Month: November 2020

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Losing runs? Bring ’em on…

If you haven’t read this article yet, written by the SBC’s own Head Honcho (his official title, you understand), then you really must.  It’s essential reading.

When links to the article were sent out on social media, I was amused at a tweet from SBC Hall of Fame tennis tipster Nishi Kori, who stated (confessed?) that his record run of consecutive losers reached 16:

“even though you know this can happen, you know the variance, bla bla bla… the truth is that, after 16 consecutive losses, is not easy not becoming depressed.”

And that made me think.  The maths and probabilities of losing runs is relatively easy to get a grip on (read the article – it explains).  But what I personally struggle to get my head around is how a professional tipster, who charges subscription fees, can carry on looking for value in the betting markets without deviating from his or her methods.  You will know how mentally challenging it can be at times, just following tipsters.  But coming under ever increasing pressure as losers mount up, not from just yourself but from a following that has handed over money for the benefit of your expertise, keeping a clear head and a focus without succumbing to negativity must be immensely difficult.  Hats off to those that do it.

Short termism is such a danger when we’re betting, but it struck me this week that it isn’t just in gambling that it has an effect.  How many times do we feel that a football manager, who has demonstrated an ability to eke out considerable improvement in what had previously been a rabble of a team, get the sack at the first sign of a bump in the road?  In Jurgen Klopp’s first season as manager at Liverpool, he won only 13 of 30 games and Liverpool finished 8th.  Liverpool stuck with him, and now look what’s happened (much as it pains me to say!).  The benefits to Liverpool’s focus on the long-term and their confidence that in the German they’d got the right man in should inform other Clubs of the folly of getting rid of managers at the first sign of trouble.  It’s the same with us and tipsters.  Let’s have belief in our decision making process when we choose which tipsters to invest in, and only look to act if we see some underlying alteration to methods or approach when a sticky spell hits.

Nope, short termism should be treated by us bettors as the most deadly of the deadly betting sins, and something to avoid at all costs.  If we kept chopping and changing tipsters on the same sort of whim that sees Fantasy Football Managers buying last week’s top points scorer, whilst discarding the top points scorer from the week before that but who had blanked last week, we’d never make any money. (Please note, that is never me.  Never.  Honestly, never, never, never…but I might just bring Vardy back in this week after selling him last week).  

There are many more examples from other areas of life, but I imagine you don’t need me to spell any more out to you.  You get the point I’m making, I’m sure.  So next time we suffer a losing run, we’re going to laugh in it’s face.  We’re going to show we won’t be bullied into making bad decisions, and we’re going to stay calm and patient.

Now, if Vardy doesn’t get a hat trick at the weekend, I’m finished with him.  Finished I tell you.  I’ll be so, so mad, and he’ll be sold, and he’ll be ignored for ever and ever.  Well, until the next time he scores, anyway…

Portfolio performance for November (to the 22nd)

Bet Alchemist (100 point bank): Staked 28pts, +9.587pts

Golf Insider (400): Staked 48.5pts, +52.837pts

Northern Monkey (100): Staked 34.25pts, +23.167pts.

PGA Profit (500): Staked 62pts, -28pts

Precision Value (200): Staked 72pts, +1.791pts

Racing Intelligence (200): Staked 215pts, -35.341pts

Scottish Football Income Booster (100): Staked 19pts, -3.281pts

Racing Service 1 (50): Staked 11.5pts, -3.742pts.

Total for November: ROI 4.7%, ROC 1.77%


One step forward, one step backward – time to kick on.

Sadly this week’s wasn’t as lucrative as last week’s, and a smallish loss was the end result.  Not to worry too much, though.  We’re still very nicely ahead for the month with five services in profit and three showing a loss.  The ROI for the month is still in double figures, but it would be really nice to kick on now and make November a lucrative month.

As was the case last week, Northern Monkey was the best performer, although returns were nothing like as spectacular.  Again it was the Saturday that produced the highest returns although the number of bets was significantly down from the weekend before.

Precision Value kinda summed up the week and the ‘one step backward, one step forward to end up where you were’ feel to the whole portfolio.  Friday and Saturday saw PV issue 10 bets.  All six bets on Friday went down, losing six points, whilst three winners from four on Saturday returned 6.58 points.  So all in all, 0.58 points up. I suppose the way to think about this is that the profit equated to an ROI of just short of 5%, which isn’t at all bad.  But on a day to day basis, it feels like wading through mud.

I have a confession to make in that I completely omitted to place Golf Insider’s first round leader bets at the US Masters.  No excuse, really.  I saw the email come through but I was busy doing something else entirely, and I just completely forgot to go back to them.  Not sure I’ve ever done anything like that before.  Hope I’m not losing my marbles!

The Masters proved to be somewhat anti-climactic, which is the theme of the week, it seems.  With Dustin Johnson just proving way too good for the rest of the field to compete, I was reduced to hoping for placed finishes, which doesn’t exactly make for exciting television viewing.  Both Golf Insider and PGA Profit managed to get a player into the frame, although for the latter the spoils had to be shared due to a tie for the last ‘place’ position.

Mediocre weeks for Racing Intelligence and Bet Alchemist without much damage being done, and the same can be said for Racing Service 2 who finally managed to get off the mark for the season with a winner on Sunday.  Should have been another on Saturday only for our horse to come down at the second last when looking all over the most likely winner.  RS2 really has had very little luck this season so far.  Apparently six of the 20 RS2 bets issued have gone odds-on in running.  To only get one winner from that lot is tough.  Still, it shows there’s nothing wrong with A.’s form reading and over time the winners will come.  Perhaps the winner on Sunday, which got up by a nose, signals the change in fortune needed.  Let’s hope so.

Portfolio performance for November (to 15th)

Bet Alchemist (100 point bank): Staked 22pts, +2.325pts

Golf Insider (400): Staked 32pts, +28.8pts

Northern Monkey (100): Staked 24.5pts, +30.297pts.

PGA Profit (500): Staked 45pts, -37pts

Precision Value (200): Staked 51pts, +10.166pts

Racing Intelligence (200): Staked 151pts, -10.816pts

Scottish Football Income Booster (100): Staked 9pts, +0.599pts

Racing Service 2 (50): Staked 9pts, -5.75pts.

Total for November: ROI 11.06%, ROC 2.94%

NMP = Northern Monkey Profits!

After a disappointing October which ended in a loss, the general sense of frustration and gloominess that comes from re-entering lockdown here in the UK and concern that the powers that be are going to cancel Christmas (!), it was lovely to be able to savour a really good week’s betting.

Five of the eight tipsters delivered a winning week, and two of them excelled.

I have to start this week’s round up with a hearty congratulations to Northern Monkey, who enjoyed a spectacular Saturday, knocking in winners here, there and everywhere.  From Yorkshire, to Ireland and on to the good old U. S. of A., Wayne went all international in his quest for winners.  It was at Doncaster that the big winner came though, with On To Victory landing odds of 10/1 and with that one also being doubled up with another winner at Wincanton, it was happy days.  Overall NMP notched up over 30 points of profit on the day.  Welcome back!

The victory for On To Victory was especially sweet as it had also been tipped up by Bet Alchemist, alongside another 14/1 winner and suddenly things were going dizzily well.  Sitting at home (once you’ve walked the mutt, where else can you go in lockdown?) watching it all unfold of the telly, I had to treat myself to an extra Hobnob with my cuppa.  Yes folks, I was that excited!

With Precision finding a pretty regular stream of winners through the week, it was only really Racing Service 2 which has disappointed, but I’ve no doubt that situation will turn around sooner or later.  Talking of RS2, Andrew from the service took the remarkable step of asking if some members wouldn’t mind leaving the service (with a refund, naturally) as he was so concerned at they way prices were being affected by what appeared to be people loading up on the selections.  That this must have cost him a fair chunk of money, I think speaks volumes for his resolve to protect his longer-term members and their interests.  A truly selfless act.  It’s a cheap gag but if he doesn’t start picking some winners soon mind you, he might not have needed to ask! (Sorry, Andrew! 🙂 ).

Anyway, the good news didn’t finish there, with Golf Insider warming up nicely for this week’s US Masters (in November – could this year get any weirder!?!) by picking out a 30/1 winner on the European Tour.

So all told, a rather good week and suddenly the grind of October seems a dim and distant memory.

Portfolio performance for November (to 8th)

Bet Alchemist (100 point bank): Staked 14pts, +4.625pts

Golf Insider (400): Staked 11pts, +22.425pts

Northern Monkey (100): Staked 14pts, +27.283pts.

PGA Profit (500): Staked 21pts, -21pts

Precision Value (200): Staked 26pts, +7.833pts

Racing Intelligence (200): Staked 72pts, -2.575pts

Scottish Football Income Booster (100): Staked 9pts, +0.599pts

Racing Service 2 (50): Staked 5pts, -5pts.

Total for November: ROI 25.53%, ROC 4.14%

October review – big winners and big losses.

So how does this work, then?  In a month in which I back winners at 250/1 and 100/1, I end up losing (even if only by a couple of quid)!!!

It really can be weird at times, this betting game.  I’m telling you, 2020 is one weird year.  It’s weird living through a pandemic.  It’s weird being in lockdown, unable to sit at the same table as your mate in the pub.  It’s weird kids being taught over a video link.  It’s weird watching top-flight football with no-one in the stands.  It’s weird having to cover half your face when you go into a shop.  It’s weird that Mike Dean gave a penalty AGAINST Manchester United at Old Trafford.  It’s weird that Royal Ascot had no royalty, that the filming of the latest series of Line Of Duty had to stop halfway through (dammit!), and that Donald Trump (at time of typing) still has a chance of remaining as the leader of the Free World despite everything.

But nothing – nothing I tell you – is as weird as backing two triple digit winners in a month and still ending up with a loss!

Seven tipsters advised bets this month (Racing Service 2 only just, to be fair) and only two of them managed a profit.  No prizes for guessing the two were the golf tipsters who clearly each had a stormer.  The racing though, has in contrast been very tough going.  Is it the changing going conditions?  I don’t think so.  I just think it’s one of those spells when things don’t quite fall for you.  I swear I’ve had more than a fair share of second placed finishes recently.

We shall plough on though.  Each of the services have always bounced back from bad runs in the past and at this stage, there’s no reason to believe they won’t do so again.  This month (November) we add Northern Monkey back into the roster too.

As for Scottish Football Income Booster, well now all the leagues have resumed, and with the early weeks traditionally a strong period, I’m hoping for much better this month.  Let’s see what transpires.

Portfolio performance for October 

Bet Alchemist (100 point bank): Staked 48pts, -10.664pts

Golf Insider (400): Staked 52.5pts, +106pts

PGA Profit (500): Staked 52pts, +93pts

Precision Value (200): Staked 88pts, -23.22pts

Racing Intelligence (200): Staked 371pts, -57.15pts

Scottish Football Income Booster (100): Staked 31pts, -6.736pts

Racing Service 2 (50): Staked 3.5pts, -3.5pts.

Total for October: ROI -0.02%, ROC -0.01%