Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Looking forward.

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.

Today's Betting

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%

TFA 7/22:
Football Elite: Staked 2pts, +2.355pts, roi 117.75%
The Sportsman:
On The Oche:
Strike Zone (h): Staked 4pts, +1.775pts, roi 44.38%
Summer Of Football: Staked 2pts, -0.06pts, roi -3%


  1. Hi Rowan ,it is sad when it comes to cut out some tipping service (cause of restrictions)because as you said in other post it could be the wrong timing of stopping a service,but what about betfair ?i know you follow for example a service that send tips after noon,those bets can be placed at betfair ? Because of the BOG do you think in the long run you loose points when placing bets with betfair instead of bookies ?

  2. Hi Fabian,

    It is sad and it pees me off, having to stop following services just because the bookies won't play ball. If I can find a solution then I will resubscribe (if the services will have me back).

    The problem with Betfair is not so much the lack of BOG (although this doesn't help) but more the fact that a lot of my bets are each way. This means that my place bets on Betfair would lack the value that the place part of an each way bet carries, and therefore in the long term this would have a bad effect on my returns.


  3. Inplay Analogue TV pics beats PPowers Coporate traders

    Have you had a similar in-running experience?

    Good evening all,
    I successfully managed to get a bet taken in-play on last
    weekend's televised event QPR v Arsenal on Setanta Ireland.
    Knowing that my pictures were ahead of the Digital plasma screens utilised by
    Paddy Powers traders, I placed my bet in the correct anticipation as the QPR
    player squared the ball to Tarrabt to make it 2-1. As the ball was in the net and the player
    celebrated-my betslip said successful and good luck! 2 secs later it went suspended.

    So these small inplay advantages are there sometimes I guess, I have also noticed that english (bet365)
    bookmakers can be 2 secs behind on irish televised events such as Gaelic Sports Rugby Union RabordirectPR012
    games. I usually would have Paddy Powers +Bet365 inplay game screens open simulataneously - notice Powers is
    ahead on suspension on irish live games. Most be the Satellite beam over to the Uk- Perhaps this could also be vice versa in live Sky games?

  4. Sorry to have attached a different subject here, but I have also experienced restrictions with bet365 on horse racing but not with football. One theory I have on this is that the liquidity on Betfair is so strong on live televised markets they are more relaxed because they can easily lay these off. However it seems that in some horseracing markets like Maiden races I get restricted and cannot have more than a e100.00 on horse in the fixed win market. Enjoy your blogs each day. regards Shane

  5. Hi Rowan, I am in a very similar boat, and coming quickly to the same conclusions. My list of bookies gone is almost identical except Will Hill now has me very restricted on horses as well. This and Bet 365 were the killers for me.
    The turning point for me in terms of horse racing tipsters was equine investments turnover. Towards the end of a very profitable years subs, the prices were gone in seconds and the new package of pay as you win did not appeal based on an perceived inability to get the prices. This to me is a twofold problem, firstly the price pressure from a successful tipster and secondly having to place bets in dribs and drabs due to my restrictions.
    With this in mind I am trying to go through a process of concentrating on big meetings and weekends, although 4PA is a bugger to get on, especially with pricewise's current godlike status.
    To me other sports have to be the way, and finding ways of replicating the bigger price winners. Golf has been quite successful but the 4 day duration can be quite taxing! Cricket also with top batsmen bets has been quite profitable too.
    I am very reluctant to lose the racing, both from a diversity and profitability angle but also for the enjoyment factor. Both the buzz of the sport and those big winners in such a short period of time (compared to football match or golf tournament) is hard to replicate.
    But there are pluses, I think my day will be easier as tips come at more convenient times and don't seem to have the same time pressure as those issued on the horses.
    Sorry to write such a long first post, I have silently been reading your excellent blog for over a year now, but could contain myself no longer as we seem to be reaching similar conclusions.
    All the best with whatever decisions you make

  6. Hi Matthew,

    It seems that we are both at very similar stages in terms of our betting.

    I've always been attracted to the idea of golf betting (I used to buy Keith Elliott's annual 'Golf Form' book a few years back and spent many a relaxing Sunday evening watching on Sky) but have always been put off doing it seriously by the inevitable lengthy losing runs. I might have to change my outlook on this as golf could provide an opportunity.

    I couldn't agree with you more about the enjoyment factor when it comes to racing. I'll write about this in tonight's post because it is a large part of why I feel so frustrated by the account restrictions now being imposed. It's not just the prevention of the potential to make money, it's an imposition on what I see as a hobby, ie. enjoying the Sport of Kings for what it is.

    Thanks for posting,


  7. Hi Rowan
    Intersting blog as always. I hit similar problems with staking levels a year or so back so have shifted my betting to win only which has certainly made for a more turbulent journey to that which I had previously but am sure that long term this is the answer. High street bookmakers just don't like e/w backers they don't lose money quickly enough!. I also ditched the few racing tipping services I had and now make all selections through ratings services which means I am no longer following the crowds and mostly backing on the exchanges.
    Interesting to see your comments about new football services I would suggest widening your portfolio with Graeme before taking on unproven services. The returns this year make all other football services look fairly ordinary.

  8. Hello Duncan.

    Not sure I could go the win only route - not sure my heart could take it!

    I would quite like to use ratings myself and maybe in the future I will, but unfortunately as things are at the moment, I just don't have the time.

    Yeah, I certainly will be using the summer to see how I can get more from Graeme's systems. The roi and roc for System 7/22 is incredible really but I'm sure there are other angles to be utilised. Job for the summer, like I say. :)



  9. Hi Rowan,

    when you write "I am only following the tips issued by Northern Monkey that have at least 0.75pts wagered on them". Is this the combined Pts staked on a bet or is it 0,75 Pt ew?

    Ex. 0,375 pt ew = total stake 0,75 pts, is this a bet you are following?

  10. Hi Henrik,

    Sorry - only just seen your comment. I think you'll find tonight's post relevant (11th April)!

    You're right though - I would back a 0.375pt ew bet. It's the total outlay on the bet that is relevant. It has to be aminimum of 0.75pts.


  11. Thank you for the answer, I am following Wayne myself and I have done the same thing you done and also missed out on a nice profit today, if that makes you feel any better =)