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5th February 2015
Good afternoon, friends,
In this issue of Punters’ Verdict….
Join me on a Magical Mystery Tour….
Email arrived on the scene 20 years ago promising to make our lives easier to manage. In some respects the technology has delivered. But the communication tool has also grown into a monster that provides all manner of shyster with a direct route into our lives 24/7.
Email has been a Godsend for the dishonest scumbags who populate the ‘tipping’ world. Email has enabled them to thrive behind shields of relative anonymity. It enables them to conduct business in a manner that wouldn’t be acceptable in the ‘real’ face-to-face world.
These days when you hand over your email address to a tipster you must be prepared to accept a never-ending barrage of emails 24 hours per day – all flagging up an ever-growing list of additional tipping services you have never heard of. I think of it as a bus trip through the badlands and remote outposts of mediocrity and misrepresentation.
Taking these often nonsensical bus trips is part of my working life. But I am not deranged. There is method in my madness. I take these meandering trips through the cesspits of the tipping world simply to see where they lead and what the journey – in hindsight – reveals. Some trips reveal more than others.
This week I’d like you to join me for a quick spin on the tipping industry’s version of the Magical Mystery Tour. Or at least a single example of it that I’ve recently subjected myself to….
The departure point and beyond….
It all started on 8th January when I signed up for free tips offered by Carl Hepworth on his Winning Tips service – an outfit working out of a room on a business park in Exeter.
What Hepworth promised was a single free tip a day but when it came down to it he seemed focused on other matters.
Normally even the worst kind of tipster has sufficient self-respect to send a tip or two before he sends you a sales email. But the Hepworth household must be hungry because the first email he sent advised me to buy Charlie B’s (B for Bull?) Bet on the Winner service.
I’ve seen some peculiar business models in my time but this is the first time a service provider used his first opportunity to speak to me to pass me on to a competitor (a bit like Asda staff standing at the entrance to the car park and directing you to Tesco). In fact 4 of the first 5 emails I got from Hepworth focused on getting me to sign up with Charlie B. Curious.
By 16th January Charlie B is history. Hepworth is now pushing me at the 1poundpunt service run by some guy called Harold Schmidt (don’t you just love these names they come up with?).
On the 21st January he’s moved on again – this time raving about some dude called Peter at Betting Resolution.
On the 23rd January we move on to another amazing service Hepworth is aware of – Alistair (call me ‘Al’) Bentley’s Points to Profit service. 1pointwins, run by some guy called Andy, was another service provider who came highly recommended.
On the 27th we are introduced to Each Way Betting. On the 29th it’s the Pro Betting Club. On the 31st it’s Banksy Bets. On the 2nd February Gary Hawkins and his Winning Circle service are front and center.
Is it just me or is this Carl Hepworth one of the best connected guys ever to bestride the punting world?
We’ve seen enough. Let’s leave Carl’s tatty old bus sputtering by the roadside and see where one or two of his links lead us….
A couple of the stopping off points….
I took Carl’s advice and signed up for the 1poundpunt service on 17th January. Harold Schmidt appears to work out of an accommodation address in Rotherham. This guy wasn’t quite so heavy on the promotion of other services but he did want to introduce me to Barry Brown and his Betting Barry service. He also pointed me at a service Carl Hepworth had been keen to push, Banksy Bets.
I also signed up to 1pointwins at Hepworth’s urgings. Andy, the guy behind the service, was, like Carl Hepworth, keen to outline the charms of the Pro Betting Club and Banksy Bets. In addition to those fine services he also drew my attention to a service run by some guy called Tom Nelson.
Something interesting happened on the 1pointwins service on 2nd February. Andy sent round an explanatory email regarding some confusion caused by his original email sent earlier in the day….
‘I just wanted to correct myself. A few emails from you guys made me double check my betting account and Temple Road won in a dead heat. I just checked on a results site as it’s been a hectic day and it was listed as the 2nd selection so I thought we'd just missed out. Apologies for that and the one the other day at Chelmsford, Trimoulet I think it was that I said we'd had no luck and it had in fact won was me getting mixed up with a new tipster I was following that day who had Brave Decision (which came 2nd). Not too often you get a tipster claiming losses when he's actually won!’
That last statement is very true, Andy. Yet you’ve managed to do it twice in a matter of days. I wonder what could be going on here. As it happens I have a theory that might help explain it. But before I get to that, let’s just have a look at something else of interest….
Looking deeper at the various trails I was sent down by Carl Hepworth I couldn’t help but notice some strange similarities between some of the websites of some of the services he recommended I sign up to….
Coincidence or has someone been a very busy boy in recent times?
Is it me or could you be forgiven for believing each of these sites is constructed by the same hand? There are differences but to my untrained eye they look like variations on a theme. The kind of thing that happens when one man with limited ability is desperately striving to make multiple examples of basically the same thing look distinct and unrelated to one another.
Those are similar names aren’t they? Another strange coincidence perhaps?
I don’t know about you but I’m beginning to form the impression that these 3 services – and possibly others from the earlier lists – are all connected.
So what’s the point?
You probably think I’m some kind of conspiracy nut. I hear you asking: what’s the point, Judge? Why would one man want to operate a whole series of different services?
As you know, I’m no expert on these matters. I’m just an armchair investigator working in my night gown, smoking a pipe and trying to put the jigsaw together in between bouts of electroconvulsive therapy. But let me just propose a theory….
Imagine a form of racing that regularly produces small-field races – something like the all-weather, for example….
Now imagine, as a tipster, you own a series of ‘different’ services….
You’re perfectly placed to offer multiple selections on the same races – attributing different tips or sets of tips to each of those independent services….
Most days – because you’re having multiple shots at races – at least one and probably more of your services are going to hit winners. Sometimes at big prices….
The bottom line is that most days you are going to have at least one ‘hot’ service to sell the next day – with results to back it up….
I’m not suggesting that’s what’s going on here of course. I’m just proposing a theory. I’m making no allegations. I’m casting no aspersions. But as I sit here blowing smoke rings I cannot help but notice that many of the services we have touched on today focus exclusively on AW races….
And I can’t help recalling that strange email Andy sent to his 1pointwins members on 2nd February. How can it be that a tipster gets so mixed up (twice in a few days) that he refers to winners as losers and then has to correct himself?
Could it be that he has weaved such a tangled web of services and tips that he is prone to losing track of what he has tipped and which of his services he has tipped it from? Isn’t that exactly the kind of scenario that would explain such an odd and repeated confusion?
Maybe I’m on to something or maybe it’s just the effects of my medication. Who knows? You must decide. Right now I have to prepare myself for another 40,000 volts….
I’ll be back with the Verdict next week.