Monthly Review – April 2011

April is generally seen as a changeover month with horse racing undergoing a change of focus, from national hunt to flat racing. It is a traditionally troublesome month for many tipsters too as the quality of the NH racing drops off and there is little in the way of early season form available for most of the flat runners. Some tipsters feel they can handle these conditions and carry on as normal whereas others tend to panic a little and reduce the number of advised bets until they find their feet once more. I know plenty of other gamblers who usually struggle around this point of the year and thus tend to dread the season changeover but it has never really bothered me. It’s not the most profitable time of year for me but nor is it a particularly dreadful one either.

I missed my target profit for this month but unlike several other gamblers whose results I have heard about I did at least finish in the black. Were it not for the last few days of the month though I would have ended with a significant loss so I should be grateful for a bit of momentum to end this period. I also know and accept that I won’t hit my profit targets every single month. I will drop short some months and greatly exceed my targets in others but as long as I continue to make a long-term profit I should be happy. And I am.

My portfolio was pretty stable this month with no services dropped and only one new addition. Racing Angles is another Oxon Press service but rather than being a tipster this service offers insight into what sort of profile past winners of big races have had and uses that to shortlist likely winners from this year’s field. It’s an approach I have favoured in the past but now I have someone else doing the hard work for me and I can just reap the benefits. The only other changes are staking increases, with the stakes for the Lay’em and LTO3 systems going up a notch.

Another thing worth mentioning this month is my Betfair commission rate. Since I lost the elements of my portfolio that relied on the Massey ratings my commission rate has increased a couple of notches at least. I’m laying fewer selections and also making more of a push to take advantage of BOG bookies so my Betfair turnover is lower than previously and that has obviously had an adverse effect on my commission. Not much I can do about it and no point worrying about it. As the stakes rise and I am inevitably forced away from the BOG firms my turnover will increase once more and my commission rate will drop again.

The main success story for April is undoubtedly the Lay’em system. A profit if 25.20pts is decent enough for any system but for a lay system to rack up that sort of figure is doubly impressive when a winning bet can add no more than 0.95pts to the total. It represents a steady accumulation of profits throughout the month rather than a single big winner that one may get with a backing system. A successful April is not entirely surprising either as the Lay’em system has racked up profits in 10 of the last 12 months and has a total profit of 133.73pts over that period. This is no flash in the pan and my decision to raise the stakes midway through the month seem entirely justified.

Recent additions to the portfolio have performed well this month. Using the race profiles and shortlists provided by Racing Angles I managed to pick out three of the first five home in the Grand National and pick up some nice place money from the 2000 Guineas too. All in all it amounts to 25.00pts profit although I should say that these are small points in cash terms as I am still effectively testing the service. There are no other double figure profits this month but Sportsman Racing has got off to a good start with 8.60pts this month while Winning Racing Tips weighed in with 3.69pts. I am pleased with how these new services are panning out and look forward to making more profits off the back of them as the months go on. Northern Monkey continued his winning ways with another 3.88pts profit this month. The official figures from Northern Monkey put the profit at 3.40pts so it seems I have done better than expected. LTO3 pretty much broke even with a minor profit of 0.03pts for April.

On the flip side of the coin are the systems that returned a loss this month. It’s another lay system topping the bill, unfortunately, as the Ladies Lays system racked up a loss of 16.27pts. I really like this system and recently I had thought about upping the stakes. It’s a quiet system that doesn’t produce too many qualifiers and I felt it could take a larger stake but thanks to a period in the middle of the month when the horses just kept winning their races I am glad I kept the stakes as they were. These results were quite out of character though. It’s the biggest loss in a single month for over three years and brings to an end a run of nine consecutive winning months. The system is still nicely in profit for this year and I am sure this was just a blip.

That is the only double-figure loss though so it’s certainly not all bad. It was a tough month for ProBandit’sA List which dropped 6.17pts. It just wasn’t working out for whatever reason but I have no doubt that the service retains an edge that will generate profits in the future so I am not at all worried about a poor performance in April. Piecost, the Secret Betting Club forum tipster, also showed a loss. My figures have it as 4.93pts but the official results show a profit of 4.19pts for April. I have been through the figures and I seem to have dropped the odd point here and there by missing out on the best prices but on at least one occasion I took a price on Betfair only for the odds to drift by the off. It was a horse that was trading at 11/4 when the tips were released so I took 4.30 on Betfair on the basis that even after commission that would be better than the bookies unless the price drifted several ticks, which at the time it showed no signs of doing. It went off at 5/1 so instead of 5pt profit from taking a BOG price I made just 3.15pts. I mustn’t beat myself up over these things but learn the lessons.

There were also losses for Info Rated (-3.30pts), Claiming Jockey (-2.75pts), NHPM (-1.53pts) and NH Media (-0.57pts).

The first month of the year without the Simplex systems distorting the results with their huge swings so the figures are much more sedate this time round. FBD repeated their
March performance almost to the letter. It added 0.86pts in March and managed a profit of 0.87pts in April. It is still not exactly setting the world alight though and will be scrutinised before the start of next season. Football Elite had another tricky month and lost 1.63pts on the main bets but the FE Shortlist bets did at least claw 2.64pts of that back. Matt of Football Elite has taken some stick this season but I remain a believer and have renewed my membership for another year as I think he knows what he is doing and has picked out some good bets but been a bit unlucky with how the results have gone for him.

I don’t have a great deal of sports systems in my portfolio and have considered adding more. I took on The Sportsman last month but it has been a losing start with 0.18pts down the pan in April. The past records for this service are good though and I like to think I have patience and discipline so am not in the slightest bit concerned. Bet Bank Alerts had a relatively poor month losing 3.52pts while The Insider lost 0.75pts.

The one winning service was one I currently have a real problem with. Sports Bet USA made 2.40pts profit in April but that’s only according to my figures. The official results show some great winning runs and more profits than I have on record but that’s because I have missed numerous bets from this service. I accept that as bets are on US sports the tipster(s) may want to get the latest news from America which means bets are likely to be released in the evenings UK time. I’m fine with that, as long as I know when to check the website for the tips. I used to get an email/text message ahead of every tip but that no longer seems to be the case. I have only realised there have been bets on this service the next day when I get an email gloating about the win. I have filed a complaint with Oxfordshire Press’ customer service department on this so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. I do quite like this service and stake it more heavily than some of my other sports services so I could do without missing the bets and the profits associated with them.

A patchy month that saw me net 1.18pts profit. Pretty rubbish really. I have already touched upon my woes at the table this month so I won’t go into more detail here and now. I need to analyse my play in SnGs so far and see what lessons can be learned and what leaks can be plugged. I am also working on the mental side of my game in an attempt to improve my concentration and focus as they are definite weaknesses.

I continued to dabble with The Sportsman trades this month but found it altogether a little awkward so have put them on hold for now. I was managing to get the back side of the trade on fine but found I wasn’t always at the PC ready and able to get the lay side on very shortly before the off. Some of that was because Twitter didn’t seem to be updating as quickly as I expected/hoped but at other times I just plain forgot I had an open trade so effectively turned some of them into straight win bets, which was certainly not the intention. I plan to review how I go about following the trades so until I have worked out a suitable process I have put the whole idea on the back burner.

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  1. May 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm

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