Month: January 2020

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Raising ROI, lowering the workload – a progress report.

So we’re approaching the end of the first month of the year with a new look portfolio in place and although it is – of course – far too soon to be providing any meaningful analysis of performance, it is perhaps time to assess how things are progressing in terms of ease of following.

If you remember, I had two previously stated aims for 2020:

1. To raise the level of ROI achieved; and

2. To ease the workload and time taken placing bets, especially during midweek.

As it happens, and as you will see from the figures below, the ROI is happily lying above the 10% mark which is what I am aiming for long term.  To reiterate however, after less than a month’s betting, this is as yet an irrelevance.  I’m far more concerned at this stage that the conditions of point two are being met.

Hand on heart, I now feel happier with my day to day involvement with betting than I have done for a long time.  Only two services – Precision Value and Racing Intelligence – offer up bets more or less every day and with the other three racing services concentrating their efforts exclusively on the bigger races and meetings it is really only Saturdays that prove to be properly busy.  The odds movements on the golf tips I’ve found not to be too dramatic despite my not placing the bets until the evenings, and having kept an eye on the prices available on the Exchanges, it is clear that the official win odds can frequently be beaten on the Exchanges, sometimes significantly so.  This eases the pressure still further in that I know I’m likely to be able to secure good prices even if I don’t place the bets as soon as they come through.

With just the one football service being followed, and with something around four or five bets being issued each week, the workload there is pretty light too.  I’ve also noticed that although the prices here do shorten quickly, they have generally bounced back on the Exchanges by match day (Saturday), which again is great in that I can leave striking the bets to a time that suits me on a Saturday morning.

Yep, Saturdays are busy, but I think you have to accept that if you’re following anything more than a couple of tipping services, that will always likely be the case.  There will too, be weeks when we have big midweek race meetings (think Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, etc.) which will mean lots of bets coming in but generally speaking I’m delighted with how things are set up now.

On reflection, I think it is quite easy to become drawn into a real grind as your betting portfolio grows.  The race to secure prices, the pressure to keep your results record up to speed each day….it can become a chore.  It can, very easily, turn your betting into a relentless exercise of keeping spinning plates in the air, fearful that one of them will come crashing down.  Let’s face it, even though we’re treating our betting as an investment and a serious way of making some extra money, we could do with it all being an enjoyable experience too.  I think, and I know it’s early days yet, but the tweaks I’ve made at the start of the year are letting me relax a little and enjoy the ride more.  That can only be a good thing.

Performance for January to date…

A notable performance from PGA Profit on it’s first week of my following their bets.  It could so easily have been even better with one of the golfers backed right up at the top of the Leaderboard at the halfway stage before fading away.  With another long priced tip finishing strongly however and in the places, it was a great start.  It’s the same every week, right?

The other due a big pat on the back is Racing Intelligence.  A storming day which notched four winners was mainly to thank, turning the month’s performance on its head.  Good to see Racing Service 1 tip a nice 10/1 winner on Saturday as they’ve had a bit of a difficult period recently.  Hopefully they’ll now kick on a bit.

Bet Alchemist (100pts bank): Staked 22pts, +1.4pts, roi 6.36%, roc 1.4%

Racing Service 1 (200): Staked 35pts, +7.4pts, roi 21.14%, roc 3.7%

Golf Insider (400): Staked 45.1pts, +13.1pts, roi 29.04%, roc 3.27%

PGA Profit (100): Staked 8pts, +17.5pts, roi 218.75%, roc 8.75%.

Precision Value (200): Staked 84pts, +21.541pts, roi 25.43%, roc 8.52%

Racing Intelligence (200): Staked 82.5pts, -14.625pts, roi 25.64%, roc 10.77%

Scottish Football Income Booster (100): Staked 14pts, +4.1pts, roi 29.28%, 4.1%

Racing Service 2 (50): Staked 10.75pts, -5.5pts, roi -51.16%, roc -11%

Total ROI 13.23%, ROC 3.99%


Horse Racing vs Sports betting

Our friend at the Making Punting Pay blog posited an opinion and viewpoint at my Bet Diary door recently:

It’s interesting to hear your view regarding how difficult it is to gain an edge in the football markets. Similar thoughts have been running through my mind for a few months now, but my concern isn’t just with football, it’s all sports in general. If you look at my portfolio of tipsters then all racing services are showing a healthy profit, whilst all sports services are showing a loss. I know with the golf guys you need to show patience but i do wonder if my time, effort and money would be better spent investing in racing services only. It’s also a regular occurrence to see the racing services far exceeding the performance of the sports services within the tipster profit reports so it certainly feels as though that’s where the bigger edge lies.

You may remember that I theorized that perhaps the sports betting markets, particularly those relating to the more popular sports or televised football leagues, were becoming more efficient.  There have been a number of high profile football tipping services that have previously experienced really good times, start to struggle, and with no apparent change in approach or strategy.  It came to the point whereby when I was thinking about how I can raise ROI levels through 2020 I’m thinking I should concentrate more on racing and less on sports betting.

It seems that MPP is thinking along similar lines.  I must admit, as someone who writes the summaries for the Tipster Profit Reports, I too have noticed the general outperformance of the racing tipsters versus their sporting counterparts.

Personally, I think that the really shrewd operators may turn more to spotting in-play opportunities in a similar way that exchange sports traders do, identifying in-play market overreactions to match events as a source of value bets.  Time will only tell of course, but if this does happen I think that as punters and followers of sporting tipsters we may have to refocus a little and learn to accept that an ongoing ROI of 4-5% is in fact highly attractive as an investment proposition.  This mindset change though, won’t be easy if, as both myself and MPP have noticed, the racing tipsters continue to perform at a long term ROI of 10%+.

MPP also asked why I wasn’t following Northern Monkey anymore, especially after following his lead in backing all selections win-only.  The answer really is simply one of workload.  As mentioned last week, 2020 is a year I intend to curb the number of bets and the time I take to place them and record their outcome.  Freeing up time has become a priority.  The proof of this pudding will be in the eating – can I do that and raise ROI?  I guess we’ll see.

Performance for January to date…

It was nice to see Bet Alchemist drag itself into profit by hitting an 8/1 winner at Haydock at the weekend, and overall the portfolio has, for the first time in 2020, reached a black figure as opposed to a red one.  Only just, mind you.

Precision Value is going along very nicely and is the month’s biggest contributor to date.  Golf Insider managed to hit a couple of placed golfers to consolidate last week’s profit, but I signed up too late to get last week’s PGA Profit’s tips – first go on this one is this week.

With Racing Service 2 picking a winner on Saturday, the only service to really struggle has been Racing Intelligence.  The previously toiling Racing Service 1 stuck up a 12/1 winner at Taunton at the weekend and is not far from clawing of this month’s losses back.

A decent enough start too for Scottish Football Income Booster with two wins from three.

Bet Alchemist (100pts bank): Staked 18pts, +2pts, roi 11.11%, roc 2%

 Racing Service 1 (200): Staked 27pts, -1.6pts, roi -5.92%, roc -0.8%

Golf Insider (400): Staked 36.7pts, +13.9pts, roi 37.87%, roc 3.47%

PGA Profit (100): n/a

Precision Value (200): Staked 67pts, +17.041pts, roi 25.43%, roc 8.52%

Racing Intelligence (200): Staked 82.5pts, -14.625pts, roi -17.73%, roc -7.31%

SFIB (100): Staked 5pts, +1.94pts, roi 38.8%, 1.94%

Racing Service 2 (50): Staked 8pts, -3pts, roi -37.5%, roc -6%

Total ROI 1.33%, ROC 0.28%

Two more services – the 2020 portfolio is good to go!

I’ve spent the last seven days (not every minute of them, you understand) thinking about adding a couple more services to the six I detailed in last week’s post.  Six didn’t quite feel enough, which is really weird when I think back to my early days of betting and following only two or three.  To many – and quite rightly – following six services would feel like a heck of a task, but when you’re used to following more it felt strange and almost as if down to the bones.

The problem I’ve had though, is that I’ve been trying to strike a very delicate balance between following services and yet freeing up more time for other stuff, you know, like living and that.  I know 2020 is going to be a stupendously busy year with all sorts of things going on and it struck me that I needed to free up some time.  The way I’ve sought to do this is by concentrating predominantly on services that involve a relatively low workload.  Indeed, of the eight now making up this year’s portfolio, only two regularly tip every day (Precision Value and Racing Intelligence), and one of those doesn’t always offer selections every day (Racing Intelligence).

Of the other racing tipsters, three of them concentrate only on the better class of race at the bigger meetings and so are predominantly weekend focused.  This is going to suit me perfectly, and of course has the added benefit of being more bookie-friendly.  Mind you, Cheltenham week’s gonna be a busy one!

So, the two additions.

First is another golf service, the currently free-to-view, SBC-available PGA Profit.  It was actually recommended to me and I like the cut of it’s jib.  More of a gamble in that it is relatively unproven, but going with gut instinct on this one.  Should hopefully still fit the criteria I set out last week in terms of giving an ROI of 12-15% minimum over time, and I’ve been assured that it’s easy to get value on the exchanges which is a bonus.

And the second – and filling a football-shaped hole – is the SBC Premium service, Scottish Football Income Booster.  Now I’m not suddenly going back on my stated reservations last week about how the footie markets seem to me at least, to be growing more and more efficient.  I still think that eking out a good level of profit in football betting is becoming harder and harder, and I’m seeing this as a bit of a last roll of the dice when it comes to betting on the (occasionally) beautiful game.  Again, a recommendation has impressed upon me that a double-digit ROI has been produced consistently, so I’m going to give it to the end of the 2020/21 season to see what can be done.  Again though, relatively low weekly workload.

I’ll be backing the PGA Profit and SFIB picks from this week – shame I missed last week as I believe both came up trumps, but there we go.  Can’t do much about that now.

Performance for January to date.

Despite the best of planning and intentions, 2020 continues to get off to a sticky start.

Bet Alchemist had a winner on Saturday but not a big enough one to produce a significant profit overall and the same can be said of Racing Service 1.  Racing Service 2 had a blank Saturday too, although A.’s frustration was evident as things really didn’t fall his way.  He went as far as to say it was one of the most frustrating afternoons of his tipping career, and I feel his pain.

Lovely start for Golf Insider who came up with goods and a 12/1 winner in the first week of the year’s betting, which is  the one really bright spot across the portfolio so far.  Having said that, Precision Value is performing solidly enough and is ticking over nicely.

Bet Alchemist (100pts bank): Staked 14pts, -3.1pts, roi -22.14%, roc -3.1%

 Racing Service 1 (200): Staked 19pts, -10pts, roi -52.63%, roc -5%

Golf Insider (400): Staked 23.5pts, +14.5pts, roi 61.7%, roc 3.63%

PGA Profit (100): n/a

Precision Value (200): Staked 39pts, +4.125pts, roi 10.57%, roc 2.06%

Racing Intelligence (200): Staked 40.5pts, -9.325pts, roi -23.02%, roc -4.66%

Scottish Football Income Booster (100): n/a

Racing Service 2 (50): Staked 4.5pts, -4.5pts, roi -100%, roc -9%

Total ROI -20.86%, ROC -2.51%

New year, new portfolio

Happy New Year!

Is it me, or does Christmas and New Year feel like a million years ago?  Now it’s just the dull, grey grind of winter.  Cold, wet, miserable.  I shall stop.  I’m in danger of talking us all into depression.  Let’s focus instead on the fact that Cheltenham is only a few weeks away, and by that time the daffodils will be out and that long, hot summer we’re bound to have (ha!) will be only a few short weeks later.

I’ve changed the make-up of the portfolio being followed by the Bet Diary.  I’m not saying that anyone should drop services that I may have been writing about last year but not this.  Remember, the Bet Diary is merely to show examples of services and how they might knit together.  This year, I’m going to see if we can raise the ROI to approach if not hit the 12-15% mark, whilst using fewer services.

In order to do this, I’ve tried to concentrate on services with an historically high ROI record.  One by-product of this is that there’s no football service in there.  I’ve a sneaky suspicion that the football markets are becoming increasingly efficient and eking out an ROI of 5% is a very real achievement nowadays.  That’s great, and there is very much a place for that in people’s portfolios, but not in this one this year.

Of the previously followed services, Bet Alchemist, Racing Service 1, Golf Insider, Precision Value, and Racing Service 2 all retain their places.  To this roster is added the SBC’s own Racing Intelligence service.  And that’s it.  Like I say, I’m seeing if we can raise ROI whilst lowering workload.  Time will tell and we’ll assess progress each week.

Portfolio performance for January to date

Well, things haven’t exactly got off to a flyer.  In fact, it’s been a poor start to 2020, but what I would say is that a smaller portfolio, and one with fewer bets too, is always going to be open and vulnerable to larger fluctuations.  More feast, more famine.  It’s inevitable.

No individual service is suffering from a disaster, but only one of the six is currently in profit – Precision Value – and that to an ROI of a measly 0.06%!  We’re yet to have a decent winner, and with Golf Insider yet to have a bet and Racing Service 2 taking last weekend off to recharge after a heavy workload festive period, it’s not been a busy time.

Bet Alchemist (Bank: 100pts) Staked 9pts, -2.7pts, roi -30%, roc -2.7%

 Racing Service 1 (200): Staked 12pts, -9pts, roi -75%, roc -4.5%

Golf Insider (500):

Precision Value (200): Staked 24pts, +0.125pts, roi 0.63%, roc 0.06%

Racing Intelligence (200): Staked 14pts, -0.55pts, roi -3.92%, roc -0.275%

Racing Service 2 (50): Staked 2pts, -2pts, roi -100%, roc -4%

Total ROI -30%, ROC -2.375%