Month: February 2023

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Time out.

I’ve been a lazy git.  Having just flown back from Portugal – lovely, air temperature fairly cool but the sun warm and managed to come back with a bit of a tan, thanks for asking! – and having not bothered at an exhausted end of the previous week, I’ve not actually updated my betting figures.  So, I can’t report back at this stage.  Having said that, everything I backed before going away lost, and that’s probably all you need to know!

I promise I’ll be a bit more professional about it as soon as I’ve updated my records, which will be over the next day or two.

In the meantime, it really was nice to get away from the daily “grind” that betting can oh-so-easily become.  Having not even taken my laptop with me, I had (deliberately) cut myself off from work, betting, and anything else I couldn’t be bothered with.  I heartily recommend doing it from time to time.  The benefits, not least of which relate to mental wellbeing, are tremendous.  Gone are the days when I went on holiday and fretted about getting every bet on.

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t some thinking time, however.

One thing I did mull over was whether or not to look at the possibility of getting access to more online accounts.  What puts me off is the state of disrepair the bookmaking industry is currently languishing within.  When you see long Twitter threads written by reputable people telling stories of bookmakers either not paying out fairly, or making life for their customers ridiculously difficult in one way or another, it kinda makes you think you’re better off out of it.  And yes, I know these troubles extend out to effect those customers using the shops and it’s not purely an online issue, but the impression I get – possibly wrongly – is that shop customers are less frequently burnt by so called reputable bookmakers as are their online colleagues.

The SBC Twitter account pointed out today that it is hardly any wonder that people are moving towards using black market bookmakers because so many are so poorly treated by the mainstream firms, so what have they got to worry about by doing so?  Why would anyone fear not being paid out honestly by a black market bookie on a big win, when that appears to be such an issue for customers of the High Street firms?

The SBC and others are, to my mind, doing a great job in terms of raising awareness and applying what pressure they can to the Gambling Commission to act as any governing body ought, and ensure that transgressions made by bookmaking firms are properly punished.  Alas, it seems that the GC is about as impervious to lobbying and criticism as the PGMOL is to complaints about refereeing standards (and blimey, how low are they!?!), but continuous haranguing and exposure of bad practices must continue.  It comes to something when restrictions and account closures are actually the least of our worries!

Finally for today, a word to Tom Brownlee of Bookie Bashing.  Tom has gone out to Syria to help with the aid effort following the earthquake that hit both that country and Turkey so badly.  You can only imagine how people’s lives are so devastated, and so anyone who gets up off their arse to go and actually help, deserves every respect.

Getting a grip!

Psychology is a fascinating thing. I’ve long held the belief that if someone is going to make money through betting on a long term basis, then the most important attribute to possess by far is mental strength.

These past few weeks of the new year have, I’ve found, tested mine.  Yet when taking a step back to look to provide some context, there has been a realisation this week that things have really not been too bad.  I’ve moaned in these pages, and reading them back anyone would be forgiven for thinking that things have been so bad, that imminent bankruptcy is an inevitability.  In reality, there’s been one losing week in six and altogether a profit has been made.

So why the pessimism and navel gazing?

My thoughts are that with a big shift in approach to betting, from online bookmakers to using cash in shops and utilizing the Exchanges, there has been a rude shove out of a comfort zone that has existed for the last few years.  I guess it’s a bit like moving house – it takes just a little time to feel truly at home, and the move itself is always stressful and unsettling.

Another factor that has no doubt affected the psychology of the situation is having a lower turnover of bets.  Take the Lucky 15s as an example.  Previous to Christmas, I was placing roughly 20 each week on average online.  I know there are many who place many, many more than that, but it was enough for variance to peak and trough regularly frequently. At least, that’s how it felt to me, with losing runs quickly being forgotten as decent winning slips were landed.  Now, I’m averaging far fewer, simply due to logistical challenges being faced at this point (that will change for the better a little later this year, but they haven’t yet).  So now, when we go into a drawdown, it is likely to take longer in terms of time (but hopefully not in number of bets) before we come out of it.  And psychologically, that is more wearing.

It’s the difference between a high turnover service and a low one.  Take a service such as Racing Invest with a large number of bets on most days.  They are going to whizz through their peaks and troughs in a way that, say, On The Oche, is never going to do.  OTO has a few bets each month.  A losing run can last months, but still be suffered over a few number of actual bets.

So that’s where I’m at.  Missing out on good returns from two winners on a Double Delight/Hat Trick Heaven bet last week through no fault of my own hasn’t helped my betting mood, but then I guess that’s going to happen from time to time.

Anyway, I’m off on holibobs next week (so no Bet Diary posts).  Seeking out some milder weather and a little bit of sun down Portugal way.  I’ve got four paperbacks, and will have no laptop.  Reading, wine, and food – looking forward to it. 🙂

Best of luck with your betting in the meantime.

Week 6 Results

Strange week.  Everything I touched seemed to lose, and then come Sunday and all was right in the betting world again.  Scottie Scheffler winning the Phoenix Open golf tournament provided the profit.  I’d taken him from the BookieBashing Golf Tracker and the fact that he was value and placed in a prominent position on the Weekly Metric Graph BB publish, meant I plumped for him at a price on the Exchanges (15/1) that I wouldn’t normally drop as low as.  To be honest, fortune was on my side.  It was him or Jon Rahm (who finished 3rd) and there really wasn’t much in it.  Scheffler was the slightly longer priced of the two and when I looked at the Tracker, was showing a shade more +EV.  I could very easily have gone the other way, though.

Having not had a return from any football coupon through the week, finding five winners on one proved a blessed relief and meant that the week showed a sliver of profit.  And with the Lucky 15s I’d placed until Sunday proving as fruitless as the football coupons, to get a couple of winners and a place at 20/1 in one on Sunday pulled back the previously sizeable losses.  Had the fourth horse placed, it would have been very nice indeed, but the nag fell at the first.  Why does it always feel like you’ve been robbed when that happens.

BB Golf Tracker: Staked 285pts, +344.02pts.

PGA Profit: Staked 18pts, -13.06pts.

Edwards Tips (Golf): Staked 235pts, -184.18pts

BB Lucky 15s: Staked 6pts, -0.368pts)

BB Football Coupons: Staked 4.5pts, +0.54pts.

DD/HH: Staked 60pts, -60pts.

As battered as a Grimsby cod…

You know things are not really going your way when the cashier in the bookies takes the proverbial out of you when you hand in a slip that shows a profit of 36p.

“Treat the wife”, she said, laughing.

In the interests of keeping a good relationship going I laughed along, but got to admit, the old pride took a wee bit of a dent.  Which is daft.  Sometimes you need to be the bigger man and not let something as stupid as ego get in the way of what you’re trying to achieve.

I’ve been trying hard to make sure this doesn’t happen.  Nobody wants to look daft, or even worse, desperate.  I reckon I frequently made myself look both when a teenager and trying to get a girl to go out with me.  Now it’s a different context, but whilst in the midst of the sort of losing run I’m suffering at the moment, I think the people in the bookies are thinking I’m throwing good money after bad, and looking, well…a bit daft and even a bit desperate.  Hence the joke at my expense about treating the wife.

But the thing is, if the people in the local bookies think I’m a loser, then that’s all good.  That’s what we want them to think.  But there’s a fair bit of me that doesn’t want to look like a loser.  Who wants to look like he knows what he’s doing.  That I’m a bit of a shrewdie.  I’m telling you, the ego is taking a bit of a kicking but the ego doing what egos do means that there is a very real urge to demonstrate that far from being a loser, the bets being placed all have +EV and demonstrate I’m a winner.  Instead of taking the mickey, the cashiers should look upon what I’m doing in hushed awe.  If I could just get one of these bets to bloody win, I reckon I can control the ego.  Trouble is, there isn’t much sign of that happening any time soon.

This period is a right pain in the ‘arris, I can tell you.  Take this evening as an example.

I have a meeting at 7.30.  I need to leave the house at 7.15.  The bookies is about ten minutes away but in the wrong direction.  I leave now to go to the bookies, I’m late for the meeting (and if it’s one thing I hate, it’s being late for anything).  So when I notice that Harry Wilson is flagged as a bet on the BookieBashing Tracker in the Sunderland/Fulham game, and that Wilfried Gnonto the same in the Man U/Leeds match, I decide I don’t have time to go and back them.

You don’t need to look up who scored first in each of those games.

Meantime, my two Football Coupons concerning tonight’s matches both produce no return whatsoever.  And so the run continues, and my ego isn’t so much bruised, as battered as a Grimsby cod.

Until next week…


January – a profit but lots of questions.

A disappointing final week meant that what was in many ways a month I found really difficult ended on a low.  After having a lot of questions and things to resolve, I was still going along nicely at an ROI of around 15%, but that was reduced to just over 4% over the last few days.

Here are the numbers:

GOLF (inc. PGA PROFIT): roi -52.7%

RACING: roi -23.69%

VALUE BETS: roi -19.14%


COMBO BETS: roi 55.82%

NFL: roi 367.13%

DD/HH: roi 160.2%

TOTAL: roi 4.15%, roc 1.2%.

Let’s start with the positive and the NFL and DD/HH (Double Delight/Hat Trick Heaven – a BetFred offer on the First Goalscorers market in selected games) paid the bills.  Both performed exceptionally well, but there’ll be no more opportunities to get involved with NFL matches now until next season.

Other than that, and my approach this month has radically changed from what I am used to.  I was aware that making the shift from betting online to using cash in shops and the Exchanges was always going to take some adjusting, but perhaps underestimated by how much.

Backing players to win golf tournaments and not to place has presented a psychological challenge already, and although I think I’m nearly there now, I still haven’t quite nailed my strategy moving forward.  The need for patience in betting on golf is oft-repeated.  The patience needed when betting win-only?  Let’s just say tons of it is required.  But for me, losing is one thing, as long as I’m confident in the methods and approach, for which consistency is key.  And not being 100% clear on this has been, I’ve found, unsettling.

The football coupon betting has been frustrating too.  Losing, a good slip to get almost back to even, followed by losing again.  But this is normal.  Just have to wait for the big winning slip, which will come.  Of that, I’m sure.

And then there’s been the Lucky 15s.  And here is where I’ve found a massive difference to betting online.  For much of the month, badly affected by wintry weather, there just hasn’t been much value relatively speaking, to be found.  The last week I’ve seen an uptick in that respect, so hopefully we’ll be able to get more Lucky 15s down in the shops.  Up to very recently though, I’ve been placing about 30% of the volume I had been when able to bet online.

This period of adjustment isn’t over yet, but progress is being made.  Let’s see what February brings.