Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Europe acting like the Middle East

I was reminded of the famous letter to the Financial Times about the sitation in the Middle East, when going through all the European selections from various tipsters (including my own selections):

Sir, Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad!
Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood.

Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.
But Gulf states are pro-Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!

Iran is pro-Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!

Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the U.S.!

Gulf states are pro-U.S. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro-Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!

Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.

KN Al-Sabah,
London EC4, U.K.

I have previously mentioned that my Narrow Victories selections were clashing with Matt of Football Elite’s Vulnerable Home Favourites. This is not that much of a surprise as we are both looking for a level of underperformance from a favourite. Well this week, there were clashes all over the place.

Best to leave me out of the equation first, but the big clash was over the Levante – Espanol fixture where both FE and The Football Analyst were for the home favourite and Football Investor was taking them on. I am glad to say the most productive result won through here with Levante cruising to victory.

The other clashes were for Narrow Victories and I am ashamed to say I bowed down to the pressure this week! Both FI and FE were backing Reims to get something against Marseille, but Marseille are one of my strong NV mainstays with an unrivalled tight home record last season. I am usually OK taking on a VHF selection but combined with a Top Flight Euro from Stewboss, that was too much. And a good job too as Reims won 3-2, despite a Marseille comeback from 2-1 down in the last few minutes.

FI also had Osasuna to beat Seville, who are, again, an incredible NV side. In hindsight I should have looked into this more as the £40 stake on Osasuna should not have put me off a £100 bet for NV, and it was only taking on one tipster (although a main selection rather than a trial add-on)!

On a more positive note, there was quite a strong correlation of opinion among TFA, FE and FI this week. If you had backed all the selections that had at least 2 nominations (well 2 exactly, there were no all 3 choices), you would have backed 6 teams and won 5 of the bets. A profit of 9.24 points at an ROI of 154%!

Welcome to portfolio investing and have a nice day.

This weekend has been a very productive one, which was a relief after the last couple of rounds. I won’t go into too much detail of the previous weeks as we are nearly at month end and I will write a summary then.

What I will say is that this was the first weekend when all football tipsters made a profit at the same time. FE made the least with a £12 return and FI topped the pile at £488. NV and Summer of Football both made over £400 as well. Overall a profit of £1343 was achieved at 22% ROI.

This was particularly pleasing because at 4.35 on Saturday it looked like TFA and FI were about to drop a grand each and finally a few late goals went their (and my) way!

This blog has been a little quiet over the last fortnight, predominately as I was making a few tentative changes to my portfolio. No, no-one has been chucked out yet but there have been two tentative additions, to go with the continuing trial of Football Form Labs.

Rowan, over at TPI, mentioned that he was finding it relatively easy to get on at Pinnacle with his rugby bets. Rather than try GT Tips again, like Rowan, I have restarted my BetAdvisor subscription for Laurent Marty.

Laurent has been a Secret Betting Club hall of famer, was highlighted in Joseph Buchdahl’s ‘How to find a Black Cat in a coal hole’ as one of two tipsters with a proven edge. He also made quite a lot of profit for me up until I stopped last October. At that time LM was probably at the top of his tipping game and the subscription charges were well over £100 per month. I was finding it impossible to get bets on in any amount at or near the price or points spread.

Since then things have cooled a little after a poor run and the fees have come down, indicating to me less people are following him. In the last couple of months his results look like they are returning to a profitable level and it was time to unpause my subscription.

So far, the results have been spectacular, 13 bets, £1350 staked, and a profit of £798 at 59% ROI. Obviously this can’t continue but there has only been one selection I have turned down due to not being able to get the odds and that was my fault as I was walking the walls of Carcassonne castle with my kids when the tip came through!

Given the price of subscription, results need to be very strong, but I have until the 8th of March to decide if it can be a permanent member of the portfolio.

The other new addition is again a former member of the portfolio but I intend to find out if I can play it in a different way. I used to follow Keith Elliott’s Golf service and had some fantastic wins but overall the figures were not convincing once you processed the data and worked out bank sizes etc.

What particularly hurt the P/L statistics were the big wins as they usually triggered a family led spending spree, and these returns were needed to make the books balance. Interestingly, big horse wins did not have the same effect, maybe because they did not involve 4 days of following, usually culminating in a tense Sunday night drama, that everyone picked up on.

Being a member of SBC, Keith Elliott was almost a guilty secret of mine, due to the fact that there was no external proofing and they did not publish their results. My link to the service was through Keith’s Golf Form books, which were published many years ago and were a great insight to sports betting in general.

I knew this service has amazing wins but also long barren runs and due to the number of bets and different style bets my account keeping were never the most analysable. So when Matthew Walton, who runs Keith’s service put his other one up for proofing with SBC (issue 84), I thought it was time to look again.

I emailed them and they sent me full results for the last 4 years and I got to work.  Firstly I looked at their straight, as advised results, then win only (as most bets are EW) and then place only.

Given the headlines are garnered through big priced winners it was quite a shock to see that the bulk of the profits were from the place part of the bets. The obvious solution is to just play the place part of the bet, but prices are harder to obtain. I will trial to see how close I get to the quarter odds part of the EW bet and keep you updated with my progress.

Finally, the family and I are on half-term holiday at moment just outside Girona in Spain. While the weather was lovely when we arrived I get the feeling we are at the tail end of the great storms as now windy and a bit cooler. But it is still lovely and crowd-free and the kids are just about still swimming in the pool, so I can get some peace and write this!

Rather than just sharing my circumstances I thought I would detail my betting experience while abroad. Taking the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo overnight was an interesting experience and probably the first time in a long time that I was without data for a considerable time. Fortunately I did not have any bets to follow on that Wednesday night, bar the start of two golf tournaments in Asia. It was actually quite nice not to be surgically attached to the iPhone just In case something came through.

France is mostly betting friendly, although Betfair only works on the BetMate app, not the Betfair app or website. The other way round is a VPN, which is also very handy for watching SkyGo and iPlayer when you have Wifi. In terms of data on the go I have taken up Orange’s £3 a day for 100MB, which so far has covered all non-Wifi eventualities.

Spain is a different story with Betfair, William Hill, Sporting Bet, Betfred and many others not working, and for some reason a VPN doesn’t help either. Fortunately Bet365 and Pinnacle still work so if I am out I can still usually get some type of bet on quickly.

Here I have had to resort to logging into my computer at home via Logmein and placing the bets this way. It is a bit more fiddly but does the trick. I was a tad worried that the big storm would shut down the electricity/broadband at home and I wouldn’t have access, but that didn’t happen and it is still up and running. If it had gone down, like it did in summer when I think the cat feeder thought she was being helpful and turned off the power, I would have hired a VPS for the month to carry on.

The Week ahead

Should be a relatively quiet week with only a few TFA/FI selections and a couple of NV ones as well. Following on from earlier FI has put up big outsider bets on a couple of my tentative selections, so I will leave those alone. I do fancy Barca, Juve and Real Madrid to win by 1 or 2 goal margins so have backed those already.

In terms of Narrow Victories, I intend to update this week with a French Ligue 1 profile, so keep your eyes peeled for that and obviously the end of month summary soon for all the members of this portfolio.

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