Alan Woods was a mathematical genius from Australia who used his superior IQ to make a lot of money! By using the principles of “quantitative gambling” Woods won millions on horse racing.
Woods sadly passed away in 2008 when he was 62. At the time of his death, his net worth was over $670 million AUD, which is about €400 million.
It’s not an overstatement to say that Alan Woods was the man to start a revolution in horse racing betting.
In the past, gamblers relied on nothing other than their guts. Woods, however, decided to use the same algorithms that work in financial markets to make a fortune on horse races.
This method got the name quantitative betting.
Obviously, the reason why no one has done it before is that quantitative betting is not easy. Actually, it’s everything but.
There are all sorts of factors that can influence the outcome of a race, from obvious things like the form of the horse to some more strange ones like what a horse ate for breakfast.
Taking lots of data into account wasn’t the end of Alan Woods’ horse betting method though. The next step was to use the data to see whether there’s any value in making the bet.
“You could say that our whole theory is to take a contrarian approach to whatever the public is doing.”
Woods describing his horse betting strategy.
Sounds familiar? It’s pretty much the same principle on which Trademate is based.
Woods did not develop this brilliant strategy on his own. He had a team of advantage gamblers whose job was to collect the necessary data. One of his partners was none other than Bill Benter, whom we discussed in a separate article.
At this time, they were based in Hong Kong. Why? Because in the 70s and 80s, Hong Kong was the world capital of horse racing betting. Despite the fact that its population was just above 5 million at the time, its horse racing betting volume stood at $10 billion a year!
Alan Woods and Bill Benter spent nine months collecting data in Hong Kong. Apart from writing down all the stats from all the races, they also invested a lot of time in various academic papers.
As it turned out later, their efforts weren’t in vain. At least not in the long run.
However, the first year of their horse betting venture was catastrophic, to put it mildly. The gambling duo lost more than $120,000.
The negative balance was just one of the reasons why the Woods-Benter partnership fell apart. The catalyst for the breakup was probably the fact that the two couldn’t agree on who's boss.
Woods, who had more money than Benter insisted on being in charge of practically everything. Benter, on the other hand, wanted to be his own boss, so he decided to abandon ship.
After the split, both gamblers went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars in the following years.
If you’re wondering why Woods had more money than Benter even though they were partners, it all had to do with his previous job.
If you’re wondering what it was, the answer is card counting in blackjack.
You wouldn’t think of card counting as a regular profession, but everything about Alan Woods’ life is extraordinary. He built up his horse racing bankroll through blackjack.
A friend of his taught him how to do card counting and gain an advantage over the dealers in blackjack. It took him a couple of weeks to master this skill, but at first, he didn’t care too much about it. In his youth, playing blackjack was something to do to have fun, not to make a living out of.
However, when he got married and had kids, he needed to provide for his family. That meant that he needed much more money than what he was making at the time doing part-time jobs. Woods decided to exploit the skill his friend had taught him.
The trouble is that his new business plan involved staying in casinos all night. Saying that his wife wasn’t thrilled by it would be an understatement. Even though he was making money, their marriage was going downhill.
Seven years after getting married, Alan’s wife filed for a divorce, taking their two kids with her. Rather than falling into the pit of depression, he decided to focus his negative energy into something more productive.
The year was 1984 when Alan Woods decided to embark on a gambling journey that would make a legend out of him.
He went all-in on his card counting business, moving to Las Vegas with the intention of robbing big casinos of big money. If there’s something casinos hate, it’s losing. This is why they started preventing their new enemy from entering.
To battle this, his strategy was to travel around the United States. After winning a lot of money at one casino, he would just move to the next one. It worked well for a few months, but then his photo started circling around casinos.
It was published in Griffin Book, which all US casinos had access to. Everyone knew who he was and everyone knew that if they let them in, he would take their money. To get himself in, he tried wearing glasses and growing a beard, but it didn’t work.
Eventually, Woods decided it was time to give up his card counting days. His next step was to conquer the horse racing world.
Card counting allowed Woods to collect enough money for his horse racing project. Over the years, he managed to win hundreds of millions of dollars.
What did he do with all that money? He donated a big chunk of it to charity.
He invested a lot of money in mental health research, prompted by the struggles some of his close friends had with depression.
Furthermore, millions of dollars of Woods’ money went to the Philippines, where it was used to build orphanages, hospitals, and schools. He even planned to adopt a Filipino child but failed to do so before dying at the age of 62 to cancer.
Check out our other articles in the 10 People Who Got Rich On Sports Betting series:
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