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January – a profit but lots of questions.

A disappointing final week meant that what was in many ways a month I found really difficult ended on a low.  After having a lot of questions and things to resolve, I was still going along nicely at an ROI of around 15%, but that was reduced to just over 4% over the last few days.

Here are the numbers:

GOLF (inc. PGA PROFIT): roi -52.7%

RACING: roi -23.69%

VALUE BETS: roi -19.14%

FOOTBALL COUPONS: roi -11.39%

COMBO BETS: roi 55.82%

NFL: roi 367.13%

DD/HH: roi 160.2%

TOTAL: roi 4.15%, roc 1.2%.

Let’s start with the positive and the NFL and DD/HH (Double Delight/Hat Trick Heaven – a BetFred offer on the First Goalscorers market in selected games) paid the bills.  Both performed exceptionally well, but there’ll be no more opportunities to get involved with NFL matches now until next season.

Other than that, and my approach this month has radically changed from what I am used to.  I was aware that making the shift from betting online to using cash in shops and the Exchanges was always going to take some adjusting, but perhaps underestimated by how much.

Backing players to win golf tournaments and not to place has presented a psychological challenge already, and although I think I’m nearly there now, I still haven’t quite nailed my strategy moving forward.  The need for patience in betting on golf is oft-repeated.  The patience needed when betting win-only?  Let’s just say tons of it is required.  But for me, losing is one thing, as long as I’m confident in the methods and approach, for which consistency is key.  And not being 100% clear on this has been, I’ve found, unsettling.

The football coupon betting has been frustrating too.  Losing, a good slip to get almost back to even, followed by losing again.  But this is normal.  Just have to wait for the big winning slip, which will come.  Of that, I’m sure.

And then there’s been the Lucky 15s.  And here is where I’ve found a massive difference to betting online.  For much of the month, badly affected by wintry weather, there just hasn’t been much value relatively speaking, to be found.  The last week I’ve seen an uptick in that respect, so hopefully we’ll be able to get more Lucky 15s down in the shops.  Up to very recently though, I’ve been placing about 30% of the volume I had been when able to bet online.

This period of adjustment isn’t over yet, but progress is being made.  Let’s see what February brings.

Week 4 Results

When the only highlight of your week is a Manchester United (!) player scoring first in a match for a return on a DD/HH bet, then you know things have not run as you would have wished!  But hail Marcus Rashford.  I suppose of all United players, he’s one I can at least tolerate due to his efforts away from football these past couple of years or so.

Golf was a blank, but on reflection I made a mistake not backing Max Homa to win.  He was tipped up by a couple, showed slight value on the BB Golf Tracker at whatever his price was on Smarkets (30ish, but I might not be remembering well) and I consciously chose not to.  His winning the PGA event this week would have at least covered my stakes on that tournament, plus given a little bit extra.  Learnt my lesson there.

Horse Racing continues to prove tricky but at least the last few days has seen more value to look to exploit.  Now I just need the buggers to place or god forbid, win the odd race!

Golf: ROI -100%.

Racing: ROI -45.19.

Value Bets: ROI 11.83%.

Football Coupons: ROI -58.25%.

NFL: n/a

DD/HH: 350%.

Total ROI: -40.69%.

I’ll be back Wednesday with the first monthly round up for 2023.

When a Void bet tastes sweet.

Another profitable week and that makes it three from three so far for 2023.  I’m not complaining, and when overall we see an ROI of 16%, then why would I?

But…and isn’t there always a but?…my turnover is significantly down from that I was achieving at the back end of last year.  In this context, the ROI figure carries less significance when looking at it solely in terms of how much actual money is being made.  The amount is not bad at all, but it’s not where I want it to be longer term.  But this is an adaptation period.  Gone is the access to soft books.  Betting this year so far has all been done via cash in shops or by using the Exchanges (Smarkets).

Not helping on the turnover front has been the winter weather and the impact that’s had on both horse racing and football.  I’ve had a number of football coupons carrying teams whose matches have subsequently been called off due to frozen pitches, and race meetings have succumbed too.  So it’s a case of accepting this as something that can’t be controlled and not getting too up tight about it.  All that can be done in this regard is hope that the cold snap doesn’t last too much longer.  But this is the UK, and it’s winter, so who knows?

Golf, of course, tends to be played in sunnier climes and this week sees me adopt a new win-only strategy across the board.  I’m going to look to cover about 20-25% win probability of each tournament taking prices available on the Exchange.  It’s going to be interesting to see how this works out, and I retain the right to tinker with my approach as I get a feel for it.  Braced for losing runs, I know it’s going to sting like an angry wasp when I inevitably lose a bet on a 200/1 shot in a play off.  Best be psychologically prepared in advance for that turn of events, I reckon.

Finally this week, an observation that although there are some very good, astute and decent people working behind the counters at bookmakers, there are also some right old dimwits!  The latter tend to be the younger generation I find (or is that just me getting old and grumpy?).

A prime example was the Friday just gone.  Stuck two football coupons on at Hills.  First one was fine, second one came out on a slip that wasn’t right – didn’t list the team names, prices, or anything resembling a normal slip.  When I questioned it, the chap said it was absolutely fine.  The bar code was on there, and that’s all they needed to get any returns sorted, etc.  I wasn’t comfortable with this but he was the only chap in the shop, and clearly it would make no difference what I said, he wasn’t going to change his mind.

Saturday morning I went back to the same shop.  Three people working behind the counter now and I approached an older guy I knew was more experienced, and helpful.  I showed him the slip.  “Yes”, he said.  “I wondered when you might be in.”

He’d seen this slip, immediately recognised that the scanning machine had had a moment, and as such the bet was Void.  Now, can you imagine if that had happened to be one of those rare slips where we land six or seven of the seven selections – the big payout we’re all wait patiently for, and I hadn’t checked first that the slip was all ok?  I’d be partying like the fella in The Wolf of Wall Street, dancing in to pick up my four figure return, only to be told that the bet was void!  Seriously, I think I’d have had a fit.  And if I ever got my hands on that young chap who insisted that everything was ok with the bet…I’d..I’d…well, I’d tell him exactly how frustrated I was, and in no uncertain terms! (he’s bigger than me – always good to recognise your own limitations, eh?).

As it happens, four of the matches on the slip were called off, and the other three teams lost.  Thank God for the Void.

Week 3 Results

Racing: roi -72.99%.

Golf: roi -4.18%.  And right there is the difference in place returns between using the bookies (where Weekly Golf Value turned a profit on the week), and the Exchanges (which produced a loss).  Having had time to think now, I’m radically altering my strategy, and you can read more on that in Wednesday’s post.

Value Bets: roi -30.7%.

Football Coupons: roi 4.3%.

Combo Bets: roi -100%.  Probably the last Combo bet I place, bearing in mind the account is caput.  Just one bet, and my feeling is it could take ten years of placing “mug” bets before the account rises from the dead.

NFL: n/a

DD/HH: roi 324.1%.  Erling Haaland scoring  hat trick meant the week overall, for the third time running this year, generated a profit overall.  As a born and bred Gooner, shame he didn’t put City 1-0 up, go on to score a hat trick only for Wolves to win 4-3, but never mind.

PGA Profit: roi -100% (win-only betting).

Edwards Tips: n/a – have spent this past week working out a staking strategy.  In the interests of neatness, I’m now going to start backing these from 1st February.

Total ROI: 16.34%, ROC 3.8%.

Putting trust in the hands of a good-for-nothing lazy layabout…

My wife has always said I have a tendency to over-think and over-analyze things.  Experience over the years tells me she is probably right.  She is about most things, I’ve found.

Certainly this week has seen me looking to come to a settled plan as to how to move forward.  The reason for this is that being brutally honest, betting using cash only in the shops is proving to be more tricky than I’d anticipated.  Take one morning last week as an example.  Early doors the Bookie Bashing Racing Tracker is showing there’s a nice looking Lucky 15 to be had down my local BetFreds.  Hop in the car for the 1.5 mile journey that usually takes five minutes.  Half an hour later I’m still stuck in the car because due to local roads flooding, the traffic was a ‘mare.  I had to turn around and come home because I needed to be at my work desk.  Not great.

Then there has been a relative lack of value to shop prices and place terms showing up on the Golf Tracker.  Then there’s been race meetings being rained or frozen off.  There’s simply been one reason followed by another for not getting anywhere near the volume of bets I want to be getting down.  So all in all, this last week I’ve felt has been one of the most challenging I think I’ve had for a long, long time.

But this is where the over-analyzing comes in.  I’ve had two completed weeks of betting this year, and both have been profitable.  Not spectacularly so, but put it this way…if I could take the profit I’ve had in each of these two weeks and guarantee that amount every week, then I would have a pretty decent year.  I’m at 13% ROI, for heaven’s sake.  Hardly a disaster!

That said, I do need to think of solutions.

In the short term, I’m turning to the Exchanges for my golf betting and will be looking to increase returns from the win-part of each way bets.  This is going to test patience.  It can be a long time between drinks for winners on the golf, but when they come I need to cash in.  I will still cover the place part of the bet, but the value won’t be there to turn a profit longer term I don’t think.  What I’m hoping it will do – using the Top 5 and 10 markets – is serve to smooth out the journey, even if by just a little.  So in other words, sacrifice a bit off the bottom line to maintain some grip, even if only a weak one, on some level of sanity.

The above is great, but not ideal.  So, solution number 2 is to set up some accounts with the independent bookies the SBC have recently identified as being possible options.  Who knows how long these accounts will last, but I’m thinking of limiting their use to golf betting and “muggy” looking combo bets (with the hope these will increase account longevity).  I want to set up a bank account for this though to keep funds separate, so will take a couple of days or so to sort.

Solution 3 – get a Runner up and, well, err…running.  Someone I can trust, someone with access to bookies shops, and with plenty of time on their hands.  My son.  I can trust him (because if he did anything daft I’d not let him come home again), he can almost fall out of his flat and roll into one of two BetFreds and a Paddy Power (seriously, they are that close), and he’s a student (so let’s face it, the available time isn’t going to be a problem is it, the lazy, do-nothing-all-day tax dodging layabouts!).  But again, need to sort out bank account, cash card, etc.  He could be useful for some online, golf-only bookmaker accounts too – we’ll see.

And finally, possible Solution 4 – different services.  I mentioned last week Edwards Tips and I’ve been getting used to how this all works to minimal stakes (so small there’s no point on reporting figures just yet). I like the look of it, have had to accept from what I’ve seen so far that I can’t get on anywhere near all the bets because of my current restriction to the Exchanges, and it has plenty of potential.  I’ve also my eye on another but hopefully more on that anon.

So, plenty going on, just not much actual betting!  But I’m up for the year so far, and being up is never a position to complain about.

See you next week.

Week 2 Results

So the (soon to be usual) run down of last week’s results.

Racing

Thorny issue, and much more about this in Wednesday’s post.  Only five Lucky 15s placed (hence  the problem) and hardly a horse placing.  ROI -92%.

Golf

More on this on Wednesday too, but sadly I didn’t make the profit Weekly Golf Value did.  ROI -3.87%.

No winner from PGA Profit: ROI -100%.

Football Coupons

Like last week, one slip with a good, if not spectacular return, with the rest not offering much at all.  Overall a decent rate of return though. ROI 44.8%.

Value Bets

Just three bets, one winner.  ROI -25.95%

DD/HH

A fair few bets over the weekend and hooray – Brennon Johnson scoring not just the first goal for Nottingham Forest at 15/2, but then going on to score a second meant that this strategy was the Star of the Show last week, and ensured a profit overall.  ROI 147.61%

NFL

No suitable games to get involved in last week. Looks likely to be the same this weekend coming, too.  ROI n/a.

Total ROI: 11.63%, ROC 0.63%

A sad day, and the start of a new era.

Close friends and family had been called to the patient’s bedside.  Life had lasted much longer than the average expectancy, and it had been happy life, “fruitful” some might say, and full of great memories.  This had been a life well lived, and although the depth of sadness in those present when the moment came was almost tangible, there were no regrets or shock at the situation.  Rather this had been something that had been coming for a long while.  It was something that had been prepared for.

On Monday 10th January 2023, at precisely 11.02am, my last unrestricted online betting account passed to the other side.  The bookmaker had pulled the plug, and that was that.  The end of an era, and the start of another.  To be quite honest, after the amount I’d made from it over the past six months, I’d have closed it a long time ago.  Quite how it remained viable for as long as it did I really have no idea.

But life moves on, and come 11.03am on Monday, thoughts had already turned to the next chapter.  The period of mourning was over. It was time to crack on.

So come 8.30 on Tuesday morning, having fought through torrential rain, there I was at my local bookies to get a Lucky 15 down.  I was slightly surprised to find that I wasn’t the first in the shop.  Actually, I was more than slightly surprised that it was even open at 8.30.  The Laddies over the road doesn’t open its doors until 9.00, the lazy gits.

I guess this is the way forward now.  Early start at work (7.45-8.00ish), and then a quick nip down the bookies to get a Lucky 15 or two down, another at lunchtime if there’s anything suitable with which to make up a Lucky 15, and perhaps get a footie coupon in, and then a drive further afield in the early evening.  It’s going to be a grind.

Talking of football coupons, and it’s been a really difficult start to the year.  If you read the results post yesterday, you’ll know I had a decent return on a coupon over the weekend, but that served merely to reduce losses.  It really isn’t the losing that bothers me.  That will change as long as I consistently continue betting teams whose prices represent value.  But for some reason, I’ve been finding that five or six of the teams I’m backing have had their prices slashed significantly.  I don’t mind so much if this is happening in the run up to kick offs as team news filters through and “smart” money starts to impact the markets.  But it’s not been like this.  In fact the one coupon where all the prices have remained as expected was the one I placed about half an hour before the matches were due to start.

I guess what I’m saying is that I can cope with losing runs.  Experience tells me that as long as I am consistent in my approach and I’m backing value, the profit will follow either sooner or later.  But at the moment I don’t quite feel I’ve got my “betting pattern” quite settled when it comes to the coupons.  And I need to work this out.  Sharpish.

Let’s see what this week brings.

Good luck with your punting!

 

Week 1 Results

Good Evening.

So, here’s the plan.  Each week, on a Monday or Tuesday, I’m going to post up a brief summary of the previous week’s results, and at the end of each month, do a review.  Nothing fancy here, just the figures and an outline of any particularly highlights and lowlights.  And then every Wednesday will be the more detailed post with thoughts, observations, etc.

Should note too that having given everything some thought, I’m going to be supporting the PGA Profit bets still, but likely win-only and only on the Exchanges, and there will very shortly be news of a different (and new) tipster who also produces golf tips.  Again, the Exchange will be the way forward with these too.  But all that’s for next week.

As for Week 1 of 2023, well overall we turned a profit.  Not a huge one, but a profit is a profit and I’m never going to complain whenever I see that!

Racing

My very first bet of 2023 was a Lucky 15 which with a winner and two placed produced a 10 point profit.  Nothing to rival that subsequently.  ROI (Year To Date): 17.87%.

Golf

A wash out for Weekly Golf Value but couldn’t help but feel a wee bit unlucky with two golfers finishing 7th when the place terms were Top 6.  ROI -100%.

Football Coupons

More thoughts on this tomorrow, but the start of the week was dire.  Loads of losers, no returns from several slips, and not great.  Then one decent coupon at the weekend meant the overall loss in the end for the week was much less than had looked likely.  ROI – 26.87%.

Value Bets

Just three bets, one winner.  ROI – 37.06%

DD/HH

Let’s just say I’m due a winner.  ROI -100%

NFL

The hero of the hour (week).  Four suitable matches to get involved with on Sunday evening.  Two games saw the teams level at half time (win!) and then the team doubled up to win at Full Time having been level at half time did the biz.  ROI 367.13%.

Total ROI: 13.68%, ROC 1.65%

 

Betting at the Front Line: Hello 2023 – Please be kind…

2023!  How on earth has that happened?  Only seems a couple of years ago that the world was about to come to a grinding halt and then burst out in flames as IT systems everywhere were going to simply give up as soon as the clocks struck 00:00.01 to bring in Year 2000.  That was a nervy second, I can tell you.  Kids – ask your parents…”the millenium bug”…

Happy New Year to you all!

So what is 2023 going to bring betting-wise then?  I have some plans, and I’ve got to admit to being both anxious and excited by them in equal measure.  This kinda feels like embarking on the next stage of my betting journey.  The last stage has stretched over a few years, but having almost reached the end of having access to any online betting accounts (I say almost, because one still stubbornly remains), it’s adapt or die.  And having learnt from the example set by the Dodo, I’m determined to adapt.  I ain’t no flightless bird!

As I was more than just hinting at in the Bet Diary posts published just prior to Christmas, a lot more – in fact almost all – of my betting is soon to be done using cash, in shops.  It’s a bit of a bind.  I can’t say the prospect of driving out and about across the towns of North Cheshire and South Manchester in the cold, wet and dark each evening after a day of work is one that particularly thrills me.  But hey, if that’s what it takes.  I’m not yet at the stage of employing runners to do the dirty work, although ultimately that’s the plan.  Until then though, I’m going to have to do the grunt work myself.

So what am I going to be betting on?

  1. Golf.  Enjoyed a tremendous year following Weekly Golf Value through 2022, and towards the end there I had just started to leave WGV bets I couldn’t get on and using the Bookie Bashing golf tracker to complement those I could get on.  I’m aiming for 12.5%+ field coverage across each tournament, and for as long as I can with the one remaining online account I have, I’ll stay as true as I can to the WGV advice.  Once that account goes however, then it’ll be the Tracker all the way.
  2. Horses.  The Lucky 15 strategy was my outstanding contributor to profit last year, posting some ridiculously good figures.  My worry here is that I’ve yet to hit a big win at the shops.  All so far have been achieved online, with two bookmakers who tend to offer either consistently better odds or extra places which the Horse Racing Tracker allows leads us to taking advantage of.  I’ve no doubt wins at the offices will arrive, but likely not with the same frequency.  I expect my losing runs to grow a little and ROI to dip.  I’m also a little concerned about keeping volume up too.  There’s a lot to concentrate on here!
  3. Football Coupons.  Trebles the way forward, but hopefully it should be relatively straightforward to keep the volume of bets.  I’ll write more on this topic next week, as there are still a few things I’m not entirely comfortable with, although I’m not running at a bad level of profit since I started.
  4. Value bets.  Usually deriving from Boosts and to be taken advantage of either in shop or on the Exchanges where arbers may be looking to lay off their bets for their guaranteed margins and happy to take what is a value price from my side.
  5. DD/HH – Double Delight/Hat Trick Heaven at BetFred.  Again, using the data available as a Bookie Basher member,  Will be staking £x to win £y.
  6. NFL: the strategy utilising the half time markets.  Not a high volume approach but there’s a proven edge there and why not look to take advantage wherever possible?  It would be rude not to.
  7. Combo bets: the occasional “muggy” looking RequestABet/#YourOdds/PickYourPunt genre of bet with my one online account.  How long can I keep it open for?  I’m expecting it to be closed tomorrow, but I’ve been saying that since August.

And there we have it.  That’s the plan for 2023.  It’s new (for me).  It’s with a sense of trepidation I embark upon this adventure, and that’s not just because it’s dark early and at one bookies I visit I’d be targeted for a mugging if anyone thought I had 50p in my pocket.

I’ll not post results today as have only been back at it three days, but suffice to say my first Lucky 15 of the year netted 10 points profit but I’ve not won a penny since, and the less said about the Footie Coupons these last couple of days the better.  All told, I’m break even, but I’ll post proper performance figures from next week’s post.

Join me then.

Spotting other BBers, a blizzard of profit, and Happy Christmas!

I don’t think it’s any secret that the vast majority of my betting now is guided by the material available on the Bookie Basher’s website.  I use the Golf, Horse Racing and Football Coupons trackers, implement the Double Delight/Hat Trick Heaven strategy whenever possible, and look to get involved with the suggested methods for profiting from NFL matches too.

If you read the SBC reviews for the horse racing and football trackers, you’ll know that it’s advised to strike up a rapport with the shop staff down at the bookies.  Tip them after a good win, be nice, take an interest in them…so that when it comes to it, they’re less likely to impose bans on you betting with them, or reporting you to the Area Managers who will not hesitate to do what they can to be rid of you if they think you’re capable of making a profit long term.

So it was interesting when, for the first time ever, I saw someone else slip each of two staff members at one of my locals £20 as a tip.  I’ve no idea how big his win had been, but sufficient to show some largesse, it seems!  And it made me wonder if he was a BBer, playing the game (quite possible he was just a nice bloke, I guess).

And just a couple of days later, I saw a middle-aged, very well-spoken and presented lady picking up a footie coupon, whilst talking on the ‘phone.  After striking a (very small) bet, I could hear her as she walked out the office, talking into her mobile about the prices on the teams she had just backed.  A classic tactic for weeding out the prices that had been cut so that her gambling partner could go in somewhere else and place the “proper” bet.

I was tempted to stop her and have a chat, but where do you start a conversation like that?  “Excuse me, are you a Bookie Basher?”.  I could be arrested.  At best, she’d have thought I was some weirdo with the worst chat up line ever!

Last week was an absolute stormer for me and it’s made paying for Christmas very much easier.  I mentioned on Monday that I’d got Antoine Rozner, 16/1 winner of the last DP Tour event of the year from the Golf Tracker.  The reason I got him was that the price on one of the Weekly Golf Value tips (Niklas Norgaard Moller) had gone by the time I’d driven to my nearest Corals once I’d finished work.  No point in taking -EV bets, so had a look to see what was on the Tracker.  At 16/1 and showing 107% +EV, backing Rozner meant my field coverage for the event came to 13%, which was perfect as I aim for between 12.5 and 15% each week.  Happy days!

This was followed by a really good Lucky 15 winner which netted 26 points profit.  A 22/1 winner, a 14/1 winner, an unplaced and a horse in a race at a meeting that was abandoned due to the weather was enough to bring horse racing back to an all time profit high for the year.  The ROI on this now is incredible.

And finally, my football coupon betting had been on a bit of a slump, but a decent win at the weekend clawed back a chunk of the losses.  Interestingly, three of the seven matches were abandoned, again because of the weather, but it didn’t prevent a good profit being made.

So all in all, it was a hell of a week.  The NFL so very nearly added a big chunk too, but Field Goals were a right pain in the arris!  Betting in three games, and needing a tied scoreline at half time to land one bet and set up a bigger win on a second, a missed field goal just before half time that would have brought the scores level proved a source of frustration.  I mean, what percentage of field goal attempts are missed anyway?  Not many!  And then, with four seconds on the clock before the half time siren sounded in another game, a successful field goal took the score from 3-3 to 6-3.  What could have been, eh?

So that brings the year to a close.  All that remains is to say have a fantastic Christmas if you celebrate it, have a great holiday if you don’t, and I’ll see you all back here in the New Year.

Have a good one.

GOLF: roi 51.91%

RACING: roi 68.19%

FOOTBALL COUPONS: roi 14.68%

NFL: roi 38%

DD/HH: roi -8.73%