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Win some, lose some…but mostly winning.

The one question I’ve been asked more than any other over the years is, I reckon, the one about whether or not I advise continuing to bet when away on holiday.  Going back to my early days of running a portfolio of tipsters, I would place – or at least try to place – every single bet that came through during my weeks off.  You see, I couldn’t bear to think about potentially missing out on a massive pay day from a tipster, the likes of which might only come along once or twice a year if at all.  As it happens, not once did I come back from holiday thinking the effort and aggravation had been worth it.  And it is effort and aggravation, waiting for emails to come through before heading off down to the beach or out for lunch, never really switching off and certainly not benefiting from the mental break from normal day to day life that a holiday should bring.

So after a couple of years I resolved to just forget about betting when I was away with the family.  Switch off the laptop or resolve to leave it at home, or better still find somewhere with no WiFi to avoid temptation.  Since doing that, holidays are much better, relaxed and beneficial.  The wife and kids, although never saying anything, probably appreciate it too.

Last week however, I came perilously close to missing out big time, but after totting up the weekend’s results and returns I have to admit I had to laugh.  You see, my holiday cottage for the week was a Friday changeover, which meant I was back home Friday evening and back betting on the Saturday.  It was an interesting day.

As I checked the MVS results, I was ruing my luck and wishing I’d gone away Saturday to Saturday – 9 bets, 9 losers.  Yes, that’s right – N.I.N.E.  Typical, I thought.  And then I checked the results for Northern Monkey…

Over 33 points profit.

That’s an ROC of 41.25% – in one day!  A day I could so very easily have missed.  It was a case of wishing I’d travelled back from holibobs on the Saturday to thanking my lucky stars I hadn’t.

There is a small twist in the tale.  Golf Insider also had a 14/1 winner over the weekend.  Trouble is of course, with the bets being issued during the week, I wasn’t on it.  The week really had been a case of you win some, you lose some.

Portfolio performance for August to date:

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 27.28%, ROC 7.54%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 1.1%, ROC 0.17%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 18pts, +14.325pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 30pts, +51.4pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 69.25pts, +8.85pts.

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 16pts, -16pts.

MVS: Staked 37pts, -4.75pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 29.25pts, +28.777pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 12.75pts, +2.21pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 39pts, -20.95pts.

Wow! 40/1, then a 14/1, and then a 20/1??!! Just Wow!

Yup, between them Bet Alchemist and Racing Service 1 tore it up at the Goodwood Festival last week. I can’t say that Glorious Goodwood is a meeting that strikes me down with pre-Festival excited anticipation in the way that Cheltenham say, does.  I’ve no memories of spectacular wins and sure, the course is obviously set in a beautiful part of the world, but somehow it just leaves me a little cold.

Not now.  It’s amazing what a couple of big winners can do to your mindset.  By the time the winner of the last race on Saturday was being tended to in the winner’s enclosure, I was wishing the meeting could go on in to this week!  I really can’t remember backing many 40/1 winners on the nags, but RS1 tipped one up last week, and how sweet it was when it came home in front.

I feel the need to espouse the virtues of RS1, a relatively recent addition to the portfolio.  Look, I know that banging in big-priced winners is always going to make you feel good about a tipster, and it’s likely that had I started to follow at a time that coincided with a losing run, I’d be feeling a whole lot different.  But that admission aside, there is so much to like about the service.

Interesting write-ups, odds that stand up, bets on races that aren’t going to send the bookies into paroxysms of panic and closing your accounts quicker than you can say “account restriction”.  A weekly update, blog posts and an ‘Eyecatcher’ angle…I do wonder how this service went underneath my radar for so long.  Crikey, it’s even made me warm to the Glorious Goodwood meeting.

No post next week, folks.  I’m away on my holibobs and I refuse to take my laptop.  Nope.  I’m going to take a few books, more bottles of wine, and sit back and not even think about betting.

See you in a fortnight.

Portfolio performance for August to date:

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 21.63%, ROC 3.15%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 2, Golf Insider): ROI -16.89%, ROC -0.94%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 15pts, +14.825pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 26pts, +55.4pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 23pts, -0.77pts.

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 7.5pts, -7.5pts.

MVS: Staked 19pts, -2.5pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 19.5pts, -4.023pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 2.25pts, +1.8pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 26pts, -20.7pts.

July Review

After a decent but unspectacular June it was great to see the ‘Main’ portfolio follow up with an excellent July.

There were eight services in action, of which five turned a profit.  Four of those five generated a high return.  Of the three that ended in a loss for the month, only one – Football Service 2 – underperformed significantly.

The star of the July show was undoubtedly MVS (Lite).  I seem to remember that midsummer a couple of years ago was a real golden period for this service and certainly July 2019 has been a month that has produced a rich harvest.  A significant part of the profit was made across just two days of multiple selections that all came in which meant that anyone following the ‘Multiples’ strategy must have been richly rewarded.

I wrote last month of a “torrid” time for Northern Monkey, and so it is really good to report that July has been a much better month for my long-termer.  I could repeat that last sentence for Racing Service 3, and it would be just as true.

Bet Alchemist came good too and is finding some real consistency at present.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 18.59%, ROC 10.04%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI -18.18%, ROC -2.13%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 39pts, +17.625pts, ROI 45.19%, ROC 17.62%.

Racing Service 1: Staked 53pts, +7.15pts, ROI 13.49%, ROC 3.62%

Football Lay Profits: Staked 26.6pts, -3.7pts, ROI -13.9%, ROC -1.85%

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 59.5pts, -13.1pts, ROI -22.01%, ROC -3.27%.

MVS: Staked 71pts, +32.75pts, ROI 46.12%, ROC 36.38%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 61.25pts, +19.203pts, ROI 31.35%, ROC 24%.

Football Service 2: Staked 37.5pts, -5.165pts, ROI -13.77%, ROC -12.91%.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 92.25pts, +22.937, ROI 24.86%, ROC 16.38%.

Sick to the stomach…

Nope, not because I’d backed a 50/1 shot that finished a nose second after missing the break out of the stalls, finding itself in a pocket and hemmed in by the rail coming around the home turn, the jockey dropping the whip and then stumbling when leading inside the final furlong.  I mean literally….sick to the stomach.  A bug.  A virus. Food poisoning – whatever.  The outcome was the same and I’ve been knocked sideways.

So apologies, but it means I’m behind on my betting and my figures, so those will have to wait until the next post when I’ll sum everything up.  I’ve no idea how the last few days would have gone.  I’ve just lay in bed, moaning and griping to anyone who’d listen (which was no-one), feeling as if my time was up.

Yesterday however, although not still back to normal, I was at least able to put some generally cognitive thoughts together, and my mind wandered towards Northern Monkey.  Why NMP in particular, I’ve no idea, but I got to remembering how it was when I joined up with the service, some years ago now.

It was the one time when I’ve joined a tipster and have immediately gone on a pretty significant losing run.  Sure, there have been times when I’ve signed up to a new service and lost a bit over the first couple of months or so, but this was different.  This was a proper drawdown.

I remember thinking many times that I would quit.  That this guy didn’t know what he was doing and consequently I was losing good money after bad.  I honestly don’t quite know how I managed to stick with it.  Probably some sort of pig-headedness or perhaps other tipsters I was following at the time were performing well, making the NMP losses easier to bear.  But stick with it I did, and I’ve reaped the rewards year after year since, with really solid profits banked.  Sure, there have been flat spells and losing runs (including a pretty severe recent drawdown) but ultimately it’s come up with the goods.

Anyway, I’m thinking that the largest psychological hurdle to overcome when following tipsters, presents itself when you first sign up and things immediately go pear-shaped.  You’ve built up no trust in the service and you’re losing money; that’s a tough spot to be in.  It means it is essential to fully prepare yourself, to read and re-read reviews, to properly set up a betting bank and to brace yourself for the worst.  Do all that and you have a chance.  Don’t, and you could make a really bad, emotionally-based decision which means you miss out on making good money for many years to come.

Right, I’m off for a glass of Lucozade (the old-fashioned fizzy stuff, not this modern, new-fangled Sports drink malarkey) and a Rich Tea biscuit (other incredibly bland and largely tasteless biccies that immediately collapse when you dunk them in a cuppa, are available).

The three ‘P’s – Patience and Perseverance = Profit.

If you’ve been reading the Bet Diary recently you’ll have noted how difficult things have been for Northern Monkey recently.  A sharp and deep drawdown has been to the sufferance of all followers, and it’s never nice when it happens.  And you know what?  I reckon there’s likely to be some who have decided to quit, or at the very least reduce stakes, perhaps convincing themselves that the edge that has been proven over the last few years has all but disappeared.

Now, just as one swallow does not a summer make, one big pay day does not a drawdown wipe…or something…  But I’ll tell you something.  A really nice winner or two takes the edge off the pain and helps restore any wavering faith.  And that is exactly what happened for Northern Monkey on Saturday.

The day coughed up just over 19 points of lovely, sweet Northern profit.  Wayne went in big on Tis Marvellous in a competitive sprint at Ascot, backing it with a decent stake on it’s own and doubling it up with a few others.  Tis Marvellous was bloomin’ marvellous, winning easily and landing one of the doubles for what was a timely reminder of Wayne’s skills.  There’s still a way to go before the losses from this losing run are fully recouped, but it’s a very real start to doing just that.

Portfolio performance for July to date:

July is still running pretty smoothly and it was another decent week.  Of the seven services offering bets so far, only one is in the red, Football Service 2, who in direct contrast to Northern Monkey, had a torrid Saturday.

Favourable mentions and nods of recognition to MVS (Lite) and Racing Service 3 too, for their efforts last week.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 16.32%, ROC 2.32%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 60%, ROC 1.81%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 14pts, +11pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 28pts, +0.775pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 29pts, +17.4pts.

MVS: Staked 33pts, +8.25pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 31.75pts, +14.653pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 18.5pts, -4.74pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 46.75pts, +3.75pts.

New exchange friendly racing tipster to add?

Just a very quick update this week as time feels like a valuable commodity.  Interestingly however, a chunk of that time has been writing up a review that SBC members will shortly have access too.  The review is of a horse racing service that can be followed very profitably with both the bookmakers and the Exchanges.  I’m giving serious consideration to adding into the ‘Broxchange’ portfolio, so watch this space.

Portfolio performance for July 1st – 7th

A strong week to start July off, with five of the seven services in action producing a profit.  The two to fail to do so were the two strugglers from last month, Northern Monkey and Racing Service 3.  Let’s hope their fortunes reverse soon.

The only service to really excel was Bet Alchemist who knocked in a lovely 16/1 winner on Saturday.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 21.15%, ROC 2.32%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 40.68%, ROC 0.61%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 5pts, +12pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 11pts, +5.6pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 14.5pts, +5.9pts.

MVS: Staked 14pts, +3.25pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 15.75pts, -2.125pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 8.5pts, +0.69pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 17.75pts, -3.375pts.

June Review

June ultimately ended in a profit, but the way that came about was a little like your team scoring the winning goal in injury time.  Thanks to Golf Insider’s 80/1 winner and 200/1 second place in the latest European Tour event, which finished on Sunday 30th June, the month wasn’t a bad one for betting at all.  This despite much of the month being a frustrating affair as the good work of four services was made bad by the drastic loss of form of two.

Even Golf Insider’s heroics would have meant a more or less break even month had it not been for a hugely impressive last few days for MVS Lite.  Five winners from five bets on Saturday spewed out over 12 points of profit alone (and well done to any of you who used the multiples strategy here!) and it all just goes to show how betting fortunes can change so very suddenly.

The start of the month was marked by an outstanding day for Racing Service 1 which ensured that this service ended with a fine profit for June as a whole, even if that spectacular start wasn’t built upon.  I’ve not been following for long, but I like what I see – betting into the stronger markets provided by better quality racing is so much more straightforward.

And so to the two miscreants, Northern Monkey and Racing Service 3.  The former has had a torrid time of things as it’s suffered it’s third deepest drawdown of all time.  The fact that it’s recovered from worse in the past shows it is more than capable of turning things around but we also have to be mindful that things could get worse before they get better.  As for RS3, well there’s  no doubt he is a tremendously talented interpreter of the from book too, so we have to be hopeful that he too will put a disappointing month behind him.

Finally, thanks to Golf Insider’s exploits, it was a good month for the Broxchange portfolio.  As the only service from the portfolio in action through June, that’s hardly surprising!

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -9.61%, ROC 4.85%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 141.9%, ROC 10.39%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 46pts, +9.087pts, ROI 19.75%, ROC 9.08%.

Racing Service 1: Staked 68pts, +45.175pts, ROI 66.43%, ROC 22.58%

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 70.3pts, +99.762pts, ROI 141.9%, ROC 24.94%.

MVS: Staked 57pts, +26.51pts, ROI 46.5%, ROC 29.45%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 77.125pts, -36.572pts, ROI -47.41%, ROC -45.71%.

Football Service 2: Staked 29pts, +0.59pts, ROI 2.03%, ROC 1.47%.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 79.75pts, -17.388, ROI -21.8%, ROC -12.42%.

Getting grumpy and losing patience.

It was the Royal Ascot meeting last week, the Flat’s answer to the National Hunt’s (far superior, to my mind) Cheltenham Festival.  For some reason, I’ve never had a memorable Ascot meeting in terms of my punting whilst every year at Cheltenham seems to end in a fine profit.  Perhaps that’s why I much prefer the latter.

Anyway, about half way through the week I was one grumpy old sod.  I’d had a couple of winners but nothing special, and with the past six weeks’ betting performance making me believe that what I am experiencing currently fits so beautifully well into the Catholic definition of ‘Purgatory’, I was not a happy chappy.

It doesn’t happen that often, but when a negative mindset takes hold, it’s suddenly very easy to be hypercritical of your tipsters.  You start to question how someone can have a “strong angle” within a ridiculously hot 30+ runner 7 furlong handicap, why a tipster seems to be frittering away points on bets that don’t seem to fall within his area of specialism, or how can anyone really see value in a price they’re advising.  I don’t need to tell you it’s all psychological, do I?

That it is all in the mind was proven last week on Friday and Saturday.  The first three days of Royal Ascot had been difficult and frustrating, and I was asking all those questions I’ve listed in the paragraph above, but not in such polite language.  I felt I was putting these bets on in stupidly competitive races because I was stupid, unable to back my own judgment and not strong enough to tell myself that these tipsters didn’t know what they were doing and that I was throwing good money after bad.  And then Bet Alchemist knocked in a 20/1 winner and all was well in the world again.  Literally, just like that, my confidence was renewed and suddenly there was purpose again to what I was doing.

Fickle?  Yup, absolutely.  Normal?  Yeah, I reckon.  It’s ok to be grumpy sometimes.  We might like to try to be robotic when it comes to betting, but occasionally, you have to accept you’re human.  And if from time to time that’s a grumpy human…well that’s ok too.

Portfolio performance for June, to Sunday 23rd

Another losing week, although not by much.  After a loss in May though, and now in the red for June too, this is proving to be a testing spell.  As noted above, Bet Alchemist found a lovely winner and generally fared well through the Royal meeting, and MVS (Lite) enjoyed a decent week too.  Which is not something that could be said for Northern Monkey who really isn’t enjoying himself at the moment.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -1.5%, ROC -0.61%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Futunver, Golf Insider): ROI 3.53%, ROC 0.18%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 37pts, +14.212pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 58pts, +37.675pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 49.8pts, +1.762pts.

MVS: Staked 41pts, +9.26pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 59.625pts, -29.228pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 24.5pts, -1.51pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 71.75pts, -18.888pts.

Suffering from betting OCD.

There’s a new betting blog out there, and from what I’ve seen of it so far, it’s very good.  Written by an SBC member it follows a portfolio of tipsters, most of which will be very familiar to you.  It’s well written and the content is interesting.  I’ve already bookmarked it for my own daily reading, and you can find it here.

Reading the first couple of posts it struck me that I really do suffer from an acute form of Betting OCD.

The author of the blog has clearly done some research into his tipsters and found methods of following some of his services that deviate from the instructions provided by the tipsters themselves.   I can’t do that – my betting OCD doesn’t allow it.  Goodness knows I’ve tried over the years, but every time I do I immediately feel uncomfortable and it’s not long until I go back to doing what the tipster says.

The most common manifestation is around the issue of staking.  It’s frequently possible to make a higher ROI from following a certain tipster by backing all selections to win as opposed to each way.  I’m pretty certain most tipsters know this but those that do employ the place terms as part of their advice are doing so to smooth out the ride.  But if a tipster tells me to back a horse each way, I’ll back it each way.  I’m like a natural born soldier who will only ever follow orders, without question and without grumbling.

I think my initial logic when I started betting was that if I’m paying for an expert’s advice, then it would be pretty daft not to listen to instruction.  You wouldn’t pay a solicitor for legal advice and then do the opposite of what they tell you, would you?  I appreciate now though that betting is a little more nuanced than that.  Not everything is black and white, there are various shades of grey too.  That said, by merely following instructions, I’ve not done too badly over the years.  I think I’ll just carry on as I am…until someone tells me to do otherwise.

Portfolio performance for June, to Sunday 16th

A very quiet week, and one in which the weather continued to be wet.  Very wet.

The racing was pretty standard fare, with last week being the week before Royal Ascot.  As such, there wasn’t a great deal of betting action at all.  From what there was, MVS had a decent enough time of it, Racing Service 3 did not. The others either made a little or lost a little.  Not a week that is going to stay in the memory for very long at all.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 2.71%, ROC 0.58%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI 54.84%, ROC 1.9%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 17pts, +2.975pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 20pts, +45.325pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 33.5pts, +18.262pts.

MVS: Staked 33pts, +4.13pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 33.125pts, -17.503pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 9pts, -1.241pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 41.25pts, -12.688pts.

How to suss out a new bookie

As an SBC member I recently received an email outlining the fact that there is another bookmaker for horse racing bettors to try out, Regency Racing.  Providing a purely telephone-based service as Regency do, this appears to be quite an old-fashioned but somewhat likeable way to operate.  It means human interaction (Heaven forbid in this social media driven age!) when placing a bet, which is something I find as I get older, strangely reassuring.

Wisely, the missive I received from the SBC contained the sage advice to not go all in, but to try the service out by depositing a controlled amount of funds.  Regency’s claim to accept business from winning and losing punters alike is likely to make them an attractive proposition and there may be a temptation to rush in and deposit a fair chunk of your betting bank.

The SBC themselves, in a recent article – – asked just how safe our deposited funds with bookmakers are.  It is apparent that different firms exercise varying degrees of security and that you’d do well to ensure you avoid making yourself vulnerable should a firm go under.

When I started to put these two articles/emails together in my mind, it dawned on me that using a new bookmaker for the first time is now rather similar to joining up with a new tipping service.  It’s sensible to start slowly with each, getting used to how they operate and gaining a “feel”.  Can I get the advertised or advised odds?  How does each react to a spell of sustained success or failure – does the bookie start to restrict your stake or the tipster change their approach?  Just like you might after a while, up the stakes placed on a tipster’s bets once you’ve gained confidence, so might you be happier to deposit a large amount with a bookmaker (although there’s still no reason to go daft) once they’ve proved to you that they process withdrawals quickly and efficiently.

I think this is all very much worth bearing in mind when you start looking to use different books.  I’ve a feeling that the industry is in the process of change, and am hopeful it will be for the better.  There is more awareness now of the unfair practices a number of bookmakers operate to rid themselves quickly of any “customer” they deem might possibly know what they’re doing, and that in itself will create an environment in which entrepreneurs spot a gap in the market.  So, as savvy punters, let’s just be careful out there.

Portfolio performance from June 1st – 9th

Quiet times with no bets from Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, and just a couple on the first day of the month from Football Service 2.

Racing Service 1 had an amazing day on Saturday 1st, generating an ROC figure of over 25% from the afternoon’s sport.  It was big winner after big winner to give up one of those days that come along once in a blue moon.  Good job it did mind, as Northern Monkey in particular has found the going tough to say the least!

Nice to see Golf Insider produce two weeks of very solid returns, without actually hitting on a winner.  It’s one thing waiting for those big-priced winners that you’re confident will come eventually, but smoothing out the wait has a lot going for it.

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI 10.48%, ROC 1.18%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 2, Golf Insider): ROI 120.26%, ROC 2.94%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 12pts, +3.225pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 12pts, +50.7pts.

Football Lay Profits: n/a

Football Service 1: n/a

Golf Insider: Staked 23.5pts, +28.262pts.

MVS: Staked 16pts, -1.12pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 19.375pts, -18.475pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 22.25pts, -5.25pts.