The Secret Betting Club. What do we think?
I thought I'd break this subject down into two posts; one tonight to provide some general thoughts, and then one to follow tomorrow which will address some concerns and criticisms I have heard levelled at the SBC.
Firstly though, let me nail my colours to the mast. I am all for the SBC. Obviously I am going to explain why, but I can only call things as I see them, and I only 'see' things that I have experienced myself. That does not mean however, that I am not objective. I hope than when you've read these couple of posts that you'll agree that I have been objective, but if not, well, that is precisely what the 'Comments' box is for.
I can't remember how or where I first heard of the Secret Betting Club. I do remember though that for at least six months, I ignored them. You see I had had an experience with a company (whose name I'm afraid has been lost in the mists of time) back in the early-nineties, that purported to do roughly the same thing as the SBC. They would recommend tipster services and systems. They were bent. And I was young. And the outcome wasn't pretty - what is it they say about a fool and money?
So, it is fair to say that I was sceptical. I tried googling "Secret Betting Club" to see if I could find any independent reviews (of a service that provides independent reviews, heh, the irony!) but nothing was coming up. Not sure what it was that made me take the plunge - possibly a combination of curiosity and a good month at work which meant a bigger than normal bonus cheque (no, I don't work in investment banking) so the money didn't matter so much. Whatever, I signed up and started to read.
I guess the SBC reports woke up the latent interests I have had in gambling since being a teenager. I did find it eye opening but that deep-seated scepticism remained and it prevented me from actually joining one of the tipsters the SBC were recommending. I hatched a cunning plan - I would follow the SBC reported results for the services over the next couple of months, and see how closely they correlated with the results printed on the service's own websites. If the SBC was in collusion with all these services, then it was a scam that deserved to work! Actually, what convinced me that the SBC were genuine was the nature and style of the writing. It was informative, educational, and perhaps most importantly, made sense. Simple things, I know. Two months later, I joined Football Elite.
So, what does the SBC do for your gambling? Well we have already explored the difficulty of choosing which tipsters to follow in this blog, and frankly the SBC make this process a whole lot easier. They will do the lengthy testing necessary to ensure a service is both genuine and profitable, so you don't have to lose money the painful way. I find the reviews of each service revealing and certainly when I was first starting to construct a portfolio, the insights into the practicality of following a service were useful in that it forced me to consider things that I otherwise would not have done, and saved me money in the process.
The other area where I find the SBC to be helpful is in their suggestions of the banks that ought to be assigned to a service, how to achieve the correct staking, and how to attain the requisite mentality. But there is one thing above all others that I would thank the SBC for, and that is that over time, they have taught me how to be independently-minded. By applying the principles they advocate, I can now assess a service for myself. I can work out my own staking levels, and I have set my expectations at a realistic level, because I have been educated by their writing.
Look, this isn't supposed to be a eulogy. Like any service, they can have their issues. I will try to address some of these tomorrow. The ones I have in mind include:
1. Accusations I have heard that the SBC are tied into services and so are not the unbiased, independent body they claim to be;
2. That the SBC are making money out of encouraging people to try to attain an income from following tipsters which in itself is an impossible income stream to produce;
3. That services have a habit of losing their edge once they fall under the SBC spotlight and that the resultant increased numbers of followers of recommended services depress odds, and by so doing erode some/all of the edge the tipster had before all the attention; and
4. That they are fleecing customers with their own "tipping" services that hypocritically, are not proofed to any great extent externally.
If there are any more factors that you'd like an opinion on, stick it in 'Comments'. You know me, I like the sound of my own typing!
Frustrating day today. ProBandit, after such a good day yesterday, managed to give most of the profit back today by picking four horses in the 8.00 at Kempton. They finished 7th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd! PJA's form is becoming just a little worrying now - four selections today and just one third place finish to provide any sort of return. Northern Monkey Punter and Chasemaster each had small bets, neither of which produced a return.
PJA NH: Staked 3pts, -1.9pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.875pts, -1.875pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £138.
I think I have made a big mistake by reinstating Sports Investor. I have done a little exercise this evening, looking at each service's three, six, and twelve month performance. Sports Investor has made a loss over each of those periods. In other words, their performance has been consistently poor for a good while now. Naturally, whilst feeling pretty negative about them, tonight's selection was a loser.
Sports Investor: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Financial loss on the football of £100.
Wednesday 9th March: Staked £260, -£238.
Week to date: Staked £1,225, +£5.94.
Month to date: Staked £4,893, +235.23, roi 4.8%.