I mentioned yesterday that there is an interesting thread in the Secret Betting Club in which the participants are debating the issue of how a tipping service should record 'official' results in a way that was fair to subscribers. I don't want to express an opinion on this blog just yet, as I don't want to be treading on the toes SBC's toes. It would be a bit like a rival newspaper passing off another's 'Exclusive' as their own. Of course that never happens, does it?
I may well address the subject under discussion on this blog at a later date, but for now I want to talk about my own approach to securing the best odds I can with the bets that I place and my own attitude towards any discrepancy there may be between the odds I secure and those recorded by the services I follow.
First of all, I think we, as service subscribers, need to draw a line in the sand to use as a marker as to what is and what isn't an acceptable level of odds movement occuring between the time of bet release and the time we are able to place the bets. If we are striking the bets as soon as the selections hit our inbox, but are consistently securing odds considerably below those officially recorded by the service itself, then something is very wrong. If this is happening, then the service wouldn't be one that I would want to follow, simple as that. To my mind, this issue should be treated in the same way as a service claiming a bet as a winner when in fact, to many subscribers, it wasn't (and that is not as stupid as it sounds; it can and does happen).
So having drawn that line, I have to say that I really don't get too hung up about officially recorded prices providing the service I'm following is playing it fair. I believe it is my responsibility to secure the best odds on the bets I place, not the responsibility of the tipster. Generally speaking, I find that if I have missed out badly on the odds of a particular bet, it is a result of something either I have or have not done, or is due to circumstances peculiar to myself and nothing to do with the tipster whatsoever. Allow me to use Skeeve as an example. Skeeve has a short list of 'official' bookmakers from which he will take the best odds after a set period of time after bet release as those at which he will record results. Now, of these bookmakers, I can only really use two - Bwin and William Hill. Even if William Hill have better odds available on one of Skeeve's doubles, I still choose to use Bwin. Why? Because I'm desparately trying to protect my William Hill account, it being the only BOG bookmaker that thus far has imposed no restrictions on my betting on horse racing. Perhaps mixing profitable non-league football bets with horse racing would play no part in any decision that a William Hill trader may make with regards the ongoing viability of my account, but the decision I have taken, either rightly or wrongly, is to take no chances with what is a valuable commodity to the overall portfolio. The key words here being, "decision I have taken". It is not Skeeve's fault that I have chosen to decline the offer of the very best odds on his tips and therefore, whenever there is a discrepancy between his officially recorded prices and the ones I choose to take, then I have to accept that is my responsibility and not Skeeve's. Of course there are times when the Bwin prices are the best on offer, so I hope it's swings and roundabouts when looking at the long term, but either way, the point stands.
Another example. On Friday, I found the Pinnacle website painfully slow, both in loading up and when trying to place bets. Now as it happens, I was experimenting a little with Skeeve's Asian Handicap bets so it didn't actually matter, but were I trying to place that bet with Pinnacle on Friday evening, I'd have really struggled. No doubt I'd have missed out on the higher odds that would have been available during the window that Skeeve allows before taking the best price from one of the Asian bookmakers. Again, this is no fault of Skeeve and blaming any tipster under such circumstances is ridiculous.
It's important too, to think ahead when it comes to how you're going to secure the best odds. As you know if you have read the blog over this past week or so, I'm rejoining Football Investor. Now I know full well that both Football Investor and The Football Analyst both release their bets for the weekend on a Thursday evening. With the number of bets from each service I anticipate placing, there's no way I'm going to be able to catch the highest odds on each team. But I was aware of this when I made the decision to go back to FI. To complain next year that I'm missing out on some prices would be a justification for Stewboss or Graeme to visit my house in the dead of night to chop my knadgers off!
Ultimately, the point I'm trying to make here is that what concerns me first and foremost is how much money I make via the services I follow. None of them take the piss with the way they record their results so I'm not at all concerned about any discrepancy between my results and theirs. If a problem arises, where I see that for some reason or other I'm missing out on a lot of potential profit, then I may need to analyse why it is, and whether the better thing to do is to persevere with that service, or knock it on the head.
More to say on this tomorrow.
Tuesday 9th April
Northern Monkey kicked things off on the right footing with the one bet, a very nice winner (Polski Max - Pontefract - 4/1). If there is such a thing as a textbook tip, this was it. An early 4/1 secured before the horse was backed into 11/4 on course, a top jockey taking advantage of a favourable draw before giving the horse a peach of a ride, culminating in an easy five length win. Why can't it always be like this?
On to the evening's football, and it was a good night for Football Investor's Strike Zone which picked out three winners from three bets. GB bets had two winners from four for a small profit too, whilst Sporty found one from two.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1pt, +2.4pts.
Sportyy: Staked 2.5pts, +1.266pts.
Football Investor (Strike Zone): Staked 3pts, +4.15pts.
GB: Staked 4pts, +0.21pts.