Month: January 2021

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Football, boxing and the arrers – what we’re betting on in 2021.

We’ve seen over the past couple of days that we’ve increased our golf betting exposure and tailored the racing services to suit.  Now we look at other sports and tipsters to bet on.

Starting with football, and there’s no need to change anything when it comes to Scottish Football Income Booster.  It’s perfectly possible to use the exchanges on a regular basis, and it’s low workload.  Although results through the early part of this rather strange season were a little underwhelming, there have been recent signs of a pick up in form, and as things gradually return to some sort of normality in the football world over the months ahead (hopefully, fingers crossed, etc.), I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this service excel.

The second footie tipster I’m following is SBC Premium service The Poacher.  Having built up a live proofed record by offering the picks for free, The Poacher has just turned pro’ and is now operating a paid subscription service administered by the SBC.  This has become a proven and tested path to professional tipping for a number of tipsters and the set up makes sense.  Let the SBC do their thing when it comes to the mechanics, let the tipster concentrate on tipping.

The proofed record to date shows an ROI of 3.99%.  Doesn’t sound a lot, but when we consider that we’re betting in very liquid and efficient markets, utilizing Asian Handicaps and goal lines, a 4% ROI is not to be sniffed at.  Getting on should provide no problem, and importantly, we’re concentrating on Exchange use for the bets.  A decent turnover without placing countless bets per day, it ticks all the boxes for me.

Boxing is a new sport for me to bet on.  I’ve been following the progress of Sports Service 1 for some time, feeling that long term, here is a tipster with a demonstrable edge in a sport that would provide my betting with real diversification, which is never a bad thing.  In the overall scheme of things, I’m hoping this, and old darting favourite Sports Service 2, will balance out (in terms of diversification) my doubling down on golf.  High strike rate/short odds in two different sports to balance out the low strike rate/long odds associated with golf.  That’s the theory anyway.

SS2 is a service I’m very familiar with and it must now be one of the longest running services monitored by the SBC.  There’s a lot to be said for tipsters who have survived and flourished for so long.  Back in the day, when SS2 was relatively new, the bookies were not as clued up when it came to pricing up the markets and SS2 made hay.  Naturally, as interest in and the popularity of darts as a sport grew, largely as a result of Sky’s marketing, the bookies got their act together and suddenly finding value became a trickier proposition.  SS2 adapted though, and although there have been times when that adaptation process seemed to have a direct impact on its bottom line performance, ultimately it would always bounce back and press on successfully.

So there we have it.  First results reported on next week.  Until then, stay safe.


The Racing Portfolio for 2021 – why these services?

It’s Tuesday, so it must be a Bet Diary post concentrating on horse racing.  I’m not yet clear as to whether doing three posts a week is going to help me remember where I am in the week (which is not so easy during lockdown, as all the days seem to merge into each other) or mean I don’t know if I’m coming or going!  Probably the latter.

I only started betting on the horses again yesterday.  With the freeze that hit large parts of the UK last week, causing a number of meetings to be cancelled, the racing on offer was pretty poor fare.  Add to this the fact I spent much of last week musing over which services to follow this year, and I was quite happy just to let things pass me by.  Subsequently I have no results to report, but I can use this post to outline my decision making process when it came to selecting who to follow this year.

In a nutshell, there are four boxes I identified as wanting to be ticked when it came to my betting on the nags.  They are:

  1. Ease of achieving the advised odds (or at least coming very close to matching them most of the time);
  2. The ability to use the Exchanges – not exclusively, but regularly/frequently;
  3. Protection of bookmaker accounts; and
  4. Workload.

Clearly Points 2 and 3 are not mutually exclusive and one leads in to the other.  The more bets I can place at Betfair or Smarkets, the fewer I have to burden my bookie accounts with.  My policy on this is that should I get a price which is acceptable to me on the exchanges, even if a bookie is offering a higher price, I’ll take it on the exchange.

Let me give an example.  Say I have a Precision Value bet advised at 7/2 (4.5 in decimal odds).  Smarkets is offering 4.6, Bet365 is offering 4/1 (or 5.0).  I’ll take the Smarkets price.

Yes, I’m doing myself out of a not insubstantial level of potential profit (or value, if you prefer) on that individual bet, but my service is telling me 4.5 is a value price.  Taking 4.6 and paying 2% commission on any winnings, the actual price I’m taking is 4.528, ie. a value price.  Meantime, I’m reducing the stress on my Bet365 account.  My logic/hope, is that over time, I’ll make more by maximizing the lifespan of my bookmaker accounts by using them only when it is clearly advantageous to do so, by which I mean if I take the Exchange price, I’m not taking a value price whilst I am if I use the bookmaker.  Make sense?

Workload is a very important factor to take account of, too.  I’ve become a lot more chilled over time about missing bets.  It’s not ideal, but you know what?  Life is too short, and I’ve reached a point where I want to avoid my betting meaning I can’t get on with the rest of life.  If I miss a price because I’m out walking the dog?  So be it.  There will be plenty more bets on the way.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do my best to get on as many bets as I possibly can.  All I’m saying is I’m not going to sweat it if I miss a few, which I inevitably will.

How does the portfolio line up then?  You won’t see much real change, to be honest…

  1. Northern Monkey.
  2. Racing Service 1.
  3. Bet Alchemist.
  4. Precision Value.

I agonized over Bet Alchemist.  2020 was a losing year.  They happen, and BA have had one before, from which they bounced back strongly.  In the end, the fact that prices are largely achievable, and only big races/meetings are targeted (making the bets as bookie-friendly as they can be) swung it for me.  They deserve a chance to put 2020 right, through 2021.

There we have it.  First set of results in next Tuesday’s post.  Back tomorrow with a look at the ‘Other Sports’ portfolio, which unlike racing, sees new services engaged.  Exciting times.

A Golf portfolio for 2021 – and a 30/1 winner to get us started!

I mentioned last week there would be some changes made to the Bet Diary, and I meant that in terms of both the services followed and how I report on ongoing performance.

The plan is to split the Bet Diary into three posts each week whenever possible, which ought to be most of the time.  The first, published each Monday, will concentrate on a mini-portfolio of golf tipsters, the second on Tuesdays reporting back on the racing specialists’ performance, and the third on Wednesdays covering what might be called a ‘Football/Other Sports’ section.

Readers of the Bet Diary through 2020 will know that I’ve been following two SBC Premium golfing services, PGA Profit and Golf Insider.  For 2021 I am going to add a third and by doing so, in what is a deliberate move, increase my exposure to golf as a betting medium.  Why?  Well, in a nutshell because prices tend to hold up very well, bookmakers appear more tolerant to their customers betting on golf tournaments, the markets are liquid, and there are a good number of times when even better prices than those quoted are to be found on the exchanges.

There are, as ever, swings to the roundabouts. The reasons for betting more on golf are clear.  But…and it is a big ‘but’…psychologically, betting on golf can really test the mettle of the individual’s mental strength and resolve.  Backing at big prices, which is the norm when it comes to golf betting, leads to longer losing runs and lengthier, more extended periods of drawdown than you might reasonably expect to experience betting on football, tennis, or even horse racing.  Hand on heart, I’m not the sort of person who ‘accepts’ losing particularly well.  Experience over the years has served to improve my mentality hugely, but I’ve had to work at it.  And I mean really work.  As a newbie to betting many years ago, following the wrong services led me to drop tipsters who really shouldn’t have been dropped, and these tended to be those who specialised in finding value at the longer prices in the market.  I’m not nearly so bad now, but still, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel  just a touch of trepidation now following three services that fit the low strike rate/big odds profile.

Now, without further ado, let me introduce my third service to this section, another SBC Premium offering – Weekly Golf Value.  You can read all about it and how it works here:  Perhaps the most important point to note at this stage is that this is a service for which bookmaker accounts are essential.  It finds value in both the win and place part of the each way bet, and for the place part it is often targeting those bookmakers who have extended their place terms to the Top 6 or 8 (or even more on occasions).

One other thing to note, and a change from the way I have followed Golf Insider to this point.  Moving forward I will be using level stakes.  I’ll go into some detail on this in next week’s post, but for now suffice to say that historically, betting to level stakes has increased the levels of GI profitability.

What can we expect from this golf portfolio, then?  I’m imagining a number of losing weeks and months interspersed by surges in profit as a big win is landed.  I’m hopeful that the each way part of many of the bets will serve to smooth things a little, but I’m braced for a few (large) bumps along the way in what should be a very interesting ride.

2021 performance (to date)

With no tournament scheduled for the European Tour, it was all focus on the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii for the first week’s golfing action.  And what a start it was for Golf Insider, who picked out tournament winner Harris English (30/1).  I didn’t stay up to watch all the excitement unfold – it was getting late and I need my beauty sleep – so to find out that this morning that Harris won in a play off brightened up what was a pretty wet and dreary Monday morning.  Good grief, I was even nice to the kids over breakfast!  There was also a small return on Justin Thomas (7/1) who finished in the places.

No such luck for PGA Profit and a blank week there.

Finally, just to show that not everything runs smoothly, I have to tell you that I didn’t sign up to Weekly Golf Value until today (Monday).  Who do I see was tipped up for the first PGA comp of 2021?  Yup, you guessed it – Harris English at 30/1!  Ouch.

Golf Insider (200pts): Staked 4pts, +13.2pts, roi 330%, roc 6.6%, CDD 0pts, Max DD 0pts.

PGA Profit (500): Staked 17pts, -17pts, roi -100%, roc -3.4%, CDD -17pts, Max DD -17pts.

Weekly Golf Value (1,000): n/a

Golf portfolio: ROI 59.25%, ROC 1.06%.

*ROI – Return On investment, ROC – Return On Capital (ie. bank growth), CDD – Current Drawdown, Max DD – Maximum Drawdown


Happy New Year!

The title says it all.  I really hope you have had a bit of a break over the holiday period and were able to chill a little and take a breather from what feels like incessant bad news.

I have to admit, down in Devon I almost forgot about Covid for a week.  Sure, it wasn’t quite the same in a couple of the pubs, with tables being spread far and wide for social distancing and in one, sheets of plastic between tables too.  But all in all, by the sea and away from it all, it was pretty easy to make something of a mental shift.  It made me realise just how all-pervading concerns and anxieties connected to the pandemic had become ingrained in day to day life.  The health of family and friends, concerns over kids’ education, worries over job security…to so many I reckon these have become such a part of every day living that it’s almost as if you lose awareness of the strain it all puts on mental health.  A week away – and I know how lucky I was to be able to do that with what has happened here in the UK since – just allowed that pressure that had built up to be released.  And that includes around betting, too.  A week out allows you to take stock and plan ahead, and that, I feel, is something that is very easy to miss doing when involved in the day to day.

Yep, I reckon just taking a week out from time to time (when possible) is such an important aspect to betting successfully.  I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but seriously, just taking some time to switch off from as much as possible is incredibly therapeutic.  I’ve not struck a bet since I posted the last BD post, just prior to Christmas.  As a result, I’m now really eager to get going again, and am looking forward to what comes next.

On that note, there are going to be some changes.  I’m still just mulling these over, but by next week I’ll be clear and will reveal all.  It feels I’m ready to freshen things up, and I’m going to go with that particular flow.  Early thoughts are that I’m going to split the portfolio up into three categories – ‘Racing’, ‘Golf’, and ‘Football/Sports’.  I’ll report on each weekly, but maybe on different days, and although I’ll still post a monthly review we’ll track the figures continually with an ongoing ‘Year to Date’ performance recorded.  We’ll be able to compare each mini-portfolio, explore the challenges we come across and the solutions we find.  Should be fun.

Until then, please stay safe and healthy.  Without going all political (this isn’t the place), the one thing I do agree 100% with the government on is that Hands-Face-Space mantra.  Let’s look after each other by doing what we need to be doing, folks, and get through this nonsense.

See you next week.