Mike Tyson

Strange question, right? Mike Tyson is known for his boxing, not his wisdom. And what would he know about the punt?

Probably not much. But he once said something that was quite brilliant in its simplicity and can be applied to any number of endeavours, including the punt:

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”


Many punters come up with a definitive plan on how they’re going to turn their results around and win consistently. How they’ll do the form, determine their selections, manage their money and win big. But then on raceday they ‘get punched’ when their first few bets lose, and their well constructed plan goes out the window. This results in any number of things, including…

Chasing: having more bets than initially planned, and/or betting more on each horse.

Losing confidence: no longer having the courage of their convictions, so they either don’t back the horses they originally intended to, or reduce their outlay.

Listening to outside influences: tips from mates or media pundits are treated with far too much importance, especially with premature calls of track bias.

Relying on flawed assumptions: some punters believe they’re “due” and that their next bet will win just because the last few have lost. But every bet is an independent event, which means there is no reason why a previous result would have any effect on the next one.

There may be the occasional day where one of these tactics gets you out of trouble. But you’re basically playing Russian Roulette. Sooner or later, the undisciplined approach will blow up your bank.

So to paraphrase Mike Tyson… “Everyone has a plan until raceday“.

Expect to get punched. Mike Tyson did.

Professional punters don’t chase. They don’t listen to outside noise and they don’t increase or decrease their stakes during a bad run. Most have as many losing days as winning ones. They are betting with an edge. But the other important factor is they can stay disciplined on both losing and winning days.

You must expect to get punched, because it happens to everyone. Even the most successful punters that have ever lived. Be very clear on how you’re going to deal with a losing run before it occurs. So when it happens, you’re fully prepared both psychologically and in terms of sticking to your plan. This preparation and mindset is the only way you will be able to maintain discipline during the adrenaline rush that is raceday.

Why a staking plan is so crucial

Punt like a pro with Trevor Lawson’s Melbourne Ratings.

As well as a full set of rated prices, speed maps and suggested bets, you can spend each and every raceday with a pro punter: the Melbourne Ratings Live Page gives you direct access to Trev himself to ask whatever you like.

If you're keen to win, it’s the only way to punt.

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