As the MoneyMan Facebook page has grown to a community of 20000 people, the MoneyMan opened up to MoneyBoy about the journey from a small following to what he describes now as “a platform in the middle – not for super liberals nor the rednecks”.
“It’s a non-politically correct platform, but a non-abusive one too,” he says.
Q: How long have you been betting on sports?
A: My dad placed my first bet, which I didn’t ask him to, in 1970 when I was three years old. He put a pound on a horse called Red Rum at 5/1. He gave me six pounds when the bet came off. My dad bet only on horse racing. He was huge into it, but I never made any money with it and haven’t placed a bet on a horse race since 1996 (nearly 25 years).
Q: Which year did you start MoneyMan and what was your initial vision?
A: I adopted my alter ego four years ago. I wanted to see if gambling could be profitable, as it wasn’t when I was unofficially doing it for myself. I wanted to properly apply my mind, and see if I could turn gambling into investing. When I apply my mind to something, I want to become the best at it. I previously lacked the discipline and got caught in the traps that all poor and uneducated gamblers do, which is chasing bets, refilling the account and so on. I figured if I was doing it for something else other than myself and being held accountable, I’d have a responsibility to be educated and be profitable. I also wanted to put money towards charitable causes, the first of which was a young boy with cancer. I gambled on his behalf and managed to make R25000 to contribute towards his treatment .Charities have been at the centre of the journey since the beginning, and I try to do something different every year. Once it was for a woman to represent South Africa at Ice Hockey, another was for a teacher to take a group of underprivileged children to a Tug of War competition.
Q: Are you surprised with the community you’ve built, given that betting (especially in South Africa), is quite a niche market?
A: I have been absolutely blown away by it! It was never meant to get this “big”. When it was still a small community it was very troll-like, so it took a lot of maturity from me to try to change it rather than fight it. I don’t tolerate abuse, but I also don’t fight with people. I’ve always tried to respond to anger with love and so far it’s worked well, when I reflect on the community that has organically grown. It is self-policing, which is something I’m most proud of. It really is amazing how everyone helps each other out constructively.
Q: What inspired you to start the MoneyMan funds? And could you give a brief explanation of them for the readers who don’t know what they are.
A: A lot of people don’t know how to bet but still want to be involved in the betting world. So I bet on behalf of people in my funds. I don’t make any money from it, it’s just a platform for people with an interest in the betting world and a passion for sport to still be involved, learn the ropes from my mistakes and successes and hopefully make a bit of cash.
Q: What are your three favourite sports to watch as a fan, but not a bettor?
A: Ice Hockey, American Football and Rugby, in that order. Soccer would have to be my runner up.
Q: What are your three favourite sports to bet on?
A: It’s a tough one, I enjoy betting across sports, but I’d have to say Rugby, Ice Hockey and Baseball
Q: Which sports are you most and least comfortable betting on?
A: With Rugby and all North American sports I’m very comfortable. I Spent 17 years of my life in North America, played firsts for all of my sports and am a sports fanatic. In college I played small forward for the Basketball side, first team Rugby at number five lock and as goalkeeper in the Soccer team. In terms of the sports I’m not comfortable with, I don’t have it quite figured out with Cricket and, as I mentioned, I stay completely away from Horse Racing.
Q: In the years that you’ve been running MoneyMan and tipping bets, what have you learnt as a bettor?
A: Most importantly, you don’t chase money, you have to treat it as an investment. When you make a bet, it’s based on what you’ve deemed a probable outcome, and you should be happy with that bet regardless of whether it turned out well. If you’re not happy with it, you shouldn’t have placed it in the first place. Equally, you should never be unhappy that you didn’t bet more on a winning bet. Be happy with your call, and your winnings.
Q: What’s the riskiest bet you ever took that paid off?
A: I had 20 pounds left in my account and I had to go to Ireland for a wedding. It was looking like I’d have to borrow money from my girlfriend at the time, which I had never done. I went to a bookie and put a five-pound tri-fecta on a dog race at 116/1. My Hail Mary returned me 580 Pounds. It was the opposite of an educated bet, but I had a fantastic weekend in Ireland.
Q: What’s the least risky bet you’ve taken that didn’t end up actually paying off?
A: When I was at University, in 1991, I was the middle man for a bookie. I bet 5000 dollars (the equivalent to around a 20000 dollar bet now) against my favourite team and favourite pitcher, quite sure it was the right bet to place. I ended up having to pay back that 5000 dollars (the bookie was a blackbelt so there was no way I wasn’t going to pay it back). After I had paid him back the money, which was all the money I had in my account then, I ate French fries for about two months and developed the nickname “Chippy”. It was the last bet I placed for five years.
Q: Where do you see MoneyMan going in the next few years?
A: My main goal is to continue to grow a communicative and constructive community. Other than that, we’re on a small scale with the non-profit funds I mentioned, but maybe as I ease into my twilight years I’d like to run big funds as they do in Vegas. We’ll see.
Q: A cheeky one for myself, are you happy with the progress of your student?
A: Definitely, I’m impressed that you’re not making bets for the sake of it. You seem focused on the funds in your accounts and are self correcting at an early age, with your losses having been relatively minuscule for a beginner. Your main sport is rugby, and it has probably been the most difficult Super Rugby season ever as well. It takes years to study and master sports betting, remember I started at three technically and still get it wrong. You’re on the right track.