About the author
His special talent in arithmetic, which was already clearly recognisable in his early childhood, and his enthusiasm for football made him simulate the Bundesliga in a game at a very early age and in all possible variations. Only all the details were taken into account in order to produce results and table pictures that were as true to the original as possible. Be it by Tipp-Kick, Subbuteo, 11-out cards, with dice or calculator: results and tables had to be generated. And compared with reality. At the same time, by reading all the available “football literature”, books and all the magazines, he acquired an astonishing amount of specialist knowledge, which earned him the nickname “walking football encyclopaedia” at an early age.
Born on 27 January 1959 in Berlin, Dirk Paulsen has fulfilled a childhood dream. However, it is not his specific childhood dream, but rather his childhood dream in general: to turn playing into a profession. His remarkable “career”, in which he learned various games to the point of mastery, is described to us in this work, partly empathetically-emotionally, partly convincingly-rationally.
When, at the age of 14, he discovered the game of chess, he also established a career there with breathtaking speed, which made him the Berlin Youth Champion in 1977, catapulted him into the national chess league and even into the national team. However, he soon broke off this short career as a “chess professional”. Reason, in his own words, as “there is too little money in chess. The lack of luck factor drives away those who have the lesser playing ability, given their admitted inferiority.”
It is quite different in backgammon, which he learned in 1983. The game offers even the underdog a reasonable chance of winning. The game seemed tailor-made for him. Suddenly, he moved from musty chess halls with stove heating to the world of the rich and beautiful, to the luxury hotels, to the Beletage of the well-heeled and famous. Tournaments in San Remo, Gstaad, St. Moritz, Pörtschach, Monte Carlo, Cannes were part of the player’s “everyday life”. This could only be financed through abundant prize money, which he earned through luck and skill.
At the same time, he learned the casino game Black Jack. However, he did not simply learn the game, but calculated the already known “winning strategy” himself in home work, generalised and refined it and verified it with a computer programme. There, too, his success proved him right.
For both games, however, the following applies: high costs, low profit expectation. The backgammon opponents became stronger and stronger, there were no more easy “victims” and if there were, the winnings had to be shared with other professional players. The casinos changed the Black Jack rules so that the game was no longer attractive.
However, parallel to a brief detour into the world of work (1987-1990; software developer), he had continued to develop his football programme and gradually perfected it. At some point, he was able to “parameterise” the peculiarities of the game he had already observed in childhood, which he had continued to follow at all times, and turn them into a prediction programme in a series of clever operations. After the 1990 World Cup, for which he had the first usable version ready and which also brought him a tidy profit, the time had come: the job was quit and the player’s career continued. This time, however, it was as a professional sports bettor, specialising in football betting. Later, however, he included ice hockey as well as tennis and basketball in his “programme” in a similar way.
Prognostics, as he always emphasises, is a science “to which not too much attention is paid”. To then add: “Any prediction of an event in terms of a probability greater than 0 and less than 1 admits that it can both occur and not occur. For, what I do when I predict means nothing more than: it either comes or it doesn’t.” And, after all, anyone can do that.
That there is far more to it than that, he is able to convey to us in a convincing manner and with a certain “playful ease” charm. “There is a difference between 50% and 60%. And finding this out and then using it successfully on the betting market” could be described as his secret to success. You just have to believe him. He leaves it open whether you should suppress the temptation to “try it yourself” or whether you should pursue it. In any case, he gives you plenty of clues to play well.