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Just perfect.

I hate to think how many blog posts I’ve written over the years around the subject of losing runs, or bad weeks, or acutely horrible days.  And usually, a part of such a post is the stated reminder to remember that particularly good months, weeks and days do happen too, and that the ups and downs are all part of the game.

The thing is though, it is so easy to dwell on the bad days and almost forget the good ones.  And so, when a day like last Saturday strikes, it’s perhaps a good thing to write about it, just to show to readers who are constantly being reminded to exercise patience in their betting exploits that the red letter days really do happen too.  Occasionally, just every so often, the planets align.

First, a little context.  Saturday’s betting saw eight services in the portfolio offer up bets.  All eight turned a profit.  The ROC generated from the full portfolio on this one day, was 5.63%!

Here’s how it went…

Football Service 2 went for a couple of doubles that came in without a moment’s sweat, whilst Football Lay Profits advised five lays, all of which were successful.  Wrapping up the footie action, Football Service 1 – which has really struggled this season – hopefully took the first step on the road to prolonged recovery by picking two winners from three.  One of the winners was at odds greater than 4.0.

And so on to the racing.  MVS (Lite) replicated Football Service 2’s record of two winning bets from three at 2/1 and 9/4.  Racing Service 1 struck with an 8/1 winner, and Racing Service 3 struck with two from two at odds of 8/1 and 7/2.

Northern Monkey set up a double with a 10/1 winner on the Friday, the second leg running on Saturday, which duly obliged at 11/8.  It would be churlish to bemoan another double that wasn’t landed that would have given up 20+ points additional profit!

And finally, Racing Service 2 decided to knock in a 20/1 winner.

It’s very true.  Days like these don’t happen very often, but when they do, it’s worth just giving yourself a little pat on the back for retaining faith when things look dark and you feel like you’re backing nothing but loser after loser.  Patience does pay – Saturday is proof enough of that.

I’ll give you the month to date figures next time.  For now, here are the numbers for Saturday…

Racing Service 1: Staked 3pts, +4.875pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 3pts, +3.408pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 23pts, +4.9pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 3pts, +3.25pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 3.25pts, +5.124pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 3.5pts, +1.27pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 3.25pts, +7.25pts.

Racing Service 3: Staked 2.5pts, +13.25pts.

ROI 114.91%, ROC 5.63%.

November Review

A month that produced some steady, if unspectacular profit.  In the context of what had been a really nasty October, I’m happy to take steady.  In fact, I’d take steady all the time if it meant twelve steady months out of twelve each year.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Just nice, steady progress – no big ups and no big downs.

Anyway, back in the real gambling world…

Top banana this month was undoubtedly Racing Service 1, which in one magical weekend brought in a shed-load of points by picking 20/1 winners and the like.  I must say I’d like to see some consistency now.  I’ve always felt since beginning to follow this service that it’s not been contributing in quite the way I had expected and hoped for, but there have been flashes of brilliance – the Cheltenham Festival springs to mind – where we have seen what it is capable of.

In Silver medal position is Racing Service 2 which in it’s first month of the new National Hunt season has got off to a flyer, continuing the fine form shown through last season.  It’s not half good to have him back. 🙂

And last on the podium is MVS (Lite) who recovered from a poor month last time to start to put things right.  I guess with this service it’s a bit easier to exercise patience because it’s been churning out the profit for so long and over a large sample of bets.  It’s earnt the right to patience when things aren’t going so well.

Honourable mentions too to Football Lay ProfitsGolf Insider, and Football Service 2.

As for the scoundrels of the month, the Football Service 1 system has not got the 2018/19 season off to a good start at all, and we really could do with results taking a turn for the better.  Racing Service 3 has had a month to forget too.

As for the ‘Starter’ portfolio, December will see slightly raised stakes for Football Lay Profits and Racing Service 2, and marginally higher stakes for The Accountant.  We’re on our way!

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 5.34%, ROC 4.03%.

‘Starter’ portfolio: ROI 4.13%, ROC 4.39%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio: ROI 0.89%, 0.9%.

The Accountant: Staked 125pts, +1.107pts, ROI 0.88%, ROC 1.93%.

Racing Service 1: Staked 33pts, +17.346pts, ROI 52.56%, ROC 17.34%.

Football Service 1: Staked 21pts, -6.17pts, ROI -29.38%, ROC -12.34%.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 115.2pts, +10pts, ROI 8.68%, ROC 5%.

Golf Insider: Staked 42.4pts, +66.332pts, ROI 156.44%, ROC 8.29%.

MVS (Lite): Staked 57pts, +7.975pts, ROI 13.99%, ROC 8.97%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 32.772pts, -2.964pts, ROI -9.04%, ROC -3.71%.

Football Service 2: Staked 35pts, +3.02pts, ROI 8.62%, ROC 3.78%.

Racing Service 2: Staked 29pts, +8pts, ROI 27.58%, ROC 14%.

Racing Service 3: Staked 96.5pts, -21.937pts, ROI -22.73%, ROC -10.96%.

Value – the be all, and the end all.

I’ve got to admit that I’ve been taken aback somewhat by what I’ve been seeing on Twitter these last few days.  Our own Smart Betting Club Twitter account even had to comment on some of the crap that is being spouted.

Over the weekend there were several tweets pushing the idea that a bet is only value if it wins. Clearly nonsense and be careful who you listen to – some people might be well meaning but such uninformed views help no-one.

I’m sorry, but if anyone you’re following suggests that having a winning bet is the be all and end all, they’re wrong.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  And then, they’re wrong again.

There is one, unescapable constant in betting – if you consistently place bets that have a better chance of winning than the odds you’re taking would imply, you will make money in the long run.

Very easy example – if I offered you 2/1 on ‘Heads’ or ‘Tails’ on a coin toss, then if you keep backing at that price, you will make money (and a lot of it at those odds!).  The odds I’m giving would imply there’s only a 33.333% chance of you winning your bet, but of course we know that in fact there’s a 50% chance of you calling correctly.  Hence, before the flip of the coin, you have secured great value on your bet at 2/1.

Now of course, you may have secured your 2/1, but you might have called incorrectly and lost your money.  Does that mean it was a bad bet?  No, don’t be daft.  It was a great bet – it just happened to lose.  And if you carry on taking 2/1 on the coin toss, don’t worry, you’ll end up quids-in.

In a nutshell, that is what ‘proper’ tipsters are constantly looking for – great bets as dictated by the prices available.  They’ll have a reason for believing that their selection has a chance of winning, but should only advise it as a bet if they think the odds on their selection offer value, ie. they believe their selection has a better chance of winning than the odds would suggest.

Anyone who doesn’t grasp this concept shouldn’t be betting.  When I see comments such as, “there’s no value in a loser” or “any bet is a value bet if it wins” I simply sigh sadly and pray to the Lord that that person stubs their toe on the corner of their bed that night by way of punishment for spouting such drivel.

All of this got me thinking more widely about Social Media tipsters and how unregulated they (in general) are.  It reminds me of the pre-online world of a few years ago, with some right old cowboys  sticking lineage adverts in the Racing Post…Call for the latest “Newmarket Job Horse – This One Will Win By 10 Lengths, GUARANTEED!”.  Of course the poor suckers who’d ring up would each be given the name of a different horse and asked to stick a tenner on so that they could send in the winnings to the “Contact” as payment for the info.  That way the scammers would cover the whole field and be paid whatever won.  It wasn’t until the online revolution and the likes of the SBC got involved that it became easier to identify the genuine tipsters from all the fraudsters out there.

Who’s monitoring the social media tipsters?  Who’s measuring their ROI, whether or not their quoted prices are achievable, what rate of bank growth they’re producing, whether or not they think any winning bet holds value?

More on this in my next post.  Until then, why not ask one of these Twitter Tipsters who don’t believe in the importance of value to offer you 2/1 on a coin toss?  Make it best of 50.

Performance from Monday 19th to Sunday 25th November

Essentially a break even week for the ‘Main’ portfolio.  Cracking weekend for Racing Service 1 who knocked in a 20/1 winner on Sunday.  Lovely stuff.

Not so for Racing Service 2 whose luck was out.  Jumping the last in one race on Sunday, we were going to have either a 7/1 winner or a 20/1 winner as they were battling each other with nothing else looking at all likely to get involved.  How wrong I was – they both got pipped.

Football Service 1 continues to struggle, another poor week for them, as it was for MVS (Lite).

Portfolio performance

‘Main’: ROI 0.51%, ROC 0.07%.

‘Starter’: ROI -18.79%, ROC -5.5%.

‘Broxchange’: ROI -3.55%, ROC -0.69%.

Individual service performance

The Accountant: Staked 22pts, +0.436pts, ROI 1.98%.

Racing Service 1: Staked 6pts, +23.475pts, ROI 391.25%.

Football Service 1: Staked 5pts, -2.729pts, ROI -54.58%.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 25.4pts, +4.75pts, ROI 18.7%.

Golf Insider: Staked 17pts, +0.812pts, ROI 4.77%.

MVS (Lite): Staked 10pts, -4.5pts, ROI -45%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 2.897pts, -2.897pts, ROI -100%.

Football Service 2: Staked 6.5pts, -0.455pts, ROI -7%.

Racing Service 2: Staked 6.25pts, -6.25pts, ROI -100%.

Racing Service 3: Staked 24pts, -0.9pts, ROI -3.75%.

Birdies and Bogies, Winners and Losers – the ups and downs of Golf betting.

OK, so I’ll begrudgingly admit that whoever within UEFA it was who came up with the idea for the Nations League, deserves a pat on the back and a “Well Done You”.  Undoubtedly the games are better and more meaningful than the dreadfully tedious international friendlies we had before, but it’s still not proper footie, is it?  And we’ve had three breaks for international football since the season began, which to my mind is at the very least two too many.  Anyway, we’ve got the proper game back at the weekend, thank goodness.

In the meantime I’ve been reading a bit more about golf betting and the theme that I see being constantly repeated is the need for real patience if betting on outright tournament winners.  Stands to reason I guess, in that when backing at odds of 20/1, 40/1, 100/1 and 200/1+, hitting the bullseye is going to be a rare occurrence.

So when I reintroduced Golf Insider to the portfolio, I girdled my nerves and steadied my loins in preparation for playing the ‘long game’.  Two weeks in and Bang!  An 80/1 winner.  Who needs patience?  Easy pickings this golf betting malarkey.

I wish, although if it was I suppose everyone would be doing it.  There was a bit of a gentle bump back to earth last week when no player backed on either side of the Atlantic could even reach the places, the useless gits.

On a serious note, I’m hoping that the 3-ball bets that Golf Insider offers will help smooth out the path a touch, although having said that I’ve not had a 3-ball bet so far this month.  It makes sense though to have these shorter priced higher-staked bets as part of the golf betting deal though, just so that we followers can ‘go’ to the ‘Collect’ window on what is a regular basis compared to how often we go when backing the tournament winners.   It’s good for the sanity to go collect fairly regularly at least.

Anyway, those of you new to golf betting, you’ve been warned.  You need to be brave and to laugh in the face of long losing runs.  You need to be amused and not angered or frustrated by your 80/1 shot losing a play-off after being ahead by four during the final round before imploding up the home stretch.  Oh yes, these are the delights that await.  There’s something slightly masochistic about it all, but it’s not half a good feeling when it all comes together.  😉

Betting performance from Monday 12th to Sunday 18th November

A pretty quiet week, all told, with each portfolio generating profit, if not in huge amounts.

It was great to see The Accountant get back to what I presume is form that is more par for the course (see what I did there on a post about golf betting?).   When you are new to a service and it gets off to a howler, it’s never easy to deal with but again, you’ve just got to hang in there.

Other than that, there weren’t any outstanding performances, either good or bad.

Portfolio performance

‘Main’: ROI 2.72%, ROC 0.38%.

‘Starter’: ROI 9.66%, ROC 1.71%.

‘Broxchange’: ROI 11.91%, ROC 1.75%.

Individual Service Performance

The Accountant: Staked 23pts, +4.918pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 8pts, -0.75pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 3pts, -0.975pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a.

Golf Insider: Staked 8.2pts, -8.2pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 12pts, +1.625pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 4pts, -3.343pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 7pts, +1.895pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 10pts, +2pts.

Racing Service 3: Staked 24pts, -10.687pts.

Questions and Answers

It’s great to get feedback from you readers.  Back in the day when I wrote a daily blog, independent of the SBC, I would more days than not have people leaving comments.  It meant that to a certain extent, the readership dictated the agenda, and it would be fantastic if that were to happen here too.

And so a big thank you to Darren, who asked a couple of questions after last week’s post.  I thought that instead of replying to Darren alone, I’d stick up my answers in here for everyone to read.

I remember a few months back you mentioned that you still record your bets with a pen and paper, did you ever settle on a spreadsheet or piece of software to record the bets or are you still doing it the old fashioned way?

Yep, I’ve been dragged into the 21st century.  I now use a very basic spreadsheet put together by my (far) better half. It’s dead simple that doesn’t go into detail of individual bets but does track ongoing performance nicely.  It’s all I need.  I’ve heard very good things of Betting Metrics which provides a bet tracking service which I believe is available at a discount through the SBC. I might well move towards this myself in the not too distant future, but just right now I’m happy with my current set up.

Your Starter and Broxchange portfolios are made up of services that are also included in your main portfolio. Are you putting bets on for these services twice and in the case of the The Accountant and Football Lay Profits 3 times or are these just theoretical portfolios to showcase what can be done if you have access to bet brokers rather than actually putting any money down on the bets?

No, I’m not doubling (or trebling) up on the same bets – I place the bets outlined in the ‘Main’ portfolio and run theoretical banks for the ‘Starter’ and ‘Broxchange’ portfolios.  These are intended to show you all what can be done, how long it can take to grow your betting operation, etc.  Please note though that I place each bet issued by the services in the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio via the Exchanges or MustardBet so that you get a fair representation, and all commission is deducted from the results I provide too.  Obviously the rate of commission deducted is dependant on which exchange I’ve used.

I’m interested to know what your approach is to services such as [Racing Service 2] who do not tip all year round. You’ve probably noticed NMP is planning on having a break over the winter as well so i’m wondering what you do with your betting banks that you allocate to these services when they’re not tipping? Do you redistribute your [Racing Service 2] bank over the summer between other services or do you keep it aside untouched until [Racing Service 2] returns for the next NH season?

Ha!  You know, I’ve agonized over what to do for the best over these issues.  I don’t redistribute my Racing Service 2 bank over the summer.  I am naturally very risk averse, and although there is a lot of sense in redistributing funds that in essence are not being used, I’ve decided against such a policy.  I other words, each service followed has funds allocated to it, but don’t forget I applied a little leverage to my betting bank when we started these new portfolios.

I hope that answers the questions ok, but please, to all readers, please do leave comments, questions, etc.  It’s great to get some interaction going and perhaps we can all help each other!

Betting performance from Thursday 1st  – Sunday 11th November

Thankfully November has got off to a decent start and hopefully we’re on the road to recovery from what was a disappointing October.

Racing Service 2 has led the way and it’s great to see the positive pre-season form I mentioned a couple of weeks ago carry on into the season proper.  Some very nice winners and it’s great to see RS2 back in action again.

A lovely big win for Golf Insider over in the States last Sunday, and MVS (Lite) is on something of a hot run.

It’s always very difficult to go through a rotten spell as soon as you start to follow any service, and that’s exactly what has happened with The Accountant.  The first week of November was rotten, and because you have no previous experience to fall back on, you can’t help but wonder what you’ve signed up to!  However, there have been some more promising signs in the last couple of days or so.  We could do with a decent weekend from Racing Service 1 too.

Portfolio performance

‘Main’: ROI 9.94%, ROC 3.69%.

‘Starter’: ROI 8.79%, ROC 4.92%.

‘Broxchange’: ROI 0.47%, ROC 0.23%.

Individual service performance

The Accountant: Staked 54pts, -6.271pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 18pts, -8.712pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 8pts, -0.061pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 89.8pts, +5.25pts.

Golf Insider: Staked 17.2pts, +73.72pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 27pts, +12.6pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 23.625pts, +1.948pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 16.5pts, +2.62pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 12pts, +13pts.

Racing Service 3: Staked 40pts, -10.25pts.

October Review

It’s quite apt that the last day of the month just gone was Halloween, because to be quite honest October was a complete horror show.  It was the worst month I’ve had in a long, long time and I’m pleased it’s over.

There’s a temptation to think that come the end of a bad month and as another starts, fortunes will dramatically reverse.  Betting doesn’t work like that, and who knows how deep this current losing run will reach before fortunes turn around.  That, in a nutshell, is why gambling is such a test of mental strength; no-one ever knows when a bad drawdown is going to end.  It is the uncertainty that so many people, including myself, find hard to deal with.

Of the nine services issuing bets through October, only three made a profit; Football Lay Profits, Football Service 2, and Racing Service 3.  The two footie services did well, with the 3.19% of FLP a decent enough figure for a laying service and FS2’s ROI coming in at a very respectable 9.84%.  But these profits fell an awful long way short of covering losses elsewhere.

October was a horrible month for the Football Service 1.  It got off to a particularly nasty start with nine losers and no winners in the first week, and things only got worse from there.  This had a massively negative impact on the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio, and the recent troubled times of The Accountant did nothing other than exacerbate the situation.

It’s always tricky when a service you start to follow endures a losing run before you’ve really seen what it can do.  The temptation is to question your own judgment in deciding to subscribe and it is so important to retain faith and trust in the research you had done.  That’s certainly the case with The Accountant and I’m looking to much better times ahead.

Both Northern Monkey and MVS (Lite) struggled badly too.  It was a strange month for NMP which had a fantastically successful Saturday back on the 15th, which saw 15.5 points profit made.  That Wayne finished the month 10 points down shows just how slim pickings were around that one Saturday.

Here are the figures:

The Accountant: Staked 65pts, -5.132pts, ROI -7.89%, ROC -8.55%.

Racing Service 1: Staked 38pts, -2.112pts, ROI -5.55%, ROC -2.11%.

Football Service 1: Staked 27pts, -12.871pts, ROI -47.67%, ROC -25.74%.

Football Lay Profits: Risked 243.9pts, +7.792pts, ROI 3.19%, ROC 3.89%.

Golf Insider: Staked 50.4pts, -28.86pts, ROI -57.26%, ROC -3.6%.

MVS (Lite): Staked 50pts, -17.235pts, ROI -34.47%, ROC -19.39%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 48.185pts, -10.462pts, ROI -21.71%, ROC -13.07%.

Football Service 2: Staked 39.5pts, +3.89pts, ROI 9.84%, ROC 4.86%.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 93.25pts, +4.65pts, ROI 4.98%, ROC 2.32%.


Portfolio performances:

‘Main’: ROI -11.31%, ROC -6.18%.

‘Starter’: ROI -7.11%, ROC -5.09%.

‘Broxchange’: ROI -11.63%, ROC -8.6%.

Let’s hope November is a better month.

Winter’s here!

All of you living in the Northern Hemisphere will have noticed that the mornings and evenings have had a certain chill in the air.  Unless you’re living somewhere in the Mediterranean I imagine your days have been pretty nippy too.  More than half the leaves are off the trees, and here in the UK the clocks went back an hour last weekend and so it’s dark now by 5.00pm.

If I close my eyes, relax, and concentrate hard enough, I reckon I can hear the Cheltenham Roar.  But before that, we have the King George on Boxing Day.  We have top class jumps meetings at Ascot, Sandown and Haydock.  Old adversaries will be joined by younger upstarts, eager to take on the equine patriarchs and overthrow them from their thrones.  This is the horse racing I love.  Give me mud, uphill slogs to the line and tweed before sprints, sand and top hats every time.

Yep, winter’s here.  And you know what that means, don’t you?  Yep, it means the return to the betting fray of Racing Service 2.

And my how the old boy seems to be warming up for the new season, which as it happens starts officially tomorrow (1st November).  Each year he enjoys a full pre-season training schedule, looking at the day’s National Hunt action and posting thoughts and observations on his blog as a way of finding his rhythm and touch.  All seems to be in working order – last weekend from 12 selections outlined he posted winners at 16/1, 14/1, 10/1, 9/2, 4/1 and Evens.  Not bad, eh, and although I’m not recording anything officially on these pages, I don’t mind admitting I dabbled a wee bit with small stakes and was rewarded handsomely for doing so.

Let’s hope that this is just a taste of what is to come, and isn’t a case of peaking way too early, eh.  I’m sure it’s the former and not the latter.

What I would say is that his decision to concentrate on the bigger races last season has worked well.  It was noticeable that the odds held up strongly, and I would hope that betting in big festival and weekend races helped to avoid the unwanted attention of the bookmaking traders/account closers.  Yep, it’s all systems go for Racing Service 2.

Portfolio results from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th October

I don’t want to say too much as I’ll be posting an end of month review shortly, but suffice to say it’s been another difficult week.  A shocker for MVS (Lite), another week to forget for Football Service 1, and Northern Monkey won’t be too chuffed at how things went either.

Portfolio performance

Main: ROI -19.08%, ROC -2.93%.

Starter: ROI -10.13%, ROC -1.98%.

Broxchange: ROI -7.43%, ROC -1.62%.

Individual service performance

The Accountant: Staked 11pts, -0.331pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 10pts, +0.425pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 11pts, -4.753pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 89.8pts, +6.95pts.

Golf Insider: Staked 11.6pts, +0.8pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 14pts, -11.125pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 9pts, -6.512pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 11.5pts, -2.52pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 30pts, +1pt.

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

It’s very easy to be cynical.  Not all Estate Agents would sell their own Granny to the highest bidder, and not all Lawyers deliberately look for grey areas so that their bill based on an hourly rate grows to extortionate levels.  I’m sure that the proportion of racing car drivers that can be deemed as being dull is the same as that amongst the Accounting fraternity.

And so when I settled down to watch the videos of an interview held with Skybet’s CEO, hosted on the StarSports website (, I determined that I would listen with an open mind and put to one side my usual cynicism.

Despite my desire to keep an open mind, I’m afraid it wasn’t long before what I was listening to was causing my hackles to rise.  Although the interview is certainly entertaining in the sense that it both captured and then held my attention, I was left feeling a little frustrated by the interviewer’s seeming lack of desire to really quiz what he was being told.  Jeremy Paxman he wasn’t!  It was clear that there was a list of pre-prepared questions, some of which were very good, but a bit of follow-up wouldn’t have gone amiss.

So what did Skybet’s CEO say that raised my eyebrow and tested my determination to keep my cynicism locked away?

To his credit, Richard Flint was quite open and unapologetic in explaining that Skybet’s business model is one that leaves no room for winning punters.  I quote:

“If we think someone is going to lose money to us over the long run, of course we’re not going to restrict them.”

This statement comes just a couple of minutes before explaining that decisions are made as to whether an account is restricted or not based not on winning or losing but on whether the customer is regularly taking prices that shorten.  In other words, if someone is savvy enough to bet value consistently, Skybet really don’t want to know.

The other thing that struck me from the above statement is that it runs completely counter to Richard’s line that he tows earlier in the interview that the company is fully committed to helping ‘problem gamblers’.  At what point I wonder, do Skybet intervene and restrict the account of a serial loser?

It’s clear that Skybet is an ‘entertainment’ provider rather than a ‘bookmaker’.  There’s no battle here with the punter.  It’s a business looking to appeal to a mass market made up of folk who are 100% recreational gamblers (which is a subset of bettors far more likely to develop a problem habit, I’d suggest).  Which is fine in itself, but it’s not a business model worthy of admiration (although with the company profit as it is, this is possibly not the outlook of a shareholder to whom a CEO has ultimate responsibility).  My colleague here at the SBC described Skybet as running a ‘Heads I win, tails you lose’ business model, which to my mind sums it up extremely accurately.

Portfolio Results from Monday 15th to Sunday 21st October

Down initially this month, then up, and now down again.  I could do with things steadying out a little.

It’s been a rotten week on the horses and if it weren’t for Football Service 1 and Football Service 2 coming up with the goods, it really would be looking glum.  These were the only two services of the nine that provided bets last week to make any profit.  SFB did a remarkable job on Saturday however, with five winning bets from five.  Impressive stuff.

Portfolio Performance

‘Main’: ROI -19.58%, ROC -2.37%.

‘Starter’: ROI -15.31%, ROC -3.02%.

‘Broxchange’: ROI -5.76%, ROC -1.18%.


Individual Service Performance

The Accountant: Staked 28pts, -3.04pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 8pts, -7.85pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 4pts, +1.84pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 48.65pts, -3.558pts.

Golf Insider: Staked 10.4pts, -10.4pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 9pts, -3.36pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 7.5pts, -7.5pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 9pts, +6.29pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 19pts, -15.7pts.

Three different portfolios


So we revealed last week how we are going to change things up a bit moving forward, running portfolios that are geared towards people in different situations.  In a nutshell, we still have a ‘Main’ portfolio made up of ten services much in the way we’ve had since the Bet Diary started.  In addition however, we now have two extra portfolios – one aimed at the beginner who perhaps has limited funds, and another for use at the Exchanges or for those of you who live in appropriate locations and have access to bet brokers.

I thought I’d use this post to outline some of the basic reasoning behind each portfolio.

Starting with the ‘Main’ portfolio, you will have noticed some services have made way to be replaced by others.  In has come The Accountant (a horse racing place lay expert), Golf Insider (experimented with in the past), Football Service 2 and Football Lay Profits.  My thoughts in restructuring this portfolio centred around my feeling that the portfolio as it was, was too heavily geared towards horse racing.  I wanted to diversify more, not merely to spread risk but also to add variety to the nature of the bets I’m placing with the bookmakers.  I want to try to come across to those trading teams that I am a jack of all betting trades and a master of none.  If a bookie looks at my history and sees I have a few bets on the horses here, a couple on footie there, a bit on the golf, etc., then perhaps they may think I’m more of a ‘fun’ bettor.  I might be completely misguided by harbouring this hope, but the variety can’t do any harm, can it?  The inclusion of two laying services too will ease the pressure on the bookies as I’ll obviously be using the Exchanges to follow these.

The ‘Starter’ portfolio is for those who are really just starting out on their betting journey.  Again, we have two laying services in an attempt to not pile on too much action onto unsuspecting bookmakers, hopefully extending their lifespan and building a strong foundation at Betfair or Smarkets or Matchbook – or, as more likely to be the case, at all three.  The theoretical stakes here are very small, but we will be looking to reinvest profit to both increase stakes and the breadth of the portfolio as we go along.

How long this takes is of course dictated by the performance of those services we’re starting off with.  With the two racing services, I’m going to be looking to increase stakes whenever we’ve seen a 25% increase in the relevant bank.  For the laying service we’ll simply be raising the stake every time we hit a new high.  So for example, If the bank for Football Lay Profits is 200 points, and we have set aside £400 for that bank, then as we start our lay will be £2.  If we make £10 in Day 1, then our new bank is £410 and the stake for the following day’s lays will be £2.05 (ie. £410/200 points).  We’ll not be lowering stakes as we make a loss.  I hope that makes sense.

Finally, the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio will use prices available at Betfair primarily, although Smarkets and Matchbook will come into play too.  I’ll also be looking at using MustardBet.  The idea of this portfolio is to show how we can still make money even if unable to bet with bookmakers that close accounts down too easily.  MustardBet’s business model is more akin to the Pinnacle’s, so let’s see how we can use it.

Next week, I’ll give some thoughts on the new services we’re following.

Portfolio Results from Monday 8th to Sunday 16th October

An excellent week for the ‘Main’ portfolio with Racing Service 3 and Northern Monkey in fine form.  NMP had the winner of the Cesarewitch at 12s ante post which was a real boon, especially as Wayne topped up on the beast on Saturday morning.  As for RS3, well, what can be said.  From 12 bets last week, he had five winners at 11/2, 8/1, 11/1, 18/1 and 9/2.  Add to that two that were advised each way and finished in the frame at 16/1 and 10/1.  Incredible!

It was a strong week for the ‘Starter’ portfolio too, with Northern Monkey being a part of it, and this despite no bets at all from Football Lay Profits and Racing Service 2.

Not so good for ‘Broxchange’ though, as Football Service 1 still can’t find a winner, The Accountant not getting off to a great start, and Golf Insider identifying golfers who played well, but not quite well enough!

Portfolio Performance

‘Main’: ROI 40.38%, ROC 3.08%.

‘Starter’: ROI 52.56%, ROC 5.11%.

‘Broxchange’: ROI -50.79%, ROC -2.58%.

Individual Service Performance

The Accountant: Staked 6pts, -1.417pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 12pts, +5.56pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts.

Golf Insider: Staked 14.4pts, -14.4pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 10pts, +0.25pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 14.25pts, +12.062pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 7pts, -1.38pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 20.5pts, +39.85pts.

As keen as mustard…

Did you read the recent SBC blog piece that contained an interview with a representative of MustardBet?  If not then you really should, as the recent entry into the bookmaking world of this firm could be the biggest thing to happen to the UK betting market since the withdrawal of Pinnacle Sports.

And boy is the overly-comfortable, cosy world of the leading UK online bookmakers due a proper shake down or what?!?  I still cringe at the absolute cynicism of the PR figureheads appearing on ITV Racing shouting out their special offers and great prices, whilst knowing that anyone who might have even the slightest inkling of what they’re doing when it comes to betting will be turned away from their doors with the speed and efficiency of a Lionel Messi run and finish.

The business model of most online books seems to be attract as many mug-punters as you can through aggressive advertising, special joining offers and deals and then play a numbers game.  Quickly weed out the competent, prevent them from betting, and then keep the mugs by offering more and more offers, many of which draw them into their Casino offering from where there is absolutely no mathematical chance of profiting in the long run.

MustardBet appear to be different.  Their business model is built around low margins, competitive odds, an ability to bet and win without being closed down, and a mathematical/statistical approach to creating opening market prices.  Once a market is available, weight of money will dictate price movements and a balanced book with a reduced overround is the result.  Simple, eh?

The benefits to us punters include value prices and the ongoing ability to have a bet.  I sounds daft I know, but we really shouldn’t downplay the extent to which this represents good news.  Along with growing exchanges offering competitive commission rates and an ever-increasing breadth of markets such as Smarkets and Matchbook, we’re beginning to get back to the situation we had when able to bet with Pinnacle before they withdrew from the UK market back in 2014.  And for that, we are grateful.

Portfolio results from Monday 1st October to Sunday 7th October

Right then, we have some developments.  We have a shaken up ‘Main’ portfolio, and today introduces two other portfolios to follow.

The first is what I’m going to call a ‘Starter‘ portfolio and is aimed at starting small and increasing stakes as we (hopefully) make a profit.  The aim is to show how from small acorns bigger things can grow and how a strategy of reinvestment can work.

Finally, we have the ‘Broxchange‘ portfolio, made up of services which we can use the betting exchanges and bet brokers to maximum effect.  This will start small but as and when suitable services become apparent, then we will look to expand.

I’ll write more about the make-up of each over the weeks ahead, but for now let’s see how we’ve fared in October so far…

Well, typically it’s been a wee bit of a nightmare.  Football Service 1 has got off to a shocker with nine bets from nine losing last week.  That’s always going to put us on the back foot but with Northern Monkey’s heroics of last Saturday soon forgotten amidst a few losing bets this, and MVS (Lite) and Racing Service 3 finding winners hard to come by, then it’s not been great at all!  Not one service excelled, and so the overall effect was a pretty bad week, but hey that at times is the reality of betting.

I have had much worse weeks in the past and always turned it around!

Let’s hope for better next week.

Main Portfolio

Racing Service 1: Staked 7pts, -0.25pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 9pts, -9pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 87.25pts, +1.55pts.

Golf Insider: Staked 350pts, -121.5pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 12pts, -4.5pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 14.925pts, -6.01pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 12pts, +1.5pts.

The Accountant: Staked 11pts, +0.521pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a.

Racing Service 3: Staked 12.5pts, -12.5pts.

TOTAL ROI: -25.48%.

Starter Portfolio

This will see stakes raised for each service as they make a profit, reaching a certain point before profits will be reinvested to add to the portfolio.  This may well take a fair amount of time.  It may not.  We’re in the hands of the betting gods, but we will get to the point of reinvestment at some point.  Each week I will note if stakes are to be raised or not.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 87.25pts, +1.55pts. (Stakes raised by 0.66%/point).

Northern Monkey: Staked 14.925pts, -6.013pts.

The Accountant: Staked 11pts, +0.521pts (Stakes raised by 0.8%/point)

Racing Service 2: n/a.

TOTAL ROI: -9.64%.

Broxchange Portfolio

All bets placed via the Exchanges or MustardBet.  This is a small portfolio designed for those who can’t use the main online books.

Football Service 1: Staked 9pts, -9pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 87.25pts, +1.55pts.

Golf Insider: Staked 350pts, -121.5pts.

The Accountant: Staked 11pts, +0.521pts.

TOTAL ROI: -28.84%.