“I wait to see at least 1000€ of money offered by Pinnacle before betting”. Interview with top tennis tipster Nishikori
Nishikori is a tennis ATP PRO Tipster in Pyckio.com. He only tips in ATP matches (not challengers, not ITFs) at Pinnacle Sports odds.
How did you come to sports betting? What’s your education? Betting is full or part-time?
I have a degree in Economics. I have another job apart from betting but I prefer not to give any details. It’s very flexible and it allows me to bet whenever I want. Therefore, betting is not my full-time job but I spend many hours a day with this activity, even more than in my “normal” job.
How much time did it take you to become a sharp bettor?
I started betting around 2005 and became more serious, betting big amounts, around 7-8 years later. It has been the tipping activity the one that has helped me be a sharp bettor, as you take more care when betting for others than for yourself.
Let me recommend you the Tennisform Ticker (@tennisform). I’d not have achieved these results without them. You’ll access match reports, players quotes, injury news… The subscription cost is tiny in comparison with the time of research it saves you. https://t.co/EhKTSjifLT pic.twitter.com/e9QkPUYuZF
— Nishikori, the Tipster (@nishikoripicks) October 15, 2020
Why tennis only? Maybe you played yourself?
Yes, I played tennis and I liked watching it on TV. I started betting on tennis and although I had my ups and downs, quite quickly I started winning. I also bet in soccer, but it was much more difficult to develop an edge.
And particularly ATP? WTA and ITF are hard to predict? Match-fixing or something else?
I have never followed the WTA too much. And I don’t have enough time to dedicate to another tennis “field”. I don’t bet in ITF or challengers because 1) there is nor enough liquidity if you are a tipster with a decent number of followers (I would drive odds too low) and 2) there are many players I don’t know and I also don’t have the time to follow it closely.
How did covid influence tennis and tennis betting?
No crowd + change in players’ habits and life = more uncertainty. But I think that the market has, on average, priced this new reality quite well.
You bet on Pinnacle odds with an advantage. What skills make you better than the sharpers bookmaker analytics in the world?
I don’t have any model. It’s probably the experience, plus the intuition developed after so many years of betting, that makes me know if some prices are too high or too low, without making any calculations. Why I have this edge while others don’t… hard to know, I cannot answer that.
It’s generally believed tennis is comparably easier to manipulate. Are you taking match-fixing into account making your bets?
No. I have never had any access to match-fixing information. I’m sure there is match-fixing, but less than there were some years ago, as now the authorities have taken this more seriously. You could see very strange odds movements, both prematch and in play. I personally saw Betfair odds moving in that famous Davydenko match in Sapporo. Now you don’t see this so often but I’m sure it is also match-fixing. It’s enough that a player loses on purpose; he doesn’t have to make any deal with the other player. I can imagine they will take care to not let relatives bet for them, bet in different bookmakers, not deposit big amounts… Sometimes I can speculate certain players might do it and if prices are attractive I can play it. But it’s not usual.
I saw the layout of your bets by surface. Clay is the most successful one. Why?
I think the sample is not big enough to extract any conclusions. In hard the yield is lower but there are much more bets. Let’s see this data in 1000 more bets.
Are there any players or tournaments you’ll never bet on? Why?
No. However, what is true is that if you watch many matches, sometimes you see some player playing too good or too bad, which creates a bias in your mind, that affects your judge and might make you not take a decision that you would take if you had only looked at the game’s statistics. Therefore, watching matches help you perceive some info that you cannot see within the set of stats, but on the other hand, creates some biases that affect your decisions. For example, you can have watched a match of a certain player that was horrible. This will affect your judgement for the next bet, even though it might have just been one of those bad days.
Do you bet yourself or sell tips only? How profitable is it?
Both. I obviously bet first and I use to achieve a couple of points of higher yield, as sometimes I do drive odds a bit lower after betting myself.
There is a general problem in selling tips – if you have many subscribers, not all of them are able to catch value odds before bookies change them. What do you think about it and what’s the solution?
First, I bet on ATP, the most liquid market in Tennis. Second, I mostly do money line bets (72.5% to date), the most liquid ones. Third, I wait to see at least 1000€ of money offered by Pinnacle before betting, and lately even more. I know my reported statistics will drop a bit but I prefer to protect my customers’ results. I don’t think there is any tennis tipster who, on average, makes so many “liquid” bets. All in all, odds drop because I have a good subscribers base, with big bankrolls. And sometimes odds rebound, If my followers had bet at the close (in Pinnacle) in all my bets, they would have obtained only 3 points less of yield. So the margin is quite high. If we add the exchanges, this will improve.
Is it possible to be a profitable bettor without at least basic knowledge of probability theory relying just on the exceptional understating of particular sports?
I don’t think so. A good understanding of the sport is necessary but not sufficient at all to excel in betting. In the end, it’s all about… to what extent is all that I know, reflected in the prices? taking into account that you also have to pay a fee to the bookmaker. And this is something very difficult to know or estimate.
What is your betting strategy? What tools/sites do you use?
I mostly bet on dogs. My average price is 2.56. This is where I feel more comfortable and where I have achieved my best results. Although I have also won in the lower odds.
I use Tennisform to be informed about injuries, players quotes and matches reports, Tennisinsight to see some statistics and players’ social network accounts to see some info about them that can be useful.
What are the basic mistakes in betting you can warn newcomers against?
- Betting a very high % of your bankroll. Although it should depend on the odds level, I never bet more than 2%, and normally 1.5%
- Betting in too many different sports, not having a focus
Books or sites about sports betting to start with?
All Joseph Buchdahl’s bibliography
3 world’s best bookies? Why?
Best bookies: 1) Pinnacle 2) Betfair. There are few bookies that do not limit winners.
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