January 2014 Newsletter
How was 2013 for you?
Was it a profitable one?
It was again so for me but it was hard work this year.
Beating the bookie when racing offered us so many small field races, so many odds on favourites, so many maidens and such a dearth of quality during the flat season; well that made it the toughest challenge I have experienced since I began betting full time in 1998.
In 2013 crossed the line in front of the bookie once more.
But it was harder to achieve than usual and it was very much a year of two halves.
More about that later in this first newsletter of 2014.
Bookies admit to me that they still make mistakes. There is so much sport to price up; it is inevitable that they get it wrong once in a while.
It’s spotting when they do that can really help you make an annual profit from punting.
We benefited from that plenty of times in 2012. Less often in 2013, but they were still there.
And remember, bookies are spying on us. I kid you not.
I know for a fact that some of the big online bookies employ punting minded people to study social network sites for punters they know to be profitable. They are watching your every conversation with each other.
I know BetVictor follow my every football related tweet and have reacted when I claim a team is overpriced to win a match.
Newer members will not know this, but I have been betting on sport for decades. For many years, that was just the odd bet here and there when I thought the odds were wrong.
We are at war with the bookies. They are the enemy!
For example, Ireland to beat Italy in the World Cup of 1994 paid me handsomely.
As did betting on Steffi Graff to get knocked out of Wimbledon in the first round, also in 1994. She had been unbeaten at Wimbledon for the past three years, but I had watched her every televised tour match around the world between the summer of ’93 and ’94, and I knew she was vulnerable going into Wimbledon that year.
1994 was a very, very good year for me and the perfect example of how you don’t have to bet often to make an annual profit.
So it was that from 1998, having tested my punting skills for a few years, I began betting on sport as a means to make an additional annual income.
And, as the internet boomed and social media sites became more popular, I began spreading the word when it came to my knowledge of sport and the flutters I fancied.
These days, with Stattoman monitoring my results daily, I have been able to offer followers a results service that many have wanted for a long time – but which I simply have not had the time to undertake.
Stattoman monitors returns and keeps a precise record of my annual profit and loss (P&L) and return on investment (ROI).
I think those who have followed me for years know that I only tell the truth.
For better or worse, through good times and bad, I tell it how it is.
For example, the ROI on selections priced between 9/2 and 13/2 in the first half of 2013 was 42.74%.
And on selections of 7/1 or above, the ROI was a whopping 51.46%.
So a very good first six months for those among you who like the bigger prices.
The overall ROI for January 2013 to the end of June was 13.14%. That will tell you that the returns on anything priced 4/1 or under were not as good.
But where else will you get a return of 13% in six months?
I don’t mind admitting that the second half of 2013 was disappointing. And not just from a personal punting perspective. I thought most of the racing (apart from the high profile Group 1 races) was somewhere between poor and bloody awful.
And my returns reflected that. The overall ROI for the months of July to December was a mere 2.06%. Better than what my bank offers on investment, for sure. But not the sort of figure I have grown accustomed to in recent years.
So you see what I mean by a profitable punting year of two halves.
Of course, many members faired better because they were much more selective with the selections. That is what I always suggest. Seeing what I have to say, matching that perhaps to other tipsters/punters who you respect and/or marrying that information to what you think about a particular race.
After all, individual choice and responsibility has to play a part. It’s your money, when all is said and done. How you spend it is up to you.
Members who bet on my selections priced at 9/2 or above will have had a better year than those who got on every 4/1 or under shot.
And those who only bet on selections priced 7/1 or above had the best year of all.
They are offering odds on prices on horses that should be odds against. More and more they are offering odds that are shorter than they should be.
So expect far fewer 5/2 or under selections for the time being. That will likely result in fewer selections overall. We have to be canny and outwit the bookies and we have to be patient and wait for the bets that will return us profit, be that on a winner or a double figure priced horse that gets placed.
These days it’s impossible to have anything between 6 and 12 winners per day, on a regular basis, as was the case with me so often in past years. The number of opportunities that existed five years ago cannot be found today. Sadly.
Trainers don’t send their horses long distances for pitiful prize money. I can’t blame them for that.
We are regularly getting handicap races with only 7 or 8 runners in the field. That is scandalous.
And bookies, who feel the recession as much as any business, have become meaner with their pricing. I have noticed it over the past two seasons. The bookies are taking few risks when pricing up horses.
Even the big boys based in Gibraltar have become more parsimonious with the odds they offer.
Indeed, there is a case for saying that you are better off now betting with independent bookmakers.
It is the special offers, gimmicks and things like Best Price Guaranteed that attracts us punters to the big companies online.
But I do wonder how long such offers will exist.
Independent bookie Geoff Banks confidently predicts that best price guaranteed will vanish. The big bookies, many of which reported annual losses in 2013, are constantly looking at ways of saving money.
Watch part 1 of my Geoff Banks interview on the website.
When betting this year always remember that less can be more.
For professional punters determined to make an annual profit, one bet a week might be enough. Or one bet a month. It is not how often you bet, it is what you bet on that counts.
One of the most common mistakes made by a punter with an internet connection to hand is simply this. They bet too often. Sometimes way too often.
Whether it is on racing or the football, study the odds and ask yourself: on the balance of probability, is that price in my favour or the favour of the bookies?
When it comes to betting on sport, as in life in general, nothing stays the same. The goalposts get moved. And it’s usually the bookies moving them.
So it is we must move with the times and try to stay ahead of the bookie.
I intend to do precisely that in 2014. I hope you join me.
- Looking back on 2013. Looking forward to 2014
- Statts 2013
- Chutney Dave’s National Hunt Eyecatchers
- The Ups and Downs of Football
- Face to Face with VG TIPS