Monday, 2 February 2009

A bit of luck at last!

Profit since last update £513.88

I wouldn’t say I’ve been the luckiest person this year on Betfair and given the way most of the tips ran last month, I’m not sure I’m too lucky at that game either but thankfully, I got a massive dose of luck on Friday past.

I gave out 3 selections on Friday and my first play was to put £30 win on each on BF Mobile to enable me to trade from that opening position. I’d hit 31 straight losers before giving out these tips and obviously, my confidence was pretty low that they would win. The odds of them were 9/2, 6/1 and 16/1.

As you may or may not have heard, there was a problem with Betfair Mobile from mid morning and I was unable to lay off any of the bets. Well, it doesn’t take a genius to realise what happened next…….. I joked about it on the forum before it happened, so I'm sure the guys had a good laugh about it!

My first one won with an SP of 9/2 which netted me £172 profit on my bet on Betfair.

My second one won at 11/2 and I won £214 from my bet on Betfair.

I had backed my 3rd one at 22 on Betfair, so I was getting over £600 profit alone if it had won. As it turned out, it was one of the best backed horses of the day and if I was able to access BF, I would have been able to lay off 10 points lower for a £300 riskfree bet.

As it turned out, it had an SP of 10/1 and although it traded 4 IR, it finished out with the front 3. Overall, a profit of £356 on the day from my 3 bets and it doesn’t come much luckier than that. If given the opportunity to trade pre-race or leave IR lays, I would have maybe taken £10 IR on the first two to win small sums (£50 on each maybe) and on the last one, I wouldn’t have taken any money IR and maybe made a small profit of £10 or so by leaving an IR lay, so a likely profit of £110 has turned into £356!

Clearly, this is about as lucky as you can get. The reason I had been having a good month is simply due to the fact I wasn’t gambling on my selections (I don’t do this where possible as I like to trade them) and I missed the brunt of the losses from 31 straight losers and the day when I’m forced to gamble, I hit 2 winners!

The overall P&L for The Form Analyst shows a loss of 16 points on the month which makes me cringe. I’ve stopped taking renewals from anyone that renews at the moment which seemed the right thing to do. I had a few guys join at the peak of the service and they are now carrying a loss, so it makes sense to let these guys stay around until they get into profit and then they can decide to walk away or join the roller coaster again!

Here’s an update of the rollercoaster (I mean the P&L graph!) :

I said this on the last post but it hasn’t really been a bad month for the tips although it appears that way! It was a bad month in terms of winners but when you look at the way the horses ran, it was anything but a poor month. I only had 5 winners but 20 placed horses finished 2nd or 3rd. At the odds I play at, you are nearly as likely to pick a winner as a placed horse in a lot of the races, so to only have 5 winners whilst hitting 20 placed horses takes some doing!

I obviously track my results closely and I shared this table with the guys at the site.

Without trying to put too much of a spin on things, 45% of the selections got placed and considering the average odds were 10/1, you can see why I’ve had a very good month myself trading my horses pre-race and in-running. Backing horses at big prices that run well and trade low IR is basically my ‘edge’ and the edge was still there this month. What wasn’t there was a bit of luck. In my last post, I rattled off a list of big priced horses that got placed and I won’t repeat it again.

In my opinion, the worst case for the P&L last month was the actual result of -16. If someone could promise me that 45% of my selections would place every month where they have an average SP of 10/1, I’d take that every time. If I repeated that every month, I reckon I’d make 30+ points a month easily which would be amazing.

The eagle eye-eyed amongst you will be asking why I didn’t make a profit by backing each-way. Firstly, I don’t suggest each-way bets on all of my selections and for example, I gave 1 point win on a 22/1 that finished 2nd, so if I’d backed a point each-way, I’d have reduced that loss somewhat on the month. Secondly, I always treat the win and place part of each bet as separate bets and I won’t tip each-way unless I think the horse is value to get placed. Again, this is maybe not the norm but it’s what I believe. Hence, a 22/1 chance to win may not be value to place if it isn’t very consistent. Therefore, I gave out the 22/1 at win only and kicked myself when it was 2nd!

I’ve spoken about this a great deal with the subscribers at my site but one of my greatest strengths at this tipping game is identifying my best bets. I know it sounds a bit silly as it seems commonsense but in my case, it makes a huge difference. For example, here’s my P&L graph if you had only followed my stronger bets throughout the course of the service.

The first observation that is underlying this graph and isn’t clearly visible unless you think about it is that I make a loss on my 1 point bets over the 4 months. There are a few reasons for this in my opinion. The obvious reason is the fact my average odds on these bets are much higher, so you would expect a greater variance in the P&L of these bets. More importantly, they are my weaker bets as I said. Hence, if I find a horse I think is overpriced but may not run to form or is inconsistent, I tend to only suggest a point win or 0.5EW.

Clearly, this is a great strength to have as it means you can effectively increase your stakes on these better bets and be confident that it will increase your profits. At the moment, I use a 1-3 point staking plan which works OK but clearly, making a 30 point loss on weaker bets and 80 points profit on stronger bets isn’t ideal.

Two ways around it are to reduce my number of weak bets (not keen on this at the moment due to my relative inexperience at this tipping game) or to increase my stakes on the stronger bets.

I’ve already discussed this with the guys but from March time (or whenever the flat starts), I will be using more of a 1-5 point staking plan. I was meant to be using that from the beginning of the service but I’ve only given out one 3 point win bet in 4 months, so unless I’m waiting for Shergar to run, I’m not going to be giving out 4 and 5 point bets in the near future with my current plan.

I guess the issue with changing staking plan is you are in danger of increasing the risk as I can’t do much damage to the 45 point profit I’ve made so far with a 1-3 point plan but if I give out a couple of 4 or 5 point bets that lose, my historical profit quickly vanishes!

I guess the key is the graph above and the fact I do have a great strength of recognising my better bets, so I need to maximise it much more than I currently do. Hence, I shouldn’t worry too much about losing a lot of points as it doesn’t happen with my stronger bets but we’ll see what happens in March.

A few people have dropped me emails or comments on here (not published them all) about trying to learn to trade like me or at least learn how to read form like I do. I don’t want to turn this into a sales pitch but I’m always willing to help anyone out who wants to learn. However, I do spend a lot of time with the guys on the forum at the site discussing races and my trading strategy and my methods on Betfair.

If anyone does want to learn and isn’t too interested in the tips themselves, then drop me a note and we can maybe arrange access to the site for a fee. Anyone who joins the site gets access to every email I’ve written over the past 4 months and downloading these would be a great start for anyone wanting to learn about reading form. In addition, there are over 3,000 posts in the forum and over 1,100 of these are by me and a great many are about my methods and strategy on Betfair, so in my opinion, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to join for a month to get a flavour of what I do!


leonthefixer said...

Hi mate - excellent post as ever and I do hope you continue the blog after the year of experiment as I enjoy the reads!

Couple of questions for you. Firstly on your P&L Graph you are showing a profit of around 50 points I think , though when I look on Racing Index which I do each day to see how you are doing, to advised stakes you are about level to BFSP and about -15points to SP.

Is the discrepancy due to the difference between your advised prices and SP/BFSP? Or am I reading the graphs wrongly?

Also I saw the issues on BF Mobile, as I remember you are unable to access BF from work? Have you not considered spending some of your winnings on a Netbook PC and a mobile dongle which would mean as long as you get reception you would be able to trade away to your hearts content. Just keep going to the loo if you can't do it at your desk :) You might get a reputation for having the trots all the time but I would have thought the extra chances to trade your selections would mean you recoup your outlay in no time at all.

Something to consider perhaps? They cost less than £300.

Keep up the posts!

Mark Iverson said...

Hi Graeme,

Glad things are picking up for you mate.

One thing though - I'm a bit baffled as to why you didn't ring Betfair to lay off your 3rd selection?

All the best,


Graeme Dand said...

Hi Leon.

I haven’t decided what I’ll do with the blog when the 12 months are up. I guess I may keep it going and stop recording P&Ls etc. as it’s not really important after the first 12 months as it was all about me trying to learn the game and showing how good/bad I’ve done in my first 12 months.

Yeah, the Racing Index thing is down to 2 reasons. Firstly, I’ve missed off 2 days of proofing on RI and both days have seen horses win. I think that gets me to about level to SP and +15 to BF SP. Clearly, very careless but I can’t access RI at work and I rely on others to do it for me. I missed an 8/1 winner on Sunday for example that isn’t on there, so pretty costly error on my part!

The point of proofing is just so I can’t pull the wool over anyone’s eyes but being honest, most of the guys at the site keep their own P&Ls and would soon shoot me down if I quoted inflated profits!

The other point is the most important point and looks at the difference between advised prices and SP. In 4 months of tipping, only 2 horses that have drifted has ever won for me! I know this sounds crazy but it is true. All my winners shorten either during the day or more usually, on course 10 mins to the race etc.

Hence, it doesn’t take a genius to see why SP and advised prices are so different. However, to prove that this is the case, all you have to do is look at the difference between BF SP and SP. As you say, there’s about a 15 point gap across the 4 months mate. If you look at nearly every other tipster on that table, you’ll see a big gap between SP and BF SP. In some cases, a tipster is -200 at SP and +200 at BF SP!

A great majority of tipsters try to pull the wool by quoting BF SP as on a horse that is very weak, drifts wildly and wins, they can make a huge margin over SP. Obviously, this is usually a bad tip that wins! Also, if all my guys started betting on Betfair, I reckon we place around £2k some days on selections and it would skew the price downward on horses and no one would get as good a price.

Very few of my tips are ‘bad’ tips and the vast majority go off well backed. Hence, I do well trading them as I keep showing and we all know better backed horses run better on average, so in the long-run, it should work out well.

To get around the Racing Index issues, I joined another proofing site but it’s only updated every two weeks. However, they get copied in on my email everyday I send, so they see the odds I advise and check that these are obtainable where possible. In addition, the guys at the site would soon tell me if the were unable to get the odds.

Lastly, JP quotes all my selections and results on his blog Leon, so I really have no hiding place mate! Lol

A few people have mentioned getting other ways to trade whilst working but being honest, I’m not interested at the moment. My work wouldn’t be best pleased and I could easily get Mobile Broadband on my laptop and do it at lunchtime but I’m not really meant to be trading!

For months like last month, I obviously do really well but my target is to make £200-£300 a month from my own trading and clearly, I won’t make anywhere near £900 in most months.

I reckon I’ve traded in total for 10 hours last month, so that’s £90 an hour. I won’t do that again I’m sure mate!

I’ve said this lots of times but I think if people used my analysis and were sat in front of Betfair for most of the day, they could make seriously good money if they knew what they were doing. The fact I do OK on BF Mobile makes me laugh and even ignoring the luck I had at the end of the month, I still do well.

If things had gone to plan last month and I hit more winners, I would made maybe £2k more and it would have been fairytale stuff. In 2 races, I had nearly £1k riskfree on horses that shortened (one from 28 to 12 and one from 17.5 to 11) and both ran really well (traded 1.8 and 2.1) and if they had won, it would have been the stuff that dreams are made of!

Thanks for the comment.


Graeme Dand said...

Hi Mark.

I’m sure I’m alone here (or am I?) but I’ve never ever phoned Betfair or any bookie to put on a bet! Hence, it didn’t even cross my mind. I’ve still never had a bookmakers account apart from Betfair!

If I was using larger stakes, I would have given one of the guys on the forum my log in details and they could have laid the bet off for me if I wanted them to. I trust most of them.

I guess the key is that it was £30 win and not £300 win and as you know, I’m never afraid to have a little punt. ;)

In addition, my first two bets had won and I’d already covered the stake easily, so I was dreaming of doing a blog post that night saying I’d just won £1k on my 3 tips and picked a 653/1 treble. I was hoping it may have drummed me up some new business for the tips! lol

I read from your P&Ls mate that you are still dabbling with trading pre-race on the horses in a small way. Have you got anywhere with it? You were the one sports trader I always thought could crack the trading on horses simply due to the fact you are a great trader and seemed made to trade these movements!

Good luck for this month mate.


Anonymous said...

Excellent blog.

I have never used a tipster before but I am keen to try to learn about reading horseracing form.

I know you said previously that people should join the site but how do we know what sort of stuff is in the forum? We onlt have your word. Can you post some ideas/examples from the forum so I can see if it is worth the money

Graeme Dand said...


If you think I'm pulling your leg and talking nonsense, I could tell you anything.

However, it just so happens that last night I recieved a PM from a member on the forum and I'm sure he won't mind me sharing his comment on here (I hope not!). Anyway, his comment is below and it's unedited by me! ;)

(I couldn't have planned this better I know but it is the truth! lol)

"As far as using your methods to try and find winners goes..... have to say a big thank you, your methods/advice/teaching has really paid off. You know I use trends (they tend to work best at the major meetings/festivals not so much for average stuff) and statistics but now by actually using the form to pinpoint the most likely I have been finding plenty of good priced winners. I did try to get into the all weather like you have but it wasn't working for me. Maybe I'm doing something wrong (or right, lol) as it's the jumps winners I'm finding. Had Almaydan and Polar Gunner e/w at Doncaster recently, they were first and second, got 29/1 on BF on the winner. Harmony Brig 1st at 16/1 and theatre Belle 2nd, Montvideo won at 19/1, Man Of The Moment 10/1, Pretty Star 10/1, Kinkeel, Le Burf etc etc. Also had Miss Mitch at 10/1 at Ascot, you'd tipped it up the race before, you tipped The Wicketkeeper in this race but the ground went against him in the morning. I've read and re-read all the threads with your methods in, looking forward to some more! I have plenty of time on my hands at the moment so am spending a lot of time studying and it's paying off and I'm learning more as I study races and obviously from you and the rest of the forum. Like you I am looking forward to the flat season from a punting point of view, personally I think the fact that your £ lasts longer on the jumps makes it a better spectacle!"

Rotteborp said...

Hello Mark!

We made some kind of free stats for all BF traders/bettors.
We strongly need for your comments, feedback, ideas for development etc.

We will make whatever you want.

Our website is:

For instance here're some reports I've made on my trading performance for several weeks:

Discussion is here:

I hope you will use our tool in your work.

Good Luck