Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Warning - multi-tasking being attempted!

And I can't, not being a woman. So no post tonight other than this.

Trying to keep one eye on trading the tennis, and two ears on Mad Jim White on Sky.

I also have a confession to make. I was contacted by a friend of mine last night who had spotted quite a discrepancy in his figures with a particular service and mine. After a quick look I thought my figures were ok, but on a proper look today, he was right and I was out. Further investigation shows I might have messed up on two or three days, which isn't very clever, so a full audit is being undertaken.

Of course I blame the wife - she really should be able to multi-task. I know full well it won't be her fault, but that's not what I'll be telling her.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Another very quick one, which is going to be the way of it whilst there is so much tennis going on.

Before I go on to summarise today's action, a quick note for the chap who keeps sending messages asking for a link exchange. Mate, I responded to your first message in the Comments section - I even put it in Italian (I'm a man of many talents you know, although making money from a betting portfolio doesn't seem to be one of them) and put a link up to the blog. I've just taken it down again as a protest against having a message sent every day saying the same thing. Enough already! Basta!

Today's Betting

The only winner today was provided by ProBandit (Colourbearer - Southwell - 2/1) although another was backed each way in the same race that finished second (Spirit Of Coniston - Southwell - 7/1). The service also had a loser but a profit overall.

On The Nose again managed to eke out a profit bby picking a decent priced horse that finished second (Sonning Rose - Epsom - 16/1) to more than counter the loser they also gave.

No success for The Market Examiner (0/2).

On The Nose: Staked 1.5pts, +0.6pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2.25pts, +0.648pts.

Tuesday 30th August: Staked £135, +£17.36.
Month to date: Staked £7,097.50, -£17.42, roi -0.24%.
Running total (inc fees): -£326.22, roi -2.22%.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Limping towards the end of the month.

Doing this early today as there are a few tennis matches at the US Open later this evening that I've got my beady eye on.

Made the toughest fiver I've ever made on the horses today. Thank goodness for On The Nose who for the umpteenth time this month, has rescued what had been looking likely to be another very poor day.

Today's Betting

Four On The Nose selections, one placed (Fanny May - Epsom - 16/1) and two winnners amongst them (Orientalist - Epsom - 6/1 and Layla's Hero - Newcastle - a mix of 6/1 and 11/2). Top tipping, once again.

Winning Racing Tips had one bet today which was very well supported and managed to finish third (Wayne Manor - Chepstow - 8/1).

No returns for PJA NH (0/1), Northern Monkey (0/1), The Market Examiner (0/1) or Chasemaster (0/1).

PJA NH: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 3pts, -3pts.
On The Nose: Staked 3pts, +5.977pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.8pts, +0.24pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

Monday 29th August: Staked £236, +£5.94.
Month to date: Staked £6,962.50, -£34.78, roi -0.49%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£343.58, roi -2.41%.

Probably get a chance to watch a bit of the Spanish footie on the telly tonight, in between the tennis matches. Watching Cesc in a Barca shirt. Embrace that pain...

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Weekend roundup and some thoughts on ProBandit

You can probably guess I'm not in too good a mood right now. Dear oh dear.

As far as the betting is concerned, it's been a profitable weekend overall but nothing to write home about. There has been a comment left under Friday's post about ProBandit and I must say, I am beginning to feel a little concerned about the service. I'm not going to criticise it; I know for a fact that Paul, the guy who runs ProBandit, is a good guy who puts his own money on the line as far his selections are concerned, and I have no doubt that he is as frustrated as anybody with the performance this year. It cannot be denied though that ProBandit has lost it's mojo and I always feel a little uneasy when a change in approach is taken with selections. On the face of it, dropping the NQ bets was the right thing to do as put simply, they hadn't added any profits to the service for a good while. However, they were a factor last year when ProBandit could do little wrong - even if they didn't add much by way of actual profit, they helped to keep things steady and as far as I was concerned, they were an integral and valuable part of the service. Paul obviously thought the best thing to do was to stop giving the NQ bets - I hope in a few months time, with the benefit of hindsight, it will be clear that it was the right move to make.

Of course it is very easy to become overly negative when things aren't going well. My figures for this month have ProBandit at just short of 3.5 points down which is hardly catastrophic. It should alse be noted that although performance in 2011 is well short of what could reasonably be expected, the figures for the last twelve months are still pretty decent. This in itself calls for perseverence and I'm certainly not thinking of jacking ProBandit in at this time.

What doesn't help the ProBandit cause though, is it being one of the more expensive services on the market. It is the most expensive racing service in my portfolio certainly, and with that, I guess there comes a higher level of expectation. Let's see what happens over the next few months.

On a more positive note, it is great to see Skeeve starting the new season in super form and his careful approach to the early games seems to have paid off. A doff of the cap in his direction, not only for the actual picks, but also to his general approach as he backs his own judgement with what seems - judging by his his emails - to be supreme confidence. If he will allow it, I would liken early-season Skeeve to a Mountain Goat, picking his way surefootedly through rocky and dangerous paths. Well done, Old Chap.

Saturday's Betting

The Market Examiner knocked one in from two bets (Waahej - Windsor - 6/1), and the loser came very close to finishing in front too.

TME was the only racing service to finish in profit though. Chasemaster got one to place from two bets (Quecha Des Obeaux - Cartmel - 7/1), as did Northern Monkey (Hezmah - Goodwood - 7/1, affected by a Rule 4). No returns for On The Nose (0/2) or ProBandit (0/1).

The profit came on the football, with both of Skeeve's investments being successful.

On The Nose: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -0.4pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, +4.4pts.
ProBandit: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.625pts, -0.025pts.

Skeeve: Staked 8pts, +11.161pts.

Saturday 27th August: Staked £324.50, +£207.52.

Today's Betting

Losses today.

Northern Monkey was the only racing service to turn a profit, finding a winner that was staked only as a saver (Oneladyowner - Goodwood - 7/1), and two to place (Roicead - The Curragh - 7/2 and Future Generation - The Curragh - 9/1). On The Nose also had Future Generation each way (8/1) and a loser.

No returns for The Market Examiner (0/1) or Pro Bandit (0/3).

Losses too on the football, despite The Sportsman's one bet being successful. Football Elite's start to the season, which rather resembles Arsenal's, continued in poor vein (0/1).

Northern Monkey: Staked 1.6pts, +0.477pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, -0.25pts.

The Sportsman: Staked 0.15pts, +0.1pts.
Football Elite: Staked 1pt, -1pt.

Sunday 28th August: Staked £296, -£139.45.
August to date: Staked £6,726.50, -£40.72, roi -0.6%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£349.52, roi -2.49%.

Finally, a hearty congratulations to Graeme at The Football Analyst. Married today! I hope he's not reading this, because if he is doing on his wedding night, he'll be divorced by tomorrow!

Right then. An evening of gazing at my navel contemplating giving up any interest in football is on the cards. Football? Blah! Who needs it?

Friday, 26 August 2011


Couldn't post last night as too involved with the tennis. With the US Open starting on Monday, that could be the way of it for the next couple of weeks. I'll stick up the portfolio results as often as I can.

Friday's Betting

Minor loss all told. With many racecourses being hit by heavy rain, I feared the worst. Still, could always be hit badly today instead I guess.

On The Nose has been in a class all of it's own this month (good bloody job too, really, otherwise I'd be in a right mess!) and another couple of points were gathered with a nice winner over in Ireland (The Bull Hayes - Killarney - 8/1).

ProBandit had just the one bet, and it was a good'un (Deliberation - Hamilton - 13/8).

A small amount of profit was eked out by Northern Monkey as they found a winner (Colonel Mak - Ffos Las - 11/2 but badly affected by a R.4) and one to place (Hong Kong Island - Hamilton - 10/1) from their three tips.

No luck for The Market Examiner (0/1), Winning Racing Tips (0/1) or PJA NH (0/2).

Friday 26th August: Staked £215, -£32.30.
Month to date: Staked £6,106, -£108.79, roi -1.78%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£417.59, roi -3.12%.

Good luck over the weekend, chaps.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

I ain't volunteering!

I don't mind admitting, I feel like a whinge. I am without doubt, in a whingy kind of mood. Not desperate, or worried about going bust or anything like that. Just fed up after a couple more poor days on the racing that unfortunately have been very much the norm over the summer. Long term, patience, long term, patience....blah, blah, blah. Boll*cks to that - I want a couple of great days, and at the risk of sounding a little demanding, I want them now!

Don't worry, I've not lost all patience all of a sudden. I'm still focused, eyes fixed on the prize and knowing that (deep breath) long term all will be rosy. But by 'eck, wouldn't it be nice to go through a wee spell when there weren't two or three services going through the mill, dragging everything else down?

I do blame myself for the horrible run that The Market Examiner are currently on. Seriously, if a sacrifice had to be made for the greater good of The Market Examiner and their subscriber base, thus turning their fortunes around in one instant and ensuring a prompt return to winning ways, then realistically there is only one person who should be offered up as a gift to placate the Gambling Gods. And we all know who that is, do we not? But before we all get carried away and start to raise support for the idea on an SBC forum thread or attempt to get #sacrificetheportfolioinvestor trending on Twitter, just think on. If a roaring fire was readied, knives sharpened and an apple placed in my mouth, who'd write the blog once the deed had been done?

Yeah, hadn't thought about that, had you?

Today's Betting

A quick mention of yesterday, first. Eight bets on the horses and no returns. The day was rescued somewhat by two winning tips from The Sportsman. Overall loss of £35.67.

After all my moaning and grumping, the portfolio actually turned a small profit today thanks to On The Nose who got a lovely winner from their two selections (Armaramak - Killarney - 8/1).

No returns elsewhere though from The Market Examiner (0/3) and ProBandit (0/1).

The Market Examiner: Staked 3pts, -3pts.
ProBandit: Staked 0.75pts, -0.75pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, +4pts.

Thursday 25th August: Staked £103, +£17.
Month to date: Staked £5,891, -£76.49, roi -1.29%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£385.29, roi -2.93%.

Helen, my wife and editor, has just read my post before submission. She rolled her eyes and muttered something about me having no idea about making sacrifices.

Dunno what she meant by that...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

There will come a time...

A little while ago I mentioned that in the interests of protecting my bookmaker accounts, I had stopped placing all racing bets with BOG bookmakers. My theory is that if the tipsters have a genuine edge - which I believe they must do - the majority of their selections should shorten in price as the market matures. However, I am not stupid or naive enough (honest!) to think that there won't come a time when I don't severely regret not using a BOG bookmaker.

So far, I have not been stung, but I was reminded of my vulnerability today when ProBandit's winner went off at an SP of 9/2. I had taken 11/4 in the morning. Fortunately, I happened to have placed the bet with Bet 365, so on this occasion, I escaped with a warning. I did miss out a touch with Chasemaster's winner, on which I took 100/30 with a non-BOG bookie, to see the SP returned at a marginally larger 7/2. I can live with that.

I'm afraid this tennis trading business is really eating into my potential blogging time. Please be patient - there will be days when I just won't be able to post. Like Arnie though, I'll always be back.

Today's Betting

A second consecutive decent day for ProBandit who found a nice winner from their three selections (Eshoog - Warwick - 9/2 (BOG!)), and Chasemaster contributed nicely too (King Penda - Sedgefield - 100/30).

Northern Monkey's only selection was placed; the exact same also true of PJA NH.

No luck for On The Nose (0/1) or The Market Examiner (0/2).

Righty-ho then...very slim chance of a post tomorrow night. Too much tension. A fraught 90 minutes await. Up the Arse!

Monday, 22 August 2011


Decent start to the week.

Today's Betting

Good day for ProBandit; two winners (I'm Super Too - Hamilton - 4/1 and Golden Tempest - Kempton - 10/1).

Decent time of it too for PJA NH which had two selections, a winner (Lucky Lukey - Hereford - 5/1) and a placed. They were both also included in an each way double that provided a very small return.

A small profit for Northern Monkey whose sole each way bet finished in the frame, but no luck for On The Nose and The Market Examiner.

On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
PJA NH: Staked 2pts, +2.108pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 0.75pts, +0.375pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 3pts, +2.056pts.

Monday 22nd August: Staked £203, +£100.13.
Month to date: Staked £5,330.50, -£121.09, roi -2.27%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£429.89, roi -3.41%.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Where were we? Oh, yes. In the doldrums.

I'm currently reading a novel by the Irish author John Boyne, which is based around the story 'Mutiny on the Bounty'. I'm sure you're all familiar with what happened on that boat and the tale of Captain Bligh's remarkable journey to safety once cast off by the mutineers. Well anyway, in the chapter I read last night it described the boredom suffered by the men as they slowly crossed the ocean, the only distraction the occasional storm that added to the already burdensome workload of the crew. It didn't take a tremendous leap of the imagination to draw parallels with my betting and with what is happening at the moment.

Of progress there is none. Last year, when things were going along nicely, there were a few services that excelled, a few that trod water, and just one or two that went through a rocky spell before recovering. Since the start of this year though, it seems that too many services have experienced really tough spells. Really tough. The unfortunate knock-on effect is that the portfolio as a whole has essentially stood still, as the better performers have merely served to keep the portfolio head above water, as opposed to providing strong profits.

This last month has been a microcosm of this. Starting well, the month has been dragged down over the last two weeks and is now running at a loss. On The Nose has been remarkable and had a terrific York, picking Our Joe Mac (8/1) and Navajo Chief (25/1) plus a couple to place at good odds, and added to the haul at Sandown on Saturday with Fallen Idol (15/2). They are currently up over 36pts for August at an roi of 121%!

You would think that this would be enough to be the basis of a fairly strong performance from the racing services, wouldn't you? But as seems to be so typical for this year, the profits from On The Nose have been turned into a loss by 4PA, which had a a very poor York, and Winning Racing Tips which seems to be going through the type of run where anything that can go wrong does.

Not been a good weekend on the football either, with Football Elite's three selections all going down, two teams giving up leads today by letting in late (very late in one case) equalisers.

So what sort of toll is this taking? To be honest, not a huge one at present. It's disheartening, of course it is. Trying to be dispassionate though, each one of the services followed have a long term track record, have been through bad spells and come out the other end. That must be the focus, and is the only way to cope with the effort taken to make progress whilst going through the doldrums, waiting for the day when a fair wind will blow and fill the sails again.

Month to date: Staked £5,127.50, -£221.22, roi -4.31%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£530.02, roi -4.28%.

There's a new tennis tournament starting tomorrow in the States and with that, plus some interesting football to watch this week, posts may be scarce. I'll post as and when I can.

Oh, and if everyone can have a look for a cheque book in the name of 'Arsenal Football Club', I'd be most grateful. It appears to have been mislaid.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Altogether now...

Not much chance of a lengthy blog post tonight, I tell you. Not when the mighty Gooners are in action. Actually, perhaps not so mighty at the moment. More semi-mighty. Mighty-lite, if you like. Slightly-mighty? Actually, perhaps not mighty at all - just crap. Still, it could be worse. We could have just sold our best player.

Today's Betting

Well, another tedious, losing day today. Just a week or so ago, August was buoyant, promising great things. Now it's as about as buoyant as the Greek/Portuguese/Irish/Italian/American/British/Global (delete as applicable) economy. Still, you know what happens to an economy in crisis. It hits rock bottom and then it recovers. Well, July's and August's betting performance is my very own, personal double-dip recession.

Will I survive? Well, you think I'd crumble? You think I'd lay down and die? Oh no, not I. I will survive. As long as I know how to bet I know I will stay alive.
I've got all my life to live, I've got all my stakes to give and I'll survive.
I will survive!

I need a drink...

One winner today, that from Chasemaster (Comehomequietly - Worcester - 7/2) which was not enough for them to avoid making a loss on the day. They were in good company mind...The Market Examiner, ProBandit and Winning Racing Tips all lost out today too.

The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 2pts, -1.062pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.9pts, -1.02pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 1.125pts, -0.328pts.

Tuesday 15th August: Staked £310.50, -£144.26.
Month to date: Staked £3,241.50, +£41.78, roi 1.28%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£267.02, roi -2.54%.

Now, no blog for a couple of days, possibly not until Sunday. I've a couple of days off and I'm taking the kids to see their grandparents in Shropshire. No internet connection I'm afraid. Putting bets on means a whole morning in a cafe in Ludlow. If you hear of a riot in the small Shropshire market town over the next couple of days, it will be a small one - just me buzzing on too much caffeine as I down my seventh cappucino. Mind you, the old place could do with a bit of livening up.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Trading Places.

Not sure why, but trading has always been shrouded in mystery to me. To be honest with you, I have not ever understood it. I've heard of people generating a decent income stream from BetFair and I've read blogs written by people who trade, but I've never really got a handle on it, nor on what traders actually do. As far as getting involved in trading myself is concerned, I have never been beyond the very first hurdle - having any idea whatsoever how or where to start. Until now.

Why bother with trading though? Following a portfolio of tipping services is time consuming enough, hard work, and takes much of my spare time. Trading is simply going to claim a significant chunk of what little time I have left to myself. But, I happen to think making the effort is worth it. Firstly, because I'm a bloody-minded arse at times who feels challenged by learning something completely new. And second, I realise that if I can make it work, then it can open up more options in the future. In terms of how long it will take before I know what I'm doing...I've absolutely no idea. A year before being half competent perhaps? I just don't know.

Getting over that initial hurdle has proven to be a real challenge. The tact I've taken is to choose two sports - football and tennis - and be led by those that know an awful lot more than I do. If I can pick up strategies and ideas along the way, then that's all well and good. Just at present though, it's very much a case of being led by the hand through what feels like an absolute minefield. For those SBC members reading, you'll be aware of Kodagira, whose footie trades I am following closely. As for tennis, I'm following Tradeshark Tennis, spending time in their chat room during matches, reading approaches to games and generally trying to act in as sponge-like a manner as possible to absorb all the information I possibly can. I have already seen incidences where Tradeshark's experience and knowledge of the markets has been incredibly impressive and these really have made me realise just how long this journey to trading enlightenment might be. There is also another football trading service that I'm in contact with and more detail to follow there.

There are knock on effects though. With tennis, many of the games I can look at are in the evening or late at night (I can't very well get involved at the office during the day!). The late nights I struggle with, but they are a necessary evil if I'm ever to get to where I want to be. Mid-evening games though mean that the time I spend writing this blog is compromised. Last week I found it a real struggle to write a meaningful blog, watch the tennis, dip my toe into actually trading (largely unsuccessfully), record all the results from the portfolio, etc, etc. I also refuse to compromise the time I spend with the kids in the evening, although they are still at an age where they are tucked up pretty early, and I'm still playing tennis myself one or two evenings each week. What all of this means is that I am going to be able to spend less time on the blog. I will still blog each day (other than Saturdays), but more posts will be results only with just the occasional 'topic' driven post in between.

Probably save you all from my irrelevant mutterings anyway... :)

Today's Betting

A quiet but (another) losing day. Northern Monkey's one each way selection finished in the frame and one of Winning Racing Tip's two selections did likewise. No success from The Market Examiner (0/1) or On The Nose (0/1).

Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, +0.07pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.2pts, -0.48pts.

Monday 15th August: Staked £124, -£59.40.
Month to date: Staked £2,931, +£186.04, roi 6.34%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£122.76, roi -1.2%.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Weekend Roundup

A poor weekend to round off what has been a bad week. August has gone from having the potential to be a really good month to being a month which could swing either way. Once again, the weather becoming unsettled has coincided with a drop in performance by a number of the racing tipsters. The more I am in this game, the more I beginning to think that a sustained period of dry weather is likely to result in better returns.

Let's hope we have an Indian summer, eh?

Saturday 13th August

Having said all that, yesterday wasn't a bad day on the nags.

4PA continues to show encouraging signs of putting a disappointing July behind it. This week coming, with the York Ebor meeting likely to be a busy time for the service, could well make or break it's month. Yesterday saw a nice winner (Bertiewhittle - Newmarket - 12/1) amongst their five selections.

Northern Monkey was the other racing service to profit, finding a lovely winner (Pepper Lane - Ripon - 11/1).

On The Nose managed to get one to place from three and produced a loss, and there was no joy for The Market Examiner (0/2) or Chasemaster (0/1).

The damage was done yesterday with the two football bets losing, one from Football Elite, the other from The Sportsman.

4PA: Staked 4.5pts, +2.75pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 5pts, +4.125pts.
On The Nose: Staked 3pts, -1.543pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.

Football Elite: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.2pts, -0.2pts.

Saturday 13th August: Staked £569, -£67.37.

Sunday 14th August

It has been a good weekend for Northern Monkey, finding another winner today (Rose Blossom - Pontefract - 6/1).

No success today for The Market Examiner (0/1), On The Nose (0/2), or Chasemaster (0/3).

The Market Examiner: Staked 1pr, -1pt.
Northern Monkey: Staked 2.25pts, +2.35pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1.75pts, -1.75pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

Sunday 14th August: Staked £142, -£50.
Month to date: Staked £2,807, +£245.44, roi 8.74%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£63.36, roi -0.62%.

Friday, 12 August 2011


I don't mind admitting, I'm knackered, so forgive me for the brevity. Trying to learn to trade means late nights. I'll do a post next week on what I'm attempting and what I'm hoping to achieve.

Poor day, today.

Today's Betting

On The Nose: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 3.5pts, -3.5pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.75pts, -0.875pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.3pts, -0.3pts.

Friday 12th August: Staked £215, -£183.50.
Month to date: Staked £2,276, +£362.81, roi 15.94%.
Running total: +£54.01, roi 0.56%.

Back Sunday, chaps. Have a good'un.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A note of caution.

Got my new laptop. Lost my wife for six months at Her Majesty's insistence. Good result all ways around!

Something said in an email that someone sent to me yesterday gave me reason to pause for thought. It was noted that after what has been a challenging year to date on the horses, and what was a challenging second half to the football season betting-wise between January and May, we were perhaps due a nice spell of profit making. Certainly he and I shared a sense of optimism, encouraged as we are by the imminent return of football betting as a major part of our gambling operations. I blogged last Friday how giddy I was at getting on the Football Elite bet for the weekend and I'm just wondering if this feeling of positivity is a just a touch OTT and needs toning down a tad.

This irrational positivity is the same emotion as that experienced when a poor month has finally ended. It's completely illogical I know, but when this happens I can't help but think that the new month is a fresh start, that things will get better from this point. Utter rot, of course. So in the same way as I'm optimistic for Arsenal's chances over the course of the new season despite selling off all of their better players it seems (and on that point, think I might get a run out?), I'm incredibly optimistic about cleaning up on the footie over the next few months. Which is ridiculous. Very.

So a reigning in of emotions is required, I think. It's hard enough to stay emotionally stable without allowing a bubble of optimism inflate to bursting point. The new football season may well get off to a slow start, more Geoff Capes than Usain Bolt. Those following The Football Analyst systems for the first time may be expecting small miracles, Skeeve expected to continue where he left off, Football Elite go on a winning run of 20, and Football Investor's new Strike Zone Aways to be the dog's b's. It won't work like that though, will it? It will more likely be most weekends be win a bit/lose a bit, the odd great weekend, and the occasional weekend after which you see the bottom of the whisky bottle that was full on the Friday night, so bad has it been.

So, no more optimism. Optimism out.

I'm happier when in misery anyway.

Today's Betting

Very small profit thanks to Northern Monkey's one very shrewd bet that finished in the frame (The Rectifier - Salisbury - 33/1), and Chasemaster finding a winner (Cash Back - Stratford - 5/1) from their two selections.

PJA NH had just the one today, and that finished placed in third (Consult - Stratford - 9/1).

No returns today from On The Nose (0/1), The Market Examiner (0/1), and Winning Racing Tips (0/1).

Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, +2.8pts.
PJA NH: Staked 0.75pts, +0.06pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.8pts, -0.8pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, +0.425pts.

Thursday 11th August: Staked £168, +£20.
Month to date: Staked £2,061, +£546.31, roi 26.5%.
Running total (inc. fees): +£237.51, roi 2.54%.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Why pay?

My PC is drawing it's last breaths. A cast off from work, where it was put to hard labour for at least three years, it has spent the last two years in the PC retirement home that is our house. It is time to do the merciful thing though. Between turning it on and being able to get onto the internet, it is quite possible to make the perfect cup of tea, brewed for four minutes. Yep, the old boy was getting painfully slow and the decent thing has to be done.

Thinking of saving some space in the rather cramped small bedroom that we call the study, we (Helen and I) decided to go for a laptop as a replacement. There's a PC World in Salford Quays. Bugger it. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Nicked a hoodie and a baseball cap, given it to Helen, and she's away on a mission. She looks like a menacing Tony Pulis. Naturally she's taken our son with her, who is lightning on his feet. Show him the ropes, as it were. Anyway, why pay for a laptop when all you've got to do is smash a few windows and have it away?

Getting back to gambling, here is the rest of Banaz's comment from last week:

"A more realistic goal for the punter in a consistent winning groove over a long enough time period might be to work part time. For me for a long time this has been a goal of mine. I would like (and indeed for mental stability would need) a security blanket of some sort of regular employment especially in the current climate. The work I do I could do a half day albeit unlikely to be able generate ½ my current salary. I would however forego a certain level of income if I could be relatively certain that I could generate enough from my punting to bring my overall earnings up to say 75% to 80% of my current level of income. The loss of income would for me be more than offset by the increased freedom to do something I enjoy. It would also make getting back into employment full time in the event of a punting meltdown much more easily manageable. Last September I actually thought by the end of this year (2011) that I might be in a position to achieve this but for various reasons (self inflicted and otherwise) I took an absolute 6 month pounding and am now rebuilding. Realistically I have put myself back a year if not 18 months in this quest but it is still a goal for me and one I am pursuing vigorously.

For other winning punters not interested in going full time or part time I think a decent goal is to provide a regular secondary income for either “treats” or to supplement their income. A good piece of advice given to me was that if you are not building your bank (or have built it to a level that your stakes are comfortable with) that you should pay yourself a “salary”. I’ve used money in the past to amongst other things – repair the roof of the house, take an extra few days holidays with the family, upgrade my laptops etc. The satisfaction to be able to do this without dipping into salary and savings was immense and is tangible reward for the hard work put in and lets face it there is a serious amount of effort involved here."

There's not really a great deal I can add to this. I've already covered the importance of having a financial safety net in place for the sake of mental wellbeing. It's great to see someone accept that mistakes they've made have perhaps put them slightly behind schedule but who is determined to persevere until they get to where they want to be. I find that sort of thing inspirational. And those "treats" that the profits can allow - yep, been there, done that too. :)

Today's Betting

Damp squib of a day, and that's not simply referring to the dreadful weather we've had in these parts. No real joy for anyone.

The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.333pts, -0.766pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.2pts, -0.18pts.

Wednesday 10th August: Staked £144, -£62.40.
Month to date: Staked £1,893, +£526.31, roi 27.8%.
Running total (inc. fees): +£217.51, roi 2.37%.

Right. Where is she? I want my laptop.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Reality TV?

What the hell is happening to this country?!? I switched on the news at 10.00 yesterday evening and at midnight I was still glued to the screen, absorbed by the events I was witnessing. I can remember, just, the riots of 1981. From what I can gather though, the cause of that period of chaos was the perception of the police held by the resident South East London Afro-Carribean community. Then, as now, the country was in the grip of recession but from what I have read (good old Wiki!), the situation in London was exacerbated by there being an underlying and simmering racial tension that was ratcheted up by an undercover plain clothes police operation aimed at reducing the soaring crime rate. This led to over 1,000 people being stopped and searched in the Brixton area within just a five day period. The simmering resentment quickly turned into outright anger and a rejection of the authority of law. So when a black youth, bleeding badly from a knife attack, was apprehended by police tardy in providing medical attention, a growing crowd started to turn nasty. More police were called into the area, and that did nothing to calm tensions. It was the spark that lit the fire of riots in London and further riots in Moss Side - Manchester, Toxteth - Liverpool, and Handsworth - Birmingham.

Don't know about you, but I'm not sure that these comtemporary riots are a result of recession, racism, or an overly intrusive and insensitive police operation. These riots are surely just a load of scumbag kids who see the opportunity to get away with causing havoc, destroying property and stealing goods. There is no 'cause' here, is there? This is not a rise against apartheid or communist rule. This is just wanton criminality by opportunists.

Now I'm a fairly liberal, slightly left of centre, wishy washy sit-on-the-fence pontificating type (unless the discussion turns to football) but even I want to see these people suffer. Prison is far too good for them. Their actions en masse are so antisocial, then they have forgone any right to play any part in society. Why should the tax payer pay for these scroats' prison terms? No. We need a more radical solution.

I suggest that we find an unoccupied island in the middle of the Pacific, dump them all on there, set up a few closed circuit television cameras and hey presto, we have a reality tv programme that is the exception to the rule - ie. it would be worth watching. Out of the thousands placed on the island, the ONE survivor has the right to retake his place in society...providing he can swim to the coast of the nearest mainland, two thousand miles away.

It's either that, or send in the army.

Whaddya reckon?

Today's Betting

A very small loss today, but that was no fault of PJA NH, who found a lovely winner amongst their four selections today (Mibleu - Newton Abbott - 12/1).

ProBandit's each way selection finished second but they also had a loser, and no success today for Northern Monkey (0/1), The Market Examiner (0/1), On The Nose (0/4), or Chasemaster (0/1).

Northern Monkey: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
PJA NH: Staked 3pts, +4.35pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 1.5pts, -0.572pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2.5pts, -2.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.

Tuesday 9th August: Staked £223, -£13.20.
Month to date: Staked £1,749, +£588.71, roi 33.65%.
Running total (inc. fees): +£279.91, roi 3.1%

Hope you don't mind the diversion from the gambling today. Historic times.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Focus on the goal.

Last week, Banaz left a comment under the post "What's it all about then?"; a comment so much of which I agreed with completely. I found myself nodding as I read it, thinking this chap and I seem to have a lot in common. The first paragraph said:

"I think its important if you are treating your gambling seriously to have some sort of medium or long term goal for yourself. For a small few going professional would be the ultimate goal and with Betfair (concerns re premium charges noted), a decent bankroll, a stable of decent tipsters or systems that is much more a possibility than ever before. For most that is a goal that is either not realistic or even desirable. I’m not sure the solitary lifestyle is good for most people and the financial uncertainty is a factor too easily glossed over before taking the leap."

Very important things, goals. Without them I feel it is all too easy for one's focus to become blurred. The emotional investment of day to day gambling can very easily result in the long term aim being forgotten as the daily grind takes it's toll. Perhaps some are capable of completely blocking out the negative emotion that follows a bad day or a losing run and remain completely detached from their gambling affairs. I can't. I'm getting better at coping with the downs, but still when things are not going as I would like, I am vulnerable to the influence of the punting devils that whisper their malicious mutterings into my ear, implanting dangerous thoughts deep into my psyche. I must admit, as far as keeping my emotions in check, I find it much easier to not get carried away by the excitement of a good day or a winning spell. I guess I'm just a miserable bugger.

One way to avoid getting caught up in the here and now and instead remain focused on what exactly it is we are trying to achieve is to set a mental road map which charts each stopping off point on the way to our ultimate destination. The first service station I wanted to reach was to get to the stage of having put together a stable portfolio consisting of services which I felt comfortable with. It took me two years or so to get there but I arrived at this stopping point eventually. Looking ahead now, I can see on my mind map that my next target is for this portfolio to be cost-efficient over a decent period of time - ie. to deliver sufficient rewards to recompense the effort put in - and as I mentioned yesterday, to build up a trading side of the "business". If in two years time, I am running a profitable tipster portfolio and trading with a modicum of success, then I'll be a happy man.

Turning professional? Tough one to answer. I have the feeling that the idea of gambling as a full time profession (can gambling be called a profession - I'm not sure it can but perhaps that's the traditionalist in me) is probably something that is better than actually being a pro. I must confess though, the idea is a tempting one. As I suggested last week, whilst I hold no delusions of full time gambling being an easy job, the lack of official working hours can lead to a lot of potential for doing things that being tied to an office (in my case) prevent. I have absolutely no qualms about the solitary nature of the role. I've never been one to socialise much and in fact positively shy away from social interaction as much as possible. Yes I play sports and I see my team mates as friends, but real friends? The sort of friend that you'd trust with your life? As far as those I see regularly are concerned, I have one. I can always Skype him, can't I?

Going a step further, I have no doubt that my future involves living rurally, preferably by the sea, ideally on the part of the South Devon coast that I know so well. I would love to do this whilst my children are still young. They have a darned good lifestyle where they are, but relocating here would make their life idealistic. For two kids who love fresh air, being active, and are sports mad, the surfing/sea sports and other more traditional sporting activities would lead to much fun and frolic I'm sure.

However, before getting carried away, one must recognise a rather large caveat. Such an idyllic lifestyle wouldn't actually be that idyllic if constantly worried about sources of income. So whereas I can quite confidently say that coping with the solitary lifestyle of the gambler would provide no significant barrier psychologically, I am certainly not going to gloss over "the financial uncertainty" that would. In the meantime, this realisation that I am in effect a million miles away from achieving my ultimate ambition, focuses the mind. And I do believe that that is what I'm looking for. A focused mind.

Today's Betting

A good day for ProBandit who dutched in one race and found a very nice winner (Highland Harvest - Lingfield - 8/1).

Winning Racing Tips found two to place from three but a loss overall. No joy for Northern Monkey (0/2), On The Nose (0/1) or The Market Examiner (0/1).

Northern Monkey: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 1.25pts, +2.45pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 2.4pts, -0.71pts.

Monday 8th August: Staked £261, -£26.40.
August to date: Staked £1,526, +£601.91, roi 39.44%.
Running total (inc. fees): +£293.11, roi 3.33%.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A new direction.

Quick weekend round up, as is the norm for a Sunday night.

Before I provide that round up though, a suggestion to go take a look at Graeme's 'The Football Analyst' blog (see link to right). Yesterday's post follows the theme of last week, ie. what we are in this gambling game for. Graeme doesn't do short posts so I suggest you do what I did. Make yourself a cuppa, get comfy, and have a good read.

Saturday's Betting

Great to have the football back, and a winning start to the new season for Football Elite (1/1). The Sportsman also played in two matches and was successful in one, thanks to an injury time winner. I had forgotten just how agonising football can be to follow when there is money on the outcome.

Football Elite: Staked 1pt, +1.2pts.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.3pts, -0.013pts.

I know it's a cliche, but On The Nose are currently on fire! At present, they are the gambling equivalent to a bus in Tottenham so ablaze are they. Four bets, two winners (Dhaamer - Haydock - 12/1 reduced to 9.6/1 following a Rule 4 deduction, and Averroes - Ascot - 6/1). They have had quite a week and deserve the day off they enjoyed today.

Winning Racing Tips finished even, their one tip finishing third (Monopolize - Newmarket - 5/1), whilst Northern Monkey and The Market Examiner were luckless.

Northern Monkey: Staked 1.25pts, -1.25pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, +6.8pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1pt, level.

Saturday 6th August: Staked £369, +£201.54.

Today's Betting

A very quiet day with just five horses backed, but a lovely winner for 4PA (Moonlight Cloud - Deauville - 11/1) ensured it was another profitable one. 4PA did also back the losing favourite in the race, but the right horse won for greater profit.

No success for Northern Monkey (0/1) or The Market Examiner (0/2).

4PA: Staked 2.5pts, +5.1pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, -2pts.

Sunday 7th August: Staked £129, +£175.
August to date: Staked £1,265, +£628.31, roi 49.66%.
Running total (inc. fees): +£319.51, roi 3.75%.

Just before I go, a quick heads up on something that over time, will add something to the blog. I'm starting to learn the trading game. I'm hiring some expert advice and guidance for my period of learning, which I fully envisage to be a pretty lengthy period of time indeed. No details just yet, but all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Now go and read Graeme's post...

Friday, 5 August 2011


I'm well excited tonight! Placed the first football bet of the new season, courtesy of Football Elite. I'm like John Terry having talked his way into the players' wives Christmas do!

Nothing deep and meaningful from me tonight. Plenty of time for that next week. Another superb comment left last night though. Please do read. It's comments like the ones made over the last few days that make this blog worth writing.

The philosophical stuff seems to have struck a chord. It's now being discussed on other blogs and getting other people's perspective on those is well worth reading too.

Today's Betting

A cracking tip today from On The Nose, who went in large on a very nice winner (Roicead - Tipperary - 7/1).

Northern Monkey also tipped a good 'un (Quasi Congaree - Newmarket - 8/1), as did PJA NH (Red Not Blue - Worcester - 6/1). PJA also found one to place (Grovemere - Worcester - 7/1), a race in which Chasemaster didn't have much luck, one horse falling at the first and another in strong contention for a place at 16/1 until approaching the last fence when it pulled up sharply as if there was something amiss.

Also luckless today was The Market Examiner.

PJA NH: Staked 2pts, +2.65pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, +3.3pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, +6.062pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 3pts, -3pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

Friday 5th August: Staked £194, +£164.85.
August to date: Staked £767, +£251.77, roi 32.82%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£57.03, roi -0.71%.

No post tomorrow, which will be the norm for Saturday's I think.

Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

A personal perspective.

Any more ideas on why we're putting ourselves through the wringer then? I'll outline my own personal thoughts, although I realise that everyone will have their own reasons.

The motivation for my gambling is essentially to generate an additional income at a rate of return that is superior to other, more conventional means of income generation. I have little faith in the capability of my pension, into which I seem to contribute an increasing level of funds each month, to pay for my old age. Nor the second property from which we receive rent but on which we must make a monthly mortgage payment. I have no wish to launch into a diatribe of a social commentary that ends with the conclusion that this country and all who sail in her are completely screwed, but my humble opinion is that this country and all who sail in her are completely screwed. I hate to say it, but the years of being able to rely on the State to provide for the individual are over. No longer can somebody gain employment at 18 or 21, be secure in their employment, pay their NI contributions or equivalent for 40 years and then retire at the age of 60 with a carriage clock and a trip to the Post Office each Wednesday to look forward to, to pick up their reward for all those years of catching the No.16 into work every day - ie. a comfortable living via the state pension.

No. Personal opinion only here, but to me, the only way forward is for the individual to make their own living and to seek out ways of paying for a comfortable future. And I came across running a portfolio of tipster services in a professional way and recognised the concept as having the potential to generate a healthy rate of return. Convention has it that with the potential for a higher return comes higher risk. But I would question this. Does my exploitation of others' (the tipsters) skill in choosing a horse or football team to win really present a hugely bigger risk than some anonymous Fund Manager with no indivual accountability or sense of duty to the investor sticking my money into what he perceives to be the share stars of the future? Property has been a winning investment for years, but returns over the last year or two have tailed off somewhat and with economic conditions as they are, could possibly take decades to start producing the goods again. So is gambling higher risk than these more conventional saving methods? Yes, I'm sure it is, but perhaps there isn't as wide a gap as there once was.

So, that's the basic premise upon which I started my own 'serious' gambling. However, there is more to it than that. There are also lifestyle issues to consider. Done properly, gambling has huge potential to be able to change the way a life is led. I do genuinely believe that it can open up opportunities to enjoy a way of life that conventional, 8.30 - 6.00 PAYE work cannot, and I don't mean flashy cars and loose women, more's the pity! Hard work, yes. But gambling seems to me to be more time efficient than being stuck in an office all day.

Banaz and Mark have made some exceptionally insightful comments after last night's post. Please do take time to read them if you haven't done so already. I couldn't agree more with what Banaz said and there are themes I would like to explore further next week and see exactly why having a plan (short, medium and long term) is so important on a personal level. Also, reading Mark's comment has cemented some ideas that I was beginning to formulate that will effect how I go towards achieving certain ambitions. I'm hopeful that others, further down the gambling road than myself, might chip in as we go along. I think there are plenty of us that would learn a lot if those folks with more experience - like Paul R. who also left a comment last night - were to do so.

To be continued.

Today's Betting

A very quiet day again today, although The Market Examiner tried valiantly to liven it up a bit by wading in with six selections (one later declared a non-runner). A winner was found amongst them (Oh So Spicy - Yarmouth - 9/2...reduced to 3.825/1 after a rule 4 deduction) but a very small loss on the day.

Success for Northern Monkey (Midnight Rider - Yarmouth - 100/30) from their one tip, albeit to a small stake.

Winning Racing Tips went for two in the same race. One unplaced and the other second (Badea - Haydock - 8/1).

Thursday 4th August: Staked £137, -£10.63.
August to date: Staked £573, +£86.92, roi 15.16%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£221.88, roi -2.83%.

Bollocks! Forgot the lottery numbers. Someone remind me tomorrow, will you?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

What's it all about then?

Influential chap, that Joey Barton. Certainly he's influenced me. No, I've not gone out and bought a packet of three Hamlet and made a note in my diary as to when the next work do is scheduled. Nope, rather Our Joey's recent stream of quotes from the great authors and philosophers on Twitter (that's Joey on Twitter - not Nietzsche, Descartes or Voltaire - I don't follow them) has put me in something of a philosophical mood. And as such, I find myself asking this: just what am I trying to achieve with this gambling malarkey? Where is it all going? What am I trying to achieve?

Deep, I know. But have you ever asked yourself these questions?

Let's face it, for the majority of the time, there is a heck of a lot of hard work going into something that doesn't seem to be giving you much back. No matter how much equanimity you can bring to your gambling, serious gambling (and by serious I mean working to a plan as opposed to haphazard betting) raises one's stress levels does it not? Losing runs are common, occasionally interrupted by the high induced by a good win. Is this enjoyable? Not as much as it should be - whenever I have a really good day, yes there's a rush of adrenalin and satisfaction, but it is soon reigned in by my "serious" betting head instructing my "frivolous" betting heart to "Get a grip, Man!", and to "Stay calm, check your emotions before you allow them to run away with you. Stick a pillow over your joy and suffocate the life out of it", and other such sensible, if verging on the sinister, mutterings.

I work for a living. At this point in time, I can't envisage ever gambling professionally in the true sense of the word (although that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to try). So if us serious gamblers don't really allow ourselves to enjoy what we do too much, and if those of us who work don't rely on the income we hope to generate to live our lives, then just what the heck are we trying to achieve? Are we some form of collective saddos (what would be the collective noun? A sigh of punters? A coven of gamblers?), experimenting in some weird form of masochism?

I'd be interested in hearing people's views on this. Leave comments if so inclined. Tomorrow, I'll see if I can give my answers to these questions.

Today's Betting

Just five horses backed today and one rather nice winner.

It was only two days ago, in my July racing review, that I mentioned that I thought that On The Nose was running into a bit of form. This theory was based on the fact that over the last few days of the month, they had repeatedly got long priced horses to place, but none had actually won. Well, call me a genius (because I am, you know) but look what happened today...(Conciliatory - Brighton - 16/1). Don't you just hate people who say I told you so!?!

No luck today for The Market Examiner (0/1) or for ProBandit (0/2).

The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1.5pts, +9.5pts.

Wednesday 3rd August: Staked £114, +£106.
August to date: Staked £436, +£97.55, roi 22.37%.
Running total (inc.fees): -£211.25, roi -2.74%.

Tomorrow I will tell you all the winning numbers for the Euro Lottery draw, admittedly not necessarily in the right order. Even I can't be expected to do miracles you know.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

July - Sports

Bit misleading that title. The only sports service in action in July was the newly rejoined On The Oche. The final figures were...

On The Oche: Staked 14.81pts, -1.577pts, roi -10.65%.

It must be noted that these figures are a little unfair to the service as having only rejoined at the beginning of the month, I was only able to take 7/4 on a winning antepost bet originally advised at 9/4.

It has been interesting following On The Oche this month. Never before have I stopped following a service only to rejoin at a later date. I was curious to see if any changes had been made. The answer to this is ostensibly no there haven't; the write ups are familiar, the timings of the emails the same. Scratch below the surface though, and I think there are a number of changes that have occurred and my belief is that the service is the better for it.

Thinking back to 2010 when I decided to stop following, I remember that there were two concerns that I had. One was that short term performance levels had suffered, and second that the number of bets seemed to be decreasing. I know Rich had previously played successfully in the smaller events but with liquidity in these markets being low and the minor events being covered by only a very small handful of bookmakers, he very reasonably decided that he couldn't make these plays official bets. Certainly it felt at the time as if turnover was decreasing.

I believe that when I made the mistake of not renewing my subs, I was perhaps influenced unduly by the SBC's decision to drop the service from their Hall of Fame. It was a decision I came to regret. Rich (the tipster) obviously had a big edge within his speciality. An email from Matt (the service administrator) at the end of the Football Elite season contained some facts and figures (non-promotional and not limited to On The Oche) that pointed out how the vagaries of variance had struck during a part of 2010, and made me look at On The Oche's performance in a wider context. I concluded that I needed to swallow my pride and ask nicely if I could rejoin.

So what are my impressions of the service now I've been following again? Firstly, that there is a distinctly different "feel" to On The Oche now. It feels more dynamic and as if Rich has benefited from a creative spark. A couple of new markets were played in in the first July tournament covered, successfully as it happens, that made me wonder if such bets were being sought back in 2010. Perhaps they were and no suitable opportunities found, but as the guy who just gets the email detailing selections, I have no idea whether that was the case or not. Matt too is utilising his experience at system development and in creating an edge to add to the potential for profit making. As a recent email explained though, this is merely to supplement Rich's expertise, not usurp it. The consequence of course should be more bets, thus countering one of my reservations from last year. Naturally Sod's Law dictated that Matt's selections contributed significantly to this month's loss, but I'm sensible enough to know that judging anything on such a short term basis is ridiculous. I have faith in Matt - I have been a member of Football Elite now for quite some time - and so believe it is only a matter of time before his angle produces solid dividends.

The communication from OTO has been excellent. From their missives it is quite obvious that they know where their edge is at it's strongest, and the areas they need to work on to improve. The impression I get is that the unique skills possessed by Rich and Matt are coming together very nicely, that they complement each other very well, and that the result is a strong and improving service. I could be wrong of course - it could be that whilst we're seeing the graceful motion of the swan, behind the scenes are a pair of furiously kicking legs. I'd be surprised though if OTO became another Horse Betting Index/Mr T scenario, where for whatever reasons, two associates couldn't work together.

A losing month for On The Oche, but a huge amount to like. I'm excited by it's potential.

Today's Betting

A nearly day today. Of eight horses backed there was one winner and no less than five that finished second!

A return to the battleground for ProBandit and their first race played in saw the winner picked (Blown It - Catterick - 9/4). There was also an each way selection that finished in the frame (Shakespeare's Excel - Southwell - 4/1) and a loser too.

Winning Racing Tips had two in the opener at Catterick, one finishing unplaced and the other finishing, yep, you've guessed it, second (Flombard House - 8/1).

No joy for Northern Monkey (0/1) or On The Nose (0/1).

Northern Monkey: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
ProBandit: Staked 3pts, +0.337pts.
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.4pts, -0.62pts.

Tuesday 2nd August: Staked £207, -£40.05.
August to date: Staked £322, -£8.45, roi -2.62%.
Running total: -£317.25 (roi -4.18%).

Monday, 1 August 2011

July - Racing

Before we start tonight, a quick note to say that Phil Taylor winning the European Darts Championship last night contributed nicely towards an overall profit yesterday of £206.

So here we are for the first monthly review of 2011/12.

The final figures for July are: Staked £7,255, -£58.80, roi -0.81%.

Deducting a month's fees, the running total now is -£308.80.

The figures for the racing services alone in July are: Staked £5,774, +£98.95, roi 1.71%.

So from being almost £1k down at one stage (-£975 as recently as Wednesday 27th), to get out of July with a deficit of £58 feels like an escape. No elation here though. In stark terms, the first month of the new "financial" year has not relinquished any profit. Now I know that categorising results into months is not a particularly wise move and is merely a convenient splitting of time, but still, the clock ticks inexorably on and when put into the context of the previous six months' performance, July has been another mediocre period.

Having said that, I do think that July as a whole has to be regarded with certain caveats. Primarily it is a month that sees no football betting action. Turnover is vastly reduced and therefore the likelihood of volatility is that much higher. This situation is exacerbated somewhat by the fact that two of the racing services (Chasemaster and PJA NH) are jumps specialists, and as such it is inevitable that they stake less during the middle of the flat season than they would in the middle of the National Hunt season. So yes, a month has gone past without making any money, but the turnover for July will be only a very small part of the total amount bet come 30 June, 2012. August should start to see some of the flak being picked up, and then full systems go come September.

So here are a few thoughts on each service...

ProBandit: Staked 16.416pts, -5.971pts, roi -36.37%.

Half way through the month, Paul took the decision to suspend betting activity to give him time to run a full system health check on his selection criteria. Now I don't remember a service that I've been a member of doing this. I've known services cease to give bets out as a result of a prolonged spell of poor results, but I've never known someone take a couple of weeks out to see where things might have been going wrong.

I must say, I like this approach, but I do think it comes with an inherent danger. The positives of being cautious and taking some time to analyse affairs is that if something fundamentally wrong is found with the selection criteria, then by calling a temporary halt to proceedings to work out what it might be, a considerable amount of money is saved. I know there is a lot of negative sentiment about ProBandit's performance to date in 2011, but the figures for the preceding twelve months were still very good at the beginning of July. A drawdrown of around six points this month is not exactly bank threatening either; it's not as if this review was a last ditch attempt at salvaging some last vestiges of a betting bank.

The problem comes however, if results don't pick up. Say August gets off to a poor start, and by the 12th of the month we're five points down. Where do we go then? Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it. The total drawdown would still be only a fraction over ten points and that is only a quarter of the bank. For Paul though, I can see there being big pressure as the doomsayers on various blogs and forums declare the forthcoming end of the ProBandit world.

Fingers crossed then, that August gets off to a solid start for ProBandit. There will be some that no doubt criticise for remedial action not being taken sooner. I know Kodagira advocated the dropping of the NQ bets some time ago, and that suggestion has turned out to be remarkably prescient as one conclusion that Paul has drawn from his analysis is that the NQ bets are adding very little, if anything, to the bottom line balance figure. From this point on, there will be no NQ bets.

I'm still a big fan of ProBandit. I still see it as being one of the "core" services of the porfolio. Here's hoping that my faith will be repaid.

PJA NH: Staked 19.75pts, +3.605pts, ROI 18.25%

Really beginning to enjoy the PJA blog. It's written with a sense of humour, is insightful, and invites the reader to take a look around inside the mind of the tipster. I think Paul is to be commended for opening his service up in such a manner, and long may the blog continue.

As far as July is concerned for the service, it's been quietly successful, chipping away at the losses incurred during a torrid run in the first quarter of the year. A very healthy return on a light month for staking.

Northern Monkey: Staked 28.75pts, +6.767pts, ROI 23.53%

A month of two halves for Wayne. Got off to a stormer before results tailed off during the second half of July. Still, a very strong roi and that makes it a good month. I did notice from Wayne's end of month review that my results show a profit of four points more - give or take - than the official figures. I do remember securing longer odds than those advised on a couple of winners but Wayne must be praised for such an 'honest' approach to the recording of results.

One thing I was a little surprised by was there suddenly became a lot fewer each way bets. Most selections were win only. I've no problem with this but it does mean that a less smooth ride is perhaps to be expected. It has also meant that I didn't stake as many points as I had envisaged during a "peak" month.

The Market Examiner: Staked 77pts, -5.8pts, ROI -7.53%

No need to add to my post last week that concentrated on this service. The weekend just gone also saw much of the loss recouped too, which was welcome. Enjoying the service. 'Nuff said.

Winning Racing Tips: Staked 7pts, -0.202pts, ROI -2.88%

I sense from his emails that Paul has an intense dislike for July as a month for betting in. His July record overall is poor and he claimed himself that to get through the month with no damage done could be seen as the best outcome that could be hoped for. He also mentioned that he may take the opportunity for a week or two of holiday next July. Looking at what happened across the whole portfolio this month, there's not much to argue with him on that one.

Chasemaster: Staked 2.25pts, +6.468pts, ROI 287.4%

That ain't a bad roi!

One tip from Chasemaster rescued the month for the portfolio as a whole really. Springaway - Stratford. That's all I need to remember July 2011 for. Had a couple of other good winners though that shouldn't be forgotten, and Peter and the boys came good after what was a pretty torid start to their life as an SBC Premium service. Pressure? What pressure? They looked it in the eye and laughed in the face of it!

4PA: Staked 37pts, -15.21pts, ROI -41.11%.

I found the recent analysis of the service provided by the SBC interesting reading. A couple of long-priced Basic System bets that weren't posted as Account bets had come in (one at 40/1), and naturally, I started to think of ways of incorporating these into the way I follow the service. It may still prove to be a prudent thing to do, but I am going to delay this for a little while at least. PCB has categorically stated that his strategy moving forward will be to steer a path a little closer to that of the Basic System bets with less digression as a result of his own contacts in the racing world. With this in mind, I shall preserve the status quo for now, and continue backing the Account bets only. Time will tell on this one.

On The Nose: Staked 54.25pts, +6.766pts, ROI 12.47%.

A decent month with the last few days seeing a few long priced selections running good races to land some decent place money, without any getting past the post in first place (this happened again today). I have a feeling that this is signifying a return to form and that it is only a matter of time before some serious profit making is made. I could be wrong, but I trust my instincts.

So there we have it. It could all have been a lot worse, really. Onwards and upwards...

Today's Betting

A fairly quiet start to the week.

PJA NH started the month nicely, their first bet an easy winner (Bathwick Man - Newton Abbott - 5/1). They had two others today, one of them finishing second (Exulto - Newton Abbott - 11/2). Had the line been literally two yards further up, it would have been a winner, so quickly was it gaining on the one that held on.

As mentioned above, On The Nose managed to get it's one selection placed for a profit (Midnight Martini - Ripon - 16/1).

No joy today for Northern Monkey (0/1), or The Market Examiner (0/3).

PJA NH: Staked 2.25pts, +1.775pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 3pts, -3pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, +1.5pts.

Monday August 1st: Staked £115, +£31.60.
August to date: Staked £115, +£31.60, roi 27.47%.
Running total (inc. fees): -£277.20, roi -3.76%.

Tomorrow a quick run down on the performance of On The Oche. Might be late though - it's my birthday. The big 4 0. Oh God! It really is time I started growing up.