Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to succeed and do nothing!!

I read an article today on the BBC website called "How to succeed in business by doing nothing". Read it here: It made me think of a couple of things - both my betting portfolio and one of the services I follow Systematic Betting.

The article basically talks about how people react too quickly to change and try to change things to counteract that change and that causes further problems. That's exactly what I've done with my portfolio - whether it's dropping services too quickly that became profitable (Prosystems Daily Bargain being an example last year) or changing stakes at the wrong times before a drop in performance (Mr Gekko and Systematic Betting recent stake increases). But the other side of the coin is that some changes I've made have rebalanced my portfolio for the better. So change isn't necessarily bad but I generally agree with the principles of the article - if things aren't going well then don't automatically start tweaking and changing services or dropping them automatically. It's worth waiting and taking time before re-evaluating.

This rule absolutely applies at the moment to Systematic Betting who are having a terrible run -in the last 7 days the service has dropped 47 points and April I'm down 40 points in total - pretty bad timing for me increasing my stake to £15 per bet!! Now it would be easy for me to panic and drop my stakes again but the sensible thing to do, based on past evidence, is to do nothing and ride it out. Looking at Systematic website there are stats that show this has happened before. One month dropping 39 points followed by +86.3 points the following month or a 3 month drop of 72 points followed by a long winning run that added 462 points!!

So for this I'm doing nothing and riding out the run (7 out of 7 losers today was painful though)!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rational Thinking

After yesterdays shocker i really was quite annoyed about it all. But woke up this morning thinking a bit more rationally and if things need to change I am in control of what I need to change.

I also looked through my old spreadsheets from 2008 and 2009 and pretty much what I was saying in my last post is true - a few stalwarts have produced profit consistently and I should probably stop trying to chase the next big thing.

I've made some decisions and drafted down some thoughts and plans and I'll share those with you over the coming days.

Oh and today was another poor day unfortunately - although Northern Monkey had a stonker with two good winning bets! Nothing happening elsewhere though - Systematic Betting not having a great time of things lately - 14 bets today with only 2 winners. Down 27 points in the last 7 days. They can turn things round pretty quickly though so not overly concerned.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse...

Well today really was a stinker. Worse day of the year by far - losing £426 all in and in day 102 of the year I am now well back into a negative position.

Everyone comments about how bad the racing was today in terms of quantity over quality - perhaps we can say the same about the tips!! 39 bets today and 4 win!! I went to Musselburgh yesterday and watched 7 races and got 5 winners!! I know it's a long term game and I would never be able to sustain it but this is beginning to do my head in. It's just a joke.

Here's my current "Hall of Shame";

* Roger Green Racing: not had a single winner since 9 April (28 bets) - 5 places admittedly but not good enough
* The Nagman: 10 losing bets in a row wiping out pretty much all of the profit made earlier in the month at the prices i get.
* Mr Gekko Bets: £500 down for the month. A short term blip but some blip!!!

When I started this in 2008 I signed up to Mathematician and Steve Lewis Hamilton and then joined Equine Investments in 2009 and through those 3 tipsters made the best part of £10k in 18 months. I thought this was an amazing way to make money but conscious it was important to diversify so I signed up to a whole host of other tipsters towards latter part of 2009 and its been a pretty hard slog ever since then - last year I didn't make enough to cover all the subscriptions and this year isn't looking any better.

The message is pretty loud and clear that it isn't working so I'm going to have to take a step back and make some changes. It's perfect timing as things are changing at work as well so I will need to fit my betting in with that as well. I think I know what I need to do but just need to go through a proper thought process.

Getting the right price

Have had time this morning to do a quick review of the importance of getting prices and how that is affecting my results with Systematic Betting in particular - still irks me that I made a 5 point loss in March while the headline rate was a 10 point gain and the difference simply is because of prices.

Unfortunately despite some improvements in my betting placement it looks like I haven't done that well as my profit so far for Systematic Betting in April is 0.8 points where as headline rate is 11.5 points. I'm aiming to get about 80% of the headline rate which for me is about the best I can manage with bookie restrictions / bet placement timing. I'm not achieving that at the moment so it's quite frustrating.

Suspect that some of the difference could be because of rule 4's but I can't see any in the bets i've missed out so will wait until the end of the month and see how I compare to the official stats.

Analysing the data it's amazing how few bets and missed prices can make a difference;

24 April - tipped at 7/1 - I only got 4/1 - really not sure how!!
20 April - tipped at 6/1 - I managed 9/2.
19 April -tipped at 7/1 - I got 5/1
2 April - tipped at 10/1 - I got 7/1

These are the four that stand out where changes in the odds makes all the difference!!

Systematic Betting is a brilliant service and I'm not having a go as the prices quoted are always available.

I've just missed those prices due to timing issues or can't get them due to account restrictions. Certainly have noticed a need to be much quicker with prices with Systematic over recent weeks - don't know whether it's coincidence, members are putting more money on or bookies are getting wise! It just goes to show that even with the top notch services you need to put the work in - I think we all know there's no easy money in this game.

The desire to get best prices has to be tempered by the need to keep your accounts with as many bookmakers as possible open. I've been restricted by a couple of bookies in my time but appear to have been relatively fortunate with others so far (touch wood - and I feel I'm treading a thin line with a couple of bookies also). More details on bookies at the bottom of this post.

So what can I do to make sure I get better prices and get a return closer to the headline rates while maintaining bookie accounts for as long as possible (this is important for services such as Equine Investments and Equine Turnover as well and Steve Lewis Hamilton, 4PA all who shift prices relatively quickly).

Think I need to ensure that I do the following;

* Start getting better at using accounts I very rarely use - e.g. Coral / Totesport / Boylesports as their mobile offering has been rubbish - but all now in better shape in that front.
* Open accounts with 5-6 other bookies that have online offerings that I don't currently use - I've just signed up to for example who occassionally offer a better price.
* Cap individual bets with a £25 limit per bookie. This is low but I know anything much more than that will restrict
* I may not take bookie with best price if I've hammered that account a lot or placed more than 3/4 bets a day with that bookie.
* Use betfair as a last resort where it's viable - i.e. price is better (remember commission) than the majority of bookies

Hopefully by doing these things I can keep bookie accounts open longer and instead of placing 7 or 8 bets a day with say, I am placing only 4-5 a week.

Will keep an eye on things and see how they progress.

Bad Bookies!
As I mentioned I've been restricted on a couple of accounts - thought i'd share the detail with you; - no surprise I was restricted by them having read others experiences. Awful from the start. I originally signed up with a £200 sign up bonus. Despite meeting all the criteria they refused to pay it and when I queried as to why they said they didn't have to give me a reason. Within a very short space of time I was restricted to about £2 a bet. - awful. They restricted me after a winning spree with Equine Investments in July 2009 and when I queried the restrictions they quite boldly stated that they were a business and needed to make a profit so didn't want my bets. Read into that "we only want to deal with losing punters". What a joke.

I have some form of restrictions on Bluesq - they limit my bets to approx £50 (which isn't a problem now) and aren't so keen on the big e/w punts. Paddypower aren't so keen on big e/w bets and rather strangely severely restricted my 4PA bet last week but seem to be back to normal. Boylesports don't let me bet on Golf or Darts after short dalliances with golf tipsters and On the Oche. My darts bets were restricted within a month of starting to place.

Seem to be going ok with the others - will see how that progresses through the summer.

Anyway hope that gives you a bit of an insight as to what I'm thinking at the moment

April Update

A postponed game of golf this morning has given me the opportunity to update my spreadsheets and as I expected it's been a week of large betting volume with little progress made. Fortunately I'm still in profit for the year - but not by much and one more bad day could tip me back over to the red. Not great when we're almost 100 days into the year!! Slightly re-assuring that many other punters are experiencing the same rocky times. Feels better to know that it's not just me thats suffering.

Looking at how things have progressed in April -

Mr Gekko has had a complete meltdown,
Roger Green Racing has had another far from impressive month and I'm reaching the end of my tether with this service,
Systematic Betting is ticking over but not making much in the way of profit despite a large volume of bets,
The Nagman is in profit by 11 points for me - I think they quote about double that - always find it difficult to get prices,
Northern Monkey, Football Elite and 4PA are having a break even at best month
Steve Lewis Hamilton and Equine Investments are delivering decent profit (these are Equine mentions pre launch of new service).

So times continue to be tough and here's the latest graph to provide you with some proof! Onwards and upwards and further changes to come...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Time marches on

Can't believe its been a week since my last post. Been busy this week and had little time to update things and now have 7 days worth of bets to log!! Never good as it takes so long.

Not sure how things have been but know Mr Gekko has had a horrendous week but will keep you posted once i've totted everything up.

Had a great day at Musselburgh races today winning 5 of 7 races and making a healthy profit and enjoyed beautiful sunshine - if only every betting day could be like this!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grim Weekend

Including Thursday, £477 has been knocked off the account and Saturday was especially grim with nobody delivering winning results apart from Equine Investments Turnover service. Results not helped by me missing Coventry's win which was one of Mr Gekko's bets.

Nothing much else to say - a new week starts tomorrow and we've got to aim for some profit!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2 steps forward 1 step back

Funny old day today and a pretty bloody awful one by all accounts - in fact my third worst losing day of the year. It didn't feel like that though and I suppose that's because I'm in profit for the year and that buffers the bad days as long as they are only occasional! Another day like today and then I might be complaining!!

Equine Investments had their first account bet of the new season today - and hopefully not a sign of things to come but struggled to get the price on despite being sat at the computer waiting for the bet to come through! Didn't matter in the end as the horse came second and the money was lost.

Steve Lewis Hamilton, Roger Green, Northern Monkey and Systematic Betting all had losing days - the latter not surprising after 3 good days. The Nagman the only bright spot today.

So a poor day from the big guns but we dust ourselves down and look forward to another day!

Have had some thinking about prices and protecting accounts - will post these thoughts in the next couple of days

Monday, April 11, 2011

Systematic Betting prove a point...

In my post last night I said Systematic Betting have had a poor run in the last week but that things can change in a couple of days with the service - case in point proved today with a tremendous day and completely turning things around in one day!! The highlight of the day being Nicky Tam in the 2pm at Hexham! Winning at 12/1 - on the day I opened my Stan James account to try to get better prices on some of my systematic bets and they were best price on this horse by 3 points! The horse won relatively easily as well.

The price I got proved the importance of getting prices - 3 points (£45 for me) would've gone a begging if I hadn't got the price on Nicky Tam.

Good news though and 16 points on the day overall from Systematic Betting and I am now back in profit for the month with this service

Not much happening elsewhere - good to see Football Elite having a profitable weekend - a little extra profit for me as I put the wrong bet on a full Liverpool win but they won comfortably! I've signed up for another year with Football Elite despite the relatively poor performance this year.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Steve Lewis Hamilton to the rescue... just!

After a superb start to April last week I really had a dismal week with 5 losing days in a row - a couple of real stinkers in there as well with Mr Gekko and Systematic Betting having particularly poor weeks. Systematic Betting having the worst week I can remember since joining. Seems like I've upped my stakes at the wrong time!! However I do know with this service a couple of good days can turn things around pretty quickly.

So really thought nothing much would happen today and was worried I was going to go back into negative again for the year - just under 90 betting days in that's pretty demoralising! However Steve Lewis Hamilton's 7/1 2 point win tip of Ultravox in the 3.10 winning by a neck has helped me get back on my feet. Just watched the race and it looked like Rock of Deauville was going to cruise past Ultravox when it fell quite spectacularly at the 2nd last giving our horse the chance to win!!

Excellent end to a dismal week and has helped me look more positively at the rest of the month - if Systematic and Mr Gekko can get back into form then it should be a v good month. Here's hoping....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

No April Fool!

Well April has started sensationally well with £609 made in the first three days of the month!

Profit largely due to Steve Lewis Hamilton with 2 winners on Friday, a 9/1 place yesterday and a side bet double I had on his Friday bets. Certainly seems to be back on form and will provide an updated review soon on how things have gone since my last review.

4PA had a stinker on Saturday but turned up trumps today with Horseradish winning at 10/1 with his surprise Sunday bet - happy days.

Northern Monkey and Systematic Betting are ticking over nicely and The Nagman has turned around a very poor run with a couple of winners.

Only Football Elite and Roger Green Racing having a disappointing start to the month.

Lets hope the month continues in this vein.

Friday, April 1, 2011

March Review - Part 2

As promised here's the graphs and numbers bit of my review;

Starting with March graph - which tells its own story!

Tipster performance for March - I can't seem to get my table to download so here's a written version;

SLH +16.43 points
SLH mentions -9.07
Equine +11.26
Equine mentions +9.10
Roger Green +1.23
The Nagman -24.35
EW Value -9.7
Northern Monkey +8.11
Football Elite -6.98
4PA -1.28
Personal bets +28.67
Systematic Betting -4.88
Mr Gekko +5.29
Neural -31.22

Days of the week (ytd)

Mon -£177
Tue +£47
Wed +£388
Thu -£176
Fri +£76
Sat +£66
Sun -£333

Year To Date graph;