Thursday, 30 June 2011


I have come to realise that June/July is an expensive time of year for us gamblers. At least it is if we're running a portfolio of services that include a number of football tipsters. For it is during this mid-summer period that decisions have to be made as to which footie services to follow over the course of the forthcoming season, and then subs coughed up to the chosen few.

When adding up the total outlay on services, it becomes apparent that a considerable amount of money is invested on subscription fees. This realisation sharpens the mind rather. A mistake made now is one that will prove costly.

So, what are my thoughts re. next season's football services to follow? Well, I thought I'd break this subject down into two posts, one today and the other next week. What I need to do is examine the options one by one and make a considered choice, and I need to make these decisions in the wider context of the direction in which I feel I must steer my overall portfolio...

General thoughts.

I have reached the conclusion recently that my portfolio can hold an optimum number of racing services within it, and that number is six or seven. I have decided that I do not, at this point, want to expand upon this number. This is due entirely to the limits on staking that our old friends the bookmakers are imposing. VC Bet closed an account recently, Corals withdrew their BOG offers and refer the majority of my bets to traders so I would hazard a guess that that account is on borrowed time, Paddy Power restrict some of my bets and are getting worse, Stan James offer me pennies now, and although I've opened pseudo accounts at BetFred and Boylesports, let's face it, neither of them are going to last very long.

The consequence of this is that if I am to expand my betting turnover at all, it is within the field of football and other sports that I will have to do it. There is a much wider choice of bookmaker when backing football teams and so bets can be spread much more thinly between each. The Asian bookmakers which impose either a much higher limit on an account or no limit at all (Pinnacle?) can be utilised. In short, it is easier to get on.

I have already identified one service that I am going to add to my portfolio imminently. More on this shortly. In the meantime, it's become even more important to make the right decisions about the make up of the footballing section of the portfolio.

Services to follow.

1. Skeeve. Skeeve is the service that has been there, done it, and bought the T-shirt. With five seasons of profit-making behind them, this is a service that knows how to handle losing runs, that can self-analyse effectively to maintain and improve performance moving forward, and which brandishes the evidence that some serious hard work goes into making the selections every week in their Friday night email. I only joined for last season, and after an initial period of adjustment and adaptation I soon started to achieve very acceptable odds on the selections by getting the bets on quickly. Not every season will be as successful as 2010/11 I'm sure, but the value of the subscription fee is undoubted, even if the price has gone up a touch this year. In terms of re-subscribing, what is there to think about?

2. Football Elite.

So much has been written about Football Elite's underperformance in 2010/11 that I really have nothing to add to what has already been said. My own opinion is that when playing a season that consists of roughly 100 bets only, it is very easy to have a poor season, as there is a vulnerability to the whims of the dark lord that is Variance. No, what is of far more relevance to me is the long term edge that Matt has displayed, the relatively cheap subscription fees, the consistent logic and methodology behind each bet selection, and the ability to at least equal and frequently better the recommended odds. An 'A Star' service that had a relatively disappointing season. I believe Skeeve was in the same position before the start of last season and I wouldn't bet against a similar big upturn in performance from Matt this. In fact, I hope Matt doesn't mind me saying this, but I wouldn't be surprised if the experience at the turn of this year doesn't make him an even better tipster, although to be honest his level-headedness and honesty came through exceptionally strongly in his own end-of-season review. I was seriously impressed by the way Matt dealt with that losing run - never even a hint that his methodology changed in any way at all. Just focused on the same old proven strategy.

3. Football Investor. The only issue with Football Investor is one that Stewart, the chap who runs it, can do nothing about, and that is the fact that there are often a fair old number of bets to place on a Friday evening and on many Friday evenings in the winter I have a 200 mile trip down to London to negotiate in the interests of following the mighty Gooners. That, however, is my problem, and not his. So I am not going to be a wuz and instead just knuckle down to it without complaint. Results last season demanded that I do, and the added bonus is the high strike rate, short losing run Strike Zone system bets to add to the profit-making. Two seasons of proofed results and a similar pricing structure to Football Elite equals a resubscription for me. I'm also looking forward to the new Strike Zone away bets to see if that is something that appeals too.

So there we have it. Three football services that I will be continuing with this forthcoming season. I'll discuss the other three or four, and take a look at other services that I'm watching closely next week.

In the meantime, I need to shake this terrible bout of Manflu that I'm stoically bearing. I'm trying my very utmost to shake it off. Today's breakfast was a double Lemsip, followed by Beechams with a side dish of Day Nurse for lunch, an evening meal of Vitamin C tablets washed down with liquid Benillyn and for supper, a nice dash or three of Night Nurse. If that lot doesn't do the trick, I'm screwed.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need go blow my nose...

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