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Home | Active Topics |

Horse Racing Guru Alan Woods Dies Options
Cold Dog
#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 5:13:18 AM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
For those of you who haven't heard of Alan Woods, it's worth your while to have a bit of a read about about him. An interesting character and highly successful punter, may he RIP Bow Down

From EOG.com

Horse Racing Guru Alan Woods Dies
January 28, 2008

The world's most successful horse-racing gambler, Australian Alan Woods, died in Hong Kong on Saturday night.

Woods, 62, recently diagnosed with appendiceal cancer, is believed to have suffered a pulmonary embolism. He had begun chemotherapy treatment two weeks ago and passed away in the intensive care unit of the Sanitorium Hospital at Happy Valley in the presence of family and friends.

Born in 1945 in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Woods showed an early aptitude for mathematics at school but was a losing punter in his earliest days at university and gambling played little part in his life until his 30s.

Working as an actuary in the late 1970s, Woods learned to count cards at blackjack and became a serious gambler for the first time in his life, travelling the world for three years as a professional card counter and undertaking all kinds of disguises and subterfuge to avoid identification by the world's casinos.

But his earnings at blackjack were tiny compared with his subsequent career in racing. Woods turned to horseracing in New Zealand in 1982 then shifted his life and focus to Hong Kong, and its big pools, in 1984.

A founding partner in the earliest computer betting team in Hong Kong, which split after a dispute between the partners in the early 1990s, Woods established his own hugely successful betting operation, with employees based around the world and had built a fortune estimated at more than US$600 million before his death.

Even as Woods grew to the point of dominating the Hong Kong betting scene in recent years, even over and above other successful computer teams, he also enjoyed his wealth and was famed in Hong Kong racing circles for his bacchanalian parties and celebrations.

Once a regular in Wan Chai's bars and nightclubs, Woods had become more reclusive and relocated to Manila several years ago, but his operation continued to annually lay out between one and two per cent of Hong Kong's entire racing turnover (which totalled US$64 billion in the last completed season).

He is survived by two ex-wives, two sons and a daughter.

"My father achieved great success at something so many people dream of doing well and fail to achieve but, along the way, he also provided jobs and support for so many friends - he kept them close to him and brought so many people together," said his daughter, Victoria, yesterday.


madkeencatsfanwa
#2 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 5:24:14 AM
Mal Meninga



Joined: 6/30/2007
Posts: 1,502
Location: Gone Fishin'

 
Never been a very successful punter myself, RIP to a man who sounds like a true legend.....

Bow Down




"All the time he's boxing, he's thinking. All the time he was thinking, I was hitting him." - Jack Dempsey
Slouch
#3 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 6:16:52 AM
Barack Obama



Joined: 8/30/2006
Posts: 18,367
Location: Frankston

 
unfortunately you cant take all the money with you..
barney rubble
#4 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 6:50:19 AM
Phil Taylor



Joined: 10/31/2005
Posts: 2,573
Location: Asia

 
Alan was well known in Hong Kong racing circles not only for his money but also for the party's and the women he always had by his side. Was still a major player up to his death.

RIP. Thumbs up

This was the last article I can find written about him about 2 years ago.





This is a video of Alan playing snooker with his son. Check out all the cash on the pool table.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K50d29SqWc




Some people are masters of money, and some its slaves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiO6cK4XUuI
Slouch
#5 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 7:00:00 AM
Barack Obama



Joined: 8/30/2006
Posts: 18,367
Location: Frankston

 
Laughing nice one barney

'That's right. The odds are against you. Nobody ever wins. Now go and grab yourself a sausage.'


Chuckle
Igloo
#6 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 8:15:38 AM
Alex Murphy



Joined: 9/1/2007
Posts: 4,285

 
R.I.P. Woodsie.

Jealousy is a curse it gets into your Blood
barney rubble
#7 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 8:30:52 AM
Phil Taylor



Joined: 10/31/2005
Posts: 2,573
Location: Asia

 
A few photos to remember him by.








Some people are masters of money, and some its slaves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiO6cK4XUuI
Slouch
#8 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 8:36:01 AM
Barack Obama



Joined: 8/30/2006
Posts: 18,367
Location: Frankston

 
Champion Bow Down
Igloo
#9 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 8:36:07 AM
Alex Murphy



Joined: 9/1/2007
Posts: 4,285

 
Thanx Barney were they in Hong Kong?

Jealousy is a curse it gets into your Blood
barney rubble
#10 Posted : Tuesday, January 29, 2008 8:44:13 AM
Phil Taylor



Joined: 10/31/2005
Posts: 2,573
Location: Asia

 
Igloo if you have ever been to Honkers you would know it isn't.

Never been to Manila but I would say that is where the photo's took place. The video of him definietly from Hong Kong though.




Some people are masters of money, and some its slaves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiO6cK4XUuI
Cold Dog
#11 Posted : Wednesday, January 30, 2008 2:14:42 PM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
From SCMP.com

Super-punter Woods quietly masterminded a revolution


ON THE RAILS
Alan Aitken
Jan 30, 2008

Alan Woods may have been a name unknown outside professional gambling or Hong Kong racing's inner circles but his passing on the weekend saw the loss of a significant, if reclusive, influence on horse racing.

Woods knew little of horses. They were names at best and just numbers more likely. He wouldn't have known if he had backed a grey or a chestnut and the actual running of a race was of little interest until the numbers were posted - but he was the father of the computer betting syndicates, a front-line player in the development of computer analysis and wagering on horse racing.

And his operation contributed up to 2 per cent of the billions bet with the Jockey Club every season.

Even now, there is a section of the Jockey Club hierarchy which would believe that anyone winning the kind of money that made Woods a billionaire several times over had to be doing something crooked.

When the Jockey Club closed accounts for the final meeting of one season a decade ago when the Triple Trio jackpot had risen to an extraordinary HK$300 million, it was to sabotage the computer teams for that day for fear someone would undertake something corrupt to ensure a big win.

In what other business would an operator undermine the participation of its biggest customer? But it also showed a poor understanding of how the computer teams worked, as their predictive models rely on racing being run in a clean, uncorrupt fashion.

With an American partner, Bill Benter, Woods formed and largely funded the first computer team in the 1980s, analysing racing objectively and in much the same way that insurance companies analyse everyday occurrences in life and assign them a mathematical probability of happening.

When you insure a car, the insurance companies have a predictive model for the chances of having to pay out on that policy if the car is damaged in an accident or some other event. The "odds" are determined by the car, the age, gender and experience of the driver, garaging policies and whatever past history, or form, that driver might have.

The same is true of any policy offered by insurance companies, who are basically bookies determining the true odds of you collecting on a policy then asking you to pay a premium for that policy which is more expensive than the odds say it should be.

For Woods and Benter there were no stable tips, omens or gut feelings, just a list of the same factors that form punters take into account - recent form, fitness, weights, times, barriers, luck in running, distance, jockey, trainer, age, consistency, length of racing career and so on. Only their list of factors was black and white rather than a notion in someone's head.

They were a long way from being the first to look at racing this way, but the rise of personal computing during the 1980s added some number-crunching muscle to their attempts to objectively assign the correct importance to each of those factors better than anyone ever had.

Their syndicate went bust more than once before they got the mix correct and with a sophistication at analysing form which was completely missing in Hong Kong at that time.

Woods and Benter split in the early 1990s after a dispute, forming rival syndicates, and Woods freely admitted that Benter's model actually became better than his own by the turn of the century.

Benter all but retired as a very wealthy man himself several years ago and has participated from afar on a much smaller scale since, while Woods continued to spend millions on improving his model and became the clear leader in the field once again, ahead of another formidable Australian team.

As one source said in recent days, despite heading up this huge operation, which could have become an unemotional monolith, Woods remained proud of having changed the lives of many of those who worked for him after coming from nothing themselves - some became very successful punters in their own right - and he enjoyed the idea that personal friendship and trust bound his team tightly together.

After a lifetime of avoiding publicity as a card counter and then computer punter, Woods had recently changed course, believing the world should know more of what he had achieved and acceded to be part of a significant magazine article in Australia in 2005.

He had plans to put together a book recording his life and times but the odds turned against him when he was diagnosed with rare appendiceal cancer last year. There is a cruel irony to that, as Woods has regular health checks but cancer in the appendix - we are not doctors but have been led to believe - is extremely unusual and thus not a regular part of cancer examinations. By the time it was found, the rare cancer - this outsider of the field - had already done extreme damage.

Woods passes away leaving a vast fortune from betting, serious wealth in anyone's language, and the legacy of a true pioneer in racing's great field of dreams.


Cold Dog
#12 Posted : Wednesday, January 30, 2008 2:37:55 PM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
From http://pullthepocket.blogspot.com/

Alan Woods

An inexhaustible good nature is one of the most precious gifts of heaven, spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought, and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather. Washington Irving

Most would describe Alan Woods as the world’s most successful horse gambler. He died Saturday night at the age of 62.

He started as a math whiz, trying to win at games. He figured early on in life that counting cards gave him an edge, so he learned it. Later he figured that the pari-mutuel game was beatable, so he learned that. He thought the stock market was beatable, so he learned that. He was truly a remarkable guy.

He started playing Hong Kong in the mid-1980’s. Like most who start, he lost. But the wheels went in motion – there was a fixed number of horses who race meets there (around 1200), there was little funny stuff with drugs or form changes, very few trainer changes and no horses off claim. He thought that he could build a database of all those horses, get programming, build an odds line, and roll. That he did.

It is said he won over $150M in Hong Kong, and recently his handle was 2 or 3 percent of the entire Honk Kong pool. It is reported that his net worth at the time of his death was $600 million US.

I think no one can say he did not live life as he wanted to; and didn’t much care what people thought. From an article here:

,,,,,,it could have just as easily stemmed from his racing riches: $1.5 million, earned in a single session, is where Woods's idea of a good day begins.

He keeps himself holed up in an air-conditioned apartment where the view is sprawling, a pool table dominates the living room, and a downstairs TV spans 48 inches. "I don't leave this apartment during the day, except to go swimming in the rooftop pool, because it's too hot and humid. If I need something from the market, I get my maid or girlfriend to shop for me," says Woods, adding that he prefers to eat dinner in front of the television or computer and that his leisure time is fairly regimented. "I like going to the seedy girlie bars in Makati [an upscale neighborhood of Manila, where hookers are a main attraction for some Westerners]. I go out only a few nights per month, but on those nights, I tend to come home with two girls, or, usually, more."

He was helpful to other gamblers. He posted at Paceadvantage.com the odd time. Jeff from jcapper who we talk about on the blog said “he taught me to work harder”, another said “he was one of us”. Personally, he taught me that winning was important, picking winners wasn’t.

His signature on Paceadvantage.com is the start of this piece. It says it pretty nicely – it appeared he enjoyed life; and had it in perspective, which is difficult in the gambling lifestyle.


Cold Dog
#13 Posted : Wednesday, February 06, 2008 3:49:11 AM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
barney rubble
#14 Posted : Wednesday, February 06, 2008 6:19:41 AM
Phil Taylor



Joined: 10/31/2005
Posts: 2,573
Location: Asia

 
I like this quote from Alan Woods from one the forums about a night out in Hong Kong namely Wanchai:

Stage 1 Dreams Café
- SMART This is when you suddenly become an expert on every subject in the known Universe. You know you know everything and want to pass on your knowledge to anyone who will listen. At this stage you are always RIGHT. And of course the person you are talking to is very WRONG. This makes for an interesting argument when both parties are SMART.

Stage 2 Joe Banana
- GOOD LOOKING This is when you realize that you are the BEST LOOKING person in the entire bar and that people fancy you. You can go up to a perfect stranger knowing they fancy you and really want to talk to you. Bear in mind that you are still SMART, so you can talk to this person about any subject under the sun.

Stage 3 Neptune II
- RICH This is when you suddenly become the richest person in the world. You can buy drinks for the entire bar because you have an armored truck full of money parked outside the bar. You can also make bets at this stage, because of course, you are still SMART, so naturally you win all your bets. It doesn't matter how much you bet 'cos you are RICH. You will also buy drinks for everyone that you fancy, because now you are the BEST LOOKING person in the world.

Stage 4 In the street from Neptune to Strawberry
- BULLET PROOF You are now ready to pick fights with anyone and everyone especially those with whom you have been betting or arguing. This is because nothing can hurt you. At this point you can also go up to the partners of the people who you fancy and challenge to a battle of wits or money. You have no fear of losing this battle because you are SMART, you are RICH and hell, you're BETTER LOOKING than they are anyway!

Stage 5 Strawberry
- INVISIBLE This is the Final Stage. At this point you can do anything because NO ONE CAN SEE YOU. You dance on a table to impress the people who you fancy because the rest of the people in the room cannot see you. You are also invisible to the person who wants to fight you. You can walk through the street singing at the top of your lungs because no one can see or hear you and because you're still SMART you know all the words. Ciaoooooo"







Some people are masters of money, and some its slaves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiO6cK4XUuI
Cold Dog
#15 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2008 7:51:55 PM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
Gambler more than broke even
February 02, 2008

From: http://www.theaustralian...3145725-5013405,00.html

OBITUARY: Alan Woods, Professional punter. Born Murwillumbah, NSW, 1945. Died Hong Kong, January 26, 2008, aged 62.

THE world of horse racing lost one of it biggest punters with the death of Australian-born Alan Woods in Hong Kong last Saturday.

Woods, 62, was universally recognised as among the top three punters in the world.

His colleagues in the penthouse of betting turnover are his former business partner, American Bill Benter, and Zeljko Ranogajec, an Australian-based recluse whose turnover on sports gambling is said to outweigh the massive investments of the Woods-Benter organisations combined.

But it was Woods, born and raised at Murwillumbah in northern NSW, who was the co-pioneer of computer betting syndicates in Hong Kong and a key man in the development of computer analysis for betting.

His fortune at the time of his death was estimated at $670 million.

The Woods betting syndicate became legend in the cauldron of Hong Kong racing, where huge amounts of money are invested into the totalisator pools.

For the 2006-07 racing season which ended last June, the Hong Kong Jockey Club recorded a betting turnover of $US64billion ($71.46bn). It has been estimated the input to annual turnover by Woods and his syndicate was about 2 per cent.

"I would not think that estimate is an exaggeration," said John Schreck, former chief steward for the Australian Jockey Club in Sydney and later for the HKJC in the late 1990s and into the early years of the new millennium when Woods' syndicate was operating at full steam.

"To my knowledge, he never ever came racing while I was there (Hong Kong). But he had in his employ dozens of Filipinos running around carrying mobiles and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash waiting for instructions on how and what to bet.

"There was a time the Jockey Club closed his account but this was through a silly policy adopted from a misjudgment in management.

"In the main, the Jockey Club was and is sensitive about these people (betting syndicates) being the big customers that they are. I saw these people as professional gamblers and not a problem at all (to the integrity of racing)."

Indeed, the syndicates relied on Schreck, and his fellow stewards to police clean racing. Their profits, after all, were based on statistics for corrupt-free racing.

Woods turned an early passion for playing bridge and a fascination for mathematics into lifestyle at blackjack tables in casinos.

He cut his punting teeth on horse racing when he went to New Zealand in the early 1980s but turned his attention from there to the greater betting pools of punting-mad Hong Kong.

Woods teamed up with Benter in Hong Kong in the mid 1980s and together they formed the first betting syndicate whose success depended not on insider tips but on what the computer would spit out after being fed a range of information on the horse, current form, race times, sectional splits, weather, state of the track and jockey form.

He was diagnosed late last year with appendiceal cancer. He began chemotherapy three weeks ago but died last Saturday in the intensive care unit of the Sanitorium Hospital in Happy Valley, close to the racecourse.

Woods is survived by two ex-wives, a son and a daughter.


Cold Dog
#16 Posted : Friday, October 10, 2008 12:50:56 AM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
The great man in action:

Cold Dog
#17 Posted : Friday, October 10, 2008 12:54:11 AM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
In his own words:

when i go out it is normally with a group of girls & sometimes 1 or 2 guys.

20 years after the expression started the girls still refer to themselves or others as "alan's angels".

there are maybe 15 autopay transfer from my bank a/c in the Philippines every month --- in addition there are maybe more in HK or spread around the world who now have enough income not to have to work because of past "gifts" of shares in my co.

my 1st wife & 2 children are all "multis" & my annual income reaches 9 digits. ( really i am very stingy & scrooge-like in comparison to some others )




guess which one does not work for me ?? the rest resident in HK so my ex abode rahter than current.

sorry about the non nudity but it fits better here with the rest of my photos.

which one looks the horniest ??


Mite N Power
#18 Posted : Friday, October 10, 2008 4:30:17 AM
Al Oerter

Joined: 1/25/2007
Posts: 3,187
Location: Perth, Western Australia

 
Anyone who knocks this bloke is completely and utterly jealous.

re the question,i'll pick third from the left with the cream/yellow top on hump she's in a league of her own Thumbs up

Winning isnt everything... ITS THE ONLY THING!!
acm11
#19 Posted : Wednesday, January 07, 2009 2:53:08 AM
Newbie

Joined: 1/6/2009
Posts: 1
Location: dublin

 
having spent a wild night out in company of alan and co-workers in hong kong in mid 90's

just through web surfing heard of his passing

a look at photos now brings a few questions to mind

did any of you know him or his co-workers in mid '90s

sorry noy even sure anyone is still looking at this topic?

acm
Slouch
#20 Posted : Wednesday, January 07, 2009 2:55:12 AM
Barack Obama



Joined: 8/30/2006
Posts: 18,367
Location: Frankston

 
was thinking about him the other day.
had a mad computer system.
basically invented the concept of his system.
Cold Dog
#21 Posted : Monday, March 23, 2009 11:57:41 PM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 

http://www.qldbridge.com...ts/obits.php?file=woods

Alan Woods Obituary

Professional punter. Born Murwillumbah, NSW, 1945. Died Hong Kong, January 26, 2008, aged 62.

Alan Woods donated $250,000 to the success of the 2008 PABF and the Queensland Bridge Association thank his family for such a generous donation.

The world of horse racing lost one of it biggest punters with the death of Australian-born Alan Woods in Hong Kong last Saturday.

Woods, 62, was universally recognised as among the top three punters in the world.

His colleagues in the penthouse of betting turnover are his former business partner, American Bill Benter, and Zeljko Ranogajec, an Australian-based recluse whose turnover on sports gambling is said to outweigh the massive investments of the Woods-Benter organisations combined.

But it was Woods, born and raised at Murwillumbah in northern NSW, who was the co-pioneer of computer betting syndicates in Hong Kong and a key man in the development of computer analysis for betting.

His fortune at the time of his death was estimated at $670 million.

The Woods betting syndicate became legend in the cauldron of Hong Kong racing, where huge amounts of money are invested into the totalisator pools.

For the 2006-07 racing season which ended last June, the Hong Kong Jockey Club recorded a betting turnover of $US64billion ($71.46bn). It has been estimated the input to annual turnover by Woods and his syndicate was about 2 per cent.

"I would not think that estimate is an exaggeration," said John Schreck, former chief steward for the Australian Jockey Club in Sydney and later for the HKJC in the late 1990s and into the early years of the new millennium when Woods' syndicate was operating at full steam.

"To my knowledge, he never ever came racing while I was there (Hong Kong). But he had in his employ dozens of Filipinos running around carrying mobiles and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash waiting for instructions on how and what to bet.

"There was a time the Jockey Club closed his account but this was through a silly policy adopted from a misjudgment in management.

"In the main, the Jockey Club was and is sensitive about these people (betting syndicates) being the big customers that they are. I saw these people as professional gamblers and not a problem at all (to the integrity of racing)."

Indeed, the syndicates relied on Schreck, and his fellow stewards to police clean racing. Their profits, after all, were based on statistics for corrupt-free racing.

Woods turned an early passion for playing bridge and a fascination for mathematics into lifestyle at blackjack tables in casinos.

He cut his punting teeth on horse racing when he went to New Zealand in the early 1980s but turned his attention from there to the greater betting pools of punting-mad Hong Kong.

Woods teamed up with Benter in Hong Kong in the mid 1980s and together they formed the first betting syndicate whose success depended not on insider tips but on what the computer would spit out after being fed a range of information on the horse, current form, race times, sectional splits, weather, state of the track and jockey form.

He was diagnosed late last year with appendiceal cancer. He began chemotherapy three weeks ago but died last Saturday in the intensive care unit of the Sanitorium Hospital in Happy Valley, close to the racecourse.

Woods is survived by two ex-wives, a son and a daughter.


Cold Dog
#22 Posted : Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:49:40 PM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
I just stumbled across this old article, thought I'd add it...

MISTER HUGE; The world's greatest gambler

The Racing Post (London, England)
Article date:
February 14, 2008

Byline: David Ashforth on the late Alan Woods, the legendary gambler who cleaned up in Vegas, Hong Kong and many points in between

ALAN WOODS, who died last month, aged 62, won so much money that he didn't know how much he was worth. "Can I say between AusEUR200 million pounds 85 million and AusEUR500 million pounds 216 million?" he said, two and a half years ago.

Woods, perhaps the most successful gambler in the world, knew how to make money, and knew how he wanted to spend it, in the company of beautiful women. He celebrated his 60th birthday in his chosen style, surrounded by lively and lovely partygoers. "I suspect I have a much higher sexual desire, even at age 60, compared to guys aged 30," Woods said. "Not having to go to work is a great libido-enhancer."

His later years were spent in Manila, where he rarely left his apartment, which was equipped with two beautiful Filipina women, less than half his age. Earlier, when he lived in Hong Kong, he would prepare for his celebrated hedonistic parties by recruiting suitable-looking companions from local discos. Being a mathematician made him fond of figures.

Born in Australia, at school he was good at maths but, at university, preferred to study the local poker machines and horse races before studying to be an actuary and working as an investment analyst for a merchant bank. His employer's desire for him to arrive at 9am and Woods's habit of arriving at 11am proved incompatible with his continued employment.

In 1972, Woods turned his mathematical attention to card counting at blackjack, paying it particular attention after his first wife left in 1979. A string of successes at a casino in Tasmania encouraged him to graduate to a string of casinos in Las Vegas, where he settled down to make EUR4,000 a week, sometimes wearing a false moustache and spectacles, before moving on to Europe and Asia. Large cash winnings were smuggled through various customs barriers in Woods's socks, or someone else's.

At about the time he married his second wife, he gave up card-counting and, at about the time his second wife gave him up, Woods turned his attention to horse racing in New Zealand before moving to Hong Kong in 1984.

In Hong Kong, the same small pool of horses ran in the same type of races on the same two tracks, Happy Valley and Sha Tin, where thousands of largely ill-informed punters bet into enormous pari-mutuel pools. Their enormity meant that big punters could have big bets without decimating a horse's odds.

Woods's mathematical brain joined forces with new business partner Bill Benter's innovative computerised betting systems to develop programmes that, in 1987, after three years of refinement, produced a modest profit of EUR100,000. "You could say," Woods once said, "that our whole theory was based on taking a contrarian approach to whatever the public were doing." The public were often doing their Hong Kong dollars following tips, backing lucky numbers and studying the phases of the moon.

Woods and Benter collected detailed data for every horse and applied an increasingly sophisticated formula to calculate the probability of each horse winning the race being analysed. The formula took account of a range of factors such as distance, weight, last result, number of starts, barrier position, and so on, with weights attached to each factor. This computer-calculated probability of winning was then related to the odds available, and 'overlays' identified - horses with a markedly better chance of winning than the odds available about them indicated. Further calculations were made to identify selections for the exotic bets popular in Hong Kong.

WOODS and Benter split up in 1987 but both subsequently thrived. The following year, Woods won HKEUR3 million (pounds 226,000) and, the year after, HKEUR7million (pounds 527,380), soon followed by HKEUR11 million (pounds 828,740) and HKEUR19 million (pounds 1.4 million). One day, he won HKEUR20 million although, another day, he lost HKEUR23 million. Overall, the winnings massively exceeded the losses, and the scale of Woods's operation grew.

He wasn't to be found at the racetrack, which he hadn't visited since 1985, but in an office organising his team's assault on the pools, a team of expert analysts as well as those putting bets on; big bets, huge bets, bets that were eventually said to account for between one and two per cent of Hong Kong's betting turnover, which is about pounds 30 billion a year.

When a journalist visited Woods in 2005, he and his team were targeting a HKEUR32.7 million (pounds 2.3 million) pool for the Triple Trio, which required punters to select the first three home in the correct order, in three races. They staked HKEUR4.6 million (pounds 328,000) and collected a share of the Triple Trio pool, to make a profit of HKEUR3.8 million (pounds 271,000). Just another day. At one point during the racing, Woods fell asleep.

After winning his first million, Alan walked the streets of Hong Kong dropping EUR20 notes into the hands of people in the gutters. Later, when things were going better, he handed his first ex-wife EUR1 million in an envelope and offered his two children EUR1 million of their own if they obtained an economics degree by the time they were 25. His advice to them was to tell the truth, have a positive outlook, and take a realistic view of themselves.

Woods sometimes got the currencies muddled up, but he soon had so much money in any currency that it didn't matter. In the late 1980s, he branched out and won another million by betting that the Hong Kong stock exchange was about to fall although, in the late 1990s, he was briefly USEUR100 million down on a bet that required the dotcom boom to end and Nasdaq to fall. The idea was sound, but the timing less so.

Asked if being one of the richest gamblers in the world had given him a happy life, Woods replied: "Generally, yes. Probably less so now than in years gone by. There's a cliche that says, getting there is much more fun than arriving. If my ambition was to get enough money not to have to work, well, the more money you have the more work it creates."

For Woods, it certainly wasn't all work and no play. He died not long after being diagnosed with cancer, surrounded by family and friends, who certainly won't forget him.

'His team put on big bets, huge bets, bets that were eventually said to account for one to two per cent of Hong Kong's betting turnover'


birmi
#23 Posted : Tuesday, July 20, 2010 11:06:34 AM
Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards

Joined: 7/19/2010
Posts: 4

 
Alan was a true punting hero, that's for sure. Read a lot about him and I think a lot of horse race gamblers want to be just like him, he's just the number one and will probably never reached by any other gambler in the business. Betting on horse races has already become an own science amd Woods did a lot to make the scene more popular which also helped the horse racing in general.
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