Thursday, 29 November 2012

Quick update

Still busy, I'm afraid. However, just enough time for a quick update.

Before that though, a point in the direction of a new website run by the powers that be behind the excellent High Class Equine blog.

This month of all months, the psychology of gambling has been very much in focus. This site contains numerous articles dedicated to the subject. Take a look.

Tuesday's Betting

A poor loser for Winning Racing Systems (Favs), the second consecutive bet at odds lower that 1/2 to be overturned. I've some thoughts on this service and how I'm going to move forward with it which I'll go into early next week.

A nice winner for the European arm of The Football Analyst (E3-E7) (Mainz to bt Frankfurt - 2.5) which went a little way to counter the loss of a point on the domestic (7/22) system.

Wednesday's Betting

A familiar winner for Northern Monkey (York Glory - Wolverhampton - 7/4) with a second selection proving not quite up to the task.

A loser each for The Football Analyst (7/22) and (E3-E7), and two unsuccessful selections from Summer Of Football, which did find one winner (Stoke to bt Newcastle - 2.0). At last a nice winner from Football Elite (Tottenham to bt Liverpool - 2.47), although I always find it difficult to raise too much enthusiasm for a Spurs win! Still, no room for such baseless sentiments in betting, eh?

So all in all, the football is just showing some early, fragile signs of recovery. Let's hope that from this small acorn of hope does a mighty oak of profit rise.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Sorry, chaps.

Been really busy, the Arsenal are playing tonight and still a million and one things to do. All blogging will be temporarily suspended until tomorrow.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Community spirit.

You know, after last night's post, I've received a few emails and comments asking if I'm ok. Well folks, I'm fine, but I do very much appreciate the support. It makes me feel we're kind of a community in here, and I have to profess it was with that in mind that I wrote the post.

I know that many others follow the same tipsters as I do. My portfolio is essentially made up of very popular services. Thinking logically therefore, I'd have thought a fair few readers have been experiencing this latest losing run for themselves. With this in mind, I wanted to write an open and honest post on what thoughts I've been having, ultimately in the hope that it might strike a chord with some and be something that can be related to. I'm also aware that this blog is a strong advocate of patience and perspective when it comes to gambling, but that it is sometimes very hard to cling on to those beliefs - I've no allusions to grandeur here, but it's a bit like Christ in the desert being goaded and tempted by the devil to fall off his moral perch.

But chaps. We shall stay strong! As a once great leader said, "If you're going through hell, keep going". He also said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts". Admittedly, I'm stopping short of fighting on the beaches, landing grounds, fields, streets or hills. Can't be doing with any of that malarkey.

Anyway, you take my point. I didn't want the post to give the impression that suddenly, we were in the midst of a crisis of a hole out of which it is going to be impossible to clamber. I know that my portfolio has sound foundations and that I run it properly. But, I also think that the day you become complacent is the day you start upon an inevitable decline that as time goes on, becomes harder and harder to reverse, and this short (hopefully), sharp (definitely) shock will serve to ensure that complacency doesn't begin to take hold. With that being the case, I fully anticipate that I will emerge from this slump a wiser and better gambler, and that with just a couple of very minor tweaks, the portfolio too will benefit.

It's a tricky game, "investment" gambling. I do wonder if you ever get it fully licked, no matter how experienced you become. I have a feeling that if you ever get to the point where you think that you do indeed have it mastered, it's very likely to rear around like a rabid cobra on speed and bite you on the arse before you have time to even blink.

Now, I did mention yesterday that I was cutting a service free. That service is Service X, a cracking little football tipster who specialises in the South and Central American markets. I've done nothing but make good money since starting with them in the summer, but increasingly so, I have found getting anywhere near advised prices an impossible task. My strategy of watching markets for prices to rebound paid off for a while, but it is noticeable that they are failing to rebound on an increasingly regular basis now. I would also suggest that the tipster's account with Pinnacle and SBO is now very much marked, as the initial prices disappear faster than that rabid, hyped up snake I was talking about can sink it's fangs into some poor soul's backside.

It's a shame, a real shame, and if I was gambling for a living and could ensure I could react to emails as soon as they were sent, I'd be on it like a flash. But I'm not, and I can't. The irony, eh? The only dedicated football service to at least break even this month so far...and I'm ditching it.

Yesterday's Betting

A bit better. Two football bets, one from The Football Analyst Euro System E3-E7 and one from Sportyy, and both won! At decent odds! Well I never did.

A good winner from On The Nose too (Arkose - Kempton - 11/2) and another in what has been a fine start to this season's tipping from The Value Bettor (Loose Chip - Kempton - 5/1).

Monday, 26 November 2012

A few thoughts.

The hardest thing about writing a blog like this is that it is sometimes very difficult to articulate the various thoughts that keep buzzing through your head. The problem is most acute when on a losing run. I don't want to repeat what has already been said about worst drawdowns, keeping focused, avoiding the temptation to make big changes, etc, etc. Instead, I thought I might jot down a few words that might give you an insight into how I'm actually feeling.

My head hurts. I feel completely drained; physically and mentally worn out. I've never been the best of sleepers anyway, and it has never taken much by way of distraction to have me lying awake for hours, the same thoughts frantically hurling themselves around my head again and again and again, like crazed moths around a searchlight. It's not worry that's keeping me awake. It's ideas, plans, fault-finding. I feel like I'm in some all-consuming quest to identify what has gone wrong, which is all rather stupid. It's obvious what has gone wrong - a number of my tipster services have all lost form at the same time. It really is as simple as that.

Trouble is - and I mentioned this last week - it is when you endure a losing run that you find that perhaps you haven't been set up as well as you thought you had. You identify reasons why a service isn't perfectly suited to your needs. It's almost as if you are looking for excuses to drop a service, to write it off, to find reasons that you can use to convince yourself that you have shown it the patience you afford your children when they're trying desparately to learn to do something that they are finding difficult, such as walking or riding a bike. But then just when you are sure that by cutting the service loose you are doing the right thing, there is a small but persistent voice in the back of your head that questions your decision making. I suppose that voice is called a nagging doubt, and mine is driving me to distraction.

Anyone who read the interview I did for the Secret Betting Club, the second part of which was published last week, might remember my saying that I preferred a sharp losing run to periods that might last for weeks when no real loss or any meaningful profit is made. Well, when I said that, it was true, and I meant it. However, that summation was naturally based on my dealing with the losing runs I had experienced up to that point. This losing run is a different kettle of fish entirely. This is a tsunami that makes all previous bad spells look like the ripples on a pond caused by an alighting dragonfly. Seriously, this is by far the worst drawdown I've ever suffered and I'm undoubtedly feeling the effects of that.

Frankly, I've had enough at the moment of espousing the virtues of proper bank management, sensible and consistent staking, and the rest of the text book responses to cope with what is currently happening. I'm not saying that these principles are flawed. They're not. And ultimately, I'm hoping anticipating that it is by sticking to these principles that will see me ok. But I've reached the stage where I'm beyond that. Right now, I'm punch drunk, on the ropes, and desperately hanging on for the bell. I know it's coming. I just don't know when. What I can tell you, is that it can't ring soon enough.

Should I take some time off? It's bloody tempting, I can tell you. It seems a lot of the racecourses are vulnerable to the incessant rain we're suffering here in the UK so I can't envisage a particularly busy time of it on the racing front. Perhaps this is a good time to refresh the batteries. I know I took a holiday in October but bar a couple of bets, I placed everything as usual. I can see the logic - the new month starts on Saturday, I'm not going to miss much - why not take four days off? The only reason I wouldn't is for fear of missing a couple of football bets during the midweek fixtures that provide an end of month upswing - not enough to make this anything other than a disastrous month, but a little bite back at the losses nonetheless. The gambler's dilemma - an answer to which I must find I think, if I'm going to develop my skills.

I have made some decisions though. I think a weakness of mine is that sometimes I can be too patient, too understanding of the difficulties experienced by the tipsters who I know suffer when things go awry. It doesn't help that I really like most of them, have built up a relationship with them and that most of the blighters read this blog! This in turn makes me indecisive, and if I want to get to where I want to be, I can't let these issues, these weaknesses of mine get in the way. I feel I do need to be a little more dynamic with the running of the portfolio and a little less passive, without going too far the other way and making changes for changes sake.

Having said all that, I also realise that now is not the time to be making swingeing changes. I don't yet trust myself to make sound decisions when so obviously affected by the simple fact that this last month has been the worst I've known, and by some distance. The plan therefore is to pause a little, carry on largely as I have been through December, and then mould the portfolio into the shape I want it for the start of the New Year. Nothing radical - just a little trimming, a neat short back and sides as opposed to a restyling. A Claudio Ranieri style minor tinker as opposed to suddenly going from 4-4-2 to the sweeper system overnight. There's not too much wrong with it, but there are one or two fundamental requirements of an efficient portfolio that I'm not currently meeting and these issues need to be addressed. Except in one case. I am dropping a service for December, and ironically it is one that I have made very good money with over the last few months and hasn't caused me any losses this month when every other footie tipster has. More on that tomorrow.

So. There we have it. A "from the heart" post that perhaps folk can relate to, that shows that behind all the rules of 'proper' gambling and principles that rightly act as a guide to what we do, there is underpinning it all a massive human element. It is how we control this, and cope with the psychology of what we do, which separates the men from the boys. But then I guess we all knew that already.

It's late and I've been typing for far too long, so I'm not bothering to put up yesterday's performance figures. Suffice to say they're not impressive.

Back tomorrow.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Saturday's Figures

Here are yesterday's figures.

I shall leave comment on the football until we see what happens today.

Winning Racing Systems (Favs): Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
On The Nose: Staked 3pts, +3.15pts (missed a couple of losers at the beginning of the day's racing).

The Football Analyst (E3-E7): Staked 0.75pts, -0.5pts.
Summer Of Football: Staked 3pts, -1.005pts.
Football Elite: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Sportyy: Staked 3.5pts, +0.89pts.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.15pts, -0.15pts.
Service X: Staked 9pts, -1.002pts.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Profit. Who'd a thought it?

Quick round up of yesterday's betting.

Good day all round. Northern Monkey's profitable week continued as Wayne found another winner from his two bets (Robin Hoods Bay - Wolverhampton - half at 7/1, half at 6s), and a third consecutive winning day for Winning Racing Systems (Favs) (Mutual Regard - Wolverhampton - 10/11). No luck for On The Nose (0/1).

A hint at a return to better times for Summer Of Football who found three winners from four bets.

On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1.5pts, +3.562pts.
Winning Racing Systems: Staked 1pt, +0.909pts.

Summer Of Football: Staked 4pts, +1.546pts.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Choosing a lane...and sticking with it.

That's better. I don't do being ill. I'm too much of a wuz.

I want to clarify something I wrote in Tuesday's post in relation to whether or not someone with a portfolio set up in the way that mine is, needed to speculate at all on relatively unproven services. The services I mentioned specifically were Skeeve's Shortlist Picks, Winning Racing Systems, Northern Monkey's all weather system bets, and The Football Analyst European systems.

My standpoint is this: the answer is no, there is no need to speculate. What I should have added though is that I am not sorry that I have done so.

At the beginning of the football season, I remember writing that whatever systems from The Football Analyst's portfolio people chose to follow, my advice was to stick with them for the season. The reason for my stance is that when what are now the "Established" UK systems were launched, I chose my lane, and then changed it at various times of the first season. The result of such inconsistency was a profit that although healthy, was nowhere near as healthy as they would have been had I just stuck to my initial course. So that is precisely what I intend to do this season.

Where I have been helped tremendously with my TFA choices this year, is by Graeme Dand (the service maestro) working out an appropriate staking plan. Having spotted that historically, European System E3-E7 produced more bets than the UK System 7-22 that I was going to be following through the 2012/13 season, Graeme pointed me in the direction of a staking plan designed to prevent a disproportionate percentage of my staking being deployed on a european system which, unlike it's UK equivalent, had et to be tested within a live environment. It is because of this that I'm very comfortable with my TFA portfolio and won't be shifting from it unless, like any other service, I lose the bank dedicated to it. I'm as certain as I can be that this won't happen.

I feel the same about the Winning Racing Systems (Favourites) system. It has been a very inauspicious start for Paul Ruffy's new offering, and which this week reached a drawdown touching on 50% of the bank, but having made the decision to follow - a decision based on sound principles - I fully intend to stick with it. Wayne of Northern Monkey pulled his aw system bets himself and thus took any decision to be made out of my hands, and it was the tone of Skeeve's email last Sunday that has led to my decision to call a halt to the Shortlist picks.

So, it's largely, "as you were", moving into the weekend's action. Let's hope it's a good'un.

Tuesday's - Thursday's Betting

A small loss on Tuesday as the horses proved mildly profitable. Winning Racing Systems (Favourites) found a winner (First Fandango - Fakenham - 4/5), the Winning Racing Tips selection placed and losers for On The Nose (0/1) and The Market Examiner (0/1).

Just one bet on the football, courtesy of The Football Analyst (7/22), which unfortunately was a loser.

A small profit on Wednesday. A nice winner for Northern Monkey (York Glory - Lingfield - 6/1) from two bets, and another winner for Winning Racing Systems (Favs) (Mutual Regard - Kempton - 8/11). No joy for The Market Examiner (0/1) or Winning Racing Tips (0/1).

The Sportsman caught the losing football tipster virus (0/1).

And finally, yesterday and a good profit on a day at last! Winning Racing Tips came up with a lovely winner (The Mumper - Market Rasen - 8/1), and the third consecutive success for Winning Racing Systems (Favs) (Changing Times - Market Rasen - 5/6). Two placed efforts at 8/1 and 6/1 for Northern Monkey but no luck for The Market Examiner (0/1).

Whey Hey! A profit - albeit a very small one - on the footie, Service X hitting two from three.

And that's yer lot. Strangely for a Friday night, I don't really fancy a beer. I don't know if I've told you...I hate being sick.

Thursday, 22 November 2012


I'm sick. I hate being sick. First day off from work in over ten years today. And I'm going back to bed.

Hoping to be better tomorrow. Will catch up then.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Soul searching, naval gazing, temptations to tinker.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to say that the Monday after the catastrophic weekend saw an immediate upsurge in fortunes as bet after bet is landed providing a launch pad for the start of a strong recovery? It would be nice, yes. The reality? A bloody nightmare on the nags and further losses on the football. I have subsequently discovered that two of the beaten horses traded at 1.04 and 1.09 in running! You've got to laugh, eh?

I'm going to dwell a little on this current losing run through my posts this week. This wouldn't be much of a gambling blog if it didn't give much attention to what is now my biggest ever downturn. Stephen left what I thought was a touching comment after yesterday's post. This is a particularly lonely game when things are going badly, so perhaps having a blog like this to read, and hopefully relate to, will make things a little easier for anyone running a tipster portfolio and who is finding things hard work.

When things are tough, I find myself desperately trying to resist the urge to tinker with the portfolio and make changes based on short term thinking. Should I change the staking of certain services? Should I follow A, B, or C service at all? Does X service really suit me? In other words, I start to ask myself questions that I simply don't ask when things are going ok. Human nature, I suppose.

What I would say is that the first thing I do when suffering a drawdown is analyse what I am doing. I apportion no blame at all to the tipsters whose selections are not performing. I have made the choice to follow them - what happens from that point is purely down to myself, with the proviso that the tipster is not acting dishonestly or demonstrating scant regard for good levels of customer service. I may sometimes question whether a tipster has lost, or is losing their edge, but hurling abuse at the tipster or publicly criticising the service is not only counterproductive, but just downright wrong. No, the first person to examine in myself and my actions.

I have analysed my staking and I think all is well there. I admitted on Friday that the sheer number of bets some of the football tipsters were issuing for the weekend had removed me from my comfort zone, so I did seriously wonder if the structure of my staking was awry. Having considered this further and having analysed my levels of staking for each service on a year to date basis, I think that the likelihood is simply that this last weekend was unusually busy and it was simply this that made me feel a little uneasy.

Having said all that, I am currently thinking of my staking strategy. I'm confident that what I am doing is not wrong as such, but I do wonder if it is the most efficient method to use. This is an issue for two or three blog posts to examine in itself though, so I shall save that for another day. At this stage, suffice to say that my current troubles are not down to any error in how I stake each service.

Where I do think that I may have made a mistake is to come away from the basics in the respect of joining services that I don't really need to have joined. My portfolio is big enough now to drop one or two services without then needing to fill the gap they leave as quickly as possible. One of the fundamentals is to stick with services that really are tried and tested. I have no need to chase new services that haven't been operating in the live environment for anything less than either a couple of years or a few hundred bets. This is why, despite recent traumas, I still trust Skeeve 100%. I have faith in his expertise which has been demonstrated over a period of six full seasons. You know, even if I had to move on from Skeeve because the drawdown deepened to equal the size of bank dedicated to it (ie. 80 points - we're currently just over 40 points down), I would do so with a very heavy heart, not because I like Skeeve and his service but because even under such circumstances, I would genuinely believe him to be the best non-league football tipster out there.

There are however, other services, or elements to services that I perhaps should have just watched to see how they go. A recent example is Northern Monkey's all weather system bets. As it happens, Wayne has decided to pull the plug on these, not because of poor performance (just a point down) but because issuing a name of a horse with no details or form study didn't feel right to him; it didn't feel like a Northern Monkey service. Now as a follower, could someone with the size portfolio I have not just have taken a back seat and watched the system bets for this winter. I know I halved my usual NMP stakes with these new bets, but why did I feel compelled to follow financially at all? There are other examples I could mention...the Winning Racing Systems (Favourites) bets, the Skeeve shortlist picks, even if we were to stretch the point, the The Football Analyst European System bets (although I'm less than half a point down in total with these so far).

I had my reasons for following all the above mentioned, and I maintain they were - and are - valid reasons. Should I have delayed following though, and given each of them time to establish themselves more, or am I being unduly harsh on myself? In the context of running a gambling portfolio, this may seem to be a strange question, but do I need to speculate at all with any service, even those run by people I trust implicitly and who I know are very good at what they do? And believe me, Wayne of NMP, Graeme Dand, Paul Ruffy and Skeeve are all exceptionally good at what they do. That is a fact.

In the SBC interview I did, I said that I believed I was still learning and (hopefully) improving as a gambler. A month or so after I was asked those questions, and already I'm thinking that that statement is proving to be prophetic. Time will tell, I guess.

Yesterday's Betting

Not good. Again.

No winners to be seen amongst Football Elite (0/1), Northern Monkey (0/1), On The Nose (0/1), Winning Racing Systems (0/1), Winning Racing Tips (0/3), or The Market Examiner (0/2).

The only success came from Sportyy (Over 2.5 goals - Real Sociedad vs Rayo Vallecano - 1.74).


Northern Monkey: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Winning Racing Systems (Favs): Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.2pts, -1.2pts.

Football Elite: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Sportyy: Staked 2.5pts, +1.85pts.

Monday, 19 November 2012

My worst day's betting ever!

What a nightmare Saturday was. I suffered the biggest, one off 24 hour loss I have ever had the misfortune to bear. Bugger!

It leaves November in a bit of a pickle, that's for sure. Time yet though, eh?

I knew it was going to be one of those days at 12.10 on Saturday. My U10s match had just finished and as I got back to the car, I checked my mobile. There was the text from Winning Racing Tips, detailing the winner of the 11.55 at Punchestown. 11/1! As manager of the U10s, I don't think it's the done thing to be checking emails and placing bets when I should be at least trying to get the boys to kick the ball in the right direction, and to be honest I get so wrapped up in it I don't notice the 'phone beeping anyway. It's not even a situation in which my wife can come to the rescue as she's always at the match too to watch our lad play. Still, the kids are the priority and they always will be. It just means Joe won't get pocket money for just over three years, by which time at £1/week, he will have repaid his debt. The boy has to learn.

It was the football that did for me though (the professional stuff I mean, not the U10s). Skeeve had what can only be described as a shocker, losing the equivalent to 25% of it's bank. Summer Of Football found just the one winner from three on Saturday, and that was priced 1.5 so no riches made there. The Form Analyst (7/22) had two home bets (and so staked more heavily) that both failed to win. On The Oche's one bet lost, and an overall loss too for Service X. There was only The Sportsman that produced any sort of profit on the day.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't left reeling a little by this carnage. I took the conscious decision yesterday to place whatever bets I had to put on, and then forget all about them. I didn't worry about doing the figures in the evening. I didn't check any football results. I didn't watch any horse racing. The darts semi-finals and final went passed me by. And you know something? I felt the better for it.

It wasn't until this morning that I checked to see how I had fared yesterday, over my bowl of Weetabix. As it happens, a very small profit was made as The Football Analyst (7/22) hit back with a home winner to produce a very small profit over the weekend (when put together with a good Euro system winner on Friday night). Football Elite's one bet came in too, as did Sportyy's. Overnight, Service X returned to some decent level of form aswell, all of which countered the losses that Summer Of Football continue to be afflicted by and the one remaining unsuccessful On The Oche antepost bet.

These times are sent to test us. James' (Summer Of Football) email this morning gave the impression that the tipster remains clear headed and focused on the long term goals we're trying to achieve, as did Skeeve's who has been through all of this before and come out again on the other side, profitable as ever. I still remain convinced that it is spells like this that emphasise that you want your portfolio to be based around experienced tipsters. By definition, gambling means there are no guarantees as to future performance levels, and if say Skeeve or any other service suffer a drawdown equating to the size of their bank, then I would be forced into drawing a line through it and moving on. But in these difficult times, who would you rather be with...a service that has been through it all before, or one which you joined because it looked promising over it's first few months of existence, but to which such a poor spell being suffered in the public eye and whilst serving paying subscribors is a completely new and traumatic experience?

As for me personally? I think the saying is, "Keep calm and carry on". Other than give up, which would be silly bearing in mind the profits so far accrued this year, what else is there to do? Let's ride this storm and keep our attention fixed on better days ahead.

Just one note before I go though. A nod to The Value Bettor who continues in fine form. Two more winners at the competitive Cheltenham meeting yesterday - Olofi at 16/1, and Coneygree at 12s! Not bad, eh?

Friday, 16 November 2012


...have the footie tipsters been drinking?!?

Football Elite has seven bets over the weekend! Skeeve is going for three big doubles in addition to the Asian Handicap bets.

It's been a horrible week at work. My journey home has taken one and a half hours instead of the 30 minutes it should take. The gambling is crap. I'm knackered, hungry, and have missed the prices on the Skeeve bets (so I'm going to wait until tomorrow and see if the prices bounce at all). Yep, I'm pissed off and over this weekend, completely out of my comfort zone. Which isn't good and may have longer term consequences, because as far as I'm concerned, when it comes to gambling, my comfort zone is where I like to be. With a duvet. And a hot water bottle.

Now if you'll forgive me, I'm going to go and eat. Figures can wait!

Have a good weekend folks, and hopefully I'll be a little less grumpy when I next post.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

No time... post properly.

There were two comments left after yesterday's post that I would like to put on the blog together as they contain two completely different views and make for interesting reading. However, I don't want to do that tonight as one of the contributors has put his email address on his comment, and I don't want to put that on the blog unless he's happy for me to do so. So, if you're reading this Matt, just leave another comment saying yay or nay. Cheers.

Yesterday's Betting

The Judge (On The Nose) had a horse run badly yesterday, for the first time for what feels like a long time. However, when you're in form, you're in form, and his smaller bet in the same race romped home (Quartz de Thaix - Bangor - 10/1). Interesting that The Value Bettor went for Quartz de Thaix too, tipped at 14s. Great tipping, and there's an interesting little system brewing when these two tipsters agree with each other's assessments!

Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Winning Racing Systems: Staked 3pts, -1.166pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
On The Nose: Staked 1.25pts, +1.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.4pts, -0.4pts.

On The Oche: Staked 0.75pts, -0.75pts.
Service X: Staked 13pts, -3.216pts.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


I'm not going to do any talking tonight. Instead, I'm just going to publish a comment that was left last night on a post I wrote back in May on the practicalities of going full time as a gambler. I found the 'Comment' compelling reading, and thought I'd just post it up for you to read.

Any comments on the comment, you know where to leave them.

I've been unemployed for just over 10 years and have read the above posts with interest. I've achieved gambling profits of just over 800k during that period peaking in 2008 and 2010. The couple of replies posted are from people with 1-2 years experience. How I felt after 2 years is no comparison to how I feel after 10 years. The continual emotional highs and lows take their toll and it is difficult to keep motivated and also to switch off. I personally can only really switch off when I go away on holiday.

I would like to pick up on the point made about feeling isolated. There will likely come a point when your mindset changes. I was generally optimistic and confident in myself and didn't feel isolated even 5/6 years down the line. I had a load of online gambling contacts doing similar things, we'd even meet up for a beer or two every now and then. I guess the start of the recession in 2008 was the first time I started to feel uneasy. It started to dawn on me that someone in my position would now find it difficult to find employment after 6 years out of work, but 2008 was my peak as a gambler and those profits tended to keep such thoughts on the back burner. The big psychological change for me came around the Summer of 2010. Despite a good year I felt results had gone my way and I knew the outlook was a lot bleaker in the niche areas I specialize in. A lot of my gambling acquaintances were falling by the wayside, either forced out, or scaling right back due to a tougher gambling environment, and trying other things (without much success I think)

The introduction of the 2011 super premium charge and the limits/tactics/trading decisions of all bookmakers make it especially tough nowadays for established gamblers. You get sick of using "agents", spending far too much time thinking how to get money down, and getting treated like a quasi criminal for being good at something. Add that to the pressure and emotional highs and lows and I think you get a true perspective of what it's like after time.

I made a psychological decision to go "part-time" this September (after a particularly good and needed 4 month spell of profits) but really to do that and feel good I need to have something else to focus on that does earn at least some money and is not related to gambling. The problem is after 10 years out of work I feel detached from the work place and I feel at a lower ebb mentally and emotionally than I've ever done. I try and use the 800k profit to give me some sort of rational comfort that deciding to quit employment was the right move. I should point out that I have children which is both a positive and a negative in making that decision.

Yesterday's Betting

A superb winner for The Market Examiner (Cranky Corner - Lingfield - 12/1) to continue building what could turn out to be a formidable month for them, given a fair wind. Elsewhere, On The Nose chipped in again (Buck Mulligan - Sedgefield - 7/2).

On The Nose: Staked 1pt, +1.237pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, +12pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.7pts, +0.053pts.

On The Oche: Staked 1.25pts, +0.078pts.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Losing runs and how it affects the tipster.

I'm going to cheat tonight, and simply point you in the direction of a blog post that I found interesting. It is written by James who runs the Summer Of Football service, and addresses the subject of how a tipster copes with a losing run.

You can read it here:

There is a natural inclination for subscribers to attach blame to a tipster, holding him responsible for the losses accrued when things go wrong. I have never read a comment left on a forum or on a blog that amounts to, "Oh blimey, that XYZ service is doing crap. I feel really sorry for the geezer who runs it because he obviously puts a lot of hard work and effort into running his service, and up until this point he's been really profitable etc. etc.".

Nope. The tipster is always "crap", or "has lost the plot", or worse. I've mentioned it before, but I know that some tipsters have received dog's abuse from members when enduring a losing run. What gets me though is that surely the abusive subscriber must see that sending a torrent of criticism the way of the person they pay money to for expert advice is completely counterproductive. The last thing a tipster losing confidence requires are members on his or her back and telling anyone who will listen how shit that tipster is!

James doesn't actually say explicitly in his blog that in the past it was abuse from his subscriber base that led to sleepless nights and worry over his tipping form. But at the very best, such abuse can't have helped James' mental state, can it? I did note from the blog that James now feels completely different when facing the prospect of reversing his current poor form than he did when a far less experienced tipster attempting to reverse a downward trend. There's a valuable lesson in there for us punters looking to get together a reliable portfolio. Experience is key, I reckon.

On a related note, I was interested to see Paul Ruffy's response to some criticism he was receiving in the SBC forum from followers of his recently launched Winning Racing Systems. Coming under particular fire was the Favourites system which I myself follow. Paul made an excellent point - that if the system experiences a 30 point drawdown and thus sees it's bank disappear, then he will hold his hands up and say he got it wrong. I don't think any reasonably minded tipster would disagree with the principle that if the recommended bank is blown, then there can be no complaints when subscribers desert the service. I don't know for sure, but I would think that if James suffers a 25 point drawdown, he will feel the same, as would Skeeve, as would The Football Analyst, as would any other tipster. I think.

Yesterday's Betting

Another winner for The Market Examiner (What's Up Woody - Carlisle - 5/1) who appear to have come off their autumn break in the mood to make some profit. Nothing really worth commenting about elsewhere.

On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, +5pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

On The Oche: Staked 1.75pts, -0.405pts.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Football woes.

It was only last week in the 'Comments' section that I was asked the question why it was I persevered with betting on the horses when keeping active accounts open was so problematical. Why am I not just concentrating on football?, my questioner, perfectly reasonably, asked. My response mentioned the importance of diversification within a portfolio investment strategy, and these last weeks have illustrated my point superbly, an illustration painted most vividly this weekend. These last couple of days would have been very sorry indeed, were it not for a couple of extremely good winners provided by my racing tipsters.

There's no escaping the fact that the football is dragging me down somewhat just at present. Football Elite had a horrible weekend in which four matches had unfavourable final scores. Whatever the whys and wherefores, the ifs, buts and maybes, it leaves FE down on the season to date. Skeeve too, is in the same situation, a victim of increased levels of randomness seemingly apparent in the Blue Square Premier League so far this season. Despite a good start to 2012/13, The Football Analyst has hit a wall, and after a poor weekend in Europe, is now down overall (for the TFA portfolio I am following anyway). The Sportsman is yet to produce a profit on the season, and as mentioned last week the Daily Report recommendations of Form Lab Lite have made considerable losses. Add to this depressing mix the fact that Summer Of Football is now enduring a relatively sizeable drawdown, then you can see the current position is far from rosy. In fact, the only sports services really to hit their straps over the last couple of months or so are Sportyy, whose performance has been stupendously good over this period, and Service X which for reasons other than results is one I'm thinking long and hard about being an ongoing part of my plans (more on that later this week). All in, it means that from being in a position a few weeks ago of enjoying a significant level of profit for the sports tipsters, I'm now in a loss-making position over the period 1st August to the present day. It's been some drawdown, I can tell you.

Let's not lose perspective though. Overall, I still managed to turn a perfectly decent profit in both August and September, get my head in front in October, and thanks to the strong form of the racing tipsters in the portfolio, am down an amount that really isn't too significant for November so far. We must also remember that gains and losses on the football are always likely to be more dramatic due to the fact that the stakes are much bigger than those used on the nags. This means that losses on losing runs and profits on winning runs tend to accrue much more quickly. A one point win on an evens shot on the footie equates to a one point win on a horse at 10/1. That is the inevitability when the portfolio has been geared more heavily towards sports betting than horse racing, as mine has.

I do think that this current poor run is a little harder to take mentally because, perhaps foolishly, I had readied myself for October and November being strong months for football betting. They certainly were last year and there are logical reasons for why it should be so. The form has had time to settle, and each team still has something to play for (apart from Arsenal, I might suggest :( ). I was kinda hoping this was the time to make hay, so to be at the opposite end of that scale has taken me a little by surprise. I'll be more ready for it next year, I can tell you!

Looking upon things positively, is the fact that overall, I'm hardly down for the month a real triumph for portfolio investment? It is always difficult when in the midst of a bad run to take a step back and see things in context. Am I not currently in a situation whereby the racing has put itself into a very strong position for the month, and should the football services start to find their form, which surely they will soon, then November could well end up being a stormer? Like I said, football-generated profits can build rapidly - perhaps over the course of just one weekend or even a solitary Saturday afternoon - add these to a nice nest egg of horse racing-generated money already "in the bank"...and everyone's a winner! Perhaps I'm trying to kid myself, but you see my point.

The alternative viewpoint is that my strategy is fundamentally flawed or my portfolio constructed with services built of straw. Perhaps, although I doubt that in the space of a few weeks, the collective expertise gained over a number of years of experience by the likes of Football Elite, Skeeve, The Football Analyst and The Sportsman has all gone to pot with a subsequent destruction of their collective edge. I think this highly unlikely. You?

Yesterday's Betting

A great winner for The Sportsman Racing. I do like a bit of inside info. It all adds to the mystery of things and with info like Scott's, it also adds to the profit making (Prophete de Guy - Market Rasen - 7/2).

Elsewhere, not so good, other than Sportyy finding another winner in the Spanish football.

On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.5pts, +1.75pts.
Winning Racing Systems (Favs): Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.

Summer Of Football: Staked 2pts, -0.25pts.
Football Elite: Staked 3pts, -2.015pts.
On The Oche: Staked 3.5pts, -0.821pts.
Sportyy: Staked 5pts, +2.225pts.
The Football Analyst (E3-E7): Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Service X: Staked 3pts, +2.1pts.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Pfft. So much for a good weekend.

When the first bet of the day rattled in, Winning Racing Tips' King's Lad - Wincanton - 6/1, the day's gambling could hardly have got off to a better start. When this was followed up by On The Nose scoring twice (Knocara Beau - Kelso - 3/1 and Time For Spring - Sandown - 7/2), you'd have thought that we were in for a good day.

That was before the football started though, and losing days for Football Elite, The Football Analyst, and Skeeve did for me.

The football is proving frustrating at present. That is putting it mildly.

More weekend thoughts tomorrow.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

NMP's all weather system up and running.

With it being Saturday, just a quick round up of yesterday's betting, which was notable for the first winner for Northern Monkey's new all weather system (Flying Power - Wolverhampton - 12/1). I'm backing these at half my usual Northern Monkey stakes, but at this sort of price, it still provided a nice return.

I've been talking about the good form of On The Nose for a couple of weeks now, and thankfully it shows no sign of disappearing just yet. Another very nice winner yesterday (Nine Stories - Musselburgh - 8/1).

Northern Monkey: Staked 0.25pts, +3pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, +3.5pts.
Winning Racing Systems (Favs): Staked 2pts, -2pts.

Summer Of Football: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Service X: Staked 6pts, -6pts.

Friday, 9 November 2012

A good weekend would be nice....

...because it's been a while. One of those tub-thumping stonkers of a weekend where everything comes together to make a great lump of profit.

After Wednesday's traumas, it was good to have a decent day yesterday. The Sportsman Racing hit two from two (Swing Easy - Lingfield - 5/6 and Civil Unrest - Musselburgh - mainly 4/1 plus a little at 7/2). That profit was boosted by the ongoing fine form of On The Nose which also identified two nice winners (Benbane Head - Towcester - 11/2 and Monetary Fund - Musselburgh - 4/1). Interestingly, our friend The Value Bettor went for Benbane Head too.

Northern Monkey: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
Winning Racing Systems: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2pts, +4pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 1pt, +1.597pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staled 0.7pts, +0.028pts.

Service X: Staked 6pts, -0.75pts.

Finally, heads up on a new blog. "Calculated but Fingers Crossed" is written by an SBC member who is running a portfolio of tipsters (sounds like my sort of chap!). He's got graphs and everything though! You're not going to get graphs with me - I don't have the technical competence.

Anyway, my advice is go and have a look and add it to your reading list (there's a link to the right). I'm launching a campaign - "Support your Blogger". Financial donations always welcome.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

One of those days.

I'll refer to the title of the post a little later, but initially I want to explore further the issues I raised in yesterday's post about Form Lab Lite.

Literally two minutes after I pressed the button to release yesterday's offering to my adoring masses (I can dream!), an email from Form Lab pinged into my inbox. It was an update on the performance of the Daily Reports and also contained a download for an Advanced User Guide. It certainly provided (further) food for thought and has helped me clarify a few things about the service in my own mind.

The fact that I'm not utilising the software to anywhere near it's capacity struck me squarely between the eyes. My failure to exploit the avenues to potential profit was something I mentioned in my previous musings on the service back in August, but I now feel I rather underestimated the extent to which this was the case. Consequently, and this is a key point, I think it is completely unfair to base any conclusive evaluation of the service as a whole, merely on the black and white results of the recommendations contained within the Daily Reports.

Certainly I think FLL are conscious of their levels of customer service. Within the email was an offer of a personal call from one of their traders in an effort to help the subscriber extract the maximum from the software. Be it advice on staking, strategies, or any other aspect of what they provide, help was being offered. A cynic might suggest that this might simply be the result of recent poor performance, an effort to manage disgruntled subscribers and reduce damage to reputation, but I think such an accusation totally unjustified. I see this as nothing more than what it is - an offer of help and guidance, and for that they should be commended.

Within the main body of the email is a break down and explanation for the recent poor performance levels of the Daily Report recommendations, and I guess that this is where most interest lies for subscribers. Whilst the company acknowledges that performance has been under par recently, it believes that the underlying engine that throws up the potential bets/trades is still operating perfectly healthily, and who am I to argue? What is notable is that the headline figures show a positive roi of almost 6.5%, gained over a total of 2,150 bets - a very healthy sample size. This boosts confidence and makes me more inclined to believe that what we are currently experiencing is the dreaded 'V' word, variance. The other point to note is that as a high turnover service, a long term 5% roi figure is very profitable indeed if the bank is being turned over ten to fifteen times per season, which it quite possibly will be. This would produce ROC figures that are more than satisfactory, and as readers of this blog will know, that is a big factor as far as this gambler is concerned. This is the exact point I was making yesterday. ROI really isn't the be all and end all - bottom line cash profit is.

The FLL analysis identifies the main bodies of the football season as being consistently profitable. We are just entering this period (November to March). I hesitate to put too much emphasis on this. There might be a small risk that an element of unintentional backfitting makes one look at certain periods of time when consistent profits are made and then find a theory that provides a "logical" argument as to why these periods are more profitable than others. I'm not saying that this is what FLL have done. I'm just aware that there is a possibility of this happening, so I don't want to rely on this statistic too much.

So it sounds from all this that I'm erring on the side of continuing to back the Daily Report selections as I have been doing. However, it was when I read the Advanced User Guide that I found more clarity of thought.

The guide is written by the FLL Head Trader. His statement that he doesn't back all the Daily Report recommendations with the same stake, and that he doesn't let all trades run to expiry - ie. he will if circumstances are right trade out of a position after placing the original bet, before the conclusion of the match - really brought it home to me that my methodology is simply too crude and in fact does the FLL package no justice at all. When I add this to the fact that I still can't think of a way to place some of the bets that have to be made at one of the "high street" bookies, then I am reluctant to carry on as I have been. The way forward I think, would be to utilise Betfair, and start to look at trading some matches instead of simply backing the selections to one point level stakes. In other words, adopt a far more sophisticated approach to utilising what is undoubtedly a mass of good information. As ever, time to do this will not be easy to find. I still have a few weeks of my current subscription period remaining. I shall use it to see if I can make this work for me. If not, then I shall have to put FLL on hold for the time being, which would be a shame. However, should this turn out to be the case (and on the balance of probabilities I have to say it is more likely), it would hopefully be a temporary hiatus and FLL would be something that I could come back to when I can make sufficient time to enable me to start utilising it properly.

Yesterday's Betting

And this is where I can relate the post to it's title!

First though, may I congratulate The Market Examiner on a smashing winner, their first since their return from their two month break (Bravo Bravo - Chepstow - 8/1).

However, that was a rare ray of light on a demoralisingly gloomy day. You know things are going against you when your first horses to run are those that constitute an each way Winning Racing Tips double, and both of which fall at the last when looking the most likely winners! Of course, the second of these was irrelevant as far as the double was concerned, but it also happened to be the Winning Racing Systems (Favourites) tip!

At the other end of the betting day was The Sportsman's over 3 goals bet in the Benfica/Spartak Moscow Champions League game. How that match had only two goals, only Dennis knows! A missed penalty at 2-0, and finishing at levels of ineptitude I don't see from my U10 side, meant that ultimately the bet was a loser. Seriously, I'd have tucked a couple of them away. Blindfolded. On one leg. With Angelina Jolie putting me off by standing behind the goal and making alluring gestures to me (although I would have be told of said gestures by my teammates due to the blindfold - but as you know, the imagination is a powerful thing).

In between these two disastrous bookends to the gambling day were losers. And plenty of them.

Northern Monkey: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.4pts, -0.4pts.
Winning Racing Systems (Favs): Staked 2pts, -2pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 1pt, +8pts.
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

The Sportsman: Staked 0.15pts, -0.15pts.
Service X: Staked 6pts, +3.93pts.

Fortunately, today was a bit happier, thank goodness. More on that tomoz.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


I mentioned the other day that I wasn't going to be posting daily any more, but I thought I'd better do something tonight after receiving an email from someone who wanted to know if I'd topped myself after Arsenal's insipid performance at Old Trafford on Saturday. Must admit, if I'd have thought of it at the time...

Back in August I wrote the following about Form Lab Lite:

The only potential issue for myself when I cast an eye to the future, is whether or not when I up stakes I'll be able to get on all the bets. On occasion, the only bookies with the relevant market are those that you would recognise as being 'High Street' (although the number of bets for which this is the case is very much the minority). At my current staking levels, it's not a problem, but with higher stakes? It's a question mark, that's all. It may be fine, but regardless, I'm not at that stage yet so for now at least, I can carry happily on as I am.

Well, I have reached the stage where I can't just carry on as I have been doing. About two weeks ago, William Hill restricted a bet I was trying to place on a Form Lab Lite bet, and on Saturday past, Paddy Power did the same. The bets I was trying to place were on the Over 3.5 goals line, a line that was unavailable on the relevant matches at the Asian bookmakers, through which I am now directing 75% of my total betting turnover.

My concern is for the sustainability of my accounts with Hills and Paddy Power. They are one of the few bookmakers that still allow me the BOG concession on the horses, and as such they need to be protected in the way a mother lion protects it's cub (or in the way a certain Brazilian full back protects his collection of opposing players' shirts, perhaps - what a bell end!). After changing the whole structure of my portfolio to allow me to reduce the strain put on my BOG accounts, and going to daft lengths to split bets on the horses amongst up to five different bookmakers at times in an attempt to stay under the radar, there's no way I can put their sustainability at risk by placing football bets with them. Not when they have started to place restrictions and must therefore be looking at my account closely.

Now, I also have to be honest here, and say that were Form Lab Lite pulling up trees, producing fine profits, then I might be more inclined to find a solution. I'm not too sure what that solution could be, mind you. Nothing springs to mind. However, it's fair to say that the performance of the 'Daily Report' selections has been very poor. From it's highest point, and allowing for the price of subscriptions, my drawdown equates to nearly 80% of the bank dedicated to it. Combine that with the difficulty I'm now facing getting on some of the bets, and I'm put in the position whereby I have to seriously question whether it is worth persevering with. I have temporarily stopped backing the selections while I chew this over. Do I simply restrict my bets to those that I can place with the Asian bookmakers and hang in there in the hope of an upturn in performance? Or do I just call it quits? I need to pause for thought.


Talking of the Asian bookmakers, my increasing reliance on them is beginning to have an effect on my results. Not in terms of overall profitability (although there's not been much in the way of profit-making recently!), but in terms of the odds I have to take. It is noticeable that with the likes of The Football Analyst and Summer Of Football selections, the price I'm taking is frequently some way off the best available in the market. Trouble is, the best price is often offered by the likes of Bet365 and Ladbrokes, with whom I can't stake a penny, or with Hills or BetInternet which are those still offering BOG on racing as mentioned above. This situation will, over time, lower my ROI figures. But, using the Asian bookies means I can place bigger bets, so although the roi is decreasing, bottom line cash profit figures should continue to increase. As I've said before, I don't care if I'm running at 1% roi as long as that 1% amounts to an income with which I am happy!


It was great to see Skeeve produce a strong weekend. An 11+ point profit was most welcome and but for the lack of one goal in another match, it would have been a 20+ point profit.

And it was a darned good job that Skeeve did produce the goods, because results elsewhere made for grim reading. Sunday was particularly poor and as a result I find myself significantly down for November already. Early days yet though, and I remain hopeful still of a good month.

Friday, 2 November 2012


Well it's that time of the week again. Friday night. A time for sitting down in front of the telly, log fire roaring, a glass of wine or jug (!) of ale in hand, tucking into a warming stew. Or, if that's not your scene - because you've not yet reached the ripe old age of 40 and therefore you aren't such a sad old git as I - perhaps a night for carousing in the bars and clubs of town and a late night tikka massala.

That is what Friday evenings should be all about.

Not for this Old Chestnut. Skeeve, Form Lab Lite, Football Elite, here we come...

Before I go though, a quick heads up re. The Value Bettor, a link to whose blog you can see to the right.

I've mentioned the service before, but it is an appropriate time to do so again. The tipster is a chap who I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of years ago when we went to Aintree on the Friday of the Grand National meeting. We were a group of racing enthusiasts, some of whom were (and still are) rather more knowledgeable than others. I don't think it false modesty when I say I come under the "Clueless" category and am probably easily impressed, but TVB was pointing things out about the way the horses went down to post and how they ran during the race that made me think that perhaps he should run a tipping service.

Now, he is! TVB ran the service last year for the first time through the main months of the National Hunt season, and achieved highly impressive levels of profit. Yesterday was Day 1 of Season 2012/13, and timid tipster that he is (heh!), TVB went straight in with a 66/1 shot (Betfair SP 300+ !!!). Calm down, it didn't win or place.

Today's bet was another at a right old price (25s), staking split between win and place. It finished 2nd, beaten less than a length. The written analysis of the bet contained a gem of a theory, the likes of which I have never heard before, as to why the selection may have been a bit of a plot horse. You can read it yourself on his blog now.

Why am I mentioning all this when it is not an official part of the portfolio? I'll tell you why, shall I? It's because as I've stated before on these pages, I love National Hunt racing. The sport thrills me. Cheltenham in March enthralls. And I like to know a bit about the horses I'm watching. TVB's analysis and reading of the races he has examined is incredibly insightful and entertaining to boot. Add to this the fact that he also builds up to Cheltenham by assembling an antepost portfolio guaranteed to give an interest in the Festival throughout the winter, and you can see why I'm such a fan.

The only reason why I don't follow financially is that backing horses at big prices which tend to shorten significantly (hence the name - The Value Bettor) is not conducive to keeping my online bookie accounts open, not when put in the context of all the other betting that I do. Especially so when ricks in the market are taken advantage of the night before racing, which is often the case. I don't therefore want to record the P&L of the service on the blog, as I won't be backing all the selections, but I do intend to back some, such as those at the weekend when I can walk into one of the bookmaker offices and use cash. I will also be building that Cheltenham portfolio I was talking about. So expect a regular mention of TVB on here from now on, and if you want to see what it is all about, go read that blog.

Thursday's Betting

Northern Monkey: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.*
On The Nose: Staked 1.25pts, +2.412pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.4pts, -0.4pts.

Sportyy: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
On The Oche: Staked 1pt, +1.475pts.

*More on the staking involved here shortly.

Listen folks. Have a great weekend. You'll be able to tell how mine has been by about 2.35pm tomorrow.

Up The Gunners!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

October 2012

So another month goes by. It was a strange one, all told. I know it is daft that we measure performance on a monthly basis, but even so, I couldn't help but allow myself a little smirk yesterday as in a month in which I've never been ahead, the last day proved a stormer. Winning bets from On The Nose, The Sportsman Racing, Sportyy, Football Elite, Form Lab Lite, Service X, and The Football Analyst meant that I ended the month a few hundred quid up. The total profit is modest, but there were times in October that I was a fair way into negative territory, so to be honest, any profit at all feels like an achievement.

Sportyy has to take huge credit for the past month's performance. I think I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but my experience with Sportyy has proved to be informative. My joining in early summer coincided with a poor run of results that led to me being quite some way down with the tennis expert. Now, I'm quite some way up and am taking advantage of the rewards that patience has brought. Anyway, hats off to Dani for a superb month.

Credit too to Northern Monkey and On The Nose. Excellent months, both, and each service does now appear to be putting a very tricky first half to the year behind it.

My final October profit and loss balance sheet would have looked healthier had I not added the Winning Racing Systems (Favourites) to the portfolio. But, remembering the lesson I was referring to when talking about Sportyy, I'm very confident that this was simply a case of Sod's Law kicking in. If I'm counting correctly, the service has also embarked upon a winnnig run which currently stands at five, so hopefully losses will be recouped through November.

A bigger contributing factor than the underperformance of Winning Racing Systems to the fact that this has been a tough month is the relatively poor performance of the two big football services, Football Elite and Skeeve. Can't say I'm at all concerned. I'll just be pleased when the profits come, and I've a suspicion that when they start, they might just arrive in a flood of winning bets. The drawdown on each is insignificant anyway and I have a feeling in my bones that a splendid weekend or two for each is not too far away. The only aspect of Skeeve's service that I would like to see pick up now are the Shortlist picks which have provided little joy so far this season.

I was surprised to read on Graeme's blog that The Football Analyst System 7/22 was on it's biggest drawdown for quite some time. I don't for one moment doubt the veracity of Graeme's ststement, but it's been the least hurtful biggest drawdown ever! I really can't say I've noticed a poor run, but there we go. Sure, I do expect the profit-making to pick up a bit more impetus over the next few months as the season progresses, but I certainly don't feel as if I'm on or have been on some horrible losing run, which is kinda how I look at "worst drawdowns" ever. I guess that's the advantage of utilising the asian handicaps as I do with this service.

Nice to see The Sportsman and The Sportsman Racing put in a really good month. I think Scott may have taken a bit of grief after a relatively poor month in September, which personally speaking I believe is strange to say the very least, bearing in mind the long term, medium term, and even short term performance levels recorded.

Let's hope that November is a stormer for us all.

Here are the end of month figures. You need to remember that my figures have been affected slightly by my being on holiday for a week, during which time there were some bets I simply didn't place. I think I placed every football bet bar one TFA (E3-E7) bet which would have returned stakes anyway.

Please note that the ytd figures (below the month's figures for each service) run from 1st August, my first day of the 'Betting' football year...

Northern Monkey: Staked 22pts, +11.984pts, roi 54.47%
Staked 109.025pts, +15.851pts, roi 14.53%, ROC 15.85%

On The Nose: Staked 38pts, +10.094pts, roi 26.56%
Staked 95.5pts, +20.413pts, roi 21.37%, ROC 20.41%

The Sportsman Racing: Staked 3.5pts, +1.332pts, roi 38.07%
Staked 11pts, +0.052pts, roi 0.47%, ROC 0.17%

Winning Racing Tips: Staked 6.6pts, -0.001pts, roi -0.001%
Staked 24.5pts, +11.191pts, roi 45.67%, ROC 37.3%

Winning Racing Systems (Favourites): Staked 36pts, -6.978pts, roi -19.38%
Staked 44pts, -4.87pts, roi -11.06%, ROC -16.23%

The Market Examiner: N/A

Total for October (Racing) roi 5.92%
Total for year (Racing): roi 14.46%

Football Elite: Staked 12pts, -2.046pts, roi -17.05%
Staked 19pts, -2.312pts, roi -12.16%, ROC -9.24%

The Football Analyst (7/22): Staked 8.5pts, -2.04pts, roi -24%
Staked 14pts, +0.892pts, roi 6.37%

The Football Analyst (E3-E7): Staked 2.25pts, +0.019pts, roi 0.87%
Staked 2.25pts, +0.019pts, roi 0.84%

The Football Analyst (Total): Staked 10.75pts, -2.02pts, roi -18.79%
Staked 16.25pts, +0.911pts, roi 5.6%, ROC 4.55%

Summer Of Football: Staked 37pts, -2.072pts, roi -5.6%
Staked 99pts, +16.855pts, roi 17.02%, ROC 67.54%

Skeeve (Asians): Staked 34pts, -0.215pts, roi -0.63%
Staked 97pts, -7.275pts, roi -7.5%

Skeeve (Doubles): Staked 15pts, -15pts, roi -100%
Staked 51pts, -3.65pts, roi -7.15%

Skeeve (Shortlist): Staked 6pts, -2.03pts, roi -33.83%
Staked 21pts, -11.403pts, roi -54.3%

Skeeve Total: Staked 55pts, -17.245pts, roi -31.35%
Staked 169pts, -25.029pts, roi -14.81%, ROC -31.28%

The Sportsman: Staked 0.8pts, +0.243pts, roi 30.37%
Staked 3.05pts, -0.145pts, roi -4.75%, ROC -2.41%

Form Lab Lite: Staked 70pts, +3.37pts, roi 4.81%
Staked 146pts, -14.59pts, roi -9.99%, ROC -29.18%

Sportyy: Staked 63.5pts, +30.555pts, roi 48.11%
Staked 167.5pts, +58.369pts, roi 34.84%, ROC 72.96%

Service X: Staked 216pts, +10.334pts, roi 4.78%
Staked 753pts, +53.597pts, roi 7.11%, ROC 53.59%

On The Oche: Staked 15.5pts, -0.035pts, roi -0.22%
Staked 23.9pts, +0.73pts, roi 3.05%, ROC 2.08%

Total for October (Sports) roi 1.32%
Total for year (Sports) roi 4.45%

Grand total for October roi 2.28%
Grand total for year roi 6.51%