I was banging on yesterday about making sure that I use the summer wisely to ensure that I get my strategy right for the 2012/13 football season. I'm part way there, but there is still a bit of liquidity to my plans and I'm still kicking around a few thoughts in my head. There's no immediate rush of course, as the summer months will provide plenty of time for contemplation.
There are some services that I obviously know already I will continue with, and I have no need to put any thought into them. The whole picture as to who I shall follow is not yet entirely clear though. Strange though it might sound, it is not simply a case of picking what on first impressions appear to be the best services out there. Instead, it is more a case of getting the right services to get me to where I want to get to and then keep me there, and it's not necessarily just the highest roi that will do that.
Yes, roi is a factor, but as (if not more) important is ROC, the number of bets a service has issued and established it's level of performance over, the ability to get money into the markets played by a service, the ability to ramp stakes up on a service's bets over time, and the ability to secure somewhere within 5% of the officially recorded prices but using only the Asian bookmakers (you can see I'm planning for the future!).
What I'm doing is adopting the attitude that I am gambling for my living. I'm not, but the ambition is to develop things to a point whereby I could go full time if I chose to. How long is it likely to take before I get into that position? How long is a piece of string? I honestly have no idea. I don't even know if it's possible at all in practice (it certainly is in theory), but I'm the sort who thrives on having a target and a challenge, so that is what I have set myself. It's a different mindset, and perhaps one impossible to truly replicate without actually being full time, but already I have started thinking differently about things.
Getting back to the original point though, you can perhaps see why I want to take time to really think my decisions through. My football/sports portfolio needs balance between high churn and low churn services and also exposure to summer betting in an effort to ensure that there is at least some potential income to be generated all year around via sports betting. It also needs to consist predominantly of services that have a large sample of proofed bets or have stood the test of time. If you were doing this for your and your family's living, would you be so tempted by that new, very promising but ultimately unproven service? Or would you rather put your fate in the hands of a service such as Skeeve's or Football Elite, each of which have over 1,000 and 500 proofed bets respectively and have each operated over at least five full seasons?
Trouble is, the number of services with 5+ seasons' of proofed high performance are rather few and far between (which rather tells you something, does it not?). So along the way, compromises do need to be made. The trick I feel, is identifying and selecting the right compromises to make. An example of such might be The Football Analyst. A set of results proofed within a publically live environment for two years, but a 15% roi achieved over a sample of 2,000 bets for the established, combined systems. Those sort of figures mean that the "compromise" with TFA, is a very small one indeed.
The word "proofed" is vital here. I can't afford to take the results of backtested systems at face value, as perhaps I might have done previously. Nor can I take a service that has a proofed record over say, 12 months, that is consistent with it's unproofed record over the previous 12 months. If you're gambling as a means to produce non-essential additional disposable income, as I have been doing, then you can afford to take more of a punt on something. If you're gambling to earn your crust...? No, all data upon which decisions are to be made, must be judged over a significant period of time, or be of sufficient size.
There is one more thing to add to all this though. Whatever the analysis carried out, and whatever decisions that logic will dictate, there will always remain a place for gut instinct. I tend to listen to mine, and I've not been let down too badly by it yet.
Very good day, all told.
There were four selections for Northern Monkey, and three of them reached the frame to provide an each way return. Among them was a very nice winner (Oriental Scot - Haydock - 8/1). The only other service to provide any action on the nags was The Market Examiner, and they too found a decent winner (Winners Wish - Sandown - 5/1).
There was also a nice winner in the MLS overnight from Summer of Football (San Jose DNB - 2.635).
Northern Monkey: Staked 2.75pts, +3.337pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, +4pts.
Summer Of Football: Staked 1pt, +1.635pts.
Last day of the working week tomorrow, and a sunny weekend to look forward to. Life's not too bad, I suppose.