Alan Wood – Godfather of Horse Racing
Alan Woods was regarded as one of the biggest and best gamblers in the world and was estimated to have amassed a fortune of AU$670 million at the time of his death in 2008. A university drop-out with a prodigious talent for maths, Wood worked for a firm of actuaries and an investment bank and started using math to count cards at blackjack tables. While working for the consultancy firm who had been hired to calculate the house odds on all the games at the new Wrest Point Casino in Tasmania, Alan saw first-hand that Blackjack with the current rules had an edge favoring the house and believed that it couldn’t be beaten. Over the next decade, Woods moved from casual punter to serious professional blackjack player.He lived out of a suitcase for a number of years and played in numerous blackjack teams across the globe.
But in the 1980s and 1990s after moving to Hong Kong, Wood created one of the world’s most profitable computer betting models, concentrating on Hong Kong horse racing and started taking professional sports betting quite seriously. As a true mathematician, Woods is said to have viewed horse racing as “nothing more than a mathematical equation to be solved”. What Wood created was an algorithm designed to find horses that were undervalued by the public – that is, a horse whose winning chances were better than the odds suggested. The huge betting pools in Hong Kong also meant that when the syndicates bet, their wagers wouldn’t overly influence the odds. Thanks to his newly found success formula, Alan Woods went on to win hundreds of millions of dollars on the massive Hong Kong racing scene while never setting foot at either track and also kept honing his online casino sports betting skills. As his wealth skyrocketed, Woods was known for throwing huge parties and living the life of a playboy.