Monday, 28 February 2011

February Racing Review

Well, the first thing today is to note that the month ended in profit. Not a particularly impressive amount, I grant you, but any sort of profit in a month that seems to have been such hard work perhaps isn't too shabby. Of course, once subscription fees are accounted for then the balance falls into the negatives, but to be honest, I think I'll settle for this this month in the hope and expectation that there are better times ahead.

So, without further ado, let's pass a little comment on each of the racing services in the portfolio. The first figures are those attained this month, the figures in italics/brackets those for that service from 1st January this year.

4PA: Staked 16.5pts, +13.625pts, roi 82.57% (Staked 29.5pts, +11.625pts, roi 39.4%). This service has, quite simply, become the keystone of my portfolio. It's performance since I joined last year has been outstanding, and certainly the equal of all that I read that Equine Investments has achieved in the past. Although getting up early on a Saturday to get the bets on has been a bit of a pain, it all feels worth it when the profits are totted up. Of course, if ever a service was due a correction, this would be it, but I desperately hope that it doesn't come this month. Cheltenham is likely to be a very busy time for the service, and the way it is staked, 4PA has the potential to make or break March on it's own.

On The Nose: Staked 39.5pts, +12.412pts, roi 31.42% (Staked 90.5pts, +54.836pts, roi 60.59%). How pleased am I to have joined OTN before the subs limit was reached? An roi of over 60% from two month's worth of results is not to be sniffed at, and I hate to think where I would be were it not for On The Nose and 4PA. This level of performance cannot be maintained, and there will come a time when OTN goes through a losing run. Odds are attainable, the bets are well reasoned, and the service is cheap. Not a bad combination.

Winning Racing Tips: Staked 19.8pts, +0.229pts, roi 1.15% (Staked 33.1pts, -0.006pts, roi -0.01%). I have made a lot of profit in the past with WRT but for the last six to nine months the service has stood still somewhat. Having to keep an eye on the ease of getting the bets on and although this month I have experienced just one or two difficulties in this respect, it is nothing too alarming yet. In the context of what has happened with a number of the racing services this month, standing still is perhaps quite an achievement, although I'll be looking for an improvement soon.

Chasemaster: Staked 13.75pts, -0.606pts, roi -4.4% (Staked 23.875pts, +3.22pts, 13.48%). Perhaps that last statement regarding WRT applies equally to Chasemaster this month. Certainly the overall profit so far this year is acceptable. I have mentioned some idiosyncracies of the service in the past and these show no sign of abating. Backing a horse at 9/2 each way in a five runner field is something that quite frankly I find mystifying, sending bets through at unexpectedly late doesn't make for an easy life, but it sure does keep you on your toes!

ProBandit: Staked 33.575pts, -4.843pts, roi -14.42% (Staked 59.655pts, -3.997pts, roi -6.7%). For what is usually such a reliable and consistent service, these last two months have been disappointing. There have however, been just a couple of small signs that a refinding of form is just around the corner (not least of all today!). A 7/1 winner last week and a 7/1 winner already this, perhaps Paul is beginning to rediscover his mojo...I have high hopes for ProBandit in March.

PJA NH: Staked 57.5pts, -12.867pts, roi -22.37% (Staked 122.5pts, -25.892pts, roi -21.13%). What I am extremely grateful for is recognising that my £/point value was too high witht his service last month and that I made the necessary adjustments, for it has been another very poor month for PJA, following a very poor month in January. However, this service has a habit of enduring a poor period and then producing a purple patch and I don't see the last two months as being the sign of a more serious malaise. They are though, a third of their bank down in turns of points lost in this losing run. Let's hope March sees PJA fare better; I have a sneaky feeling that it might.

Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 28.5pts, -14.446pts, roi -50.68% (Staked 74.5pts, -17.166pts, roi -23.04%). What a truly horrible month for NMP. The only saving grace was that the service seemed to be lightly staked in February compared with previous staking levels, so in terms of actual money lost, I may have got away with it a touch (still the best part of £300 down, though). We'll see. It is too early for me to start commenting on the service. I only joined in January and although it's obviously not been a great start, I'm not too concerned at this stage.

Overall in February, I staked £7,086 on the nags, and finished £204.27 up at an roi of 2.88%. It's not been pretty at times, but this may be a period we look back at and realise that hanging in there was a pretty decent thing to do. Roll on Cheltenham!

Today's Action

As mentioned above, all plaudits today must go to ProBandit. Two races played in, two winners (Black Coffee - Wolverhampton - 5/2 and Una Pelota - Wolverhampton - 7/1) and the third horse suggested, a dutch bet in Black Coffee's race, finished a short head second. That is race-reading to be proud of.

PJA NH and Northern Monkey Punter finished the month doing the same as they have been doing for the best part of February...firing blanks. Come on chaps, time to turn the ship around!

PJA NH: Staked 2.5pts, -2.5pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 1.5pts, +4.15pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £96.

**Thanks to a sharp-eyed poster in the Comments section yesterday, it was pointed out to me that The Shepherd King, an On The Nose each way selection, actually finished in the frame, and was not a loser as I had stated. This made yesterday a marginally profitable day, and the figures posted at the end of the day inaccurate.

Monday 28th February: Staked £130, +£96.
Week to date: Staked £130, +£96.
February 2011: Staked £16,682, +£57.17, roi 0.34%.
Year to date: Staked £32,443.50, -£216.50, roi -0.66%.

Tomorrow I'll do the footie, although it may be a late post as I'll be watching the Chelsea/Man Utd match.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Make mine a double...

I'm afraid you're going to have to indulge me this evening...

I was eight years old in 1980. I remember distinctly that it was a warm, early summer evening. I had been allowed to stay up late to watch Arsenal play Valencia in the European Cup Winners'Cup final. After 90 minutes and extra time, the game went to penalties. Arsenal missed two and were beaten. Worse, one of the players who missed from the spot was Liam Brady who at the time, was my hero. I used to play in the garden, pretending to be him. I idolised him. And he missed his penalty. Distraught, I bawled.

Today my son, eight years old, sat through the game dressed in his Arsenal kit, and couldn't believe his eyes at what happened in the last couple of minutes. At the final whistle, I looked over to him. His eyes had welled up. What will turn out to be his earliest football memory, I'm sure, had been a traumatic experience. It didn't take a great leap of imagination to see myself sitting there in his place, 31 years ago, dressed in an Arsenal kit and with tears in my eyes. I simply put my arm around him. I didn't bother with the 'It's only a game', and 'Don't worry, we'll be back in a final soon' type platitudes that I had heard from my well-meaning Mum back in 1980. I just held him.

As you get older, you realise that football is simply the most important thing of unimportant things. Having children and all that brings, close family, serious illness, and the injustices of the world such as poverty, natural disaster, racial intolerance, etc. put something as irrelevant as football into perspective. But when you support a club, I mean truly support a club, things like today hurt. And tonight, two members of the TPI household are in pain.

For the next 48 hours, I shall live in a self-made cocoon. I shall not watch television. I shall not buy a newspaper. I shall not look at Twitter. I shall wake up to one of the alarm tones on my mobile 'phone and not the usual Radio 5 Live 'Breakfast Show'. I shall not frequent the forums I usually frequent. If anyone at work starts to talk about football I shall growl menacingly until the subject is changed. Then, probably about Tuesday evening time, I shall realise that I am acting in a way that, if it were the behaviour of my eight year old son, he would be admonished for.

After I had consoled my son the best I could, I went for a walk. In the woods. In the dark. It was wet, muddy, and slippery. I fell into a puddle.

Not been my weekend, has it?

Today's (inconsequential) Action

The losing run on the horses continues - nine selections today without a winner to add to the seventeen yesterday. Only Chasemaster managed a return of any sort with Oncle Kid (16/1) finishing third. Blanks for PJA NH and On The Nose.

PJA NH: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2.5pts, -2.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 1.5pts, -0.975pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £143.50.

Football Elite capped off a fine month by finding Cagliari to beat Lazio (1-0), their only bet of the weekend. Shaolin Betting was the only other service with action and found one from two for a tiny loss.

Shaolin Betting: Staked 2pts, -0.04pts.
Football Elite: Staked 1pt, +1.4pts.
Financial profit on the football of £136.

Sunday 27th February: Staked £475, -£7.50.
Week: Staked £4,120.50, +£144.44.
Month to date: Staked £16,552, -£68.83, roi -0.41%.

So, the month ends tomorrow. I plan to post my thoughts on the racing services and their performance tomorrow, and I shall follow that on Tuesday with the same analysis of the football side of the portfolio. Not sure the prospect of doing this is amounting much to cheering me up!

Now, who's for a stiff drink?

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Would you Adam and Eve it?

Not inclined to do anything other than a report tonight. It's late, and it been a bad day. All the promise of a recovery this week that would end in a month that provides semi-decent profit has fallen by the wayside. Oh dear!

Today's Action

Seventeen bets on the racing today. Winners...none. Only Chasemaster produced any sort of profit with their one each way selection finishing third. 4PA found one placed amongst three, as did On The Nose. All the others - PJA NH, Northern Monkey Punter, and ProBandit - couldn't find a return between them.

4PA: Staked 3pts, -1.875pts.
PJA NH: Staked 3.5pts, -3.5pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 2.25pts, -2.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 3.5pts, -2.4pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2.25pts, -2.25pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, +0.188pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £295.50.

The football was no better. Skeeve did best of all, his poor return with the main service being rescued by three out of three 'Late Service' selections winning. Still an overall small loss though at the odds I was able to secure. Football Investor managed one out of eight, Shaolin Betting one from three, Strike Zone got three from five but still lost. Also lost a point following my mate's suggestions. The Sportsman got one from two for a very, very small profit (£1.90 to be precise!).

Skeeve: Staked 28pts, -0.58pts.
Football Investor: Staked 8pts, -2.5pts.
Shaolin Betting: Staked 3pts, -0.98pts.
Strike Zone: Staked 5pts, -0.41pts.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.5pts, +0.01pts.
Financial loss on the football of £264.70.

Saturday 26th February: Staked £1,440, -£560.20.
Week to date: Staked £3,645.50, +£151.94.
Month to date: Staked £16,077, -£61.33, roi -0.38%.

What can you say?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Open All Hours!

Right then. As regular readers will know, weekend evenings (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) are not the times for in-depth ruminations and musings from this particular blogger. Nope, time seems to be voraciously eaten up with either placing bets or recording results. Food, nah! Family, nah! Blogging, nah! Oddsportal, tick. Spreadsheet, tick.

So, tonight's offering is just a little housekeeping.

I was asked last night in the 'Comments' section whether my P&L figures included deductions for the fees I pay the various services used. It suddenly ocurred to me that I hadn't mentioned this part of the accounting process on the blog at all. So, in the interests of transparency, I thought I'd better put forward my thoughts on this matter.

My monthly fees come in at a little under £250. But, and here's the thing, that amount can vary as the make-up of the portfolio varies. If I drop one service, then it's replacement might be cheaper or it might be more expensive to subscribe to. If so, then of course my monthly expenditure on subscription payments changes. So, instead of including the deductions for fees on a monthly basis, I will post up the balance on 31st December (before I get merry!). In the meantime, if you simply deduct £250 from each month's returns, you're not going to be very far away from the figures on my spreadsheet.

I'm pleased that this oversight was brought to my attention. It is very easy to get carried away - especially when a profit is being made - and consequently to think you are doing better than you actually are. I know I fell into this trap when I first started. If I may draw an analogy, it's a bit like running a grocery shop, totting up how much is in the till at the end of the day and saying that's how much you've made, forgetting the amount you had to fork out in the cash and carry to get the stuff you've sold in the first place. Looking at it like this, no-one wants to be the Granville of betting, do they!

Finally, and at risk of sounding like a wannabe Oscar-winning speech maker, I'd like to say thanks to everyone who has posted comments through the last week, and thanks to those who also run blogs and have put up links to this site. Naturally I have reciprocated, although some of them (well, all actually) are so much more slickly presented I'm beginning to develop a bit of an inferiority complex.

Today's Action

Well, well, well. Who'd of thought? Another profitable day, the fourth this week. Being pernickety I have to say that I wish this was building on previously accrued profits this month as opposed to a rescue act that could be ranked alongside Dunkirk for sheer improbability! Still, I'd rather be nosing ahead than listing badly and letting in more water than I can bale out, which would have accurately described the situation this time last week. Must say though, going into what will undoubtedly be another frantic weekend, I can't help but feel a touch vulnerable. A sacrifice at the altar of the gambling gods may be the way to go tonight. Some poor goat's gonna get it!

'Star of the Day' today was PJA NH which found a nice winner (Russian Flag - Sandown - 15/2) and a placed horse from three selections. A 'nose' behind PJA was On The Nose, who amongst their four tips also picked Russian Flag (managed to get 8s though at the time this came through). Northern Monkey Punter managed to break their recent lean spell with their one offering proving to be a winner (Loyalty - Wolverhampton - 9/2) and fingers crossed this can be the catalyst for a return to winning form. The only loss-makers today were ProBandit and Chasemaster.

Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 0.5pts, +2.25pts.
PJA NH: Staked 2.75pts, +3.438pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2.75pts, +3.05pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.75pts, -0.75pts.
ProBandit: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £109.75.

Friday 25th February: Staked £175, +£109.75.
Week to date: Staked £1,780.50, +£712.14.
Month to date: Staked £14,212, +£498.87, roi 3.51%.

Back tomorrow with details of what will be another busy Saturday, I'm sure. Adios.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Let's see what happens.

Yesterday, Winning Racing Tips gave a selection at 16/1. It wasn't staked heavily, 0.25pts each way. To my staking levels, that equated to a total stake of £30. I had to spread that stake across three bookmakers. Victor Chandler allowed me £4ew, and Stan James £7ew. I had to make up the rest at BetInternet who were offering only 12/1. I know for a fact that Paddy Power would have severely restricted my stake on this horse, and I wouldn't be surprised if Coral would have had a problem with it too, judged by the number of bets of mine that they are referring to their traders.

I appreciate that backing horses at long odds each way in non-handicap races is not a strategy likely to warm a punter to the cockles of a bookmaker's heart, but really, three of the bounders to stake £30! Pathetic it may be, but as a serious punter (serious in terms of adopting a strategy you understand, not in terms of size of stakes - I'm no JP McManus!), this inability to get what you want on your service's selections is an issue that must be resolved, and there is no point in merely wailing against the system and gnashing one's teeth! Instead, thought has to go into how to overcome this obstacle, and unfortunately, I'm beginning to think that the solutions may lie in a fundamental rethink around how else we can achieve our aims. In other words, perhaps we have to change our means to reach our ends.

I think I have mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but I never stake more than £50 on any one horse with one bookmaker, even if this means accepting slightly lower odds than those advised by the tipster. I also note which bookmaker I have placed a bet with and ensure I spread my bets as evenly as possible amongst the different firms. But despite these measures, Chandler has already closed one account of mine completely, Corals are referring me to traders more and more frequently, and Paddy Power restrict my stakes on anything other than horses running in the important weekend/festival races. And therein perhaps lies an important point. As yet, I don't have any problems getting my stakes on horses running in handicaps, and although the 4PA selections are staked much more heavily than those from other services, I never have a problem getting these on either. I'm sure this is because the horses picked are running in the races with the strongest markets.

So, does this mean that in the future, choosing which services to follow really is dictated by the likely ease with which it is possible to get the money down on their selections? Does this mean that other services may have to be dropped for no other reason than the nature of their selections are going to produce difficulties in this respect? Does it mean that over time, we have to accept that horse racing services are going to have to step back a little in favour of an increased portfolio weighting on football betting, which will allow the more robust Asian bookmakers to be utilised? If so, I would suggest that judging from the difficulties I am beginning to come up against, this phasing in process may have to be started sooner rather than later.

Don't get me wrong, I am not pulling the plug on Winning Racing Tips specifically and nor do I have the cards of some of the other racing services I follow marked. I have been a member of WRT for two years and made darned good money with them in that time. I can still get on their selections, it is just becoming a little trickier, that's all. I would also say that their style of betting is so well in alignment with my own psychological gambling profile that I would be loathe to give them up and in fact would encourage anybody to seriously consider them, or those who bet like them, as part of a balanced portfolio. No, what I am actually saying here is that moving forward, it is becoming apparent that the overall "look" of the portfolio may have to change slightly as circumstances dictate. Let's see what happens.

Today's Action

Rather ironically in the light of all the above, there has only been racing action to concern us today. It did produce the fourth consecutive profitable day though, and the largest contributor to this today was ProBandit which played three horses in one race, two of which finished first and second. The winner was Interchoice Star (Southwell - 7/1). Good to see ProBandit pick up a couple of points and I'm really hoping that this signals a real return to form - there have been one or two small signs of that happening this week. Fingers crossed.

Elsewhere, the other winner finder was (again) On The Nose (Laterly - Huntingdon - 7/1), their only tip today. Winning Racing Tips found one placed horse from two selections and a small loss overall. Chasemaster followed yesterday's heroics with a blank day from three selections, and Northern Monkey Punter continued in the doldrums with 0/2.

Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1.25pts, -1.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, +3.5pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.575pts, +2.425pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.3pts, -0.42pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.875pts, -0.875pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £64.30.

Thursday 24th February: Staked £228.50, +£64.30.
Week to date: Staked £1,605.50, +£602.39.
Month to date: Staked £14,037, +£389.12, roi 2.77%.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A match made in heaven...

I don't know if anyone reading is on Twitter, but I had to laugh today at a tweet that announced that Thommo, he of "Hey there, Big Fella" fame was on his way to a Fred Done shop in Yorkshire today on promotional duties. The tweeter was hoping to meet the "great man"!

Well, I'm not sure about being great, but when it comes to being offensively patronising to anyone that he happens to stick a microphone in front of he certainly has no peer. And after reading the excellent article posted by the High Class Equine blog recently that outlined "Thommo's" far from terrific record as a paid tipster, I just had to chuckle. I hope he doesn't read this blog (don't think so, do you?). As for Fred Done - pfft.

Fred Done wonders why anyone would ever go anywhere else to have a bet. Well, I returned the tweepers tweet, saying that if Thommo was going to a Done shop to have a bet, then he is likely to be wasting his time. Let's face it, everyone knows that you can't take fifty quid off Fred before an online account is closed by the powers that be in Done HQ. But other than the fact that they are a bookie you can't have a bet with (!), I can give Fred another reason as to why I shall never place a wager with his company again.

I always pick up the weekend football coupons from my local William Hill, Coral, and Ladbrokes offices on a Wednesday evening on my way home from work. There are three Fred Done offices between my office and my home. Never though, am I able to pick up a Done coupon from any of them. It seems that on a Wednesday evening, they are still trying to find out what the weekend fixtures are, never mind pricing the games up! I did drop in on them last Thursday however as I happened to be passing. Still, there was no 'Long List' coupon displayed, only a coupon advertising the prices of a certain amount of goals being scored in certain games. Now I think I'm a relatively cheery fella. Certainly I am never less than very polite - manners are free to dispense, after all. So it was with a little surprise that my nicely put request for a coupon (you know, something along the lines of, "Would it be possible to have a weekend football coupon, please?") was met with what can only be described as a withering glare, a nod in the direction of the wrong coupons, and a grunt. OK, I thought, perhaps I'd missed them. I walked back to the display to look again. Definitely not there. I returned to the counter. "Erm, they're not there. The Goals coupons are, not the Long List. Any chance you could print one off?". Well, you would have thought that I had asked this old hag to perform the labours of Hercules such were the mutterings and looks of incredulity that this outlandish request provoked. The 'lady' whose job it was to ensure that the customer is always right slowly raised what can only be described as a backside built for sitting on (full of padding), expelled enough air to extinguish a candle from 50 feet, and quite audibly said, "I don't know what your problem is"!

I snapped. Months of simmering frustration at having my online account closed down after two winning bets, anger at incompetent telephone operators telling me they couldn't find the relevant markets to allow me my bet, and resentment at the constant unavailability of basic football all came streaming out in the form of what can only be described as forceful language. And it did so loudly!

When I had finished, there fell over that Done office a hush. It lasted what seemed like quite some time, but was eventually broken by a gentle, tentative almost, "Here, here" from the far corner. Obviously, on this side of the counter, I was amongst allies. Slowly I turned and walked unhurriedly to the door and left. The old bag had had an earful.

I don't suppose she cared.

Today's Action

Well, well, well. A third consecutive day of making profit. Whatever next? Actually, don't think about that. A pessimistic me can see what the answer might be.

Gaining the plaudits today were Chasemaster, which found a lovely winner (Rambling Minster - Doncaster - 9/1) and Winning Racing Tips which selected Cantlow (Ludlow - 6/1). The WRT selections (the other was a non-runner) caused me some real problems today but as it is late, that story will have to wait until tomorrow. These two winners were enough to ensure that today would not be a losing day, but the collection for struggling punters was added to by On The Nose (Good Time Donie - Fairyhouse - 9/2) and ProBandit (Lewyn - Lingfield - 9/4). Northern Monkey Punter is finding the going extremely tacky at the moment and couldn't provide a winner from four selections today, but I'm sure he'll turn things around given time.

PJA NH: Staked 0.75pts, -0.125pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, +0.75pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2.25pts, +0.188pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.6pts, +2.16pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 1pt, +2.2pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £241.60.

Only one bet on the football tonight, and what a nice one it was at that. Football Investor - well done with your 4/1 winner (St.Mirren).

Football Investor: Staked 1pt, +4pts.
Financial profit on the football of £60.

Wednesday 23rd February: Staked 296, +£301.60.
Week to date: Staked £1,377, +£538.09.
Month to date: Staked £13,808.50, +£324.82, roi 2.35%.

Finally, many thanks to Ian who runs the Football Betting Index service for leaving a comment on last night's post about how he deals with the admin side of running a service. Genuinely, to have folks like Ian, Sam from The Market Examiner, Skeeve, and then Alan who has ten years betting experience under his belt contributing already to this blog, well, I do feel honoured.

Anyone out there like me, still learning about this gambling malarkey!?! Do please leave a comment...

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Skeeve shoots! He scores!

Balls! You know, I scribbled a few notes down at lunchtime. Just some outlines on what I wanted to write about tonight, and of course I have left them at work. What an idiot! I'm going to have to ad lib, as it were...

The topic I wanted to delve into was a theme that Alan brought to my attention in his comment the other night. It was a part of the comment I alluded to in last night's post. He wrote:

"I have a little theory by the way, Once a tipster gets into SBC hall of fame, its time to look to replace that service as its obviously been around for a while and doing well and so a downturn is due."

You know, there is an awful lot of sense in those couple of sentences. It's not a sentiment per se that I subscribe to myself, but whether you share such an opinion or not, there are a number of implications to Alan's words that really ought to be considered when thinking about joining, continuing with, or dropping a service.

I think it is no secret to anyone that I admire the Secret Betting Club's work and have found it to be very helpful with regard to so much about making betting profitable. From choosing which services to follow to staking to bank management, their work is essentially what my whole way of gambling is based upon.

To a tipster, I can see that making it as a 'Hall of Fame' member is an extremely attractive proposition. I can only think that in addition to the qudos associated with gaining entry to the list of the chosen few services, the increased membership numbers go a long way to rewarding the effort that it took to create a service capable of being a Hall of Fame member. I also think though, that there are implications to the person running the service. With increased numbers of subscribers, comes increasing pressure to perform, as we discussed last week. The admin side of running the service probably becomes a heavier burden to shoulder which in turn may lead to time pressures in finding selections. The amount of correspondence must increase, payment issues resolved, etc, etc, and yet still there must be sufficient time made to continue with your selection finding methods and an edge on the bookies maintained.

So, from the subscriber's perspective, the tipster that he/she has been following or have just started to pay and follow, is working under circumstances that are new to them. There must be an inevitable period of adjustment. Yet through it all, the subscriber is risking their hard earned on this tipster's selections, still receiving their daily email or text, just as before. On the surface, nothing has changed, but underneath, who knows if the legs that have kept this particular service buoyant are beginning to have to kick that bit harder, and are actually beginning to feel the strain?

Alan's point about a service being due a correction after the sustained period of success that was necessary to become a Hall of Fame member in the first place is also a point very worthy of consideration. There is a logic to this assertion that cannot be denied. I guess it is a matter of what goes up must, at some point in time, come down. However, I'm not at all sure where I stand on the subject of 'corrections'. In my own portfolio, 4PA have had a stormer ever since I joined about five months ago. I remember saying to myself at the beginning of November that they cannot continue providing profits at the levels they have been. I said the same at the beginning of December, and January, and February! So, on the premise that they are due a correction soon, should I have stopped following at any of these junctures? Should I stop following at the end of this month? Are they due a correction? Or are they simply an outstanding service? All I know is that my overall performance in 2011 to date would be looking pretty sorry were it not for them. As it happens, I think they are due a correction, but I certainly don't have cojones of the requisite size to stop following them on that basis.

What cannot be denied though, is that some services do seem to struggle with being in the spotlight that the HoF shines upon them. I know for a fact that Alan is not alone in thinking that the time to worry about a service is when it has gained membership. Alan himself has pointed out that if you look at the make-up of the HoF of just a couple of years ago, it is vastly different to how it looks now. That simply cannot be denied, and I imagine that two years from now, it will look vastly different again. That does say something, and perhaps provides a warning that really should be heeded to anyone running a betting portfolio.

Today's Action

Only one winner from eight bets today, that being found by PJA NH (Kirby's Glen - Taunton - 7/1) to produce an overall small profit for that service (also picked four losers). Winning Racing Tips provided a tiny return with it's selection finishing placed at 11/2. On The Nose's only tip was a loser, a comment equally true of Chasemaster.

PJA NH: Staked 4.5pts, +0.7pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1pt, +0.05pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £18.

Skeeve proved to be the Star of the Day with a winning double in non-league football tonight; a rare midweek bet and a welcome winner. Shaolin Betting's sole bet, Cardiff, won for a nice return and The Sportsman had a small bet tonight which also turned out to be a winner. Strike Zone found two from three but due to short odds still produced a small loss, as did Football Investor who (warming the heart of this one-eyed blogger) found Blackpool to beat Spurs but it was accompanied by five losers. Also managed to pick up a point from my friend's couple of tips for tonight.

Strike Zone: Staked 3pts, -0.23pts.
Football Investor: Staked 6pts, -1.4pts.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.1pts, +0.09pts.
Shaolin Betting: Staked 1pt, +0.85pts.
Skeeve: Staked 5pts, +5.754pts.
Financial profit on the football of £206.99.

Tuesday 22nd February: Staked £820, +£188.99.
Week to date: Staked £1,081, +£236.49.
Month to date: Staked £13,512.50, +23.22, roi 0.17%.

So, what do you reckon on the chances of picking up a decent profit between now and the end of the month?

Monday, 21 February 2011

Take a bow, Football Elite!

Last week, regular contributor Alan (heh!), posted a comment that said...

"2 things can happen to service. They either make you money, hit a losing run then you give your profit back( plus some more) because you felt you owed it to the tipster to keep the faith. Or that tipster gets so consistantly good that they bump up their prices and want you to pay a year in advance!! Eventually they will have a bad year tho (equine investments). Just imagine if you are part of the latter, lets sey you have 100 clients who you charge 1300 a year. 130 000 grand wages before you have even tipped a horse. Do that for 2 or three years and you aint doing too badly thank you. I wonder if you would worry too much about spending all day form studying!!
Personally i very rarely pay a tipster for an extended period for that very reason."

There are a lot of good points in there, I think. Of course the comment was made in the context of our talking about getting the timing right when dropping a service from the portfolio, and it shows a different way of looking at things when making that particular judgement call.

I must say, having never been a member of Equine Investments, I have never experienced the price hikes, but I take the word of someone who obviously has. I think I covered this subject in an earlier post. The numbers of decent, profitable services (long-term) that charge a fraction of the sort of fee Alan mentions, means that to me anyway, there is rarely a valid reason to be paying a service any more than £500/yr, max. I would want profits to be guaranteed for a higher subs rate, and I guess until recently EI came about as close as any service to providing such a guarantee. But look what's happened since the beginning of last summer. I could have paid a much cheaper service to lose the sort of money they have! I know that's an attitude that is too simplistic - EI have a pedigree for a very good reason and of any, I'd be more confident that they will be able to pile the profit back on than most. But then my confidence is probably a reflection of the fact that I'm not a member, so haven't been losing with them whilst paying the best part of £1,300 per year! I have no doubt that had I been a member, I would have a different outlook entirely!

As for the intimation that perhaps the most successful services out there get a little lazy (and let's face it, it would be easy to become so), well, I'm not too sure. I can only draw upon my own experience, but to date I have never, from any service that I have used, gained that impression. I guess your outlook in that regard is dependent on how cynical you are or have become. I get the impression that I may have not been in this game for as long as Alan has. Perhaps I have plenty of time to develop that cynicism.:)

I'm fully behind Alan when he says that he doesn't tend to pay a tipster for an extended period of time. Regardless of the reason behind adopting such a policy, it is one I too would advocate. I tend to subscribe for periods of six months at a time. Longer, and you may find yourself tied into a deal that you would rather escape from early if given the chance. I look at it like I do when deciding what mortgage product to plump for, or which mobile 'phone to enter into a contract for. Subscribing to a service for six months is not, to me anyway, a sign of a lack of faith. More a hedging of my bets with the option to hedge some more in the future if necessary.

Anyway, it was a thought provoking comment, and it didn't end there. More on this tomorrow...

Today's Action

Winning Racing Tips were guilty of weighing down the racing performance today, making two selections that finished unplaced. The second of these though, a horse call Strophic (Wolverhampton - 9/1), traded at 1.04 in running, to win! Chasemaster and PJA NH each went for the same horse (Star Galaxy - Hereford), but it too, lost. Winners were found by Northern Monkey Punter (Restless Boy - Wolverhampton - 7/2) and On The Nose (Double Edge - Carlisle - 3/1).

PJA NH: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1pt, +1.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, +1.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.6pts, -1.6pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £76.

Football Elite had their last selection of six this weekend and it proved to be a winner (Real Sociedad). Four out of six ain't bad.

Football Elite: Staked 1pt, +1.235pts.
Financial profit on the football of £123.50.

Monday 21st February: Staked £261, +£47.50.
Week to date: Staked £261, +£47.50.
Month to date: Staked £12,692.50, -£165.77, roi -1.3%.

Big night on the football tomorrow.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


Another very short post tonight. I think the way I'm going to do this moving on is have the analysis and discussions during the week, and then just short record keeping posts at the weekend. Need to make sure I'm spending some decent time with the family...

Not sure if my wife is going to continue putting the bets on for me on Sunday's though. Not because she did anything wrong. She didn't. All bets were placed with no hiccups whatsoever. Trouble is, of the eleven bets she struck, how many do you think provided a return? None, that's how many. Is she cursed? Her position is under review and she has been told as much in no uncertain terms!

Today's Action

What can I say? After making up some great ground yesterday, we've given most of it back today. So frustrating and typical of how 2011 has gone so far.

There's no point in splitting racing from football today. Providing no returns today were the services...

Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
PJA NH: Staked 1.75pts, -1.75pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.25pts, -1.25pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £140.

Football Investor: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Strike Zone: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Football Elite: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
I also lost a couple of points on my X friend's suggestions today.
Financial loss on the football of £265.

Sunday 20th February: Staked £405, -£405.
Week: Staked £3,772, +£60.44.
Month to date: Staked £12,435.50, -£213.27, roi -1.71%.

So, so, very frustrating! Still, at least Arsenal saw off the mighty Leyton Ori...doh!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

...and not so bad on the footie!

Today's (football) Action

Skeeve was due a losing weekend after his sterling efforts so far this year, and this weekend proved to be it, although losses weren't in any way serious and the service is still very much on course for a good month. It could have been much better if not for a late Altrincham goal that sunk five points staked on Kettering, but I guess it is swings and roundabouts as another pick, Forest Green, scored a late equaliser to transform a losing position into a winning one. Football Investor staked nine points, found two winners, and made a miniscule profit. I lost just a half point on my friend X's tips today, but the real star - much to the relief of Alan (see 'Comments' yesterday), myself, and many others I'm sure - has been Football Elite. Three winners from four selections and Matt's revival from last month's disaster is gathering a bit of momentum. Fingers crossed his recovery continues.

Skeeve: Staked 22pts (inc. late service), -5.02pts.
Football Investor: Staked 9pts, +0.65pts.
Football Elite: Staked 4pts, +3.165pts.
Financial profit on the football of £225.95.

Saturday 19th January: Staked £1,474, +£533.45.
Week to date: Staked £3,367, +£465.44.
Month to date: Staked £12,030.50, +£191.73, roi 1.59%.

So then. Not a bad day all in all. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

A good day on the horses...

As I mentioned yesterday, today's posts are going to be short. I'm doing the racing update now and the football one later as I have a bet on a game in Europe that doesn't kick off until 9.00.

Today's Action

4PA (again!) was the Star of the Day, selecting just the one race to play in and finding the winner, Silver By Nature (10/1). The day had got off to a great start with the first bet also a 10/1 winner (Iconoclast - Ascot) from On The Nose. Watching the race, all I can say is that Paul Moloney performed miracles for a) staying on the horse when it really clouted a fence half way around, and b) performing a masterful ride to allow the horse to get back into the race in it's own time and then drive him ahead approaching the finish. I can pay no greater compliment than to say it was McCoy-like! The Sportsman Racing's sole selection was also a winner (Riverside Theatre - Ascot - 7/4). PJA NH managed to find a placed horse from two selections but posted a loss and Northern Monkey Punter and ProBandit, two services that just cannot get going this month, drew blanks. Chasemaster and Winning Racing Tips did likewise. Don't like to think where I'd be this year without 4PA and On The Nose.

4PA: Staked 1.5pts, +6.75pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, +4.625pts.
PJA NH: Staked 2pts, -1.05pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.9pts, -0.9pts.
ProBandit: Staked 0.75pts, -0.75pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.5pts, +0.875pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £307.50.

Back later with the footie.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Always a 'But'.

Bah! Stupid cold!

Well, not sure where to start today. I would say that the most insightful and illuminating writing yet to appear on this blog was posted yesterday, but it wasn't me that wrote it (heh!). Many, many thanks go to Sam, the man behind The Market Examiner service for posting such a lucid account of just what it can be like getting a new subscription service up and running. With a nod to the 'Green All Over' blog, I am going to copy the format adopted there in terms of posting comments and then adding my thoughts in here. I'm going to do it this way because I can't think of a better way, and it ensures that all readers don't miss the comments that are left in the box each day. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, after all.

Sam posted the following in yesterday's 'Comments' section...

Feel kind of compelled to respond as you have summed up my last couple of years almost entirely. I started a blog called, where I listed my days bets each morning, after analysing the morning betting markets. This is something that I had done privately for some years before, but thought it would be fun to put them "out there" as it were. It also proved to be a useful way to keep track of all my bets on a day to day basis, and which bookies I'd placed my bets with.

If for no other reason than the above, it was proving worthwhile and I enjoyed it. After a few weeks/months, and after quite some success, I was getting more and more followers. I've just checked back, and in the first month of posting (March 2009), I had 518 unique visitors, and by July of that year, this number had risen to 6,525! At the end of that month, our first daughter was born and focus somewhat was shifted away for a while, although the blog was still being updated regularly.

In the first couple of months of 2010, I was still getting quite a number of visitors, which would continue to develop as the weeks went by, as the winners came, so much so that I began to think there could be a chance people would actually like it if it turned into a somewhat professional service. Some posters actually ASKED for it to be a paid-for service, perhaps to limit the number of others with access to the bets.

Clearly there were upsides to this for me, with possible subscription fees being paid etc, but it would be quite a leap from where the blog began, a one man adventure backing the horses (albeit with a method I was/still am utterly convinced is profitable).

Anyway to cut a long story short, was formed, with modest subscription rates. A free trial period was successful, profitable, with lots of nice comments etc. All very exciting.

Come last November, with the launch of the paid for service and what happened - yes! A losing month, typical! Then a December which was utterly frustrating because of the weather (we only back turf meetings), and then January stuttered along rather too..

In fairness to our subscribers, they have almost entirely been extremely patient, and aware that losing runs can happen when backing at big odds like we do, but an "anonymous" poster did comment on the blog at the start of this month:


Anonymous said...
Another month - same old story, we got the value but where are the winners!!Tuesday 2 selections both pulled up.That's now 190 points staked for a loss of 52 points, some value that is.
Value without winners is no good to anyone.


I replied explaining how we've always stressed the importance of having a secure betting bank etc, and how losing runs will inevitably come and go, while sympathising that is isn't always easy to think long term.

So the question is - and this is my point I suppose for replying to your post, and rambling on rather like this - did we begin to question our judgement? Did we begin to make changes out of panic/fear of losing people money? No, I'm pleased to say we didn't, and haven't. Ours is a methodical system of analysing betting markets, however, and there is perhaps less emotion involved than for some of the form students out there, and I think this helps.

At the end of January, for example, which we ended 3pts down, we had just two bets in the last four days. I'm sure there are other services that would have made a desperate lunge at the end to make the month profitable, but we kept our displine and will always do so.

But can I appreciate how tipsters (certainly from blog backgrounds) feel pressure? Yes, absolutely, it's not nice when a bad run comes along, not only for ones own pocket but of course for the subscribers that you feel a duty to help. It's horrible, it is, there's no question about it. But I think you have it spot on when you say that those services which are unaffected by the adverse variance that naturally befalls all types of gambling are the ones which will be still profitable in the years to come. It's all about having total confidence in what you are doing.

I'm pleased to say we are bouncing back quite nicely now by the way, with February showing 22pts of profit (70.72% ROI), and we look forward to keeping it going, which I have no doubts we will..

I hope you don't consider this one big plug/advert for our site, I promise you it wasn't intended in that way! It was just your post struck a chord so much so that I felt compelled to respond. If you would rather not post the comment, then no hard feelings whatsoever.

Well, what can you say about that? First of all, thankyou, Sam. There, in a few succinct paragraphs, is the first hand experience of what we are talking about here. What particularly struck a chord with me is the acknowledgement that things had to take a little bit of a backstep following the birth of Sam's first daughter. I know from experience how diverting such a life event is. The thing is though, when my children were born, I was able to take two weeks off - paid paternity leave - I was quite able to withdraw from my work commitments and others in the office were able to temporarily assume responsibility for the obligations I had to my customers/clients. I guess that it is the curse of the self-employed and independent that when such things affect their lives, in a deeply fundamental way, that this safety net does not exist. Moving away from specifically talking about Sam here, how many of us subscribers take into account that the people to whom we pay our subs are not robots, that they like us, have the same worries, stresses, and strains that all of us have to contend with. What do we subscribers actually see from our services? A punctual email or text message each day, outlining the day's selections...that's what. We rush to get the money down and when we have, we breathe a sigh of relief and await the next missive. There is little or no thought or consideration to the tipster, who perhaps is labouring under the weight of behind the scene problems that have nothing to do with racing or football.

Anyway, thanks again, Sam. May I wish you the very best of luck with your venture and let's hope that February's upturn in performance is the precursor to a great year for you.

Getting back to the issue of removing Sports Investor from the portfolio, the topic which earlier in the week kicked off this theme that we have been exploring of tipsters under pressure.

If you remember, I mentioned that aswell as looking for the early warning signs of a tipster's imminent decline, another approach is simply to heed the advice of others. Well, by listening to the message behind the comments made by those that run the SBC service in their forum this week, allied to a couple of other issues around the service at this time, I am going to bite the bullet and reluctantly stop following the Sports Investors selections (I can almost hear the quickening of the hearts of those who are subscribed, excited at the fact that as sod law will dictate, this weekend will now be the weekend when all four of Sports Investor's tips bring home the bacon!). The final straw has been that at this moment in time, the volume of bets provided remains very low despite assurances made in the summer, and subsequently, that the number of bets given would rise; and, that despite a promised use of a more flexible staking system, the same weight of stake has been given for every selection given this season.! Add this to a lengthy period of underperformance, I think further generosity to the service would actually be not so much giving the benefit of the doubt, as flying in the face of all logic. Sincerely and genuinely, I hope that they turn things around, and I wish them all the luck going in their attempt to do just that.

Today's Action

Well, today has seen us post a profit, which is never a bad thing, but there is always, it seems, a 'but'. The 'but' here harks back to something I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. 4PA tipped Tocca Ferro antepost for the Totesport Trophy, the favourite that suffered an injury and was withdrawn from the race. Hence there has been a £120 debt unaccounted for. At the time of withdrawal, I said that I would account for it the day the race was run, and today is that day. 4PA's other antepost tip was Recession Proof (16/1) which prevailed by a short head (perhaps our luck is turning). 4PA did also put up Walk On today in the race, and that one finished unplaced, so after essentially having three horses tipped by 4PA for this contest, the service ended up providing a £100 profit. To be honest, I'm happy to settle on that in the circumstances. Recession Proof it was that was responsible for On The Nose providing the largest singular profit today (14/1). PJA managed to find a return in the same race with Notus De La Tour (14/1) finishing third. Unfortunately they also found three losers, and Winning Racing Tips' sole selection finished out of the frame too.

Just to complicate things, at the time the 4PA antepost selections were given, I was playing at £40/point. I currently play at £50/pt. I shall refer to today's £100 profit as two points profit.

4PA: Staked 5.5pts, +2pts.
PJA NH: Staked 3pts, -1.875pts.
On The Nose: Staked 3pts, +6.75pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.6pts, -0.6pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £161.50.

Friday 18th February: Staked £396, +£161.50.
Week to date: Staked £1,893, -£68.01.
Month to date: Staked 10,556.50, -£341.72, roi -3.23%.

Finally today, can I bring attention to the Patient Speculation blog. For those that haven't been to the site, it is well worth a click from the link above, particularly if you want to follow some very solid each way selections. I have to confess I'm not following with hard cash just yet, but I am following the selections keenly and a nice 13/2 winner today comes hot on the heels of an 8/1 success on Wednesday. I like Mark's style of betting; not too many selections, decent prices, high strike rate of placed horses with frequent good winners thrown in. Mark also provides interesting reading material and an explanation as to his methods of finding his selections. Fascinating stuff.

The weekend is likely to be hectic so please forgive me if the next two posts are short. More likely to be not much more than an account keeping exercise if I'm honest.

Fingers crossed for a good weekend. Laters.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

If I were in their shoes...

Before I start to pontificate again, I thought I'd just outline my thoughts as to where I want to take this blog.

One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was because there have been times over the last year or so when I have wished that there were people who were doing a similar thing to myself that I could share my thoughts and experiences with. There are a couple of forums that I frequent that are extremely helpful, populated as they are by likeminded folk with whom losses can be whinged about and successes celebrated. But since JP finished with his blog, there hasn't been somewhere you could go each night to read about how someone who was doing what you were doing (perhaps on a different scale, admittedly) were getting on and what issues they were wrestling with. I, like many others I'm sure, became very attached to JP's blog - it was like a gambler's comfort blanket at times.

In light of the above, I have been delighted to see people posting comments. I have said it before (and I'm about to say it again!) that I would like this blog to develop a strong interactive theme to it. If two heads are better than one, then how effective can many heads become? We're all trying to achieve the same thing and that is to make some money through gambling efficiently and effectively. If someone who is following a couple of services or has a portfolio of many tipsters and wants an opinion on something, then ask away. I can give my opinion and perhaps analyse situations more, go into more depth with high-brow (ahem!) philosophical thoughts that may provide food for thought or provide a different perspective. But so can others - I'm no know-it-all, as I hope you have realised by now. I also have a couple of ideas which hopefully will allow those reading to gain a real insight into some of the services they may be using, perhaps in a way that ordinarily they may not do. Watch this space. More on that in a few weeks.

Jon left a comment on yesterday's post that is worth reading if you haven't done so already. It relates to a recent theme we explored of sharing the workload to ease the pressure of placing a lot of bets on a day to day basis. What he proposes is an interesting idea and if anyone wants to discuss his idea further with John, post a comment and I can put you in touch with him. I don't know John personally and there is no "agreement" between us, but if what he suggests has potential as far as you are concerned, what harm can it do to talk? I don't have to publicly publish any comment either, so if you'd rather not post publically, just say, and I'll keep it confidential.

Right then, to the main theme for today...

A couple of nights ago, in the context of Sports Investor, I outlined a couple of factors I thought were relevant to making a decision about dropping a service from the portfolio. One of these was to consider what pressures tipsters themselves may come under, and how potentially that could affect their performance levels.

Try and place yourself, if you will, into the mind of a tipster. Let's track your history and trace your story up to the present day.

You possibly started following the horses or football betting a few years ago and were able to use your skill to generate a high level of profit for yourself at the bookies. After you had shown to yourself that you could turn a profit over an extended period of time, you thought that selling your advice could provide a bit of extra dosh for your betting banks. A blog seems a good idea; you could use it to post your selections publically, let people see how good you are and then after word has spread and you have generated a decent following, you could start to charge for your tips. This all goes swimmingly, and you start proofing your selections to bodies such as the SBC or ProGambler. You're riding a wave of confidence, your service is making a name for itself, perhaps even a limit to member levels will have to be imposed. Goodness me, you're in the SBC Hall of Fame! You have a waiting list of people waiting to pay you a lot of money, just to get your tips! In essence, you have created a full on income stream - all you need to be financially comfortable is a Paypal account...

...and winners. After a couple of years of unremitting success, your 8/1 shot (advised win only at 16s in the morning), is beaten by a short head, or your 5/2 football team lets slip a lead in the 94th minute to lose the bet. And the problem is, this bad luck is just the start of a downturn and it keeps happening. And you develop a losing run. Which grows. And becomes a monster. You're reading comments about your service in forums - these bitter people seem to have forgotten the profits you have previously made for them. New members are well peed off because they joined just as your last really good winning run came to an end and all they have done is make a significant loss. They're not happy bunnies, and they let you know in no uncertain terms. Your inbox is filled with emails declaring people's disgust at what you are doing and how you are under-performing.. Long-term members are no longer renewing their subs. The income upon which you have come to depend is decreasing, sharpish. The review bodies are no longer recommending your service and this leads to fewer and fewer new memberships. What are you going to do?

Now I know that this is a fictitious scenario, but I bet with some it's not a million miles from the truth. These people are human and they probably work long and hard to make the right selections and to provide their members with a service strong on customer focus. When things aren't going well, I'm sure many put even more hours in in a concerted effort to turn their poor form around. But under this sort of pressure, how likely is it that they can stay completely focused and remain unaffected? I tell you something - I don't think I could.

Here's the thing though. As an investor, you've surely got to look for signs of a service being adversly affected and then act. It may be subtle changes in staking (that can't really be justified), more selections at far shorter prices than the ones that previously produced all the profit, irate and irritable excuse-making emails bemoaning the previous day's ill fortune, etc. And when this happens, personally, I think it is a long way back for that service. And it needs to be dropped.

On the flip side, if a tipster has been through all this turmoil, and come out the other side winning, well, you have a real weapon in your armoury. And that, is how I feel about Football Elite. During his recent losing run Matt, to me anyway, didn't seem to blink. There were no excuses. Selection criteria remained consistent. The strategy remained steadfast. Food for thought.

Today's Action

The first weeks of this year are proving to be tough. It's like wading through treacle at the moment.

Winning Racing Tips seem to have found a little of the form they had waylaid for a while. Following Tuesday's strong performance, they found another nice winner today (Bogside - Kelso - 8/1) and also selected Hollins later on the Kelso card, a horse that finished third at 33/1. You would think that this would set me up nicely for a profitable day on the horses. Oh, no! Think again. Northern Monkey Punter and Probandit continued their recent run of poor form, and Chasemaster too failed to register anything in the profit column. Balls.

Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.9pts, +1.8pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £32.

More frustration this evening. The Sportsman gave two bets on the Premier League Darts; one winner one loser for a small loss.

The Sportsman: Staked 0.3pts, -0.03pts.
Financial loss on the darts of £6.

Thursday 17th February: Staked £254, -£38.
Week to date: Staked £1,497, -£229.51.
Month to date: Staked £10,160.50, -£503.22, roi -4.95%.

Roll on the weekend.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Up, down, up, down...

Erm...I'm not in any fit state to be blogging tonight, not after that game! I have a sore throat, and it's not from man-flu.

Just one thing though. If you haven't already, read Alan's comment left after last night's post. Succinct, straight to the point, and deadly accurate. That's not a bad combination.

Today's Action

One day good, next day bad. There seems to be a pattern emerging over the last few days.

PJA had a good day picking one winner (Hand Theprizeover - 8/1 - Leicester) and three more placed from six selections. Other than that though, it was doom and gloom. Northen Monkey Punter, On The Nose, Winning Racing Tips and Chasemaster all failed to provide anything other than total losses on their investments, and ProBandit found a couple to place amongst other losers.

PJA NH: Staked 4.75pts, +2.982pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2.25pts, -1.088pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.8pts, -0.8pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.125pts, -0.125pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £89.37.

Football Elite had a bet today - Sampdoria. They lost.

Football Elite: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Football loss on the football of £100.

Wednesday 16th February: Staked £405.50, -£189.37.
Week to date: Staked £1,243, -£191.51.
Month to date: Staked £9,906.50, -£465.22, roi -4.69%.

So, sorry for the short post. I'm off to bed to dream of being Jack Wilshere.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Decisions, decisions.

Better day today (thankfully!)...details further down.

It seems my comments about Sports Investor yesterday have struck a chord. Skeeve has left a comment that really does highlight the reality of the situation in very clear terms and as a subscriber, when you read it you realise that now really is the time to think long and hard about whether or not to stop following this service. There are also threads on gambling forums discussing the very same issue.

Making money gambling is a hard business, and as such I appreciate that there is no room for sentiment when making this type of decision. However, I have to admit that on a personal level, dropping a service is hard to do. I can't but help thinking of the pressures that those running the services come under when results are going against them. I want services who are obviously conscientious (as those who run Sports Investor are) to succeed, for their sake as well as mine. To me, the common enemy is the bookie, and tipsters and punters should be working together to better that enemy (I may not believe in Valentine's Day, but deep down, I'm a romantic!).

Skeeve makes an extremely valid point in his comment...and it is a point that all those who run a portfolio must heed if they are to have any hope of being successful. A chronically poor tipster performance can really drag down overall portfolio performance. Sure, if a portfolio is doing it's job, then individual services can and should be afforded the luxury of being carried during periods of poor form. After all, it should never be expected that all services will produce a profit in any given month. The trick is to have more making a profit than making a loss, and that is what usually happens, but if a service underperforms for a period as long as a year, then really it is acting as a deadweight, dragging overall portfolio roi down. And frankly, that cannot be allowed to happen.

So, how do you make the right decision about dropping a service or not? I think the first thing that a portfolio investor has to come to terms with is that there is no guarantee that the decisions they make turn out to be the right ones. What they must ensure though, is that the decsion they come to is being made for the right reasons. If this is achieved, then once the decision has been made, the investor must move on. It is human nature to fear making the wrong turn. In the gambling world, this fear is felt most acutely I think, when considering giving up a service due to poor performance. I hope Skeeve doesn't mind me using him as an example, but how would he feel if having made a loss from Sports Investor since December 2009, he was to give up at the end of this month only to see SI go on a lengthy winning run? Put another way, how would he feel knowing that had he persevered just a little longer, he would have recouped all he had lost and then secured some welcome profit? You know, I don't believe there is one single person who reads this and who has used a tipster service, that hasn't at some point agonised over the prospect of this exact scenario. But if it transpires that the gambler does get his timing all wrong when dropping a service, there is the potential to create a real mess. You could easily end up following the service while it loses, miss out on the profits, and rejoin just in time for more losses. Make the decision, and then have the cojones to follow it through regardless of what happens next.

Ok, so we aknowledge that we have to make some tough calls, and there is a chance that we could get some of these calls wrong. We also have to accept that if we do err in our decision making, then we must accept the consequences and not look back with regret. Fine. Still doesn't answer the question of how do you make the decision to drop the service in the first place though, does it?

To my mind there are several factors that we can take account of when trying to make our final judgment call. We can watch out for early warning signs from the services that something is not right. We can look at the psychological pressures that a tipster will be subjected to during a losing run and try to assess if these are having an impact and we can take advice from others, perhaps from those that are more experienced in such matters. I think these issues are deserving of more attention in themselves, and intend to post further thoughts on each. Mark left a comment last night refering to the psychological burdens that tipsters must bear. I think we'll look at this aspect first, and I will post some thoughts in a couple of days. But for now, I shall stop this post before it crosses the line and becomes a ramble.

Today's Action

Made a decent profit today, and whilst that in itself comes as a relief in these testing times, I can't shake the nagging feeling that I've missed out a little.

Racing-wise, Winning Racing Tips was top of the class, picking One Pursuit, a winner at 12/1 at Southwell. Great tipping, but then the edge was taken off their success by their second tip, a larger staked selection that finished out of the places altogether and at a far more conservative 11/4. Don't get me wrong, a very good day for the service, but the sheen was taken off a touch. In second place was Chasemaster, whose only bet for me was a nice winner (Delgany Gunner - 3/1 - Folkestone). Northern Monkey Punter managed a winner (Mush Mir - 6/4 - Southwell) but still lost on the day overall. PJA NH had no success from either of their selections, On The Nose had one placed from two, and disappointingly, The Sportsman Racing had a loser with a 4/6 shot. You see what I mean about not quite cashing in as much as I would have hoped in the circumstances?

PJA NH: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 2pts, -0.75pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1.5pts, -0.188pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.5pts, +2.6pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.75pts, -0.75pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, +1.5pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £142.25.

On the football, my mate X advised a really nice bet on Newcastle, which at the price gave me a very nice return. But my paid for services then let me down...The Sportsman's selection losing and 0/5 for Football Investor.

Football Investor: Staked 5pts, -5pts.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.2pts, -0.2pts.
Financial profit on the football (despite the above) of £103.73.

Tuesday 15th January: Staked £505, +£245.98.
Week to date: Staked £837.50, -£2.14.
Month to date: Staked £9,501, -£275.85, roi -2.9%.

I will post tomorrow night, but with Arsenal/Barcelona, win, lose or draw, I will be in no fit emotional state to do much more than give an account on the day. I'll get back to the meatier stuff on Thursday.

Oh, and well done Spurs...I suppose.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Not much love around this Valentine's Day!

Before detailing another day of recriminations and woe, there's something I want to touch on.

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or bad, but I am constantly analysing my portfolio and the individual services within it. I don't necessarily mean the stats, more the mode of operandi; searching for clues as to the mental state of the people providing the selections, examining whether selection or staking policy has altered and if so, whether it is an early warning sign that things are not quite as they should be.

The problem is that such analysis is not an exact science. The method of research relies almost entirely upon the interpretation of clues. Naturally, when something is open to interpretation, it is also open to misinterpretation. Rarely does drawing conclusions involve a simple issue of asking whether something is metaphorically either black or white.

There are a couple of services in particular that are coming under my microscope... The Sportsman Racing and Sports Investor. For different reasons, I am beginning to ask some questions.

To be honest, The Sportsman Racing is not under any serious threat of being discarded. My concern is simply that the last couple of days have seen a flux of selections, many of which have been at longer prices than the majority of their selections have been historically. Looking at their website, they have been known to tip longer priced horses, but not with the regularity of those they pick which are 5/2 or under. I need to watch closely though - if the number of bets rises somewhat, then quite frankly I will be overstaking the service; I will have the same problem as I had with PJA NH last month.

The other service under the spotlight is Sports Investor, and for no other reason than the performance over the last twelve months has been poor. I don't want to use this blog as a medium for criticising a service unless it is on the grounds of customer service. It is not for me to complain about selection criteria - if I didn't trust the service's methods, why would I pay them a subscription fee? But ultimately, there does come a time when you have to say enough is enough. Is a year a long enough period from which to draw conclusions? I think so, yes.

Today's Action

This really is a poor period. Of 19 horse racing bets today, only one found a return (PJA NH - Bocciani - Catterick - 14/1). Naturally, my smallest stake of the day went on this! Northern Monkey Punter, ProBandit, On The Nose, The Sportsman Racing, and Chasemaster all failed to produce.

Just to round things off and get the week off to what is, quite frankly, a terrible start, Sports Investor's selection tonight, Chelsea at -0.75 on the handicap, was a loser. The only consolation is that it was Chelsea! (Sorry, Blues fans).

PJA NH: Staked 3pts, +1.219pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 3pts, -3pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2.25pts, -2.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2.75pts, -2.75pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.125pts, -0.125pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £248.12.

Sports Investor: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Financial loss on the football of £100.

Monday 14th February: Staked £432.50, -£348.12.
Week to date: Staked £432.50, -£348.12.
Month to date: Staked £8,996, -£521.83, roi 5.8%.

Valentine's Day? Pah!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

A little relief.

Anon. posted a comment after last night's lament of a post and made some very valid points. He/she pointed out that at just c.£325 down, losses were very recoverable. Another valid point was that the proceeds of gambling are not being relied upon to pay the bills (thank goodness, at the mo!), and reiterated the value of patience. The final piece of advice, and a piece well worth heeding, was to chill out. Amen to that!

My aim yesterday was to post from the heart. The aim was to highlight that no matter how level headed and detached one can be most of the time, there will inevitably be times when things get you down. This is unavoidable, I think, but the most important message that I was trying to get across is that these times are not the right times to start making decisions that can affect portfolio performance in the future. I tried to spell out the temptations that arise after a really bad day to start meddling and make ill-advised decisions which can adversley impact long term results - changing stakes, dropping services, etc. In short, bottling it. As Anon was correct in pointing out, the losses are not that big, and in the context of returns gained over the last seven months or so, the losses are in fact an irrelevance. Sometimes, I think that doing nothing is the hardest course to follow, but the course that ultimately will lead to the greatest gains. The trick is to leave things as they are and only review events and make alterations at a particular time, ideally one that has already been set in the mind of the gambler. I would suggest that perhaps the end of each month is such a time.

Today's Action

Winning Racing Tips managed to recommend a bet today, the result of which succinctly summed up what is happening at the moment. An each way treble was the suggestion. On checking the results this evening, I found that the first two horse had won. The third selection finished third. OK, slightly disappointing I thought, but at least stakes would be returned with perhaps a little extra? Oh, no. The third horse did indeed finish third, but there were three non-runners, leaving seven that went to post which of course reduced the number of official places in the race from three to two. I had to laugh.

On The Nose and Chasemaster each failed with their one selection for the day, and PJA's sole runner finished in the places.

A slightly better day on the football. Football Elite managed two from two and Strike Zone recorded a very small loss with one coming in from two selections. The Sports Investor selection was Real Madrid at -1 on the Asian Handicap this evening. They won 1-0 so stakes returned, although this feels like a victory as Real had their goalie sent off in the first minute!

The Sportsman had an account bet but I couldn't get on as I was out with my lad in the woods this morning, climbing trees, would you believe!?! Couldn't get a decent 3G connection on the Iphone so left it. As it happens, the bet wasn't a winner, but the saving stake recommended would have come in, so I neither lost out nor gained by not putting the bet on.

PJA NH: Staked 1pt, -0.033pts.
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £55.65.

Football Elite: Staked 2pts, +2.155pts.
Strike Zone: Staked 2pts, -0.167pts.
Sports Investor: Staked 1pt, nil profit/loss.
Financial profit on the football of £207.17.

Sunday 13th February: Staked £475, +£151.52.
Week: Staked £3,841.50, -£997.23.
Month to date: Staked £8,563.50, -£173.71, roi -2.02%.

So, a pretty darned poor week closes. As Vinnie Jones once said, it's been emotional.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Triumph and Disaster

Let's just get yesterday tidied up first - Football Investor's evening bet was a winner and produced a £28.20 profit and a total profit on the day of £67.72.

Now to today.

I find that writing a gambling blog helps me to establish the right mindset, something that is an essential part of making a long-term success of running a portfolio of tipsters. I think it is only too easy to say the right things, but sometimes not so easy to have 100% conviction in those things. Being forced to take a step back at the end of every day and think about what has happened and then to articulate the day's events and their consequences is a great way to remain objective. And objectivity, I believe, is essential to gaining a proper perspective on things.

I hope that the impression I give in this blog is of someone who 99% of the time remains level-headed. Already, in the short time I have been writing this blog, I have described good winning periods and a disappointing losing run. Through it I have tried to maintain my sense of humour and look upon things dispassionately, accepting that these events are all a part of the game we are playing.

Today however, I admit to feeling down and wary of the future. Confidence has taken a serious knock and as I type this evening, those gremlins that inhabit the murkier recesses of the conscience are making themselves known. Actually, they are demanding my full attention by yelling at the tops of their voices, casting doubts into my mind, forcing me to question my methods and approach.

The biggest temptation is to seriously question some of the services themselves. This is unfair to those that run them, who put every effort into producing an edge and work hard to provide their followers with a top service. But I cannot help but feel resentment after last night delaying a long journey on the motorway to place nine Football Investor bets to be rewarded today with just one winner. I look at Shaolin Betting and wonder why they were unable to find any winners from four selections at average odds of 0.86/1. I question Strike Zone's ability to pick three winners out of five bets but produce a profit of just £9. I wonder why 4PA is going in big on an 11/8 shot, and I question PJA NH, who after altering their staking methods have had a very poor January with February at risk of going the same way.

Read that last paragraph again. Then let's think again and try to gain that elusive perspective I was talking about.

Football Investor play at long odds - they will have worse days than today, and the chap who runs the service is not to blame for my having a long journey to undertake on a wet Friday night...and it was only three points dropped in the end. Shaolin was only a couple of weeks ago I was lauding them for the start I had made with their service. The odds of the selections then were no longer than they were today. Strike Zone have made a profit today; it may be a small one, but over the last few weeks they have been the absolute model of consistency. 4PA are running at a five month ROI in excess of 50% - who the hell am I to question their methods!?! PJA NH - do I really believe they introduced a new staking system on a whim? Of course not. Paul would have analysed his figures and will have made the change because he strongly believes that in the long run it will produce better returns. How many years have PJA been successful? Put it this way - too many to start writing them off after a poor six weeks, that's for sure!

Now we can see why days like today are so dangerous, why they are the Sirens of the gambling world, leading weak-minded punters into treacherous waters. It is easy to be consistent with staking when things are going well. It is easy to say that the long-term is the important thing when you are winning. Slapping oneself on the back for choosing to follow the right services is all too simple when profits are going up. Tonight though, these things are a bit harder to do, but the simple fact is that nothing has changed from last weekend, when profits - and moods - were good.

I think perhaps Kipling had it right when he wrote of treating those two imposters the same. And those Gremlins? They can go to hell!

Today's Action

Today has been my second worst day of gambling since I started. Still, it would be remiss of me not to praise Chasemaster who found a 9/1 winner (Reindeer Dippin - Ayr) and also advised each way the horse that finished second to it (Raystock - 9/1 (SP 7/2!)), and Skeeve who found three winners from three with his 'Late BSS' service and two from four from his main service bets (and Wrexham was another selection, winning 2-1 until the 82nd minute...they lost 3-2!). He has had a cracking 2011 so far.

I also struck lucky with The Sportsman Racing service, which seemed to go mad today, throwing out five bets, a couple of which were at much longer prices than they usually go for. I put the first bet on - an each way advice that finished second at 7/1 - but left the rest as I was finding that I was spending my time on the mobile placing bets instead of enjoying the company of my son during our pre-Arsenal match meal. The remaing four selections all lost!

4PA: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
PJA NH: Staked 5pts, -2.913pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 1.5pts, +0.05pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.7pts, +0.048pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 1pt, +1.063pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 1pt, +0.375pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £62.10.

Skeeve: Staked 28pts, +6.56pts.
Strike Zone: Staked 3pts, +0.18pts.
Football Investor: Staked 9pts, -3pts.
Shaolin Betting: Staked 4pts, -3pts.
Sports Investor: Staked 2pts, +0.25pts.
Financial loss on the football of £712.60.

Saturday 12th February: Staked £2,322, -£774.70.
Week to date: Staked £3,366.50, -£1,148.75.
Month to date: Staked £8,088.50, -£325.23, roi -4.02%.

Right, wounds licked...time to put tomorrow's football bets on...

Friday, 11 February 2011

Non Runners

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that tonight is one of those manic evenings that involve getting a load of football bets on followed by a trip down the M6/M40 to London. Supposed to be leaving in five minutes!

I am therefore going to have to ask for your forgiveness as I keep this post very short. Racing has been better today, but if I was cynical I'd say my cause was helped by the fact that four of today's bets were on horses that didn't run.

Winners for ProBandit and The Sportsman Racing, and On The Nose managed to find Screaming Brave (Kempton - 20/1) each way which finished second and traded as low as 1.15 in running! Oh what might have been.

Football Investor have a bet tonight too, so the results below aren't quite complete.

PJA NH: Staked 0.75pts, -0.163pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 0.75pts, -0.75pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, +2pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.25pts, +0.888pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 1pt, -0.046pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £39.52.

So, not so much a resurgence as a stopping the rot day. Here's hoping for a good weekend. I will put up a quick post tomorrow but it is not likely to be much more than a breakdown of results. See you then...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Behind every great man...

Well, I remain to be convinced about there being a great man here at TPI, but there is certainly a great woman. A solution to my problems around taking a break has been found. I didn't really have to look too far in the end. In fact, across the dinner table was about as far as was needed. There she was, the answer to my prayers - why hadn't I thought of it before? Step forward, my wife.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she is smarter than me. She's better than I am with a spreadsheet, she doesn't flap when under pressure, she just calmly gets on with things and gets those things done. She doesn't bat an eyelid at the amounts that I gamble with our money and views the whole enterprise with a cool disdain. Perfect.

After a couple of training sessions, my betrothed will be taking over Operation TPI each Sunday. I'll take the kids - she can take the bets. She's even agreed to do all the figures in the evening.

Now I know not everyone is in such a fortunate position to be able to hand over their betting affairs once in a while to somebody else that they can trust. I appreciate it's not the most practical of solutions to many. But sometimes you know, the hardest answers to find are the ones that are right underneath your nose.

Right, better go and read up on how to do a Sunday Roast...

Today's Action

I must admit I'm finding 2011 intensely irritating so far. I don't mind so much actually losing, but what I really don't enjoy is making a decent profit, and then giving it all back. I am the Arsenal of the gambling world - I get well ahead only to give away a strong lead and end up drawing. I can't shake the feeling, daft though I know it is, that I may as well not have bothered making the profit in the first place. It happened last month, and it is happening again this month. The positive is that the process is happening at an earlier period of this month than it did last, so there is more time to recover and still make a decent return for February. Last week turned out to be a great week. So far this week, every day has been a losing one, and the bookies are benefiting, damn them!

Firstly, just to show I'm not a total grump, hats off today to Northern Monkey Punter. Three selections, two winners (Steed - Southwell - 3/1 and Exemplary - Kempton - 100/30) isn't too shabby at all. Unfortunately, that is the full extent of the good news. The only other winner today was found by ProBandit (Royal Acclamation - Kempton - 11/2) but like yesterday, other losers meant the service posted a small loss on the day. Now for the name and shame...detention for PJA NH, Chasemaster, On The Nose, and Winning Racing Tips. Not a single return from any of them - not even for a miserable placed finish. Report card states "Must do better".

PJA NH: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
On The Nose: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.2pts, -0.2pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.75pts, -0.263pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1.5pts, +2.667pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £89.17.

The Sportsman picked Phil Taylor to beat Adrian Lewis in the Premier League Darts tonight. He lost.

The Sportsman: Staked 0.1pts, -0.1pts.
Financial loss on the darts of £20.

Thursday 10th February: Staked £252, -£109.17.
Week to date: Staked £854.50, -£441.77
Month to date: Staked £5,576.50, +£381.75, roi 6.84%.

Right, tomorrow's another day and all that...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Oh dear!

Quick post tonight as time seems to have gotten away from me somewhat.

Today's Action

Portfolio betting spreads risk through diversification, smooths the path to profit, and allows the expertise of many to provide a sum total greater than it's individual parts. Well not today it bloody well didn't! Not a good day...

The only service to find a winner was ProBandit (Kuala Limper - Kempton - 5/2). But a loser in the same race, and two losers in two other races meant that PB posted a loss on the day. As for the rest...well, PJA NH, Northern Monkey Punter, Winning Racing Tips, On The Nose, The Sportsman Racing, and Chasemaster couldn't find a winner between them. Good job I have faith in the long-term edge these services hold!

PJA NH: Staked 2.25pts, -1.667pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.6pts, -0.379pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2pts, -0.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1.75pts, -1.75pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £191.10.

Wednesday 9th February: Staked £346, -£191.10.
Week to date: Staked £602.50, -£332.60.
Month to date: Staked £5,324.50, +£490.92, roi 9.22%.

Not been a great week so far.

Been thinking about the break thing a bit more, too. Had an idea. Going to take some sweet talking - let you know about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

"I Don't Like Mondays..."

So, after last night's post, are we thinking, "Yep, I need to take a break from it all every now and then and be better for it"?; or are we thinking, "Stop whinging and get on with it you great Jessie!"?

Well, quite frankly, I'm not interested in anyone's opinion on this other than my own. Call me selfish, but I'll do what I think is right for my gambling, alright? Trouble is though, I'm far from convinced that taking a break is the best thing to do for my gambling. There are consequences to face from taking a sabbatical, even if it is only for a day.

This of course, is where the psychology comes in. You're not telling me that if you're running a portfolio and you decide to take a 24 hour break, you'll not be convinced that during the 24 hours you're about to miss there will be an unbacked 33/1 shot fly in from the service that hasn't picked a winner for a month, an each way double landed at a huge price that you don't benefit from, and you'll see the team you haven't backed as a 5/1 outsider against the league leaders secure a win with a retaken 95th minute penalty that should never have been given in the first place! You will be apprehensive at the thought of taking this time off because the law of sod dictates that if you had just put the bets on instead of being an oversensitive pillock, you'd have made more in that one day than you end up making in the whole of the month? It is the same part of the brain that tells you not to give up on the service that hasn't turned a profit for a year, ignoring all logic that tells you that if you had any sense you really should give up on it, now! But you tell yourself don't you, that as soon as you do, the winners will start to fly in. Let's face it, we've all been there and done that and the T-shirt is so well-worn it's beginning to fade!

OK, so there is a possibility that the nightmare scenario of missing out on huge profits does play out, but how likely is it to really? Let's face it, it's not at all likely, no matter how hard a small but mischievous part of the brain tries to convince us otherwise. That doesn't mean though that we shouldn't try to minimise the risk of missing out on profits unnecessarily. We need to ask ourselves whether we can schedule our breaks in such a way that statistically, we're less likely to do damage to our roi by not betting and taking a break instead? This is a bit like the principle that many football betting services keep to at the beginning of the season - keep powder dry until the form settles down and more solid predictions can be made...don't bet at this stage and just watch our fancies and see what happens.

My instinct is that Mondays are, generally speaking, my least profitable day. The standard of racing is usually at it's lowest on Mondays and therefore many racing services sidestep advising bets or at least reduce the number of selections they give. There's never much football on a Monday either, and if there is a game on a Monday evening, chances are we could have placed any bet on it over the weekend anyway. Consequently, the amount of cash gambled on a Monday is lower than other days of the week. Sure, it might happen that we miss out big time, but I'd suggest the odds are in favour of our not doing.

So, is the answer to take the odd Monday off? Is that one way to avoid the risk of staleness and burn out that betting day in, day out can bring? Got to be food for thought, hasn't it?

Today's Action

Another distinctly underwhelming day on the horses today. Northern Monkey Punter, On The Nose and Chasemaster were all out for ducks, and to continue with the cricketing analogy, ProBandit managed to scrape into double figures with a winner (Elhaamri - Southwell - 9/4) that provided a small profit on a race in which they also tipped a loser.

Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1pt, +0.375pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1.75pts, -1.75pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.375pts, -0.375pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £52.50.

Just one football bet tonight, from Football Investor, and one loser.

Football Investor: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Financial loss on the football of £15.

Tuesday 8th February: Staked £122.50, -£67.50.
Week to date: Staked £256.50, -£141.50.
Month to date: Staked £4,978.50, +£682.02, roi 13.69%.