On Friday, I was left an unusual comment. It read:
"Could you give me a bit of insight into building stick houses, I think my boys would love it.
Do you have specific stick recommendations that have proven sucessful year on year or should I just use anything that looks like a stick?
Do I need to build foundations or can I just jump in and start building fro the ground upwards? I'd like to build an inverted pyramid, any tips.
Thanks for your help
Dave (the stick house builder)"
Well. David. It's not easy, I'm telling you, and my answer to your question suggested as much:
"I think you raise some very interesting points. There's a lot more to building stick houses than most realise and I think these issues need proper examination. Certainly you need a long term outlook and be able to withstand the psychological battering that is, I'm afraid, a part and parcel of the game. Wind, Big Bad Wolves, the wrong type of sticks...these are all things that the average stick house builder just doesn't know how to deal with."
But help is at hand. I can't do much about the wind, and Big Bad Wolves are always going to be a nuisance, but I can give some pointers re. sticks. There are some simple decisions to make. My personal favourite is Silver Birch, but Ash will always be a sound alternative. If you are serious about this stick-house building malarkey though, I strongly recommend you join the SBC (the Stick-house Builders Club). They monitor different constructions throughout differing seasons to see and report back on what are the most pliable, solid, wooden, etc. Just make sure you pick a stick that suits your personality though. For you I'd suggest Sycamore - a cheeky little stick that absorbs liquids, especially on Friday nights and weekends.
Four racing services playing today, three of which were profitable, one meaningfully so.
4PA managed to come up with a cracker (Horseradish - Doncaster - 9/1). The horse won a touch cosily and despite a 10p reduction, provided a very useful profit.
On The Nose also managed a winner (I Can Run Can You - Market Rasen - 3/1), a winner which to my untutored eye owed a lot to McCoy's typically strong urging. Later on in the card, the Chasemaster tip (Karingreason - Market Rasen - 7/1) finished second, the winner appearing to owe a lot to McCoy's typically strong urging! .
Northern Monkey had two today, a loser and one which placed (Internationaldebut - Doncaster - 9/2).
4PA: Staked 1.75pts, +9.112pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1.5pts, +0.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, +0.05pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -0.468pts.
Total financial profit on the racing of £459.26.
And so it was over to the Sports department to see if we could take advantage of the good profits gained on the racing to make significant inroads into the heavy losses suffered the previous two days. Could 'Sports' do it? No they bloody well couldn't!
Football Elite had three selections, Strike Zone had two. Not one winner.
There is an addition to the Sports side of the portfolio for this month too, and it has taken over from Shaolin Betting. I thought long and hard about this and whilst I am not jacking in Shaolin, with the potential issues that I have previously discussed, I asked myself why take any unnecessary risk. There is no need to. I had previously halved stakes but I don't like this halfway house solution. For me, it should be all or nothing; either you're in or you're not. I may well pick up the Shaolin thread again further down the line, but for now it is a watching brief. I am not criticising Shaolin. Let me place on record that I have absolutely no evidence that the set up is anything other than that described by Yakir, the head honcho. My decision has been made simply because my experience with AH Betting has made me ultra-cautious, and it makes sense under such circumstances to take a watching brief for now.
As for Sportyy, I have been watching the service for a while (about four months). The main issue around them has apparently been the practicality in achieving anywhere near the recommended odds but over the last four weeks I have been getting the emails through and seeing exactly what odds I would have been able to get had I been putting cash down. The discrepancy between recommended and theoretically achieved wasn't unacceptable. I shall primarily be using Betfair at first and I am only going to record results in terms of pounds and pence, not points. This is due to the rather unique way that the service stake their selections. Let's see how it goes.
They had one selection today...you can guess already that it lost, can't you?
Football Elite: Staked 3pts, -3pts.
Strike Zone: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Sportyy: Staked £50, -£50.
Total financial loss on sports of £450.
Sunday 3rd April: Staked £590, +£9.26.
Week: Staked £3,203, -£598.70.
Month to date: Staked £2,623, -£804.92, roi -30.68%.
How frustrating is that? And what an appalling weekend it has been on the sports side of the portfolio. Plenty of time this month to turn it around - in terms of actual points lost, no service is yet beyond the pale for the month. Could do with Football Elite having a good run though. On the positive side, thank heavens 4PA produced the goods today, otherwise it really would have been depressing.
Work tomorrow. Yippee!