) pleasure they derive from punting, you could a lot worse than read this. If your gambling friend or partner has not read this book, they may be further gone than you suspect!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2011
Like the Curate's egg (interesting in parts.) Comments within the book need to be adapted to Australian Horse Bettors and avenues.But the same principle applies the world over -you still need to back winners to be a winner.If you learn just one thing from this book then it will pay for itself many times.Several other similar books are available on the seller's site
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2013
Punting professional allows you a look into his working methods. This book is focussed on the nuts and bolts of betting the horses day in and day out. It is an informative and remunerative insight into the mind of a working pro.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 1999
Potts has two qualities that make this a must read. The first is that he is a natural writer, and the second is that his knowledge of the game is A1.
The old cliche of 'the book will pay for itself in no time' which is often said about gambling/betting books, for once is absolutely true here.