Month: April 2023

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A quiet week and aching bones.

The cricket season has started again.  The first match of the season was on Saturday, which means with today being Wednesday it will be another 48 hours before I can walk properly again, and not like a 90-year old who doesn’t wince at every doddery step.  Getting my socks on has been a right trial, I can tell you.

The reason I’m telling you this is that this means I more or less knock out betting on a Saturday from now until September.  I’m hoping to be able to get a few Lucky 15s down early doors perhaps, but other than that there’ll not be much going down, and of course in the normal run of things Saturday is by far the busiest day.

All of which means that a larger percentage of my staking than normal will be going onto the week’s golf tournaments, and that in turn means the highs and lows are likely to be more pronounced.  A winner will make a big difference, but how much do we lose in the meantime before the winner hits?  Without other, shorter odds-based betting around it, it’s likely we’re in for a bit of a roller coaster ride over the summer months.

I had an email from a reader who was puzzled by that last week I was showing a 6% ROI from the beginning of the month but was standing at -279 points for Weekly Golf Value,

The answer is that the £ value per point differ greatly between strategies and services.  So for example in monetary terms, one point staked on a DD/HH bet is ten times that of one point for WGV.  In fact, Edwards Tips £ value per point is 50 times greater than WGV!

My £/pt value is a reflection of the advised staking.  It’s not unilateral across each service.

I hope that makes sense.  Let me know if not.

Betting 2023-24

DD/HH: Staked 45.55pts, -8.2pts, roi -18%, High: 3.05pts, DD: -11.25pts, Max DD: -11.25pts.

Edwards Tips (Golf): Staked 7.25pts, +0.252pts, roi 3.46%, High: 3.65pts, DD: -3.398pts, Max DD: -3.398pts.

Football Coupons: Staked 11pts, +9.441pts, roi 85.78%, High: 14.03pts, DD: -4.589pts, Max DD: -4.589pts.

Golf (WGV): Staked 922pts, -403.54pts, roi -43.76%, High: 0pts, DD: -403.54pts, Max DD: -403.54pts.

Lucky 15s: Staked 55pts, +4.686pts, roi 9%, High: 12.554pts, DD: -7.868pts, Max DD: -8.204pts.


PGA Profit: Staked 76pts, +7.84pts, roi 10.31%, High: 37.704pts, DD: -29.864pts, Max DD: -29.864pts.

Value Bets: Staked 28pts, +9.9pts, roi 35.35%, High: 16.9pts, DD: -7pts, Max DD: -7pts. 

TOTAL:  roi 0.41%

More Than Just Advised Bets: Four Months of Following Optimum Racing

Josh is a professional bettor who also works for SBC and in this special post for the Bet Diary, he shares his experiences on one of the services he follows as part of his betting portfolio. We hope you enjoy it!

When I sat down in December to make my ‘business plan’ for 2023, Optimum Racing was an obvious choice to add to my racing portfolio. It is selective, has an excellent historical record spanning two consistent decades and the man behind it, Andrew Lowrie, has a specialism in chase racing – something that I (and other services that I looked at) lack.

With no Oddschecker bookmaker accounts available, I must consider several questions when looking at a service like this. Are bets released at a suitable time? Can I profit without Best Odds Guaranteed or extra places? Are exchanges a realistic outlet for bets? ‘Yes’ was the answer to all three.

As you can see below, my ROI for ‘advised’ bets is running below the 27% ROI we have recorded for Optimum Racing in 2023. Despite this, my 10.94-point profit is roughly in line with the service’s P & L. This can be explained by differences in the way I have recorded bets and taking an early price about one winner the day before advised (it predictably drifted from 9/2 to 8/1!).

Not just headline selections

You can see Optimum Racing’s ‘advised bet’ figures for yourself by viewing the tables on the service’s SBC page or its bet-by-bet record. What I have found is how much more the service offers on top of this.

Each day, Andrew Lowrie sends a podcast to members by email. Here, he shares the insight for the selections he puts forward alongside his thoughts on the other chase races on the day.

Anyone who has listened to the ProBet Podcast will know what to expect – Andrew has an encyclopaedic knowledge of chase racing horses – their jumping, their preferences for ground, tracks and trips and their past runs. He marries this up perfectly with the use of sectional timing, which he often references in his analysis when sharing his value selections.

Depending on the strength of the edge Andrew discusses, I have followed these bets and classified them as ‘Mentions’ in my record, which is detailed below. Account bets target a 20-25% edge from Andrew’s tissue prices against the market; these bets are those with an edge up to that range.

The result is that I have been able to increase the volume of bets I place – 164 extra bets over a 4-month period, averaging out at around 40 a month. The edge is smaller (I am currently achieving just under 11% ROI on these bets), but it is very good for ROC and bank growth.

The Podcast – an example

Here is an example of one of Andrew’s podcasts from 22nd April – a busy Saturday – with annotation of how these horses performed underneath.

Andrew’s headline selection, Sail Away, was advised with a stake of £15 each-way and a minimum price of 5/1. It bolted up, winning by 11 lengths at 13/2, with a BSP of 11.0 and an exchange ‘3 place’ price of 3.3.

Of the other selections, Coastguard Station and Return Ticket finished 3rd and 4th in the 1:15 at Ayr, whilst Balco Coastal faded to lose to Andrew’s ‘biggest threat’ in the 3:00 as Datsalrightgino won at 8/1 (with a BSP of 10.51).

Monbeg Genius and Flower Of Scotland were non-runners in the Scottish Grand National, leaving Magna Sam as the sole runner from those given positive mentions. The horse went odds on in running before fading to finish 5th at 14/1 (BSP 27.64), landing place returns in the process (at standard industry terms).

Madiba Passion finished 2nd in the 1:40 at Bangor, with an ISP of 5/1 and a BSP of 6.41. Andrew’s three positive mentions in the 4:00 (Allo Allo, Zestful Hope and Taste The Fear) finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively, with ISPs of 9/2, 5/1 and 7/1.

This is a snapshot from one day, but it is typical of what is on offer.

Adding ‘Mentions’ to my bets from Optimum Racing may have lowered the ROI a little, but it has been the perfect way to find extra value and grow the bank that I have set aside for the service.

The Late Information Service

Optimum Racing’s ‘Late Information Service’ is something that I added to my portfolio after asking Andrew some questions about it in February. It relies on inside information from sources within the racing industry and operates on a ‘pay-as-you-win’ basis.

Historically, the service has a strike rate of around 50%, but I have yet to build up a sizeable enough bank of data to analyse performance properly. Some bad variance has impacted returns so far, with two horses running at sub-1.1 in running and failing to provide what would have been sizeable profits (including one with a BSP of 6.5 – that one hurt!).

I will continue to track performance and update this record accordingly.

A service worth following in

Optimum Racing has an excellent historic record as its 25% ROI indicates.

What that record doesn’t tell you is the following:

  • Bets are released at realistic times for any bettor (mid-to-late morning). Liquidity is present on the exchanges and bookmaker prices have settled after their early morning movements
  • Selections don’t crash in price – exchange prices and even BSP are both profitable angles to follow the service in
  • Both major and independent bookmakers will take these bets – the lack of a contraction in price means that account restrictions are unlikely in the short term (and should be avoidable altogether if business is spread around intelligently)
  • Only 20% of my core subscription selections so far have been advised – using the daily podcast to find extra value is a profitable angle and excellent for bank growth
  • The Late Information Service is an optional ‘add-on’ with membership. Historical performance suggests it is profitable, but more data is needed for the SBC to verify it

Cover blown!

There’s been gambling a story in the news you may have heard about, involving a chap taken to court and prosecuted by Bet365 on charges of fraud.  The chap was multi-accounting and taking advantage of bonus offers, and making a very significant level of profit by doing so.  Although exact details are sketchy, it appears he went way beyond the “friends and family” approach, possibly running thousands of accounts.  There are a few interesting threads on Twitter that delve into it a bit more including one by the Smart Betting Club (plus a link to another) so search on there if you haven’t seen these already.

Anyway, all of this was in my mind when I felt my “cover” was blown in a bookie’s last week.  I have three BetFreds I use very regularly, using cash to place my bets.  All three are within about five or six miles of home and I tend to use them in rotation.  Why?  Because I know that just like with online accounts, if a shop sees someone being successful and believe them to be a threat to their profit margin, they’ll restrict/ban them.  By spreading out my bets I’m doing the equivalent to using two or three online accounts to back the same horse so as to bring the stake down at each and hope as a result to stay under the radar that little bit longer.

Last week however, I walked into Shop No.2, only to be greeted by a smiling face (they clearly don’t think I’m a threat just yet!) from a cashier I see almost every day in Shop 1.

“What are you doing here!?!”, she says, and I see the head of the guy who I know is the Manager of Shop 2 shoot his eyes across and cast me with what was undoubtedly a stare loaded with suspicion.  It’s the managers we have to be careful of – the cashiers are fine!

I came up with some story about just passing after work and how I often come in here when I’m working there, blah, blah, blah.  Had to account somehow for the fact I’m in Shop 2 on an almost daily basis too.  What tangled webs we weave, eh?

Now I know there are a lot of decidedly grey areas when it comes to multi-accounting online.  If you’re opening and taking advantage of literally hundreds of accounts or more, then I can see why that is showing fraudulent intent.  But say your brother opens an account, perfectly legally and above board, and then provides you with access to it?  That’s not so clear cut.  Possibly it is legally, as it may well be a direct breach of the terms and conditions your brother agreed to when opening the account.  But what in effect is the difference between that and asking your brother to go into a shop and put a bet on for you?  I’m not sure you could/would be prosecuted for doing that.  Proving it would be tricky for a start.

It’s the fact that punters have to go to such lengths to get a bet on that is at the core of the issue here.  I can’t help thinking that having to make up stories to friendly cashiers in an ongoing attempt to be able to get a bet on not just now but in the future too, is something that really shouldn’t be necessary.

A quiet week’s betting with not much happening, but I’ll update the figures on Wednesday, when I’ll also answer a query from a reader about how the individual service numbers equate to the total ROI figure.

Until then…

Snakes and Ladders

Just a very quick results update today as have got in late.

As mentioned in Monday’s post an unkind weekend of results provided something of a setback. After a couple of weeks of steady profit accumulation, a few bets have brought us straight back to where we were.  This is not an uncommon phenomenon, and one I always think is like playing snakes and ladders.   You gradually progress up the board, get the occasional lift, but then along comes a great big slippery snake…and bump!

I’m going to write more on this next week, but until then, here are the figures…

Betting 2023-24

DD/HH: Staked 45.55pts, -8.2pts, roi -18%, High: 3.05pts, DD: -11.25pts, Max DD: -11.25pts.

Edwards Tips: Staked 5.95pts, +1.552pts, roi 26.06%, High: 3.65pts, DD: -2.098pts, Max DD: -2.098pts.

Football Coupons: Staked 11pts, +9.441pts, roi 85.78%, High: 14.03pts, DD: -4.589pts, Max DD: -4.589pts.

Golf: Staked 618pts, -279.92pts, roi -45.29%, High: 0pts, DD: -279.92pts, Max DD: -279.92pts.

Lucky 15s: Staked 40pts, +4.35pts, roi 10.87%, High: 12.554pts, DD: -8.204pts, Max DD: -8.204pts.


PGA Profit: Staked 60pts, +23.84pts, roi 39.73%, High: 37.704pts, DD: -13.864pts, Max DD: -13.864pts.

Value Bets: Staked 28pts, +9.9pts, roi 35.35%, High: 16.9pts, DD: -7pts, Max DD: -7pts.


What’s black and white and red all over?

No, not a sunburnt penguin!  Nor a newspaper.  Nor an embarrassed nun.

My results sheet.

The black and white bit is the binary nature of my weekend’s bets.  They all (or very nearly all) bloomin’ lost.  There are no shades of grey in this performance.  It’s very black and white.  And crap.

On my results sheet that I update four or five times a week, I use three colours for each of the strategies and tipping services I use.  Green is the nice colour, the one that generates fuzzy feelings of warmth and pleasure, for I use green when at a profit high.  Green signifies new peaks, and forging ahead into new realms of profiteering.

Red is the opposite, for this is the danger colour used when a new low has been hit. The deepest drawdown seen, the worst losing run…you get the picture.

The third “colour” is plain old black, and this is the colour that generally predominates, for black shows that the service’s current profit and loss figure lies somewhere between the lowest low and the highest high.

Currently, every, single, flaming, line is red.  Every line.

I appreciate the 2023-2024 betting year is only just over two weeks in and as a result we’re seeing red and green appear and disappear at a rate you might expect from a faulty set of traffic lights, but you know, I don’t think I’ve ever had this before.  Even when enduring the most trying of times, at least one tentacle of the betting portfolio is at least showing black.

Not right now.  Not after that disaster of a weekend.  Not even Erling Haaland could pull it out of the bag for me with my rather big bet on him for the DD/HH strategy.  Git!

Well, I suppose things really can only get better from here.  Can’t they?

Feeling conflicted is easier to deal with when you win!

I support Arsenal.  Despite growing up in Manchester, my Dad – a Londoner who had been going to Highbury from the 1940s – didn’t really give me a choice.  At the age of 6 I was given an option…either support The Arsenal, or leave home.  I supported Arsenal.

It wasn’t easy in the 1980s as a young school kid, surrounded by Manchester United fans.  Arsenal vs Man Utd was a fixture that when it was approaching, inspired both dread and glorious excitement in equal measures.  Lose, and going to school on Monday was going to be unbearable, a real test of endurance that no child should be subjected to.  Win, and by ‘eck was I going to make myself unbearable to everybody else!  And remember, in these pre-Premier League days, you didn’t see Arsenal or any other club’s shirt on the streets in a northern city as you do today.  I was in BetFred on Saturday and there was a lad with an Arsenal scarf tied around his head,  That wouldn’t have happened in 1986!  I was on my own back then, and knew it!

So, this season, with Arsenal leading the way in the title, attempting to fend off a nation state with what is without a doubt the best squad in the world, led by one of, if not THE best managers, things have been getting more and more exciting with the result of every game now having a potentially massive impact on the outcome.

Which is why, when Erling Haaland came up as a value bet for BetFred’s Double Delight/HatTrick Heaven offer playing against bottom of the league Southampton, I cr….well, let’s just say I wasn’t happy.  Let’s face it, if you had to back a striker at the moment to score a hat trick to save your life, it would be Haaland.  And were he to score a hat trick and having backed him, you’re quids in.  But do I want him to score at all?  No, I flamin’ well don’t!

Never have I been so conflicted placing a bet.  Bearing in mind with the DD/HH bets I stake enough to win a certain amount, at the short odds Haaland was (but still a value price) it was a pretty hefty bet I struck too.  Without wanting it to win!

Haaland did score first, and then a second time to double my profit.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that knowing the winnings I had coming took the edge off my anguish.  Only the edge, mind.  I’d still rather have lost the bet, providing no other City player had scored first and them having won anyway of course.

The one thought I’ve had though, and a scenario I’m dreading arising…what happens if a City player is deemed value to score the first goal when they play Arsenal?  Please, no.  Genuinely don’t think I could put the money down.  I’d feel just too dirty.

All round a good week.  PGA Profit having the winner of the Masters helped, and of course Erling Haaland’s double strike helped push the profit up to0.  Pity.

Betting 2023-24

DD/HH: Staked 22.6pts, +3.05pts, roi 13.49%, High: 3.05pts, DD: -0pts, Max DD: -10.3pts.

Edwards Tips (Golf Outrights): Staked 3.65pts, +3.091pts, roi 84.67%, High: 3.65pts, DD: -0.559pts, Max DD: -0.559pts.

Football Coupons: Staked 9pts, +11.441pts, roi 127.07%, High: 14.03pts, DD: -2.589pts, Max DD: -3pts.

Golf: Staked 436pts, -112.05pts, roi -25.69%, High: 0pts, DD: -112.05pts, Max DD: -112.05pts.

Lucky 15s: Staked 29pts, +10.43pts, roi 35.96%, High: 12.554pts, DD: -2.124pts, Max DD: -5.294pts.


PGA Profit: Staked 40pts, +37.704pts, roi 94.26%, High: 37.704pts, DD: 0pts, Max DD: -1.02pts.

Value Bets: Staked 18pts, +3.4pts, roi 18.88%, High: 5.9pts, DD: -2.5pts, Max DD: -2.5pts.

TOTAL: roi 35.92%, roc 5.43%.


PGA Profit’s turn to taste the good life!

This week was the turn of PGA Profit to and the spoils by tipping up one of the favourites for The Masters, Jon Rahm (11.0 on the exchanges).  Backed win only increased the profitability however, and it now means that after what felt like something of a barren spell, we’ve had three golfing outright winners across each of the last three weeks.

PGA Profit’s success meant The Masters was profitable overall as a couple placing meant that the losses suffered by Weekly Golf Value and Edwards Tips were very well controlled.  Backing Russell Henley, given by WGV at 125/1 but available in the win market on Smarkets at 230 meant that had he won the return would have been massive.  By far and away my biggest win ever on golf betting, so just for a brief moment on Sunday evening, as Henley managed to get within three strokes of the lead with half the course to play, I let myself dream, but in all honesty it felt clear to me from very early on that Rahm wasn’t going to let his grip on the lead slip.

Edwards Tips would have been cursing Brooks Koepke’s collapse to give up a three shot lead going into the final round as him winning would have been a second nice return in consecutive weeks.  It felt almost uncomfortable watching Koepke as he really struggled and he looked a broken man halfway around.  I guess that’s elite sport for you.

So, another Masters, another profit, and on we go.  Full results update coming on Wednesday.

New Year’s Resolutions – Part 2

New Year’s resolutions?

“What on earth have you been smoking?!?”, I can hear you cry, possibly with the odd expletive placed with emphasis somewhere within the question.

Ah, well, you see.  My betting New Year starts on the 1st April.  Nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that a lot of companies file their annual accounts at this point with their financial year running from April to the end of March.  I wouldn’t be that pretentious.  Nope, it’s just that going back a bit now, it happened to be 1st April when I started betting in something approaching a serious manner and recording how I was doing, simple as that.

Of course one thing I’ve learnt over the years is that neatly segmenting your betting into set time intervals is a bit of a fool’s errand.  There’s no logic to it.  But in the interests of neatness – and reporting – it what we tend to do (and it does make writing a blog a bit easier too!).

Coincidentally, and this is something I’ve mentioned in more than one recent Bet Diary Post, but it’s only really now I’ve felt settled in my approach, what I’m betting on, how, etc…since Christmas when I took a week off.  And by ‘eck it’s not half made a difference (in a positive way) to mindset.  I’ve said it before and I’m about to say it again…I find handling drawdowns and the drifting along in the doldrums periods much easier if I know I have a settled strategy.  I know that if I do, I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and history tells me the darker times will end and the light shine once again.  How poetic!

Aims and ambitions?  Going for it this year – double the bank.  More ambitious than usual but that reflects the nature of betting I’ve transitioned towards, so let’s see.

So, for the first time this year (ha!), here are the figures…

Betting 2023-24

DD/HH: Staked 8.6pts, -8.6pts, roi -100%, High: 0pts, DD: -8.6pts, Max DD: -8.6pts.

Edwards Tips (Golf Outrights): Staked 1.3pts, +3.65pts, roi 280.76%, High: 3.65pts, DD: 0pts, Max DD: 0pts.

Football Coupons: Staked 3pts, +4.445pts, roi 148.17%, High: 4.445pts, DD: 0pts, Max DD: 0pts.

Golf: Staked 246pts, -59.27pts, roi -24.09%, High: 0pts, DD: -59.27pts, Max DD: -59.27pts.

Lucky 15s: Staked 13pts, +11.937pts, roi 91.82%, High: 12.554pts, DD: -0.616pts, Max DD: -0.616pts.


PGA Profit: Staked 20pts, -1.02pts, roi -5.1%, High: 0pts, DD: -1.02pts, Max DD: -1.02pts.

Value Bets: Staked 16pts, +5.4pts, roi 33.75%, High: 5.9pts, DD: -0.5pts, Max DD: -1pt.

TOTAL: roi 37.91%, roc 3.04%

A splendid 1-2 for Edwards Tips, new beginnings, and one “lucky” Lucky 31!

A lovely 1-2 for Edwards Tips with Corey Connors (26.0) the winner of the PGA Tour event on Sunday, making it two Outright winners in two weeks.  Very much London bus syndrome here as prior to that we were struggling a bit. Well, relatively speaking that is.  I think we all know by now that it can take a while for the winners to drop when betting in the Win markets on golf!

It was a nice situation to be in for anyone who follows both Edwards Tips and Weekly Golf Value.  The latter had long-time leader Patrick Rodgers (100.0) and he and Connors took the top two places going into the final round.  Rodgers blew up to finish 5th and you know what?  You could kinda tell he was going to.  Bogeying the last hole of Round 3 can’t have helped Rodgers sleep particularly well on Saturday night.  Despite being a top Amateur player, coming through on to the professional scene with the likes of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, Rodgers is yet to win an event.  And there was something about the way he was  something intangible but definitely present – that made me think things weren’t going to end well for him.

This made me think of Tom’s (Bookie Bashing) phrase of hedging being for gardeners (I don’t actually know if that’s his phrase in particular, or it’s just him I heard say it first).  My gut instinct was telling me that Rodgers wasn’t going to win, and so perhaps I should have hedged.  I could have guaranteed a pretty decent profit having backed him at 100.00 bearing in mind I think something like 3.2 was available to lay him at on Saturday evening?

Trouble is, laying off, hedging, etc, is a Trader’s mindset.  And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, except I’m not trading.  I’m betting.  I’m looking to secure value prices and then allow the numbers to take their course, which over the long term, should be a route to profit (although there are times when you do wonder!).

I can’t help thinking that to be ultimately successful, you either look for and take opportunities to trade, or you bet.  Chopping and changing between the two?  Don’t think that would work.  Can you imagine the psychological scarring that would be inflicted if, as would be inevitable, you trade out of winners and allow losers to run?  Doesn’t bear thinking about.  Perhaps it’s just me…

A decent weekend for the Football Coupons although I don’t quite know to what extent just yet as I’ve not picked up my winnings.  And a ten point profit Lucky 15 last week too, so it’s not been a bad week all in all.  April is the start of my “financial year” too.   Nothing to do with how many companies have their financial years running from April to March – it’s just I started betting and recording my results in April, many moons ago.  So all the figures revert to “zero”, and it’s off on another year of ups and downs.

And finally, talking of Lucky 15s, some of you may have seen the punter who won something like £400k on a 50p each way Lucky 31.  The story was, apparently, in yesterday’s Racing Post.  Sadly, it wasn’t me…but I do believe the chap who won uses the same source for his bets as I do for my L15s! (insert Winkie emoji here).

Well played that man!