Latest Cases - July 2014

What you can learn from a tipster’s bad patch...

3rd July 2014

Good afternoon, friends,

In this issue of Punters’ Verdict….

  • Sold out? Cobblers, my friend….
  • A service in a terminal tailspin….
  • The gulf between dream and delivery….
  • How does the ship deal with bad weather?

Sold out? Cobblers, my friend….

Apparently the Each Way Winners tipping service is SOLD OUT. At least that’s what it says on their website. 

I don’t believe a word of it.  

Let’s get real. Is any tipping service ever going to be so over-subscribed that new punters prepared to pay good money are going to be turned away?

My friend, if you believe that load of old cobblers thenyour medication has worn off.

This is a clear case of a desperate service taking itself out of the firing line. The service isn’t SOLD OUT – it’s just been FOUND OUT. There’s a big difference.

How do I know? I signed up for a free trial on 8th May – while the free trial was still available & before the service SOLD OUT. And it wasn’t good….

But before we get into the nitty-gritty let me just quote a line from the Each Way Winners website….  

‘This is not a service where we will hide bad results!’ 

That’s another statement there isn’t much truth in. Try finding any results later than February 2014. You’ll be looking for a long time. Results from March, April, May & June are not there.

You could be generous and say the service operator – some guy calling himself Robert Taylor – has been so busy banking cheques from all his many customers he just forgot to update the results.

Or you could get real and conclude that the results aren’t there because Taylor doesn’t want you to see them. In other words he’s hiding them – just like he says he doesn’t do.

That said, if you’d trialed the service over the same period I did then you’d understand why he’d want to hide the results….

A service in a terminal tailspin….

I took free tips from Each Way Winners from 8th May to 28th May. That was plenty long enough to form conclusions.

  • I backed the 27 selections received over that period to level stakes (1 point each-way) at SP (the service didn’t give advised prices). The service found 2 outright winners and a handful of placed horses. Over the period losses amounted to 29.82 points. That’s not far short of £300.00 if you’re playing to £10.00 per point. In the trade that’s known as a ‘disaster’….

Okay, we won’t dwell on the bottom line figures. Any tipping service can go on a bad run. Maybe I just got on the roundabout at the wrong point in a bigger cycle. But there were other signs that Each Way Winners is a service to approach with caution.

The average SP of the first 14 selections I received amounted to 5/2.

Okay, that’s short, at least for my tastes. But there’s nothing wrong with it per se. If nothing else that consistency could be taken as a sign that the service has a solid modus operandi – an approach it sticks to. That’s good to know. It builds confidence in the idea that the service operator at least thinks he knows what he’s doing. That he has a method. That he’s not just chucking darts.

But then with losses building Taylor throws a curveball and advises two horses at 14s and 13s.

They both got well hammered and Taylor draws his horns in a bit. His next 5 selections average out at about 5s. But he continues to get it wrong and the losses build.

He throws another couple of darts – one horse at 11s and another at 12s. They both go down and I’m picking up a distinct desperation vibe….

This guy is chasing. He’s not made it pay at the short prices – with the fancied horses he feels most comfortable with. He’s dropped down the market – but hasn’t managed to get close to making the frame. Now the losses are mounting – to the point where one lucky dart at 12s isn’t going to cover the debt.

And that’s when Taylor’s springs suddenly give out completely – BOING! TWANG!

On 28th May his nerve cracks. Like a half-deranged John Rambo in the jungles of Viet Nam, Taylor breaks from cover and goes for a complete Hollywood bet – breaking completely from his playbook and putting up a 50/1 shot. This is a classic ‘battle fatigue’ selection.

You can see where Taylor is coming from – a win would be dreamland, a place would put some much-needed meat back into the pot. But the bottom line is that he’s descended into Alice in Wonderland thinking. He’s betting in hope rather than expectation – a sure sign of a tipster who is drowning not waving.

The 50/1 shot runs up to its rag price and finishes stone last. Another two points go west. But by this stage I’ve seen enough. By now I know for sure this guy – Robert Taylor – is just a dart chucker.

I’ve seen hundreds of services that are based on guessing – no real knowledge, no real expertise and no real methodology. And I’ve seen how those services tailspin when the guessing starts to go wrong.

They don’t pull out of the dive, folks. They don’t level off. They drop like stones out of the sky and hit the ground in a ball of flames. All that’s left is twisted metal and a big crater that used to be your betting bank.

The gulf between dream and delivery….

We all dream of having a little money tree. We all dream of a little stream of profits flowing through our lives – a gentle tinkling stream of cash that makes life easier.

And technology appears to make it possible.

These days almost anybody can build or get hold of a professional looking website. We can all sign-up for a Paypal account and take subscription payments from all and sundry. We can all subscribe to a bulk-email distribution service, or a bulk texting service. There’s no mystery to any of this.

The problem is that all this technology is not a product or a service in and of itself. It is merely a delivery mechanism. The business – your actual profit center – is what you actually deliver.

And that’s the problem online today. Everybody has the delivery mechanism. Very few have anything worth delivering. And the tipping ‘industry’ seems to have become the ‘industry’ towards which all the people with nothing real to deliver gravitate.

Maybe they think they do have a service to deliver. Maybe Robert Taylor – the racing expert behind Each Way Winners – did truly believe that he had a bona fide service that was truly worth £25.00 per month.

Or maybe people moving into the tipping game don’t really feel like they need any real expertise. Maybe an opinion – educated or otherwise – is enough to go to market with.

Maybe you don’t even need an opinion of your own. Maybe you can just do the rounds, pic ‘n mix from all the different tipsters you can access online and then pass off this ‘blended’ service as your own.

Maybe you can just chuck a few darts and charge people for the privilege of betting those rigorously researched selections.

I guess anything is possible. I guess that guessing has the potential to take a fellow a long way. Who knows? It is entirely feasible that you could get a few months’ worth of subscription fees – maybe hundreds of pounds – for nothing more than inspired guesswork.

That’s a great business. Make a guess – get paid. I think that’s the business model at least 80% of tipping services come to market with. I really do.

How does the ship deal with bad weather?

And it’s a fabulous business model – for as long as it works.

Whilst your guessing stick is on form the subscription fees keep rolling in.

For a few weeks and maybe even a few months you might feel like you’ve made it. You are happy. Your punters are happy. Living like a King might not be such an outlandish idea after all….

But sooner or later every tipping service hits a rough spot. And it is when a service hits a bad patch that you find out what that service is really all about.

The ‘guessing’ services tend to go ‘off-compass’ – just like Each Way Winners did. With nothing ‘real’ to keep the ship anchored through the bad weather, the captain starts ‘trying things’. His off-the-cuff experiments inevitably end with the ship drifting into high seas and dangerous waters. At bestthe ship takes a real battering. At worst it ends up on the sea bed. (Note: Sometimes this is creatively referred to as being ‘SOLD OUT’).

The better services have seen rough weather before. They’ve been through it. They’ve survived it. They have methods they believe in. They stick with those methods. They keep doing what they truly believe is the right thing. They don’t deviate from it. Eventually, they come out the other side of the storm. Maybe the ship and all onboard are a bit bruised but otherwise the ship is intact and continues on its voyage – all because captain and crew stuck to the standard procedures, all because captain and crew had standard procedures to stick to.

How a tipping service deals with bad patches and losses of form can tell you a great deal about what kind of service it really is and how solid – or not – its foundations are. I guess that’s the moral of this week’s story.

I’ll be back with the Verdict next week.

The Judge

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