Latest Cases - September 2012

How to improve your experience with any tipster...

6th September 2012

Good afternoon, friends,

In this issue of Punters’ Verdict

  • It sounds like the ideal punting situation…
  • A little work can improve even the best service …
  • Know your tipster’s strengths and weaknesses…
  • Keep an eye on the price of selections too…

It sounds like the ideal punting situation…

A lot of punters use tipsters and their services to take the donkey work out of the betting equation. Using an ‘expert’ to conduct the spadework means they get access to profits without an investment of blood, sweat, tears and time. At least that’s the ideal.

Frequently – I’d say 8 times out of 10 – it goes wrong. The tipster is not the expert he told you he was. His methods are questionable. His thinking is misguided. The bottom line is that results are poor. Instead of profits you get losses – and you’ve paid through the nose for the privilege.

But let’s not dwell on the negative. Now and again you will stumble across a tipping service that produces the results you require – at the very least for a period.

It can seem like the perfect punting situation. You get selections and profits without the effort. Favoured with such a situation 90% of punters choose to sit back and do nothing – content to ride the wave, bank the profits and hope to God the tipster’s form holds up.

But I think that’s a mistake. Even when you find a decent tipping service you should still be putting in some work – to improve your experience and to fine tune the results you enjoy.

A little work can improve even the best service…

In my experience even the very best tipsters over-estimate their own prowess and the scope of their expertise. Tipsters – as a collective - regularly fail to recognize that whilst they might excel in one area they stink in others. Most fail to rein themselves in and end up providing clients with a flow of selections from areas where they have a track record of under-achievement – producing an overall negative experience.

Right now I’m trialing a service where the guy behind it provides a couple of short-priced doubles for his subscribers each day. Horse racing, tennis (men and women), football (every league under the sun from the Czech Republic to Uzbekistan), golf (all tours known to man), boxing, F1, cricket, baseball – it seems no sport or event is beyond this guy’s radar. 

I don’t know about you but I’ve been immersed in sport for 30-odd years – watching it, reading about it, thinking about it, punting on it – and whilst I might bet on 5 sports over the course of a year I know deep in my heart that I’d only be comfortable offering tips in just 3 sports – and even then in very specific areas.

The guy I’m trialing would benefit from the same self-awareness. In some sports he does know his game – posting big strike-rates and regular profits. But in other areas he’s straining the bounds of his ability and knowledge – supplying regular losers that are detrimental to his overall performance.

Maybe its ego, hubris, arrogance – call it what you will – that encourages tipsters to extend themselves so foolishly. Or maybe it’s a burning desire to supply the best tipping service they can - mistaking quantity and sheer volume and breadth for quality and specialization. 

Whatever the motivation the fact is that every tipping service you use will benefit from YOU getting active and putting some background work in. I’m talking about keeping detailed records – the kind of thing experts advise you do with your own bets – so that you can identify areas where your tipping services excels and areas where it regularly bombs.

Now I know that keeping records, logging results and analyzing data is one of the very chores punters are seeking to avoid when they sign up for tipping services. But the benefits of biting the bullet and doing the work far outweigh the time and effort involved.

Keeping detailed records of any tipster’s performance puts you in a position where you know more about his strengths and weaknesses then he does himself. And when you’re working with that kind of knowledge you know which bets are best thought-out and most likely to succeed and which are ‘filler’ – thrown in to make up the numbers and which, by-and-large, are best avoided.  

Know your tipster’s strength and weaknesses…

Tipsters tend to produce results in a format that suits them rather than the punter – and this usually means the results they provide are lacking in detail. The tips are lumped together as a whole – producing overall bottom-line strike rate and profit & loss figures.

Fair enough. Some tipster don’t post any mind of results at all (and they should be avoided like an outbreak of plague). But ‘overall’ performance figures often aren’t much use to the punter. They tell a story – but not the unabridged version.

A football tipster might show a small profit over a 6-month period. But the way he presents results will generally not give you the opportunity to see how he does with his under/over goals bets, his League 1 bets, his Premiership corners bets or his bets based on bookings points. His results – and the way he presents them – won’t help you find the sweet spots in his record. They won’t tell you the areas where he’s good or the areas where he flops – so you can’t tailor your betting activity accordingly. 

To establish that kind of perspective you need to put the work in. You need to create and maintain a record of his service and results that exceeds his own.

For example, with the football man, you want to know which leagues or tournaments and which markets he plays best. You want to be able to view his weekend and midweek bets in isolation. If work commitments limit the time he can spend on his midweek selections – and they suffer as a result – then you want to latch onto that fact.

Is he hot on multiples? Has he really got a grip on the Scottish football? Is he better with his 90-minute bets than he is with Correct Score picks? Does he have a viable method with his Goal-scorer bets or do the results suggest he’s throwing darts and guessing?

A tipster won’t tell you these things himself. He might not be aware of his own strengths or weaknesses. He may be blinded by delusions of his own brilliance. He might not be interested in detailed analysis as long as monthly subscription fees keep hitting his bank account.

The only way you’re going to get to grips with the true performance and quality of a tipping service is to go the extra mile, take responsibility, figure it out yourself and tailor your betting activity accordingly.

Keep an eye on the price of selections too…

This is a very worthwhile exercise. An analysis of the price of a tipster’s selections can reveal where his mind is at and what is motivating him.

For example, a few months ago I was looking at a horse racing tipster. I reviewed his selections for 6 months. Like most services the results were mixed. The tipster would hit a few winners. Then he’d hit a few losers. The overall experience you enjoyed or endured depended very much on when you joined the service.

But towards the end of calendar months when he was in danger of posting a loss the tipster sought to compensate. The number of bets advised per day would increase and so would the average price about those selections. He’d clearly deviated from his default process and was seeking to hit more winners at bigger prices to bolster his performance figures.

Only by keeping detailed records was I able to observe this activity – activity clearly motivated by his needs (for a better performance) rather than those of clients (who want consistency in selections as opposed to shotgun picks that are effectively chasing losses). Only by watching closely and analyzing how the service was operating could I learn about times the service selections might be a bit desperate and best swerved.

The Judge sums up…

It doesn’t matter which tipping service you use, which sports it covers or what individual markets it gets involved in – the performance of almost any tipping service can be improved via the process of observation and analysis I outline above.

The information you log and monitor is only limited by your creativity, your commitment to thoroughness and the amount of time and effort you’re prepared to invest in identifying the micro-patterns that matter within a tipster’s overall record.

If you pay a subscription to a tipping service you might feel committed to betting ALL the selections the service provides. And I can see how punters fall into that trap. But keeping records and pin-pointing areas where a specific service excels or fails gives you another option – to play only in the areas and markets where the record suggests you will enjoy most frequent and profitable success and where you stand best chance of out-performing the service’s overall record.

Of course, some services are a complete and utter dead loss. It doesn’t matter how you play them – whatever you do you’ll end up a loser. But at least by analyzing the performance in detail you’ll recognize this sooner rather than later – enabling you to cut your losses and get the hell out before you do your betting bank.  

I’ll be back with the Verdict next week. 

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