Month: October 2016

How to pick a winner!

Sadly, I’ve never been able to pick out a winner on the horses.  Not with any level of consistency anyway.  Actually, that’s not quite right – I’m able to not pick winners with mind-numbing consistency!  I just have no talent at all in interpreting the form book.  I used to spend hours when I was a teenager, sitting in my bedroom with my best mate, poring over the pull-out results sections of the weekly ‘Raceform’ newspaper.  We’d try and formulate systems that would give us the edge over Eamonn in the local betting shop, who allowed us both to have a bet despite knowing full well we were underage.  He probably thought the risk was worth it – we very rarely backed a winner!

Anyway, the point is, I’m useless at picking horses.  Even now, when people I play cricket with and other mates ask me what I do, and I tell them I make money from gambling, they ask me for tips.  Seriously, they’re better off sticking a pin in the racecard.  They can’t seem to get their heads around the fact I make money from betting, but I claim to not being able to pick a winner to save my life.

What I have become fairly good at though, is recognising those that can pick winners, and identify value, and run a successful tipping service.  And what a great skill it is to develop!

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve made loads of mistakes in the past in terms of who to pay subscription fees to and follow; mistakes that were especially commonplace and expensive when I first set out on my punting journey.  Even after I had joined the SBC, and started to read their reviews of services and how good and bad they were, I still made poor choices.  I did at least stop paying up to join dodgy tipsters who were essentially nothing other than con artists, but I did still join tipsters that just weren’t right for me as an individual.  They perhaps didn’t suit my risk profile, or release bets at times when I could get the money down at the right odds.  Some services fitted like a glove, others fitted like a wool sweater that’s shrunk in the wash.

Still, over time, I became more and more adept at picking the right services for me.  I will go into the intricacies of the process in future blog posts, but for now I’ll concentrate on two major issues when it comes to selecting which tipsters to follow.

The first, and the most important box that I need to see ticked before I will even begin to consider parting with my cash, is that the service must have proofed and continue to be proofing their bets to a dependable and reliable source.  If they’re not, I don’t care how good they sound, I walk away.  There really is no need whatsoever in this day and age, for a reputable tipster to not be proofing their tips anywhere.

It is important to see who and where the tipster is proofing to.  Many “proofing” services are far from independent, taking affiliate fees as a reward for people signing up to a service on the back of their recommendation.  This practice completely undermines the principle of independent verification.  Personally, as I know and trust the SBC 100%, I simply limit myself to those services that proof to them.  I haven’t always imposed this rule on my own betting portfolio, and have often (although not always) suffered as a result.  You live and learn, I suppose.

There are some other reliable proofing sites out there.  Joseph Buchdahl used to run one, but sadly decided to close it down a little while ago.

The second all-important rule, is that the proofed record needs to be of a certain size.  I have seen so many flash-in-the-pan tipsters blaze an early trail, and then fizzle out disappointingly (and expensively).  The fact is, that there aren’t many that can stand the test of time.  Those that do, are worth following.

The sample of proofed bets needs to be sizeable in terms of both the time the tipster has been tipping for (at least 12 months, ideally over three years), and number of bets. The reliability of the sample size is dependent to an extent on average odds.  The aforementioned Joseph Buchdahl talks about this in his book, How To Find A Black Cat In A Coal Cellar (which is well worth a read for any aspiring serious or semi-serious bettor).  It is surprising just how large a sample of betting results needs to be to be statistically significant, ie. performance shows a real level of skill and is unlikely to be simply the consequence of luck.

So there we have it, the first two lessons to learn if you want to build a good, profitable portfolio of tipping services.  We’ll continue with this theme next time.


In the meantime, how has my portfolio been faring?

Well, it’s not been a bad week at all so far, although today’s losses have put a bit of a dampener on things.  I’m well aware we’re not yet up to speed with results as yet, but as I’ll be penning an end of month review of October’s figures in a few days time, I’ll save it for then to save repetition.  After that I’ll be updating the results on a weekly basis for you.

So, until next week…


Northern Monkey – Tipster Extraordinaire

When you write a regular blog, there are times when despite all your best-laid plans as to what you are going to write next, something happens that you simply have to concentrate on instead.

My intention had been to use this post to provide a run down of the services that this blog will follow, but then one of them went and had a remarkable Saturday, and it would be remiss of me not to dedicate this week’s musings to the events of that day and this service in particular.

Before I do however, I will at least set out for you which services (or at least some of them) I will be writing about on a weekly basis, and whose performances we will track as a “portfolio”.

So here we go…

  1. Northern Monkey.
  2. Chasemaster.
  3. Jason James.
  4. Morning Value Service (Lite).
  5. Pinpoint Golf.

Other than Northern Monkey, these services are all administered by the Secret Betting Club.  I intend to write a post on the whys and wherefores of this, which I will do next week, when we discuss what makes a good tipster service to follow (there’s a lot more to it than whether or not it claims to make money, believe me!).

Please do note however, that I’m only revealing the identity of a few of the services I follow on a day to day basis.  The portfolio is completed by another four services which will be referred to as “Service A” and “Service B”, etc.  as they are private services monitored by the SBC, plus two strategies that use the selections of the tipsters I’ve already mentioned.  I’ll go into these in more detail at a later stage.

I average 60-70% total bank growth per year and it’s always interesting to see how progress (or otherwise!) is being made – there are many ups and many downs, and things are never dull!

So, on to Saturday…

Of all the tipsters I follow, I’ve been with Northern Monkey for the longest time.  I first joined nearly five years ago, and to be completely honest with you, nearly gave it up after a pretty awful first month!  And herein lies the first real bit of advice I can pass on; if  you’re going to give a service a go, give it a real go!  Had I given up with Northern Monkey then, it would have proven to be a massive mistake.

So what makes Northern Monkey so good?  Well, as at the end of September of this year, the official figures for the service showed an overall profit of 490.3 points from 4,926 fully “proofed” bets at a Return On Investment (ROI) of 11.3%.

The longevity of the service is one thing that immediately stands out.  I have seen so many bright new things hit the tipping world with an explosion of profit, but which shines brightly for only a limited time before fading away and eventually disappearing completely.  You see, it is the ability to remain profitable over the long term that I believe provides tipsters with their biggest challenge.  The skill and mental fortitude needed to create a long term ROI of 10%+ over thousands of bets and years of issuing bets is what truly makes a tipster worth following.

This is not all that is impressive when we put Northern Monkey under the microscope, however.  The SBC quite rightly places huge importance on how easy it is for the Average Joe (or Josephine) to replicate a tipsters official figures.  It’s no good a tipster claiming a 20% ROI over time, if when they issue their selections, the odds crash, and realistically as a subscriber you can only achieve an 8/9% ROI as a consequence.  Similarly, issuing bets the night before racing, when prices can be at their juiciest, is an easy way to “boost” official figures – but in the real world, your bookmaker accounts will not last long if you’re making money betting at this time in weak markets.  Northern Monkey has the fairest odds quoting policy I know, and bets are released 95% of the time on the morning of racing.  For the other 5%, Wayne (the betting maestro/tipster/all round good egg who runs the service) will simply use SP as the prices at which he will record any winning bets, or he will take the average odds available at 8.30am the next day.  All his multiple bets are settled to SP.  In other words, it should be possible, with just a little effort, to beat Wayne’s official service performance figures, and there aren’t many you can say that about.

Anyway, back to last Saturday.  It had been a bad week across the portfolio, but things were about to change…

One strategy that Wayne has introduced to his betting is identifying value in antepost markets for some of the big races and then manipulating his bets in such a way that he has a number of points rolling onto his selection.  Naturally, an antepost bet on the relevant horse itself will be advised, but then to get more money rolling onto his fancy he will double it up with certain bets issued in the more mundane midweek racing action.

This way he can potentially cash in big as there can be quite a large stake going onto the big race selection, accumulated with relatively small risk.

This policy had so nearly landed the jackpot a number of times through this summer’s flat season, but the big payout had eluded Wayne and his followers.  Read these paragraphs from an email sent to members by Wayne last Friday night:

“As we look back on October so far, it is crazy to think we are over 15 pts in the red given the number of near misses we’ve had…..So Mi Dar was trapped in pocket, finishing an unlucky loser at Chantilly when backed in a double with winner Limato. Leoncavallo was cuffed in the final strides at Pontefract when we were on the verge of landing a Godolphin double, while Lightscameraction threw away his race from a winning position at Leicester this week when we were on for +22.95 pts.

You look at the in running odds in those UK races and we were 90 % likely to collect at Pontefract according to the in running odds, yet lost, and we were 81 % likely to collect at Leicester, yet lost there too.

Over the season as a whole, throw in the Wokingham results, when Brando traded at 2.10 in running (48 % chance of winning us around 50 pts), the Growl result in the Stewards’ Cup (when on for a return of anything up to 150 pts but beaten by trouble in running and the draw) and the Growl result in the Ayr Gold Cup (79 % likely to win 37.5 pts), when we landed place returns from all but, no victory, and you can’t help but look to the skies and wonder when the punting gods will give us a break.”

To my mind these words sum up perfectly the frustrations that serious gambling can bring, but then came Saturday’s Northern Monkey sting.

Wayne fancied a horse called The Tin Man in the big sprint at Ascot, and had advised an antepost bet on the horse at prices between 6/1 and 8/1.  He’d also amassed a number of points on the horse by that previously stated strategy of doubling up the bet with horses tipped in other races leading up to the big day.  By doing so, NMP subscribers had 6 points rolling onto The Tin Man.  When you bear in mind that Wayne’s maximum stake for any one bet is three points, and those are rarely issued, you can see that this was a biggie!So how satisfying/rewarding/exhilarating then, was it to see the race unfold the way it did?

Here are the in running comments for The Tin Man: “steady headway over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, ran on to lead final 100 yards, won going away”.30 points profit bagged, and at last for Wayne, just reward for his doubling up strategy, which is something else we’ll be examining in more detail in the not too distant future.Goodness, this has turned into a long post!  Next week, I’ll start to summarise the performance of the portfolio as a whole and do as I intended this week, that is, give a little background info on each of the services in it.

Until then, go well.


Hello, and welcome to a betting journey


Seems an appropriate way to start a new blog.  A blog dedicated to all things betting, which is only right and proper for a site such a this!

My name is Rowan, and I have been an SBC member for years.  It might well be that I originally found the SBC site as you did, browsing online looking for something betting related or something that might make my betting better, if you know what I mean?  You see, I’d had an interest in having a flutter ever since I was a teenager and started to read Dick Francis novels.  For those of you who don’t know, Dick Francis was a jumps jockey (who rode for the Queen and who was famously on board Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National, seemingly about to win the big race before this happened).  When Francis retired from the saddle he put down his whip and picked up a pen, writing thriller novels that became annual best sellers and which always contained a plot based around horse racing in some way or other.

Anyway, after reading a couple of these books, I started to get interested in horse racing as a betting medium.  There was no internet in those days, and I spent many an afternoon with my best mate – who I’d managed to persuade that losing money on bad bets was actually quite fun (!) – in a smoky, dingy betting office listening to SIS commentaries that invariably didn’t need to mention the horse we’d backed as it wasn’t involved in the race much beyond halfway!  It was whilst this was happening that I started to question my selection methods and the possibility that my lucky boxer shorts weren’t that lucky (or clean if I managed to get in a trip to the bookies a few days each week!).

After a break from betting whilst at Uni and then getting a career up and running, I found myself getting drawn back to racing following a trip one year to the Cheltenham Festival.  I still couldn’t pick a winner though, with the odd exception that was enough to convince me that deep down, I had the talent to provide tips for the Racing Post (after all, I couldn’t do much worse than some of their so called football betting experts like Didi Hamann!), hence the (now) online search for a better way to bet.  Which is when I found the Secret Betting Club.

In those days the SBC was a little different to how it is now.  At the risk of upsetting someone behind the scenes here, the website was a touch more basic, but the content was great.  Here were reviews of tipsters and betting services – just what I was looking for.  Admittedly, it took me a little longer than it should have to join up, as initially I was a touch suspicious that it might be a scam, but ultimately I took the plunge and since then my betting life has never been the same.

To cut a long story short, I learnt how to put together a portfolio of successful tipsters and over time, grew my betting operation hand in hand with the SBC.  I wrote what has surely to go down as the best betting blog ever (*cough*) for three years called The Portfolio Investor, and developed my betting into what was initially a decent second income and for a while, my primary source of income.

So that’s where we’re at, and the folk at the SBC thought it a good idea if I start writing a blog for them back in 2015 for their members.

Such has been its success, that I am now writing a second blog for the rest of you, keen to understand more on the ins and outs of running a portfolio of betting services.

So that’s what I’m going to do, and this has been the first post!  Next week, I will list the services I’m following and give a run-down on each, so make sure you check back, ok?

Until then, may all your bets be winning ones, and you experience deep joy at the bookies’ expense.

Wouldn’t that be nice.



About Rowan

Rowan Day is the author of the Bet Diary and a regular contributor to the Secret Betting Club, writing regular reviews and articles for the service.

Rowan photo
Rowan first became a Secret Betting Club member several years ago and and inspired by our reports, he put together his first “portfolio” of tipster services in 2010, set up a betting bank, and went about trying to generate a significant second income from his gambling.

As is always the case for anyone new to investment gambling, Rowan made a number of mistakes when starting out. Unprepared mentally for the inevitable ups and downs of betting, he fell into many of the pitfalls that are frequently enough to put a premature end to an ambitious bettor’s career.

Rowan persevered however, gradually refining and developing his methods and learning from his errors of judgment. He wrote about his journey in what became an extremely popular blog called ‘The Portfolio Investor’ which was published on an almost daily basis between 2011 and 2014.

It was during this period that Rowan started to contribute articles and reviews for the Secret Betting Club, and worked as Editor of the specialist US Sports Betting Magazine. He now writes the SBC’s Bet Diary and continues to work on the SBC’s Betting Magazines and Tipster Profit Reports, which all make him perfectly placed to keep right on top of all that is happening in the world of successful tipsters.

Over the years Rowan has consistently generated strong profits, and has never experienced a losing year. His record tells him that he can expect to achieve a Return On Capital of between 50% and 100%. His last betting year (April 2015 – April 2016) saw a typical 64.4% betting bank growth.

Applying this to actual monetary sums, a 64.4% ROC would have brought about the following profits:

  • £2,000 into £3,288
  • £5,000 into £8,220
  • £10,000 into £16,440
  • £20,000 into £32,880

About The SBC Bet Diary

The SBC Bet Diary is here to help communicate some of the practical realities of following tipsters to make money betting.

It’s penned by profitable punter, and SBC writer, Rowan Day who, each week, discusses his ongoing betting journey including the tipsters he follows, and his performance, using their advice (win or lose – he is always refreshingly honest!).

The idea behind the Bet Diary is to provide some real-life, genuine, experiences of just how the tipsters we rate and recommend can actually make you a realistic extra income stream.

Whether it’s to simply make some extra pocket money, fund a family holiday, or to generate a sustainable second income – his Bet Diary will be able to help you achieve your goals.

After all, last tax year, Rowan made a 64.4% Return on Capital from his betting so he knows his stuff!

Updated weekly, you can read the very latest from Rowan at the Bet Diary homepage.

I would also recommend reading his introductory post.

Rowan’s Journey Since 2010

Before launching the Bet Diary, Rowan started out as a regular Secret Betting Club member many moons ago. He took the plunge, paid for a membership, and got stuck into following some of the tipsters in our Hall of Fame.

Time wore on, and he started to enjoy some success.

One thing led to another and, keen to share his experiences (and no doubt helped by the fact that he is a talented, engaging, writer!) he launched his own successful blog, ‘The Portfolio Investor’, subsequently followed by the ‘Bet Diary Pro’ in 2015.

Through the latter, he posts regularly about the tipsters he is following, the money he is making (and sometimes losing….) and his honest thoughts on the real-world challenges of betting.

The ‘Bet Diary Pro’ was very well received, and, building on this success, we launched the FREE Bet Diary in October 2016. This FREE Bet Diary illustrates some of the real-life challenges and rewards that following the right betting tipsters can bring.

For anyone who is relatively new to the world of betting, and tipsters, this serves as a very interesting and, most importantly, practical resource.

I recognise that not everyone is convinced that you can make money betting using tipping advice…….We aim to challenge that opinion!!

Rowan’s Track Record of Success

Over the years, Rowan has consistently generated strong profits simply by following many of the tipsters that the Secret Betting Club recommends.

His expectation is to achieve a Return On Capital of between 50% and 100% in any given year, based on the tipsters he follows.

During his last betting year (April 2015 – April 2016) he achieved a 64.4% betting bank growth.

Applying this to actual monetary sums, a 64.4% ROC would have brought about the following profits:

  • £2,000 into £3,288
  • £5,000 into £8,220
  • £10,000 into £16,440
  • £20,000 into £32,880

If interested in learning more, you can actually read his real-life betting report from 2015/16 via the Secret Betting Club website. Simply register for a Free Secret Betting Club Membership to gain access to the full report PDF.

Read EVEN More In The Bet Diary Pro

If the Free Bet Diary whets your appetite, then you can gain access to Rowan’s more detailed, professional betting blog (Bet Diary Pro) as a Secret Betting Club member.

First introduced in early 2015, the Bet Diary Pro provides even more from Rowan on the practical realities of following tipsters to make money betting including:

  • Exclusive extra analysis on his betting portfolio and his ongoing betting journey;
  • The EXACT identities of each of the tipsters he follows to make money betting;
  • Access to all SBC reviews/ratings and recommendations for each tipster;
  • Access to several major discounts on the tipsters followed;
  • Access to the SBC Tipping Forum and several free profitable tipsters.

Access to the Bet Diary Pro is available to all with either a Silver, Gold or Platinum Secret Betting Club membership.

Subscribe now and gain full access.

Secret Betting Club



Bet Diary Pro

If the Free Bet Diary whets your appetite, then you can gain access to Rowan’s more detailed, professional betting blog (Bet Diary Pro) as a Secret Betting Club member.

First introduced in early 2015, the Bet Diary Pro provides even more from Rowan on the practical realities of following tipsters to make money betting including:

  • Exclusive extra analysis on his betting portfolio and his ongoing betting journey;
  • The EXACT identities of each of the tipsters he follows to make money betting;
  • Access to all SBC reviews/ratings and recommendations for each tipster;
  • Access to several major discounts on the tipsters followed;
  • Access to the SBC Tipping Forum and several free profitable tipsters.

Access to the Bet Diary Pro is available to all with either a Silver, Gold or Platinum Secret Betting Club membership.

Subscribe now and gain full access.

Secret Betting Club