Saturday, 21 May 2011

Some quick thoughts on today's action...

A blank day for 4PA, dropping three points. Neither of the selections ran any sort of race. What was irksome is that one of the basic system bets, Sole Power, won at an early priced 12/1. Adding to the irk factor was Roderic O'Connor winning the Irish Guineas. This had been the service's each way advice at a fancy price for the English version before it finished almost last.

It's been a pretty flat period since the start of the year for 4PA. Today has not been the first time either that a basic system bet has been overlooked and subsequent profit missed. This isn't a criticism of 4PA. I understand judgement calls need to be made and it is inevitable that sometimes these prove to be wrong. But I also know that Kodagira was talking about following the basic system bets and I do think it is worth considering, albeit with a separate bank.
Staked 3pt, -3pts (-£150).

Reading the rationale behind Northern Monkey's selections today, I must admit I wasn't too optimistic. We were warned that there was a possibility that one of the five selections was using today's race as a "sighter", another needed to "raise his game", and a third had been "drawn wide" at Chester. My pessimism was proven to be unfounded though as Wayne produced the goods, finding a nice winner at York in Masamah (12/1) and also picking Nave each way at Goodwood (2nd at 12/1). A healthy points profit which puts Northern Monkey's month back into positive territory.
Staked 5.5pts, +4.7pts (+£94).

I thought that we were on to a winner with ProBandit's one tip today. Having backed Wooden King each way at 9/2 this morning, to see it go off at an SP of 2/1 fav was a little surprising. However it finished second and the service made a tiny loss on the day.
Staked 0.75pts, -0.037pts (-£1.50).

Like Northern Monkey, it was a busy day for On The Nose. And like Northern Monkey, it managed to find a nice winner, Our Jonathan at 6/1 (Chester), and another to place - Sutton Veny at 9s. So, like Northern Monkey, a good day.
Staked 3.5pts, +3.235pts (+£64.70).

Finally with the racing, Winning Racing Tips. I have to say, I was completely taken aback by the selection of Overdose, particularly as it was win only. In over two years of being with WRT, I can't ever remember backing a horse win only. They also had two in the 7.40 at Newbury, both of which placed. The horse that finished third (Choose The Moment) was adjudged to have dead heated for third. Looked like it pipped it to me.
Staked 1.55pts, -0.75pts (-£45).

Racing - Staked £453, -£37.80.

The only bet on the football was a Strike Zone bet (Montpellier). Got odds of 3.38 which is rather long for Strike Zone. And it lost.
Staked 1pt, -1pt (-£50).

Saturday 20th May: Staked £503, -£87.80.
Month to date: £7,141, +£525.53, roi 7.35%.

Right then. This is likely to be my last post for a while. I'm off on holiday later this week and I'm not going to be even switching my mobile on (not that you can get a reception where I'm going, anyway!) never mind placing a bet.

To be honest, I am going to think long and hard about the blog. I wanted to avoid this becoming a mere profit and loss record; to try and provide something a little different but of course, there are only so many things to write about and whilst at the moment there are areas that haven't been covered, there has to be a big question mark about there being material for the longer term future. I've also started to play tennis and cricket again, which are two sports I loved playing but gave up when I had children. Now they're a little older and playing all sorts of sports themselves, and are quite happy to spend evenings and weekends watching me - or at least coming with me and throwing/hitting/kicking a ball about themselves whilst I'm playing.

Perhaps this blogging is a winter game...

Friday, 20 May 2011

Short blog - too much to drink.

Today's Action

Like yesterday, PJA NH had just the one bet, but unlike yesterday, this one never threatened to add some cash to the coffers.

ProBandit the only service to perform as one would wish, finding the winner of the one race played in (Collect Art - Bath - 15/8).

Winning Racing Tips have epitomised the month as a whole - a great start promising exciting times, and then a slump. They're finding it difficult to get one to place at the moment. Neither of today's two selections did.

Laying...mmm. Chasemaster gave Farmer Frank each way today (Towcester - 10/1) and that horse came second. Trouble is, we got a later message advising a lay of Home. About two out, it was between the two. Now I don't claim to be a great race-reader, but even to my untrained eye McCoy was sitting motionless on Home whilst the seven pound claimer on ours was all arms and legs - a frog in a blender if you like. The writing was on the wall. Not to worry - a far from disastrous loss for the service which has been superb recently, and these things will happen. It just kinda sums things up at the moment, though.

Fingers crossed for a decent weekend.

PJA NH: Staked 0.75pts, -0.75pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.25pts, +0.906pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.875pts, -0.437pts.
Total financial loss on racing of £73.76.

Friday 20th May: Staked £195, -£73.76.
Week to date: Staked £1,081, -£325.41.
Month to date: Staked £6,638, +£613.33, roi 9.23%.

Right. I'm going to take some paracetamol and a huge glass of water. I'm gonna look that hangover right in the eye, and laugh. Oh yes. Pre-emptive strike they call it. Wish me luck.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A few years ago I looked at investing in property. The first thing I had to do was acquire one. Easier said than done at the right price. So I researched what is known as the BMV market, Below Market Value. This means sourcing and then purchasing property at a much reduced rate - you're looking at 20% or more below the price that the property could reasonably be expected to fetch if sold the traditional way through an estate agent. There are many ways of finding such properties and many companies that purport to help in such a search. Personally I wanted to do it myself but I needed to learn what to do.

In addition to many companies offering to help find a BMV property itself, there are many companies that offer to teach people the methods to find such properties themselves. A lot of them would provide this training in return for what could only be described as pretty hefty fees. Don't worry, they'd say, the fee is a mere investment that will be repaid many times over by the very first BMV property you source. They were all very convincing, I must say. But then when I joined property forums and got talking to experienced property investors, I soon heard tales of people being ripped off by these companies, that a lot of what they taught was freely available from others in the forum and that there were one or two folks out there who did charge a relatively small fee for guidance but who could be recommended and provided value. Importantly, they had a proven track record in the market.

I had come perilously close to really being ripped off, potentially out of thousands of pounds; and had I been, it would simply have been a result of my naivety and a lack of knowledge of the market. I was saved just in time by making contact with folks who were experts in the field and learning from them.

Mmmm...a lot of similarities with the tipping service market, me thinks. It bemuses me when I read questions posted on forums about this new service or that, and do people have any experience of them because the results on the website look great! Why not wait? Why not see how things pan out? Let others put their hard earned at risk discovering whether or not these folks really know what they're doing. I'm not saying we have to wait for an official independent review recommending a service, but in this day and age, how many reputable services don't proof anywhere? There are proofing sites, forums, the SBC, and our own knowledge of what to look for in a new service. There is no need to rush in. It's hard enough to get right even now (Shaolin!), but at least let's get the odds in our favour.

Today's Action

Another poor day today and after a good first part of the month, things are just wobbling a little.

Starting with the good news. The one PJA NH selection today came in first (Royal Max - Wetherby - 9/2-4/1). Generous Stanley James allowed me a whole £3.50 each way at 9/2, so had to take 4/1 elsewhere.

A very poor day for Northern Monkey with all of their three tips finishing out of the frame.

Thought Chasemaster was on to a good thing when we got on their one selection at 20/1 this morning, to see it go off at an SP of 7s. No joy, though.

On The Nose only had one today too, and similarly was on a long priced horse that finished unplaced.

Not a good day for ProBandit either. Managed to get one each way bet to place but the other two tips gave no return.

Winning Racing Tips turned a small profit when their one bet finished 2nd (Sunday Bess - Haydock - 13/2). I thought for a moment it was going to beat the long odds on shot and win the race but ours ran here, there, and everywhere when under pressure in the final furlong. Wasn't to be.

PJA NH: Staked 0.75pts, +2.305pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 4pts, -4pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 2pts, -1.05pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1pt, +0.191pts.
Total financial loss on the racing of £104.40.

Thursday 19th May: Staked £275, -£104.40.
Week to date: Staked £886, -£251.65.
Month to date: Staked £6,443, +£687.09, roi 10.66%.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Very quick results post tonight. For some reason my internet connection keeps coming and going. Back tomorrow (hopefully!).

Today's Action

Racing: Northern Monkey, ProBandit, Winning Racing Tips - all had selections, none gave a return. Oh dear.

And more "Oh dear" with PJA, who did manage to find one to place (Only Hope - Worcester - 9/2), but it was amongst four others that didn't.

PJA: Staked 3.75pts, -3.218pts
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 1.125pts, -1.125pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.8pts, -0.8pts.
Total financial loss on racing of £177.36.

And following the racing, Sportyy with one tip, one loser too.

Sportyy: Staked £14, -£14.
Total loss on sports of £14.

Wednesday 18th May: Staked £202, -£191.36.
Week to date: Staked £611, -£146.65.
Month to date: Staked £6,168, +£791.49, roi 12.83%.

A day best forgotten. Let's move on.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Who's afraid of the big, bad market?

I have read in many places the importance of establishing your own methods that provide your "edge" if you want to be a successful punter in the long term. I don't have a personal opinion on this yet. I can't agree or disagree, but I do have some questions about this assertion, the answers to which would lead to me making my mind up. I do have a vested interest of course, as at this moment in my life - like many, I suspect - I simply do not have sufficient time to conduct the requisite research and therefore must rely on others to discover an edge that I can, as a subscriber to their service, exploit for my own benefit.

The fear that goes with following an edge developed by others though, is that over time the edge will disappear for some reason, or at the very least diminish significantly. If the tipster doesn't adapt, this would leave us in a rather perilous position. I've read this theory in goodness how many different places, and yet never seen an explanation as to why the edge should vanish. Yes, people confidently assert that a continually evolving market in some way 'adjusts', as if that explains everything. To me, it explains nothing. I can see that the efficiency of certain strategies, such as backing the hole in one occurring in a golf tournament can be closed off - as the bookmakers over time become aware of the fact that the odds they offer on an event do not accurately reflect the chance of that event happening. But a horse racing analyst who spots well handicapped horses, or who has developed a methodology that over time has shown an edge? Or a football tipster who examines the stats and identifies patterns or who analyses as much information as they can about team news and any other factor that may materially effect a result?

Let me use a working example or two. Let's take two racing services at random from my current portfolio, Chasemaster and Northern Monkey. How will the 'market' evolve in such a way that the edge apparently exploited by these two services be eroded? I'm open to suggestion here, by the way. I'm just saying that I just can't see how it would happen. Both services have their own methodologies, presumably developed and honed over time. To say that the market will somehow adjust to render redundant the edge these services have developed is to me, a complete nonsense.

Let's take Skeeve as an example of a long-term, successful football betting service. Here is a guy who leaves no stone unturned in his pre-selection analysis. He is concentrating on non-league football and after years of operation, his edge is showing no signs of diminishing. And yet, my impression of the non-league betting scene is that more recently, more bookmakers are becoming more heavily involved. BlueSquare even sponsor the Conference, for heavens sake! I get the impression that the enemy are paying more attention now than ever before on the non-league markets, and you could understand if Skeeve's edge was reducing as the odds compilers become more knowledgeable of the market he plays in. But no. This is not what is happening.

I appreciate that Skeeve analyses his own performance and identifies his strengths and weaknesses, and makes alterations to his strategy accordingly. By doing so, I can see that he is staying one step ahead of the game, or "market" if you will. But the market adjusting to the methods of individual tipsters? I'm not convinced.

Today's Action

A really busy day for PJA NH, which for some reason took me a bit by surprise. It wasn't looking too good for them either as none of the first six selections came in first - although two placed (Seren Rouge - Southwell - 9/2 and Restart - Southwell - 14/1) - but then the last horse absolutely bolted in (Speedy Directa - Towcester - 10/1). Pleased that it did too, because there hasn't been a great deal of joy derived elsewhere...

Northern Monkey's one tip didn't place, and the same was true of Winning Racing Tips.

ProBandit did find a winner (Rocker - Brighton - 9/4 (affected by a Rule 4)) and a profit, despite the two selections in a later race failing to provide any return.

PJA NH: Staked 4.75pts, +2.662pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.6pts, -0.6pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.5pts, +0.515pts.
Total financial profit on racing of £17.88.

One selection from The Sportsman tonight, in the corners market in the City game. Never really looked like coming in, unfortunately.

The Sportsman: Staked 0.15pts, -0.15pts.
Total financial loss on football of £60.

Tuesday 17th May: Staked £271, -£42.12
Week to date: Staked £409, +£44.71
Month to date: Staked £5,966, +£982.85, roi 16.47%.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, 16 May 2011


As I've previously mentioned, laying is not an area I have involved myself in up to now, and I decided that it was an area worth exploring only after reading the continually excellent Secret Diary of a Professional Gambler blog. Up until this point, my idea of having a diversified portfolio was to have a breadth of backing services covering different sports, or at least providing different angles/methods within the same sport. Taking the logic of the SDPG blog though, I can see why getting involved in laying can potentially provide a portfolio with real balance. The problem of course, is finding laying services or systems that can provide a long term edge. The impression I have gained in the past from SBC monitored laying services is that plenty start well but then fade as time passes.

And so we come to the Dave Renham inspired Racing Trends. I have been following their lays for the past week or so now, and I thought I'd post a few initial impressions up here. Perhaps those with more experience of laying than I can contribute their thoughts in the 'Comments' section? Like the local church, contributions welcome. :)

The first thing I'd say is that the high strike rate nature of laying appeals, and therefore if it is possible to find services with an edge, I can see myself welcoming them into the portfolio. Suffice to say, I'm going into this feeling fairly positive.

My figures so far are: 33 lays, 23 successful (69.69% strike rate), roi -3.26%.

What is immediately obvious is that I haven't made any real returns as yet, but then nor have I lost anything significant, and I understand that the nature of laying is such that realistically roi is likely to be considerably lower than that of a successful backing service (with sufficient churn though, this shouldn't present a problem). Of course it is far too early to be judging roi levels after just a week of following.

I have had my eyes opened to the possibility of putting in a lot of work to secure positive returns, for just one or two bad results to obliterate the results of the good work that has gone before. One day last week, one horse laid won it's race at an SP of 20/1 and a Betfair SP of 40. Bang - one shot and all returns made from laying the win had been demolished. I don't know how long the disappeared profits had taken to accrue, but I can't imagine it was a mere couple of weeks or so. Had I been working on a fixed stake return/lay the win strategy, I would have been devastated and would undoubtedly have seriously questioned whether or not I would want to carry on. I can imagine that the answer to that question could well have been negative.

Racing Trends did react to this setback. They suggested various strategies and encouraged subscribers to suggest strategies themselves. There was no hiding from what was obviously a horrible result. Certainly it reinforced my own belief in the strategy that I had settled upon, that of laying the place but to a fixed liability, ie. there is a maximum amount I can lose on any specific lay, my return on successful lays being determined by the price. Looking at the graph of historical results on the Racing Trends site using this strategy, results are very palatable.

My last observation at this stage, is that the Racing Trends service itself is professionally run, transparent, and conscientious, but I am not exploiting anywhere near it's full potential. They are not a mere laying service. Subscribers receive comprehensive stats that cover the forthcoming day's racing which can be used to establish profitable angles. I simply don't have the time to do this, but I wish I did, and for anyone in the fortunate position of being able to do so and who is stats-minded, this information could be a gold mine.

So to sum up - very impressed with the service itself so far; too early to judge the lay results using the strategy I've adopted. Let's see what happens.

Today's Action

Two bets from PJA NH today, and one winner (No Woman No Cry - Newton Abbott - 13/2) and the same for Chasemaster (Dominican Monk - Newton Abbott - 10/1). Two very nice winners and Chasemaster's consistency continues to become more and more consistent. That's a nice sort of consistency to have. None of this inconsistent consistency, the likes of which a certain North London football club have specialised in recently (grrr!).

Northern Monkey's sole bet couldn't quite reach the frame but the On The Nose tip did (Cockney Trucker - Newton Abbott - 9/1) although returns were effected by that nasty Rule 4.

PJA NH: Staked 1.5pts, +2.825pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, +0.242pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, +0.918pts.
Total financial profit on racing of £114.83.

A relatively small tennis bet from the soon-to-be-paid-for Sportyy which on this occasion was wide of the mark.

Sportyy: Staked £28, -£28.
Total financial loss on tennis of £28.

Monday 16th May; Staked £138, +£86.83.
Week to date: Staked £138, +£86.83.
Month to date: Staked £5,695, +£1,024.97, roi 17.99%.

Back tomorrow.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Today's Action

Two unsuccessful selections from PJA NH, the same with On The Nose.

ProBandit's only tip came second to effectively return all stakes.

The only racing service to register any profit though was Chasemaster, who found a winner amongst three (That'll Do - Stratford - 9/4).

PJA NH: Staked 1.25pts, -1.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
ProBandit: Staked 0.75pts, N/A.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.625pts, +0.187pts.
Total financial loss on racing of £50.02.

Strike Zone's only bet a loser, Football Investor's a winner (Wigan).

Finally, a very well thought out double from Sportyy, which included a draw between Valencia and Levante.

Strike Zone: 1pt, -1pt.
Football Investor: Staked 1pt, +1.16pts.
Sportyy: Staked £21, +£71.75.
Total profit on football of £39.15.

Sunday 15th May: Staked £231, -£10.87.
Week: Staked £2,303, -£51.22.
Month to date: Staked £5,557, +£938.14, roi 16.88%.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

All that running around, and for what...

Couple of things to sort out.

Firstly the figures for the last couple of days: Thursday +£202.85, highlighted by a superb 8/1 winner from Northern Monkey; and Friday -£177.43, highlighted by there being no highlights, only lowlights. Very low lights.

Racing Trends had no lays yesterday and a few today. I'm going to post a few thoughts on Monday about how I've found them so far, and my general impressions of laying from my first ever week of doing them. I don't think adding a daily tally is adding much to the blog at this stage. A few lays each day really has little significance when the stakes are so low and it is not yet a strategy that is a full part of the portfolio. So, as I say, some thoughts on Monday, and then every Monday after that. Anticipation of that each week should have you springing out of bed each Monday morning. No?

It has been a tricky day today, in terms of getting the bets on. My two children were each performing at the Alderley Edge Festival, "a celebration" of the written word, prose and verse. At least that's what the brochure said. Daft planning if you ask me. There we are, in a village ten miles south of Manchester, listening to six-eight year olds doing their thing whilst United are in need of a point to win the title and City are playing in the Cup final! It was surprisingly well attended, and I had to give it to the kids for standing in front of forty or so adults staring at them as they recited their chosen verse. My lad was actually first up and when he'd finished, his proud parents led the applause. I thought a bit of intimidation might help precipitate a favourable outcome with the judges, and the next seven year old kid up looked a little startled as he approached the stage to repeated chants of "Who are ya?". Of course when he'd finished he was met with a fine, "You're s**t, ahhhhh". On reflection, if I had my time over again I might not be quite so aggressive, but they've got to learn life's tough, these kids. And I don't know what the other parents were grumbling about. PC gone mad with some of them, let me tell you. It's what this country's missing, a bit of competitive spirit.

And was my lad grateful? No. Kept muttering under his breath something about me being an embarrassment. Hasn't talked to me all day and only turned his cold shoulder when after watching some wildlife program on the telly and an advert that was on straight after it, he asked me if we could adopt a leopard. What the hell would we do with a leopard, I asked? No, I told him. We live near a main road. It wouldn't be fair.

Anyway, I digress. Not been easy getting all the bets on, but managed somehow.

Today's Action

PJA NH dropped a point as none of their three selections was a winner. They did find one to place (Dorabelle - Bangor - 12/1).

For the second time in three days, Northern Monkey was the star of the show, finding a very nice winner (Le Toreador - Thirsk - 14/1) amongst their three tips. I wasn't convinced it had got up when I saw the race, but the camera never lies you know.

Still heavy going for On The Nose at present. They did find one to place from their three selections (Tactician - Newmarket - 7/1).

Understated solidity from ProBandit - just as I like it. Three selections, one winner (Extraterrestrial - Thirsk - 5/2) and one placed (Collect Art - Doncaster - 4/1) amongst them.

Nothing gained and nothing lost for Chasemaster who had one small pick (What Of It - Bangor - 4/1) which finished second so stakes returned.

Not so good for 4PA and Winning Racing Tips - they each had one bet and they each had one loser.

PJA NH: Staked 2pts, -1pt.
Northern Monkey: Staked 3pts, +6.75pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2.5pts, -1.125pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2.375pts, +0.775pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, N/A.
4PA: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.6pts, -0.6pts.
Total financial loss on racing of £12.47.

So another season is near it's end. Man United's point was enough to land Football Elite's antepost pick but I'm not going to tally up the football anteposts until next week when we will know if RVP provides a return in the top scorer market.

Two for Football Investor today with one (West Brom) a winner. And a winner too from the one Strike Zone bet (AC Milan).

Football Investor: Staked 2pts, +0.83pts.
Strike Zone: Staked 1pt: +0.5pts.
Total financial profit on football of £37.45.

Saturday 14th May: Staked £481, +£24.98.
Week to date: Staked £2,072, -£40.55.
Month to date: Staked £5,326, +£949.01, roi 17.81%.

So all that buggering about getting the bets on, and where did it get me? A measly 25 quid and a touchline ban from next year's festival. Pfft.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Pure Genius!

There has been a problem with the 'Blogger' site, the result of which was my typing out a post yesterday evening and not being able to actually publish it. Pfff!

To add to my woe, it would appear that the draft of my post hasn't been saved either, and I'll be buggered if I'm going to write it all out again! It's a shame really, because I'm telling you, it was quite brilliant. The sort of post that you would remember years down the line. It would have been an "I remember where I was when I read that post" moment. It would have transformed your betting like nothing else, guaranteed you punting profits every single day. Imagine, no more losing days. Ever. It really was the work of sheer genius. I kid you not.

So, because of the maintenance carried out by the 'Blogger' site, you'll never see it. And now I can't quite remember what it was I put, so it's gone. Forever. Just think what might have been...

In reality, the highlight was the fact that Northern Monkey had a stormer and it was a very nicely profitable day. Trouble is, at time of writing all this crap (5.45 pm, Friday), I seem to be handing it all back.

Hopefully I'll get time to do a 'Results' type post later tonight. If not, see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Yabba Cabbyl Doo!

The very first thing that I want to say, is that the "research" that this post will refer to is about as scientific as the chimps in that Tetley's advert, you know, the one that had them all dressed in white coats and working in a lab. It is merely a basis upon which to illustrate a point.

I took a look at the SBC Hall of Fame of 18 months ago and listed the services that have since been removed. They are Double The Odds, Tipping Legends, PH Sports Betting, On The Oche and Punter Profits NH. I then looked at their performance since to see if it could be argued that the services had been dropped too early. This isn't a critique on the SBC by the way. It is just examining further the points we looked at regarding PP NH and On The Oche the other night.

First up, Double The Odds. Looking at the website, results are somewhat out of date, but looking at the Racing Index ( proofing site, I was able to look at the results from 1st May 2010 to the end of April just gone. Results are to BetFair SP and amount to 8.21 points profit at an roi of just under 1%.

We'll pass over Tipping Legends as JC took a break for a fair period of time and there seems to be no monthly breakdown of results on their website. I don't know if anyone is aware of any proofing site they use, but I can't find one.

Looking at the Sports Tipsters proofing site (, PH Sports Betting has done ok since being removed from the HoF. 66.36 points profit at an roi of 5.72%.

Punter Profits we discussed on Monday, but from the Racing Proofing site ( the figures are 37.94 points profit at an roi of 14.2%.

Finally On The Oche (results taken from their website - 4.75 points profit. I can't work out the roi as I can't see the staking from the website listed results. Obviously since last October, a profit of 4.75 points isn't going to provide a high roi, but the roi from the beginning of 2011 is nearly 45%, as described in Monday's post.

So what do we learn from all this? Looking at it, not a great deal (!) and the only really relevant question to ask possibly is what was the point of this futile exercise! Well, maybe, but perhaps their is an inkling of something we can take from my far from exhaustive studies.

In what is admittedly an extremely small sample of data, we can see that the services spotlighted have maintained some levels of profitability, albeit at reduced levels. Certainly at a level below that which should be expected of an HoF service. PP NH and On The Oche would appear to have great potential to return to the levels they were at in their heyday, but who is to say that PH Sports and DTO can't have a prosperous period which will significantly boost their shorter term roi so that it resembles something like their historical best?

I would like to do some proper research into this, looking at a broader scope of services and their performance over longer periods of time. I have a thought that keeps pricking my conscience that I can't quite dismiss...that once a service has been identified as being suitable to follow, and we are satisfied that it is honest, ethical, practical to follow and is generally run on professional lines, we really should be sticking with it through sticky periods of longer than a season, or say, nine months for a racing service. I know it sounds strange but perhaps actual performance, unless disastrous, shouldn't necessarily be the most important factor to consider when assessing a service and whether or not to continue following it. I don't know - I don't feel entirely confident in this assertion. I've not even decided whether or not I agree with it, as after all, we're all in this to make money, and the bottom line is ultimately all that matters. But there is one thing that I am now absolutely convinced about, and that is it's probably not a good idea to drop a service that is going through a period of merely standing still; that I would/should rather stick with a flatlining service that I can trust in the belief that they will at some point rediscover their joie de vivre, than drop it and go chasing glory with the service that promises to be the next big thing (yes, I have Shaolin Betting in mind as I type this!). A case of better the devil you know, possibly. In which case, my previous decisions to drop Punter Profits, On The Oche, Sports Investor, CD Systems Pro Bets and probably one or two others I could name if I really thought about it, are beginning to look a little foolish.

My being foolish? Now I really am beginning to make sense! Perhaps.

Today's Action

In stark contrast to yesterday's tranquility, today was fast and furious.

Northern Monkey continued their sticky spell since the start of the month, none of today's three selections reaching the frame to provide a return.

A tiny profit was scrambled by PJA NH which managed a nice winner (Cabbyl Doo - Perth - 9/1) amongst six other selections that lost.

ProBandit was quiet with just a small bet on a longshot at Kempton and no returns here.

A decent day for 4PA but perhaps not quite as planned. A largish bet was placed on Taqleed in the opener at York (also put up by On The Nose and Northern Monkey by the way) which disappointed but the win bet on the 'saver' came in to produce a decent profit (Pekan Star - York - 13/2). Incidentally, I had to scratch my head when three services went in on Taqleed, with all three mentioning it's poor draw. As it happens I don't think it was good enough to win despite the draw, but it must have been a negative factor and this is one scenario that a portfolio punter can really come a cropper. Survived this one.

Another poor day for On The Nose I'm afraid. Like Northern Monkey, no return from three bets.

And then we come to Chasemaster. My first lay from this service today, and it was successful (Arturo Uno - Perth - 3.85), followed up by a nice winner (Cabbyl Doo - Perth - 9/1). A continuation of their fantastic form of the last few weeks. By the way, that Cabbyl Doo may have been impacted by a Rule 4, but it rather saved my bacon today.

Racing Trends had four lays today and all were successful. Back in (marginal) profit with them now. I thought I would probably update figures weekly as opposed to daily as it will probably mean more and have more context on a weekly basis.

Northern Monkey: Staked 2.75pts, -2.75pts.
PJA NH: Staked 4.5pts, +0.21pts.
ProBandit: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
4PA: Staked 2.5pts, +1.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 3.5pts, -3.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 1.212pts, +1.317pts.
Total profit on the racing of £27.10.

Unfortunately the one football bet provided by Strike Zone for tonight was a loser.

Strike Zone: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Total financial loss on football of £50.

Wednesday 11th May: Staked £507, -£22.90.
Week to date: Staked £845, -£90.95.
Month to date: Staked £4,099, +£898.61, roi 21.92%.

Three small loss days since the start of the week. Better than three big loss days, eh?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Instantly forgettable.

An interesting perspective on last night's theme from Matt of Football Elite in the 'Comments' section (see yesterday's post). Reading it and my post again, it has put me in mind to do a very basic exercise relating to the services that once were in the SBC Hall of Fame, but are no longer. If I get the chance I'll post some thoughts up on this tomorrow. If not, I'll do it as soon as I can. I'm curious.

Today's Action

A very, very quiet day today, and not one that will live for very long in the memory.

ProBandit unfortunately gave much of yesterday's profit back, giving two system selections in the one race, neither of which won.

The only other racing service to provide advice today was Chasemaster whose horse came second at 4/1 to return stakes.

ProBandit: Staked 1.25pts, -1.25pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, level.
Total financial loss on the racing of £50.

Not so good with the Racing Trends lays today - five place lays, three of which unfortunately found the frame. That doesn't quite tell the whole story though, but I'll leave that until the review of how things are going on Saturday.
Running total: 57.14% strike rate, -8.68% roi.

Sportyy had a couple of bets today, one in the tennis which lost, and a bet on the Spanish football tonight (Deportivo) which won.

Sportyy: Staked £90, -£3.05.
Total loss on sports of £3.05.

Tuesday 10th May: Staked £160, -£53.05.
Week to date: Staked £338, -£68.05.
Month to date: Staked £3,592, +£921.51, roi 25.65%.

Things should get a little more interesting from tomorrow, when the big three day York meeting gets underway. Could well see 4PA wading into the action which tends to lead to short term volatility, either in a good or bad way.

OK. Off to watch Revista, a program that shows how good Match of the Day could be.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Phoenix from the flames.

A couple of months ago, when we were discussing the rationale behind dropping Sports Investor from the list of services followed, someone left a comment that at the time made me raise my eyebrows a little. It was a good point, succinctly made. The poster of the comment was of the opinion that a football service shouldn't be judged on the performance - or non-performance - of just one season, the insinuation being that such a time period isn't sufficient to make a rational and sound assessment. Consequently, if we were to stop following a service that had historically performed well but which had failed to deliver for nine months or so, then we should exercise a little more patience and allow that service time to rediscover it's mojo.

I still feel that the decision to drop Sports Investor from the portfolio was the correct one. Performance levels had slipped over a time period nearer to 18 months than nine and nothing has happened subsequently to produce any regret. But there are a couple of services which I have previously subscribed to which are enjoying something of a renaissance, and are certainly making me begin to rue the day I jettisoned them from the portfolio.

The first of these is On The Oche. Since the start of this year, the official figures state that there have been 27 bets, 16 wins, 26.25 points staked and a profit of 11.57 points at an roi of 44% (you can have a look at the results here: I remember Matt, who runs the admin side of the service, pointing out that On The Oche was dropped from the SBC Hall of Fame after performance levels had dropped off significantly over a 12 month period, but that the actual number of bets in that time weren't that many. One might reasonably ask if enough bets were struck in those twelve months or so to allow proper provision for the effects of natural variance. In other words, was the decision to remove On The Oche from the Hall of Fame a little hasty?

To be fair to the SBC, I think the very fact that there were so relatively few bets was a major consideration in withdrawing Hall of Fame status, and of course if there are other, busier services out there producing the goods? Well, you can see why the decision was made. But what of OTO now? It looks like Rich is beginning to display his ability to find an edge which personally speaking, I am sure he has never lost. Here is a high strike rate service, demonstrating again an ability to hit high levels of roi, that via previous SBC monitoring we know to be ethically and professionally run. Makes you think, doesn't it?

The other service in recovery mode that I have noticed recently is Punter Profits NH. After years of producing an roi of 20%+, they suffered a dreadful time of it for over a year. But looking at the Racing Proofing website ( their last six months shows a 27.4 point profit at an roi of 13.77%. This doesn't include April's figures - anybody know how it went for them? But regardless, the ability to make a consistent profit again is being demonstrated. I appreciate that there are other factors related to PP NH that led to a decision to stop following, not least of which was that it became apparent that no real audit of the systems had been or was being carried out, even when things started to go wrong. But, like OTO, we have here a service with a strong long-term performance, which has endured a bad time of it, but looks to be making a recovery.

It will be interesting to monitor from afar just how strong the recoveries of these two services prove to be. If the recovery periods stretch so that they become less a recovery and more like the long term norm, that should cause us all to ask some fairly serious questions of ourselves when it comes to our punting.

I'm not losing sight of the fact that a line has to be drawn somewhere when a service loses over a relatively lengthy period of time. But the ongoing performance of OTO and PP NH is going to make for interesting viewing. I wonder what their attitude is to prodigal sons?

Today's Action

Only racing today.

Neither of the two PJA NH selections was a winner, although one managed a place, which was a half step better than the performance of the two Northern Monkey tips.

A good day for ProBandit today, finding the two winners of both races played in - one NQ bet (Miss Bounty - Brighton - 9/2) and the other a System bet (Piazza San Pietro - Brighton - 9/4). Each winner was dutched, but a nice profit secured nonetheless.

Finally, a small bet on an outsider from Winning Racing Tips produced no return.

PJA NH: Staked 1.5pts, -0.975pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2.25pts, +1.562pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.3pts, -0.3pts.
Total financial loss on the racing of £15.

Monday 9th May: Staked £178, -£15.
Week to date: Staked £178, -£15.
Month to date: Staked £3,432, +£974.56, roi 28.39%.

There were two Racing Trends lays today, only one of which was successful but at the odds it provided a profit of 25.37% on the day. Full results: Lays (place) 9, Successful 6 (66.66%), roi 17.59%.

Might just be a results post tomorrow. Quite interested in the Spurs/City match.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Very quiet today. Not factoring in the antepost bets yet, but United beating Chelsea should mean a nice return from Football Elite's pre-season pick. Every cloud, I suppose...

Today's Action

No return at all from PJA's two picks, nor from the two beasts selected by On The Nose (which were backed singly and as a double).

You know, when things go against Chasemaster, which at some point they inevitably will, it will be important to remember periods like the one they are going through at the moment. For the last couple of months or so they have been the epitome of consistency. One good bet today, one good winner (Or Sing About - Worcester - 7/2). It was enough to ensure a profit from betting on the nags this afternoon.

PJA NH: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, +1.093pts.
Total financial profit on the racing of £27.50.

Just two Strike Zone football bets, and two winners (Inter Milan and Genoa). Genoa scored their winner in injury time. When things are going for you...

Strike Zone has been a real star in 2011 so far. I must admit I questioned it's ability to hit a strong (10%+) roi, but it is beginning to answer those questions in a very positive way and show me up as foolish to ask! Stewboss at Football Investor/Strike Zone must be delighted, and deservedly so.

Strike Zone: Staked 2pts, +2.41pts.
Total financial profit on football of £120.50.

Sunday 8th May: Staked £200, +£148.
Week: Staked £2,894, +£941.43.
Month to date: Staked £3,254, +£989.56, roi 30.41%.

There were no Racing Trends lays today.

Five day working week coming up. The first in a while. Great.

Saturday, 7 May 2011


Just a typical weekend round up, tonight. Will be same tomorrow night, too.

Don't know why, but it feels like I escaped a little today. Pretty mediocre day on the horses, but countered by a solid day with the football. Not complaining at all. Just feels like I dodged a bullet today for some reason.

Today's Action

I took a calculated risk with the main 4PA selection today, Horseradish. I split my stake, putting half on at the best available odds of 9/1 with Hills, whilst taking the other half at 7s with Victor Chandler. The better odds being offered by Billy's was offset by the fact that they were only paying each way down to four places, whereas VC covered five. Horseradish came fifth, so my conservatism saved me just shy of 1.5 points. The other selection (win only) was nowhere.

A bad day at the office for On The Nose, none of whose four selections provided any return at all.

PJA NH wasn't able to produce a winner from any of their four selections either, although they did get two to place (Five Star Wilsham - Haydock - 9/1 and Snake Rave - Hexham - 7/1).

A nice winner for Northern Monkey (Rock A Doodle Do - Ascot - 11/2) but rather let down by the other three bets which were all unplaced. A small profit on the day, though.

In stark contrast to last night's tremendous success, tonight's tip from Winning Racing Tips finished well out of the frame.

Another good day for Chasemaster who really are being the model of consistency at present. Just two small bets today, one placed (Snake Rave - Hexham - 6/1) and the other won (Checkerboard - Hexham - 100/30).

4PA: Staked 2.5pts, -1.075pts.
On The Nose: Staked 3.5pts, -3.5pts.
PJA NH: Staked 2.75pts, -1.337pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 6pts, +0.612pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.7pts,
Chasemaster: Staked 0.375pts, +0.441pts.
Total loss on the racing of £144.91.

And so to the football.

Football Elite got Everton right but Sporting Gijon wrong for a minute loss on the day due to the prices I took.

Strike Zone has continued on the front foot after April's general success, picking two winners from two today (Newcastle and Southampton).

Exactly the same comments can be used for Football Investor too. They managed four correct from nine - Everton, Yeovil (at 3/1), Southampton, and Swindon (at 3.8/1). Excellent stuff.

Managed to get the recommended odds on the Spanish football double (Getafe & Atletic Bilbao) recommended by Sportyy today and that paid off as the bet came in.

And last but by no means least, The Sportsman landed one from two bets today but at the odds a tiny loss was the outcome.

It should be noted that Graeme at The Form Analyst had a good day, with System 8-22 at least. I had decided to stop following until next season when I realised that I wasn't at all clear as to what my strategy would be and I was dithering between larger stakes with Draw No Bet, smaller stakes win only, etc, etc. In the end, with the season's end imminent, I thought better just to stop and wait for the summer to decide exactly how to proceed. Sod's law, eh? Pleased for Graeme though.

Football Elite: Staked 2pts, -0.023pts.
Strike Zone: Staked 2pts, +1.677pts.
Football Investor: Staked 9pts, +4.345pts.
Sportyy: Staked £39, +£49.52.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.3pts, -0.025pts.
Total financial profit on sports of £186.18.

Saturday 7th May: Staked £1,036, +£41.27.
Week to date: Staked £2,694, +£793.43.
Month to date: Staked £3,054, +£841.56, roi 27.55%.

By the way, a decent start to the Racing Trends lays. Eight out of ten successful for an roi of 9.55% (remember, I'm fixing my liability on each lay so the maximum I can lose on each bet stays the same, my profit on the successful lays will vary dependent on the BFSP odds). I mentioned in a comment to Alan after last night's post that I shan't be including the figures in the portfolio profit and loss figures. My stakes are minimal and I'm using separate money.

Right. A semi-decent bottle of red awaits...

Edit: Hey! Am I psychic or what? Read the last line of yesterday's post, and then look at the winner of the 5.00 at Punchestown today! First winner I've picked in 15 years. Price makes it worth the wait though, no?

Friday, 6 May 2011


Yesterday I talked about what appears to be a sham masquerading as a service. Tonight I will concentrate on a service that provides information collated and delivered by utilising the skills of someone with an impeccable background.

Many of you I'm sure, have heard of or have come across Dave Renham. He is a big mover and shaker behind the Punter Profits service, is a frequent author of articles produced by Smartersig, and is the analytical power behind the Racing Trends service. And it is Racing Trends that is the focus of tonight's blog post.

If you have read any of this week's posts, you will have seen me mention the possibility of introducing some laying into the portfolio. It was Mat Hare at his constantly insightful blog (The Secret Diary of the Professional Gambler) that unwittingly pointed me in this direction. Reading about how his portfolio has been constructed made me realise that in the interests of balance, I really did need to consider introducing a laying element to my own betting.

However, things are rarely that easy, and here is a confession. I am a gambling luddite, a betting dinosaur - I like my traditional back bet. It took me a while to get used to gambling online! Laying to me is like visiting France with basic GCSE level French and trying to converse with the natives in their own tongue. You get by, but only just, and not with a great deal of confidence that you know what you are doing.

This is where Racing Trends come in. I have the opportunity to follow their daily laying advice and will be so doing from tomorrow. Then, each week, I will give you an update on how it's all been going. My initial stakes will be minimal but with a fair wind shall grow over time. Of course if things do, as hoped, go well, then I can be your live guinea pig as it were, and you can look at the service yourselves to see if it is of interest. I can see the advantages of a reliable laying service to anybody's betting provided the service providing the lays can really walk the walk.

I will tell you now that the strategy I adopt will be the one that is easiest for me to follow. Results will be recorded at BetFair SP. I will be laying the place, for a fixed liability. This means that no matter what the odds of the horse to place, the maximum that I can lose is the pre-set liability. You can read more about the various strategies available and see graphs of results by clicking on the 'Racing Trends' link top right, under the "Excellent Reads" banner. Have a look. See how I get on. Draw your own conclusions.

Today's Action

Only racing to get excited about today.

4PA tried a repeat of yesterday's successful strategy, concentrating on the front of the market but in just the two races today. The first pick was successful (Hurricane Fly - Punchestown - 4/6) which was backed on it's own, but it was also doubled up with So Young which finished unplaced.

PJA NH carried on from where it left off yesterday, picking just the one horse which duly obliged (Premier Grands Cru - Aintree - 13/2).

I really felt for Wayne at Northern Monkey. He gave four today, three of which finished second by distances which included a head (at 9/2), and a short head (at 9/2). No damage done on the day, but a serious case of what might have been.

A disappointing day for ProBandit who wasn't able to find a winner from three system bets, and a similar story from On The Nose from two selections.

Saving the best until last, Winning Racing Tips had a superb winner (Creme Anglaise - Ascot - 9/1) tonight. This service has really produced the goods recently after a fairly lengthy flat spell. Have to bear this in mind when looking at what is happening with ProBandit at the moment.

4PA: Staked 2pts, -0.333pts.
PJA NH: Staked 0.75pts, +3.307pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 4pts, -0.362pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.25pts, -1.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.7pts, +3.78pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £189.04.

Friday 6th May: Staked £317, +£189.04.
Week to date: Staked £1,658, +£752.16.
Month to date: Staked £2,018, +£800.29, roi 39.65%.

Right. All this talk of dinosaurs, I know your all thinking the same. All together now...Open the door, get on the floor, Everybody walk their dinosaur, BOOM BOOM ACKA LACKA BOOM BOOM...

Thursday, 5 May 2011

My first ever bet on the advice of a tipster was on a horse called Rustle in the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham. It won. My friend (who I still go to visit on many Saturday afternoons to watch the racing) and I sat in his garden afterwards counting our winnings, about thirty quid each if I remember rightly. Had Rustle not been victorious, I wonder if I would be gambling as I am now. I had drunk from a goblet holding a heady brew - a concoction made up from winning money using "inside information". I had to send part of my winnings off to the guy who had supplied the tip. It was an odds-to service, whereby I would put money on for the tipster and send by return the profit from that part of the bet. Today I would like to think that I might be a little more circumspect but hey, back then I was young and foolish.

That year we were going to make a habit of counting winnings in the garden including when Nashwan won the Derby and we were on antepost at 8s. That's a story for another day though.

Anyway, this service, with it's entirely credible claims of having access to superb inside stable info (ahem!) gave another ten bets, none of which were at odds of greater than 2/1, and none of which won. Perhaps it was natural variance. Perhaps not! But the idea of having exclusive info appealed to this callow teenager who was possibly lacking a little worldy nouse. It was a lesson learned the hard way.

Right, what the hell am I babbling on about?

At the end of January, I subscribed to a football tipping service called Shaolin Betting. They had been the subject of a positive report written by the SBC, had consistently solid if unspectacular results, and boasted a high strike rate. At a time when I was proactively looking for a service to replace the disappointing Sports Investor, they ticked a lot of the right boxes. I paid my 150 euro for 60 picks.

I got off to an ok start. Tips were accompanied by a good write-up and came through punctually. Emails were sent if there was no bet or informing members when they should next expect a tip to arrive. After that initial period, performance wasn't quite so good, but certainly nothing disastrous. Nothing to cause concern at all. But then news reached me that a chap known as Petar (who it is alleged also operates under a number of pseudonyms) had joined Shaolin, albeit in a purely administrative capacity. Yeah, right! If performance wasn't a worry, this was. You see I had come across this Petar chap before, at AH Betting, another once promising service seemingly adversley effected by Petar's machinations.

So, not being quite as foolish as I had been at the time of backing Rustle and then ten losers, I thought it wise to stop following with money, at least temporarily. I would reassess in the summer. Simples.

Or not. There hasn't been an email from Shaolin, heaven forbid an actual tip, for quite some weeks. An email that I sent to them has not been replied to either. I may be more Inspector Clouseau than Sherlock Holmes, but this is striking me as being a little fishy. Things aren't looking good, are they?

What struck me with this episode though, is how difficult it is to find good, reliable and honest services. Even with various proofing bodies now doing their best to deshark the shark invested pool in which we poor punters swim, it is still very easy to be sucked into places we rather wouldn't be. Shaolin, as previously mentioned, had been reported favourably by the SBC and my reading of the report was that here was a potential Hall of Fame member. The other thing I have read recently which in the context of this story makes even more sense is on Kodagira's blog. Kodagira pointed out that for the existence of an edge claimed by a particular service to be particularly trustworthy, more than one year's results were necessary before hard conclusions in which we could have real confidence could be drawn. A fair point in itself, but one that increases in validation if adding to the equation the ethics and honesty of a service.

So what lessons can be learnt?

First, that when choosing a service to follow, there is so much more to the decision making process than headline performance levels. Second lesson to learn is that reputation means a lot, and proof of ethical principles guiding the running of the service is paramount. And thirdly, 'once bitten twice shy' is a useful aphorism to remember. If someone has done the dirty once, don't give them a chance to repeat the trick. To be ripped off by one service may be regarded as a misfortune, but to be ripped off by the same person twice looks like carelessness. Looks like I was careless. Don't you be the same.

Today's Action

One of the better days. 4PA sprung into action, advising win bets on three short favourites in the three big races (Await The Dawn - Chester - Evens, Quevega - Punchestown - 5/6, and Captain Chris - Punchestown - Evens). Not their usual style but all three winning was nice, especially as 4PA also advised members to back the win treble in addition to the single bets.

I have mentioned that there have been recent signs of a return to form for PJA NH and today that impression was supported by the fact that two winners were found (Kylenoe Fairy - Newton Abbott - 14/1 and Life Of A Luso - Newton Abbott - 15/2).

Chasemaster's consistent form continued with another winner (Cullahill - Wincanton - 11/8) but that is really only half the story. They also advised Oranger at Newton Abbott, a horse that I backed at 28/1 but which went off at 15/2. It didn't place but that sort of market move suggests that Chasemaster picked up on something very early, but not only that, they also advised a successful lay in the race. This essentially provided a 'free' bet on the gambled on Oranger, at a fantastic price. That is a clever strategy, and having mentioned this the other day, following the lays has to be a positive move now. Time to bit the bullet, me thinks.

On The Nose also provided a little profit by picking one winner from three (Lexi's Hero - Chester - 4/1).

ProBandit managed a winner (an NQ bet) which more than covered the losses from the two system bets in the same race (Mymumsaysimthebest - Goodwood - 11/2) but a small loss overall on the day as Captain Bertie disappointed in the opener at Chester.

No luck for Northern Monkey's one selection today.

4PA: Staked 5pts, +9.106pts.
PJA NH: Staked 2.75pts, +7pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.75pts, +0.437pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, +0.5pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2pts, -0.375pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
Total profit on the racing of £595.32.

Just one very small bet on a big outsider in today's tennis from Sportyy which proved unsuccessful.

Sportyy: Staked £8, -£8.
Total loss on sports of £8.

Thursday 5th May: Staked £523, +£587.32.
Week to date: Staked £1,341, +£563.12.
Month to date: Staked £1,701, +£611.25, roi 35.93%.

Finally, you have heard me mentioning laying a couple of times recently. Well, tune in tomorrow for some news in this regard. It also represents a development of the blog - a first small step towards growing and developing this place in a way that hopefully will benefit everyone. See you then.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Done and dusted.

Let's see if we can't tie up April tonight, and then we can move on. There are one or two topics I want to explore properly and sooner rather than later, one revolving around one of the services I subscribed to not so long ago. I covered the services that I had things to say about the night before last anyway, so I can keep it brief with the remainder.

PJA NH: Staked 51.75pts, -4.036pts, roi -7.8% (Staked 237.5pts, -42.689pts, roi -17.97%). Not been a good 2011 so far, obviously. Signs of a return to form though and the record would look a touch better as I missed a 13/2 winner (plus a couple of losers so not a huge discrepancy). The AW and Flat services are going well, I believe. Let's hope the NH follows suit.

Northern Monkey: Staked 28.25pts, +3.558pts, roi 12.59% (Staked 126.25pts, -6.35pts, roi -5.03%). Still not quite reached overall profit with Northern Monkey but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Good, solid month. Not much more to say.

On The Nose: Staked 46.25pts, -4.441pts, -9.6% (Staked 192.5pts, +42.922pts, roi 22.29%). Nondescript month. Great year to date.

And the football/sports...

Football Elite: Staked 12pts, -1.64pts, roi -13.66% (Staked 60pts, -12.266pts, roi -20.44%). Let's hope the antepost bets are landed to rescue something from a relatively poor season. Still a mainstay for next season.

Strike Zone: Staked 19pts, +4.593pts, roi 24.17% (Staked 100pts, +13.34pts, roi 13.34%). Great month. Considered raising the stakes bearing in mind the very high strike rate, but if I did so I would end up staking considerably more than the other football services and I don't want that imbalance. ROI is beginning to get seriously healthy.

Football Investor: Staked 68pts, +23.019pts, roi 33.85% (Staked 277pts, +22.854pts, roi 8.25%). Brilliant month and that's with me missing out on about five points from a couple of days missed. Had had a concern about getting the bets on on the Friday night next season, but with the sharing of the workload, no longer a problem.

Skeeve: Staked 22pts, -18pts, roi -81.81% (Staked 301pts, +55.847pts, roi 18.55%). Due a poor month. Got one. Easy to forgive. Looking forward to next season, although it will be without the late BSS service as it is being discontinued, I believe.

The Sportsman: Staked 1.15pts, +0.682pts, roi 59.3% (Staked 6.348pts, +2.331pts, roi 36.72%). Coming strong now after a bit of a standstill first half of the season. Nice high strike rate and really enjoying it at present.

The Football Analyst: Staked 14pts, -12.333pts, roi -88.09%. Only one word relevant here..."Draw". Been a nightmare month for Graeme but really, I know luck should even itself out, but it certainly didn't in the space of this month. Definite place in the portfolio next season but will leave Graeme to his research over the summer before deciding on strategy.

Sportyy: Staked £950, -£185.14, roi -19.48%. My biggest fear re. Sportyy was getting anywhere decent odds on the picks. I averaged 95% of the recommended price, which I'm more than happy with.

And that's it. I know these end of month reviews perhaps aren't everybody's cup of tea. If anyone has any strong feelings either for or against, leave a comment. Things can be changed, you know.

Today's Action

Better than yesterday. ProBandit played in two races and found the winner of each (Lily's Angel - Chester - 7/4, York Glory - Southwell - 5/4). Northern Monkey had just the one bet (given yesterday) which was Overturn (11/2), the impressive winner of the Chester Cup. Chasemaster called one from three right (Devil Water - Kelso - 5/1). PJA NH had no winners (but one placed) from two, and On The Nose managed no return from two.

ProBandit: Staked 1.75pts, +1.787pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, +3.337pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.625pts, +0.406pts.
PJA NH: Staked 1.5pts, -1pt.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Total profit on the racing of £110.75.

Sportyy gave two tennis picks today, one of which won for a small profit.

Sportyy: Staked £106, +£12.95.
Total profit on the sports of £12.95.

Wednesday 4th May: Staked £316, +£123.70.
Week to date: Staked £818, -£24.20.
Month to date: Staked £1,178, +£23.93, roi 2.03%.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Each to their own...

I see The Special One was pontificating again last night in his own inimitable style. It's what happens when people pander to an oversized ego. Sarcasm dripped of the screen as the truth failed to get in the way of a good paragraph. But regardless, the monthly reviews are here to stay...

Today's Action

Not such a good day. 4PA limited themselves to just the one bet, a loser and a point lost. Pro Bandit got one to place but hit two losers. On The Nose found the only winner (Quito de la Rocque - Punchestown - 7/2).

Total loss on the racing of £43.41.

Sportyy had a bad day with two losing bets and the same for The Sportsman.

Total loss on sports of £127.

Tuesday 3rd May: Staked £237, -£170.41.
Week to date: Staked £502, -£147.90.
Month to date: Staked £862, -£99.77, roi -11.57%.

Monday, 2 May 2011

April Review #1

No review of the month just gone is going to make for happy reading. Thought I'd split the review into four parts. Figures in brackets are year to date figures.

4PA: Staked 32.5pts, -3.481pts, roi -10.71% (Staked 91pts, +2.706pts, roi 2.97%). In the most recent email from the service, they are obviously aware that the standards that were set in 2010 have not yet been matched in 2011. What I like about this chap though is that he is very matter of fact. I don't know if he means to, but when things aren't going particularly well, his emails always convey a total belief that it is only a matter of time before it all clicks into place again and a hugely impressive roi is achieved. I also get the impression from the guy who runs it that an roi around the 10% mark is hardly worth raising oneself from one's bed for and that anything short of 20% is a disappointment. Perhaps I'm reading this wrong, but I kind of like it. It inspires confidence.

Certainly the service is going to make the beginning of May interesting - we have been put on alert for a busy week with the Punchestown festival starting tomorrow and the big Chester meeting from Wednesday of this week. We could get off to a flyer or it could be a disaster. One thing is for sure, it won't be dull over the next few days.

Chasemaster: Staked 14pts, +4.796pts, roi 34.25% (Staked 50pts, +12.484pts, roi 24.96%). A real success story in 2011 so far, Chasemaster is going from strength to strength. Many, many things to like about the service, not least the low subs costs which means that it represents real value for money. There are two areas that I have not been exploiting properly though. First is the laying side of the service which seems to be profitable (I have not been recording lay results so I can't say with 100% certainty). It's a personal thing, but I have never been keen on laying and when the SBC originally reviewed Chasemaster, their recommendation at that time was to follow the 'backs' only, essentially due to a lack of data around the lays. However, when you consider that the review must have been published well over a year ago, there is much more data to hand now and I will be asking Peter if he could provide it. I'm not going to start with the lays this month, but my thoughts are that I would like to start following them in the not too distant future. Generally speaking I would like to introduce some laying to the portfolio, and this would seem to be a good place to start. The second area that I am going to change from this month is with how I stake the service. In previous monthly reviews I have written that I have been aware that I have slightly understaked Chasemaster in relation to some of the other services. I was reluctant to change during the height of the National Hunt season just in case there was a sudden increase in bets which would push me too far the other way, but I think that scenario is unlikely to arise during the summer months. Like Skeeve, I also wanted to resist upping staking levels until I was 100% comfortable with everything, and now I am. Perhaps I should have done so earlier, but you know me, conservative as ever. It's not a large rise, but should be enough to bring Chasemaster into line with the staking on the likes of ProBandit, Winning Racing Tips and 4PA and it is now a really core service of the portfolio.

ProBandit: Staked 27.375pts, -4.695pts, roi -17.15% (Staked 112pts, -4.142pts, roi -3.69%). Obviously a disappointing month for ProBandit in what has been an underwhelming year so far, but I'm still a big fan. I read an interesting article by Mr Gekko of the SBC not so long ago that pointed out that with most services, you spend an awful lot of time below the high water mark. In other words, you often have to spend months not making money from a service before a surge takes you through the high profit mark. I'm sure this is what is happening with ProBandit at the moment and I'm optimistic that we'll soon see some good profits coming in. The service may be running to stand still at the moment, but better that than be moving backwards.

There has been a lot of talk recently too about the worth of the NQ bets and the proposition that backing the System bets only will increase the roi. I'm sure there is a lot of truth in that and if that's the way folks would like to follow the service, then I'm not going to say it is the wrong approach. My own take on it is that I will continue to follow the NQ bets for the reasons Paul has given as to why he supplies them...they provide a less bumpy ride. I guess it boils down to the assertion that I would choose to take a lower roi with a smoother ride than a higher roi with more volatility. Some gambler I am! Seriously though, each to their own and I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do things in this regard.

Winning Racing Tips: Staked 17.6pts, +2.817pts, roi 16% (Staked 65pts, +10.154pts, roi 15.62%). Well, Paul managed to turn April around in the last week to ten days or so with a lovely winning each way double and another winner or two on top. Trouble is I wasn't aware of them at the time as they happened in the period that Helen took over. The last involvement I had, it was looking like it was going to be a pretty poor month for WRT. There is a reason why I regard WRT as being a "core" service - consistency in approach. Good times or bad, it is the same method, week in week out. Never a deviation.

Today's Action

Pretty quiet today. ProBandit found a winner at Warwick (Aggbag - 7/2) and that proved to be the only real success of the day on the horses. WRT had their selection place at 5/1 so stakes returned. Northern Monkey has had a sticky start to the month and only found one to place from four today. On The Nose picked the same horse as one of Northern Monkey's losers as their only bet.

Total loss on the horses of £36.24.

One bet from Sportyy on the tennis today and a nice winner.

Total profit on sports of £58.75.

Monday 2nd May: Staked £265, +£22.51.
Week to date: Staked £265, +£22.51.
Month to date: Staked £625, +£70.64, roi 11.3%.

Finally today, I want to draw attention to a new addition to the blog roll on the right. I read about 'From Ireland' on Dean's 'Playing It Safe' blog last night and when Connor left a comment asking for a link exchange, I was happy to oblige. Always interesting to follow someone or a service from Day 1. I don't know Connor's intentions, whether he'll be posting up his progress on the blog, but I thought it worth a look. If not, you can still follow performance on 'Playing It Safe'.

Probably just a "results" post tomorrow - want to watch that Messi fella play for Barcelona. Got potential, that kid. One day he's going to be a good player, you mark my words. I've an eye for these things.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Reasons to be cheerful.

Well, back into it all again.

To very quickly bring things up to speed, April ended just shy of £1,300 down which makes the running total for 2011 a loss of £400. Not disastrous by any stretch, but blimey, it has been tough going. Strangely though, I'm going into May feeling very positive. A clawing back of nigh on £600 over the last week has probably contributed more than anything else to that feeling, but there are other reasons for taking the optimistic approach too.

At the top of that list of reasons is that last month was the worst I have ever had by quite some distance (my previous worst was a deficit of just under £500 last July), and yet somehow, by hook or by crook, psychologically I seem to have come out the other end. Looking back, I'm not too sure how, and if it wasn't for my wife placing last week's bets I would have been £1,800 down for April and couldn't say legitimately that I had come out the other end ok. Behind every (not so) great man, and all that.

What other reasons are behind the feeling that things are looking up? Well looking at the figures, it seems that the upturn has been down to a number of services stretching across the portfolio. It hasn't been as a result of one particular service going on an absolutely once-in-a-lifetime run or anything. Winning Racing Tips, Chasemaster, Football Investor, Strike Zone...they have all performed extremely well over the last week or so. But even services that made an overall loss on the month began to claw back some of those losses - ProBandit and PJA NH come to mind. Suddenly, I feel that the whole portfolio has a solid look again.

Finally, there's the new set up at TPI Towers; a sharing of the workload which as I stated earlier in the month should allow time away from it all. It also negates the need to downsize the portfolio, something that I was beginning to feel was necessary for personal reasons but far from desirable on punting grounds.

Of course, it could all go badly wrong again in May. Who knows? If so, we'll just have to absorb the losses, and go again in June. Easier said than done I guess. What I do feel though, is that some valuable lessons have been learnt over the last few weeks. Experiences that will be remembered and drawn upon when things go wrong in the future which let's face it, will happen.

Let's see what May brings.

Weekend's Action


A very solid day's punting on the nags. On The Nose staked large on Green's Destiny (Newmarket - 13/2), PJA NH picked King Of Dubai (Uttoxeter - 8/1) and Olympian (Uttoxeter - 9/4), and Northern Monkey weighed in with Justfortheroad (Thirsk - 5/1). ProBandit also had that one, and Chasemaster had two tips and two winners - Overlaw (Uttoxeter - 4/1) and Fortysecond Street (Hexham - 9/1). Obviously there were losers amongst this lot, but overall a nice profit was returned.

And then came the football. Plaudits first...Football Investor rounded off a very good month with four from eight including Macclesfield at 6.25/1 and Eastbourne at 5/1. Eastbourne were 3-0 up in the second half, allowed their opponents to come back to 3-3, before scoring a winner in injury time! Strike Zone also produced a small profit with one of their two selections winning.

Now a last minute winner for Eastbourne was nice. What wasn't so appreciated were two very late equalisers against two of The Football Analyst's three picks which in the space of five minutes, turned a very healthy profit into a wipeout. Graeme really has had no luck at all this month, with so many of the big selections ending in draws. It has been a terrible month for the system I follow, but I know for a fact that TFA will be in my portfolio next season. More on that in the monthly review.

Finally, Football Elite had a loser.

So all in, subtracting the football losses from the racing gains, I ended up £41 up. Could have been so much better.


Much quieter day on the gee gees today. 4PA's 1000 Guineas antepost tips both finished unplaced, but they did get a return from Hawkeyethenoo finishing in the frame in one of the handicaps at Newmarket. On The Nose found a very nice winner in Time's Up (Newmarket - 10/1). A blank day for Northern Monkey.

It was the football this afternoon where some real satisfaction was found...Football Investor and Strike Zone both indicated that Arsenal should be backed against Manchester United. In the words of Churchill (the dog, not Winston)...Oh yes!

Month to date: Staked £360, +£48.13, roi 13.36%.

Has 'Match of the Day 2' started yet?