Friday, 23 August 2019

A Sobering Read - JP's Betting Blog

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a keen admirer of Rowan Day’s Bet Diary and earlier TPI blog. Within Rowan’s posts he mentions “JP’s Betting Blog” numerous times and alludes to the fact it was one of the better blogs around in years gone by so after starting my own blog I decided to check in on JP’s to find out how he fared and why Rowan found it such an interesting read. What I found was a real eye opener.
I’m sure plenty of you have followed it in the past since it attracted over 450,000 visitors in the 2 and a bit years it was active, but as a brief summary for those that aren’t familiar with it…
The blog was started in Oct 2007 and ran until April 2010. JP started with an initial £6,000 betting bank with the aim of making £25,000 by the end of 2008 by following tipsters and by placing some of his own bets. JP managed to far exceed this target though and by October 2009 he was £80,000 in profit. By this stage it became quite clear that he thought he was onto something big and so he decided to resign from his job and take up gambling full-time. He had booked a 7 week trip of a lifetime to Australia and New Zealand and everything was looking rosy.
However, from this point on things started to take a downward turn. In the final 6 weeks before he set off for Australia a number of his tipsters suffered a severe drawdown which led to him losing £18,000 in 6 weeks. He then had a pretty expensive trip and 7 weeks spending money to pay for before returning home to no job with only gambling to rely on for income. Alarm bells were already ringing but he persisted on in the hope his luck would change and let the elation of winning £80,000 override the warning signs of how quickly £18,000 evaporated. His bad luck wasn’t finished and he continued to haemorrhage cash as he chopped and changed tipsters and strategy in an attempt to rescue the situation. By April 2010 he had lost a further £9,000 and finally decided enough was enough. This game wasn’t for him so he packed up the blog and gambling for good.
Now considering what JP was trying to achieve and comparing it to my own situation then it was a pretty sobering read. It really hammered home how difficult it can be and put things into perspective regarding the risks involved that should never be ignored. These risks should always play on your mind and you should do everything possible to mitigate them as much as possible to give you the best chance of avoiding the worst.
There are plenty of lessons that can be learned from JP’s journey but before going on to them I should point out that he still managed to win over £37,000 during the lifetime if his blog. That’s a huge sum that 99.9% of people would be delighted with so despite how things ended it wasn’t all doom and gloom. JP should also be commended for having the foresight to acknowledge the path he was on and take action to rectify it before everything spiralled out of complete control. Reading the blog was interesting and informative, but when I was reading it I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between JP’s strategy and my own 4 or 5 years ago. Although JP’s operation was on a much bigger scale stake wise than mine, we were both making the same common mistakes. These are the lessons I should never forget to avoid falling into the same pitfalls this time around.

First of all JP started out with a betting bank of £6,000 but it was obvious from the beginning that this wasn’t sufficient considering the size of stakes and number of services he was using. He got lucky though and managed to generate profit quickly which enabled him to grow the original bank however the same mistake was made again when he decided to move full-time. He calculated that he required a £90,000 bank to follow his portfolio of tipsters but decided to apply a leverage factor of 2.25 to allow him to follow the portfolio with only £40,000 of actual cash. Considering this was now his only source of income then I would want a much bigger safety net to help cope with the stress and sleepless nights that the unavoidable drawdown would bring.
Another area of concern was around his strategy. It was a regular occurrence to increase stakes after a good run and decrease stakes during a bad run, both of which are a recipe for disaster. Good runs and bad runs don’t last forever so you need to ensure your staking is consistent regardless of performance to ensure that you can cope when the inevitable correction occurs. Increasing stakes after a good run is likely to erode the accumulated profit quicker when the run comes to an end. Similarly decreasing stakes during a bad run will only lead to a longer recovery time when results start to turn in your favour. The method I try to follow is to choose a staking plan and bank at the start of a season and stick to it for the full year. Each year I then assess the situation and decide if it needs to change or if stakes should be increased. I also think it’s a bad idea to join a new service while they’re on a good run. Provided the service has a long term winning record and has recovered from bad spells in the past then in my opinion the best time to join is during a drawdown. That way you have missed out on much of the losses but get to benefit when results start to turn for the better. I regularly get emails touting various services and how they’ve made x amount of profit in the last few months or how they’ve just had a massive winner. Why would I want to join that service when I’ve just missed out on all the profit?
JP also mentioned that over the course of the blog he paid £20,000 in subscription fees which works out to be roughly £8,000 per year. Now I’m all for diversifying the portfolio and ensuring that the risk is spread across a number of services but there becomes a point when you need to ask yourself if you’ve taken it too far. Has diversification turned into over diluting? With a large portfolio not all services will be of the same calibre as some of the others. The lesser services are likely to dilute the profits of the better services so why not trim the portfolio to reduce subscription fees and use those fees and allocated banks to increase stakes on the top services? Doing this will also reduce the workload while arguably giving you a bigger ROI and ROC.
Personally I can’t imagine myself ever doing this full-time before retirement age. My long term goal is to win enough money to enable me to retire early but hopefully by then I'll be mortgage free and I’ll have a lifetime of earnings behind me and a pension to rely on each month. Continued success following other people’s advice should never be taken for granted. Imagine deciding to pack up your comfortable full-time job with nice annual salary only for one of your top tipsters to decide they’ve had enough and are giving up the tipping game a few weeks later. The tipsters you follow aren’t going to be around forever and sure you’ll always find others, but who’s to say they’ll be as successful and reliable as the ones who you’ve based your decision to move full-time on? You may not enjoy your job but at least it provides a guaranteed income and pays the mortgage each month. The importance of this shouldn’t be underestimated.
JP came across as a likeable guy and hopefully everything has turned out well for him. He did make a couple of brief reappearances on his blog in 2012 and 2015 and it appears that his betting had taken a back seat while he concentrated on a new job and other business interests. Perhaps some of you know how he is doing now, and if so, I’d love to hear how he’s faring. You never know, he may even stumble across this himself!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Going For Gold

For the second time in four days Dakota Gold has produced the goods. On Saturday he ran his rivals ragged in the Great St Wilfrid for NMP and today he produced another fine front running performance to make all in the opening race of the Ebor meeting at York. What makes it better is he was advised today by both Northern Monkey and Racing Service 3 meaning I had £40 on at 5/1 and £100 on at 6/1. Northern Monkey has also included Dakota Gold with Mabs Cross in Friday’s Nunthorpe in a £20 32/1 double and I’ve done my own small stakes trebles on the two mentioned plus Kings Advice (230/1) and Withhold (263/1) in the big race on Saturday. Considering NMP has also advised singles on King’s Advice and Withhold plus both in doubles with Marmelo who won on Sunday, the weekend is shaping up nicely. Nothing is guaranteed in this game but it’s a nice position to be in.
I also had some good fortune in that I placed my £40 Dakota Gold bet with Bet365 therefore I was able to place a risk free bet on the next race due to their ITV 4/1 offer. I’m useless at picking my own so done a quick bit of digging on twitter and noticed @theformanalyst put up a good word for Valdermoro so that’s where my cash went….another £40 winner at 9/2. I decided to back Nayef Road in the following race with my next risk free bet but this is where my luck ran out as he couldn’t get close to the two market leaders.

In addition to Dakota Gold, Racing Service 3 found another winner on Monday at Catterick when Chaplin Bay defied a big pre-race drift to win at an SP of 11/1. The slight downside to this was that only 50% of my stake was backed with a BOG firm with the other half backed at 6/1 with one of the MBG bookies although after witnessing the drift I’m just happy to be able to collect.
Fingers crossed this good run continues into the weekend.
August P&L to date Northern Monkey: £1971.16, 100.1% ROI The Value Bettor: N/A Racing Service 3: £1342.03, 31.4% ROI Scottish Football Bets: £252.92, 10.3% ROI Golf Betting Expert: -£111.71, -19.3% ROI Golf Service 2: £614.25, 195.0% ROI My Own Bets: £473.48, 69.8% ROI Total: £4542.13, 44.2% ROI 2019/20 P&L to date Northern Monkey: £3074.76, 66.3% ROI The Value Bettor: N/A Racing Service 3: £284.83, 2.5% ROI Scottish Football Bets: -£73.67, -1.2% ROI Golf Betting Expert: -£201.21, -13.8% ROI Golf Service 2: £755.73, 87.4% ROI My Own Bets: £746.81, 58.0% ROI Total: £4587.25, 17.9% ROI

Monday, 19 August 2019

A Step in the Right Direction

The week just gone was one of those weeks were everything just seems to go right. Since I started the blog two months or so ago it’s been a case of one step forward and two steps back so hopefully this week is the week to break that mould and is the catalyst for pushing on and building some serious profit.
The star of the show was undoubtedly Northern Monkey who had an absolutely incredible weekend. Breanski (18/1) got the ball rolling at Doncaster before finding 3 out of 4 winners at Ripon. Dakota Gold (8/1) absolutely hacked up in the Great St Wilfrid with Anna Bunina following up in the following race to provide a nice reward for two heavily staked singles plus a 33/1 double. The final winner was Hortzadar (4/1) although a big rule 4 impacted the returns. I also chanced my luck by sticking the Ripon 4 in a lucky 15 which returned £227 for the £15 stake. NMP rounded off a great weekend with another winner when Marmelo (9/4) won at Deauville. Marmelo was also the first part of two doubles advised which include a couple of fancies for Saturday’s Ebor. Things will be quiet on the NMP front for a while as Wayne gets married this week before celebrating on honeymoon in Cyprus so it was great timing to add £1500 to the bank. I wish Wayne all the best and hopefully he continues his rich vein of form when he returns as a married man!
Racing Service 3 had an up and down week after getting off to an absolute cracker with 2/2 winners on Tuesday to follow up on a winner on Monday. Deconso (9/2) preceded Flood Defence (6/1) and What a Business (9/2) to generate £1500 profit over the two days, however, there was nothing else to celebrate until Desert Strike (7/2) obliged yesterday. If up and down weeks produce £900 profit however, then give me one every week!
The nags may have generated the most profit but the calibre of tipping from the golf services was every bit as impressive. Golf Service 2 picked out Callum Shinkwin at 66/1 in the first round leader market at the D+D Czech Masters who finished in a dead heat for 4th and also advised Adri Arnaus in the outright market at 60/1. Errors in the final few holes for Shinkwin put an end to us collecting the big one and Arnaus ended up finishing one stroke behind Pieters into 2nd. We didn’t need to wait long on another winner though as the service made it 2 winners in consecutive weeks and 3 in the past 5 weeks with Justin Thomas obliterating the field to finish on -25, 3 shots clear of his nearest challenger in the BMW Championship. Only two bets were advised for the BMW with the other being John Rahm who managed a full place pay out so it can’t get much better than that. Golf Betting Expert continues to knock on the door as he also picked out Adri Arnaus and also added Matthias Schwab (56/1) to the long list of recent places. On the back of both services being keen on Arnaus I decided to include him in a small each way double with John Rahm which paid £118 for the £10 outlay. In addition to the Ripon lucky 15 and Rahm/Arnaus double I had some further success with my own bets. Midweek I had £50 on Rangers u21s away to Stranraer after hearing that Stranraer had a number of first team players missing and had to depend on a few players from the South of Scotland league. A price of 3.9 on Smarkets seemed too good to be true for a young Rangers team who would’ve been eager to impress against the senior side and this turned out to be the case as Rangers ran out 2-0 winners. I also chanced my luck with a lucky 63 on Saturday with the 3 Ripon winners plus 3 of Racing Service 3’s fancies. At one stage I was sitting on a £800 cash out after 3 of the first 4 won, but unfortunately none of the final 2 runners managed to get home in front. If only I included the 18/1 winner Breanski! The only disappointment for the week was Scottish Football Bets who could only manage one winner on Saturday. Barren days like this happen though and it was only last week that SFB was the star of the show! So a final sum of just under £3000 profit for the week ensures that we’re finally moving in the right direction. Hopefully things can continue in the coming weeks. Monthly and yearly figures below: August P&L to date Northern Monkey: £1801.16, 94.8% ROI The Value Bettor: N/A Racing Service 3: £234.43, 6.3% ROI Scottish Football Bets: £252.92, 10.3% ROI Golf Betting Expert: -£111.71, -19.3% ROI Golf Service 2: £614.25, 195.0% ROI My Own Bets: £293.48, 49.1% ROI Total: £3084.53, 32.2% ROI 2019/20 P&L to date Northern Monkey: £2904.76, 63.6% ROI The Value Bettor: N/A Racing Service 3: -£822.77, -7.7% ROI Scottish Football Bets: -£73.67, -1.2% ROI Golf Betting Expert: -£201.21, -13.8% ROI Golf Service 2: £755.73, 87.4% ROI My Own Bets: £566.81, 47.0% ROI Total: £3129.65, 12.6% ROI

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

An Interview with the Smart Betting Club

A few weeks ago Pete from the Smart Betting Club got in touch to ask if I’d be happy to answer a few questions relating to the blog. When you start something like this from scratch, it’s a tough gig to find people who want to read it, so when an opportunity like this presents itself you don’t let it pass by. Hopefully the new readers find it interesting and/or useful enough to stick around but I’m sure a number of you are further down the road with your betting than I am so I’m sure there are few of you who I could learn a thing or two from!
I’ll copy and paste the interview below but if anyone has any questions or would like me to elaborate on any of my answers, feel free to leave a comment.
Thanks to Pete and the Smart Betting Club for the opportunity, it’s much appreciated.
An Interview With The 'Making Punting Pay' Blogger
1. Hi MPP, Can you tell about why you decided to start your new blog and what your goals are for it?
I’m a keen reader of Rowan’s Bet Diary Pro and shortly after joining the Smart Betting Club a few years ago I became aware of his earlier The Portfolio Investor blog. I decided to sit down and read it from start to finish over the course of a few weeks and the things I learned were invaluable.
For me it’s probably been the best source of information I’ve found for anyone doing this sort of thing and being able to relate to situations and see how Rowan dealt with the practical side of things was extremely useful. So I suppose I’m hoping that by starting my own blog, others will find this half as useful as I found Rowan’s.
I’m also hoping it’ll help me maintain discipline to reduce the number of mistakes I make, but I’m also quite excited about how things will develop over the next few years so being able to share that with others will be nice.
2. Many readers will be wondering how much time you spend betting on a daily or weekly basis and exactly how you juggle this with your family life and work commitments? It's tough to put an exact figure on the time spent betting. Placing the bets doesn’t take up a lot of time at all, maybe approx. 3 hours over the course of a week give or take. I also keep accurate records of all the bets placed, deposits and withdrawals, checking winnings have been credited correctly etc. which probably amounts to another 3 hours and I also like to find out the result of each race by watching the replays which adds another couple of hours. So when you add all of that up I probably spend around 8 hours per week betting, but that’s not taking into account everything else betting related i.e. reading articles, checking twitter, thinking about the portfolio etc. but those things are inevitable since it’s an interest of mine. I try to keep disruptions to family life and work to a minimum but clashes are inevitable around the time emails come in if you want to achieve best prices, however once bets are placed I try to ensure betting doesn’t affect my normal day. Having a good smartphone assists with this and allows you to bet on the move with email notifications and betting apps and also allows you to watch replays and check scores etc. to avoid the need to sit down in front of the laptop each night. 3. Have you ever worked out what your 'hourly rate' would be if you took your profit tally from last year (£10,395.28) and divided it by the amount of time you put in? I’ve never thought about this but if I use my 8 hours per week figure then I made the equivalent of £25 per hour betting last year. Not bad for being tax free! 4. There are many ways to make a second income these days, so what to you is the appeal of following tipsters and betting to do this? There may be many ways to make a second income but I can’t think of many that provide the ability to build your bank as quickly as this. The added bonus is that it’s an enjoyable hobby and I get to make money while enjoying the sports that I’d be watching regardless.

5. In your first post, you shared your profit figures in your journey so far, whereby it was noticeable how between January 2015 and January 2017 you made a loss. What is it that changed for you in 2017 as you went from posting an overall loss to making improved profits? The turning point was actually the start of 2017 although the first 6 months of that year were spent steadying the ship. Before that I was naive and joined too many tipsters in a short space of time without having a sufficient betting bank. I had won a bit of money with one or two services and thought that the easiest way to increase my profits was to join more services which ultimately was my downfall. A few suffered drawdowns at the same which led to my bank going bust. This also meant I could no longer afford to follow the tipsters I had paid for meaning I also pissed the subscription fees up against a wall. At the start of 2017 I decided to start over again with a modest bank and carefully selected one service to join and rebuild things. Fortunately things seem to have worked out but I’m still aware of the mistakes I made and I’m cautious not to fall into the same trap again. 6. Do you mind sharing a little bit about how you choose the tipsters you do? What do you look for before you join a service? It’s a variety of things really. Firstly, I like to follow tipsters who specialise in sports I enjoy as I like to watch my bets unfold when possible. I can’t see myself following a cricket or American Sports service any time soon! Secondly and most obviously, a tipster has got to have a proven long term record and offer good ROI (Return on Investment) and ROC (Return on Capital) potential to make it worth the effort. Other things such as tipping window, odds availability and workload also come under consideration and I also like to analyse historical performance to try and identify potential ways in which I can tailor the way I follow a tipster in an attempt to generate higher ROI/ROC or even just to simplify the bet placement process providing it doesn’t impact profitability too much. There are two services in my current portfolio that I follow differently to the official advice. One I bet win only rather than each way due to historical performance informing that a higher ROI and ROC can be achieved, and another who I follow to level stakes since historical performance indicates smaller drawdowns which means stakes can be increased leading to higher ROC potential. 7. What has been the biggest challenge for you in following tipsters to make a second income? The biggest challenge I’ve faced is re-programming myself mentally after busting my betting bank. It took a bit of faith to continue and allocate new funds after witnessing how easy it was to lose money doing this if not set up correctly. I went from following 8 guys down to 1 so my betting activity reduced dramatically and at times it felt like I was moving at a snail’s pace going nowhere fast. This is when I realised that it’s a long term game with success built on solid foundations rather than expecting instant success. 8. How about dealing with bookmaker restrictions as I can see from some of the tipsters you follow (at least those I recognise) that you seem to be choosing those who quote fair odds in markets lesser affected by this issue. Is this a deliberate ploy on your behalf and what is your plan for countering restriction issues. This is by far the biggest issue for anyone having a molecule of betting success. I’ve worked my way through a few pseudo accounts but have reached the point where I no longer see the point in continuing to do so as you’re closed down before you’ve had a chance to make any profit these days. I’ve still got one original account that has remained opened, I expect due to being a long term losing account for years so that combined with the introduction of firms offering a minimum bet liability have been a god send. I also try to split stakes and not bet more than £50 on any account and have also learned to be more patient and not worry if advised prices aren’t available with the firms I can bet with…you’d be surprised how many tips drift back out to the advised price on the exchange nearer the off. This is definitely something I consider when choosing tipsters to follow and can see my betting activity becoming more exchange orientated going forward. 9. Finally, what are your hopes and goals for the blog and your betting moving forward? I noted your own personal bets made a loss of £3107 last year - do you intend to stop these and what plans do you have for adding in more tipsters and/or increasing stakes in the future? I haven’t really given much thought as to where I want the blog to go. I think what I’m doing is interesting and I’m sure others will enjoy reading about the ups and downs and will be able to relate to my experiences. My friends and family enjoy a bet but none take it too seriously so being able to interact with people with similar interests via the blog will be good. As for the betting…I’ve actually just published a blog post about my targets and long term goals etc. where I touch on this sort of thing. I do have an idea in mind for what I see as the ideal portfolio which will involve adding more tipsters and increasing stakes over time, but I’m in no rush to do this. It’s important that I reduce the risk as much as possible and only increase stakes or add more tipsters when my betting bank allows. With regards to the personal bets…I don’t intend to stop them completely but I do intend to reduce the number of bets and size of stakes. I want to try and remove the temptation to throw on daft bets while watching the football and learn to enjoy the game without having a bet. However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with continuing to place the odd lucky 15 using the tipped horses in an attempt to win the jackpot or throwing on a Saturday football accumulator for interest while watching the scores provided stakes are kept under control.

Monday, 12 August 2019

A Week of Mixed Fortune

The past week has seen a good level of profit accumulated with all services posting a profit but I can’t help but think it could have been so much better.
On Thursday I was again nearly cursing the luck of Racing Service 3 who advised Black Kalanisi (7/1) at Brighton. She looked to have an uphill task from 2 out but managed to sustain a challenge to squeeze between her 2 rivals to take it to a photo finish. I was convinced she had done enough on first viewing but the slow motion images showed she was beaten on the head bob. Another one to add to the long list of seconds I thought but thankfully the result was overturned in the stewards room as our selection was bumped by first past the post Htilominlo in the final furlong….just the change of luck we’ve been due!
Northern Monkey advised a MAX bet on Victory Day in the Shergar Cup Sprint on Saturday which translated to a £120 win bet at 5/2. Wayne’s confidence was justified as Jamie Spencer’s ride never looked under threat after being held up and delivered to perfection up the inside rail. Victory Day was supplemented by Power of Darkness at 4/1 which was backed as a single and also as part of an advised Trixie including Victory Day that paid over 11/1 for the double to round off a good days work.
Scottish Football Bets maintained the good recent form with 3 out of 6 on Saturday to top up the kitty.
The golf services have been on a bit of a purple patch recently and continued in the same vein this week. Going into last night and the final round of the Northern Trust, Patrick Reed (advised by Golf Service 2 at 50/1) was sitting top of the leaderboard with John Rahm (advised by Golf Betting Expert at 17/1) 2 shots adrift. GBE advised a MAX 5pt each way bet on Rahm as opposed to Golf Service 2’s 0.5pt each way bet on Reed so the preferable outcome for me was for Rahm to win and Reed to place. In the end it was Patrick Reed who took the trophy with Rahm ensuring a healthy each way pay out. Reed wasn’t Golf Service 2’s only winner of the weekend after being keen on Anne Van Dam in the Ladies Scottish Open. An 8 under opening round on Thursday was enough to secure a 3 way tie for the lead on day one to collect on a cracking 100/1 First Round Leader bet with a further Top 10 bet collecting with Van Dam finishing tied 6th overall. The number of near misses Golf Betting Expert has had recently has been unbelievable so I’m sure the next win isn’t far away.
Now for the bad fortune…
After publishing part 2 of my ‘Getting On’ blog last week and writing about the need for patience, sod’s law well and truly obliged with my patience coming to bite me in the arse! Master Matt was tipped at a top price of 14/1 by Racing Service 3 and I was only able to get £35 on at the top price. Instead of placing the other £65 at the widely available and acceptable 12/1, I decided to wait for the price to rebound on the exchange, although this never materialised and I was left to watch it romp home with 65% of my stake unmatched. When this happens it does feel like a kick in the teeth but this is why I keep a record of the bets I’ve missed due to price. Since 6th April 2019 I’ve passed up on 44 Racing Service 3 bets either to full stake or partial stake and of those 44, only 4 have went on to win at 12/1, 7/1, 15/2 and 3/1. Missing out on these winners was tough at the time when you realise you should have had £100 down on each, but when you calculate it all up I’m actually over £400 better off by letting these bets slide.
The second tale of bad fortune was with one of my own bets. I decided to include NMP’s banker of the weekend Victory Day in a 4fold with the 3 Scottish Football Bet’s that I liked most. When Victory Day romped home I checked the scores to notice Falkirk were 4-0 up, Raith 2-0 up and Cove Rangers 3-1 to the good midway into the 2nd half. The bet was worth £255 for a £20 stake and the cash out at the time was £230. I did toy with the idea of taking the cash out but it’s something I’ve always been dead against. Surely the bookie is only going to offer you a cash-out sum that suits them? With all teams having at least a 2 goal lead it also felt like it would have been throwing £25 down the drain. Fast forward 30 mins and Cove had conceded 3 goals to be 4-3 down and how I wish I had clicked that button.
I also got a bit excited with it being the start of the English Premier League and managed to squander £200 on a number of accumulators, bookings and anytime scorer bets which is annoying since this is the area I singled out for improvement at the start of this.
August P&L to date Northern Monkey: £305.66, 22.5% ROI The Value Bettor: N/A Racing Service 3: -£748.00, -31.6% ROI Scottish Football Bets: £754.42, 47.9% ROI Golf Betting Expert: -£93.71, -26.0% ROI Golf Service 2: £362.00, 262.3% ROI My Own Bets: -£312.44, -89.2% ROI Total: £267.93, 4.4% ROI 2019/20 P&L to date Northern Monkey: £1409.26, 35.0% ROI The Value Bettor: N/A Racing Service 3: -£1805.20, -19.3% ROI Scottish Football Bets: £427.83, 8.2% ROI Golf Betting Expert: -£183.21, -14.8% ROI Golf Service 2: £503.48, 73.2% ROI My Own Bets: -£39.11, -4.1% ROI Total: £313.05, 1.5% ROI

Friday, 9 August 2019

Getting On Part 2

Until recently, 90% of the time I would spread my bets around as many different firms as possible. I’d often find myself splitting stakes on one horse between 3 or 4 different bookies, which quickly became tedious and time consuming, not to mention the fact that you need to accept lesser prices with at least one of those bookies. Don’t get me wrong I still use this method on some occasions but it’s probably closer to 20% of the time now.
It also became a chore to use Oddschecker for every bet…I’d navigate my way through Oddschecker then log in to the bookie to find the odds on offer didn’t match Oddschecker meaning you’re back at Oddschecker to check which firm now offers best odds. When you need to do this multiple times each day and then throw account restrictions into the mix when you eventually find a bookie who’s odds actually match Oddschecker then it’s time to find another method. I know you can bet directly through the Oddschecker site to save time but I’m convinced this alerts the bookie that your price sensitive and will impact your account quicker. I’m always looking for ways to simplify my betting and this is undoubtedly one of the main areas to look at. One route for getting on that I’ve found to be an absolute godsend in recent months is the small handful of firms now offering Minimum Bet Guarantees (MBG). This is where they guarantee to lose up to £500 in each race. Currently there are 4 firms who operate a MBG that I’m aware of; Betfair Sportsbook, BetVictor, Skybet and William Hill. I don’t bother with BetVictor’s offer as the MBG odds differ from the main market odds meaning that you need to accept less value on your bets. I also disregard Skybets offer as it is only available on Class 1 and Class 2 races from 10am on the day of the race. None of my services include the race class in their emails so I tend not to waste time in checking myself, but this is something I’ll be looking to take advantage of going forward. It’s just sheer laziness from me but it won’t take a lot of effort to flick through the race cards each night to check what races are eligible the following day. The two I use almost every day are the William Hill and Betfair offers. Betfair lay to lose up to £500 on every race from 10am each day, while William Hill’s offer trumps the rest in laying £500 on all races as soon as prices are available after final declarations. I’ve also learned to become more patient with my betting and no longer worry if I can’t achieve advertised prices as soon as bets are released. In these cases I wait until an hour before the race starts and then have a look on the exchange. It’ll surprise you how many tips drift back out to an acceptable price in the hour or so before the off. I intentionally wait until nearer the off as putting money on the exchange early just ruins the chances for anyone else that wants to follow. People who chase down a price are only shooting themselves in the foot by taking a poor value price and also ruin it for everyone else as bookies see the exchange activity and have no choice but to cut their odds to avoid leaving themselves open to an arb. Once this happens it’s very rare for a bookie to lengthen their odds back out which means it becomes pretty difficult for people to get on at the advised price. The folk who do this are insane and completely moronic in my eyes and I know it’s been the bane of a few tipsters life’s over the past few years I’ve been following. If people put their greed to the side and became more patient, then it would be to everyone’s benefit. By waiting until nearer the off, I've also found that the advised price can be beaten on a number of occasions. When a horse doesn’t drift to the desired price then you need to be disciplined and leave the bet alone. I’ve started to keep a record of the bets I miss due to odds collapsing to keep tabs on the profit or loss that would have been accrued had I managed to find the price. It actually makes pleasant reading at the moment and helps deal with the pain of missing a winner. On the odd occasion I’ll try and get matched in-play if the situation allows. Usually this works better on the longer distance races with held up types as front runners are likely to see their odds shorten until they either win, or are out of contention, in which case it’s pointless trying to get matched. This is one area I’d like to see improved in future with the time delay between course and TV being reduced to make in-play betting more viable. My final go to method for getting on is my good old trusty Bet365 account. I did think twice about naming it as no doubt sods law will kick in and I’ll end up restricted with it, but touch wood it has served me well over the years. I’ve had it for about 15 years and was a long term losing account at first, which probably explains why it’s still viable. Northern Monkey’s usual bet release time is between 8.30am – 9am which means I can’t use the Betfair MBG, but with my stakes being £40 per point I haven’t had many issues in getting on with the accounts I have available. The majority of bets are placed with Bet365 but the other accounts do pitch in. As of yet I’ve not been forced onto the exchange with NMP but if I increase stakes in future it’ll be an area I’ll need to explore. Racing Service 3 has two bet release windows at 10am and 12.15pm roughly. Since bets are provided that little bit later, my first port of call is Bet365, Betfair MBG and William Hill MBG. I play at £100 level stakes so I try and get my money down between these 3 but place no more than £50 with each. The only time I’ll bet more than £50 is on the odd occasion when one of the MBG firms are offering best odds on a short priced horse. More often than not I’ll only manage to get half my stake down with one of these three, then I’ll bide my time until nearer the off and check the exchange. As an example of using the in-play strategy to your advantage, last season Racing Service 3 advised a horse at 33/1. I managed to get £25 down with Bet365 before the odds collapsed. It had an SP around the 20/1 so I watched the race live and it was held up but travelling well so I put in an order for the other £75 at 34.0. The horse then picked off each of its rivals in front to get up on the line for a £3400 pay day. This is obviously an extreme example but does go to show the benefits you can reap if you show a little patience. Last season with the Value Bettor I tried to get on with Bet365 and the other high street firms as much as possible as soon as bets were released. This has proved to be the most profitable method over the years since as the name suggests, TVB is all about identifying value so usually the odds shorten until the off. However, TVB has changed his approach in recent years and now only advises bets in big races so it’s become clear there may be an opportunity to wait until nearer the off before looking at the exchange. This is one I need to ponder in the next few months ahead of the return of the jumps. The majority of Scottish Football Bets are placed with the bookies. Marathon, BetVictor and Bet365 are the three that jump out although it’s common for Marathon not to accommodate my full £100 stake. The other smaller online firms also pitch in from time to time but again it’s unusual for them to accommodate my full stake. Finally, the two golf services are currently providing me with the biggest headache at the moment. This may surprise you since whenever you hear about account restrictions it’s usually in the context of racing, although I suppose you could say that it’s because of racing that the golf is now being penalised. The likes of Betfair Sportsbook, Paddy Power, Boylesports, Betfred etc. are essential to a golf bettor these days since they pay out a higher number of places on each way bets with it not being uncommon for them to offer 7, 8 or even 10 places. However, unfortunately my accounts with these firms are restricted due to my racing bets in years gone by so I can’t take advantage of the extra places and often need to accept 5 or 6 places. It makes me laugh that the likes of Betfair apply restrictions to my account because of racing, but now due to MBG I can bet on racing but not on any other sport. Hopefully one day the MBG’s will be expanded to cover all sports. The other weapon in your armoury is to throw on some daft accumulators from time to time and especially after a decent win to try and make yourself look like a mug punter. This is the main reason I continue to place ‘my own bets’ while at the same time giving you the chance to win big. Apologies for the length of this post and if I rabbited on a bit…I didn’t intend for it to be as long! Back with a profit and loss update early next week, have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Getting On Part 1

The struggle with account restrictions has been well documented over the last few years by people more intelligent and clued up on the subject than me so I won’t attempt to replicate that here. However, I will go into a little detail about how this issue has affected me and what measures I’ve taken since to ensure I can continue to get the money down on my bets. I’ve decided to cover this in two posts with the methods I use for each service following in the next day or two. I can’t remember the first account to suffer, but it must have been 4 or 5 years ago I’d guess. At the time I was perplexed and didn’t know what to think of it but it didn’t take long for others to follow suit. The thing that puzzled me most was the accounts that were being limited despite showing a loss…and there was quite a few of them! At the time I was no more than a 20 quid punter so it wasn’t even as though I was asking them to lay large liabilities, they obviously just couldn’t cope with the fact I was beating SP more often than not. The sooner a Minimum Bet Law is introduced the better….it’s time for “bookmakers” to start doing what they claim to be and start making a book and managing liabilities again. Over the years I’ve had to adapt my betting to prolong the life of my accounts. I’ve tried most things that you’ve probably seen elsewhere such as spreading bets between accounts, trying to look like a mug punter, using the exchange where possible etc. I also created a new set of accounts when I moved house, so had to open a new bank account and change email address to try and go undetected. I also conveniently needed a new laptop and phone around the same time so I had myself set up with new devices that couldn’t be linked to my old accounts. The only information that remained the same was my name and date of birth as I’d assume this would be essential if they asked for ID prior to withdrawing winnings. I also opened accounts up in my wife’s name and sorted her out with a new bank account and email address that I’d use solely for betting purposes. These accounts lasted a while, and some are still viable, but I’ve developed the opinion that it’s really more hassle than it’s worth to continue opening new pseudo accounts in your friends and families names every time an account is restricted. It’s a bit of a leap of faith on their part and how long are they realistically going to last anyway? I’ve also seen people resorting to getting their cash down in shops rather than online in an attempt to go undetected. I know that some followers of The Value Bettor use this approach and it’s something that Andrew (TVB) keeps in mind when advising his bets as he tries to accommodate everyone and only issues bets on big races when the markets are sufficiently mature and are likely to be fully priced up in shops. However, personally I don’t see this as a viable option. Work and family commitments mean it isn’t possible to simply jump in the car down to the nearest bookie whenever a bet comes in, and besides, by the time you get to the shop the odds will no doubt have changed anyway. How do you even know the shop odds match the online odds in the first place to justify you jumping in the car? I suppose you could ensure you’re already in the shop if you know when to expect bets, but this is a big commitment and only really viable if you’re doing this full time. And even still you can’t guarantee the odds on offer will represent value. Others open accounts with every bookie they can find, and this is something I did myself to a certain extent. The new customer sign up offers are reason in themselves to open an account even if you don’t plan on using it again. They’re particularly useful when you’re starting out and perhaps don’t have too big a betting bank as you can often guarantee profit with the offers to help you grow your initial bank. However, if you’re doing this on a semi-serious basis then time is of the essence. When a tip comes through, more often than not you need to act fast. Most people will have their go to odds comparison site so unless the bookie is present on that site then you’re unlikely to know that their odds offer value in sufficient time before the price shortens. Even if they do appear on the odds comparison site, the majority of firms are a joke and don’t stand a bet, so can be disregarded anyway. Most tipsters do list bookie odds on their tips to help you save time, but these are usually quoted from the bigger firms. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who uses more obscure firms or those not present on odds comparisons sites on a regular basis when following tipsters as to how they manage it successfully….cos I have no idea! August hasn’t got off to the best of starts with five out of my six services in the red. The one shining light has been Scottish Football Bets who has got the month off to a cracker with 6/7 winners at the weekend followed by 3/4 winners last night when he successfully backed against the SPL u21 sides against lower league opposition. You really must commend Greg for the lengths he goes to, to ensure no stone is left unturned. On Saturday he advised a double which included Dumbarton v Raith under 3.5 goals which was justified by the fact that Dumbarton parked the bus in a recent friendly v Motherwell with the ‘Well’ gaffer “comparing the surface to the rough at Royal Portrush, the famous Country Antrim golf course in his native Northern Ireland.” Just to corroborate this view, Greg found himself down at Dumbarton’s stadium the evening before the game to take a picture of the pitch through a fence to ascertain the length of the grass! The dedication really must be applauded. August P&L to date Northern Monkey: -£81.84, -9.3% ROI The Value Bettor: N/A Racing Service 3: -£1010.00, -100% ROI Scottish Football Bets: £663.09, 67.9% ROI Golf Betting Expert: -£113.71, -71.1% ROI Golf Service 2: -£67.50, -100% ROI My Own Bets: -£122.07, -87.1% ROI Total: -£732.03, -22.6% ROI 2019/20 P&L to date Northern Monkey: £1021.76, 28.8% ROI The Value Bettor: N/A Racing Service 3: -£2067.20, -25.9% ROI Scottish Football Bets: £336.50, 7.3% ROI Golf Betting Expert: -£203.21, -19.5% ROI Golf Service 2: £73.98, 12.0% ROI My Own Bets: £151.26, 20.2% ROI Total: -£686.91, -3.7% ROI