Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The long running Gowi battle

Many thanks to Franck who commented on my blogpiece about Gowi. I did bash out a response to his points yesterday but when I went to publish it, Blogger said it was too long. Rather than edit it in a little box at the bottom of the page, I thought I would turn it into a blogpost as I feel it shows the battle lines between the different camps of Gowi subscribers.

(Franck's comments in italics)

Good blog but I feel compelled to give some balance

Opening paragraph: you say ‘I feel I am ready to pass judgement’…surely you can’t pass judgement on any service with just 6 months’ worth of data. It’s simply not long enough and I believe you need of minimum two seasons.

Hi Franck, thanks for your post. These 8 points aren't just for judging Gowi, it is for all tipsters I have in my portfolio. I mention passing judgement, because the previous month I was about to stop subscribing as I was making a loss after 6 months. Passing judgement, in hindsight, is a tad strong but it was in the context of me lining up my portfolio for the season. I already had the definites, the next post was about the probables. In the previous post I noted that Gowi and Tennisrating were in that camp, the judgement is more that I had decided on Gowi, not quite yet on how to proceed with Tennisratings.

You are right that should not be a defining reason to stop and more info is required, but taking one man's word for an amazing record is a route to the poor house in the sports betting world!

Point 2: why do you only have two bookies – how come you don’t have more Asian bookies, do you not use a bet brokerage service such as Sportmarket or Asian Connect.

In terms of the outright selections, I know full well how difficult it is to get on with traditional UK books but surely you could have some sort of plan in place ahead of the release of the bets…something like using a friend’s account or being near a bunch of different betting shops in a town. I think most people would be able to put some sort of plan in place whereby they get some of the prices. I know I got on all the bets by having access to a number of different books and having oddschecker open.

Point 2 in terms of bookies, I do have more than 2 bookies, it is just I find the majority of my business goes through these. SBO and Dafa do me well as does Betfair, but still finding I use the other two much more.

I personally do not feel comfortable using other people for pseudo accounts, I do not like asking them to pass betting money through their accounts etc or having the use of their paypal/skrill setups. I also live quite rurally and spend a lot of time in France and Spain, so can not rely on shops.

With regard to bet brokers, I am still waiting to be paid by BetButler, so forgive me if I am a little reticent of joing another yet.

To be quite honest, I have never been a big fan of ante post bets, due to the amount of the bank it ties up over a period of time. Certainly the ones I have seen so far have not convinced me otherwise. I would rather play with a smaller bank and turn it over more regularly.

Point 3: Not sure what you’re getting at with this point ‘reasoning is clear even if result of algorithms/rules’.

With reference to some bets being rushed….your example was the Athlone v Limerick. Was this bet really rushed? He gave two paragraphs where he mentioned head-to-head and recent form. Also, the double inverted commas around “always”….come on man, are you seriously using this as a credible example?

Point 3 covers all tipsters, I have no doubt Keith does his research and his write-ups are very detailed. Some tipsters do not and unless I have a fairly good understanding of why or how they are making their choices, I do not want to play.

The Athlone comment was a little tongue in cheek, but it came on the end of a series of poor tips on the Irish league. This may be part of the problem of not publishing your results, but to me, these tips came out of nowhere. I could find no mention of the Irish Premier league being part of the leagues he follows, plenty on MLS, Serie A and J-League, but no Ireland.

Maybe those that have been with the service for 6 years know this, but I didn't, so found it a tad flippant.

Point 4: I don’t see how you can feel that bigger priced golf and outright selections are over staked…are they out of line with his daily football? This also brings me to a topic about people feeling the need to bet everything that Keith’s suggests. Surely you should be able to work out what’s best for you in his service – Golf, Tennis, NFL etc. It seems to me that you may be struggling to deal with the variance of his outright golf selections.

Yes, the staking is in line with his daily football bets, but the risk and reward is not. Risking over 2% at big prices does not need that long a losing run to get a bit hairy. Again a list of past bets could show that this is not the case.

Again this point is not just about Gowi, I felt the same about some of the doubles that Skeeve picked at 5% of my bank at prices over 3.00. I aslo struggled and adjusted mid-season when I felt TFA churned out an 11 system bet that was working out as 11% of my bank.

I am not struggling with the variance of his golf bets,  just have no reference for his likely variance.

Point 5: Ok, so this point has been discussed in great detail and here’s my take on it.

Keith has stated on a number of occasions this his service is not a tipping sheet and I feel many are struggling to accept this as they automatically assume he has to be categorised as a tipster and therefore has to publish his results, has to get his results verified, has to do this, has to that etc etc.

Why is it not acceptable to say ‘I’m more than a tipster. I’m a newsletter service who provides detailed insight into football matches and sporting events all over the world. I give recommended bet suggestions on these sporting events’

How many of Keith’s ‘new’ subscribers just simply scroll down to the bottom of each newsletter to find the red type bet? I reckon about 90% of his new followers don’t even read the actual content and miss out on numerous other betting angles…but hey they don’t get this because they’re too busy chasing prices.

The fact that Keith has been providing a winning service since 2006 suggests that he’s slightly successful in this game!

Point 5 is always open for debate, but I would much rather have a full set of results to see where strengths and weaknesses are, especially when covering so many events. It is all very well taking a rough estimate of bank size from Keith, but again, I would like to look through the data to see if it stacks up.

As Steve at Daily 25 has stated, he can happily call himself a newsletter, but doubt it would attract the same level of fee. For all the "not worried about how many subscribers', there is still a lot of marketing on Twitter etc and for a while Keith did try to get his bets verified by SBC, but pulled out.

"The fact' that Keith has provided a winning service since 2006, is a great soundbite, but there are lots of bogus tipsters out there with fantastic long term records, according to them.

In terms of just cutting to the red type, I would certainly not include myself in that list. In fact I played the Marseille -1 bet this weekend as an o2.5 for better price, due to the expectation of wild times under Biesla. Did not think one extra defender would fix their deficiencies at the back like Keith, and when Montpellier went ahead, thought I was on to a winner, but alas OM couldn't get even one goal!

Have also made money on some HT/FT bets at big odds, but finding the right staking level without a record is tricky. If you are happy to dive in to all the extras confidently, well done, I am still finding my feet.

Point 6: Price collapses…there is always going to be a price collapse if everyone is trying to get the units down at 10am in the morning - two key alternatives is to wait near the off or go in-play. Keith has mentioned this numerous times.

‘If only we had the data’ – if you choose to follow the service you will eventually have data

Point 6 is really why I did the research. It is all very well having anecdotal evidence that waiting produces the results, it is another think having that in front of you. It would have been a lot less time consuming to have a spreadsheet of all the bets to cross check quickly than have to drag all the info from emails, which is quite tricky given structure of them.

My personal records were not much use as I sometimes played the advice rather than the selections, so not really fair.

The point of choosing to follow the service gives you the data seems a bit backwards to me.

Point 7: feel this is irrelevant as if you choose to follow a certain ‘tipster’ then you should do so, regardless of conflicting bets, and just do your analysis at the end of the season.

I do not feel point 7 is that irrelevant. If a large part of your profits come from backing big priced selections and another service keeps backing the perceived poor value favourite with a handicap, its not going to work well for me.

From my records the big priced Euro selections are returning 32% ROI and favourites in same league with Gowi are running at -1%, admittedly with a small sample size, but a much larger stake. Would you want to place them?

Point 8: I’d like to see Keith increase the price of his service and restrict the number of subscribers!

Point 8, maybe he should increase the price, he has a happy band of followers, and I can imagine being held to a different light by Johnny-come-latelys can be very annoying. But regardless of what he says, 220 subscribers at around a 1000 euros a year would be quite a cushion for a poor years betting! And he is definitely still marketing the product quite heavily, especially after a good burst of profit.

I can see how you can think it is a critical review, but I can not have expectations of success, just because the business owner says it is so. As I have said, doing the research has made me feel a lot better about continuing, even if the sample size is not yet large enough to be conclusive. I could have kept this to myself, but there is a lot of chatter on forums etc and think it could be quite useful to others.


  1. When you where going through the Gowi stats you pointed out (under topflight euro) that all his proft was made in french leagues. Does all the profit comes from the Ligue 2 or Is Ligue 1 also in profit ? And you had bulked the british football together , but what If you would have removed PL would the numbers then be better ? My stats says profit all over on totals so my questions are regarding the asian hcp. Thx !

  2. Sorry for not getting back so soon, small samples but L1 was +13 pts (21%ROI), while L2 was +6 pts (8% ROI). Prem made little difference. In all British stuff, -ve AH are loss making and +ve AH make solid profit. The problem is the more you drill down, the smaller the sample so easily changed round!