Monday, 31 January 2011

The month in review.

Today felt like the last twitches of a dying beast. The writing was on the wall - today's betting were the last, futile acts of a month out on it's feet. Let's get the details of today's action out of the way before having a look at the month as a whole.

Today's Action

There were eleven bets today, two winners amongst them. On The Nose had one win from one selection (Festival King - Ayr - 11/2) to produce a 3.4pt profit, and The Sportsman Racing had a half point on a winner at the Scottish track too (Ballabriggs - Ayr - 6/4) to produce a 0.75pt profit. Drawing blanks were PJA NH who found only one placed selection amongst it's five bets today for a 3pt loss, Northern Monkey Punter with one placed from three for a 1.1pt loss, and Chasemaster with their only bet a loser for a 0.25pt loss.

Monday 31st January: Staked £170.50, -£40.25.
Week to date: Staked £170.50, -£40.25
January 2011: Staked £16,132.50, -£273.67, roi -1.69%.


Obviously, any month in which a loss is posted can only be described as disappointing. The manner in which the loss was made though, is what irks somewhat. After being over £900 up at roughly half way through the month, to go on a run from that point whereby a loss of £273 is suffered has been a little galling to say the least.

However, a little context is required, before doom and gloom really sets in. Firstly, a loss of less than £300 is easy to absorb in the greater scheme of things. Secondly, this has been the first losing month since June of last year. And thirdly, if the two halves of the month were reversed, ie. the £1,200 lost in the first two weeks and then a recovery to a total of -£273 over the course of the last two weeks, I would probably be feeling a whole lot happier.

January was also a bit of an experimental month for me. I expanded the portfolio by three services and consequently those three services were understaked as I was careful to ensure that they would suit my preferred style of betting. These services will be staked in February very much more in line with the rest of the portfolio. Theoretically, this should add stability to overall performance. There are one or two other services that I have not been staking correctly (details below) and therefore some slight adjustments are being made for next month.

Star of the Month

This is undoubtedly On The Nose. One of the new services this month, it is a shame that I was staking at a lower level as I found my feet with it, as it's figures are extremely impressive...Staked 50.25pts, +42.424pts, roi 84.42%! Now, shame though it is to say, such a high level of performance is impossible to maintain. But looking through last year's results on their website, there were four months which produced a profit of greater than 20 points, and only two months which posted a (small) loss. The conclusion I draw from this is that hopes for a consistent ride must be high, even if expectations of hitting 40+ points of profit each month are unrealistic. I feel very comfortable with the service. The norm is to back just two to four horses per day, staking is consistent, write ups clear and concise, and advised odds generally accomplishable. I did miss out on a couple of points profit by the price being cut before I could get on, but this problem should be minimised from tomorrow when the day's selections are no longer publicly available without charge. With a limit of 50 members or so, this is a service that I can be very optimistic about. Without it this month, my +/- figures would look a whole lot worse! Staking for February: £20/point.

Excellent Month

Chasemaster came good this month. Staked 10.125pts, +3.826pts, roi 37.78%.

It has taken me three months to get used to Chasemaster. I have outlined their idiosyncracies in a previous post, but I do feel that I am beginning to get to grips with them now. I have been seriously understaking them as again, I wanted to feel happy with the service before fully committing myself. I feel that I am there now, and can stake accordingly. They do seem prone to fairly regular losing runs, but at the odds they play at, that is only to be expected. Staking for February: £60/point.

Based on roi achieved, The Sportsman must be applauded this month. Staked 1.91pts, +0.467pts, roi 24.45%. However, it is not quite that clear cut. Having suffered a poor December, it has been pleasing to see selections performing much better in January. However, I do feel that the service has been more selective in it's approach, possibly as a direct consequence of trying to prevent the losing run from continuing. There have been many times that potential bets have been identified and detailed in the daily email but not advised as being strong enough for account bets. It feels that many of these have gone on to win (I may be wrong and it is my mind playing tricks, but I don't think so). In itself this isn't a problem, but when the month's total staked is about half of what could be expected from past staking levels, it means that although the roi is good, the actual money made is pretty low. I'm not going to change staking yet though - let's see what happens over the next couple of months first. Staking for February: £200/point.


The Sportsman Racing service, like the sports side of the service, had a good month in terms of roi but didn't actually produce very much profit in cash terms. Staked 7pts, +0.787pts, roi 11.24%. This is a direct result of it being new to the portfolio this month and a consequent low staking level. Staking for February: £60/point.

Skeeve had a good month too...staked 88pts, +12.86pts, roi 14.61%. The main service actually outperformed these figures but the 'Late Blue Square South' service, which I lump in with the main service, has dragged things back a little. Still, if Skeeve can maintain this level of performance overall until the end of the season, I'll be more than happy. Staking for February: £15/point.


It is trying to make up for ground lost in the first half of the season, but Sports Investor did ok in January...staked 9pts, +0.587pts, roi 6.52%. They have apparently been analysing their selection criteria/procedures with the aim of improving performance - let's hope it works. My only concern with this service is that they are constantly saying that they anticipate greater numbers of selections, so I keep my staking as it is, only for the greater levels to not materialise! Staking for February: £100/point.

Football Investor did ok...staked 81pts, +6.525pts, roi 8.05%. I have to admit, I struggle a little with Football Investor, through no fault of the service itself. A lot of bets, many of them coming through on a Friday night, and for football, fairly lengthy losing runs due to the odds being played at. However, all these issues lie with me and not with the service itself - if it can up the profit levels a little over the remainder of the season, then it will be worth all the effort. Staking for February: £15/point.

Football Investor's 'other' service, Strike Zone also contributed some profits...staked 36pts, +2.274pts, roi 6.31%. Steady enough in itself, but I would have hoped for a higher roi in a month in which 61% of selections were winnng ones! Staking for February: £50/point.


ProBandit...staked 26.33pts, +0.846pts, roi 3.21%. Staking for February @ £40/point.

Winning Racing Tips...staked 13.4pts, -0.235pts, roi -1.75%. Staking for February @ £60/point.

Northern Monkey Punter...staked 46pts, -2.72pts, roi -5.91%. Staking for February @ £20/point.

Not much to say about the above. No concerns with any of them. Northern Monkey Punter was understaked this month as it was the third addition to the portfolio, but for very similar reasons to On The Nose, I now feel very comfortable with it so I am upping the stakes to bring into line with the others.

Bad Month

4PA had to have a bad month. Previous to January, my roi since joining was running at 64%, so it seems a bit harsh to say a month in which it has dropped just two points at an roi of -15.38% is a bad one. But, by it's own high standards... I also have to account soon for a further four point loss on an antepost bet for the Tote Gold Trophy on a horse which recently sustained an injury and consequently will not be running. The only reason why I have not done so yet is that there is another selection running in the race, so my plan is to account for it on the day. Staking for February: £50/point.


I have contributed directly to my own downfall this month with PJA Racing NH by overstaking it. PJA is an admirable service in many ways, but I think it is important to keep it in the correct perspective - that is as a service that, judging by past performance, is highly likely to give you a solid 12 months, but highly unlikely to produce spectacular profits. As it is cheap, that is no problem - the target annual profit can be a little lower than say, ProBandit, as the deduction of fees will have little impact. Therefore, I need to lower my sights a little with PJA, especially as following an exchange of emails with Paul (the ever helpful and friendly chap who runs the service) it seems that the staking levels we've seen this month are likely to be maintained. The month's figures are poor - staked 65pts, -13.033pts, roi -20.05% - but the impact in monetary terms has been magnified by my overstaking. It is not unusual for PJA to have a month like this, entirely due to the fact that they play at large odds, and I have every confidence that they will soon be back on the winning trail again. Staking for February: £20/point.

Finally, Football Elite. I have never known it to perform so consistently badly. The figures do not make for comfortable viewing...staked 19pts, -10.836pts, roi -57.03%. They have had just three winners from 19 bets. For a service with a historical strike rate of nearly 50%, that is quite something. I have read about people losing faith already, of reducing stakes, of losing confidence. Personally, I will simply plough on, staking remaining as is. Last month, FE picked eight consecutive winners. Using the same logic as those advocating a reduction of stakes now whilst on a losing run, this time last month would have been the time to raise stakes after a winning run. Think of what carnage would have ensued if that had happened! Nope - full steam ahead, until the end of the season at least. Staking for February: £100/point.


It has already been a very lengthy post and I have a number of thoughts about this month just gone that I will detail more in days ahead. For now though, I would say a month in which arguably the most historically reliable service in the portfolio has been responsible for a loss on it's own of over £1,000, to actually come out just £273 down isn't too bad. I'd like to break this general losing run pretty soon though!

Probably not much of a post tomorrow - the Arsenal are playing!

Good night.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Quick round up of today and hopefully a post with more depth tomorrow, analysing the month's performance as a whole.

After watching this evening's match between Espanyol and Villareal, in which I had Espanyol to win and for there to be over 2.75 on the goals line, it is probably for the better that I don't post my thoughts and feelings tonight! I don't think I could be too objective, the way I'm feeling just now. Usually I pride myself on keeping a lid on my inner gambling-related emotions. Occasionally, like tonight, I can't.

Today's Action

Poor day's racing today. Eight bets, no winners, and only PJA NH providing any sort of return - a tiny 0.1pt as a result of their only selection finishing 3rd (Illysantachristina - Hereford - 10/1). Winning Racing Tips (-0.5pts) did have an 18/1 shot (Stolen Thunder - Hereford) finish in the frame, but with another selection in the same race finishing unplaced, and an unsuccessful each way double, it wasn't enough to avoid making a loss on the day. Blanks for Northern Monkey Punter (-1pt), and On The Nose (-2pts).

Football Investor dropped a point from it's only selection today, as did Football Elite and Sports Investor (in the same Espanyol/Villareal match). Strike Zone hit two from three for a 0.8pt profit.

Sunday 30th January: Staked £453, -£254.90
Week's betting: Staked £3,696, -£702.76
Month to date: Staked £15,962, -£233.42, roi -1.54%.

A quite horrible week. Glad it's over.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Update: Do you laugh or cry?

That is why I don't like watching what I've bet on...

Sevilla with 0 on the Asian Handicap was the bet. That means if the match is a draw, I get my stake back. In the second half and 1-0 down, Sevilla have their goalkeeper sent off and soon after concede again. Down to ten men and 2-0 down away from home, I'm pretty sure my bet is lost and I would have to record yet another losing day in this current run of losing days. Sevilla pull a goal back - 2-1. Incredibly, they get back to 2-2. Not long after, a great goal gives them a 2-3 lead! And then...89th minute, Deportivo attack and seemingly score to make it 3-3. But wait, the linesman is flagging for offside! Goal ruled out - well, no, actually. The ref, for reasons I simply cannot fathom, overules his linesman on the offside decision. How often does that happen? The goal is allowed to stand.

After that I was expecting a Depor winner in injury time. I prepared to take a shower in the company of an electric heater. Fortunately, the winner never came.

Saturday 29th January: Staked £1,667, +£66.50.
Week to date: Staked £3,243, -£447.86.
Month to date: Staked £15,509, +£21.48, roi 0.13%.

Amidst all this chaos, it should be noted that Shaolin Betting had two winners and that 'void' bet today, and produced a 1.7pt profit. Nice start.

Last minute penalties...

It's going to be difficult on Saturdays (and possibly Sundays) to provide much in the way of thoughts or opinions. The amount of betting that tends to take place at the weekends, plus the fact that I'm often somewhere other than at home, means that really I'm likely to have time only for a quick round up. The pattern I might fall into is simply going through the betting action on a Saturday/Sunday night, and then commenting properly on the Monday, giving my thoughts on the weekend just gone. I hope that's ok...

Today's Action

I still have a bet running in the Deportivo/Sevilla game in Spain that didn't actually kick off until 9.00 pm. The outcome of this bet will determine whether I make a profit or loss on the day, so I will post the final figures for the day after the full time whistle has gone in this game.

Racing-wise, I managed to turn a very small profit. PJA NH was once again the heaviest staked racing service today, but it also produced the biggest profit despite three of four selections finishing unplaced. The one winner however (Master D'Or - Uttoxeter - 8/1) was enough to return a 3.65pt profit. The only other service to finish in positive figures was (again) On The Nose, which had one winner from three (the misspelt Wishfull Thinking - Cheltenham - 11/2) for a 2.4pt profit. The Sportsman Racing also had a winner but at odds of 1/2 (Kingsfort - Lingfield), you would hope so! They also had a loser so a 0.5pt loss there, and Northern Monkey Punter had one winner from three (Blue Moon - Lingfield - 11/2) but as it dead heated for first place, winnings were halved and an overall 0.7pt loss resulted. Drawing blanks today were 4PA (-2pts), and ProBandit (-0.5pts).

On to the footie. Scoring winners were Football Investor with two from five right and a 1.9pt profit, and Strike Zone with a perfect one from one and a 1.2pt profit. Skeeve's main service made a tiny loss but when combined with the two losing 'Late Service' selections it actually lost a total of 6.8pts. Football Elite had one from two but as the best price I could get on the winner (Lorient) was 10/11, a small 0.9pt loss has to be recorded. My mate the X-Factor was going swimmingly at one point but the swing resulting from Carlisle's last minute penalty equaliser against Oldham meant a loss of 1.85pts today instead of what would have been a nice profit. Those Coral traders ought to have been braver!

The only unrecorded results then are from the brand, spanking new Shaolin Betting, making it's debut for me today. So far two out of two, although as I type I believe Sevilla are a goal down (boo!). Let's hope for a revival!

So there we have it. I'll post up the end of day figures after the match. Laters.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Neither rhyme nor reason.

That bookie-bashing I was going on about yesterday...erm, thought I'd wait until tomorrow. Give it my full attention, you know? Believe me, I'll have 'em. Just wasn't quite in the mood for it today. Tomorrow, you watch.

Oh dear! Gory details further down...

There is one subject that if you are a member of the SBC, or you dabble a little in gambling forums, or even if you simply bet regularly with a moderate amount of success, you will no doubt have read a lot about. Bookmaker restrictions. I have read all sorts of theories as to why suddenly, out of the blue, you can't strike the size of bet that you want, or in some instances you can't strike a bet at all! I'm sure, like me, you have also read ways around the problem - opening pseudo accounts, splitting stakes between different bookies to keep the amounts your betting low and under the radar, using cash in the shops whenever possible, etc, etc. I personally do all of these things. The maximum bet I will ever strike with one bookmaker is £50, even if that means that part of my stake is on a selection at a lower price than theoretically I could secure. For Christ's sake, I even keep a running tally of how much I have staked with each individual bookmaker so I know if I'm using one account disproportionately to others!

Today though, Corals had me well and truly flummoxed. My flumm, was oxed! I just cannot see how or why they acted as they did, and I must admit, this concerns me a little. If I have no idea why they acted as they did, how can I take steps to keep them on side? What happened? Well, at lunchtime today, I went to the Corals site to place £50 on Oldham to beat Carlisle tomorrow in League 1. They sent my bet to be assessed by those shady characters who lurk in the shadows - the "TRADERS". The amount of time they took to make an assessment of whether or not my £50 bet was a reasonable request, I could only think that they were making decisions on a far greater scale and of much greater import. As I waited (with that circular cursor thingy proving to be as hypnotic as the eyes of Kaa the snake in The Jungle Book) I imagined fevered brows, sweat running down faces tormented by tension, rushed communications with Head Office. Could they risk allowing me to potentially take such a huge amount out of the Coral coffers that the very company itself might be endangered? The very fabric of decent society was resting on their shoulders, dependent upon their decision. How much might this amount be? Well, at the odds advertised, a whopping £125! I kid you not!

One of the traders finally made up his mind...there were just too many jobs and liveihoods at stake - they could offer me £10.

As I accepted their offer, and having wiped the sleep from my eyes, I placed the remaining £40 elsewhere. Right, finally, on to placing the next bet. Southend to beat Barnet in League 2. I looked up the odds on the oddsportal comparison site. Oh bo**ocks! Best price 7/4 - Corals. I stared with disbelief at the screen. Someone is taking the mickey, I thought. But I'm stubborn. I took a deep breath and psyched myself up.

My loins suitably girded, I returned to the fray, fearing the worst and warning my boss that I may be indisposed for a considerable part of the afternoon. Straight in - £50 - bet confirmed. No messing, no waiting. The little green box appeared as if nothing was easier than to accept this bet. My only conclusion can be that after the struggle with Oldham, those traders just didn't have the heart for another fight. They were done for. Either that, or someone in there doesn't rate Southend too highly at all.

Seriously though, things happen with bookies that make you stop and think. It's a serious business keeping accounts open and usable. If I was to do a SWOT analysis on my gambling, THE biggest threat to me would be not being able to get a decent bet on because none of these rum beggars will let me. I've often thought it would be a fantastic thing to get a job in a trading room for a while, just to see what goes on and how they make their decisions. We can theorise until we're blue in the face, but no-one knows for sure what goes on in those places. Failing that, talking to someone who has worked in this environment would be the next best thing. There's a 'Comments' box below should anyone reading be in a position to oblige...

Today's Action

How do you spell the word that describes the noise you make when you puff out your cheeks and exhale? Pfffph (?).

After close of play on Saturday 15th January, I was up £934.58 on the month, jogging away quite happily on an roi of 11.5%. A day shy of a fortnight later, I have dropped into minus figures.

Northern Monkey Punter has been drifting in the doldrums of late, but today saw a gust of wind that filled it's sails. Two winners (Black Baccara - Lingfield - 3/1 and Co Dependent - Wolves - 7/1) and a place from three selections meant a 5.2pt profit and the service now stands a shade in profit for the month. On The Nose managed two placed from two each way selections and thus a small profit (0.8pts). The other five services in action though, all lost today...4PA (-1.5pts), PJA (-2.8pts), Chasemaster (-0.5pts), ProBandit (-1.25pts) and Winning Racing Tips (-0.2pts).

Friday 28th January: Staked £401, -£124.20.
Week to date: Staked £1,576, -£514.36.
Month to date: Staked £13,842, -£45.02, roi -0.32%.

Am I worried - no, not in the slightest - I've had worse losing runs than this. Am I peed off - yep, undoubtedly.

Could do with a decent weekend. I may regret saying this, but I have a little feeling in the pit of my stomach, that it might just be.

Oh, and come on Oldham!

Thursday, 27 January 2011


So, we've whittled down the list of potential services to add to the portfolio on the basis of value for money and being psychologically suitable. The final factor to consider is the practicality of following.

I have an office job, and therefore it wouldn't be much use following a service that 30 seconds after releasing selections, causes the price of the selection to crash. No matter how profitable, it would simply be no good. I've mentioned how outstanding Equine Investments have been over the years, but this is a service I could never follow. I would be getting 6/1 on 12/1 shots, 5/4 on 3/1 selections. You get the message.

Similarly, a service like Sportyy releases tips at all times throughout the day. Unless you have the luxury of a lifestyle that allows you to spend most of your time at home by the PC with a cup of tea, reading a copy of the Racing Post (ahh..sounds like bliss), this sort of service isn't going to fit either. Yes, you can use the old Iphone or Blackberry to get bets on whilst out and about, but I'm not sure I would want to be doing this every day. So we (I) need a service that I can plan ahead with and have a fair idea as to when and how I will be able to place the bets.

At the end of all this, I have decided to join a new football service - Shaolin Betting (if I can get my Moneybookers account verified this side of Bonfire Night!). Tips, I believe, are released on weekend mornings, odds I'm told stand up well, and there aren't too many selections to follow. With a decent track record over the course of a year or so now, it sounds ideal for my needs. That's the kiss of death for that one, then.

Talking about numbers of selections, I have to admit that I'm finding my Friday nights imposed upon rather. 6.00 Football Elite, 6.30 Skeeve, 7.00 Football Investor/Strike Zone. This is a workload that would threaten to stoop the shoulders of Atlas. Throw in the fact that on a fair few Friday evenings I have to drive down to London or Shropshire, then let's just say I'm starting to review my options (or at least my wife is). However, I am well aware that I may not be feeling so inclined to make changes were things going swimmingly, which obviously at present they are not. I've made the mistake before of tinkering with things when enduring a losing run, usually by altering the staking slightly...never a clever thing to do. The sensible thing would be to continue as I am until the end of the season, and then, after the dust has settled a little, take a long hard look at the situation. As I said, that would be the sensible thing to do...

Today's Action

Well, when I started the blog, I was in the midst of steadily making profits. A fortnight or so on, and I'm steadily returning those profits back to whence they came. This now qualifies as a losing run. I've made it official after today's lacklustre performance. Not a worrying one yet. A losing run that is quite normal, expected, but a pain in the arse just the same. Don't like them - never have.

I don't know what has gotten into PJA towers recently. Some bug that has made the number of points staked increase massively perhaps? So far in January, I've staked approximately 50% more than I had anticipated staking, and there are still four days to go! It could be a mistake I've made in my calculations, but whatever it is, it means that just at the moment, PJA's temporary struggles are having quite an impact on my overall performance. Mind you, you know when you're luck is out when two of your selections finished 2nd to outsiders, which was the case for PJA today. Three horses placed out of five is pretty steady stuff when bearing in mind the odds of the selections - they just need a break, get a couple first past the post (as they did last Saturday), and they'll be on their merry way again I'm sure. It will happen; it's just a matter of when. Northern Monkey Punter's disappointing second half of the month also continued today with one loser from one selection, and ProBandit dropped a point too. And there we have it - no winners, and another poor day.

Thursday 27th January: Staked £161, -£95.20.
Week to date: Staked £1,175, -£390.16.
Month to date: Staked £13,441, +£79.18, roi 0.58%.

PS. I am aware of two things. One, that I haven't done a service view for a while, and two, the value I give to each point for each service is probably a bit of a mystery. In other words, you don't know what I'm staking on each service and therefore the figures may look a tad confusing at times. Losing "0.15pts" with The Sportsman, for example? I will go into this, but I want to wait until next month before doing so. This is because I will be upping the stakes (in the middle of a losing run!?! I know, I know) of a couple of services that I only joined at the beginning of this month and wanted to make sure they were suited to me before staking properly. Explaining the staking would probably fit nicely into the service views, I thought.

Tune in tomorrow for news of a spectacular breaking of the losing run, a tale of winner after winner, and the securing of profits to be dreamed of. I'm telling you, them bookies aren't going to know what's hit them!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


I am of the opinion that when looking to add a service to the portfolio, it is important to look beyond the simple profit figures and roi that a service has achieved. For me, a service needs to suit my personality traits and gambling preferences. A new service also needs to fit nicely into the portfolio; it must not unbalance it, but instead add to the potential of the overall portfolio performance.

So what are my gambling preferences? Well, I'm not too keen on lengthy losing runs (who is?) and so I have to confess that I do not derive too much enjoyment from services whose selections are generally at longer odds. I have learnt over time that every well-balanced portfolio does need to contain such services, but I know that I simply would not be able to cope mentally if a large segment of my portfolio was made up of this kind of service. I can easily forgo the exhilaration derived from backing a winning long shot in preference of a higher number of successful shorter priced selections. This is one reason why I prefer betting on football to horse racing, whilst aknowledging that racing services play an essential part in helping me achieve what I want to achieve.

Looking at my portfolio at present, I can see that Chasemaster, On The Nose, and PJA Racing NH do provide selections that have an average price longer than 5/1. There is no need for me to add another service of this nature. Of course, many of you may hold a different view - you'd rather get the big wins that result from backing successful long shots and can easily cope with the inevitable lengthy losing runs that operating in such a way leads you to encounter regularly. And that is my message here - add services to a portfolio that you know will suit your outlook. If we agree that stability in a portfolio can only be a good thing, then let's lay the foundations for that stability by selecting the right services to follow in the first place!

So looking at the possibles listed yesterday, I can draw a line through Each Way Value, PJA Flat and PJA All Weather, and CD Systems Daily Bargain. All of these are admirable services with a record of providing healthy levels of profit, but as I said at the beginning of this post, this is not the be all and end all. I can easily envisage joining these services in the future - they're just not quite suitable right now.

Today's Action

The racing provided a small profit today. The undoubted stars were Chasemaster with one winner from one selection (Aghill - Musselburgh - 11/2) for a 1.7pt profit, and On The Nose with one winner (Be My Light - Huntingdon - 9/1) from three and a profit of 3.6pts. ProBandit also had a winner (Pelmanism - Lingfield - 5/2) but also had losers so a 0.5pt loss, and Northern Monkey Punter (-1.25pts) drew a blank. PJA found two horses that were placed from five tips but no winners, so a 2.2pt loss there. I must say I'm disappointed to have had three winners today at 9/1, 11/2 and 5/2 and not make more profit. The reason lies in the staking - for some reason PJA seemed to have risked more points this month than is usual, and as a result, my racing portfolio is unbalanced. The tricky thing is to decide whether this is likely to be a more permanent factor which would necessitate a tweaking of the way I'm staking this service, or whether it just a one-off and over time, the number of points risked will fall back. Answers on a postcard, please.

Three footie bets and three losers. Sigh.

Wednesday 26th January: Staked £363, -£44.36.
Week to date: Staked £1,014, -£294.96.
Month to date: Staked £13,280, +£174.38, roi 1.31%.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

All about value.

How often do we hear this refrain when it comes to successful betting? Of course, it usually refers for the need for a tipster to pick selections that are "value" against the book, ie. identifying when the odds on an event happening are greater than the actual chance of that event happening. By doing this successfully and consistently, the tipster creates his edge. However, I want to attribute another context to the word "value"; I want to use it in the context of the price I pay to follow a particular service. Does the cost of following a service provide value to me as a subscriber?

It was interesting to read recent comments made by the 'Secret Betting Club' about the service Personal Info. Good recent form from this service was noted, as was it's long term record of achieving a consistent 10-12% roi, but, the SBC observed, this should be placed in the context of the cost to a follower of subscribing. It is no good at all for a service to make a profit, if a high proportion of that profit is eaten up by relatively high subscription fees. This is no criticism of Personal Info. If I was a punter who was placing a high monetary value to each Personal Info point, then it would be an extremely attractive proposition - lengthy losing runs a rarity, consistency in selection process, long term record of profitability, etc. Unfortunately though, my staking levels are not such that I can dedicate enough of my betting bank to this one service - my stakes would be relatively low; too low indeed to avoid the pitfall that the SBC had pointed out. Therefore, Personal Info would not at this stage be a good service for me personally to add to my portfolio.

With many aspects of portfolio betting, lessons are usually learnt the hard way. The realisation that I was paying too much to follow some of the services I was subscribing to was no exception to this rule. The observation I have referred to made by the SBC came about twelve months too late for me. Subscribing to services such as Tipping Legends, Steve Lewis Hamilton and AH Betting, I was tying up a lot of cash in subscription fees. And although each of these services have had admirable periods of success, and I'm sure will do so again (and in AH Betting's case seem to be doing so right now), these periods of subscription for me were pretty disastrous. I slowly started to realise that there were other services out there that would provide better value to me at my staking levels. There were services that were producing returns as healthy as these expensive services, but at a much lower fee level. Concentrating on these services would allow me to bet comfortably at a staking level I could afford, and make good levels of profit less affected by 'taxation' in the form of subscription fees.

Another factor to consider is that there have been a number of new services come to the market recently. It seems to me that we are in an exciting period for portfolio gamblers. Northern Monkey Punter, ProBandit, On The Nose, Chasemaster, and Football Investor are all services that relatively speaking, are quite new. Each of them charge at very reasonable levels for their expertise, high levels of customer service, and diligence to their craft. Each of these services are hitting excellent roi figures over the medium term now. Naturally, the effect on a market that is becoming bigger and therefore providing more choice to the consumer and thus more competition amongst the tipsters, is that prices for joining a service are being depressed. If I wanted to launch a new tipping service now, I would have to be producing pretty spectacular results to be able to justify a charge of any more than £500 per year. Seriously spectacular. In fact, charging more than £300 a year might prove to be out of step with market forces - I think I might struggle for interest, at least from members who perhaps saw beyond 'overenthusiastic' advertising and who wanted to do a little research before making a decision to commit financially to a tipster.

Another possible knock-on effect of these economic forces is that the pressure on the tipsters themselves perhaps does not become too heavy a burden to carry during periods of poor performance. If a tipster is charging £200 per year for membership, surely expectations are lower than for a tipster charging £1,000 per year? Are members not more likely to exercise a little more patience with the cheaper service during the hard times? Does this mean that the individual running the cheaper option is not so haunted by the demons that pressure can raise from the fires of betting hell when on a losing run?

I have never been a member of Equine Investments, a service that for so long has been held up as the elite service of the tipping world, but one which charges a hefty amount for the privilege of being a member. But after years of producing profit levels that other services could only dream about, one poor summer was enough for forums to be drenched in the ire of demanding subscribers. Can someone remain clear-headed in the face of such huge pressure? You would have to ask the person who runs the service for the definitive answer - I wouldn't know. But I have to think that there must be at the very least a chance that performance could be adversely affected in such circumstances. I'm very confident that EI will come back, and it would be no surprise to see next summer a strong return to form (and I hope for subscribers and the chap who runs EI that it does), but I would liken the situation to a football team's star performer when the team isn't playing well. The pressure is on the individual to perform even better, to single-handedly drag his teammates over the line in the big match. How often does that player become inhibited and struggle under the weight of expectation? The pressure can tell.

I'm not saying that I will never again pay fees to join a more expensive service. In time, as circumstances change, there may be other factors that mean that a particular service is better suited to my personal situation at that time, and paying a bit more makes sense. I would add that an expensive but profitable service is preferable by far to a cheap, loss-making service! But just at this moment, I see no reason why I need to pay more than £500 per year to follow any service.

Fortunately, in considering an addition to my portfolio, there are a few services for me to choose from that charge very reasonably. Off the top of my head, there is the SBC's very own Each Way Value service, Sportyy, Shaolin Betting, CD Systems Daily Bargain and Pro Bets, Betting And Laying Sports Club, PJA Racing All Weather and Flat, and Scottish Football Bets. And I don't think this list is exhaustive.

It shouldn't be too hard to identify some value, should it!?!

Today's Action

A bad day. A very bad day, and one that has left me wondering if January is not going to post a loss. I guess I am due a losing month after six consecutive months of making good profits. We shall see.

The racing was disappointing but far from disastrous, showing a £60.10 loss. The only winner came from Chasemaster (Antonius Caesar - Leicester - 7/1) and with their other selection backed each way and placing, the service posted a welcome 1.1pt profit. That is where the good news ends though. PJA could only manage one place from two selections and a 0.8pt loss. Northern Monkey Punter (-1.75pts), ProBandit (-0.5pts), and On The Nose (-1.5pts) all fired blanks. Winning Racing Tips had a busy day for them, but from two individual bets and an each way double, they could only manage a 0.4pt loss as the only winner was the second leg of the double. Naturally, the first leg finished second.

Still there was always the footie this evening. Yep. The Footie. Oh dear!

Most of my cash was placed on my friend's tips. Four of them. Four losers. Can't complain at all - he's provided me with great returns already, but like Football Elite this month, it seems generally speaking that losses are coming from where they are least expected. Football Investor managed a very small (0.5pt) profit by picking one winner from four, and Strike Zone's solitary bet was a winner, but at odds of 1.4, it was never going to be enough to save the day.

Tuesday 25th January: Staked £531, -£236.60.
Week to date: Staked £651, -£250.60.
Month to date: Staked £12,917, +£218.74, roi 1.69%.

It may seem that the optimism for the future that I claimed to feel after struggling through the weekend has faded a little. Far from it. I maintain what I said about limiting losses in trying circumstances being a victory. Mind you, my frame of mind is probably being helped by the Arsenal tonight! Up the Gunners! (it's my blog - I'll say what I like, ok?).

Monday, 24 January 2011

The search begins...

What have all these services in common?...AH Betting, Big Mike Betting, CD Systems ProBets, Dazzler, Each Way Value, Football Betting Data, Horse Betting Index, Intelligent Betting, Maths Betting, On The Oche, Personal Info, Pricewise Extra, Punter Profits, Scottish Football Bets, Steve Lewis Hamilton, Tipping Legends, and The Form Analyst.

I am rather embarassed to tell you the answer, which is that they are all services that at some point or other, I have been a member of. How many is that again? Seventeen? Blimey.

I would say, hand on heart, that of those services listed there are only two that I have dropped as a result of poor performance. Of the others, there have been numerous reasons for not paying subs fees when they came up for renewal. It is essential that lessons are learnt from the inevitable mistakes that are made when it comes to choosing which services to follow.

(As an aside, in the case of The Form Analyst, tips stopped being issued about four months after I joined, but subscribing to this service in the first place has proven to be the best punting decision I have ever made, but that is a story for another time.)

Examining that list, I can see at least five services I would seriously consider rejoining (if they'd have me back!). I would rule out the others because it became apparent after joining that for some reason or other, the service simply wasn't for me. That is quite distinct from saying the services were no good.

So what have the reasons been for discontinuing a service? If I can make a definitive list, then I should be able to learn from it and avoid the same pitfalls. After all, if I repeat a mistake that I have previously made, I deserve not to do well!

In the past there have, with the services listed, been the following issues which led me to the decision to drop a particular service; excessive cost, style of betting, requisite staking, likelihood of losing runs (and the correct mindset that is necessary when following a service that plays at long odds), general lack of betting action, difficulties in the placing of bets quickly and at the required time, and relative difficulty of receiving the selections in the first place.

So, looking at that list, I need a service that represents good value, suits my style of betting and my own psychology as a gambler, allows me to stake reasonable amounts - ie. not huge stakes, provides regular betting action that I can execute easily, and a service that will either email or text me their selections so I can pick them up on my 'phone when out and about. Not asking for too much, is it?

Starting from tomorrow I plan to analyse each of these factors a little more deeply, giving real life examples of each point considered where relevant. Hopefully this will then start to make a little clearer which service has the potential to be the next addition to the portfolio.

Today's Action

Very quiet day. Only Northern Monkey Punter and ProBandit providing selections, NMP unsuccessfully (-1.25pts) and ProBandit successfully, giving Chilli Green (Kempton - 11/4) and making a 0.9pt profit. The only other bet was an unsuccessful punt on the corners line in tonight's Bolton/Chelsea game, The Sportsman dropping 0.15pts as a result.

Monday 24th January: Staked £120, -£14.
Week to date: Staked £120, -£14.
Month to date: Staked £12,386, +£455.34, roi 3.67%.

Will be late tomorrow - watching the footie!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Running to stand still.

Well, this weekend has felt like really hard work, I have to say. And sadly, not a great deal has been achieved in hard, black and white, bottom-line terms. To stake £2,392 over the two days, and produce a return of -£4.59, it would be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it was all a bit of a waste of time.

I think though that adopting such a standpoint is being too simplistic. Personally, I think great steps have been made and a platform for a better future established. Ultimately, when one of your core services has been responsible for a deficit of just under a thousand pounds, to still be ahead three quarters of the way through the month is quite something, even if the roi is down to a rather unflattering 3.82%.

There will almost certainly come a time when the portfolio clicks and substantial profits are made. This may not happen in time to make January a good month in itself, but gambling returns do not recognise neat sections of betting consisting of weeks, months, quarters, etc. These are labels and units for measuring returns simply imposed by us gamblers.

There have been times this month when I have felt like I have been wading through treacle. Funnily enough, this weekend has not been one of them. It's been a good test.

Today's Action

Hurrah! Football Elite is back! Blackburn beating West Brom became FE's first winner in what feels like a decade. Stakes on their other selection were returned as Sampdoria were backed to beat Juventus, draw no bet. 0-0 was the score, so in all a 1.35pt profit for FE today. The only other football bet, put up by Strike Zone, was a loser.

PJA Racing NH undid some of yesterday's sterling work, drawing a blank from five selections and contributing a 4.5pt loss. The only winner today was Chasemaster's selection (Atherstone Hill - Towcester - 9/2) that provided a 1.35pt profit for that service. On The Nose had a blank from their three selections (-3pts) and Northern Monkey Punter managed a placed horse and a loser, so -0.5pts.

Sunday 23rd January: Staked £454, -£23.10.
Week 2: Staked £3,563.50, -£166.74.
Month to date: Staked £12,226, +£469.34, roi 3.82%.

Pricewise Extra

Being on the London Underground at 12.00 yesterday, and watching my son play football at 12.00 today, made me realise once and for all that really, Pricewise Extra should have no place in my portfolio. This isn't the first time since following it that I've not been in a position to put the bets on as soon as the selections are released, and with Pricewise Extra, that is a fundamental flaw in following them. Whenever Tom Segal or Andrew Barr have a selection, prices plummet within seconds of it appearing on the website. Normally I wouldn't be too concerned by this - the level of roi these two tipsters have achieved historically mean that even if getting the next price down from that advised, very strong profits could be made. But the whole rigmarole of having to be by the PC at 12.00 on the days selections are provided, added to the inability sometimes to get on at all, have led me to conclude that I can no longer continue to follow. Shame really, as Tom Segal is one of the most talented tipsters I've ever come across.

The consequence of this is that I need to start following a new service. I want to have this new service in place for the start of February. The decisions that have to be made in choosing which service to join should make for some decent material to read about this coming week. At this stage, I have my eye on one or two possibilities - let's see what happens.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Great Escape!

If I told you that today I staked a little shy of £2,000, and that I made a profit of £18, you would probably think that today has just been another mundane day where no progress was made but no setback suffered.

Tonight though, I am feeling a sense of elation. I am triumphant. Proud. Ecstatic. You get the picture. Why am I feeling so? Because today could very easily have been cataclysmic. It could have been disastrous, depressing and miserable. But instead, today has shown the real, deep down, core strength that lies within the strategy of using a portfolio of services. All is revealed in the 'Today's Action' section, below.

Before we get there though, a cautionary tale. One that most serious gamblers out there don't really need to be told because in all probability, they are likely to have learnt the following lesson for themselves...alcohol and gambling DO NOT mix! As you are aware (if you read yesterday's post), today I took my son to watch the Arsenal. It is a pre-match tradition of ours to enjoy the hospitality of a local Italian trattoria - pizza and juice for him, pasta and red wine for me. I don't drive to Highbury; we get the tube so that I can savour my wine. So after a fine meal, and feeling pretty chilled, I order a coffee and brandy, just to fill the minutes my son takes to eat his ice cream dessert. I shall take this opportunity, I tell myself as I watch my boy tuck into his chocolate gelato, to place the two bets that Skeeve's late Southern League service instruct me to strike. Using my Iphone. Whilst warm and fuzzy. The result - a much bigger stake than intended on the mighty Eastleigh! How big a stake? Pretty big (gulp!). I didn't realise until I checked the results tonight. Got away with that one!

(I haven't included the "extra" returns gained from this bet in my official figures).

Today's Action

Today's football betting was awful. Matt at Football Elite must be wondering what he has done to upset the big fella upstairs! Three more selections for him today - three more losers. My mate, whose tips are usually the very model of consistency, achieved that admirable trait again today - by picking four losers out of four! Not the type of consistency we're really looking for! Football Investor managed a fairly uninspired four winners from nineteen and contributed nicely to losses that weren't becoming so much as heavy, but unburdenable! Sports Investor had the grace to have Arsenal -2 goals on the Asian Handicaps. After missing chance after chance after chance, including a penalty when it was 2-0, you can understand why I was getting just a tad irritated at the game today! All's well that ends well there, but SI's other selection was a loser so a loss on the day for them too. Carnage!

Amongst all this chaos, was Strike Zone with four winners from five, but at average odds of 1/2, even this only produced 0.93pts profit. Small respite! The Sportsman had an ok day though, with two wins from the two matches played in and a little of the losses clawed back.

Having checked the football scores first, the dark clouds that hung over my head like the fleas over Linus (from Peanuts), dispersed when I started to check the racing results. Of the six services in action today, the worst performer was On The Nose - and they broke even! The undoubted star was PJA Racing NH, which regular readers will know owed me a little after this past week. Cornish Sett (10/1 - Wincanton) and Bugsy's Boy (12/1 - Wincanton) both won to contribute to a 10pt profit for the service today. Silver medal winner was Winning Racing Tips which gave Two Kisses ew (16/1 - Ascot) which finished second, and Sparky May (7/1 - Ascot) which won and produced a profit just short of three points. Northern Monkey Punter gave Anne Of Kiev (9/2 - Lingfield) and a 1.2pt profit, ProBandit had Arctic Lynx (9/2 - Lingfield) and a 0.6pt profit, and Chasemaster had two each way selections successfully place for a 0.3pt profit. Spectacular results that just outplayed the desperate football losses.

£18 has never been so gratefully received!

Saturday 22nd January: Staked £1,938, +£18.51.
Week to date: Staked £3,109.50, -£143.64.
Month to date: Staked £11,812, +£492.44, roi 4.16%.

After a day like today, if from fewer bets tomorrow I make a big loss, I shall be volunteering for the French Foreign Legion. Goodnight.

Friday, 21 January 2011

A long day...

As I mentioned yesterday, just a very short post today. After a long day at work, a rush home to get the Football Elite bets on, a scoffed dinner, the adrenalin of trying to get the prices on Skeeve's selections followed shortly by getting on all the Football Investor and Strike Zone bets, and then a 180 mile trip down the motorway...I'll be glad to get to bed tonight!

Today's Action

Due to the national hunt meetings being cancelled, it was a very quiet day today. Only two races invested in, and no returns. Northern Monkey Punter a point down and the same for ProBandit. A nothing day really.

Friday 21st January: Staked £56, -£56.
Week to date: Staked £1,171.50, -£162.15.
Month to date: Staked £9,874, +£473.93, roi 4.79%.

It's been a nothing week too - very uninspired. Of course tomorrow will see the usual chaos. Let's hope the results turn the week around.

Your correspondent will be reporting in from the big smoke tomorrow (I hope!).

Until then...

Thursday, 20 January 2011


I don't pretend to know what it is like to be addicted to something. Fortunately, I don't believe I have what is known as an 'addictive personality'. However, I have seen at first hand how destructive an addiction can be. In that case it was a dependance on alcohol, but whether it be to drink, drugs, gambling, whatever, I think we can all agree that the potential devastation that can result from any type of addiction has no limits.

If my staking plans are realised this year, I will have gambled somewhere between £170,000 and £200,000 between January 1st and December 31st, 2011. I am by no means a big hitter. But I would challenge anyone who is staking to these levels, or twice as much, or half as much, to deny that at some point or other, they have wondered if they are becoming addicted. It may be only a passing thought and instantly dismissed, but it must cross the mind at least? If you're doing something day in and day out, with results that can and do affect your mood, you must be vulnerable, no?

But it is not necessarily solely an addiction to the act of gambling itself where danger lies. Surely just as dangerous is the development of an obsession linked to gambling. And I can say, in all honesty, my capacity to be drawn into what I have bet on, to follow every race and every football match in which I have a financial involvement, scares me.

If I watch the first race of the day, and my selection loses, I find there is a temptation to watch the next in the hope of seeing a positive result which means that I can't have a total blow out of a day. Therein lies the danger you see. I think that the constant (illogical) fear of the portfolio gambler is that one day there will be a complete and utter wreck where a lot of money is staked, and none returned. Of course having proper and adequate betting banks should mean that if this does happen, then in the context of the bigger picture, it doesn't matter. But psychologically, for me anyway, it doesn't work like that. I have had some exceptionally bad days (I think the worst I have had is a loss of £800) but you know what, I'd rather avoid them if at all possible. And if I know I have avoided such a scenario early on in the day's action, then I can relax a little. Of course if I don't win early, and then the next tip loses, and the next and the next...well suddenly I find myself tumbling into a vicious circle where the next race must be watched, and the next if necessary until a favourable result occurs.

Thankfully it is really only at weekends and holidays where I can fall into this trap completely. But the act of checking results as soon as possible can represent a real invasion into normal life. In the past I have found my concentration wavering when I'm with my children or wife, and if by checking results on my Racing Post app or football scores on 'Livescore' to find that results are going against me, then perhaps I become a little less patient with the people around me, and I can become withdrawn (or put another way - narky!). Naturally this is not fair and if it were to be a scenario that continued for any length of time, then I can see how damage to a gambler's life and those around him can result. I think this is a very real danger.

Being aware of this is everything, I think. If you are aware of something, you can take the requisite steps to prevent problems arising. I enjoy my Saturday afternoons around my mate's watching the racing, but I wouldn't want to do it again on the Sunday. Occasionally, as on Tuesday, the bug bites, but fortunately I can recognise the early symptoms.

90% of the time now, I place my bets and then wait until the last piece of relevant sporting action has happened, before checking the results. I find that this makes me more clinical, objective, and better able to handle the frequent losing runs. I have heard it suggested that it may even be better to go a few days before checking results, but this is not for me. I have tried doing this, but I feel completely out of control and that can be as damaging to my mood as following every race. A nightly check I find, is just about right. And really, losing runs affect me much less now than they used to before I realised I had to take a step back. Sure, they're not nice, and when they happen I do still worry, but I think I can channel that worry now. It can sharpen me up; I make sure I don't make any careless mistakes when placing bets, ensure I'm getting the best odds available, etc. A good example of turning a negative into a positive, eh?

I hope this hasn't been too deep for you. It's not meant to be. But I do think that getting to grips with these issues is manifestly important, not only to generally living life, but also to the ability to make a long-term go of this game. Successful punting - it's all a state of mind you know!

Today's Action

Not a day to dwell on as the poor form of the racing half of the portfolio continued. 10 bets today, and not one single winner. The closest we got today was Northern Monkey Punter's two placed horses from two selections that produced a quarter point profit, and Winning Racing Tips which selected Kim Tain Road each way (25/1) at Taunton, the horse finishing third. Trouble is WRT also gave a losing each way double, a bet that was scuppered by the second horse coming nowhere - a sad state of affairs compounded by the fact that that bet was also a selection on its own. Double trouble, you might say. Blank days for PJA NH (again - this time -1.5pts), On The Nose (-0.5pts) and Chasemaster (0.5pts). Deary me!

Thursday 20th January: Staked £153, -£103.50.
Week to date: Staked £1,115.50, -£106.15.
Month to date: Staked £9,818, +£529.93, roi 5.39%.

No service view again tonight - I didn't think we're in any particular rush with these and to be honest I thought I would give ongoing appraisals anyway, not just a one off introduction to a service.

Tomorrow there will be no proper post. I will try to post up the 'Today's Action' bit and the figures, but that is all (probably a blessed relief to you after tonight's ramble!). The reason for this is that I am journeying down to my in-laws tomorrow night after work, all so that me and my lad can go and watch the Arsenal on Saturday. A four hundred mile round trip, exorbitant ticket prices, and staying at the mother-in-law's - devotion to the cause or brainless stupidity? I'll let you decide!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A 'Danny Devito' of a post.

Going to keep today's post pretty short. I'm always emotionally knackered after watching the Arsenal and tonight is no different.

I have had a few more thoughts around the theme that has been loosely running through the blog this week; that is making a concerted effort to stand back a bit and distance yourself from the action your betting on. However, I don't think you can simply say to yourself, "Right, I'm not going to watch the racing/football today - it's bad for my mental wellbeing", and then simply forget that it is even on. It would be nice to have to set an alarm to remind you at some point in the evening to go and check the results, but that is never going to happen, is it? Look, if I'm staking £1,500 on a Saturday afternoon, I think it is perfectly bloody natural to want to know exactly what is going on, as it's happening!

After yesterday's rigmarole, I'm pretty darned sure that standing back as far as you can is preferable, but as I have just said, it isn't always that straightforward. I am also beginning to think that if you can find an answer to the challenges that this particular aspect of gambling puts in your way, then you are a huge way towards making a long-term success of it. I sat and thought seriously about how yesterday affected me, did some real soul-searching, and drew some rather surprising (to me anyway) conclusions about myself. Anyway, I'm going to go through a few musings on this topic tomorrow and share my thoughts, so tune in then if that might tickle your fancy.

Just quickly too before I go, I've also been thinking about the direction in which I want to take this blog. I must say I've thoroughly enjoyed writing it each night so far, and I hope a few people who have turned up to read have enjoyed it too. But ultimately, I see this blog as being a tool that can really help me to clarify a lot of the ideas I have buzzing around my head, to give things a bit of perspective, and I hope that perhaps that might help others too. I stress that what I write about is only my personal opinion - usually based on experience - but I am not for one minute saying this is the right way to do something and that is the wrong way. I don't think that gambling successfully is that black and white. Sauces for geese and all that (or is it meat for one man and poison for the gander..I don't know)...I guess what I am trying to say, in a very long-winded way, is that if someone reads something they think is utter tripe, or if there is something that they would like a further opinion on, or to challenge, then please do use the comments section. As far as I am concerned, that is what it is there for.

Today's Action

Only racing to follow today, and not enough winners again. 13 bets, and only The Sportsman Racing contributing a winner (Memorabilia - Lingfield - 15/8). Northern Monkey Punter's only selection (High On A Hill ew - Kempton - 12/1) ran a good race to finish second and provide a point's profit, and Winning Racing Tips continued to get close without ever threatening to light a cigar with two tips that finished second. Another poor day for PJA Racing NH (I could really do with a return to form by them as for some reason my staking seems to be more heavily biased towards them at the moment, the cause of which will no doubt be analysed in later posts) as they dropped a further 1.9pts. ProBandit also dropped 0.25pts, Chasemaster 0.5pts, and On The Nose 1pt. The racing returns have just lost a bit of momentum over the last four or five days. The roi for the racing section of the portfolio was running as high as 32% last week; it is now at just under 13%. Healthy enough, but you take my point.

Wednesday 19th January: Staked £241.50, -£61.26.
Week to date: Staked £962.50, -£2.65.
Month to date: Staked £9,665, +£633.43, roi 6.55%.

PS. It wasn't that short after all, was it. More a Tom Cruise than a Danny Devito?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

From bad to better.

I made a mistake today. Actually, I made two. The first was using my lunch break at work to watch the 1.00 at Southwell as I had been tipped Josear by On The Nose. It ran appallingly and my dough was done. It was the watching of the race that was the error. I should have done what I usually do during the week...simply place the bets and check the results when I get home. I've already told you how I find Saturday afternoons in front of the telly difficult to cope with (I do often find myself wondering just how many coronaries Jeff Stelling is responsible for each week and how much the NHS would save if Soccer Saturday was banned; more than smoking, I'd suggest!).

Well, of course, I had a taste for it then. The afternoon passed agonisingly slowly and as soon as 5.30 struck, I was feverishly trying to log into the Racing Post app on my Iphone to see how I had done. Shouldn't have bothered. Loser after loser meant I was staring a pretty poor day in the face. Still, there was the football to come this evening.

As evening came, the bug returned and held me in it's slimy grip! First I watched Sky Sports Special for news of the goals as they happened. Grimsby, a big bet for me tonight, were a goal down inside five minutes. Other teams I'd backed were conceding and it looked like my title for tonight's post was to be "Black Tuesday" or some other doom-laden heading. "GRIMsby" was favourite.

I couldn't settle. Upstairs and on to the PC I went, seeking a live commentary of the Grimsby game. I can't believe I actually found one (!), and just in time to hear my team (for the night) equalise too. Knowing my actions were nothing short of ridiculous and that usually I'd be watching something decent on the telly or reading a book to pass the time whilst the games were in process, I forced myself back downstairs and into the living room. I attempted conversation with my wife, but she understandably grew irritated as the symptoms of my fever began to show. Constantly checking the "Livescores" app on my 'phone and pressing the "refresh" key resulted in a banishment from the room.

Back to Sky Sports to watch as Grimsby go 2-1 up and hold on, Hearts come from behind to win away, and don't you just know it, I'd ended up with a pretty decent return on the day. All that stress and for what?

NOTE TO SELF: don't watch the racing at lunchtime - it really isn't worth the hassle! Bet, work, check. That's my motto for tomorrow.

What was the second mistake? Backing Chasemaster's Lerida tip each way instead of win only. It finished a head second. I should have known all would be well in the end when that happened, shouldn't I?

Today's Action

The ironic thing in light of above is that Black Coffee won the last race at Wolverhampton today for ProBandit (7/2) but the result hadn't come through on the Racing Post app when I was checking it. This result countered ProBandit's earlier tips which both lost and created an overall 0.9pts profit for the service today. Northern Monkey Punter had their only tip placed for a very small return (Incomparable, 10/1, Wolves), as did Winning Racing Tips (Basford Bob, 8/1, Southwell). They were the only highlights as Pricewise Extra (-1pt), PJA Racing (-2.75pts), On The Nose (-1pt) and Chasemaster (-0.7pts) all failed to meet their responsibilities.

Grimsby, as I have mentioned, was a good winner for me tonight. Strike Zone had them amongst two winning selections, and Football Investor also had them as their one and only tip this evening. My mate who carries the X did what the majority of my racing tipsters failed to do today - had a decent time of it - and so further profit was made with his help.

Tuesday 18th January: Staked £637, +£119.61.
Week to date: Staked £721, +£58.61.
Month to date: Staked £9,423.50, +£694.69, roi 7.37%.


This is no criticism, but Chasemaster has a few idiosyncrasies. The service is run I believe, by three mates who perhaps are advancing in their years. They are obviously knowledgable, have good connections, are diligent in their selection processes and eager to please. And mainly, they do. There is the odd time though, that the way they present their selections is a touch eccentric and I wouldn't say that the way they send their emails through is a system run with German-like efficiency. For instance, today's missive hit my in box just ten minutes before the off for the race in which the first two selections were running, hence my haste and mistaken each way backing of a horse tipped win only. The advised price had vanished as I leapt into action, not due to weight of service-followers money, but because the horse was being well backed on course! And I'll never forget the time when a pick (a winner at a fancy price) was not emailed through in time because someone was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack (not one of the tipsters, I must add!) and the guy who sends the emails put that person's welfare before that of my pocket! Some people, huh? Still, it keeps life interesting, and I would say that Chasemaster is possibly the only service I feel "fond" of.

PS. Late post tomorrow night as I'll be watching the Arsenal, especially if it goes to extra time!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Timing's everything

A very quiet day today, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to mull over something that has been in my mind for a little while now. How important timing is to how we look and view a particular service.

I've been a long term member of Football Elite, a service which in the calendar year of 2010 made a shade over 17 points profit. In December just gone there was a tremendous surge of eight consecutive winners. In other words, at £100/point (which are the stakes I play with FE) my profits were in excess of £1,700 for the year which I regard as a very healthy contribution, and it felt that the year, obviously, had finished really strongly. I was all set for a flying start to 2011.

Just two weeks into the New Year though, Football Elite has been on a disastrous run - ten straight bets without a return this month. Am I worried? Not one smidgeon. I will confidently continue to stake just as I have always done, patiently waiting for whichever God Matt has upset to show a little mercy and restore equilibrium to FE's normal performance levels. I may sacrifice the odd goat or two myself to hurry the process along a little, but hey, to make it in this game, there will be times you have to be ruthless!

But the important question (other than where can I lay my hands on a goat) to answer is this. How would I have felt if I hadn't been a long term member but had decided to join FE just in time for 2011? I would have read all the good reviews, examined the stats and quite understandably have held very high expectations, only to be extremely disappointed and probably feeling completely disillusioned before even half the first month of membership was through. I would probably be examining my staking and be sorely tempted to decrease my £/point value, perhaps halving it "just to see this bad run through", half expecting to actually never recover my initial losses. Of course, this would mean that as and when fortunes did take a turn for the better, it would take me much longer to regain what I had lost and I would miss out on some good profit making. When the sun did shine, I wouldn't be making any hay!

How do I know this is how I would feel and react to such circumstances? Because when I first started trying to gamble seriously, this was a mistake I made. More than once!

On The Nose is a service that I did actually start backing with money in the New Year. As regular readers know, the service has been outstanding recently, netting me 41 points profit so far. I am amazed, astounded, delighted...but also cautious. This is overperformance to the same level as Football Elite's underperformance. Such a rate of profit-making cannot last. The roi is at 135%! Perhaps I should up stakes. Perhaps I should ignore the fact that On The Nose made a loss in December. Maybe I should ride the wave just that little bit more; you know, in the way the banks did when everything seemed rosy.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps I should just be really boring and keep things as they are. Just plod away, putting the bets on at the same levels, day in, day out. Boring? You bet ya! A better strategy for long term, steady profits? Absolutely.

Today's Action

Only a few bets on the horses today, all apart from one given by Northern Monkey Punter (Urban Kode - 15/8) a loser. Even a loser for On The Nose today (-1pt), and also for Pricewise Extra (-1pt), and Chasemaster (-0.5pts). Not much to say, really. A typical, quiet and unprofitable Monday.

Monday 17th January: Staked £84, -£61.
Week to date: Staked £84, -£61.
Month to date: Staked £8,786.50, +£575.08, roi 6.54%.

I hope to do another service view tomorrow. Until then.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A sad end...

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a tad frustrated. After a week of steady accumulation of profits, so much good work has been undone by the outcomes of just three football matches today.

This is the way it goes sometimes, and I could easily write platitudes about how the long term performance is what matters and how this is the nature of the game we're playing. I could point to the fact that the week has been a profitable one and remark that if that was the case every week, I would be a happy man indeed. I could also truthfully claim that the overall profit figure for the month so far is a solid one and that is more important that any single day's performance. All this of course, is true, and although I am not in any way despondent, I am irritated.

I have had much worse losing days and not been so irked. If today had come after a week which was showing heavy losses, I would have signed resignedly and moved on. But tonight, my irksomeness (sic.) knows no bounds. I have the hump!

Today's Action

Solid day, racing-wise. Like yesterday, more services underperformed than is ideal - Pricewise Extra 1pt loss, PJA Racing 0.75pts loss, Northern Monkey Punter 1pt loss, Chasemaster 0.5pt loss - and didn't secure a return between them. On The Nose however was my hero. Two single winners (Galaxy Rock at 7/2 and Beautiful Sound at 5/2) were welcome, but the service also suggested a series of doubles and a treble with another horse. Although the third selection was a loser, there was one nice winning double and a very healthy 8.6pts profit. The month this service is having is incredible - it is currently running at an roi of 143%! This is unsustainable of course, but I'm happy to ride the wave for the moment.

To the football. Football Elite is at the opposite end of the success scale to On The Nose this month. One winner from eleven selections since the 1st of January represents a serious downturn in form for a service that has a winning selection strike rate above 50% and which last month enjoyed a run of eight consecutive winners. Am I worried about them? - not even a tiny bit. I am merely annoyed by the fact that such unusual underperformance is eating significantly into my overall portfolio performance; two more losers from FE today. Sports Investor's only selection gave back a point of yesterday's gains, The Sportsman had a very small losing bet, as did Football Investor with their selection of Spurs to beat Man Utd. Six football bets today and not a winner anywhere amongst them.

Sunday 16th January: Staked £578.50, -£298.50.
Week 1: Staked £3,054.50, +£108.87.
Month to date: Staked £8,702.50, +£636.08, roi 7.3%.

Sports Investor

Like Winning Racing Tips, which I discussed on Friday, Sports Investor is a long-term member of the SBC 'Hall of Fame'. Over that time it has been the epitomy of the steady, non-volatile tipping service. Playing the handicaps in certain matches in the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga, it enjoys a high strike rate and a steady 10-12% roi, and has done for years. There are not too many selections, averaging three to four each weekend. At times, this is a service that really tests the patience. There are inevitable losing runs, and it can take some while to regain losses due to the low number of bets and the odds played at. However, regain them they always have, and if you look at a performance graph showing the long term trend, the line is pleasingly smooth. A poor first half of this season, I am hoping that the second half provides a return to form.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

'Get Out Of Jail Free' card

At five minutes past four this afternoon, I was staring down into an abyss. All of yesterday's predictions of doom and gloom looked ready to become reality. It seemed that I could have given the Oracle at Delphi a run for her money when it came to predicting the future.

Nineteen horses had run their race, most of them pathetically. Only two had succeeded, and neither of them were staked highly in relation to many of the others. In the football it was half time, and an uncomfortably high proportion of the games had unfavourable scores. It was as if the God of bloggers, taking pity on me in my first week of worshipping at his blog-altar, was eager to make me look as if I knew what I was talking about and that hindsight could whistle - foresight was my Blog-God given talent!

And then...goals started to be scored by the right teams. A rescue mission looked as if it might be on. A light at the end of an extremely dark tunnel began to glimmer, it was to grow closer and closer and get brighter and brighter until with a whoosh, I exited the darkness and stumbled dazed into a kind of hazy sunshine type light. Not blinding, but warm and comforting.

The trouble with Saturday's is that I often spend them in the company of a lifelong friend (the same one I shared brief employment with at the bookies in our youth) and his father. They too like a bet, but purely for entertainment. The father swears by Rob Wright of the 'Times' and frames his Lucky 15s around that tipsters' insight. My friend, always with a keen eye for value, is backing some team or another for high scoring wins at fancy prices. Or he is planning his next treble which if it were to be successful, would allow him to lead the life of a lottery winner. To be fair to him, his rationale for his selections is usually excellent, and it is only a matter of time until he succeeds. He undoubtedly identifies value, but let's just say he is playing to a low strike rate. I hope he can bear the stress when his first two legs do come in one day, and he has to wait until the winner of the 2022 World Cup is confirmed before the final leg secures his sizeable returns!

So why is spending Saturday afternoons in such happy company a source of "trouble"? Because unlike during the week when I am at work, I am seeing the day's action played out in front of me. Every race, every goal - as it happens. Monday to Friday, I check the results when I get home. It is matter of fact - this won, that lost. Psychologically, that approach is much better suited to obtaining a balanced perspective and making objective judgments. Try being objective when you've got over a grand staked on the afternoon's footie and Jeff Stelling is doing his thing in the last five minutes of games! It's not easy, I can tell you.

Today's Action

Let's start with the racing - get it out of the way! Here is today's roll of shame...blank days for PJA Racing NH (after singing praises yesterday) -4.5pts, 4PA -4pts, Pricewise Extra -1pt, The Sportsman Racing -1pt. On The Nose made a half point profit through Shinrock Paddy (5/1 winner at Naas) but also had a couple of losers. Northern Monkey Punter also made a half point via Picansort (5/1 winner at Lingfield) but also had a couple of losers (you spotting the trend?). Finally Winning Racing Tips gave Riverside Theatre each way in the King George at 16/1. The horse ran an excellent race to finish second so 0.6pts profit made. All told, -£284 on the nags today.

Footballistically (copyright A.Wenger), +£453.96. Football Elite continued their uncharacteristically poor (read "catastrophic") start to 2011 with one bet down and the other providing a returned stake as Wingan were backed via the Asian handicaps. The rest secured a profit...Skeeve only just as the good work done in securing nearly five points profit for the main service was negated by his Blue Square South late service pick being a loser. Football Investor made an outstanding 9.9pts profit, Strike Zone a comfy 1.3pts profit, Sports Investor a not inconsiderable 1.4pts profit (much larger stakes, though), and The Sportsman weighed in with a small but winning bet too. My X-Factor mate had a bit of a stormer too! Good on him!

No service view tonight - I'm knackered after all the excitement.

Saturday 15th January: Staked £1,625, +£169.96.
Week to date: Staked £2,476, +£407.37.
Month to date: Staked £8,124, +£934.58, roi 11.5%.

Friday, 14 January 2011

"I see the bad moon arising..."

It is all going a little too smoothly. I fear that events are combining in such a way that if we gaze at the horizon for long enough, we will see the clouds of the perfect storm brewing.

Following last weekend, when a profit of £550 was secured, I have had a mild losing day on Monday, followed by four days of smooth profit-making. I have not had horses that have traded at 1.05 in running lose. I have not had last minute goals turn a winning position into a losing position. The tipsters in my portfolio have generally been good enough to make a nice contribution to the coffers, and then stand aside to allow another service do the same, whilst sidestepping the trap of subsequently giving winnings back. In other words, this week's gambling has been completely stress free, profitable, and has been the very essence of textbook portfolio theory in practice.

Tomorrow however, is Saturday. There is likely to be between £1,000 and £2,000 staked in all. Put another, slightly more scary way, there is ample opportunity for it all to go tits up. By this time tomorrow, seven days of brilliant punting could quite easily turn into the metaphorical car crash.

I am a little anxious.

Today's Action

PJA Racing NH woke up today, stretched, yawned, scratched it's backside, and thought: "OK, I've been a little quiet this week and let a couple of the other services grab the limelight. Time to show 'em who's boss". Two tips, one winner at 6/1 (Nelliedonethat at Musselburgh) and a very healthy 2.55 points in the bag. ProBandit chipped in with half a point with Cat Hunter at 5/2 and by so doing provided a profit in a race in which he also tipped Avonrose, which came third. As NMP had given Sasheen each way in the same race, and as that one came second at 9/1, two fairly similar services managed between them to tip the first three home. A very small return was also provided by Winning Racing Tips as Sivola de Sivola finished second, backed each way at 14s.

Friday 14th January: Staked £136, +£96.40.
Week to date: Staked £851, +£237.41.
Month to date: Staked £6,499, +£764.62, roi 11.76%.

Winning Racing Tips

WRT has been in SBC's 'Hall of Fame' for as long as I can remember. Truth be told, it has struggled a little over the last five months or so, but prior to that was an extremely strong performer that made me a lot of money in 2010. I have absolute confidence that it will soon return to that sort of level. Don't get me wrong, it has been far from disastrous recently, just not quite hitting the dizzy heights it has in the past. The returns it does provide tend to come in bursts. The basic method is picking horses each way in non-handicaps. Of course, this does in itself bring problems...I don't think the service would be suitable for a big-hitter as this sort of bet is not particularly welcomed by our oversensitive bookmaker friends. Today's selection was typical - the horse ran in a novice hurdle at Huntingdon.

A really solid service. You probably realise by now - that appeals to me!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

"Let me feel the fibre of your fabric."

I love betting shops. I love the smell, the atmosphere, the reek of silent desperation as Racing Posts are pored over in the search of a winner, any winner. The old geezer who, judging by his smell, has done a runner from a badly run care home, but whilst he remains undetected in this shop, is going to make the most of his freedom. The slightly overweight early-thirty something with his tie halfway down his neck and shirt untucked, chewing gum loudly and invading your personal space as he reads the racecards pinned to the wall. You desperately try to avoid eye contact because last time, when you let your guard down, he bored you for what seemed like hours with boasts of his sexual prowess. It sounds like a cliche, but betting shops really are full of characters.

I worked in one once. Briefly. I was 16 and took a pathetic pride in the fact that I was able to get a bet on without being asked for ID. I swear the guy behind the counter knew full well I was underage, but these were the days before I had the self-awareness to acknowledge that as far as picking winners was concerned, I was pretty clueless, and I was contributing to the shop's income with admirable regularity. Certainly he always looked pleased to see me.

Anyway, I walked in one day to find that Sid, the guy who wrote on a big whiteboard the odds for each horse in each race and the days results as they were announced, was off sick. A friend and I volunteered our services. Listening to the info coming through on the old SIS radio broadcasts, writing odds, keeping results up to date, and trying to place a bet? I lasted ten minutes. It wasn't just me though - my mate was as bad. Even with two of us, we couldn't keep up.

What has this pleasant trip down memory lane got to do with running a betting portfolio twenty odd years later? Well, firstly and most importantly, it's vital to know the limits of your abilities. When I first started following tipsters, I conveniently forgot what I had learnt in my youth about being unable to pick winners, and threw in the odd bet based on my own opinion. It may not have amounted to much, but it did adversely affect my bottom line figures. Secondly, it wasn't until I learnt what my strengths were and started playing to them that I started to make money. Thirdly, it's probably a good idea to give things a little time to work out, so that a proper assessment of what you're doing and what you're capable of doing can be made.

One other a situation in which it seems increasingly difficult to avoid online bookie restrictions, using a bit of cash to place bets in the shops is no bad thing. And it can bring back many happy memories.

Today's Action

Northern Monkey Punter grabbed star billing today as a profit of £46.28 was accrued - if you read yesterday's blog offering, you would know how much making that amount has warmed the cockles of my heart! A 0.75 point each way bet on The Lock Master (winner at 5s) produced an overall profit that got NMP back onto solid ground for the month after going four points down. On The Nose had their obligatory winner - Heavenly Chorus landing a half point win bet at 7/2 - and were also very unlucky with According To Pete who finished a close second in the Yorkshire National at Catterick at 8/1. A small profit secured on this one as it was advised each way. No joy for ProBandit or Chasemaster today although losses were small for each. A mention to PJA NH today too. They didn't really get the rewards their efforts deserved; three selections at 5/1, 5/1, and 8/1 and all placed but no winner. Losses were contained though as the advice, as usual, was to back each way.

Thursday 13th January: Staked £167, +£46.28.
Week to date: Staked £715, +£141.01.
Month to date: Staked £6,363, +£668.22, roi 10.5%.

I'm going to leave out the service "view" tonight - dinner's ready!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Solid #2

We shan't mention the football...

I love days like today. Deep down you see, I crave a dull life. I haven't yet mentioned targets, and I don't want to go into great detail about them now, but if I can make £15k+ this year, I'll be satisfied. If I could guarantee £50/day, each day, for the rest of the year, I'd snap the hand off of whoever was offering (£18k to save you working it out). I'd trade those fantastic, adrenalin rushing days that see last minute goals go in to land yet another footie selection, the 12/1 shot make a beautifully timed late run to snatch the big race by a nose on the line; the days when the totting up process at the end of the all the action takes an age because you have to check everything three times to make sure the large sum you seem to have made isn't a combination of wishful thinking and inaccurate hitting of calculator keys. I guess that's why I don't see myself as being a "gambler".

Don't get me wrong, I love those rarified days when they do come along. But ultimately my gambling is simply a generation of an additional income stream. The proceeds help to pay the bills, that's all. And if I could achieve that by making a steady £50/day...

You'll probably read many blogs and hear much advice on dealing with losing runs. I imagine you'll read a fair bit of it on here if you persevere with me. But one thing I have found is that it is very rare for anyone to talk about dealing with winning runs. And yet not dealing with them can lead to serious mistakes being made. There is the temptation to up stakes, to believe that your "hot" tipster can do absolutely no wrong, to think the game is easy and become sloppy in your bet-placing leading you to miss out on the best odds, etc, etc. Oh yes, those pesky winning runs need to be watched. They are the Sirens of the betting world, and personally, I distrust them deeply.

And you know something else - if you think about it, winning runs must affect the people running the services. What happens if the tipster is lulled into thinking he cannot lose and starts to come away from a tried and tested staking method? Or he starts to include selections that he would normally say weren't quite good enough to include? Well, the consequences could become pretty disastrous, pretty darn quickly.

Of course the key to facing the problem of winning runs is obvious. Look at the long term roi of the tipster, and of your own portfolio. The long term figure is the most accurate for a reason, you know. What goes up, will at some point, definitely come down.

You may have guessed by now, how much profit I made today.

Today's Action

Pretty quiet today with just nine bets on the horses, and only ProBandit finding a winner. A good bet was had though, as half a point each way was wagered on Shared Moment at Lingfield, the nag obliging at 5/1. That was enough to cover the losses made elsewhere and come out grinning the other side to the tune of £50.20. Sweet!

Wednesday 12th January: Staked £133, +£50.20.
Week to date: Staked £548, +£94.73.
Month to date: Staked £6,196, +£621.94, roi 10.03%.

Football Elite

Last night I explained how I see some of the services I follow as being a "core" service. Football Elite is the core football service in my portfolio. If I was starting out all over again, and could afford to follow just one service, then this one would be it. It ticks so many boxes. Tips are released at a sensible hour. The markets played are some of the most liquid in sports betting. Odds are often greater than those advised by the time kick off comes around. It provides a high strike rate of winners (50%+). The historical roi seems to sit constantly over 15%. The guy's selection method is consistent and well reasoned. I could go on.

However, it is not immune to losing (and winning) runs, and what has happened to Football Elite over the last six weeks emphasises another vitally important factor to consider when trying to gamble successfully - timing. But that is a story for another day.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


So, here we are. Day 2 of the blog. I've had to wait until now to post as there were a couple of bets placed on tonight's football. Mind you, it will be a similar posting time tomorrow as nothing gets in the way of watching my beloved Arsenal! Please remain polite if a comment is made in the box below!

I noticed something in my horse racing bets today that gives me a huge amount of inner confidence that my approach is right; that my racing portfolio is nicely balanced and the services I use are run by people that I can have faith in. When in the midst of a losing spell, I often do this exercise just to reaffirm my belief. As it happens, today amongst nine bets on the horses, I had five winners and a nice return, but it wasn't this high strike rate that I am referring to. No, what I noticed was that of those nine bets, seven had a starting price lower than the price the tip was advised at, one was the same, and one was very marginally bigger (advised at 11/8, SP of 6/4). I know prices frequently contract in the immediate aftermath of the tip being released, as service followers all place their bets, but these price contractions (with the exception of one) all occured in the "live" racecourse market. According to the market, my tipsters are identifying horses at prices larger than their real chance of success. In the long run, this should mean that the tipsters are finding an edge and value is being attained. It's one thing being able to find winners - it's entirely another being able to profit from them long term.

Today's action

Today has been the nice, quietly solid day that I really enjoy. A healthy but unspectacular profit. The sort of day that a properly thought out portfolio should provide on a fairly regular basis. Today has been a Dirk Kuyt of a day - nothing spectacular but a reliable job done.

One winner in three selections for Northern Monkey Punter today, Finn's Rainbow obliging at 11/10, which was a shade higher than the price achieved on the same horse later tipped by ProBandit (Evens). Star of the Day was PJA Racing NH, whose sole tip - Phar Again (11/2) - came in nicely. The success that On The Nose is having this month is becoming monotonous (there is a kiss of death, if ever I've heard one); one selection, one nice 11/4 winner (Do It For Dalkey). Chasemaster also had two bets today, one of which, Featherbed Lane, won at 7/4.

The Sportsman had a winning bet tonight on the goals line in the Bristol Rovers/Walsall game, and Strike Zone had a short priced winner from one selection too. The only blot was one other losing bet I had at a higher stake, which meant that I actually lost a little over a tenner on tonight's footie action. However, only a small dent in the context of the day's performance.

So, as you can see, a quietly effective time was had of it today...

Tuesday 11th January: Staked £241, +£96.68.
Week to date: Staked £525, +£32.71.
Month to date: Staked £6,063, +£571.74, roi 9.42%.

Service views - Pro Bandit

There are a small number of services that I see as being a "core" service. A "go-to" service if there is such a thing, and ProBandit is very definitely one of them. Specialising on the flat, the thing I like about ProBandit is the steadiness of returns. Through their staking system and frequent "dutch" bets, I get the strong impression that bank preservation is important, that there is a strong belief that trying to achieve steady returns (as opposed to spectacular) and to minimise instability, is an admirable ambition to have. Of course, they, like any service, have their hot and cold runs, but the norm is a steady accumulation of profit. That is the reason why I place so much store by them. That approach reflects my own when it comes to gambling.

And on that note, I shall sign off, hoping that tomorrow brings another, boringly solid day!