Final thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts about my attempts to win a decent amount of money through gambling on horse racing and other sports. I set myself a target of £5,000 last March, although that amount was always a somewhat arbitrary figure. For the vast majority of the year it looked like that I had next to no chance of achieving that target, but fortunately my final month was by far the best month of the year which meant that somehow I managed achieve a profit in excess of £6,000 after taking account of the cost of subscriptions. I’ve put together a few final thoughts, as well as a final summary of each service.

1. Don’t underestimate the time commitment

Whilst on the surface it may appear that it looks like a relatively easy way to have a second income, you shouldn’t underestimate the time required if you are going to fully commit. In total over the past year I have placed approximately 2,500 bets which is an average of 7 bets per day. All of these bets have to be recorded on spreadsheets if you are going to keep proper records. I always found it easier to update them after a winning day rather than on a day when, to use a technical gambling term, I had done my bollocks in! In particular the tips may arrive at times that aren’t particularly convenient. Some services are very dependent for their profitability on being able to place them  very quickly after they are released. This isn’t always possible due to things like driving, being on the golf course or even earning a proper living. This in turn can result in bets being placed hurriedly which is when mistakes can occur. The most notable of these were backing Adam Scott to win the wrong golf tournament and missing a 12/1 winner at Cheltenham. The first error was described in one of my earlier blogs, but the second one was due to me failing to properly open an email at midnight when I was staying in Cheltenham after a full day at the races and one or two pints of Guinness.

2. Don’t underestimate the financial commitment

When I started out I stated that I would stop if I lost £5,000. I am fortunate that losing a sum like that wouldn’t be the end of the world and at no point did I get close to that figure, but I would be lying if I said that there weren’t times when things got a little scary. It wouldn’t be unusual on a particularly busy Saturday to be placing the best part £1,000 on bets. Fortunately I don’t think that I ever had a day where I lost that kind of sum, but it is something that statistically will happen at some point. One thing that I didn’t do when I started which is recommended in all of the advice that I have read is to establish a betting bank for each service. The size of the bank will depend upon on historical losing runs (what is known as drawdowns) and the level of stakes. It should hopefully prevent losing money and should provide a guide of when to drop a particular service if it is underperforming.

In total I have staked in excess of £90,000 which sounds an awful lot of money (it is!). However as indicated if you have a limit and stick to it then I would never lose that kind of sum. There are a couple of measures that are used to evaluate how services are doing. Return on Investment (RoI) measures the percentage winnings against stakes. This was 10.2% before the cost of subscriptions were taken into account and over 7% after taking account of subs. The other measure is Return on Capital (RoC). If you regard £5,000 as my overall betting bank, then a return of nearly 187% before subs and over 127% after subs certainly beats 0.5% interest rates at the bank or building society. Then again your chances of you losing everything in your bank account is nil (hopefully!). The old adage of not gambling more than you can afford to lose remains good advice.

3. Prepare for losing runs

The hardest thing I have found is keeping the faith when things appear to be going wrong. Losing runs are inevitable in all services and there are times when you wonder whether a particular tipster is losing the plot. This was certainly the case with one of the horse racing tipsters, but is important to look at their long term record and remember why you subscribed to the service in the first place. Whilst it does increase the cost and time required I found that increasing the number of services that I followed from the initial 3 to 5 services did help when a particular service was going through a bad patch. I just hope that I never have a month when all 5 are on a losing run. I know it sounds stupid, but it also helped to keep money in my betting accounts after decent wins. Depending upon how frequently I use certain bookmakers I will only withdraw money when it gets above say £300 or £500. That way on particularly busy days I’m not continually transferring money from bank account to place bets.

4. Bookies

Anyone who has a subscription to Sky Sports will be thoroughly sick of a stream of adverts from bookmakers, most of which have the strapline of “please bet responsibly.”  Frankly for the most part this claim of social responsibility on their part is complete and utter bullshit. The image of bookies making a book and taking on fearless punters in a high stakes battle of wits is something that belongs in a black and white post war movie. Modern bookies are run by accountants with computer programmes and spreadsheets. The last things that they want are punters who know what they are doing (or in my case buying tips off people who know what they are doing). Most just want the punters who will lose on a regular basis – hence all the special offers on accumulators (or “accas” in the dumbed down world of TV advertising). They would rather rake in money from Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in their shops than employ people to study the horse racing form  and not make mistakes when setting odds. One of my services specialises in identifying horse where the odds are particularly good value. This service has yielded the biggest profits, but has unfortunately led to accounts being closed (or effectively closed for any practical purpose) with Corals, Stan James, Boylesports, Betfred and Betfair Sportsbook. Fortunately I still have accounts with the ever excellent Bet 365 as well as William Hill, Ladbrokes and Skybet. Paddy Power place restrictions on some horse racing bets, but it is possible to place reasonable bets with them. How long these accounts remain active will determine how long I can keep going with the current arrangements.

Final thoughts on the betting services with the names of the services if anyone is interested.

Horse Racing Service 1 – The Bet Alchemist

I couldn’t have picked a worse time to join this service. 13 successive winning months prior to me joining should perhaps have given me a clue that he was due a losing run. Several times I came close to quitting the service and when he was £4,000 down at the end of December, I had just about decided that when my subscription was due for renewal in January that I would pull the plug. However £40 each way on Minella Foru at 20/1 in a big chase at Leopardstown over Christmas encouraged me to stay on. He has been in profit every month this year and currently the loss on the service is just over £1,000 (it would be less if I hadn’t missed one bet and under staked (deliberately this time) on a hugely speculative multiple bet.

Horse Racing Service 2  – Learn Bet Win

The star of the show in terms of profit. However this is the service that I suspect has cost me a few bookmakers accounts. Declan is the tipster who identifies horses that are particularly good value, often at the lower graded meetings. In the winter he tends to specialise in all weather racing so the odds on his tips tend to come down very quickly which is what the bookies don’t like. Many horses are at longish odds, so there will be losing runs, but there has been a steady stream of winners. It is the most expensive service, but the results speak for themselves

Horse Racing Service 3 – The Value Bettor

I really can’t recommend this service highly enough. For anyone who is a fan of National Hunt racing they should seriously think about joining. The service supposedly runs from November to March, but Andy who runs the service posts his thoughts on a users forum during October and April. It is very reassuring, when joining a service, that I had more than covered the cost of the service (£175) by 1 November when the service was officially due to start! The service is divided into tips and other thoughts on races. A very detailed analysis of the day’s racing is provided and the rationale behind the tips is clearly explained, in contrast to Learn Bet Win where you just receive the tip. Once you learn to read between the lines of the analysis there are a steady stream of winners to had from the other thoughts section – in fact this produced about 2/3rds of the profit. My only regret is that Andy proved to be very cautious with his staking plans, so I aim to increase my stakes next season – roll on October!

Golf Betting Service – The Golf Insider via Matthew Walton

This service never quite got going during the year. I had been following the tips for about 8 months before I started my one year experiment and it did prove to be quite profitable. There has been a marked decline in the number of first round 3 ball bets given and these had been very successful. By its very nature golf betting is going to have long runs without winners (it isn’t very easy to pick a winner in a 156 runner field!), but when you do win it tends to be a big one. I am not ready to give up on it just yet as my previous experience with the Bet Alchemist has indicated that you shouldn’t necessarily a dump a service when it hits a bit of a slump.

Football Betting Service – The Fink Tank via The Secret Betting Club

I really don’t know what to make of this service. It uses a statistics based approach to determine what odds represent a value bet and as a result tends to focus on outsiders playing away from home. It started off like a house on fire making over £2,000 in the first half of the season. Gradually the results have tailed off and it ended only about £1,000 up at the end of March. However since then it has an absolutely disastrous April. At this time of the year some teams have nothing to play for whilst others are in a promotion/relegation scrap. The bookies adjust their odds accordingly and on a stats based approach this means that there are a large number of potential “value” bets mostly on teams that have nothing to play for. This would be fine if the bookies have overreacted, but the results indicate that they haven’t. Such is the loss of my confidence in the service that I have reduced my stakes and it can be pretty soul destroying backing Aston Villa every week – at least I don’t have to watch them! The service has now lost money and it is doubtful whether I will rejoin next season.

One final thing – if anyone is interested in following tipsters I would really recommend joining the Secret Betting Club. It costs about £100 a year and basically what they do is monitor the performance of a variety of tipsters and produce reports on the way that they operate so that you can determine which ones may be suitable for you. It means that all of the charlatans and con artists in the tipping game can  safely be ignored.

So that’s it from me. I hope you have enjoyed reading my various ramblings. I will keep on trying to relieve the bookies of their not so hard earned cash, but I don’t intend to keep the blog going. I think that this year has had quite a few ups and downs and there is a danger that everything could get quite repetitive, so I will quit on a high (or I would have done if I hadn’t just lost £700 in April!). In summary it is possible to make reasonable money at betting on horse racing and other sports, but it isn’t easy.

Be lucky.

 

 

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Final Results

Well that’s it – the year is over. I certainly got one thing wrong and that  was that Cheltenham would determine whether I reached my target of a £5,000 profit over the 12 month period. Cheltenham made a profit of about £400 which I have to happy about given the number of short priced favourites that obliged which I largely avoided. The main contributor to the profit was the “fun” 20p each way Super Heinz bet (total stake £48). None of the 7 horses won but the first 4 were placed at odds of between 12/1 and 16/1. Sadly only one of the 3 remaining horses were placed. Nevertheless the payout was in the region of £700, although it would have been £25,000 if all 7 had been placed.

I certainly saved the best until last because March  was far and away the best month of the year. The monthly profit was in region of £3,400 which saw the overall profit rise to £9,344. The critical figure is after the cost of subscriptions is deducted and that was a profit of £6,370, which comfortably saw me past my some what arbitrary target of £5,000.

The star of the show was Horse Racing Service 2 once again which contributed £2,000 to the monthly profit. It demonstrated that a winner on the all weather is worth just as much as a winner at Cheltenham. After a disappointing Wednesday at Cheltenham, I was travelling back and had 2 winners at an evening meeting at Wolverhampton and more than recovered the day’s losses. The other 2 race horse racing services posted profits of around £700 whilst golf broke even and the football bets lost just under a £100.

Results in full below:

March

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake  £2,566

Profit £706

Horse Racing Service 2

Stake £4,380

Profit £2,099

Horse Racing Service 3

Stake £2,230

Profit £710

Golf Betting Service

Stake £895

Loss £14

Football Betting Service

Stake £1,050

Loss £89

March Overall

Stake £11,121

Profit £3,412

Return on Investment 30.7%

Full Overall Results

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake £23,644

Loss £2112

Return on Investment -8.9%

Subscriptions £399

Horse Racing Service 2

Stake £36,189

Profit £7,804.50

Return on Investment 21.6%

Subscriptions £1,544

Horse Racing Service 3

Stake £11,046

Profit £3,547

Return on Investment 32.1%

Subscriptions £175

Golf Betting Service

Stake £10,487

Loss £973

Return on Investment -9.3%

Subscriptions £637

Football Betting Service

Stake £10,160

Profit £1,077.50

Return on Investment 10.6%

Subscriptions £219

Final Total

Stake £91,526

Profit £9,344

Return on Investment 10.2%

Subscriptions £2,974

Profit after subscriptions £6,370

RoI after subs 7%

So there it is – I will be back in a couple of weeks with final reflections. Very busy weekend ahead with the Grand National and The Masters. We’ll draw a veil over my golf bets and my 3 for the Grand National are Many Clouds (v unorginal), The Druids Nephew and Goonyella.

Let Battle Commence

Well it’s finally here – Cheltenham – it’s the make or break week for this blog and as everyone else seems to be doing a Cheltenham preview and I thought I’d give a few brief thoughts of my own.

The week is dominated by Irish trainer Willie Mullins who could conceivably improve on last year’s record of eight winners. On Day 1 he has 4 short priced favourites in Min, Douvan, Annie Power and Vroum Vroum Mag. Annie Power’s last flight fall last year saved the bookies an estimated £80m payout, but the mare faces a much harder task if she is to win the Champion Hurdle. She is effectively a stand in for the previous hot favourite Faugheen. Unlike Faugheen she doesn’t have top class form over 2 miles and whilst she is highly talented I couldn’t back her at 2/1. Identity Thief each way is the one for me which I backed at 16/1 earlier in the season (now 6/1). Likewise with Min the 2/1 favourite for the opener, the odds reflect his reputation rather than what he has achieved on the track. Unfortunately I’m not sure what will beat it – possibly second favourite Alitor. Douvan looks rock solid in the 2 mile novice chase, but I can’t back a novice chaser at 1/3, so Sizing John is the each way alternative if anything happens to Douvan.

The Day 2 highlight is the Champion Chase where Un De Sceaux is a worthy favourite. However he has fallen twice in 7 chases, so if he doesn’t stand up then Special Tiara could be the one. The World Hurdle is the feature race on Day 3 and Thistlecrack will be beat hard to beat, but Whisper could be the each way alternative and I expect an improved performance from last year’s winner Cole Harden.

By common consent the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Day 4 is the best renewal for a number of years. I would expect Smad Place to set a fast pace so the winner will have to have plenty of stamina. For me Don Poli is one horse that won’t be found wanting in that regard, although it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if last year’s runner up Djakadam were to prevail.

Here’s the list of horses that I have backed ante post (mostly each way)

Tuesday

2.10 Sizing John

2.50 The Young Master, Morning Assembly

3.30 Identity Thief, The New One

4.10 The Govaness

4.50 Ballychorus, Vicente

Wednesday

3.30 Special Tiara

Thursday

3.30 Whisper, Martello Tower

Friday

1.30 Who Dares Wins

2.50 Shantou Village

3.30 Don Poli

4.50 Children’s List

5.30 Rock The World, Next Sensation

Finally the tipster who runs Horse Racing Service 1 has given his annual ante post Super Heinz. A Super Heinz is a combination bet of 7 horses comprising 120 bets (A Heinz is 57 bets for 6 selections in case you were wondering where the name came from!). The 7 selections are The Young Master (2.50 Tues), Bouvreuil (5.30 Tues), Special Tiara (3.30 Wed), If In Doubt (2.10 Thur), John’s Spirit (4.10 Thur), Blue Hell (2.10 Fri) and Don Poli (3.30 Fri). I think that the combined odds when I put the bet on was approximately 107,000,000/1!! I have put the grand total of 20p each way, but if they all come in it would exceed the bookies maximum payout. Then again the odds of winning the National Lottery are better!

 

 

You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors

I wasn’t intending to post this week, but I’ve had the most extraordinary gambling week of the year so far. Every one of the services made a profit, although it could have been even better, but more of that later.

All 3 racing service were in profit. The major contributor was Horse Racing Service 2 who got back on track with 4 winners. There is always a decent return as each selection aims to make £300, so this brought £800 of profit. Just 4 bets from Horse Racing Service 1, but one of those was a 12/1 winner to give £200 profit whilst regular winners from Horse Racing Service 3 produced another £350. The Football Service was only back in profit largely thanks to the Hammers’ victories against Spurs and Everton.

All of which brings me to the Golf bets. To badly paraphrase Michael Caine in The Italian Job, I’m only supposed to put the bloody bets on. Others do all the hard work and my job is basically to decide on a staking plan, find the best odds and put the bets on. How difficult can that be? Well this is what happened this week. There was no European Tour event this week so the only bets were on the World Golf Championship event in Florida. My tipster decided on placing fairly sizeable bets on 4 well fancied golfers. The logic was that the Blue Monster at Doral favours big hitting golfers high in the world rankings. Consequently according to my staking plan the bets were £33 each way on Ricky Fowler, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson. The later 3 were recommended at 12/1, but when I went on William’s Hill website I found that Bubba was available at 14/1 whilst Adam and Dustin were 16/1. I decided to put £20 EW on all 3 with Hills and spread the remaining sums around other bookies.

Everything went according to plan. Ricky Fowler finished 8th without every threatening to win, whilst Dustin started the last round in second place before his customary Sunday collapse when weighed down with my money. Meanwhile as Rory faded Adam Scott played some fantastic golf to beat Bubba into a second place. I felt smugger than George Osbourne with a budget surplus until I checked my William Hills account. My account hadn’t been credited with my winnings and then I found that I had outstanding bets of £20 EW on Adam, Bubba and Dustin for the US Masters – yes I’d put the bets on for the wrong tournament!!! Instead of winning £430, I’d won £130.

Despite my bungling incompetence I still managed to finish the week up by about £1,700, which has dramatically changed my chances of reaching the £5,000 target. This means that it will all come down to Cheltenham which is as it should be. My brief Cheltenham preview will hopefully be posted on Sunday

February Results

I ended last month knowing that a decent February would put me in sight of hitting the £5,000 profit target. Well the inevitable happened and this month was hugely disappointing resulting in a loss of £600. However it could have been very different, but for a severe outbreak of seconditis. Horse Racing Service 2  in particular suffered from this affliction with 5 winners, but 12 second places with more than one horse getting mugged on the line.

It has also been a frustrating time for the Golf Betting Service with 4 second places in the first 2 months.  The major disappointment was Phil Mickelson who was odds on starting the final round at Pebble Beach. On the 18th hole he had an easy up and down to force a play off, but somehow contrived to take 3 shots. My mood wasn’t improved when a 21 handicapper friend who had played at Pebble Beach last year, proudly informed me that he had got up and and down from a much harder position on that hole. What he didn’t tell me was that he duck hooked 2 tee shots straight into the Pacific Ocean!

If just 2 of the second placed horses or Phil Mickelson had won then I would have turned in a profit. It is fine margins at times. The other disappointing service was the Football Service with a lot of results seeming to go with form and very few long priced away wins being successful.

February

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake  £760

Profit  £149

Horse Racing Service 2

Stake  £2,709

Loss £257.50

Horse Racing Service 3

Stake  £1,683

Loss £0.50!!

Golf Betting Service

Stake  £898

Loss   £113.50

Football Betting Service

Stake £1,380

Loss  £331.50

February Overall

Stake £7,430

Loss £554

Subscriptions £44

Loss after subs £594

Year To Date (since April 2015)

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake £21,078

Loss  £2,818

Return on Investment -13.4%

Subscriptions £399

Horse Racing Service 2

Stake  £31,809

Profit £5,705.50

Return on Investment 17.9%

Subscriptions £1,544

Horse Racing Service 3

Stake £8,816

Profit £2,837

Return on Investment  32.2%

Subscriptions  £175

Golf Betting Service

Stake  £9,592

Loss £959

Return on Investment -10%

Subscriptions £593

Football Betting Service

Stake £9,110

Profit £1,166.50

Return On Investment 12.8%

Subscriptions £219

Overall Year to Date

Stake £80,405

Profit £5,704

Return on Investment  7.1%

Subscriptions £2,930

Profit after subscription £2,774

Return on Investment after subs 3.5%

Just one month to go, but all is not lost as March sees the highlight of my gambling year – the Cheltenham Festival. However I do need this to be my best Cheltenham by a country mile if I’m going to have a chance of hitting my £5,000 target by the end of this month.

I hope to be back here at the Weekend with a preview of Cheltenham and a summary of some my antepost bets.

 

January Results

Apologies that the January results are being posted more than half way through February, but as I indicated last month I have been enjoying some winter sun and warmth in Thailand. Once I got back I have had a few issues with my laptop which has further delayed this update. Unlike a previous trip to the States I was actually able to place my bets, although this wasn’t always straightforward. Gambling is technically illegal in Thailand (except where it is controlled by the police!) and bookmakers have a different approach to allowing betting. No problems were encountered with Bet 365, Paddy Power or Betfair on either laptop or mobile. Ladbrokes and Skybet weren’t accessible at all whilst William Hill and Betfred were only accessible via the laptop. The access to Betfred quickly became academic as this became yet another account to be closed. If I see another advert from the slimy Fred saying that Betfred “are committed to responsible gambling” my boot is liable to go through the telly.

I was visiting my mate Andy in Thailand who runs a bar (not that kind of Thai bar!). He has somehow arranged a dodgy sports TV subscription which seems to give him access to just about every sports channel for £5/month. After a couple of days I found out that he had access to the Attheraces and Racing UK satellite channels, which meant that I spent that I had a somewhat bizarre and unprofitable Saturday evening watching racing from Cheltenham and Doncaster with Gerry from County Carlow. Gerry might have known Willie Mullins, but it didn’t help us find many winners. Andy who doesn’t bet was far more successful using the highly scientific approach of picking the 4th favourite. Must give that a try some time!

Anyway enough of this rambling – how was January. In short it wasn’t too bad, but didn’t break any records. Only the Golf service lost money. Horse Racing Service 3 made very good profits, whilst the other 3 services showed small profits. Full results below.

January Results

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake   £1,080

Profit £184

Horse Racing Service 2

 

 

Horse Racing Service 3

 

 

Golf Betting Service

 

 

Football Betting Service

Stake   £1,170

Profit £206.50

Overall January Results

Stake  £6,597

Profit  £864.50

Subscriptions £448

Year to Date

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake  £20,318

Loss  £2,967

Return on Investment  -14.6%

Subscriptions £399

Horse Racing Service 2

Stake  £29,100

Profit  £5,963

Return on Investment  20.5%

Subscriptions £1,544

Horse Racing Service 3

Stake  £7,133

Profit  £2,837.50

Return on Investment  39.8%

Subscriptions  £175

Golf Betting Service

Stake   £8,694

Loss   £1,072.50

Return on Investment  – 12.3%

Subscriptions  £549

Football Betting Service

Stake  £7,730

Profit   £1,498

Return on Investment  19.4%

Subscriptions  £219

Overall to Date

Stake  £72,975

Profit  £6,258

Return on Investment   8.6%

Subscriptions   £2,886

Profit after subscriptions   £3,372

RoI after subscriptions  4.6%

 

Getting Closer

Last Monday was supposedly the most depressing day of the year with the long slog of January following the Christmas and New Year celebrations. On the gambling front after a high quality racing programme and a hectic football schedule it has been very much a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show.

The wet weather has decimated racing fixtures and what has taken place has been of low quality with small fields. The FA Cup has limited football betting opportunities and the golf season is slowly getting into gear. Given all of that you might think that there will have been little progress in my quest to win £5,000 by the end of March. Well somehow despite a fall in the number of bets I have managed to make a decent profit.

Three of the services (Horse Racing 1, Football and Golf) are level or thereabouts. Despite taking  a week’s holiday, the ever excellent Horse Racing Service 2 has managed to post a £400 profit. However the real star of the show so far this year is the new Horse Racing Service 3. This service is up by approximately £800, but only £100 of this profit is down to the official tips. Given the desperate going conditions at most courses the tipster has been reluctant to give many official tips. However as I have mentioned before he does give favourable mentions to a number of other horses. With these bets I don’t stick to strict staking plans and on occasions place multiples bets (Lucky 15s, Patents etc) and forecast bets. There is always an element of luck in placing bets such as these which is why they are often regarded as “mugs bets”. However my luck has clearly been in as just 2 of those bets yielded of profit of £450.

The winning line is in sight, but there is still more than 2 months to go, so there is a lot that can still go wrong. My review for January probably won’t be posted until the middle of next month because I am fortunate enough to be having a mid winter break for a couple of weeks in Thailand. In purely gambling terms this presents an added complications in terms of getting bets on, but I don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for me! The time zones are OK, but there may be problems in accessing some betting site given that gambling is supposed to be illegal in Thailand.

December results

After last month, which was the best month so far by a mile, December was threatening to be the worst month by a mile. That was until last Tuesday. Excellent performances from all 3 horse racing services saw 9 winners from 12 selections. Pride of place went to Horse Racing Service 3 for whom 2 out of 4 official tips won. He tipped 2 horses in the same race and naturally they came first and second (shame that I missed out on the forecast). However his write up of the rest of the day’s racing indicated that he was pretty keen on a number of other horses at shortish odds. I decided combine 4 of them in a £2 Lucky 15 bet (stake £30). Incredibly they all won at odds of 3/1, 5/2, 9/4 and 11/8 which gave me a profit of £675.

Largely thanks to the Lucky 15, Horse Racing Service 3 produced a profit of over £1000 and thankfully Horse Racing Service 1 at last was in the money due in the main to an antepost winner that was backed at 20/1. Horse Racing Service 2 had his worst month for a long time, whilst there was limited activity for the golf service, but all of it was poor. Finally the good run for the football service came to an end, although given the nature of the tips that are issued there was a degree of inevitability about that.

December Results

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake £1,240

Profit £443

Horse Racing Service 2

Stake £3,700

Loss £734

Horse Racing Service 3

Stake £2,117

Profit £1,090.50

Golf Betting Service

Stake £286

Loss £286

Subscriptions £56

Football Betting Service

Stake £1,230

Loss £477

December Overall

Stake £8,573

Profit £36.50

Year to end of December

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake £19,238

Loss £3,151.50

Return on Investment -16.4%

Subscriptions £305

Horse Racing Service 2

Stake £27,140

Profit £5,911.50

Return on Investment 21.8%

Subscriptions £1,234

Horse Racing Service 3

Stake £5,346

Profit £2,280

Return on Investment 42.6%

Subscriptions £175

Golf Betting Service

Stake £8,094

Loss £937.50

Return on Investment -11.6%

Subscriptions £505

Football Betting Service

Stake £6,560

Profit£1,291.50

Return on Investment 19.7%

Subscriptions £219

Overall results

Stake £66,378

Profit £5,393.50

Return on Investment 8.1%

Subscriptions £2,438

Profit after subs £2,955.50

Return on Investment after subs 4.5%

So basically December was a stand still month. Just 3 months to go to make another £2,000. I have a feeling it could all come down to how I do at the Cheltenham Festival in March

At Least Dick Turpin Wore a Mask

Well after last month’s fantastic results, I suppose it was inevitable that there would be a dip in performance. For the first 2 weeks of December the loss is about £900. The main culprit is the previously all conquering Horse Racing Service 2 which is £750 down. Horse Racing Service 1 is continuing to perform badly and is £350 down whilst the Golf service is struggling with a series of Mickey Mouse events and is £300 in arrears. The football betting service is level whilst the only one showing a profit is the newcomer Horse Racing Service 3 which is continuing to provide a good stream of well priced winners for £500 profit.

However the main focus of this blog are the enemy, otherwise known as bookmakers. I mentioned in a previous blog that my Boylesports account has been closed. This month my Stan James account has been closed and my Corals account is next to useless. I tried to put £10 on an 11/4 shot and they just allowed me to stake 43p. Stan James whose TV adverts feature a couple of muppets discussing betting with the slogan “bet with your heart or bet with head ” clearly don’t want anyone to actually bet with their head and win money from them. At least with Boylesports and Stan James I did actually win money and as both are notorious within the betting community for closing accounts, I knew that it was only a matter of time before I lost these accounts.

The main focus of my ire are Corals. They are amongst one of the 5 largest bookmakers in the country with hundreds of betting shops around the country, so you would imagine that having only opened my account with them 3 months ago, I have taken them to the cleaners and they have waved the white flag of surrender against my superior betting prowess. So how much have I won off them? Surely it must be over £1000 – In fact a review of my betting with them demonstrates that I have actually lost £400 since the account has been opened! Yes, I’ve lost £400 and the b*stards have effectively closed my account.

The only reason that I can think of is that they don’t like my pattern of betting. At this this point of the year Horse Racing Service 2 is largely focussing on All Weather racing. He posts his tips from 9am for racing that is often taking place in the evening at such iconic racing venues as Chelmsford City and Dundalk. Due to the lack of liquidity (volume) in the betting markets there is often a very rapid reduction in the odds. This gets flagged to departments that are monitoring betting patterns and accounts get closed. This was confirmed by someone posting on a betting forum that I follow who said that the main factor bookies use in deciding on closing accounts is the difference between the odds when bets are placed and the starting price. Bizarrely the amount of money won doesn’t really come into it, so my practice of trying to spread my bets around between several bookmakers is merely serving to annoy them all!

Frankly it should be a condition of holding a betting licence in this country, that bookies should be required to lay bets to a certain value (say £250-£300). However that isn’t going to happen any time soon, so there isn’t any point in getting mad about it. The main advice from the poster on the betting forum was to try to avoid placing bets before 11am except in major races. This could have a major effect on the profitability of Horse Racing Service 2, but is something that I am going to have to consider if I am going to be able to maintain sufficient betting accounts to be able to continue.

Nothing is ever easy in life!

November Results

As I indicated last time, November had got off to a great start thanks to a new horse racing service that I had to subscribed to. That service has subsequently had a couple of quietish weeks although last Saturday was particularly frustrating with a severe outbreak of seconditis with 5 horses finding one too good including horses at odds of 33/1 and 16/1. Horse Racing Service 2 continued to provide a regular stream of winners at decent odds, largely on the all weather surfaces, to post a profit of nearly £900. Unfortunately this was largely offset by the continually poor performing Horse Racing Service 1 with losses in excess of £600. This service now has 2 months to turn it around before I decide to pull the plug on it. The Golf Betting Service broke even largely thanks to Rory McIlroy winning in Dubai. He seemed to be cruising to victory before unaccountably dunking it into the water on 17th before holing a lengthy putt to only drop one shot. When you have £50 EW on a 5/1 shot, it can seriously put you off your Sunday lunch when that kind of thing happens. There’s a lot to be said for not watching the events that you have money on if you want to retain your sanity!

The other real star of the show was the Football Betting Service thanks to a remarkable 48 hours last week. This service adopts a stats based approach that identifies matches where there is a bet that is regarded as particularly good value. I would estimate that about 80-90% of bets are on the away team and these are usually unfancied bets at longish odds in what is effectively a 3 runner race. On the Monday night the bet was on Sunderland away at Crystal Palace at odds of 6/1. Thanks to Jermaine Defoe’s late winner, there was £180 added to the bank. The following night there was mundane programme of League 1 and League 2 fixtures which resulted in 8 selections. Incredibly 6 out of the 8 bets won resulting in a profit for the night of £675 (it beats working!). You know that your luck is in when bottom of the table Crewe, who after 60 minutes were two nil down away to Colchester, ended up scoring the winner in the third minute of injury time.

Overall the profit for the month was nearly £2,500 on stakes of just over £10,000 (gulp!) . The results in full are set out below.

November

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake     £1,720

Loss     £635.50

Horse Racing Service 2

Stake    £3,180

Profit    £888

Horse Racing Service 3

Stake     £3,229

Profit    £1,189.50

Golf Betting Service

Stake     £910

Loss     £23

Football Betting Service

Stake    £1,410

Profit    £1072.50

Year To Date

Horse Racing Service 1

Stake     £17,998

Loss      £3,594.50

Return on Investment   -20.0%

Subscriptions   £305

Horse Racing Service 2

Stake     £23,440

Profit    £6,645.50

Return on Investment   28.4%

Subscriptions   £1,234

Horse Racing Service 3

Stake     £3,229

Profit     £1,189.50

Return on Investment   36.8%

Subscriptions   £175

Golf Betting Service

Stake    £7,808

Loss      £651.50

Return on Investment   -8.3%

Subscriptions   £449

Football Betting Service

Stake     £5,330

Profit     £1768

Return on Investment   33.2%

Subscriptions   £219

Overall To Date

Stake   £57,805

Profit   £5,357

Return on Investment   9.3%

Subscriptions    £2,382

Profit after subs £2,975

ROI after subs 5.1%

So after a highly successful month the overall profit has nearly reached £3,000. Just 4 months to go – things are definitely back on track!