Month: January 2017

Getting used to losing.

Let’s say this straight up:  if you plan or have started to put your betting on a more professional basis, you are still going to experience a lot of losing.  It is very likely that your losing days will outnumber your winning days, and it is a 100% certainty that you will have more losing bets than winning ones.

With this in mind, you need to get used to losing…fast!

The brain is wired up wrong for long-term success.

Following numerous scientific studies into the effects that the gambling process has on the brain, it appears that we are not really wired up in such a way that makes focusing on the long term a naturally easy thing to do.  And yet, as you have no doubt read many, many times already, if we are to make a success of our betting, we simply must ignore the short term trends and concentrate on the long term.  We have a betting conundrum on our hands.

The fact is that, in layman’s terms, the mental impact of a losing bet is greater and lasts for longer than the impact of a winning bet.  So how do we cope when we know we will have more losers than winners?

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Don’t ignore the potential downsides.

A very easy trap to fall into is to believe that if you set your betting portfolio up properly, if you calculate the correct levels of staking and ensure your portfolio is nicely diversified, and your betting banks are all lined up…that good results will naturally follow.  Effective planning can often lead to a false sense of security.  It is human nature to underestimate the chances of failure when setting out on a new venture.

So start asking yourself some serious questions, and think deeply about the answers.  And be truthful with yourself when asking the following questions:

  • How patient am I?
  • How will I deal with it if I don’t start making a profit for a few months?
  • How much can I lose?
  • How will I react if all my services have a losing month together?
  • How will I react if I sign up to a new service and they make a loss over the first six months?

All tipsters have losing runs.  That’s why it is so important to set up your betting banks conservatively – it is your bank that will act as a comfort blanket through the bad times.  But you must acknowledge that you may be really unfortunate in joining a service just as he or she embarks upon one of those losing runs.  It’s not likely, but it could happen, and you need to be mentally strong enough to cope with this.

I would also strongly recommend that as you start your betting, you keep a note of your worst losing runs.  This means that when things go bad in the future, you can compare current performance with bad times in the past.  You will be able to see your worst case scenarios and this in itself will make you more understanding of the losing runs as they hit.  To my mind, this is why experience is such a huge asset in betting – what you have to accept is that there is only one way to gain that experience.

Betting from Saturday 21st January to Friday 27th January

Well after so much profit making, I knew I was due a correction of some sort, and last week, that is precisely what happened.  No service bombed out completely, although Pinpoint Golf came closest to doing so, losing 23 points of the 38 staked,  Generally though, it was more a case of each service losing a little and the losses mounting up.

The honourable exception was Football Service A who came up with three winners from five bets for a 2.59 point profit.

Here are the figures for the month:

Chasemaster: Staked 22pts, -3.55pts.

Jason James: Staked 117.5pts, +11.941pts.

Morning Value Service (Lite): Staked 34pts, +4.375pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 48.16pts, +29.155pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 5.75pts, +1.125pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 99pts, +10.608pts.

Football Service A: Staked 8pts, +2.59pts.

Pinpoint Golf: Staked 65.162pts, -5pts.

January’s performance to date: ROI 18.81%, ROC 6.69%.

Until next time, good luck with your betting!

Rowan Day

Rowan photo

 

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Ah, those were the days….

I used to love betting shops. I loved the smell, the atmosphere, the almost tangible pall of silent desperation as ‘Racing Posts’ were pored over by all and sundry in the increasingly urgent search for a winner…any winner.  I’m going back about 25 years here, before the bookies’ offices became what they are now – full of FOBT machines and no smoking allowed.  They were choc-full of characters; the old geezer who, judging by the smell coming off him, had done a runner from a badly run care home and who was using the shop as a refuge. As long as he remained undetected, he was going to make the most of his freedom!  Then there was the overweight thirty-something with his tie halfway down his neck and shirt untucked, chewing gum loudly and invading your personal space as he read the racecards pinned to the wall.  I remember this guy well.  Many times I tried desperately to avoid eye contact because whenever I made the mistakeof even just nodding acknowledgement of his presence, he’d bore me for what seemed like hours with boasts of his sexual prowess, capacity to sink 12 pints, ability to down the hottest curry in the Jai Kathmandhu, and his latest winning bets that had landed him thousands.  I couldn’t help but think at the time that with all these winners, he really could afford to jack in the call centre that was paying him below the minimum wage, but he never seemed to quite be brave enough!

The point I’m making though, is that these filthy, smoke-filled dens of iniquity were full of characters, and I miss them.

I worked in betting office once. Briefly.

I was 16 and took a pathetic pride in the fact that I was able to get a bet on without being asked for ID. I swear the guy behind the counter – Eamonn, if I remember rightly – knew full well I was underage, but these were the days before I had the self-awareness to accept that as far as picking winners was concerned, I was pretty clueless.  I was contributing to the shop’s income with an admirable consistency.  Far from banning me for a couple of years, Eamonn always seemed pleased to see me!

Anyway, I walked in one day to find that Sid, the guy who wrote the odds for each horse in each race and the results as they were announced on a great big whiteboard, was off sick.  So myself and a mate of mine volunteered our services.  I can honestly say it is the hardest job I have ever done.  Listening to all the info coming through on the old SIS radio broadcasts, writing up odds, keeping results up to speed, and trying to place a bet amongst it all?  I lasted ten minutes!  And it wasn’t just me – my mate was as bad.  Even with the two of us, we just couldn’t keep up with the pace of it all.  So my career in bookmaking lasted from the start of the first race of the day to the result coming in for the second.

So what has this trip down memory lane got to do with running a betting portfolio twenty odd years later, you may ask?  Well, perhaps most importantly, it’s a good idea to know the limits of your abilities if you want to be in this game for the long term. When I first started following tipsters, I quickly forgot that I couldn’t pick a winner to save my life, and regularly threw in my own bets based on my own (usually wrong) assessment of a race. It meant my tipsters were making money, but I wasn’t, or at least not as much as I should have been making. Secondly, it wasn’t until I learnt what my strengths were and started playing to them that I started to make money consistently.  And lastly, I reckon it’s probably a good idea to give things a little time to work out.  Longer than I gave my job in the bookies, anyway.

Betting from Saturday 14th January to Friday 20th January

Another really strong week.  It’s all very nice when things go as smoothly as they have been doing since the start of the year.  This last week ran at an ROI of 40.86% and added another 9.93% to the bank.

Top of the Pops last week was Northern Monkey, and Top of the Pops this week was….Northern Monkey!

A superbly consistent week’s betting from NMP and a masterclass in staking.  Most of the week’s 17 points profit came from bets that were staked a little more heavily than the norm, plus a nice winning double.

The good form of Morning Value Service (Lite) continued with another four winners to add 6.75 points of profit, and Racing Service A came good with a lovely winner on Friday at 20/1 to bring January into profit overall.  Let’s hope he builds on that and gathers some momentum.

Pinpoint Golf has started the year well with another 13 points boosting the coffers, although reading his weekly performance review I wish I’d backed the Top 10 and Top 20 market selections as they had a stormer!

The only negative this week was Jason James who struggled a little, but who has still posted strong figures for the month to date.

Here are the figures for the month:

Chasemaster: Staked 16pts, -0.05pts.

Jason James: Staked 87.5pts, +20.141pts.

Morning Value Service (Lite): Staked 27pts, +9.125pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 35.16pts, +34.373pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 5pts, +0.625pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 68.5pts, +14.283pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 3pts, n/a.

Pinpoint Golf: Staked 27.162pts, +18pts.

January’s performance to date: ROI 40.86%, ROC 9.93%.

 

Getting your “money head” straight.

In the last post we talked about getting the fundamentals right when setting up your betting portfolio.  The first fundamental we considered, quite naturally, was about picking the right tipsters and not taking an unnecessary gamble with exactly who you decide to follow.  The point being made was that whilst there are so many good services available, that are professionally run and proven to be profitable to the SBC, that there was no reason at all to look for tipsters elsewhere.

This is just the start though.  There are other considerations that should be given due attention before you take the plunge and start betting, and one such important consideration is what I want to talk about in this post.

Financial management

It is essential to know, before you start, how much you will be staking on each selection your tipster provides you with.  This means being crystal clear in your own mind exactly what proportion of your overall betting bank you are dedicating to the service, how many points that bank consists of, and what the monetary value of that point is, ie. your £/point or €/point.

Say you have decided to follow four tipsters and for ease of figures have £8,000 available as a betting bank.  It is my opinion that when starting out it is sensible to share your resources equally between the tipsters you are following, so in this case, £2,000 per service.

So you’ve read the reviews in the SBC’s betting magazines and have settled upon the four services you wish to sign up to.  Within those reviews you will have noted the recommended points betting bank that the SBC suggest.  From there it’s easy to calculate your stakes for each service.

Let’s say we have a portfolio that looks something like this:

Service 1: recommended bank of 100 points.

Service 2: recommended bank of 80 points.

Service 3: recommended bank of 50 points.

Service 4: recommended bank of 100 points.

For Services 1 and 4 we’ll be backing at £20/point, ie. £2,000/100.  So if Service 1 – a horse racing service – advises a bet carrying a stake of 0.5 points each way, our stake will be £10 each way.

And so on…Service 2 will carry a stake of £25/point, and Service 3 £40/point.  Easy.

Having a clear vision.

All of this sounds (and is) extremely straightforward and obvious.  But, I feel strongly that this basic exercise is something you must do before you actually start betting.  It is essential that as you carry on with your betting, that you keep your mind as focused and as clear as it possibly can be.  If you don’t, you will find that you grow more vulnerable to making rash decisions when things go badly, which they inevitably will from time to time.

I remember not long after I started betting “properly” that I went through a bad run.  It was then that I started messing about with my staking making basic mistakes such as reducing the stakes of the services that were losing and increasing the stakes of those that were doing ok.  Of course the inevitable then happens and I subsequently understake the services that had been losing but recover, and was staking more on the services that were doing ok but then went through a poor patch!  You’ll be amazed how common a mistake this is to make!

If you have your financial plan absolutely set in stone (and put it in writing too, as it helps to focus the mind) then it is easier to keep your mind clear and thinking rationally when the testing times begin. I can’t emphasise strongly enough how much success in betting is reliant on a consistent and clear mental approach…so start as you mean to go on!

Betting from Friday 6th January to Friday 13th January

It’s been an excellent week that produced an ROI of 31.94% and bank growth of 2.69%.

The top performer was Northern Monkey who came up with a stormer on Tuesday (Gracious Tom – Southwell – 11/2).  It wasn’t the odds that made the bet, but the staking of 0.75pts on the win and 0.5pts on the place.  Nice.  Thursday also produced the goods (Final Venture – Meydan – 10/1) , but these two horses were merely the highlights – there were other winners.

Morning Value Service enjoyed a very strong week with numerous (five) winners to push it into profit for the month and Chasemaster poked it’s nose out of the red and into the black on the back of a couple of winners too.

In fact the only services not showing a profit so far in 2017 are Football Service 1 which has had just the one bet so far, and Racing Service A which has hardly been prolific with it’s tipping either.

Here are the figures for the month to date:

Chasemaster: Staked 10pts, +0.45pts.

Jason James: Staked 57.5pts, +33.891pts.

Morning Value Service (Lite): Staked 17pts, +2.375pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 22.66pts, +17.302pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 2.375pts, -2.375pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 35pts, +14.533pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 1pt, -1pt.

Pinpoint Golf: Staked 14.625pts, +5pts.

January’s performance to date: ROI 38.4%, ROC 5.55%.

The New Year – always a good time to get things right!

If you’ve read my previous posts on this blog, I would like to think that you might have picked up on what is something of a recurring theme – that to bet successfully and with a view to making a profit over time, you need to set yourself up right. Yes, that relates to your mentality.  Without a professional and realistic attitude, you have no chance.  But setting yourself up correctly also refers to the basic mechanics of your betting too.

Getting the fundamentals right

What do these mechanics consist of?  Well, there’s no mystery to them.  It’s just the fundamentals.  Following the right tipsters, having access to the best odds on each bet, taking measures to ensure you maximise the lifespan of your bookmaker accounts, keeping proper records, etc.

Let’s attack the very first of these points; following the right tipsters.

No need to take a risky punt

From talking to a lot of SBC members over the years, something I hear time and time again is that before making a conscious decision to raise the professionalism of their betting, people would waste money subscribing to tipsters who either had no real talent or were perhaps simply rip-off merchants.

I know I certainly wasted a lot of time and effort following the betting advice of some of these dubious characters.  After a while, I became so cynical that even when I discovered the SBC, it took me ages to actually sign up.  Seriously, I deliberated for months, all the while still trying to find tipsters that were honest, professional, and who possessed some sort of real edge over the bookmakers.  In the end, I thought blow this, and took the plunge with the SBC.

Now, looking back, I wonder what on earth I had delayed for.  In fact now, I can never see the point of paying to join a tipster that isn’t monitored and recommended by the SBC.  I’m sure there are services out there that are not proofing their selections to the SBC, and who are professional and produce a profit.  But why take the risk involved in guessing who these might be?  What’s the point?  On the one hand we have a large number of tipsters who have, over a long period of time, PROVEN themselves to be honest and profitable, and who we KNOW run their service extremely professionally and in a customer-focused way.  On the other, we see claims in adverts – some of which may be true – but we have absolutely no way of finding out whether they are or not before handing over some hard-earned.  So why take the risk?  As a serious bettor, we have to be always minimising risk, and to me, it seems a no-brainer to do that with every aspect of our betting operation.

Easy to find the best tipsters, so why risk doing anything else?

Take the SBC’s Tipster Profit Reports.  Published at regular intervals throughout the year, they tell us immediately who the best tipsters in the market are and how they’ve been performing.  They contain tables showing annual profits, recent form, how easy or difficult it is for members to secure the advised odds on each service’s selections, how much betting bank growth they have provided, and vitally, how long a period of time they’ve proven to have been profitable.  I know that the latest Report has just been released.  Anyone looking to start their 2017 betting journey on the right foot in terms of who they follow would find this extremely valuable reading, I’m sure.

With all this information so readily available, and updated frequently, why oh why would anyone take a punt on some tipster who doesn’t proof their bets anywhere, whose adverts we have to gamble on being honest and accurate in the claims they make, and that for all we know the odds may last just seconds before tumbling after bet release so that you could never realistically replicate their claimed results anyway?!?

We’ll be taking a look over the other “fundamentals” in a series of posts moving forward, but if you make only one New Year’s betting resolution, make it the one that says you’ll stop taking daft and unnecessary risks when it comes to stumping up to pay your subs to a tipster.  Just play it safe, and follow the tried and tested.

Betting from Monday 2nd January – Thursday 5th January

A good midweek, with the portfolio running at an excellent ROI of 39.79% and generating a further bank growth of 1.63%.

Top of the Hit Parade has been Northern Monkey who has had a storming last couple of days after what had been a very quiet week.  Wednesday’s sole bet was a winner (Petite Jack – Lingfield – 9/4) and on Thursday we had three winners from six bets including a stormer at Wolves (Zac Brown – 12/1).  This was the first time that having BOG again on my new accounts really paid off as the horse was originally tipped at 9/1.

Racing Service B came up trumps on Thursday too (Misbah – Meydan – 9/1) which contributed to a total of 10.25 points profit since Monday.  Jason James consolidated his spectacular start to the year by adding another 3 points of profit and it was only Chasemaster and Morning Value Service (Lite) that gave up a loss, albeit a modest one.  No bets at all from Racing Service A.

Figures for the month to date:

Chasemaster: Staked 3pts, -3pts.

Jason James: Staked 27pts, +37.925pts.

Morning Value Service (Lite): Staked 9pts, -5.75pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 10.25pts, +8.97pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 18pts, +4.95pts

January’s performance to date: ROI 47.86%, ROC 2.83%.

Getting Ready – 2017 Here We Come!

Taking a break from it all

Well, I guess that’s Christmas over for another year.  Got to say, I enjoyed mine.  As I’d previously mentioned in these pages, I went away for the duration of the festivities, down to deepest, darkest Devon.  A lovely little place on the coast, lovely pub, great food and ale.  As a direct result, I’ve returned (two days ago) 100% refreshed and highly motivated to get the next betting year going.

If you run a portfolio of betting tipsters, you’ll know how much hard work goes into it on a daily basis, and I can’t recommend strongly enough getting away from it all every now and then.  But I do mean getting away from it!  Just putting the odd bet on here and there, dipping your toes into the betting waters…this is what I used to do whenever I went on holiday.  I was always really worried that I might miss some tipster or other bagging their yearly profit in the few days I was away, tipping winner after winner at double figure prices.  Well, you know what?  It never worked like that, and I learnt that the benefits of having a complete break from things was by far a better way to go.

It is a common misconception held by those that don’t really understand what running a betting portfolio involves, that it’s dead easy.  Get some tips through, place your bets, count the winnings (or losses).  But as we know, things are not that easy – a long way from it in fact.  Securing the best odds possible is absolutely essential, but doing so with the planning and forethought necessary to keep bookmaker accounts viable for as long as possible means this is in itself a far from straightforward task.

Then there’s the losing runs to cope with.  There are more losing days than winning ones, and the way the brain is wired means that the negative mental impact on most individuals is felt far more by the downs than the “ups” we feel after we’ve won.  This is a subject I intend to write more on in the near future, but for now, suffice to say that the mental toll betting every day can inflict is considerable.

All of this is why, having not placed a bet for nearly three weeks, I feel beautifully refreshed and raring to go again.

Getting ready for 2017

Just because I didn’t place a bet however, doesn’t mean to say I didn’t spend some time thinking about the way to best attack 2017’s betting.  I needed to be brutally honest with myself, aware that one of my faults is perhaps to sometimes persevere with something too long as opposed to facing up to the fact that for whatever reason, it wasn’t working for me.

Two examples of this relates to two of the football betting services I’ve been following.  Both excellent services, but try as I might, I was consistently missing out on acceptable odds.  I’ve absolutely no doubt these services will work for some, but at the times I’m able to put bets on (or more significantly, the times I can’t), neither service was working for me.  I’ve also stopped placing the MVS (Doubles) bets, but am certainly persevering with the MVS (Lite) singles.

The other thing I’ve done is open new accounts at some of the best known bookmakers, ready for the New Year.  I wonder how long BOG will last?  I’ll be sorely disappointed if I can’t make it last some considerable time.  I know what to do to keep under the radar for as long as possible and I see extending the life of my accounts as a personal challenge.

Other than that, it’s business as usual.

And so just one day’s betting to report upon; that of Sunday 1st January, 2017…

Reading yesterday’s update email from Jason James, it was interesting to see that I’d missed a large part of what has been a bad run for him in December (I’ve not checked other tipster’s results – no doubt I’ve missed profits elsewhere to compensate!?!).  Yesterday however, he showed more spark than the London New Year fireworks, and by doing so, immediately wiped out his recent losses and then some.  Five horses were tipped, four of them won.  Two of them were doubled up and carrying a 2 point stake (Superb Story – Musselburgh – 2/1 and Shearian – Southwell – 3/1), a bet which in itself produced 22 points profit.  To add to that were a lovely winner at Catterick (Snowed In – 7/1 but Rule 4 deduction applicable) and again at Musselburgh (Cold March – 6/1).  That’s the tipping equivalent of Olivier Giroud’s goal yesterday, and what a way to get 2017 up and running!

No joy elsewhere, sadly.  Just a couple of placed horses from each way bets.

Chasemaster: Staked 1pt, -1pt.

Jason James: Staked 6.5pts, +34.925pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 1pt, -1pt.

Northern Monkey: Staked 3.5pts, -1.5pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 8pts, -5.4pts.

January’s performance to date: ROI 67.6%, ROC 1.23%.

Can’t imagine that ROI figure will stay that high for too long, more’s the pity! 🙂

Until next time…