When it comes to sports betting, Tom Carpenter, a professional poker player from Birmingham, loves to bet on the NFL. As a professional poker player Carpenter used to find himself buzzing on adrenaline in the early hours of the morning, and whilst looking for something to pass the time of day, he found American sports, and in particular, the NFL. “At the start of the season I study the teams in as much depth as I can and make divisional bets. Then week-to-week I look at each match, pick a winner, compare the lines to seek out the value and place my bets.” Said Carpenter.
Carpenter has been a professional poker player for eight years and he primarily makes his money playing online multi-table tournaments (MTTs) on both PokerStars and PartyPoker.
“I also love playing live if the tournament is at a nice location,” Said Carpenter.
It’s on the European legs of the World Poker Tour (WPT) where I first ran into Tom and his poker-playing brother Ben; but it all started a world away from the glitz and glamour of Cyprus, Barcelona and Venice.
“The first time I remember gambling was when I was six or seven. I used to play three-card brag with my family. I was a high roller with a small bag of 2p coins.” Said Carpenter.
At the age of 15, Carpenter, found a bookmakers willing to take his money without asking too many questions, and a gambling habit was born. English football matches used to be his bread and butter before he found the NFL, although he does confess to making a bet on almost anything he is watching.
Bankroll management is always important for a sports bettor and Carpenter has had to learn through the school of hard knocks.
“As a young poker player my bankroll management was atrocious. I used to bet a lot of money on things I didn’t understand, and a few years ago I lost a lot of money playing table games in Vegas. Also when I was first starting out, if I was knocked out of a poker tournament I would try and retrieve the buy-in by spinning it up on Roulette.”
These days Carpenter prefers life without the butterflies and that’s his imparting advice to would be punters.
“If you have that feeling of butterflies in your stomach then you know the outcomes matters because the money matters. You don’t want to find yourself in this situation.” Said Carpenter.
To listen to the full audio interview press play at the top of this article.