One of the best ways to understand how the gambling industry works and how some people make a living from it is by talking directly to those with experience. Often we read guides written by people that have never actually worked or played in those roles but the only way to truly grasp how something works is to talk to the people involved.
In this section we interview professional poker players, punters and gamblers to give you an insight into how that type of life actually works. We also speak to employees in the industry, whether that be a croupier in a casino, a betting shop manager, odds trader, horse trainer, jockey or data manager. The idea is to show you how gambling works for those that live it and what insights they can give the rest of us.
An awful lot of people play poker for fun. Some stick to games with friends, others dabble online, and one or two even try the odd live cash or tournament game in a local casino, but very few turn it into a hobby that really pays.
Meet Danny Ryder, he is one of the few players who has.
An actor from Manchester, Danny has gone from complete novice to cashing over £100k in just a couple of years. He may be a recreational player, but he's playing alongside full time pros and even beating them, showing how dangerous an unknown quantity can be in the poker world.
Danny is even going to be competing in the World Series of Poker 2023 main event, so we thought he was well worth an interview before he sets off for Las Vegas, to see how he's feeling about his chances, and how he feels about the game in general.
There are a huge number of guides on the internet around probabilities and gaming strategies that utilise mathematics. The problem is the vast majority of these guides are not written by experts and so very often it is the same basic probabilities rehashed each time. This is why in our guides to probabilities for Poker, Roulette, Blackjack, etc., we consult with an actual gambling mathematician, Dr. Cătălin Bărboianu (see our other sections to read his latest guides).
Cătălin is an associate researcher at the University of Bucharest, he has published 10 different books on gambling mathematics as well as many research papers and he has set up interdisciplinary research projects. As you are unlikely to meet an actual gambling mathematician in real life we decided to interview him to give you an insight into what gambling mathematician's do and why.
Have you ever wondered where gambling brands get their customers from? Some, like the big high street names, use conventional advertising on TV and through sports sponsorship and rely on brand recognition. Smaller and less well known brands especially cannot compete in conventional advertising and so they rely on other means to attract customers and one of the biggest ways they do this is through affiliate marketing.
Affiliates exist in most industries but gambling is heavily reliant on them. Here we interview a veteran in this area. John Wright has been a player, an affiliate, an affiliate manager and has co-founded a company that helps other affiliates track their data across various brands and platforms. John has taken the time to answer our questions about what affiliate marketing is, what data brands track and share with affiliates and whether being an affiliate is a worthwhile career option.
It might not be obvious to all people but on the whole iGaming brands do not run everything they offer in house. In most cases services and products are outsourced to third party providers who offer business-to-business (b2b) solutions that allow brands to provide an array of products and features without needing to build it all themselves.
One service that many bookmakers rely on is sports data services who gather, process and distribute sports data to providers. Here we talk to Aleksandr Tihhonjuk who works as a project manager for a large sports data company. He also talks about how he got into the industry without qualifications and the importance of support roles as a means to gain experience and form a career path.
For many people online casino games will never compare to the real thing in land based casinos. This is something that Neil Walker once thought too. As a veteran casino player when online games came around in 2000's he was unimpressed to say the least. That was until it was suggested he should play live dealer games online. He fell in love with them and on the back of that created the leading online resource for comparing online casino games and studios. The rest is history.
Neil doesn't just review live games he actually visits live casino studios and looks deeply into how games are made and delivered. He shares these insights with his audience to help them find the right games for them and also understand how these games work and how to get the best from them.
If you want to understand what affiliate marketing was like in the early days and how it has changed there is no one more experienced than Anthony Hodgetts. He started out back in 2006 in Gibraltar with Victor Chandler working for the company that effectively created the online gambling hub. Anthony went on to work with all the big names like bet365 and Betfred and has become a guru in the industry.
Today Anthony works in a consultancy role helping affiliate programs start up, scale or repair their reputations. His experience and knowledge of the importance of relationships in affiliate marketing has made him a kind of fixer in the industry. Anthony is very highly regarded in the industry and we are very fortunate to hear his stories and insights in this interview.