paul makin

Paul Makin might be the most successful Aussie punter you haven’t heard of.

The late Paul Makin, who passed away in 2019, was better known overseas than when he was in Australia. He developed software that analysed Hong Kong racing, calculating ratings for betting.

He was tremendously data-driven in his approach. And tremendously profitable. He amassed a fortune betting into the giant tote pools in Hong Kong and Japan, some of which he used to indulge his passion further. Makin owned and bred many great racehorses later in life, the most famous of which was Starcraft. Starcraft was a Group 1 winner in Australia, New Zealand, England and France before going on to a successful stud career.

Paul Makin’s thoughts on punting

“Don’t count your winnings by the day. The reality is that it doesn’t really matter what you do by the day, it matters what you take home at the end of the year. You’ve got to think long-term and the only way is value. The price must be right. You just keep taking value. You won’t back all the winners but you’ll end up with money. Winning is a long-term project. If you just want to go and enjoy yourself and knock off a hundred or two, that’s all very good, but if you want to win you’ve got to have a professional approach.”

Paul Makin’s punting prowess is well known, so it’s worth discussing his comments in more detail.

“Don’t count your winnings by the day”

Not even Paul Makin won every day. Punters must be able to accept that losing days are inevitable and you should make sure you keep your head, even on a poor day. Successful punters stick to their plan through the good times and bad. One way to maintain your focus is to concentrate on your profit or loss at the end of each calendar month. Don’t worry about a losing day or losing week. Understand that even successful punters have losing months throughout the course of the year. Always keep the big picture in mind and remember if making a living on the punt was easy, everyone would be doing it.

“The price must be right – you just keep taking value”

Only back a horse if you’re getting a price which is greater than its true odds of winning. Have the discipline to not back a horse if it’s under the odds. As an example, only back a horse at $2 if it has a better than 50% chance of winning the race. Only back a horse at $5 if it is a better than 20% chance of winning. For those who don’t immediately understand this concept, consider a coin toss – while you may have a few wins taking $1.90 on Heads or Tails, eventually it’s inevitable that you will lose. The same principle applies in racing. Don’t back a horse because it’s the $2.50 favourite and you think it will win. Back it because it has a better than 40% chance of saluting the judge first.

“If you want to win you’ve got to have a professional approach”

Spending a couple of minutes right before the jump taking a cursory glance at the form just won’t get it done. There are myriad variables in each race. While most of these are factored into the prices, some are under-appreciated and others are over-valued.

So a professional approach includes form analysis, comprehensive ratings, extensive video replays and speed maps. You need to spend the time compiling this information yourself, or otherwise find someone that does. One idea is to specialise in betting on your home state only, like Trevor Lawson or The Professor does. You will be much better off with a professional approach such as this, rather than a nationwide scattergun.

So in summary? If you’re serious about making a profit on the punt make sure you

  • Accept losing days
  • Think long-term
  • ALWAYS look for value.

Pro-punter Cameron O'Brien knows how to find value winners at big prices. He's done it time and time again for his Key Bets members. They get all of Cameron's tips from right across Australia, including stake, recommended price and runner comments.

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