Month: November 2022

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Shop betting diary: Stories from the front line.

I’d gone into one of the local(ish) BetFreds I frequent.  It was a cold, dark, and wet midweek evening, around 7.30.  The only people in there were myself, the lady behind the counter, and a chap sitting at one of the FOBTs in the corner.

I placed my bet and, spotting an opportunity to build on the rapport I’d already started to build with the clearly bored and wanting-to-go-home cashier, I thought I’d stop for a bit of a chat.  Naturally the conversation focused on betting.  I’d started by making a comment on it being so quiet and asking how the shop pays for itself, seeing as it seems it’s rare that anyone is actually in it!  The answer?  The FOBTs.  Apparently they more than pay for the shop overheads, which includes the various fees paid for television pictures for the racing (is it still SIS?) and suchlike, wages (although these were pretty crap – this lady with 35 years of working for some of the smaller independent bookies originally, then Hills, and now BetFred, explained she had had three wage DEcreases over the last couple of years or so), electric bills, etc, etc.  According to her, the bookies really aren’t that fussed about people walking in and having a bet in the old fashioned way; all they care about is the FOBTs.

It was clear this lady felt conflicted.  Whilst reluctantly admitting that these machines kept the lights on and herself in a job, she confessed to hating them.  She blames them directly for three suicides of people she knew – two customers and a friend.  She called them “evil”, that she sees people’s lives being destroyed by them, often with tragic collateral damage inflicted on others too.

Why am I writing about all of this?  Well, for me personally, although I knew these machines to be the crack cocaine of gambling, when I heard someone as level headed and steeped in experience of working in the betting industry talk like this, it really had an impact.  It genuinely did make me pause to think.  Everything she told me of the ‘corporate’ bookmaking world made it sound like a pretty grim place to be.

There’s a guy in the same shop, in his early 60s I’d guess, who also seems to see me as someone suspicious and up to no good.  No idea why!  Whilst I’ve been proactive in building a rapport with everyone in every shop I use, this chap always eyes me up suspiciously every time I go in.  It’s a slight concern, because the plan is to up my stakes considerably over time.  At present, I guess my bets are bigger than most, but then from what I’ve seen most don’t appear to be over about a fiver.  The biggest payout he’s had to pay me has been £86!  Perhaps I’m reading it all wrong and I’m picking up the wrong vibe.  Perhaps instead of going out of my way to strike up conversation whenever I see him I should play it cool.  All very puzzling though.  I mean, how can you not like me!?!

As for the betting itself, well, I hit a new profit high at the weekend when Adam Svensson won the PGA Tour golf event (see Monday’s Bet Diary post for details).  The electric form of the golf has arrived at a good time because since I had a four figure win with a Lucky 15 three weeks ago, the racing element has been pretty pitiful.  Doesn’t seem to matter what odds I’m backing at, none of the blighters are finishing in the frame.

Sunday evening was all good though.  The golf came through, and in addition a lovely winning bet using a Bookie Basher strategy that takes advantage of games that are likely to be relatively low scoring.  I’m betting across half time and full time scores/outcomes and so far things are going great. Managed to get close to 9/1 and 18/1 at the Exchanges on bets that should be considerably shorter, and the HT/FT results in the Jets/Patriots game added a very thick icing to a golfing cake.  A couple of other matches came close to providing the same positive results but at these prices, the strike rate doesn’t need to be that high to turn a very nice profit indeed.

Figures below, but do bear in mind that the ROI figures for DD/HH and the NFL bets are likely to be extreme until I get a lot more bets under my belt.

Until next week.

Golf ROI: 33.6%

Racing ROI: 63.51%

Football Coupons: 20.29%

NFL: 203.62%

DD/HH: 27.77%

SPORTS: On The Oche shines brightly.

It was the Grand Slam of Darts last week and possibly the most consistent service of the year so far – On The Oche – excelled.  Four winning picks from four, including a bet on a player who lost the match 4-10 but still landed the odds by scoring more 180s than his opponent.  Takes some doing that, I reckon.

Never the most prolific in terms of turnover, we’re now not short of 50% ROC for On The Oche, which takes some doing.  The deepest drawdown for me in 2022 is just -2.27 points.  This service has been the epitome of consistency.  Given a decent showing at the end of the year razzmatazz that is the PDC World Championships, this will be a golden year for the tipping old timer.

Sadly Touchdown Profit suffered a bit of a ‘mare on Sunday with all four picks losing and setting the P&L line almost back to zero.  And here’s hoping it’s a profitable World Cup for The Poacher.

On The Oche (30pt bank): Staked 78.5pts, +14.155pts, roi 18.03%, roc 47.18%, High 14.155pts, DD 0pts, Max DD -2.27pts

The Poacher (40): Staked 247pts, -1.58pts, roi -0.63%, roc -3.95%, High 7.407pts, DD -9.043pts, Max DD -9.043pts

Touchdown Profit (50): Staked 48pts, +0.83pts, roi 1.72%, roc 1.66%, High 4.93pts, DD -4.1pts, Max DD -4.19pts

Sports Totals: ROI 3.56%, ROC 11.24%.

GOLF: Hat Trick up for Weekly Golf Value

The tournament over in the States turned into a highly competitive affair last week with a large number of players starting the final round within two or three shots of the lead.  Representing Weekly Golf Value amongst the chasing pack was Canadian Adam Svensson who had managed to put himself into contention despite a completely underwhelming opening round.  His form through the last three rounds was imperious however, and he ended up coming through to win by two strokes at 125/1 (for me, 150/1 available to others pre-tournament).

That victory brings up the hat trick for WGV, with three winners over the past three weeks which is remarkable when we stop to think about it.  There have (inevitably) been periods this year when we’ve had to exercise patience, but boy has that patience been rewarded.  Notably, I was also able to get on the WGV tips for the week, all but three of them at the one online account I have left.

Golf Insider also has a winner, this time on the DP World Tour event with Jon Rahm.  However, with Rahm’s price just 5/1 and no other golfer tipped in the frame, it was still a losing week.

Tour Tips turned a smidgeon of a profit with a 22/1 shot finishing in the frame, but no returns for PGA Profit.


Golf Insider (200pt bank): Staked 392pts, -76.435pts, roi -19.49%, roc -38.21%, High 29.24pts, DD -105.675pts, Max DD -105.675pts

PGA Profit (500): Staked 773.5pts, +134.14pts, roi 17.34%, roc 26.82%, High 213.14pts, DD -79pts, Max DD -136.1pts

European Tour (500): Staked 81.5pts, -65pts, roi -79.75%, roc -13%. High 0pts, DD -65pts, Max DD -65pts

Ben Coley (600): Staked 496pts, -110.79pts, roi -22.33%, roc -18.46%, High 79.93pts, DD -190.72pts, Max DD -190.72pts

Tour Tips (150): Staked 201.5pts, +17.96pts, roi 8.91%, roc 11.97%, High 23.48pts, DD -5.52pts, Max DD -79.25pts

Weekly Golf Value (2000): Staked 4,545.5pts, +1,795.15pts, roi 39.49%, roc 89.75%, High 1,795.15pts, DD -0pts, Max DD -493.09pts

The Rainmaker (400): Staked 1010.5pts, -400.08pts, roi -39.59%, roc -100.02%, High 5.2pts, DD: -405.68pts, Max DD -405.68pts

Golf Totals: ROI -052%, ROC -1.12%

SHOP/RACING: Surviving a rocket attack, and the next betting step.

Early October, it’s about 6.30pm, it’s dark, and I’m trying to convince myself that I’m not really fearful for my life.  I grew up around here.  I’m a native, as it were, as was Marcus Rashford if you want a clue as to my whereabouts.

Having just been into the bookies to get a couple of Football Coupons down, I was driving home, and waiting for the lights to change.  Two gangs of kids – and I mean kids, about 13 to 15 looking at them – one on the pavement to my left, one to my right.  Before I had a clue what was happening it was like Baghdad in 1990 when the Americans moved in.  I felt like BBC News legend John Simpson (only I didn’t have a flak jacket!) as huge bangs and whistles screeched about 10 feet above the car.  The little blighters were shooting fireworks at each other, across the busy intersection, through what looked like short pieces of drainpipe which made for the ideal rocket launcher.

It was going to happen, surely.  Any second, some rocket was coming through the car window and that would be it.  I’d go up in smoke, although I suppose I’d be going out with a bang.  And the bloody lights were taking forever to change.  Fortunately, somebody had obviously informed the local constabulary and within seconds every Tom, Dick and Scroat had vanished.  Like earwigs scurrying for cover when you turn over a big stone, as a police van ambled (should have been screeching to my mind, blues and twos and all) up behind me.

Took years off me, that did.

Anyway, I survived, and the experience hasn’t put me off what is the next big challenge of my betting career – using old fashioned cash in old fashioned bookie shops.  It’s been a bit like going back to my betting roots.  There was no online option when I started gambling, but it had been a long, long time since I’d set foot in a betting shop.  Where were the clouds of suffocating cigarette smoke?  Actually, where were the customers!?  I have  been a regular visitor to each of seven different offices, all within a 30 minute drive of home, and have been doing since the 1st of October.  Not once have I ever seen more than four other people in at the same time, and usually it’s one sole chap sitting at one of the Blackjack machines or similar.  Not sure how these shops are surviving.

What am I betting on?

OK, so, this is my coverage…

I’m trying to get Lucky 15s down from the Bookie Bashing Horse Racing Tracker.  I do still have one online account which remarkably still allows me to bet despite two four figure returns from Lucky 15s in the past couple of months or so, plus Weekly Golf Value’s last two winning golfers.  The account MUST be on borrowed time, but until that point when I get the dreaded email through, I’m going to carry on using as normal.

More and more of my golf bets will be in cash, and as previously mentioned I’m now using the Bookie Bashing Football Coupons strategy.  There are other edges that I’m looking to exploit too from the site, including +EV Boosts available in the shops, trying to take advantage of similar using the Exchanges when those Boosts are only available online, and then looking at the NFL and other concessions such as the in shop Double Delight/Hat Trick Heaven offer at BetFred.

I’ve also, on my one last available online account, been placing the ‘Mug’ combination bets.  You know the type – the RequestaYourOddsSpecial-type.  Something along the lines of “Man Utd to score three own goals, Harry Kane to actually get a booking, and Christiano Ronaldo to go off in a huff between the 75th and 90th minute” type bet.  The vague hope is that by placing these type of bets – which again using the BB Trackers will actually be marginally +EV or at least neutral – will prolong the lifespan of the account because they make me look like a mug.  Seriously, all the Traders need to do is talk to my Missus to be persuaded of that, but there we go.

So there we have it.  Something of an introduction.  Next week, I’ll start posting my figures too for each approach.  Spoiler: Football started off fantastic but very mixed more recently, Lucky 15s posted one big win but otherwise I can hardly get a horse placed, had my first winning NFL strategy bet on Sunday, and the DD/HH has been a success to date whilst other +EV bets haven’t.

Until next week…

SPORTS: One step forward, one step backward.

Not a good week for The Poacher as just one winning bet from five selections proved successful, and the recent gains have been lost with my personal figures for the service back in the red for the year to date.  It really does feel a grind at the moment, and the truth is it has for a wee while now.  And if it’s felt like a grind for me, I can imagine it likely it has been for The Poacher himself.  Keep going, fella.

Elsewhere and a bit of a nothing week for both On The Oche (very small profit) and Touchdown Profit (very small loss), with one cancelling out the other and between them finishing dead level.

No “proper” football now then until the World Cup starts on Sunday with hosts Qatar playing Ecuador.  What a prospect that is between two footballing giants.  I’m sure we’re all licking our lips in anticipation.  Or not, maybe.

On The Oche (30pt bank): Staked 75pts, +11.155pts, roi 14.87%, roc 37.18%, High 11.415pts, DD -0.26pts, Max DD -2.27pts

The Poacher (40): Staked 243pts, -0.58pts, roi -0.23%, roc -1.45%, High 7.407pts, DD -8.043pts, Max DD -8.311pts

Touchdown Profit (50): Staked 44pts, +4.83pts, roi 10.97%, roc 9.86%, High 4.93pts, DD -0.1pts, Max DD -4.19pts

Sports Totals: ROI 3.88%, ROC 11.87%

GOLF: Weekly Golf Value bags another.

Tony Finau at 16/1 won’t go down as the “best” winner that has ever been tipped on the golf, but by winning in a canter over Stateside this week, he represented a consecutive winning week for Weekly Golf Value.  Sadly no-one else placed in the PGA event, although WGV got one in the frame in the DP World Tour tournament and it was another good week.  Interestingly, there were three golfers offered up that I couldn’t back at a value price, so I found three alternatives I could.  I have a feeling this is about to become a much more common occurence.

Elsewhere and it was a blank week, and as WGV are now sitting on a year to date profit high for me, Golf Insider is now at a low.  It needs a winner, and soon, as the drawdown has now breached the 50% of bank marker.

Golf Insider (200pt bank): Staked 386pts, -74.435pts, roi -19.28%, roc -37.21%, High 29.24pts, DD -103.675pts, Max DD -103.675pts

 PGA Profit (500): Staked 756.5pts, +151.14pts, roi 19.97%, roc 30.22%, High 213.14pts, DD -62pts, Max DD -136.1pts

 European Tour (500): Staked 81.5pts, -65pts, roi -79.75%, roc -13%. High 0pts, DD -65pts, Max DD -65pts

Ben Coley (600): Staked 496pts, -110.79pts, roi -22.33%, roc -18.46%, High 79.93pts, DD -190.72pts, Max DD -190.72pts

Tour Tips (150): Staked 195.5pts, +17.48pts, roi 8.94%, roc 11.65%, High 23.48pts, DD -6pts, Max DD -79.25pts

Weekly Golf Value (2000): Staked 4,441.5pts, +1,519.15pts, roi 34.2%, roc 75.95%, High 1,519.15pts, DD -0pts, Max DD -493.09pts

The Rainmaker (400): Staked 1010.5pts, -400.08pts, roi -39.59%, roc -100.02%, High 5.2pts, DD: -405.68pts, Max DD -405.68pts

Golf Totals: ROI -1.45%, ROC -3.06%

RACING: All change, but same old same old for the Bookie Bashing Racing Tracker

Right, listen up.  Things are changing ’round these parts.  We either adapt or die, right?  And given a choice, I’m going to take adapt every time.

As you would have read had you tuned in for last week’s Bet Diary post, I’m running out of bookmakers.  In fact, there is only one I can now use.  We all know that online bookmaker accounts are unsustainable over the long term, but I’ve now (almost) run out of options.  I have to accept that in the very near future, betting online will not be an option for me.

This causes a problem, of course.  I have a full time job.  Although my kids are older – one has left home already to go and waste tax payers money at university (waster!) – my daughter remains time intensive. Lifts to work in the late afternoon after school, lifts to and from her boyfriend’s (although what am I doing, the lad can drive!?!), making sure she’s doing the work she needs to do to ensure she can follow her brother’s footsteps in wasting tax payers money next year…it all consumes that most precious commodity – time.

In short, I need to fit my betting around a lot of other things.  And it needs to be in cash in the shops.

So, and I’m really sad to say this, my days of following the likes of Bet Alchemist, Northern Monkey and the rest are, for now at least, over.  I can’t get to a bookies until lunchtime.  I can’t watch maturing Exchange markets to look for odds I can take on tips there.

Here’s what’s going to happen.  Each Wednesday I’m going to write about my experiences at the shops, betting using cash.  The types of bet I’m taking, and why.  The challenges, the laughs, the results.

If you’ve been reading the Bet Diary for any length of time, it will come as no surprise to you to read that I’ll be using Bookie Bashing for most of these bets.  Lucky 15s, Football Coupons, Value Bets and more.  It’s going to be a journey, and I hope by coming on it with me, we might learn a few things.

Talking of Bookie Bashing, just a 40 point winning Lucky 15 on Saturday, with three good winners.  I’ll be updating the figures and writing more about this next week, but the Racing Tracker continues to shine for me.  It’s funny too, but from all the Lucky 15s I placed last week, and since Saturday, I’ve barely had a horse place.  And yet one bet, three winners, and a very handsome overall profit.  It’s a funny old game.

SPORTS: A top week as we find some form!

No bets last week from On The Oche, but some fun and games from the other two services, The Poacher and Touchdown Profit.

It was only a week or so ago that I was saying how sure I was that The Pocher would be putting everything possible into producing a better run of form, and lo and behold, we have a really strong week.  Seven winners from nine bets is fine form in anyone’s book and it’s great to see.  If we can just get similar in the run to the end of the year, it would be marvellous.

I think it’s fair to say that Touchdown Profit had struggled a little to get any real kind of momentum going this season, but three profitable weeks in a row (off the top of my head) culminating in five wins, a void, and one loss from seven picks on Sunday has provided that.

Overall then, a great week!

On The Oche (30pt bank): Staked 73pts, +10.905pts, roi 14.93%, roc 36.35%, High 11.415pts, DD -0.51pts, Max DD -2.27pts

The Poacher (40): Staked 238pts, +2.578pts, roi 1.08%, roc 6.44%, High 7.407pts, DD -4.885pts, Max DD -8.311pts

Touchdown Profit (50): Staked 40pts, +4.93pts, roi 12.32%, roc 9.86%, High 4.93pts, DD 0pts, Max DD -4.19pts

Sports Totals: ROI 4.82%, ROC 14.32%

GOLF: Henley at the Double!

After what has been a pretty flat period for a fair length of time, Weekly Golf Value found tipping into this week’s solitary tournament as easy as counting to three.  Winner Russell Henley (45/1), 2nd placed Brian Harman (40/1) and Tied 3rd Joel Dahmen (66/1) made it a week to remember as all three were tipped up last Wednesday.  Happy days, and the ROI for the year heads north of 30% for the year.

Not to be outdone was Tour Tips which was also on Henley, and after being in the red for so much of the year, this service is now in the black for me.  A strong end to the year would be most welcome, and this is a service that has showed just how quickly things can turn around for a struggling golf tipster.

On that note, we need some of the magic to rub off on Golf Insider, as it gets perilously close to another low water mark for 2022.  After a 2021 that struggled, this is a service that needs to produce the goods, and quickly.

A blank week too for PGA Profit but overall it’s sitting at 21% ROI to date, so no complaints there.

Should be busier this week coming as the DP Tour returns from a week off down in South Africa.  With the golf portfolio now only just under break even, another decent week will start pushing it into overall profit.

Golf Insider (200pt bank): Staked 376pts, -64.435pts, roi -17.13%, roc -32.21%, High 29.24pts, DD -93.675pts, Max DD -97.675pts

PGA Profit (500): Staked 744.5pts, +163.14pts, roi 21.91%, roc 32.62%, High 213.14pts, DD -50pts, Max DD -136.1pts

European Tour (500): Staked 81.5pts, -65pts, roi -79.75%, roc -13%. High 0pts, DD -65pts, Max DD -65pts

Ben Coley (600): Staked 496pts, -110.79pts, roi -22.33%, roc -18.46%, High 79.93pts, DD -190.72pts, Max DD -190.72pts

Tour Tips (150): Staked 189.5pts, +23.48pts, roi 12.39%, roc 15.65%, High 23.48pts, DD 0pts, Max DD -79.25pts

Weekly Golf Value (2000): Staked 4,304.5pts, +1,388.45pts, roi 32.25%, roc 69.42%, High 1,464.65pts, DD -76.2pts, Max DD -493.09pts

Golf Totals: ROI -1.04%, ROC -2.16%


The Rainmaker (400)(£5): Staked 1010.5pts, -400.08pts, roi -39.59%, roc -100.02%, High 5.2pts, DD: -405.68pts, Max DD -405.68pts

RACING: A bit more tricky.

Continuing the theme of reflection for the week, and we turn our attention to the racing services, and this is where it gets a little more tricky.

Let’s start with the easy, and that’s using the Bookie Bashing Racing Tracker.  Results to date have been nothing short of outstanding and have been founded on getting down around 20 Lucky 15s per week.  To date, that has largely been done online.  The challenge is going to be to maintain that sort of turnover but at the shops.

Unfortunately, I have only a window during the working week each day, when I can physically get to the bookies.  This means that I will need to see value at a certain time, and available at BetFred or Ladbrokes, the two I can get to in the time I have.  I may be I have to bring someone in to help me with this.  We’ll see.

Then, it starts to get a lot more tricky.  The prevalence of multiple bets issued by Northern Monkey is such that the Exchanges are rendered not quite useless, but tricky to profit on.  Same with each way bets.  As for The Value Bettor, well Andrew is trialling a methodology that is designed for Exchange use, but there is little point in me reporting in here on a weekly basis at this stage; if it doesn’t work in the period up to Christmas, then it has been made quite clear that the days of TVB as a subscription service in its present guise are over.  I’m going to be following the new approach and if successful (and I happen to think it is likely to be) then we can revisit in these pages.  But until then…

So this is where I’m at, and it is a bit of a dilemma.  I need to find a solution.