Month: May 2019

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When to drop a losing tipster.

An SBC member asked a very important question in the ‘Comments’ section recently:

“I was wondering if you could give some insight into what goes into your decision to stop following certain tipsters please??

How do you decide what is just a downturn and can be reversed, and when something just isn’t worth chucking anymore money at/down the drain for – if you know what I mean?”

This is such a complex topic, as there are so many factors that play a part in the decision-making process.  We can either allow ourselves to be dictated by statistics and take a scientific approach, or rely on as abstract a notion as ‘gut feel’.

Looking first at the use of tangible data to help guide us, and one very easy way to make such decisions is to simply quit when your bank has gone.  If you set up a betting bank of an appropriate size, and this is money set aside that you can afford to lose (which it should be), then simply follow the tipster until those funds have been used up.  After all, that is the reason for having a betting bank, isn’t it?

I have to confess that it is often not that simple, and I believe that many people are affected by the level of stress they come under when a losing run has taken more than 50% of their allotted funds.  Perhaps a compromise between 100% fund ‘commitment’ and this stress is to follow SBC guidance, if it is an SBC-monitored service that is causing the pain.  I know that the SBC does not drop services from their Hall of Fame without a serious amount of thought, so perhaps that might be a trigger for you dropping a service, of if the comments made within the Tipster Profit Report are particularly worrisome and the associated ratings are cut drastically then this might act as your cue.

Then we have more subtle signs that perhaps should be picked up on if we’ve our wits about us.  Is the tipster beginning to come up with bets that surprise us, almost as if they are chasing their losses?  Are these bets outside the remit of their normal field of expertise, eg. is a horse racing expert who has built previous success on long-priced winners suddenly looking more frequently at the shorter odds runners after a lengthy losing spell?  Or is a football tipster suddenly issuing bets from leagues that have never previously been covered?  If they are, then the warning bells ought to start ringing in your head, and you may decide that you don’t wish to follow a tipster that has seemingly lost confidence and focus.

In short, knowing when the best time is to drop a tipster is a difficult and inexact science, unless you use the first method – ie. follow until your allocated funds have been used.  This is the approach you would take if wanting to do everything by the book, but with the best will in the world, we have to acknowledge that this isn’t an easy thing to do. As we know, the psychology of losing is so very difficult to control.  Accepting this is so, I’d suggest following SBC-monitored services only (and why wouldn’t you – there’s plenty of choice after all!) and then read your Tipster Profit Reports carefully.  If you see a ‘Sell’ rating, you know what to do.

Portfolio performance from May 1st – 26th May

It’s been one of those weeks when you feel you want to drop all the bloomin’ tipsters!  It looks like May is going to end in the red after a particularly poor weekend.  The last week has been particularly poor for Racing Service 2 (which was perhaps due one after the previous week’s heroics), Football Service 1 (which has had a shocker of a month), Golf Insider (which had another blank week), and Northern Monkey.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -1.83%, ROC -1.37%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI -19.03%, ROC -14.75%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 52pts, +13.6pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 67pts, +34.95pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 177.75pts, +5.56pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 39pts, -11.091pts

Golf Insider: Staked 77.7pts, -64.02pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 55pts, -9.74pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 49.125pts, +21.303pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 32pts, +0.034pts.

Racing Service 3: n/a

Racing Service 4: Staked 96.5pts, -22.7pts.

The Bet Diary Sports Tipsters

Last week we looked at the horse racing tipsters that we’re following vie the Bet Diary.  This week our attention turns to the sports tipsters.

Football Lay Profits200 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio and the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio – followed using the Exchanges (Smarkets whenever possible due to the lower commission rate).  An SBC ‘Premium’ service FLP provide lays across all the major European leagues plus some of the minor leagues too, such as the Portuguese Primeira division.  Laying requires a different mindset to backing, with a need to accept that the ROI figures are likely to be relatively low.  It’s all about high strike rate and bank turnover to generate enough profit to make the workload worthwhile.  Providing you don’t wait around unnecessarily, I find prices are successfully matched the vast majority of the time.

Football Service 1: 50 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio and the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio – followed using both online bookmakers and the exchanges.  A recent addition following an interesting review in the SBC Betting Magazine, FS1 scours the globe searching for value on home teams within a wide range of football leagues.  The bets are at decent prices for football matches, ie. all are over Evens, and so far I’ve not found securing those prices too tricky.  This is something I’ll be keeping an eye on however, as the service is seemingly growing in popularity.

Golf Insider400 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio and the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio – followed using the exchanges and online bookmakers.  No better viewing than the PGA on a Sunday night with your guy in contention and backed pre-tournament at a big price.  Bottle of wine, no thoughts of work in the morning, and absorbed by the action, the rewards can be exhilarating too.  With a track record of knocking winners in at huge odds, we have to accept that there may well be (and often are) long waits between triumphs, but that the winners are very much worth waiting for.

Football Service 2: 40 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – followed using online bookmakers.  A true stalwart of the SBC’s Hall of Fame, FS2 has been churning out regular profit for more than a decade.  Re-reviewed in a Best Tipster Guide it is clear that there is a clear methodology that goes into identifying bets, the basis of which is a detailed knowledge of the beautiful game.

So there we have it.  Six racing services, four sports.  What I would say however is that moving forwards there may be more changes to the portfolio than we’ve seen previously – a more dynamic approach.  This will reflect the need to gear turnover more heavily towards the use of the exchanges.  More on that next week.

Portfolio performance from May 1st – 19th May

An amazing week for Racing Service 2 which really cashed in at the York Spring meeting.  Thursday saw two winners at double figure prices from two bets.  The other service to make hay was Northern Monkey who landed a very nice double on Friday to go alongside a couple of other decently priced winners.  Racing Service 4 continues to have a poor time of it.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 3.4%, ROC 1.99%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, FS1, Golf Insider): ROI -14.4%, ROC -9.56%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 41pts, +14.6pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 54pts, +47.95pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 162.75pts, +2.62pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 32pts, -6.876pts

Golf Insider: Staked 55.7pts, -42.02pts.

MVS: Staked 35pts, -9.62pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 36.375pts, +29.103pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 21pts, -0.142pts.

Racing Service 3: n/a

Racing Service 4: Staked 82pts, -28.1pts.

Moving forwards with the portfolio – the key racing services.

I thought I’d write a few facts and sentences on each service to bring followers of the Bet Diary up to date and to be clear as to how I’m following each service and why.  An quick overview, if you like.

Racing Service 1: 100 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – followed using online bookmakers.  Originally an independent service that made into the SBC’s ‘Hall of Fame’, RS1 is now an SBC Premium service, with a special discounted deal for SBC members.  The methodology hasn’t changed at all, targeting as it has done since inception, the larger race meetings.  This means that I’m placing the sort of bets that don’t attract quite so much attention from the bookmaker’s trading teams, ie. betting in strong and popular markets.  Odds hold up well too, for the same reason, and even betting the night before racing is possible – doing so in a Heritage Handicap at Ascot isn’t quite the same as if jumping on the best overnight price available in a tiny novice hurdle at Plumpton.

Racing Service 2: 200 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  Much of what I’ve just said about RS1 can be repeated for RS2.  The types of races targeted and the ease with which I can get on without odds collapsing first is why I added it to the portfolio following the review in the latest SBC Betting Magazine.  Real ‘Hall of Fame’ potential, comprehensive write-ups and race analysis that are enjoyable to read, and a strong historical record made the decision to introduce RS2 as a service to follow a pretty straightforward one.

MVS (Lite): 100 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  A derivative of the long-running Morning Value Service this concentrates exclusively on horses identified as holding value despite being at or towards the head of the market.  Backing selections at prices up to 3/1 only, this is again a ‘bookmaker friendly’ service (are you spotting the trend yet?).  The bets are released at a time when markets have had time to mature some, and sticking your money on a favourite mid-morning or mid-late afternoon when the bets are released really shouldn’t attract too much scrutiny.

Northern Monkey: 80 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  The longest-serving service in terms of my own portfolio, I’ve been following NMP for more years than I care to remember.  The official odds are easily beatable, the track record is long and strong, and this service is the equivalent of a really comfy pair of slippers.  There have been flat and barren times, but as soon as you get to the point of wondering if perhaps the edge is eroding, a few winners are knocked in and on we go.

Racing Service 3: 60 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  A service as much for the jump racing enthusiast as the serious investor, RS3 sadly operates only between the months of November and April, each season ending with the Grand National meeting at Aintree.  This is such a shame as the write-ups are informative and educational and I’d love it to run all year round.  Still, if by taking a break things remain fresh (not least the tipster himself) then so be it.  As soon as the nights start to draw in at the end of summer, I know it’s not too long for the start of the next RS3 season, and all is well with the world.

Racing Service 4: 140 point bank – part of the ‘Main’ portfolio – online bookmakers.  A tremendously talented tipster from over the Irish Sea, RS4 is another who lets you know exactly why you’re putting your money down on each selection.  Often accruing profit in spurts, when hot, this guy is hot!  A long-term ‘Hall of Famer’, a real keystone of the portfolio.

Next week we’ll cover the sports services.

Portfolio performance from 1st May – Sunday 12th May

A small loss on the week with only Football Service 2 performing with credit.  To be fair, Football Service 1 had a decent enough week but this was very much needed after last week’s disaster.  The racing proved to be particularly tricky with the main Chester spring meeting proving impossible as the heavens opened on a regular basis and the ground became a quagmire.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -1.58%, ROC -0.64%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI -14.18%, ROC -6.78%

Individual Service Performance

Racing Service 1: Staked 30pts, +15.062pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 28pts, -1.9pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 127.8pts, +5.09pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 21pts, -6.662pts

Golf Insider: Staked 35.5pts, -22pts.

MVS: Staked 30pts, -9.62pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 28.125pts, +13.967pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 15pts, +2.338pts.

Racing Service 3: n/a

Racing Service 4: Staked 45.5pts, -16.75pts.


So May has brought about a further transition towards a slightly more dynamic portfolio with the introduction of another new service, the recently SBC reviewed Racing Service 4.  Concentrating as it does on the bigger race meetings and therefore stronger markets, it ticks the right boxes in terms of ‘gettingonability’, and that is going to be a big focus of mine as we move forward.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how I’ve been able to maintain a decent set of accounts after opening them last year.  Sure, there have been one or two fall by the wayside, but generally speaking I’m still able to bet at most and still retain BOG on a few.  The only reason is that I’m being savvy about when I bet on what market, and I do still use Smarkets as much as possible when the odds are favourable.

Anyway, back to the portfolio.  We’re likely to see more movement in services coming in and services dropping out.  What I thought would be of interest to readers is what happens when I follow SBC advice to the letter.  So, my decisions will be made to a large extent now on conclusions drawn about services in the regular SBC Tipster Profit Reports.   I’ve also tinkered slightly with bank sizes where necessary to bring them completely in line with SBC recommendations and I’m also applying a small element of leverage.

The ‘Broxchange’ portfolio will continue but I’ll be actively looking to add services to this as new services are reviewed and deemed suitable for Exchange betting.  It may well be that I will introduce services to this that are not a part of the ‘Main’ portfolio, indeed I have my eye on one at the moment that I will probably add to ‘Broxchange’ next month.

This extra work means I’m dropping the ‘Starter’ portfolio, but I do intend to post up some thoughts on a regular basis about services that might particularly lend themselves to a growth strategy involving incremental staking.

So, there we have it.  From next week too, I’ll be commenting  more on the actual running of the portfolio (in terms of what happens from day to day), but for now I’ll leave you with this week’s figures.

Portfolio performance from Wednesday 1st May – Sunday 5th May

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 1.29%, ROC 0.25%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI -38.73%, ROC -8.78%

Individual Service Performance

Racing Service 1: Staked 21pts, +18.937pts.

Racing Service 4: Staked 10pts, +5.7pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 59.85pts, +6.84pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 10pts, -10pts

Golf Insider: Staked 18pts, -18pts.

MVS: Staked 16pts, -5.87pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 14.125pts, +17.117pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 6pts, -1.05pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 21pts, -10pts.

April Review

April was a really weird month.  It’s been the betting equivalent of going to rural India in an attempt to “find yourself”, as I’ve tinkered with this, messed with that, and tried the other.

The reason for this is that I want a bit of a restructure, a revamp.  Now I’ve had this experimental month, I’m much clearer as to the way forward, and all will be revealed in the next Bet Diary post.  New services, a more dynamic approach, a bigger ‘Broxchange’ portfolio and more.  All quite exciting.

As for performance, it’s not been too shabby.  We had the huge winner from Golf Insider, Racing Service 3 in rare form through the first two thirds of the month, and new entrant Football Service 3 starting strongly.

On the flip side things didn’t go so well for Racing Service 1 who gave back a fair chunk of the profit made in March.  Football Service 2 has now endured two poor months and is seeking a return to form – their track record screams at us that it is only a matter of time.

Portfolio performance for April

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 10.03%, ROC 6.69%.

Individual Service Performance

Racing Service 1: Staked 45pts, -16.35pts, ROI -36.33%, ROC -16.35%.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 280.2pts, -5.2pts, ROI -1.85%, ROC -2.6%.

Football Service 3: Staked 44pts, +6.962pts, ROI 15.82%, ROC 13.92%.

Golf Insider: Staked 90pts, +173.75pts, ROI 193.65%, ROC 21.71%.

MVS: Staked 63pts, +8.5pts, ROI 13.49%, ROC 4.25%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 22.25pts, -2.198pts, ROI -9.87%, ROC -2.19%.

Football Service 2: Staked 39.75pts, -3.932pts ROI -9.89%, ROC -9.83%.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 57pts, +52.387pts, ROI 91.9%, ROC 39.29%.