Month: June 2019

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Getting grumpy and losing patience.

It was the Royal Ascot meeting last week, the Flat’s answer to the National Hunt’s (far superior, to my mind) Cheltenham Festival.  For some reason, I’ve never had a memorable Ascot meeting in terms of my punting whilst every year at Cheltenham seems to end in a fine profit.  Perhaps that’s why I much prefer the latter.

Anyway, about half way through the week I was one grumpy old sod.  I’d had a couple of winners but nothing special, and with the past six weeks’ betting performance making me believe that what I am experiencing currently fits so beautifully well into the Catholic definition of ‘Purgatory’, I was not a happy chappy.

It doesn’t happen that often, but when a negative mindset takes hold, it’s suddenly very easy to be hypercritical of your tipsters.  You start to question how someone can have a “strong angle” within a ridiculously hot 30+ runner 7 furlong handicap, why a tipster seems to be frittering away points on bets that don’t seem to fall within his area of specialism, or how can anyone really see value in a price they’re advising.  I don’t need to tell you it’s all psychological, do I?

That it is all in the mind was proven last week on Friday and Saturday.  The first three days of Royal Ascot had been difficult and frustrating, and I was asking all those questions I’ve listed in the paragraph above, but not in such polite language.  I felt I was putting these bets on in stupidly competitive races because I was stupid, unable to back my own judgment and not strong enough to tell myself that these tipsters didn’t know what they were doing and that I was throwing good money after bad.  And then Bet Alchemist knocked in a 20/1 winner and all was well in the world again.  Literally, just like that, my confidence was renewed and suddenly there was purpose again to what I was doing.

Fickle?  Yup, absolutely.  Normal?  Yeah, I reckon.  It’s ok to be grumpy sometimes.  We might like to try to be robotic when it comes to betting, but occasionally, you have to accept you’re human.  And if from time to time that’s a grumpy human…well that’s ok too.

Portfolio performance for June, to Sunday 23rd

Another losing week, although not by much.  After a loss in May though, and now in the red for June too, this is proving to be a testing spell.  As noted above, Bet Alchemist found a lovely winner and generally fared well through the Royal meeting, and MVS (Lite) enjoyed a decent week too.  Which is not something that could be said for Northern Monkey who really isn’t enjoying himself at the moment.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -1.5%, ROC -0.61%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Futunver, Golf Insider): ROI 3.53%, ROC 0.18%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 37pts, +14.212pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 58pts, +37.675pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 49.8pts, +1.762pts.

MVS: Staked 41pts, +9.26pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 59.625pts, -29.228pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 24.5pts, -1.51pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 71.75pts, -18.888pts.

Suffering from betting OCD.

There’s a new betting blog out there, and from what I’ve seen of it so far, it’s very good.  Written by an SBC member it follows a portfolio of tipsters, most of which will be very familiar to you.  It’s well written and the content is interesting.  I’ve already bookmarked it for my own daily reading, and you can find it here.

Reading the first couple of posts it struck me that I really do suffer from an acute form of Betting OCD.

The author of the blog has clearly done some research into his tipsters and found methods of following some of his services that deviate from the instructions provided by the tipsters themselves.   I can’t do that – my betting OCD doesn’t allow it.  Goodness knows I’ve tried over the years, but every time I do I immediately feel uncomfortable and it’s not long until I go back to doing what the tipster says.

The most common manifestation is around the issue of staking.  It’s frequently possible to make a higher ROI from following a certain tipster by backing all selections to win as opposed to each way.  I’m pretty certain most tipsters know this but those that do employ the place terms as part of their advice are doing so to smooth out the ride.  But if a tipster tells me to back a horse each way, I’ll back it each way.  I’m like a natural born soldier who will only ever follow orders, without question and without grumbling.

I think my initial logic when I started betting was that if I’m paying for an expert’s advice, then it would be pretty daft not to listen to instruction.  You wouldn’t pay a solicitor for legal advice and then do the opposite of what they tell you, would you?  I appreciate now though that betting is a little more nuanced than that.  Not everything is black and white, there are various shades of grey too.  That said, by merely following instructions, I’ve not done too badly over the years.  I think I’ll just carry on as I am…until someone tells me to do otherwise.

Portfolio performance for June, to Sunday 16th

A very quiet week, and one in which the weather continued to be wet.  Very wet.

The racing was pretty standard fare, with last week being the week before Royal Ascot.  As such, there wasn’t a great deal of betting action at all.  From what there was, MVS had a decent enough time of it, Racing Service 3 did not. The others either made a little or lost a little.  Not a week that is going to stay in the memory for very long at all.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 2.71%, ROC 0.58%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 54.84%, ROC 1.9%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 17pts, +2.975pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 20pts, +45.325pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 33.5pts, +18.262pts.

MVS: Staked 33pts, +4.13pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 33.125pts, -17.503pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 9pts, -1.241pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 41.25pts, -12.688pts.

How to suss out a new bookie

As an SBC member I recently received an email outlining the fact that there is another bookmaker for horse racing bettors to try out, Regency Racing.  Providing a purely telephone-based service as Regency do, this appears to be quite an old-fashioned but somewhat likeable way to operate.  It means human interaction (Heaven forbid in this social media driven age!) when placing a bet, which is something I find as I get older, strangely reassuring.

Wisely, the missive I received from the SBC contained the sage advice to not go all in, but to try the service out by depositing a controlled amount of funds.  Regency’s claim to accept business from winning and losing punters alike is likely to make them an attractive proposition and there may be a temptation to rush in and deposit a fair chunk of your betting bank.

The SBC themselves, in a recent article – – asked just how safe our deposited funds with bookmakers are.  It is apparent that different firms exercise varying degrees of security and that you’d do well to ensure you avoid making yourself vulnerable should a firm go under.

When I started to put these two articles/emails together in my mind, it dawned on me that using a new bookmaker for the first time is now rather similar to joining up with a new tipping service.  It’s sensible to start slowly with each, getting used to how they operate and gaining a “feel”.  Can I get the advertised or advised odds?  How does each react to a spell of sustained success or failure – does the bookie start to restrict your stake or the tipster change their approach?  Just like you might after a while, up the stakes placed on a tipster’s bets once you’ve gained confidence, so might you be happier to deposit a large amount with a bookmaker (although there’s still no reason to go daft) once they’ve proved to you that they process withdrawals quickly and efficiently.

I think this is all very much worth bearing in mind when you start looking to use different books.  I’ve a feeling that the industry is in the process of change, and am hopeful it will be for the better.  There is more awareness now of the unfair practices a number of bookmakers operate to rid themselves quickly of any “customer” they deem might possibly know what they’re doing, and that in itself will create an environment in which entrepreneurs spot a gap in the market.  So, as savvy punters, let’s just be careful out there.

Portfolio performance from June 1st – 9th

Quiet times with no bets from Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, and just a couple on the first day of the month from Football Service 2.

Racing Service 1 had an amazing day on Saturday 1st, generating an ROC figure of over 25% from the afternoon’s sport.  It was big winner after big winner to give up one of those days that come along once in a blue moon.  Good job it did mind, as Northern Monkey in particular has found the going tough to say the least!

Nice to see Golf Insider produce two weeks of very solid returns, without actually hitting on a winner.  It’s one thing waiting for those big-priced winners that you’re confident will come eventually, but smoothing out the wait has a lot going for it.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 10.48%, ROC 1.18%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 2, Golf Insider): ROI 120.26%, ROC 2.94%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 12pts, +3.225pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 12pts, +50.7pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 23.5pts, +28.262pts.

MVS: Staked 16pts, -1.12pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 19.375pts, -18.475pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 22.25pts, -5.25pts.

May Review – A Damp Squibb of a Month

Do you remember this time last year?  It was rare for the temperature to drop below 20 degrees, and the grass was already looking scorched.  Hot day after hot day, predictable going conditions at the racecourses…a form reader’s dream.

A year later and it feels like summer is really struggling to get going.  We’ve had plenty of rain, it’s been consistently cool, and the lawn is looking very green indeed.  My feeling is that the unpredictable conditions are not helping my horse racing tipsters one bit.  Something anyway, has to be the cause of what has been a real slump in form for a number of them through the latter half of the month.

Having said all that, it’s recent addition Football Service 1 that has performed most poorly, which is a huge case of Sod’s Law kicking in.  It would seem Sod’s Law is more adept at kicking than anyone playing for the teams picked by FS1!

MVS has really struggled recently and is on a pretty sizeable drawdown, and Racing Service 4 hasn’t had an enjoyable time of it either.

On the flip side, new portfolio member Racing Service 2 has been very solid (and I can tell you that June got off to something of a flyer last Saturday too!) and good old Northern Monkey has had a bit of a stormer.  Noticeable that yet again, the officially recorded prices are significantly lower than those that are quite easily achievable.

With FS1, and Golf Insider both failing to produce the goods this month, it’s been a really poor time of it for the Broxchange portfolio.  Things can, as D-Ream once wisely said, only get better.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -3.31%, ROC -2.68%.

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

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 55pts, +14.3pts, ROI 26%, ROC 14.3%..

Racing Service 1: Staked 76pts, +29.513pts, ROI 38.83%, ROC 14.75%.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 177.75pts, +5.56pts, ROI 3.31%, ROC 2.78%.

Football Service 1: Staked 39pts, -11.091pts, ROI -28.43%, ROC -22.18%.

Golf Insider: Staked 77.7pts, -64.02pts, ROI -82.39%, ROC -16%.

MVS: Staked 66pts, -16.74pts, ROI -25.36%, ROC -18.6%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 55.375pts, +16.715pts, ROI 30.18%, ROC 20.89%.

Football Service 2: Staked 35pts, -1.056pts, ROI -3.01%, ROC -2.64%.

Racing Service 3: n/a

Racing Service 4: Staked 111pts, -13.2pts, ROI -11.89%, ROC -2.68%.