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.


  1. Your analogy of bookmakers as lions couldn't be any more removed from the reality of the modern spineless bookies.

    Think pussies would have been more appropriate, although not sure how you'd have worded that one !!!

    1. Ah, JP. Any word goes on here when it comes to those spineless twats!!!!

      Heh! How about that then? :)

  2. Hi Rowan,

    I assume this was written before the email that was sent out by Form Lab Lite with regards to their Daily Reports, I was wondering what you thought about that?

    I'm debating my future subscription to them as well, I've been with them since the start of May and I am a paltry +0.84 points up, excluding the subscriptions I've paid.
    It's an expensive service and it is starting to tie up a lot of bank in a couple of different ways.

    First is the Ante Post portfolio, I hadn't taken this into account when I joined up, I currently have about 20 points tied up for the rest of main European season (excluding the Norwegian APs which will close in 2 weeks) which is quite a substantial amount of cash.
    To be fair the majority of their Summer APs came in and has helped get them out of negative territory on my spreadsheet but I am really starting to despise seeing all that cash tied up for so long.

    Second is the amount of bets that are starting to come through now, on the weekend of the 27th of October alone there were 21 bets staked, a pretty large amount which makes me very nervous when I see it swallowing up a chunk of my balance, part of that is down to me probably not having set the right bank which takes into account the drawdown, the amount of bets and the amount of AP bets swallowing cash.

    It's a difficult one, one which I think will be heavily influenced by their performance this month.

    On another note, why do you continue with the horses?
    They just seem to be so time consuming, stressful and you are at massive risk of losing your bookie accounts.
    Are they really that profitable? and considering the time, stress and massive variance involved, worth it?
    Would you be better off cutting out the horses and re-investing the money into football services?


    1. Hey RT.

      Funnily enough, the email from FLL came through literally two minutes after I pressed the "Publish" button on yesterday's post!

      I'm going to write a lot more about it tonight and then perhaps we can examine individual issues like the ones you mention after that?

      You're dead right though in that most recent performance can radically affect your mindset, and I'm trying really hard to be dispassionate about it and remain aloof from it all for the moment. That's why I simply stopped backing the selections at the weekend - give myself time to detach myself and think. Actually, reading the Advanced User Guide they sent out has clarified things for me...but more on that tonight. :)

      Re. the horses. I continue for a couple of reasons really. 1. It provides diversification to the portfolio, and 2. (and this could be seen as weak of me) I like racing and betting on it! Seriously though, I trust in the ability of those I follow, so at this stage, even after a poor first six months to the year, I'm happy to persevere. Of course if things went bad again and longer term performance flatlined, I'd have to make a decision. Not there yet, though.

      Great comment, btw. Thanks for posting.


  3. I know how you felt. I had a great Mon-Friday. If I had stopped on Friday.... But, you need to place every tip (or do you), this weekend could have been fantastic... Sat hurt, Sunday made my nose bleed.

    Should we stop once we hit a target???? I do not think that is possible unless you are 'day' sports trading.

    1. Hi Scot.

      Now there's a question!!! One for a whole new blog post, I think.

      I'll need to think about that one.

      Yeah - wasn't pleasant over the weekend, was it?