Right. As promised, today's post is all about the future; what I'm aiming for and how I intend to get to where I want to go.
First, a summary of exactly where I'm at right now.
My portfolio is currently split evenly between services that specialise in horse racing and services that have an expertise in sports betting, predominantly football.
As far as placing bets on horses is concerned, I long ago waved goodbye to accounts with Victor Chandler, Skybet, Stan James/Corbetts, 888/Bluesquare, and Corals. I am restricted by Paddy Power and those restrictions are getting tighter and as you know, Bet365 recently imposed restrictions that to all intents and purposes render the account dead. Ladbrokes have restricted one bet thus far, although everything I have asked for since then has been accommodated.
The bookmakers that so far have left me alone and have taken every bet that I have asked for are BetInternet, Hills, and Totesport. I also have accounts with BetFred and Boylesport (in my wife's name) that have remained viable for a surprisingly long period of time, but I'm not holding my breath on these holding out too much longer.
Now compare this situation to that which I face when putting a bet on a football match. I have accounts with Pinnacle, SBO Bet, 188bet, and 12bet, all of which impose a maximum stake that is way way above my requirements and who all have a reputation for not closing accounts or imposing effective restrictions (although I have heard one or two rumours that 188bet may not be quite so pliable). There are also the likes of Bwin, Expekt, Gamebookers, BetChronicle and most of the high street bookmakers who so far, have allowed me to place what I want on football matches.
So it doesn't take a genius to work out what I need to do. I need to engineer my portfolio so that I significantly reduce the number of horse racing bets I place and increase the number of football bets struck, or at the very least work out a way whereby I can increase my staking levels on sports bets.
This situation is far from ideal. Any portfolio needs diversity to be fundamentally sound. It is possible to diversify within the one sport though, and this is something that I am going to be concentrating on as my portfolio changes shape and structure.
Unfortunately, I am having to say goodbye to some of my racing services. The plan is to continue to follow all bets provided by any one service until the date my subs expire. However with an eye on the future, this may not be possible. If one more bookmaker makes it impossible for me to place a sensible bet on the nags with them (and by sensible I mean £20-40), I will simply stop following certain services, regardless of the fact that my subs haven't expired.
Why is this? Well, I do still want to follow three racing services for some considerable time, just so that there is at least a measure of diversity within my portfolio in terms of the sport engaged in. I have identified the three and they have been chosen essentially on grounds of practicality. I should be left with three services that place the minimum strain possible on my surviving BOG bookmaker accounts. Hopefully I will be in a position where I'm only placing an average of three racing bets each week with any one bookmaker. But, and it's an important but, to be able to do this, I am going to need around five viable accounts, and this is why I will have to sacrifice following tips from memberships that haven't expired if another bookie lets me down. Let's hope this doesn't happen and that the transition taking place can be done smoothly over a period of months.
One last thing to mention on the point of horse racing gambling. From the beginning of this month, I am only following the tips issued by Northern Monkey that have at least 0.75pts wagered on them. Wayne's analysis that covered the lifetime of his service has shown that this is where the profit lies. The smaller bets provide turnover and to an extent smooths out the ride, but such considerations are now a luxury I can't afford. Fewer bets and a (hopefully) increased roi is the way for me to go now.
Now this is all well and good, but is only half the equation. What about expanding the football/sports side of the portolfio?
Well, I've already taken steps in that direction. The SBC recently reviewed a service called Summer Of Football which despite the name, does issue tips all year round. Now in an ideal world, I would wait a while (probably at least another six months), just watching and observing how the service goes. But this is not an ideal world and needs must. So, having taken up the offer of a week's free trial to gain a feel for the service, I have now joined properly. My only concession to the fact that this is a relatively unproven service is that I am staking at half the levels I am doing on the likes of Skeeve and Football Elite, and will review staking in August when next season's football betting starts in earnest.
Through a bit of research and talking to people in the football tipping world, there are also a couple of more obscure services that I'm currently watching closely too. I have no need to go rushing in there with these just yet, but I am hopeful that over time there are a couple of potential additions to the portfolio.
What mustn't be overlooked too, of course, is how I can squeeze extra out of my existing services. Top of this list and a definite addition next season will be the Skeeve shortlist picks. They have proven to be profitable this season and the only decision that needs to be made here is over staking. I might just let myself be guided by the great man himself in this respect.
I'm looking closely at the Strike Zone away bets, and I know Graeme at The Football Analyst is working on a few things (when isn't he?!?) that may provide additional angles that can be utilised.
So there we have it. The future. There are consequences to what I am doing. A subtly different mindset for one. But this post is in danger of becoming a rambling waffle, so I'll keep thoughts on this until tomorrow.
Disappointing day today.
Chasemaster got a couple to place from three selections. No joy at all for On The Nose (0/1), or Winning Racing Tips (0/1).
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.75pts, -0.223pts.
Month to Date
Northern Monkey: Staked 0.75pts, -0.75pts, roi -100%
4PA: Staked 2pts, -2pts, roi -100%
Chasemaster: Staked 0.875pts, -0.348pts, roi -39.81%
WRT: Staked 1.3pts, -1.3pts, roi -100%
The Sportsman Racing:
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts, roi -100%
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt, roi -100%
Football Elite: Staked 2pts, +2.355pts, roi 117.75%
On The Oche:
Strike Zone (h): Staked 4pts, +1.775pts, roi 44.38%
Summer Of Football: Staked 2pts, -0.06pts, roi -3%