Month: April 2019

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Where there’s a Will…

The change I talked about last week is taking shape.  I’ve been looking at SBC monitored services, thinking which would lend themselves best to the more selective approach (ie. backing selections at the bigger meetings only) I’m adopting, and looking for those I can realistically follow using the Exchanges.  I’m almost there, and without wishing to be a tease I’ll reveal all at the end of this month.  My plan is to start following officially from the 1st of May.

I also intend to take a more dynamic approach to portfolio management too.  We may see other services introduced on a more regular basis, whilst others drop out.  We never want to underestimate the importance of stability but at the same time it’s silly to ignore profitable options.

So the new month will bring a re-shaped ‘Main’, ‘Broxchange’ and ‘Growth’ portfolio.  Exciting times.

A quick word about fees too.  I’ve had some requests to include results less fees, but this is not something I want to do.  The reason is simply that the impact of fees on any individual’s bottom line is entirely dependant on the size of their staking.  This Bet Diary is aimed at all; those just starting out and those who are experienced bettors.  It is for each individual to work out their own staking and whether the cost of any particular service leaves them with a high enough potential margin.

As for last week, we had the Newmarket Craven meeting and a couple of days of decent racing at Cheltenham midweek to add to the betting opportunities that come each Saturday.  Racing Service 3 had an absolute stormer with 10/1 and 5/2 winners on the first day’s action at flat racing HQ and a 12/1 at Cork on Saturday.

Racing Service 1’s recent woes continued last week and it wasn’t too clever for Football Service 2 either, which is enduring a wee sticky spell.

Portfolio performance from Monday 15th to Sunday 21st April

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 0.42%, ROC 0.06%.

Individual Service Performance

Racing Service 1: Staked 13pts, -8.6pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 24.3pts, -6.58pts.

Football Service 3: Staked 9pts, -1.72pts

Golf Insider: Staked 16pts, -16pts.

MVS: Staked 32pts, +17.75pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 10.625pts, -3.042pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 9.5pts, -3.33pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 18.5pts, +27.05pts.

The winds of change…

I’ve reached a crossroads.  For as long as I’ve been writing this Bet Diary, the fundamental structure to my betting has been constant.  I’d follow tipsters, place as many bets as I can, and tot up the profit and loss.  Things have had to change.

Like many (if not most) of you, I have various commitments in life other than betting.  For me, these commitments are significantly greater and take up far more of my time through the summer than they do the winter.  So I need to adapt and to change my betting patterns.

How do I do this?  Well, the simple answer is to cut down the number of bets I place, but it’s not quite that simple.  I still want to achieve decent bank growth, and for that, you tend to need turnover.  But what if I could lower turnover but try to up ROI?  Might that work?  Well folks, we’re about to see.

For some time I’ve been thinking about backing my horse racing tipsters only in better class racing. I’ve known for some time a very successful bettor who does just this.  There are several advantages to such an approach.  One is that betting becomes much less time-consuming as we’re only betting at major meetings – Festivals and at the weekends, primarily.  Secondly, the markets are much stronger, bookies don’t mind quite as much if we’re backing at Ascot and Cheltenham and not Hereford and Ludlow.  Prices hold up much better, too.  And then there is a suspicion I have that a lot of tipsters actually perform better over the long run in better racing where form is perhaps that little more predictable.

So, mixing this in with sports betting – footie and golf – and I’m hoping we have a heady mix.  Follow the Bet Diary and find out!

So, into the portfolio comes recently SBC reviewed footie service, Football Service 3, to add turnover and strong ROC potential.  I’m also looking at a couple of other services too, that might better fit my racing requirements.  I’m also looking to add a service to the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio which since the exit of Football Investor is lacking.

As for performance this month, well, what a couple of weeks it’s been for Golf Insider.  A 60/1 winner followed by one at 175/1, no less!  It’s wins like these that make the barren patches in between worth suffering, believe you me.  It’s been a cracking time too for Racing Service 2, who went in nicely on a 16/1 winner on Sunday to add to previous profit secured through the Aintree meeting.

Portfolio performance from Monday 1st to Sunday 14th April

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 15.43%, ROC 5.66%.

Individual Service Performance

Racing Service 1: Staked 21pts, -10.5pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 158.55pts, +10.16pts.

Football Service 3: Staked 26pts, +4.47pts

Golf Insider: Staked 57.5pts, +206.25pts.

MVS: Staked 21pts, -8.25pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 7.625pts, -1.543pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 20.25pts, -1.067pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 10.25pts, -3.75pts.

Racing Service 3: Staked 20.5pts, +36.4pts.

March Review

The highlight of the month was, of course, Cheltenham.  Now the dust has settled and I can reflect on the four days of incredibly intense and exciting racing, I can’t wait until next year’s Festival.  I know the Grand National is something of an institution, and I know the racing over the three days of racing at Aintree is top class, but to me the two just don’t compare.  Aintree to me has the feel of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’ about it, which isn’t fair really.

From a betting perspective, Cheltenham proved to be very profitable, as it often does.  What preceded and followed it in March was not, and it has made me stop to think a little.  There is plenty of evidence to suggest that a good number of horse racing tipsters perform better when the class of racing is higher.  I presume that one reason for this might be that better class animals run to form more often and therefore form is perhaps slightly easier to interpret.  It would be interesting to see how a portfolio of tipsters perform just from Festival and weekend racing.  The markets are stronger too so prices hold up better, and the bookies less likely to run scared from your action.  Food for thought.

Hats off this month to Racing Service 1 (which only ever tips during the better class of racing) for a quite superb performance, largely down to Cheltenham but profits were picked up too through the other weeks of March.  Racing Service 3 also had a good time of it although some Cheltenham profit was handed back.

No service really crashed and burned this month, but I do feel I need to see something soon from The Accountant.  I’m exercising patience and it would be good to see that patience rewarded in April.  Here’s hoping.

Portfolio Performance for March

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 5.26%, ROC 3.98%.

‘Starter’ (Football Lay Profits, The Accountant, Racing Service 2, Northern Monkey): ROI -1.76%, ROC -1.4%.

‘Broxchange’ (Football Lay Profits, The Accountant, Golf Insider): ROI -6.84%, ROC -5.61%.

Individual Service Performance

The Accountant: Staked 74pts, -6.464pts, ROI -8.73%, ROC -8.08%.

Racing Service 1: Staked 47pts, +25.475pts, ROI 54.2%, ROC 25.47%.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 189.41pts, -3.57pts, ROI -1.88%, ROC -1.78%.

Golf Insider: Staked 77.2pts, -28.8pts, ROI -37.3%, ROC -3.6%.

MVS (Lite): Staked 57pts, +8.621pts, ROI 15.12%, ROC 9.69%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 42.875pts, +7.356pts, ROI 17.15%, ROC 9.19%.

Football Service 2: Staked 28.5pts, -3.93pts, ROI -13.78%, ROC -9.82%.

Racing Service 2: Staked 34.5pts, -3.5pts, ROI -10.14%, ROC -6.12%.

Racing Service 3: Staked 69.25pts, +18.325pts, ROI 26.46%, ROC 13.74%.

Getting started – how to do it right.

I read the SBC’s guide to getting started with betting tipsters with keen interest when it was released last week.  You may wonder why, when I’ve been following tipsters for too many years I care to remember (blimey, I’m getting old!), that such a guide would capture my attention.  It’s because I can still relate to the information it provides very closely, and even now I still wish I’d had access to such info when I was starting out.

The ‘Step’ that chimed most bells with me was the second, which relates to setting up betting banks.  I reckon a failure to adhere to the advice given around this section is why so many punters don’t last the course when they start backing the advice of tipsters.  Not the only reason, but the most common.

The reason I say this is that I have spoken to many bettors and SBC members over the years who have outlined their ‘portfolios’ to me and wonder why they’re not making money.  I can honestly say that around 75% of them astonish me when they give answers to my questions around betting banks.  They are consistently and acutely underfunded for the stakes they’re playing at.

I’ve been there myself when starting out.  I pay for a tipster, I expect him to be good.  Therefore, goes the flawed logic, I don’t need a big betting bank.  What happens?  A few losers, I lose my bottle, reduce stakes and fail to win as much as I should when the guy tips a winner or two.  I then up my stakes on the back of those two winners, they lose, I reduce my stakes again…and so it went on.  Yup, been there, done that!

Why not read the SBC review, digest all it tells me about historical losing runs, strike rates, average odds, etc., and then go with the bank they recommend?  Experience has taught me it’s much better this way, both in the sense of setting yourself up to be in this game for the long term (which allows you to build and make more money over time) and for coping mentally.  I reckon there’s nothing more stressful in betting than staking inappropriately.  Losing runs are never nice when controlled within a ‘safe’ betting environment.  They’re unbearable if you’re staking too much, and will likely lead to you giving up completely having lost a fair whack along the way.

I remember following one particular service that specialised in long odds horse racing selections.  I was using what amounted to a 40 point betting bank and guess what?  40 points weren’t enough!  If I’d followed the SBC recommendation I would have split my funds up into the 200 points that were far more appropriate for a service that inevitably had regular losing runs as a result of the odds they were tipping at.  At that time I wasn’t great with losing runs anyway.  Suffice to say, I lost a fair amount of money and never recovered, despite the fact the service itself had a very good 12 months.  I’d paid to follow a tipster during a very successful spell, and somehow lost money!

It really is easy – read the reviews, analyse the historical performance, take note of previous losing runs and then set up the bank that is recommended when you subscribe to your tipster.  Why take unnecessary risks?  Follow the advice – believe me, it will pay off.


I’m away from home this week (and haven’t struck a bet since Sunday) so will post up the review of March next week, bringing all figures up to date.

Until then…