SPORTS: Tiny margins and negative variance

With no darts tournaments and boxing being affected by the pandemic, it’s been a very quiet start to 2021 for sports (non-football) betting.  There’s not yet been an Sports Service 1 or Sports Service 2 bet to report on as yet, although that is about to change for the latter service.  So other than to say that Scottish Football Income Booster drew a blank last weekend, but The Poacher has got off to a very promising start, I’ll leave the reporting of results for when there’s been a bit more action.  You can read the figures at the bottom of this post.

Instead this week, I’m going to comment on a couple of thoughts I had when reading the review of 2020 sent out by Sports Service 2 (SS2).

The first thing that struck me was the role that luck had to play in what was an underwhelming year for SS2 (official figures read 3.2 points profit at an ROI of 2.1%).  Luck, variance, call it what you will, but it’s fair to say SS2 didn’t have either on its side.  There were 20 missed darts to give the selection the match in the recent World Championships.  A 2/1 shot backed 1 point win had six match darts and failed to land the spoils – a big swing when you consider you’re staking only 150 points in a year, there or thereabouts.  And the trouble with darts, on many occasions these guys are probably missing the target by the width of a mosquito’s eyelashes.  But as the old adage goes, a miss really is as good as a mile, and so rest the fortunes of the gambler.

Now over time – and it can be a considerable length of time – those darts that landed the wrong side of the wire more times than you’d think possible, will land on the right side.  When this happens, profits will roll in at a rate that you will/should realize as unsustainable and the short-term ROI will, in relative terms, go through the roof.  The skill of the bettor is in not only knowing this, but also being able to accept the variance – both negative and positive – for what it is, and carry on regardless, changing nothing.  The Good Lord Himself Dennis Bergkamp only knows how many times I had to go through this experience myself to learn this lesson, and how many times I cocked up in the process of learning it.

The other thing I realized when I read the email was the extent to which sport has been impacted, and subsequently betting on it too, by the pandemic.  I don’t know about you, but since March and through the various lockdowns, I’ve found myself living day to day.  I guess it’s a coping mechanism, but I reckon I won’t be alone in adopting it if it is.  Possibly it’s the thought of the long term effects of Corona on society, never mind sport, and the insecurities and concerns it brings to such fundamental aspects of life such as the health of loved ones and job security, but to me taking things day by day makes sense.  Anyway, I digress a little – the point I’m clumsily making is that neither sportsmen and women, nor the tipsters themselves, are immune from this impact, and then there’s the actual, tangible impact on the sport and how that might affect betting on it.  In his email, R. (SS2) pointed out that due to cancellations, only four of 13 Euro Tour events went ahead through 2020.  All of the World Series events bit the dust, and there was no BDO World Championship or World Masters.  In total, we lost 17 tournaments, meaning 17 fewer tournaments to find value bets within – so bet numbers were limited which in turn, to my eyes, has the effect of making the potential impact of negative variance more acute.

So, what I’m trying to say here is that if any tipster is to be allowed a year which underwhelms, then 2020 was it.  Let’s just hope with the effect of mass vaccination, 2021 will prove to be a little less challenging…for everyone, on all counts.


Sports Service 1 (100 points): n/a

Sports Service 2 (30pts): n/a

Scottish Football Income Booster (100): Staked 2pts, -2pts, roi -100%, roc -2%, High: 0pts, CDD: -2pts, Max DD: -2pts.

The Poacher (40): Staked 12pts, +2.838pts, roi 23.65%, roc 7.09%, High: 4.776pts, CDD: -1.938pts, Max DD: -1.938pts

Sports Portfolio: ROI 15.92%, ROC 1.27%.

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

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