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.
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.