Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Results update to end the month........

It has been an amazing week for the systems with a brilliant weekend, followed by a really solid midweek. I really do think some of the trends at this game are amazing. The last week of February looks very much like the first week of January but the 6 weeks in between were absolutely rubbish! I felt terrible at the end of January having watched the systems lose most of the profit won and now we’re at the end of February, I feel amazing about the month I’ve just had and the fact the systems turned things around just in time to end the month in profit.  Timing of profits is everything at this game!

I’ll keep my thoughts on the month until the monthly review as usual. Here are the results for the last week.

Est Systems

47 winners from 76 bets is always going to mean a big profit. A profit of 70.86pts. Long, long overdue for these systems and the fact they are still not in profit this season tells you everything you need to know about these systems this season!

The pleasing thing with this update has to be the combined systems with a profit of over 33pts from 24 bets. They’ve really struggled this season and remain in a loss making position but break-even is in sight although I’ve been here a few times before and they’ve slipped back again!

New Systems

I think this is one of the best updates I can remember for a week of bets for any of my systems. A profit of 92.14pts from 143 bets. Fantastic return.

System 31 deserves all the praise with a profit of 24.19pts from 27 bets. Stunning performance from this system again. :)

Misc Systems

A really good performance with a profit of 49.1pts from 72 bets. STOZ was again the worst performing system. Same story as all season!

Draw Systems

A profit of 6.93pts from 124 bets. Not the best update but they’ve had a great month so far whereas the previous systems were all having a shocking month. Hence, I’ll take a small profit. :)

Euro Systems

A really poor update for these systems. A loss of 21.2pts from 59 bets. Similar to the Draw systems, these systems have had an OK month until the last week and therefore, not going to give them too much of a hard time with a loss to end the month.

Under/Over Systems

6 winners from 13 bets and a profit of 0.21pts. Retirement beckons……

Overall, a profit of 198pts from 487 bets. An ROI of 40.6%. :)

A really good way to end a really tough month and I expect when we look at the month as a whole, it has been a pretty solid month. As always, I wish the profits would come every week rather than suffering losses for weeks in a row and then a massive profit to turn things around!

Next post will be the monthly review.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A quick look at value ratings this season for unique bets

(The below was written before tonight's bets. I meant to post it last night but didn't have time)

Before I get onto the purpose of this post, I want to say a few words on the discussion I had with Tage in the comments section on the last post. Tage has been a member of TFA for a while (3 seasons I think) and therefore, we’ve exchanged numerous emails on the performance of the systems and the ratings and Tage has always been supportive of TFA. Over the years, we’ve not always seen eye to eye on everything and I know Tage has his own views on the service, the systems and what I should do differently in terms of following the systems and running the service. However, like all TFA members, I respect his views and I agree with a lot of what he says but I also have my own views (as do others) and therefore, I do what I want to do with the ratings, the systems and the service.

Tage was a little annoyed that I butted into his conversation on the last post when he said Vidar’s staking plan was “wrong”. There is no right or wrong way to follow TFA and therefore, I’m not going to have one member telling other members they are doing things wrongly. Everyone can do what they want with the bets and if someone wants to have a staking plan of 0-1,000,000pts, they can do so as it’s their choice. Might not be the staking plan Tage would choose but it’s not his staking plan. 

I think we’re all still learning about TFA and the ratings, the systems, the draws, the Euros and so on and I expect it will always be a continual learning process for all of us but that’s part of the fun I think of following TFA. It’s what makes TFA fairly unique and ultimately, it’s why some people follow TFA believe it or not. It’s a challenge at times but I’ve had so many notes over the years from people talking about how good TFA has been for their betting, not only with the profits from the systems but the way it allows you to do different things with staking and portfolio bets and it has taught them a great deal about betting and how to make a profit and therefore, I don’t want that element curtailed.

I think it’s great Tage shared his thoughts on the blog and as subscribers will know, I allowed Tage to share a report earlier this season on why staking so much on some teams wasn’t worth the returns for the additional volatility it brings and I think all of us can learn from Tage after what has happened this season! However, at the end of the day, Tage can’t be telling people that their strategy is wrong when they are in profit and others are not in profit!

Anyway, I apologised to Tage for stepping into the discussion but I don’t want people thinking they are doing anything wrong when they are just doing their own thing with the staking. Tage laughs at this as he’s commented before on the blog but I know one guy who follows all (and I mean all!) TFA bets every season. He’s not had a losing season so far, is on course for another good season and constantly tells me that everyone else is crazy for not following all my bets! If anything ever points to TFA being unique, that is probably it. :)

Right, the purpose of this post is to answer a question Matthew raised on a post a few weeks back. I said I would do it at month end but I’ve had a little time today and it’s a fairly quiet midweek with fixtures, so I’ll do the post now.

Here’s the question from Matthew again:

Hi Graeme,

Could you provide an update of the results of backing each individual selection once to 1pt for the season so far? If you could then split it into value bands as well that would be great.



I’ve pulled together the analysis for the UK bets and I think it’s very interesting. I keep saying it but with the introduction of me releasing the value ratings this season with the bets, it does add a new dimension to the systems. Admittedly, I chose to ignore this dimension this season even though all the evidence pointed to possibly removing the lowest value bets from the systems historically. Having done this analysis today on this season, I suspect the evidence is even more overwhelming now but like always, I’ll reassess things at season end and give my view. I don’t fancy removing the low value bets completely as it would lead to a big reduction in bet number but if the evidence is there, the least I can do is point it out and people can make their own decisions as always.

Here’s the results this season for the 4 rating algorithms (data to today), split by value band.

This shows it was a good weekend as remarkably, all 4 algorithms have now sneaked into profit. As usual, algorithm 3 (system 31) is wiping the floor with the other 3 algorithms. I guess the surprise is that algorithm 1 is beating algorithm 2 and historically, this definitely hasn’t been the case. System 21 is a better system than system 6 IMO and the results back this up.

As you will see, the results by value band are interesting. Systems 21 and 41 show large losses for the lower value bets (<10%). System 6 shows a large loss for the lowest value bets (<5%) but a great profit for the 5%-10% range and then a large loss for 10%-15%! System 31 bucks the trend and the low value bets do really well.

Looking at the other end of the scale, the highest value bets (>30%+) are having an amazing season on every algorithm! Admittedly, there are so few bets, I won’t be retiring just yet but it at least points to the fact that if you are only wanting to lump on a few teams a season, these are the teams to do it! :)  (That’s tongue in cheek)

Being honest, as I keep saying, the only conclusion we can draw is that generally, the higher value bets do well and the very weak bets seem to be doing badly this season.

The actual question Matthew asked was around unique bets and not the algorithms, so here are the results for the unique bets at an overall level:

First comment is that it’s not exactly the best return in the world if you are following this strategy! You’d be much better just following system 31 as this return over the seasons has easily beat this strategy of backing each team that appears once.

Of course, to break the unique bets down by value bands, it’s not easy to just have one set of value bands. If we take algorithm 1, not every unique bet appears on this algorithm and therefore, we’ll have a bucket set of bets that don’t appear on the algorithm and therefore, bear this in mind! It starts to get quite complicated when you think it through as system 31 is the best system but this system seems to find bets that other systems can’t find and therefore, this should play through in the results here (and it does!).

Right, here are the results for each algorithm for the unique bets only:

I’m not about to sit and spell out hundreds of observations but I think system 31 is interesting. If you take the 212 bets that don’t appear on system 31 but appear on one of the other 3 algorithms, this accounts for a loss of 44.5pts from 212 bets. Not a huge sample but given system 31 is the best system historically, I expect that if system 31 doesn’t like your bet, not sure it’s worth having!

That’s a pretty good place to be and at least gives us some food for thought I think about the future. Likewise, if your unique bet only has a value of less than 5% and appears on system 6,21 or 41, it’s probably not worth having either!

You start to put together a couple of rules to build yourself a little unique bet system and quite quickly, you have a system that’s much better than just backing all unique bets. 

As always, I prefer to draw conclusions at season end and on much bigger sample sizes than one season, so please don’t start doing things off the back of this post. The results this season with the value bands fit in with what I thought would happen having spent some time with the data during the Summer. That's pleasing although it's one step further to act on this. 

For those reading this and thinking, ffs, he’s making it even MORE complicated, I will try to improve the service next season by having some systems that are based on certain rules regarding systems, ratings and draw systems and ultimately, these may be useful to some people. Not sure how they fit in the service and maybe they sit in another service where people are told what to back rather than told to do what they want to do! 

As always, any questions and observations welcome!  

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Reply to Vidar.........

I received a comment today on the post where I replied to some of the criticisms Steve had made on a blog post. Here’s the comment in full:

I am following 21 UK-systems with a 150 point bank (should be 200, but I took a higher risk). I am staking 1 point on homes, and 0,5 point on aways and draws:

6-21, 6-22, 7-21, 7-22, 8-21, 8-22
31-41, 31-42, 32-41, 32-42, 33-41, 33-42
D1-D6, D1-D7, D2-D6, D2-D7, D3-D6, D3-D7

I follow all the same systems as Steve do, plus 8 more. The difference in result is huge! So far my results are +10 pt. The lowest point early in the season was -100pt and the highest point was in early january with +50pt.

Have I chosen a better overall portfolio then Steve, or have I just been lucky with my choice of systems? What do you think Graeme?

Best regards,

NB - I have amended the numbers slightly in Vidar’s comment as he originally said 19 systems and 6 more than Steve. Should have been 21 systems and 8 more than Steve based on the systems quoted and the portfolio he follows.

I’m conscious the blog and the systems have been getting a fair bit of stick from people who have made losses this season. However, as the SBC award shows, all members can’t be losing 50% of their bank like Steve this season or I suspect I’d be getting even more criticism than that coming my way already.

As many people with the service are aware, I do spend a lot of time each summer pulling together portfolio sheets which highlight historical performance and drawdowns of chosen portfolios for subscribers (based on the systems they want to follow) and therefore, I do see a lot of different ways to play the bets. I also regularly receive emails from some subscribers with updates of how their TFA portfolio is going and others show comparisons to other services they follow (doesn’t look pretty this season admittedly for TFA!) but the point is, I do have a fair idea of how many people are doing.

I don’t feel it’s right to break that trust though and I never mention on the blog or in emails to subscribers how others are doing. I try my best to not discuss how I’m doing either as not sure I have much to gain by saying whether I’m winning or losing as people expect tipsters to always win every day and if I say I’m losing, I get people saying I’m hopeless and saying I should stop and if I say I’m winning and others are losing, I get accused of rubbing it in if not every other person is winning. I learnt in the first season to keep my thoughts to myself regarding my own betting!

Anyway, the comment from Vidar is the first comment on the blog this season from someone not in a horrible situation with their P&L. Vidar makes an interesting point that I thought was worth highlighting (and no, it’s not that he is in profit!).

As Steve knows, he’s following 13 UK systems this season. Hence, Vidar only follows 8 systems more than Steve. 

As Vidar says, he’s in profit for the season and as I know, Steve’s lost over 50% of his betting bank! How has this happened?

Well, it goes back to my original post regarding Steve’s systems and he’s been very, very unlucky I think. I saw it again last night but Steve had 1 draw bet, the systems had 5 draw bets. Steve backed the only loser and made a 1pt loss last night on draws. The draw systems made a 165% ROI last night across 44 bets, Steve’s ROI was -100%. That’s a big swing!

The additional 8 systems Vidar follows have enough profits to wipe out all of the losses by Steve and get Vidar in profit. As I said in my reply to Vidar, any sort of profit is great this season and although a 10pt profit isn’t what Vidar would have been hoping for this season when he set out (6.67% ROC), given how horrible this season has been, to make any profit is good going. Basically, if you can make a profit this season when the results are terrible, I expect you can do it in any season! Break-even is great this season!

I guess the question is as Vidar asks, has he been lucky or did he have a better portfolio than Steve? 

Before I answer this, one point I want to make again is that you don’t need to follow 21, 13 or even 10 systems this season to be in profit. I think I have shown that already by the portfolios I developed for the SBC forum. 6 of the 7 portfolios with 5-7 systems are in profit and have achieved an average of 23% ROC this season. Hence, you didn’t need 13 or 21 systems to be in profit. However, what you needed was a diversified set of bets and not be too reliant on a small number of bets to do well.

By following all combined systems including the draw systems, the only bets Vidar missed out were the Euro bets. Hence, he’s picked a good sample of bets from every UK algorithm and importantly, he’s not played TFA roulette by picking which combined systems to follow. He’s taken the full belts and braces approach and followed them all! Not my idea of following TFA but then again, who am I to argue when Vidar is in profit this season following TFA and I’m not!

Hence, Vidar removed the luck aspect by following all UK combined systems. No idea how long he spends placing TFA bets (will be as long as me!) but what he has done has protected himself from a season where the returns by backing the bets that appear on the most systems have done very poorly. Imagine if the returns this season had been in line with previous seasons, he’d be raking it in whilst Steve would be clawing his way back to break-even.

Therefore, I don’t think Vidar has been any luckier than Steve this season. He’s backed the same bets exactly that Steve has backed and all he’s done is add a few more systems and boom, he’s not in the mess Steve is in.

We’ve all learnt a lot this season and I put myself into this category too (as would Steve I suspect) and as I keep saying, none of this detracts from the fact that the UK systems have been shockingly bad this season. However, losing 50%+ of a betting bank at this stage of the season is not right and therefore, it could and should have been avoided. When the systems do bad as they have done this season, you can’t expect to make a profit. I appreciate that and I’ll hold my hands up and admit the systems have been poor this season. I honestly do think 50%+ losses should not be occurring though.

The interesting thing with Vidar’s portfolio I see is the fact he stakes 0.5pts on Draws (would have been based on these being unproven this season). Hence, he’s understaked the best performing bets in his portfolio. That’s about as unlucky as anything this season and yet, he’s in profit. I keep saying it but we make our own luck at this game. It’s not lucky that Vidar is in profit and if he had more luck, he would be in more profit I suspect.

To answer the question Vidar asks, I believe he has a better portfolio overall as this season has shown and I think Steve’s been unlucky with his system selection but if you do the first thing correctly (have a good portfolio), you can remove a great deal of the luck element out of this game. I said it in my original post but Steve was lucky in the first season and unlucky this season. With the returns these systems have, not sure we want to be relying on luck each season to make a profit………….

Midweek Results Update

Well, I said yesterday that last night would be a big night in the context of the month and although one of the big 4 games was called off, we were left with 3 big bets.

Interestingly, the two away bets appeared on the Draw systems a fair number of times and therefore, based on what I have been saying over the last few months regarding profits appearing on the wrong systems (for me to a small extent and for Steve to a large extent!), can you guess what happened? 

Yip, both Away bets were draws! Hence, the draw systems rake it in, my other systems hit 2 losers multiple times.

We got a little lucky with a late goal for the Home bet which limited the damage but again, if you look at the results overall, a profit on the night. Again though, I expect most people lost on the night. Steve would have anyway on the draw bets as there were 5 unique draw bets, 4 winners and 1 loser. Steve’s system had the loser!  He’s clearly jinxed in some way.

It’s actually quite funny that the trend hasn’t changed all season. The systems in profit continue to keep ploughing on upwards and the systems in losses continue to lose money hand over fist. Hence, those in the wrong place continue to feel the pain and have done all season.

It’s driving me crazy as I’m sure you’re picking up through Twitter and the blog. I can only imagine how others feel (pissed off, annoyed, frustrated, disappointed…delete as appropriate) but we’re all in the same boat.

Hindsight is easy at this game and if you look back to all my posts late last season about why I wanted to build draw systems, it was to protect my portfolio for the days and nights when the draw was a pest. If it wasn’t for the late goal last night, I’d have been looking at a massive loss for my portfolio and yet, the draw systems are doing the job I asked them to.

Keep saying it but so much of this game is in your head and at the moment, I feel like I’m mentally torturing myself. I know that if I switch systems myself, the systems I drop will suddenly hit the sort of run you dream about and if I stick with what I’m doing, I just need to sit and suffer as the other systems make profits as my systems struggle.

Without a doubt, my most frustrating season so far and I thought I learnt a lot after the first 3 seasons but I’m being taught a few valuable lessons this season!

Here’s the midweek results:

Est Systems

15 bets, 5 winners, 10 draws! A loss of 3.45pts.

New Systems

6 winners from 26, 20 draws! A loss of 9.95pts.

Misc Systems

5 winners from 17, 12 draws! A loss of 5.45pts.

Draw Systems

28 bets, 21 draws and 7 non draws!  A profit of 46.44pts.

Under/Over Systems

1 bet, 1 winner. 1.03pts profit.

Overall, a profit of 28.62pts from 55 bets. I made a hefty loss on my portfolio bets (my other systems fancied the same two Aways) and yet, I’m posting up a 52% ROI for the system bets. Feel like crying! 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Correlation and Variance - A bad combination!

I think without a doubt, the biggest disappointment of the season so far has been the performance of the Established Systems. These are the systems that I developed first and before this season, they didn’t have a blemish on their record. 3 seasons, 11 systems each seasons, a profit on every system, every season. Not only that, before this season, no system even looked like having a losing season, so it’s not like you could say that a losing season was expected.

I discussed it on a recent post regarding the portfolio that Steve built for this season but Steve went in really heavy on 5 of the Established combined systems. Although I discussed the correlation point (never a great idea to follow 5 systems so closely correlated in a portfolio IMO), the fact that Steve built his betting bank based on historical drawdowns meant that in a way, he had taken the correlation into account. Hence, I don’t think Steve is to blame for his losses this season (I didn’t say that in the post but someone else accused me of saying that by the way!) and the only thing we can blame is the poor performance of the systems this season.  

Here are the results for all the Est systems, split by season (up to the weekend past):

It’s amazing that a set of systems which have created over 200pts profit each season for the last 3 seasons can be looking at a loss of 87pts so far this season. Last season was far from a vintage season for these systems but even so, an 8.1% profit across nearly 3,000 bets hardly points to the returns falling off a cliff this season.  

The strike rate this season is the issue and we are missing a full 6% or 7% of bets being winners compared to the last two seasons. May not sound like much but across this many bets, that’s 89-104 winners we’re missing compared to the last couple of seasons. I appreciate the average odds aren’t the same and therefore, any calculations here are not exact but you get the gist of what I’m doing hopefully. Add another 40 winners to these systems this season and we’ll be break-even. Add another 40 winners on top of that and we’d be having a great season.

Obviously, you can’t just go around pretending you’ve hit 80 winners more than you have hit and therefore, where have the winners went this season?

Well, it’s not that difficult to find where they should have been.  

Every 8-22 bet must appear 11 times since it must have appeared on the other 10 systems. If you look at the performance of this system this season, you see the issue. 5 winners from 27 bets. A 14.6pt loss. To break-even, this system is missing 5-6 winners. That would be 55 or 66 winners on all these systems. Looking at the historical results, the system is probably missing 8 or 9 winners. That would be 88-99 winners on all the systems.

There we go. Those 8 or 9 winners are the difference between success and failure for these systems this season.

Of course, pinpointing where the 8 or 9 winners have went is impossible but it shows the thin line at this game. The issue that anyone following a set of correlated systems suffers from is that if these 8 or 9 games don’t go your way (and they haven’t done this season), you suddenly appear to be missing 8 or 9 times the number of systems you follow that would have these bets. If we take the example of Steve (sorry mate!), that would be 40 to 45 winners he’s missing. Steve’s P&L this season for TFA would look much different if he replaced 40-45 losers with winners!

None of this analysis helps us understand why the systems are making a loss and why these 8-9 games haven’t gone our way but that’s the point I’m trying to make. It’s 8-9 games.

Many of the people following TFA run a portfolio of tipsters. They follow TFA to try to diversify the risk within their betting portfolio and I think this makes perfect sense. They try to spread the risk across different tipsters and different sports and in the case of football, they may follow other footie services to diversify the risk away from TFA. Great idea (especially this season!)

However, what is the point of doing this to achieve diversification if for TFA, they lump on a very small number of teams every season and basically, run the risk of variance killing them in any season?

System 8-22 has had 27 bets this season. 27 bets.  Given these 27 bets account for 297 system bets out of 1,487 total system bets this season on the Est Systems, that’s 20% of the overall system returns for this set of systems is dependent on 27 bets. Yes, it’s been a horrible 27 bets so far but do we really want our betting returns to be based on such a small number of bets?

Take the case of someone following system 6-21 this season. 281 unique bets this season. Yes, this system is missing the same 8-9 winners as system 8-22 but with a large sample of bets, the chances of variance killing the returns is much smaller.

If people take anything from this season (I count myself in this too by the way), it has to be that we need to get away from being so dependent on such a small number of teams. Yes, things went our way over the first 3 seasons and system 8-22 produced profits each season but looking at the bigger picture, it doesn’t take a big swing in luck for a system with less than 100 bets to go from a winning system to a losing system.

That’s not to say that I think system 8-22 hasn’t had much luck this season. I think it has had its fair share of good and bad luck as most other systems have but when you rely so much on a small sample of bets, it doesn’t take much for the system to make a loss.

I think the amazing thing is, if you look at the returns of these 11 systems since they went live (including this season), they still don’t look too bad.  Here’s the results:

I’m sure many a tipster would cut their arm off to achieve these returns over these sample sizes but maybe this season has seen a correction of some sort? I’m starting to think the higher combined systems probably overachieved during the first 3 season and if you look at the overall returns now, maybe this is more like the normal returns we can expect. Of course, it has taken a terrible 6 months this season to correct the returns and maybe I’m kidding myself but looking at these returns, would I say that the edge has gone from these systems? Not sure I would.

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while but I was waiting until an upturn started! Given we’re still on a drawdown, I’m probably tempting fate as a few more bad weeks and the returns will take an even bigger hit and we’ll be missing more winners than 8 or 9 I suspect but at the end of the day, I don’t control the results.

Good luck for tonight’s bets. 

Weekend Results Update

Since I had some time last night, I thought it was worth updating the weekend results before the midweek. It is a fairly big midweek coming up with 4 bets accounting for a helluva lot of system bets for the service, so the month is either about to get a whole lot worse or potentially, we could be in profit after tonight. Given the way the month has gone, I expect we’ll be in a bigger mess than we are now but let’s see what happens.

In terms of the weekend, another tough weekend.  It’s tough going at the minute as I keep on saying. Tough reading some of the losses being suffered by Steve, tough losing money on my own portfolio, tough knowing others have lost money too.

One thing I’ve drilled into people over the first 3 seasons is that changing strategy isn’t really an option mid-season as you should see your season portfolio through. In addition, experience has led me to believe that people tend to jump from the poor performing systems to the best performing systems and as luck would have it, they do it at the wrong time and it comes back to bite them. I did this in season one and it bit me very hard as I increased stakes at the worst possible time, so from this time on, I’ve always suggested sticking with your portfolio until the season end.

Now we’re into our 4th season, I’m starting to think that there is a flaw with this strategy. The flaw being that if your portfolio is set up wrongly in the first place, is there any hope that things will turn around? I guess this is something that isn’t easy to answer and it may be the case that as soon you change strategy, your old portfolio would pick up but at the moment, those portfolios struggling the most have been the same portfolios struggling since the first week of the season.

Anyway, as always, the results updates on the blog are for the systems as a whole, so here’s the results for the weekend past.

Est Systems

Only 5 winners from 32 bets and a loss of 16.1pts. Pretty much losses across the board and the higher combined systems (7-21 thru to 8-22) continue to haemorrhage money this season. I’ll do a quick post on the Est Systems later as I think it’s worth looking at their fall from grace this season.

New Systems

Not quite as bad on these systems and they scraped a profit. A profit of 4.6pts from 46 bets. 10% ROI. I’d take every week!

Misc Systems

3 winners from 23 bets. Shocking really and a loss of 11.86pts. The only surprise was STOZ found a winner the other systems didn’t but this system will need to find many more of these before the season is out to dig itself out of the hole it is in.

Draw Systems

8 winners from 38 for a loss of 10.48pts. System D6 is on a bit of a run. 2 winners in the last 22 bets. Could do with a few winners soon to steady the ship again.

Euro Systems

34 winners from 64 bets and a good weekend again for these systems. 22.8pts profit from 64 bets. The standout systems at the moment are the ones that had most to prove coming into the season after the mess I made with my first foray into the European leagues last season.

Under-Over Systems

1 bet, 1 winner. A profit of 1.10pts.

Overall, a loss of 10pts from 204 bets. Similar to what I’ve been saying for the last few weeks, the profits are appearing on the ‘wrong’ systems for the majority of us and therefore, the returns are being held up by systems which are unproven coming into the season.

I said this on Twitter at the weekend but this is mentally draining seeing other bets do well without my money on them. At the start of the season, the bets I had most confidence in (along with everyone else following!) was the UK bets but at the moment, I have to be honest and say my confidence in the Draw and Euro bets is higher. No surprise really considering the profits these systems are consistently posting but it’s tough to take personally. I feel like I’m forever looking at what I could have had if I took a chance on some unproven systems and yet, I played safe and went in heavy for the systems with the proven record over the last few seasons. Last season, I got burnt badly by the Euro systems (not so much financially, more mentally!) and I suspect that crept into my thinking in the Summer when building my portfolio and giving advice to others before the season started.

Below is the P&L graph of the system I have put into Cassini’s FTL league this season. I wanted a ‘unique’ system to provide an overview of the service and I’m sorry to say that I think this system does what was intended. It is now down for the season again after the last few weeks and I think the returns are a fair reflection of the service this season. Still hoping the system can end in profit and hopefully climb back up the FTL league but at the moment, I’m looking behind me rather than in front of me giving the run the system is on.

Let’s hope for some better results soon....

Friday, 14 February 2014

Best Football Tipster for 2013 is...............

The Football Analyst.

I said in one of my recent comments on the blog that the service would be judged by TFA subscribers rather than other tipsters and other anonymous posters who seem to be giving me a fair bit of stick at the moment regarding the results this season.

As many of you will be aware, the Secret Betting Club (@sbcinfo) have their annual tipster awards where their members vote for their best performing tipsters over the past 12 months. The voting takes place in December and January each year and as you will see down the right hand side of the blog, there are a number of awards the service has won over the last couple of years.

In the inaugural awards in 2011, TFA finished 3rd in the best overall sports tipster category and in 2012, TFA was runner up in the best football tipster category and the best overall tipster category. The service also collected a 3rd place in the best overall sports tipster category in 2012.

Well, the results are in for 2013 and.........

TFA won the best football tipster category. Yes, I’ve no idea either how I won it but I did. Woohoo!

To be fair, I think the award is great testament to the fact that subscribers to TFA can look at the results over a 12 month period and not get too bogged down by the fact this season so far has been a nightmare. I’m fed up saying it but this season has been horrible so far and therefore, I honestly thought I would be lucky if I finished in the top 3 for this award.

If the betting market for this award opened up at the start of this season, I reckon TFA would have been around 1.01 to win the award for best football tipster. Not sure any service has matched my returns over the last 3 years or particularly in the first half of 2013 as the second half of last season was a stunning time for the service. At the start of September, it would have taken a disaster for me to not win this award I suspect. 

Well, guess what. A disaster happened in September and the service is still trying to clawback the losses suffered in that month. I think that’s the thing that irritates me the most this season. Take away September and the service is having an OK season and would have had a stunning 2013. Yes, it would not have been as impressive this season as other seasons but even so, it would be in line with most others in the market. Unfortunately, you can’t ignore the losses in September and therefore, September haunts the returns for the service this season and for 2013.

Like anyone collecting an award, I feel the need to give out some notes of thanks I think.

Firstly, a massive thanks to the SBC for having these awards and for doing the job they do in the tipster market. I may not agree with everything the SBC does but I agree 100% with the way they operate and they represent the closest thing to a regulator in the market at the moment. FWIW, I think Peter has done a fantastic job and has built on the work done before by the other SBC guys before him.

A massive thanks to everyone who supports TFA and particularly those that have been with the service since the first or second season and have remained with the service through the ups and downs as the service has grown. I think the fact that a small number of subscribers come and go each season when they can’t make the service work for them but the core subscriber base remains in-tact each season makes my job easier as it means I don’t need to keep going back to basics each Summer for newbies.

Thanks to everyone this season (and last season) who have been so understanding about the fact I can’t always release the bets at a set time every week or for the times when I need to move the days of the bets. Trying to manage the service around a full-time job isn’t easy but as I’ve done since day one, I try my best all the time.

Thanks to those who take the time to write to me during bad spells to try to keep my chin up at times. This game is a lonely game at times and being a punter is hard enough when you’re losing money but when others are following your bets and losing money too, it’s tough to take. Thankfully, the service always bounces back as I do and I hope this remains the case forever!

Overall, really chuffed with the award and it has given me a major shot of enthusiasm at a time when I am probably feeling the lowest I’ve ever felt about my betting and the service.  Many of you know I’ve been here before (moaned about it on the blog all last season!) and I’ll no doubt bounce back to my bubbly self when we’re on the next upward trend but I do feel like this season will leave a mark on me.

I was probably contemplating quitting (or having a break) at the end of the season over the last few weeks as I wasn’t sure I could go through another season like this one. I suspect the reason I survived the first 3 seasons as easily as I did was because when you are winning and making money easily, staying up late to do ratings and answer emails and write blog posts etc. isn’t difficult. Winning is easy at gambling and we’re all good winners I suspect. Unfortunately, I don’t tend to take losing too well and therefore, this season has been tough for me mentally.

The crazy thing is that if you were new to reading the blog, you would think the service is on its knees and that I’m blowing my betting bank at the moment. I don’t think the service is on its knees and my own TFA bets are marginally down at the moment having reached a season high on 7th January and my overall footie portfolio is up for the season. I’ve been in much worse places than this over the last few seasons but maybe didn’t have the expectations I have now and didn’t have to read so much about people losing following the same bets as me!

Anyway, at the moment, I’m about 1,000/1 to win an award for 2014 given the start I’ve had this year and the results over the past few months, so let’s hope these odds start to reduce as the year goes on!

Below are the results for 2013 as a whole if people are interested. Not my best year by far for the service but not too bad I think. 36 of the 39 UK systems made a profit whereas 8 of the 11 Euro Systems were loss making. Overall, a 6.7% ROI for the UK bets and a mighty big loss of 10% for the Euro bets.

Good luck this weekend.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Results Update

Before getting on with the results update, I’ve had some good feedback and some negative feedback regarding my post where I replied to Steve.  I said it in the post but the point of the post was because I felt some of the comments Steve made were unfair. I take great pride in my honesty and I don’t bullshit.  I’m the first to admit this season has been really poor so far and the systems have underperformed enormously compared to previous seasons.  I felt like Steve was maybe indicating that the reason I had so many systems was to hide behind the results but that’s clearly not the case.

If I didn’t think I had an edge, I would do a much better job at hiding it by not having many systems or bets or by trying to hide behind past results. Every season, I have increased the bet number with TFA as I’ve increased the number of systems and therefore, I could have lived off the results for the first two seasons and not done anything but punt out those system bets and it would probably take years to wipe out those profits!

I’ve been very honest all along on the blog and anyone who has read the blog will know why the new systems have been developed and it was all to do with me finding a way to reduce the risk of my own betting portfolio. I wanted Euro Systems and Draw Systems and other UK systems for my own betting portfolio and therefore, I developed them myself rather than go out and try to buy other systems in the market for a subscription fee.  It had little to do with the service although I’ve added them all to the service since I had the bets for myself.

I honestly don’t mind people slagging me off for the results this season or slagging the systems off for their poor performance but when I see comments on blogs or forums suggesting that I’m inventing systems out of thin air to hide poor results, it’s bullshit and I’m not even lowering myself to reply to such comments.  

Likewise, as I’ve said many times before now, the service doesn’t mean that much to me.  The point of the systems is to help me make a second income from betting if possible. I have no intention of being a ‘tipster’ and living off subscriptions. If I wanted to do that, I’ve no doubt I could probably go down that route but it would mean prostituting the systems to make money and I’m not really cut out for that game. I’ve never once tried to push the systems onto anyone and if people want to follow them, they can do so but I personally don’t mind.  

I find it slightly amusing that over the first 3 seasons when the service was untouchable in the market and the service was being recognised as the greatest thing since sliced bread, I didn’t see any of this negativity about me or the systems. The first season the service struggles, random people (who of course have football selections to sell!) are appearing out of the woodwork to have a dig at me and the service.  It’s easy to have a dig when things aren’t going well but if anyone has matched my systems results over the first 4 seasons of live results (yes, including this season’s shambolic results), I look forward to hearing from them.  

Anyway, another horrible results update I’m afraid and it’s been a tough start to the month. January started like a dream and ended terribly. This month has started terribly. Let’s hope it ends better or it’s going to be a nightmare month!

Est Systems

An 11.78pt loss from 72 bets.  Same story as all season but the higher combined bets couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo at the moment. It’s got to the stage now than when I see a bet appearing on systems 7-21 thru to 8-22, I really hope the same bets don’t appear on many other systems as it’s likely to be a loser. Crazy really but that’s how badly I feel at the moment about these systems!

New Systems

A 20.18pts loss from 123 bets. A really bad update for both basic algorithms and they are struggling at the moment. The 4th algorithm is punting out some extra rubbish as well as the same rubbish bets the other algorithms are finding at the moment. Tough going!

Misc Systems

An 11.08pts loss from 76 bets. Again, follows the season trend that STOZ is performing much the worse of these 6 systems. Last season, the additional bets STOZ had made it the best system from all TFA systems. This season, these additional bets are killing this system. Same bets as last season, they just aren’t winning this season!

Draw Systems

A profit of 6.13pts from 62 bets.  Same trend as all season, these new systems this season appear to be able to make profits whilst all my other systems have turned to shi* this season.

Under/Over Systems

A profit of 0.62pts from 8 bets. Surprised they made a profit tbh. Counting down the days till I stop these systems!

Euro Systems

A profit of 4.8pts from 61 bets. As every week passes, the more I hope that these Euro ratings may have an edge. Not much good for me this season given I had zero confidence at the start of the season in the systems but I think these bets have been a million times better than the Euro bets last season.  Long way to go this season but I’d love to have a set of Euro bets I could invest in next season with confidence. At this rate, I'll be backing Draws and Euro bets next season! :(

Overall, a loss of 31.49pts from 402 bets.

Not much more to add. More rubbish results to add to the rubbish results so far this season. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Nice start to February......Or is it?

Given my last post, there is a little irony regarding the results from the weekend and midweek. As you’ll see below, it has been a really solid start to the month for the systems with a profit of 73.71pts from 250 bets. A good start to the month with an ROI of 29.5%.

However, as you may have seen on Steve’s blog earlier this week, Steve lost another $2,500 to start the month. I don’t need to spell it out but the systems Steve is following didn’t do as well as the other systems. If I take the draw systems as an example, Steve had 3 bets, 1 winner and a profit of 0.3pts. The draw systems in total hit 27 winners from 55 bets for a profit of 37.73pts. The other draw systems make another move forward whilst Steve’s 2 systems tread water.

Same is true for the New Systems. 14pts profit from 77 bets, Steve’s 3 systems made an overall loss.

I know it’s just variance and I have to think that sooner rather than later, Steve’s systems will start to pick up points like the other systems but it’s very frustrating for Steve I’m sure! Frustrating for me to watch him post losses when I’m posting profits on this blog but it seems to be happening a lot this season!

Here’s the results to start the month. Keeping this short as I need to get on with the ratings work for this weekend.

Est Systems

A profit of 5.03pts from 30 bets.

New Systems

A profit of 14.05pts from 77 bets.  

Misc Systems

A profit of 4pts from 20 bets.

Draw Systems

 A profit of 37.73pts from 55 bets.

Euro Systems

A profit of 15.9pts from 65 bets.

Under/Over Systems

Close to a profit full-house but as usual, these systems are useless. 3pts lost from 3 bets.  I should really keep these systems next season but reverse the bets!

Overall, a profit of 73.71pts from 250 bets. An ROI of 29.5%.

A solid start to the month but then again, nowhere near as good as last month’s first week and look what happened that month, I followed it up with 3 weeks of losses!

Long way to go this month but it’s a small step forward. 

Reply to Steve's (Daily 25) comments.....

Now that I’ve completed the monthly review for January, I want to take this opportunity to respond to a couple of comments that Steve made on his Daily 25 blog this week.  It’s always tricky writing a post in response to a little bit of criticism but I really want this to be a constructive post and hopefully Steve takes it in the way it was intended. I’m sure he will!

Steve’s first season with TFA was last season when he played a portfolio of systems and then this season, he refreshed his portfolio of systems he follows and so far this season, it’s safe to say that his portfolio has been nothing short of a nightmare. Here is Steve’s latest comment in full:

TFA is now really starting to frustrate me, Even though the higher level systems are about break-even, I believe most of the subscribers would be using the combined systems as they are the ones that have historically produced the best results. I believe having so many systems is a bit of a cop-out at times and saw it with Formbet as well. With so many systems, one is always going to be winning and Formbet goes to great lengths to let people know of any one system that is ahead, but overall the system has a massive loss. TFA isn’t so blatant in regards to this but does let people know that it isn’t up to him if they win or lose. This is the beauty of these sort of systems for the tipster, they are always going to have a stream of players winning and letting others know how great they are, and the losers just leave. I have a lot of respect for tipsters like Skeeve and FB Elite who back themselves completely. There is no hiding behind anything in what they do. I guess my real frustration lies in how bad I want The Football Analyst to succeed. It has high turnover at long odds and the potential to add a massive amount of profit per year, but the fact that I am down after almost 2 full seasons is not a good sign. I really do not want to drop the service, but at -$40,000 so far, it is not looking good.

I think before I get around to picking up on what Steve has said, I want to take a step back to look at the results Steve has had with the service thus far.

In his first season, Steve followed the 5 top Est combined Systems (6-22 thru to 8-22) and the 5 top Euro systems (E1-E7 thru to E3-E8). To quote Steve’s comment from his season review “I haphazardly choose 10 systems to play based on past performance, the amount of bets and a set goal I wanted to achieve. Everyone following TFA will have different portfolios and therefore different profits at the end of the season.”

In terms of results, Steve ended up with a profit of just over $35k last season.

“Total cost of the service was £150($228) and profit was $35,571.42. So the ending profit was $35,343.42. Even though it is more then 50% less then I had anticipated, I can’t be unhappy with such a large profit.
In total $587,115 was bet which equates to a ROI of 6%. Breaking it down further, the Established systems had a total bet amount of $328,623 and a profit of $33,876.01, which is a ROI of 10.3%. The Euro system had a total bet amount of $258,492 and a profit of $1,695.41 for a ROI of 0.65%.”

If we look at the overall results for all TFA systems last season, the results were as follows:

 What I’ve done here is simply rank the results of last season’s systems by amount of profit won. I’ve highlighted the 10 systems Steve chose to form his TFA portfolio of bets last season.

The best system Steve followed was ranked 19th in terms of performance at season end. The 10 systems Steve had as part of his portfolio were all ranked in the 46% percentile or lower. Quite difficult to do I suspect as if you were guessing, you would hope to hit a better portfolio.

The fact Steve made $35k profit wasn’t down to his portfolio selection. Basically, last season, when 33 of the 41 systems made profits, it was impossible to not make a profit unless you did something crazy but at the end of the day, Steve should have done better than $35k given his staking amount I think.

If we roll on to this season then, Steve put what he learnt into action and IMO, did the right thing by increasing his portfolio of systems and he went from 10 systems to 13 systems. How has his portfolio selection done this season?

This is from the latest blog post:

“TFA $439,126.00 $(39,161.08) -8.91%”  Based on Steve’s £75k bank assigned to TFA, he has lost 52.2% of his bank for TFA.

Steve doesn’t bother splitting the results on the blog now given he’s following so many systems (can’t blame him!) but similar to what I showed above for last season, here are the results of all systems to the end of January for all 52 systems (same 41 as last year plus 11 Draw systems)

 The first point to make is that only 35 of the 52 systems are in profit this season, therefore, you don’t need to do anything too crazy to make a loss this season. Even so, if randomly choosing 13 systems, you would still have a decent chance of a profit this season by guessing which systems to follow. 

As you will see, I again have highlighted Steve’s portfolio of systems for this season.  Steve has no systems in the top 1/3 of systems this season and in the second 1/3, he only has 5 systems with the other 8 systems in the bottom 1/3. In total, only 6 of Steve’s 13 systems are in profit even though 35 of the 52 systems are in profit!

Now, can you see a similarity to last season? Last season, I think Steve got lucky in the sense that given it was impossible to lose, he had to make a good profit but as always, you probably only get lucky like that once and this season, when the systems haven’t done quite as good, Steve is looking at a substantial loss.

Putting the system selection issue to one side for the moment, I think the other issue Steve has had this season is that he was forced to change staking plan after a poor September for the systems as quite simply, Steve was over-leveraged and didn’t have the Bank needed to play the portfolio he chose to play.

Again, this is maybe bad luck but then again, it’s the sort of mistake that can be avoided. Steve was aware that this 13 system portfolio was massively leveraged already and therefore, by playing too high a stake relative to his Bank, he was taking a massive risk and ultimately, it has come back to bite him.  Steve’s results aren’t a real reflection of the system’s performance and ultimately, the staking plan is to blame for this.

OK, getting back to system selection. Last season, Steve got a little lucky by following 5 correlated UK systems and 5 correlated Euro systems. This season, he chose the same 5 UK systems (6-22 thru to 8-22) and therefore, these systems were massively correlated. As you will see on the table, 7-22 thru to 8-22 are sitting 45th, 46th, 49th and 51st. Hence, although Steve thought he was following 4 systems, in reality, with the correlation of these, he wasn’t. Unfortunately, this has caused a problem this season. So, Steve is following the 4 worst Est Combined systems.

In terms of the Draw Systems, Steve took a punt on two combined draw systems this season. Not a bad idea and Steve ultimately settled on the top two combined systems since these have the lowest number of bets and I guess he learnt from the Euro systems last season!

Looking at the table, the top 4 combined systems for draws are sitting 5th,6th,9th and 10th. Steve’s systems are sitting 18th and 32nd. Again, Steve had a choice of 6 combined systems and has chosen the worst two systems to follow.

Looking at the Misc Systems, Steve had a choice of 6 Misc Systems. Steve chose TOX, STOY and STOZ. The other 3 Misc systems are sitting 2nd, 8th and 28th. Steve’s 3 systems are sitting 25th, 35th and 36th. Hence, Steve has chosen 3 of the worst systems in this group to follow.

Lastly, looking at the New Systems, Steve chose 3 of these 6 combined systems. The other 3 combined systems are sitting 1st, 12th and 23rd. Steve’s 3 systems are sitting 30th, 38th and 41st.

Steve has chosen the 3 worst New combined Systems to follow.

Putting the above together then, Steve took what he had in the first season and ultimately, made it worse this season! He has consistently chosen the worst systems to follow from each set of systems and it’s actually amazing that he has built what could be the worst possible portfolio from all of these systems I’ve seen this season!

If Steve was simply guessing, he couldn’t do as bad as this I think.

I guess the question that needs answered is….how much of this is down to bad luck or is it the case Steve could have learnt from last season?

Before I give my view on this, I want to highlight an experiment I have been doing this season in The Secret Betting Club forum. Given the issues some people have with building portfolios of TFA systems, I think there is maybe a demand for me to just offer ‘off the shelve’ portfolios for people to follow in future to make things easier. So, as an experiment this season, I built 10 sample portfolios so I can track how these 10 do.  Obviously, the more systems in a portfolio, the more diverse the portfolio can be in terms of types of systems followed. All portfolios are 1pt level stakes.

Below are the results so far this season which are tracked in the SBC forum:

From the 10 portfolios, 6 are in profit with 4 showing a loss. The worst portfolio (which was only 3 systems) has lost 20.6% of its betting bank this season. What the table helps show though is that if you follow a well diversified portfolio (in this case, 7 systems max), then you should be doing OK this season. The fact Steve follows 13 systems and is losing 50% of his betting bank points out that he’s not exactly following a well diversified portfolio this season and something has gone wrong with his thinking about how to use these systems!

So, getting back to the question I posed above, is it bad luck that Steve has ended up following a stinker of a portfolio this season? Part of me says yes but the other part of me says no. I follow 20 systems in my TFA portfolio. I have 11 (yes, 11!) of the same systems as Steve in my portfolio of 20. Given I’m in profit this season (not by far admittedly but a profit is a profit!), then it shows how unlucky Steve has been this season. Then again, if I was building a 13 system portfolio myself, I wouldn’t have 11 of the 13 systems Steve has in his portfolio!

Now, some reading this may be thinking that you need to follow lots of systems in a portfolio but that’s rubbish. Look at the SBC experiment results. Two portfolios with 5 systems are having an OK season with ROC of 30% and yet, they only have 5 systems. The key is, the 5 systems are well diversified and a mix of systems and therefore, although the small portfolio has a losing system (one on each set of 5), the other 4 systems are doing OK.

I spoke all last Summer about how diversification is going to be the key going forward for people following TFA who want to make profits without carrying a crazy amount of risk and yet, some people continued to choose highly correlated portfolios to follow in the hope that variance doesn’t strike and they make huge profits. Steve isn’t alone (I know a fair number of others as I pulled together portfolio sheets for them in the Summer) but like I’ve always says, I supply the system bets, what you do with them is up to you!

So, I do think Steve has been very unlucky this season but then again, I could say he was unlucky last season as he didn’t have a great portfolio then either. I keep saying this over and over but you make your own luck at this game. Some have been doing much better than me this season but that’s because they plumped for other systems which I would have deemed higher risk but they have been rewarded. This game is all about risk and reward and those people in profit this season deserve to be in profit. As for those making a loss……they put themselves in that position with their portfolio unfortunately.

Just to be clear, none of what I’m saying detracts from the fact that the systems have had a poor season so far. You can see that in the results above for this season compared to last season. The fact I’m only slightly better than break-even gives an indication of how tough this season has been for me, so if I’m not making a profit, not sure I expect anyone else to be making a profit. However, what I don’t expect and what shouldn’t have happened is people should not be losing 50% of betting banks or going broke and yet, I’ve read comments on Steve’s blog this season from others saying similar things!

Right, getting back to the point of this post, the reply to some comments Steve made.  

“TFA is now really starting to frustrate me” – Anyone who reads my blog can surely see how frustrated I’ve been all season myself. A fair comment and one I agree with!

“Even though the higher level systems are about break-even, I believe most of the subscribers would be using the combined systems as they are the ones that have historically produced the best results” – This is the first comment I have an issue with. If we look back at the results I’ve posted above for last season, let’s look at some of the system results. The top system this season is system 31-41, was 8th best last season. The 2nd best system this season is 6-21-31, it was 16th last season. The 3rd best system this season is 31, was the 1st best last season. Ignoring the 4 draw systems which fill 4th-7th this season, the 8th best this season is system 21-31 and it was 11th last season.

I’m not wanting to rub salt into the wounds here but these 4 systems were not that difficult to find. Maybe not too surprising to know that system 31 appears in most of the SBC experiment portfolios and in my own portfolio whereas system 8-21 for example doesn’t appear in any of the 10 SBC portfolios.

I get what Steve is saying with his comment but I think he needs to open us his mind to how we can best use these systems to make money. Following highly correlated systems isn’t actually the way to make profits and reducing your risk at the same time. It actually increases your risk IMO and when variance hits, it can kill your portfolio (as has happened to Steve this season).

“I believe having so many systems is a bit of a cop-out at times and saw it with Formbet as well. With so many systems, one is always going to be winning and Formbet goes to great lengths to let people know of any one system that is ahead, but overall the system has a massive loss” – Not surprisingly, I have a massive issue with this comment! I always report all results for all systems and even if a set of systems bomb (like the Euro systems last season), they remain part of the live results for the systems and always will be. Same as when the Under/Over systems retire this season. The results won’t suddenly vanish, I proofed these bets and therefore, they are part of the service returns.

I never play on the fact that any system is winning more than any other and anyone who reads my blog results updates will see this.  If you read the monthly review, I think I make it clear that I don’t think anyone has made a profit in January (I know some have as I saw it on Twitter!) and therefore, I’m hardly playing up my system returns.

In addition, given I follow my own portfolio of bets, my mood on the blog has hardly ever been upbeat this season given I’ve been losing money for the most part, so I don’t think having so many systems is a cop out at all. If I ever start reporting on the top 10 systems or something crazy like that, then shoot me!

“TFA isn’t so blatant in regards to this but does let people know that it isn’t up to him if they win or lose. This is the beauty of these sort of systems for the tipster, they are always going to have a stream of players winning and letting others know how great they are, and the losers just leave.” – I have very little turnover of members as Steve is aware and if I wanted to have a stream of numpties joining TFA just to get subscription fees, I don’t think I’d be closing the doors ever Summer and turning people away. If I was really not worried about the people losing with the service, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post to draw publicity to Steve’s losses. A poor comment IMO although I reckon it was written in the heat of the moment.

“I have a lot of respect for tipsters like Skeeve and FB Elite who back themselves completely. There is no hiding behind anything in what they do.” Errr… I have probably the most public blog from any well known tipster, I update my results weekly on the blog, I never hide any results for any systems, I publish my monthly reviews on here, I have a Twitter account where people constantly discuss my results with me, all my bets are proofed by the SBC and reported on by them. As for backing myself, I put my money where my mouth is and although I may not have the bankroll of Steve or Skeeve, I’m at a level now whereby the money I win or lose matters to me, more than I like to admit at times. Again, a poor comment IMO.

“I guess my real frustration lies in how bad I want The Football Analyst to succeed. It has high turnover at long odds and the potential to add a massive amount of profit per year, but the fact that I am down after almost 2 full seasons is not a good sign. I really do not want to drop the service, but at -$40,000 so far, it is not looking good.” – I think this ultimately lies at the root of Steve’s comments if I’m honest. Steve knows I’m not trying to fleece anyone here and therefore, he wants me to succeed as do the majority of my subscriber base. He knows the work and effort that goes into TFA from me and everyone following and therefore, when things are going well, there is no better feeling in the world for me and for anyone following I think.

I think the issue isn’t so much this in isolation but last season too. It’s criminal that Steve’s down over 1.6 season’s following TFA but I’ve no idea how he only made 50% ROC last season and it’s even more puzzling that he’s lost over 50% this season!

If I was in Steve’s shoes and simply looking at the returns he’s achieved, I think he’s got every right to be considering dropping TFA. Making no money over this period of time is unacceptable and the ups and downs he’s had probably make it seem worse than it is. However, so much of this is linked to portfolio selection and when you follow a large set of systems that are correlated and overstake which then leads to you having to reduce staking after a poor period, then I think this is to blame almost as much of the systems.

As always, the above is my view and I’m sure some reading this may think I’m being a little harsh in places but as always, it’s how I feel. I personally think Steve’s a really good guy and I really like reading his blog, even when it’s advertising some massive losses from following my systems! However, I thought some of the comments on the last post were a little harsh and I’ve taken this opportunity to reply. 

My hope is that the systems Steve follows turn around and do better in the next few months but as always, I’ll continue to report back on all systems. Steve is one member of a subscription base and ultimately, he’s maybe now my most ‘famous’ member which doesn’t look great for the service but that’s life. If anything, Steve’s portfolio shows what can happen if you get a little unlucky and maybe follow a portfolio that’s not as well diversified as it should be. However, I don’t think Steve’s losses detract from the service too much if you look at the overall results over the last 2 seasons.