Friday, 29 March 2013

More bookie problems.

To the chap who posted what can only be described as being a "dubious" website address in the Comments section of last night's didn't ever think I'd actually publish that, did you? I'd be arrested if I did! Good grief! The things some people look at.

It's been a quiet week with not too much to comment about. There's a few things I want to talk about next week though, after I've done the end of month review for March.

One of those things may be the future of 4PA in the portfolio. This is a service I love, especially when tipping in the big meetings and festivals. With a combination of being very profitable over the long term and it playing in races I love to watch simply as sport, it ticks a lot of boxes for me. Over the last couple of years or so however, I've been in with 4PA and then out again. When I had a full suite of unrestricted accounts, I didn't have a problem. Sure, prices go very quickly after bet release, but a bit of organisation means that the impact of this can be minimised. No, my problem now is simply getting on at all. I had to split this morning's 1000 Guineas antepost bets between four different bookmakers, and each bet wasn't a particularly big one, nor my stakes particularly large. It may be a service that I will have to park again, before getting back behind the wheel when I am in a position to replenish myself with some new bookmaker accounts. We'll see.

Thursday 28th March
A nice winner for each of the two services in action yesterday. Another for On The Nose (Cootehill - Ludlow - 8/1) and a very nice single selection from On The Oche in the night's Premier League Darts (Wade (DNB) vs Van Gerwen at 3.7).

On The Nose: Staked 1pt, +3.5pts.

On The Oche: Staked 0.5pts, +1.35pts.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Don't forget to switch off your alarms.

The time of year when we must remember the significance of the last supper, the betrayal, the greatest sacrifice, the resurrection and how he suffered on the cross so that all our sins should be forgiven and our souls cleansed. And not to go to work in the morning. Which is something I did on Good Friday a couple of years ago. There I was, twiddling my thumbs and wondering how come everybody was so late, what with there being remarkably little traffic on the road.

I felt a right plank when I realised but thought I'd make best use of the time by having a look at the sort of things you can find on the internet nowadays that you would never look at when at home. It was quite an eye-opener, I can tell you.

Which is all a long-winded way of getting around to the point of today's blog post. Which of you cheeky tinkers have been referred to The Portfolio Investor blog page by According to my Stats page, it was my second highest referring site yesterday. Now I'm not admitting categorically to having clicked on it to see what it was all about, but if I wasn't happily married...

You may have guessed. It's all still rather quiet on the betting front.

Wednesday 27th March
No winners. Northern Monkey (0/1). On The Nose (0/1).

Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


I'm no action junkie but I've gotta admit, when it comes to writing a betting blog, quiet times make posts hard to write. So I won't. Instead, I shall adhere to the principle that states that if you have nothing interesting to say, then say nothing.

Is that a principle? Or is it an adage? Principage? Adaple? I'm confused.

I'll leave you to contemplate.

Tuesday 27th March
One bet. One loser.

Sportyy: Staked 2pts, -2pts.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Very quiet.

What with racing meetings being cancelled because of the weather, and domestic football leagues throughout Europe pausing so that World Cup qualifiers can be played, betting turnover is taking a big hit. It's a shame, because this month has been decent so far without reaching the heights it would need to, to be labelled 'bumper'. Of course this is thinking based from the perspective that the gambling glass is half full. Were it half empty, I'd be saying that the lack of turnover means I'm not risking giving profits back and therefore this quiet spell is helping to protect the money made so far. I'd like to think I'm a half full kind of guy.

Talking of international breaks...does anyone really give a fig about international football nowadays? I heard Phil Neville say on Radio 5 last night that understandably, players would rather play for Manchester United against Real Madrid in the Bernebea ten times from ten against the alternative of playing for England versus San Marino (he was talking about Rio Ferdinand's decision last week). Is it just me, or compared to league football, are international games not really dull, poor quality and instantly forgettable. I like the World Cup finals - they're ace, especially when hosted in a "proper" footballing country like Germany or Brazil, and the European Championship Finals have been watchable although UEFA are buggering around with this by diluting the next tournament with extra participants. Generally speaking though, international football = crap. Bring back the proper stuff.

Monday 25th March
Just the one bet, from Sportyy. A loser.

Sportyy: Staked 2pts, -2pts.

Monday, 25 March 2013

What's happened to Spring, then?

Boxing Day 1996 - Sheffield Wednesday vs Arsenal. 0-0.
December 1998 - Derby County vs Arsenal. 0-0.
March 23rd 2013 - Stockport County vs Newport County. 1-0.

These are three matches that I've been to which will stay with me forever, indelibly etched into the deepest recesses of my brain not by prolific goalscoring feats, as you can see, nor by tumultuos end to end excitement and thrills and spills galore. No. Rather they go down as being the three occasions in my life when the cold has been almost painful in it's ability to bite hard and deep regardless of the numerous levels of clothing, hats, gloves and scarves adorned by way of protection. This sort of cold laughs in the face of our attempts to thwart it by wrapping up, and on Saturday it was finding such efforts at defying it hilarious. It was bloody freezing!

I have mentioned previously that back in November, Northern Monkey briefly experimented with a systematic approach to picking selections on the all weather. This came after some generally underwhelming aw results in previous seasons and was Wayne's initial way of finding some improvement. However it quickly became clear that Wayne didn't enjoy this approach to winner finding, and instead reverted to a more familiar modus operandi, albeit one that utilised some modified selection criteria, since when the results have been outstanding. Since the change in strategy in mid-November, there have been 83 all weather bets, a win strike rate of 27% and a profit of over 40 points at an ROI of 42%!

Wayne sent an email to subscribers on Saturday that outlined his plan to introduce the new methodologies to the way he finds bets on the turf this season. He feels more confident now with his selection criteria than he has ever done, and confidence has got to be half the battle for a tipster, I'd have thought. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. I hope that this subtle move helps Wayne at least maintain the edge he has established over the bookmakers over the last few years, and perhaps will even increase it.

An update on Wilson Bet, the bookmaker I wrote about last week. First of all, I've had a report that they don't grant BOG on the place part of an each way double bet, another that states they were fairly quick to limit stakes, and although I opened an account over the weekend, I've yet to actually use it because I've not yet found a race in which they have been offering the best odds. I've found horses that were 4/1 in two or three places, 7/2 at Wilson Bet, 7/2 elsewhere but only 100/30 at Wilson Bet, and so on. They're not going to be the answer to our prayers, are they? Still, even if they can be used only for the odd bet or two, it will be one or two fewer to place with those bookies that carry the burden of our horse racing betting, and that can only be a good thing.

I was interested to read in Skeeve's Mail, the latest issue of which was sent over the weekend, that a Skeeve subscriber had experienced 188bet imposing a limit to his stakes. I've noticed a couple of times recently that they have done this to me, and not just on Skeeve's picks. What happens is that the stake is reduced at the price offered on screen, and then you're offered a lower price for the remaining stake. I thought it might just be a one off, but an identical experience described by Skeeve's subscriber suggests rather strongly that in fact, 188bet are now beginnning to limit their customers. Can anything else happen to push folk further and further towards Pinnacle and SBO?

Friday 22nd March
A smallish loss on the day with only two services in action.

Northern Monkey gave two bets, one of which placed and the other lost. Sportyy provided four tips, one of which was a winner (Fognini to bt Llodra at 2.16). There was a fifth bet that lost but the price had well gone by the time I could get to place the bet so I left it. Glad I did, now.

Northern Monkey: Staked 2pts, -1.18pts.

Sportyy: Staked 5.5pts, -1.18pts.

Saturday 23rd March
A very small profit on what, because of the weather and international football fixture list (yawn), was the quietest Saturday betting-wise I've had for a long, long time.

It was a decent day for Skeeve despite his selections being adversely affected by postponements. The Asians service had two bets, one of which ran out a comfortable winner (Hyde (+0.5) vs Hereford at 1.93). One leg of each Doubles bet was cancelled thus making each wager a single bet and fortunately each leg won (Kidderminster to bt Southport at 1.83) and (Hyde to bt Hereford at 3.6). The non-league expert was unfortunate not to hit on a bumper pay out, being denied by a solitary late goal preventing the draw outcome backed from providing a winner.

Elsewhere, the one The Football Analyst 7/22 bet was a loser, and Sportyy had a bit of a shocker (0/4).

There were no horse racing bets.

The Football Analyst 7/22: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Skeeve (Asians) Staked 6pts, +1.72pts.
Skeeve (Doubles): Staked 5pts, +5.92pts.
Sportyy: Staked 4pts, -4pts.

Sunday 24th March
A decent enough profit bagged but it was very much a "nearly" day on the horses, with both Northern Monkey bets going close at odds of 6/1 and 10/1.

There was a winner for The Sportsman Racing (Noverre To Go - Lingfield - 4/6) and from On The Nose (Shuil Royale - Wincanton - 7/2). The Winning Racing Tips horse finished third for a very slight loss.

On The Nose: Staked 1.5pts, +0.75pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 2pts, +0.6pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.5pts, +0.333pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.8pts, -0.04pts.

Just checked the Met Office website. No sign of any heatwave this week. :(

Friday, 22 March 2013


By 'eck it's cold out there! Spare a thought for me tomorrow, will you? I'm going to be spending the morning trying to instruct the Alderley United U10s to play something that at least resembles football, freezing my nuts off whilst I do it. Then before they have time to thaw out, I'll be shivering at Edgeley Park watching Stockport County's manager trying to get his players to play something that at least resembles football. From what I've seen so far, I think I have the easier task and more chance of success!

A whole day of numb nuts.

Thursday 21st March
Not one solitary bet on the nags today and just a smidgeon of profit secured on the day by On The Oche who from three Premier League bets scored one winner (Andy Hamilton (DNB) vs Simon Whitlock at 2.25), had stakes returned on one, and a loser.

And that was it. Quiet day.

On The Oche: Staked 1.5pts, +0.125pts.

It's the weekend. Enjoy.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Different bookmakers and a plea for help.

Just a couple of things today.

Firstly, I noticed for the first time the other day, a bookmaker called Wilson Bet advertise in the Racing Post. They do online betting and offer Best Odds Guaranteed so I've already decided to open an account with them and see how it goes. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, does anybody have any experience of them?

I'm always very wary of bookmakers that aren't one of the "established" names in the industry. I keep balances in each account to a practical minimum, even with the likes of William Hill and BetFred - I don't want to be stung by a bookmaker going bankrupt which it seems some of the smaller ones do with a fair level of regularity. My attention was brought recently to Best Bet bookmakers, a Lancashire based firm that ran telephone debit and credit accounts. They have just gone Bump but fortunately customers have been bailed out by the well-known Star Sports who have taken on the accounts of Best Bet's (ex)clients. It was because I was made aware of Best Bet's plight by someone I know who had money lodged in an account with them, that a piece in the Racing Post caught my eye. In it, Star Sports were described as representing a "White Knight" for punters as they had acquired a number of bookmaking operations who were finding it difficult to keep their heads above water, thus ensuring that customers of the stricken firms didn't need to write off any money they were owed or had deposited. It just goes to show that in the age of bookmaker restrictions that we all face, it is sensible practice to explore other avenues of opportunity provided by new or less well known bookmaking firms, but is also sensible to act prudently with these companies in terms of trusting them with our funds.

The other thing I want to mention today is blogs. There are some excellently written, insightful and fascinating blogs out there, but I'm not at all confident that they're all listed on this page. In fact I am sure they are not. Therefore, I'm putting out a plea for help. I'm going to be tidying up the blog roll on here, and this seems a good opportunity to list some new ones that you can perhaps recommend. Whether it be a blog concentrating on following tipsters like this one, or trading, or that gives out their own selections or anything else relating to betting, please let me know which you think are worth a read. What I can then do is make sure I add them and draw everybody's attention to them.

Wednesday 20th March
Another quiet day showing a small loss overall.

Again there was no joy for Northern Monkey (0/1), nor for On The Nose (0/1). The one each way Winning Racing Tips bet successfully hit the frame.

Northern Monkey: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.6pts, +0.171pts.

Right, I'm off to go and watch the school production of Wind In The Willows. My lad has a duet to sing. How do you reckon 10 year olds cope with being heckled?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Heeding advice.

Not much to say today. So for once, I shall listen to the advice so frequently handed to me by my ever-loving wife, and therefore I will indeed shut the f*%k up. She's a foul mouth that one.

Tuesday 19th March
Not even much to say about yesterday's betting, on account of there being only one bet; a loser from Northern Monkey.

Northern Monkey: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.

Short and sweet, eh?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Chi tests, statistical analysis and self-improvement.

A very lucid comment was left after yesterday's post by Stephen:

Hi Rowan,

While I do agree with you that it is wise to have set rules for your portfolio I do think there are factors you are not taking into account with your 2 year time limit (disclaimer: any such limit will be arbitrary and the stuff below will get a little technical).

As an example let's take Summer of Football which I have in my portfolio as well.

Last year James produced 424 picks and we know his average odds is around evens. His ROI was 8.4%. To test whether he has an edge based on last year I have done the following:

I run 100 simulations in Excel of 424 variables with even odds and mean 0% (no edge). In betting terms we have 100 tipsters, who each have provided 424 picks and who has no edge. The results show 3 of these (3%) has delivered better results than James and 97 has delivered worse. Thus it is fairly safe to say that James has an edge.

If I do the same calculations with 9/1 as the odds I find that 27 tipsters with no edge will actually have outperformed James. I am sure you already know this but for higher odds services you will either need a larger sample, a higher return or some qualitative assurance to say if they are any good.

Conclusion: I think your 2 year time limit is good, however, it also need to be calibrated against the number of tips supplied. In my opinion, one of the main advantages of the new approach from Football Elite is thus that if Matt still has an edge (which I suspect) it will take a shorter time-period for it to be revealed and his seasonal results will be less luck based.

Well doesn't that just ooze common sense?!?

Of course Stephen is absolutely bang on when he asserts that we must, when considering a sample of bets to ascertain the presence or otherwise of an edge, take account of the number of selections supplied. Even with my limited insight into statistics and their interpretation, I can see that this is the case. The only conclusion that can be drawn, is that for me to impose an arbitrary two year "testing" period is a little silly, but I think Stephen is too polite to tell me in so many words.

This is an area where I know I have a weakness. I don't understand the processes that a half decent ststistical analysis involves, nor do I run simulations, chi tests, and the rest. This sounds like excuse-making, but I simply don't have the requisite time (perhaps there are those of you who do these things who are now screaming at me that it doesn't take any time at all!) to get to grips with this side of running a portfolio. Were I gambling for a living, then I would make it my business to learn how to do these things and I would begin to allow my findings to guide me as to the best way forward for my betting, but this wouldn't come naturally. My brain is more geared towards the arts - writing crap has never been a problem for me. One segment of my law degree was what is known as jurisprudence - the philosophy of law - which allows the student all sorts of scope to write a load of old bollocks providing he can back that bollocks up. Needless to say I excelled, passing that segment of the course with a rare First and no little flair if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I digress. The point I'm making is that my brain is not so efficiently programmed to get to grips with the sciences, maths or statistics, and therefore when I start to read about simulations, probabilities and chi tests, I struggle to keep up. That doesn't mean I'm not willing to learn mind you, and fully intend to do so when the time is right. In the meantime, I have to be guided more by instinct and "feel", and to me, right now, a two year period over which to assess a service as opposed to one year "feels" right.

In the meantime, if anyone can point me in the right direction of some good reading material/internet articles on statistical analysis, chi tests and the like, please do let me know. I'm serious about wanting to learn and genuinely feel that it is the next stage in my development as a gambler, so any help appreciated. Failing that, I'll be relying on old man Google.

Stephen mentions Matt of Football Elite in his comment, and Matt himself left a comment yesterday with a link to an article that he knows is relevant to the subject we're currently discussing. Having read it, I can say without doubt that it is very relevant and provides an interesting read. Click on When reading it, just replace the term "Money Manager" with "Betting Tipster", as although the article is written from the point of view of "traditional" investment, the principles are equally as applicable to gambling as an investment. It really is an insightful read. For some reason the link appears not to work, but if you copy and paste it into your browser, it should be fine and is well worth doing.

Monday 18th March
I've been banging on about the fine recent form of On The Nose recently, but one racing service that has enjoyed a fine all weather season and start to 2013 is Northern Monkey. Subject to a 20p/£ Rule 4 deduction, finding an 11/1 was nevertheless rather sweet (Clear Praise - Wolverhampton). Elsewhere, no joy for the aforementioned On The Nose (0/2), and that was it on a quiet day.

Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, +
On The Nose: Staked 1.25pts, -1.25pts.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Just how long is long term?

What have the following services in common?

On The Nose
Football Elite
Football Investor
On The Oche
Personal Info

They are all services that either have been, or are, a part of my portfolio and which at some point in time have been listed in the Secret Betting Club's Hall of Fame of elite tipping services. That is not the only thread that binds them though, for they are also services that have suffered what might be termed a "poor" season or 9 to 12 months' of results, but which have to a greater or lesser extent recovered to produce a good level of profit. I assume there are other services that you could list alongside those I have named that have shown similar traits. These are simply the ones that spring to mind as I type.

I think there is a natural tendency to give a football betting service a season to prove it's ongoing worth, or a racing service 12 months, but I'm beginning to wonder whether this is a long enough period of time from which efficient conclusions can be drawn, especially if the service in question has previously demonstrated a significant edge over the bookmakers. Obviously any Hall of Fame service should be deemed to have done just that, otherwise why would it be a member of those services that are independently recognised as being among the best in the tipster world?

When we start to look at betting as a serious vehicle for investment as opposed to something we do for a "bit of interest" at the weekend, we are taught that it is a tough, tough game to succeed in, and one that unless embarked upon with eyes set firmly on the long term prize, is doomed to fail. Which is all very well and good, but no-one seems to be able to tell you how long term, "long term" is.

My own definition of what constitutes a long term period is lengthening, getting longer as I grow in experience. I've been bitten badly not once but twice, by not exercising enough patience with a service. I have mentioned before the first time I fell into this trap, dropping On The Oche from my portfolio when the SBC dropped it from their Hall of Fame, only to see the darts expert go on to make seriously good profits. I believe the roi for the lifetime of the service is still north of 30% which, even in these days of ROC perhaps being the more important unit by which to measure success, is still pretty darned impressive. As you know, I went back to On The Oche with cap doffed, sheepishly asking, "Please, Sir. Can I have some more?" Fortunately Matt, who runs the service, is no Victorian orphanage taskmaster and let me back in.

Now to most people, this experience would have taught them a thing or two, but it would seem that I'm not as smart as most people. The very same thing happened last summer with Football Investor. The SBC dropped it from the Hall of Fame after a season of poor results, and I dropped it from my portfolio. If you don't know how well Football Investor has subsequently performed this season, then I'm pretty sure you can have a good guess. 200+ points profit across the spectrum of systems offered! It may well be that come the summer, this particular Prodigal Portfolio Investing Son will yet again be doffing his cap and asking for forgiveness. It might be said that to give up on one tipping service prematurely be regarded as a misfortune, but to give up on two just bloody careless!

To give myself a bit of a break, it was these experiences that encouraged me to be more patient with On The Nose, so perhaps, a little belatedly, I am learning. Like I said last week, I have now altered my sights - I now want to be looking at two year's worth of results before giving up on a service. If, after two years are up, and if performance has not been strong enough over this period of time, then I do believe dropping a service from the portfolio is a decision more easily justified. Two years still may not be sufficient on a statistical basis to rationalise such a decision, but the fact is that there is a plethora of good, proven services out there. Too many really to hang on to an underperforming service forever and a day. We as punters are blessed too, in that the SBC do a heck of a good job finding the good services, testing them, and then recommending them. In this context, perhaps two years is too long to stick with someone who isn't performing, but we can't have it all ways.

More thoughts on this subject tomorrow, time permitting. In the meantime though, all comments welcome...

Sunday 17th March
A quiet betting day for a Sunday, and one that produced a small loss.

Another very nice winner for The Football Analyst E3-E7 (Espanyol (DNB) vs Malaga at 3.16) amongst the two bets, but this proved to be the only winning bet of the day. Summer Of Football rounded off a horrible weekend's betting with another loser (0/1), Football Elite's one wager lost, and there was no luck for Sportyy either (0/2).

The Football Analyst E3-E7: Staked 0.5pts, +0.29pts.
Football Elite: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Sportyy: Staked 2.5pts, -2.5pts.
Summer Of Football: Staked 1pt, -1pt.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Saturday's Betting - horse racing and Football Elite excel!

Saturday 16th March
Cheltenham may be over, but a profit is a profit wherever it is gained.

Just one tip from Northern Monkey, but it was certainly a case of quality over quantity (Ladies Are Forever - Lingfield - 10/1). Great stuff!

It is a symptom of the current form of On The Nose that when he now bangs in two from three, including one at 9s, it's seen as simply another day at the office (well it's not quite, but you know where I'm coming from). Amazing how quickly you can get used to winning (Hunter's Lodge - Uttoxeter - 11/4 and Big Occasion - Uttoxeter - 9/1).

A small profit for 4PA, as a winner is found from four bets (Farraaj - Lingfield - 15/8).

No joy with a small each way double from Winning Racing Tips.

As for the sports, it was a superb day for Football Elite, finding four lovely winners from six bets (and one of the losers was Swansea to beat Arsenal, so all is good there!). The winners were Everton to bt Man City at 3.78, Nuremburg to bt Schalke at 3.18, Southampton to bt Liverpool at 4.08, and Getafe to bt Atletico Bilbao at 2.44. Quality tipping.

Skeeve (doubles) had a decent day too, with the smaller long-priced double coming in comfortably (Mansfield to bt Forest Green and Hyde to bt Dartford at 5.98), as did the larger double that became a larger single as the second leg was postponed (Kidderminster to bt Tamworth at 1.5).

A profit for The Football Analyst 7/22 on what ended a frustrating day. The winner (Braintree (DNB) vs Stockport County at 1.909) made for comfortable watching for me and my lad at Edgeley Park as the result was really never in doubt, but the other match which returned stakes should have brought more profit. Crawley were 2-0 up going into the 91st minute against Walsall, yet somehow ended up drawing!

A small profit too for Sportyy which found one winner from two (Over 2.5 goals in the Real Sociedad/Valladolid match at 2.01).

A Saturday to forget though for Summer Of Football (0/5).

4PA: Staked 5.5pts, +0.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1.5pts, +5.375pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, +6pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.2pts, -0.2pts.

The Football Analyst 7/22: Staked 1pt, +0.454pts.
Skeeve (Doubles): Staked 5pts, +6.98pts.
Summer Of Football: Staked 5pts, -5pts.
Football Elite: Staked 3pts, +3.74pts.
Sportyy: Staked 3.5pts, +0.524pts.

Cheltenham Day 4 - break even.

And so it's over for another year. And it's been a cracker, but then I say that every year. Carrickboy making all and dourly staying in front up the hill and all the way to the line will long stay in the memory, as will, for different reasons, the reaction of the jockeys to the accident that befell one of their own, JT McNamara.

I'm not, during the normal way of things, a great Mick Fitzgerald fan. The brief interchange though between Clare Balding and "Fitzy" on Channel 4 Racing was both absorbing and moving. Fitzgerald himself has been the victim of a similar accident to McNamara before he retired as a jump jockey, and his description of the emotions he went through and how he was so dependant on family and others close to him to get through what was a terrifying experience was a vivid one.

I don't want to write hackneyed cliches about how jockey and horse literally lay their lives on the line for our entertainment, but you know most cliches are cliches because they are true. My admiration for jockeys knows no bounds but the dangers they face is a massive part of what makes National Hunt racing the totally absorbing spectacle that it is, and to me anyway, is why the Cheltenham Festival is the distillation of sport itself.

Let's hope that McNamara makes a full recovery, and roll on next year.

Friday 15th March
Break even today. Well, that's not quite true - I lost 35p.

A winner in the last race at Cheltenham for 4PA (Alderwood - 11/2) which produced a decent profit after two other losing bets. Elsewhere, the recent poor form (ha!) of On The Nose continued (0/8).

Summer Of Football had two bets which both lost, but the two bets put up by Sportyy were winners (Del Potro to bt Murray at 2.91 and Over 2.5 goals in the Deportivo/Celta Vigo match at 2.05). Skeeve (Asians) too provided some profit (Mansfield (DNB) vs Forest Green at 1.7).

4PA: Staked 4pts, +4.187pts.
On The Nose: Staked 4.75pts, -4.75pts.

Skeeve (Asians): Staked 4pts, +2.792pts.
Summer Of Football: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Sportyy: Staked 3.5pts, +4.964pts.

Friday, 15 March 2013

That's my (Carrick)boy!

Saturday 9th March: First Avenue (ew) - WON 22/1
Wednesday 13th March: Lord Windermere (ew) antepost - WON 20/1
Wednesday 13th March: Meister Eckhardt (ew) - 2nd 16/1
Thursday 14th March: Smad Place (ew) antepost - 3rd 20/1
Thursday 14th March: CARRICKBOY (ew) - WON 65/1

All hail The Judge! The Judge for Pope (before that Argentinian chappie settles in)! The Judge for Prime Minister/Governor of the Bank of England/Secretary-General of the United Nations/General Big Cheese of the World (delete as applicable).

I mentioned yesterday that Pont Alexandre had been responsible for my biggest ever loss suffered on one horse. Yesterday's heroic performance from Carrickboy went into my personal history books as being the highest priced winner I've ever had. I was so moved that I had to resort to a simple and sraight to the point message sent to On The Nose via Twitter - "F**k me!". Those two words summed up rather well, if a little crudely, how I was feeling two minutes after the race.

There is a very serious message behind all this though. We read about the importance of patience in our betting. We learn that dropping a service at the first sign of a lean spell is not the right thing to do, however tempted we might be to do just that. But of course, I think we all realise that this is easier said than done.

Timing is of such crucial importance. In my first year with On The Nose, I made some very good profits, and it is was with this in mind that I determined to persevere with the service this year, after 2012 proved to be disappointing. Had I joined at the beginning of 2012 and not 2011, would I still be following now? I would like to say that being a gambler who tries to adopt a professional outlook on running a portfolio, then yes, I would. But that would be dishonest of me. With hand on heart, I really doubt whether I would have renewed at the beginning of this year. I would have looked at the 12 months' performance from January to December 2012 and I imagine I would have drawn a line.

The reason I didn't, was that I saw just how talented a tipster The Judge is through 2011. It gave me confidence and a desire to persevere as long as I could in the hope that he would rediscover his mojo. Even then - and I'm bearing my gambling soul now - I was reaching the point where I was beginning to justify to myself reasons for perhaps not renewing when my subs were next due for renewal in a month's or two time. I really didn't want to take this course of action. I like The Judge as a person and one thing I have never doubted is his desire to do well both as a tipster and as someone who runs a professional, customer-focused tipping service (and the two are not necessarily the same thing), but ultimately I try to run my betting portfolio as a business and with any business, bottom line performance is ultimately the be-all and end-all.

This past week's performance from On The Nose has led to me inserting a fundamental principle into the rules of how I run my gambling. I will now judge a tipster's performance over two years/seasons of results, not one. If at the end of a two year period, the returns are insufficient, then I will have to call time on that service's place in the portfolio. The only reasons why I might bring this deadline forward from that two year period is if the service suffers a drawdown equivalent to the size of the bank dedicated to it, or for poor customer service (which might include a significant and unjustified rise in subscription costs).

Due to a laptop meltdown, I lost my betting records up to August 2011 (a lesson learnt there!). Since August 2011 though, my personal record for On The Nose is 76.877 points of profit at an roi of a very respectable 12.71% and an ROC of 76.87%. That's not at all bad, and bear in mind that those figures do not include the performance achieved in January/February 2011 which I remember as being very strong. Up until last Saturday, that 12.71% roi was about half that. Like I said a couple of paragraphs up - a lesson learnt.

Thursday 15th March
I don't know if I've mentioned it, but On The Nose gave a 65/1 winner (Carrickboy - Byrne Group Plate). This rather overshadowed an excellent performance in other races. The winner of the Ryannair Chase was identified too (Cue Card - 4/1) and a long-priced antepost bet in the World Hurdle finished in the frame for another return (Smad Place - 20/1).

A break even day when including unsuccessful antepost bets for 4PA. The place part of an each way double paid out (First Lieutenant and Tartak) fairly handsomely, and another to place was found in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir (Romanesco - 8/1). The week's betting with 4PA has made me realise something too, this time to do with the bookmakers and my vulnerability now that the choice of which I can use is somewhat limited. I'll write more on this shortly, suffice to say for now however, that restrictions meant that I was a little way from mirroring the performance officially achieved by the service itself. I really do need to start work on finding a solution.

After all the excitement in the Cotswolds, the sports section of the portfolio was somewhat overshadowed, but it would be remiss of me to not mention a nice winner from Sportyy (Gulbis to win the first set vs Nadal at 3.00). On The Oche had just the one DNB bet in the evening's premier league darts, a bet which saw stakes returned.

4PA: Staked 9.5pts, -0.062pts.
On The Nose: Staked 4pts, +19.827pts (gulp!)

Sportyy: Staked 1pt, +2pts.
On The Oche: Staked 0.5pts, N/A.

So, what chance of an On The Nose repeat today then?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Cheltenham Day 2 - On The Nose to the rescue.

Well it was another day that ended in deficit, but thanks to On The Nose hitting their second 20/1+ winner in less than a week, the damage was limited. The hero in question was Lord Windermere, backed each way at 20/1 antepost and winner of the RSA Chase. The Judge has hit form, and he came very close to another big priced winner (Meister Eckhardt - Coral Cup - 16/1) but just run out of it after the last by it's stablemate. The place part of the each way bet paid nicely of course. Either way, seriously good tipping.

That was the good news, and now onto the bad. 4PA has had a shocking first half to the Festival. Yesterday was particularly galling. I was left well and truly galled, as system qualifier Flaxen Flair stormed to victory in the Fred Winter at 25/1, a horse ballotted out as a selection. These things happen, but it was doubly hard to take after all other 4PA selections lost. These things happen, and no-one is to blame. PCB makes the call and his judgment as to what does and doesn't make the account has proven to be solid over the long term. Still, like I say - galling.

To be fair to 4PA, it did tip up Sprinter Sacre antepost at 6/4. Trouble is, that was before I rejoined the service and I missed out on the bet as the odds had become prohibitively short at time of renewal, so I didn't even gain the benefit of this advice yesterday.

My memory may be playing tricks on me slightly, but I seem to recall 4PA having a similar start to the Festival a couple of years or so ago - loser after loser and then balloted out Junior as an account bet, which promptly flew home at a good price. However, I remember the Friday bringing back all losses when Zarkander won the Triumph Hurdle and Long Run the Gold Cup. Let's hope for something similar this year.

Finally, Pont Alexandre will go down as the new record holder for the heaviest loss I have ever suffered on one horse. Tipped up heavily by 4PA and supported too by The Sportsman Racing, it's underwhelming performance was hard to watch. Git.

One small piece of luck I did have. I hadn't realised that my Sportyy subs had expired until fairly late yesterday evening. After paying my dues, I logged in to get the selections to find I'd missed a loser. I backed the other selection, a nice 2/1 winner in the wee small hours of this morning. Not quite enough to counter missing out on a 25/1 winner, but perhaps the Gambling Gods had had enough piss taking for one day.

4PA: Staked 11.2pts, -11.2pts.
On The Nose: Staked 3.5pts, +13.75pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Cheltenham Day 1 - winners easier to find elsewhere.

There wasn't a bet on Monday, hence the lack of a post yesterday. It was, predictably, the calm before the storm however, and yesterday was a busy betting day. Here's how it went...

Tuesday 12th March
Not a great start to Festival week. Northern Monkey and The Sportsman Racing steered clear and reaped the rewards. Northern Monkey gave one bet which won (Aubrietia - Southwell - 2/1), as did The Sportsman Racing (Alpha Tauri - Southwell - 4/6).

The only return I had from any bet at Cheltenham came courtesy of a 4PA antepost bet (Simonsig - The Arkle - 2/1). A tale of woe elsewhere - 4PA had seven other bets when including stakes lost on antepost bets that didn't make it to the race, and it was a blank day too for On The Nose (0/5) and Winning Racing Tips (0/1).

Some of the losses were clawed back in the evening, as The Football Analyst 7-22 gave one winner from one (Preston (DNB) vs Notts County at 2.14) and Sportyy identified a winning opportunity in the Champions' League (Barcelona to qualify at 2.28). Unfortunately the one Summer Of Football bet lost half the stake.

On The Nose: Staked 3.5pts, -3.5pts.
4PA: Staked 8.5pts, -4pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, +2pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.5pts, +0.333pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.4pts, -0.4pts.

The Football Analyst 7/22: Staked 0.5pts, +0.57pts.
Summer Of Football: Staked 1pt, -0.5pts.
Sportyy: Staked 2.5pts, +2.06pts.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Viva Espana!

Sunday 10th March
Well Saturday was pretty darned decent, and yesterday wasn't at all bad either. It's an easy game to play when it's like this. Call me a pessimist though, but I don't half feel nervous about giving it all back again over Cheltenham week?

There was a strong spanish thread running through yesterday's profit-making. It's been a great weekend for Sportyy, based in Spain but hitting winners galore at the tennis in Indian Wells, America. There were some great tips amongst yesterday's three winners from four tennis bets - Andy Murray to lose the first set versus Donskoy at 8.27 being the highlight. The other winners were Phau to bt Chardy at 3.8 and Reynolds +2.5 games vs Fish at 1.971.

Sportyy also picked a winner in the Spanish football (Athletic Bilbao to bt Valencia at 2.61) which was also selected by an on-fire The Football Analyst E3-E7 which then doubled up in the evening's game with a superb tip (Real Sociedad (DNB) vs Atletico Madrid at 5.5)! It's been another very good weekend all told for TFA and I know the SBC was quite rightly drawing attention to an excellent February for the workaholic footie tipster.

No luck yesterday for Summer Of Football (0/1), Football Elite (0/1), On The Nose (0/1) or On The Oche whose small antepost selection in the UK Masters lost a very tight match that went into a deciding leg (I suppose the last legs of all matches are "deciding" even if 6-0, but you know what I mean).

On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

Summer Of Football: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Sportyy: Staked 6pts, +9.792pts.
The Football Analyst E3-E7: Staked 0.75pts, +1.93pts.
Football Elite: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
On The Oche: Staked 0.1pts, -0.1pts.

It's nearly here. One more sleep.

You know I don't remember there being quite so much hype over the Festival a decade or so ago. Perhaps it's just my memory playing tricks on me but certainly the build up now seems to reach fever pitch weeks in advance. As far as betting is concerned, I don't see it as a vehicle that is in any way different to a wet Thursday meeting at Ludlow. I would never bet at Cheltenham just because it is Cheltenham, and I'm pretty sure that the tipsters I follow treat it in the same way, although there are some out there who do suddenly seem to want to make selections at Prestbury Park for the sake of doing so. To me that is wrong, and I would give any such tipping service a wide berth if I felt this was something they were doing deliberately. I want my tipsters to do one thing for me and one thing maximise the potential for making profits. Where that profit comes from, I really couldn't care less.

But all of that doesn't mean we can't revel in Cheltenham. As an event, it has a unique atmosphere and I love everything about it. The sport we will see over the next few days is to be marvelled at as man and beast literally risk life and limb in pursuit of glory. It is this chasing of glory that is the very essence of sport, particularly when placed in the context of the sort of sporting behaviour we typically see amongst the competitors. There will be no quarter asked for or given in any of the races, but the camaraderie that exists between the protagonists is plain to see, as is the dedication of stable staff to the horses they care for and adore, and the outpourings of joy from the victorious owners. This is sport for sport's sake. It strikes me that very, very few are involved for the money. No, it's all about the glory of winning, and it is this that makes the Festival an unmissable few days, simply as a sporting event in itself. If we can back a winner or two along the way of course, then even better.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Saturday's Betting - The Judge Passes Winning Verdict!

Get the bollocks in!

I wrote earlier this week of the need for On The Nose to hit a little form, especially after it had been dropped from the SBC's Hall of Fame. Well, that improvement needs to be on a consistent basis, but it was absolutely brilliant for The Judge to demonstrate just what he is capable of yesterday, tipping up the winner of the Imperial Cup at Sandown at no less than 22/1! (First Avenue). His other winner (Soll - Sandown) was put in the shade rather by this piece of inspired tipping, which is a ridiculous thing to say of a winning return at 4/1. A great day for OTN; a great week ahead would be much appreciated.

Elsewhere on the horses, it was a case of 4PA hopefully getting it's losers out of the way before Cheltenham starts (0/3). Northern Monkey chipped in with some nice profits though, finding two successful bets from four (Shea Shea - Meydan - 7/2 and Tarooq - Wolverhampton - 4/1).

So a good day all in on the horses, and those profits were mirrored by the Sports betting side of the portfolio.

It's been a tough year so far for Sportyy as mentioned earlier this week, but it was the star of the Sports show yesterday, finding three winning bets from four (Gimeno-Traver to bt Lacko at 2.95, Dodig to bt Benneteau at 2.45, and Paire to bt Kohlschreiber at 1.833). These heroics were almost equalled by Football Elite who found three good winners from six (Mainz to bt Bayer Leverkusen at 3.02, Ajaccio to bt Lorient at 2.62, and Mallorca to bt Sevilla at 3.48 (!)).

Summer Of Football were an ace away from hitting three from three (Grant Holt - bell end!) but the two winners provided a decent enough profit on the day (Aston Villa +0.25 vs Reading at 1.74 and Bristol City DNB vs Middlesbrough at 1.84). The Football Analyst 7-22 broke even with one winner (Leyton Orient (DNB) vs Shrewsbury at 2.0) cancelling out one loser, but E3-E7 provided a decent profit from the one bet (Troyes to bt Reims at 2.21). The one The Sportsman bet was an easy winner (Stranraer vs Albion Rovers Over 2.5 at 1.6).

Unfortunately it was a bad day at the office for Skeeve, whose Asian bets went 0/2 and Doubles (1/3). Irritatingly, the winning double was actually only a short priced single (Mansfield to bt Stockport County at 1.4) as the match representing the second leg of the double was postponed.

So an excellent day all round. Now it's time to pray that Cheltenham is equally as kind over the week ahead.

4PA: Staked 5pts, -5pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 5pts, +3.05pts.
On The Nose: Staked 2.5pts, +14.75pts (fourteen point seven five!)

The Football Analyst 7-22: Staked 1pt, N/A.
The Football Analyst E3-E7: Staked 0.5pts, +0.605pts.
Football Elite: Staked 3pts, +1.56pts.
Skeeve (Asians): Staked 6pts, -6pts.
Skeeve (Doubles): Staked 9pts, -3.4pts.
Summer Of Football: Staked 3pts, +1.08pts.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.15pts, +0.09pts.
Sportyy: Staked 7pts, +5.683pts.

My experiment with the odds didn't really work out and in fact due to circumstances completely beyond my control, I missed the best odds on most of my bets yesterday, which is frustrating to say the least. However, I refuse to be disappointed on what was an excellent day, so onwards and upwards...

Friday's Betting

Friday 8th March
Not such a good day unfortunately, with Sportyy the main culprit, but certainly not alone in disappointing.

Only Northern Monkey involved on the horses with two each way selections, one of which placed.

A blank day for the Sports portfolio: The Football Analyst E3-E7 0/1, On The Oche 0/2, Football Elite 0/1 and Sportyy 0/3.

Northern Monkey: Staked 1.75pts, -0.597pts.

The Football Analyst E3-E7: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
On The Oche: Staked 0.4pts, -0.4pts.
Football Elite: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Sportyy: Staked 5pts, -5pts.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Time to experiment.

I've had to post this early as I'm not going to be at home this evening. Can you believe that my wife thought that with the kids having a sleepover with their favourite auntie tonight, it was a good opportunity for her to meet me at work before going out for a bite to eat and then on to the pictures to see a film?!? I know! I know! Nearly twenty years together, fourteen as man and wife, and she still thinks we haven't progressed beyond the 'still talk to each other' phase (what's all that about!?!). She knows too, that Friday evenings are about putting bets on, and simply doesn't care. I just don't get women.

So, consequently, this weekend is going to be a bit experimental. I'm going to be putting on the Skeeve bets, plus the Football Elite selections, on the day the games are being played. I'm hopeful the prices on the picks will have bounced a little. We'll see. It's a tactic that has paid dividends on plenty of occasions for Football Elite and in fact I now deliberately wait until the last possible moment before placing my money on Matt's selections. Skeeve's picks though are in different markets that possess a different dynamic. I don't know what to expect.

And you know what? Sometimes it's good to live life right on the edge, and in the spirit of wild abandon and recklessness which only the greatest of experimental innovators can aspire to, I've only gone and decided to do the same with The Football Analyst selections! Just call me crazy.

Thursday 7th February
A semi-decent profit on the day, primarily thanks to On The Oche and Sportyy.

It's been a very quiet week on the horses. Just two bets yesterday - one from Northern Monkey (0/1) and an each way double from Winning Racing Tips in which both horses placed.

On The Oche weighed into the Premier League again with three selections. Just the one was a winner but it was enough at the odds to produce a nice profit (Adrian Lewis to bt Michael van Gerwen at 4.33). By the way, it's nice to see one of the proper bookies - 12bet - getting involved in the darts. Along with Pinnacle and 188bet, it means we now have the ability to get on the match outcome selections without too much trouble.

Finally, Sportyy had just the one selection (Nieminen to bt Sijsling at 1.485).

Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.4pts, +0.096pts.

On The Oche: Staked 1.5pts, +0.665pts.
Sportyy: Staked 3pts, +1.456pts.

Friday. Oh, yes!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

February sports betting review.

Coral let me have £10 on Sprinter Sacre at Evens. Stingy bastards.

The total roi for February for the sports side of the portfolio finished at 5.48%. The year to date ROI for 2013 is 6.58%.

Football Elite: Staked 14pts, -2.677pts, roi -19.12%
(Staked 27pts, -1.108pts, roi -4.1%, ROC -2.21%)

I get the feeling that February 2013 will turn out to be a landmark month for Football Elite, one way or another. As mentioned when it happened, the bank was effectively doubled in size and selections have returned to being primarily simple win only with just the very occasional DNB thrown in if the team to be supported is at particularly long odds. Let's hope that the changes implemented help Matt rediscover a bit of his mojo. I'm aware the SBC dropped FE from their Hall of Fame last month but I want to give things a bit of time to bed in and see where that takes us.

The Football Analyst (7/22): Staked 11.5pts, +6.795pts, roi 59.09%

The Football Analyst (Euro): Staked 2.75pts, -0.095pts, roi -3.45%

The Football Analyst (Total): Staked 14.25pts, +6.7pts, roi 47.02%
(Staked 24.75pts, +5.997pts, roi 24.23%, ROC 29.98%

A superb month for 7/22. Mambers new this season to the service may be tempted to think not before time. Those of us who are a little longer in the tooth with Graeme were thinking that it was always a matter of when, not if. I've been thinking a lot about TFA recently, and have already reached some basic decisions about how I'm going to follow the systems next season. I don't have a clearly defined plan as yet - that can wait until the summer when Graeme can contribute his thoughts having reached a position where he can view the season as a whole - but one thing I can say I will be doing is following more TFA bets over 2013/14. 7/22 is a superb system, but the relatively low turnover it generates means that it is always going to be susceptible to variance in a way that higher turnover systems are not. It seems common sense to me that when we have a smorgasbord of excellent systems to choose from, putting myself in the situation where I'm so open to the possibility of suffering a bad season simply due to variance isn't perhaps best utilising Graeme's skills.

Summer Of Football: Staked 24pts, +1.487pts, roi 6.19%
(Staked: 46pts, +10.987pts, roi 23.88%, ROC 31.39%

Not much to say really other then the service has become a vital part of the portfolio and has taken less than a year to become so.

Skeeve (Asians): Staked 8pts, +6.38pts, roi 79.75%

Skeeve (Doubles): Staked 30pts, +21.321pts, roi 71.07%

Skeeve Total: Staked 38pts, +27.701pts, roi 72.89%
(Staked 75pts, +18.535pts, roi 24.71%, ROC 23.16%)

Well that's more like it! Fantastic to see a return to form for our non-league guru. The big hope now is that Skeeve can push on over the remaining couple of months or so of this season, repair as much of the damage previously done as possible, and then launch into a great 2013/14 season. Sounds like a plan.

The Sportsman: Staked 0.45pts, -0.15pts, roi -33.33%
(Staked 0.9pts, +0.117pts, roi 13%, ROC 2.92%

Exactly the same comments I made about The Sportsman Racing yesterday apply here.

On The Oche: Staked 7.75pts, +1.71pts, roi 22.06%
(Staked 11.583pts, +4.376pts, roi 37.77%, ROC 12.5%

A more than satisfactory start to the year for OTO. I know Matt has mentioned himself that he finds watching the darts incredibly stressful when he's got money on it, and I have to say I agree with him all the way on that one. I know I'd be better off not watching, but it's so damned compelling I just can't help myself. Taking years off me, it is.

Sportyy: Staked 49pts, -15.196pts, roi -31.01%
(Staked 112.4pts, -24.751pts, roi -22.02%, ROC -30.93%)

I don't want to write my thoughts about Sportyy tonight. Nothing sinister, it's just that I have a lot going through my mind with regard this service at the moment and how it fits into my portfolio (much of it very positive). It deserves a post in itself though, and I aim to write that post next week.

So there we have it. Year to date performance for the portfolio as a whole lies at 7.12% and the ROC at 8.54% (of leveraged funds). We've had two profitable months, one producing what might be considered to be a par result, the other a little under par. Let's hope for a good one in March!

Wednesday 6th March
Not such a good day in the end.

A nice winner for Northern Monkey whose only selection for the day produced the goods (Robin Hoods Bay - Kempton - 5/2). That though, is where the winners began and ended though. On The Nose (0/2), Winning Racing Tips (0/1) and Sportyy (0/2) meant the day was a losing one.

On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, +2.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.9pts, -0.9pts.

Sportyy: Staked 3.5pts, -3.5pts.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

February racing review.

I knew it. I just knew it. If Van Per$i€ wanted a longer run in Europe, he should have stayed put last summer.

So, February. In black and white terms, the month can only be described as underwhelming, the final roi settling at 3.55%. Turnover was 118% of that of January, the reason being the racing and football was less affected by bad weather.

I shall cover the racing today, and the sports portfolio tomorrow.

Horse Racing

Total ROI across the racing portfolio was -2.6%. This places the ROI on the racing for 2013 to date at 8.62% and the ROC at 6.83%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 25.25pts, +10.142pts, roi 40.16%
(Staked: 52.25pts, +16.96pts, roi 32.45%, ROC 26.09%)

An excellent performance from Wayne who obviously didn't allow his team's glorious run to Wembley distract him from the task of turning a good profit on the month, and it's been a very strong start to the year. I'm pleased with the service on a couple of issues.

Firstly, I'm glad that last Autumn, Wayne soon brought an end the experiment in utilising a sytematic approach to finding selections on the all weather. Nothing against using a system per se, it just didn't feel right with such bets coming from Wayne. One of the strengths of the service, to my mind anyway, is the rationale provided for each selection and the understanding of the form book the write up often reveals.

Secondly, Northern Monkey has introduced a scheme that I would like to see other tipping services embrace, and that is provide a discounted rate of subscription for long term members who have over time, demonstrated their loyalty. I've touched on this before on the blog, but I do find a company's attempts to attract new customers by offering all sorts of incentives often appear to be made at the cost of existing customers, who rarely if ever receive discounts or other special concessions. Sky is a prime example of this. Concessions and discounts in return for loyalty from a customer is something I would like to see a lot more of.

On The Nose: Staked: 26.5pts, -3.75pts, roi -14.15%
(Staked 48.75pts, -13.875pts, roi -28.46%, ROC -13.875%)

From reading a recent email The Judge sent out to his subscribers, it would appear that there may be one or two things happening behind the scenes at OTN that will hopefully have a positive knock on effect on the service. It's been a relatively lean time over the last 12-14 months all told and it's been unfortunate that the beginning of 2013 hasn't seen the service push on from what looked like very promising signs of a return to form during the back end of last year. The fallow period has proven to be too lengthy for the SBC, who recently dropped On The Nose from their Hall of Fame, but I'm sticking with it for the moment.

The Judge has acted very honourably, professing to feeling "awkward" at charging his customers during periods of loss, and that is an admirable approach to take; he has extended the subscription periods for those who paid until the end of March until the end of April, and that sort of offer encourages patience. Personally, I feel that the service just needs the rub of the green and given it, has the potential to fly again. I certainly want to give it every chance to do so. Ultimately though, a line has to be drawn somewhere, at some time. Let's hope that time can be avoided.

The Sportsman Racing: Staked 1.5pts, +0.41pts, roi 27.38%
(Staked 5.5pts, +1.061pts, roi 19.29%, ROC 4.24%)

A very quiet month from Scott, but I have no issue with this. My own nature is a fairly cautious one and I'd much prefer a tipster tip only when confident that the circumstances are right to do so, and not simply to meet some spurious expectation that he be tipping more days than not. One tweak I might well make though, is to reduce the size of the bank. I currently devote 25 points to it and I'm not convinced I need that many. I know there is a whole different debate about whether or not a high turnover is preferable to a more selective approach, and a large part of me thinks that in many ways it is, but that's not to say that there isn't a very valuable place in any portfolio for a highly selective service such as The Sportsman/The Sportsman Racing.

Winning Racing Tips: Staked 9.4pts, -2.976pts, roi -31.65%
(Staked: 17pts, +6.658pts, roi 39.16%, ROC 22.19%)

Despite the figures for February, it's been a very strong beginning to 2013 for WRT, following on from an excellent 2012. Had the winning double that was landed on Sunday been three days earlier, February would have been a profitable month for the service, which may be an almost worthless fact in itself, but does kind of highlight the ridiculousness of judging betting performance on a monthly basis.

4PA: Staked 14.5pts, -5.172pts, roi -35.67%
(Staked: 31pts, -17.122pts, roi -55.23%, ROC -21.4%)

I think it's more a case of looking forward with this service as opposed to getting knickers in a twist about these last couple of months. With Cheltenham firmly in our sights, Aintree following not long after and then the Guineas meeting, there's a lot of action ahead at meetings that could very easily see the service excel. Fingers crossed for a profitable Cheltenham.

As for yesterday's betting...

Tuesday 5th February
Not that there was much of it. Just the one bet, Summer Of Football coming up with a "half" winner (Watford -0.75 vs Sheff Wednesday at 1.9).

Summer Of Football: Staked 1pt, +0.45pts.

Finally, a thank you to the Secret Betting Club for providing some interesting and stimulating bedtime reading for tonight by releasing it's Cheltenham Festival Special. Honestly, I'm like a dog with two dic kid at Christmas in these last few days prior to the big meeting. Bring it on!

And finally, finally...and at risk of this evening's post sounding like a stick-Northern-Monkey-on-a-pedastal piece - I much appreciated Wayne's emailing to his subscribers details on Cheltenham related offers that certain bookmakers are providing from tomorrow. Perhaps I should be more vigilant to these things myself, but I'm not. So this sort of stuff is, like I say, appreciated.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Doubles here, doubles there...

It really was the weirdest thing. I'd not long finished a sumptuous home-cooked lasagna, washed down with a lovely bottle of Italian Red, and was sitting on the sofa with the kids watching an old 'Only Fools And Horses', when Bang! Within five minutes I'd gone from that post-dinner satisfied contentment to being a dizzy, shivery, achy wreck of a man. Literally five minutes. It put me in bed for the best part of two days. Not good.

Anyway, it put me behind my blogging schedule, and apologies for that. Let's take a look at the weekend's action...

The weekend as a whole was a profitable one, thanks in the main to Winning Racing Tips who scored with a magnificent 16/1 double on Sunday (Walkabout Creek - Sedgefield - 9/2 and Shernando - Huntingdon - 2/1), Skeeve who picked up 10+ points via two winning doubles (Kidderminster/Mansfield at 1.75 and Eastleigh/Welling at 2.1) plus a winning Asian bet (Newport to bt Hyde at 1.92). 4PA chipped in too on Saturday with two winners (Quentin Collonges - Doncaster - 10/1 and Aaim To Prosper - Doncaster - 5/2).

Football Elite put up an inspired pick in France (Reims (DNB) to bt PSG at 5.0). A winning bet on Sunday though, shocked me to the core. In fact, looking back, I can't help thinking that it was probably this shock to my system that led directly to my falling ill. It wasn't a virus my body was being attacked by. No, it was a perfectly natural physical reaction to the horrible experience that I suffered earlier in the day backing Tottenham to beat Arsenal (2.44)! Truth be told, and call me pathetic, but I actually got my wife to stick the bet on. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Matt - you see what you did to me!?!

Here are the figures from Friday to Sunday...

Northern Monkey: Staked 3pts, -0.938pts.
On The Nose: Staked 6.5pts, -6.5pts.
4PA: Staked 5.5pts, +3.25pts.
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.55pts, -0.55pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.4pts, +3.432pts.

Summer Of Football: Staked 9pts, -2.9pts.
Sportyy: Staked 9pts, -2.92pts.
The Football Analyst: Staked 3.25pts, -0.55pts.
Skeeve: Staked 17pts, +10.08pts.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.15pts, N/A.
Football Elite: Staked 3pts, +0.72pts.

Now, I need to do a review of February as a betting month. Let's see if we can stick that up tomorrow.


Sorry folks. Been knocked sideways by some virus or other.

Will be back soon. Promise.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Northern Monkey - take a bow, Son.

Haven't really much time tonight, but I couldn't let yesterday's performance from Northern Monkey go without comment. Two bets, two winners (Mufarrh - Meydan - 14/1 and 12/1, and Thecornishcockney - Kempton - 2/1). Fabulous tipping, especially as he went a larger than average 0.75pts each way on Mufarrh. What a great way to end the month!

Elsewhere, On The Oche hit one winner from three, and a loser overnight for Sportyy.

Northern Monkey: Staked 2.5pts, +14.166pts.

On The Oche: Staked 1.5pts, -0.42pts.
Sportyy: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.

Have a good weekend, folks. Back Monday.