Friday, 3 July 2015

Plans for 2015/16 Season

This is going to be the final post before I send out the renewals for next season and before I contact anyone currently on the waiting list to join the service. Given the overall results last season and the general feeling towards last season (it wasn’t very nice), I expect the subscription base to shrink massively for next season. Given the results for the other ratings services last season and the competition generally, I expect the number of football bettors subscribing to services next season will undoubtedly reduce and therefore, I think the number subscribing to TFA may be at an all-time low.

On the plus side, those on the waiting list (yes, hard to believe you had to queue to join the service!) will be offered a place and hopefully this churn of the subscription base is no bad thing. It’s always interesting getting new subscribers and they don’t have the scars that many of us currently have after last season!

In terms of the service for next season, there is obviously going to be less attention on the UK systems which have been the main systems until now and a lot more attention on the Euro systems and the UK Draw systems. If you look at the last two seasons in isolation, we have the following results for each set of systems:

As you can see, based on this table, the 3 UK sets of systems have made losses for the Est & New systems and the Misc systems have basically broken even. If we compare this to the Euro and UK Draw systems, we can see that there have been big profits and therefore, going into next season, you have to say that I have more confidence in these systems than the UK systems.

Of course, we can’t just ignore the fact that for the first 3 seasons of the service, the UK systems had a significant edge and therefore, you can’t write the UK systems off completely and my hope would be that they can bounce back after last season but with no profits for two seasons, I think you have to have your doubts.

One criticism that the service has had for a few seasons now is that there are too many systems. The survey results indicated this too and therefore, based on the system reviews I’ve carried out, I will be retiring a number of systems. Importantly, I’m not wiping these results from history and most systems have been profitable since inception but I feel going forward, I need to trim down the number of systems.

Rather than discuss each set of systems, below is a table which shows all the systems that will be alive for the 2015/16 season:

In summary, there will now only be 31 live systems. It is most of the lower turnover systems that have been retired as quite simply, although they may have had decent ROIs, the turnover was too low every season and I want to try to reduce the volatility in the results by removing these systems which are basically filtered systems on the other systems.

I have been particularly harsh on the Est Systems and New Systems but they have been around for either 3,4 or 5 seasons now and I think it’s a good time to draw a line under some of these systems.

I have decided to continue with algorithm 4 again next season even though there appears to be no edge there. I will obviously try to revive the system over the Summer but I would have my doubts about this system going forward.

The Draw system D3 appeared to be the issue on the UK Draw systems, so I have removed this with the corresponding combined systems D3-D6 and D3-D7. Same story with the Euro bets where I have removed E3, E3-E6 and E3-E7.

As the table shows, I will have another go at Euro Draws next season but just have two algorithms and no filtered systems. Until I get a set of ratings to work, there is no point trying to filter the bets. At the very least, I need the ratings to be break-even in order to even think about filtering the bets. I’ll build these systems over the Summer.

Importantly, I know a number of people use the UK systems in order to create methods for themselves such as Max 4, Max 3, Max 2, Min 5 etc. To satisfy these people, although the systems are not being proofed results wise, I will have a table in the weekly bet sheet which looks like the below:

People can even create their own systems like system 6-21-41 by putting simple formulae in this sheet, so there are endless systems people can play about with. I will obviously keep the same systems there as I know a lot of people used these 22 systems over the first few seasons but people can do what they want with this knowledge. Based on the last two seasons, filtering out the bets that appear on too many systems might not be such a bad idea!

I have decided to keep the email to a Thursday evening although as always, this can move around based on work commitments. The time will be as soon as I can get the bets out but with my daughter being at nursery and having her in the car on the way home, I’m not going to be speeding to make 6pm deadlines every week. As last season showed, following the bets straight after other tipsters is the lowest prices anyway and therefore, Thursday is not an optimal time to be releasing bets.

In terms of the bookmakers used, based on the feedback in the survey, I’ll continue to use Pinnacle but with more UK bookmakers used when the Pinnacle prices are artificially too low. Based on the survey feedback, the vast majority of members get the prices no problem and although I don’t want this to change necessarily, it does open the door to more flexibility. In my opinion, if most subscribers are achieving or beating the quoted odds for a service like TFA, I either don’t have enough members or I’m too generous with the odds quoiting!

I don’t foresee too many other changes to the service. I’m always happy to discuss any changes with anyone who subscribers and I’ll always listen to constructive feedback either via emails, on the blog or even Twitter although as I’ve learnt over the years, I’ll never please everyone at this game.

In terms of expectations for next season, I think first and foremost, I need all the proofed systems to return an overall profit. Last season was the first season this hasn’t happened and therefore, this is what I need to correct. If all the systems can create a profit (no matter how small), it’s a great base to work from and I want to get back to the first few seasons where no matter what anyone did with TFA, they made a profit. This has to be the aim.

I think with the bets spread across so many sets of systems these days, it’s probably asking a lot for every set of systems to make a profit but even if one set of systems has a poor system, the hope would be the other systems could cover it. My issue last season was all 3 UK sets of systems made losses which combined with the Euro Draw losses meant that the service had no chance of achieving a profit overall. The performance of the Euro systems were effectively overlooked completely and yet, they had an amazing season I think.

I think this covers off the key points I want to discuss with regards to next season. Details on prices etc. will be available on the website and in the renewal email in due course. I hope to have this all done over the weekend.


  1. Graeme.
    one thing that is always a good idea with system based betting is to try and think of a real world reason why a trend etc might be real otherwise you can end up with a system that for example bets in teams with more than 4 vowels in their ae as results show more wins for teams named this way.
    With that in mind what real world reason can you think off for the Max 4 system and it's brethren to work ? That is to say why would bets that appear on a lot of your systems become bad bets when logic would dictate they should be as good as if not better than ones that appear on fewer systems ?
    It's really bugging me I can't think of an answer myself !

    1. Maybe if the selections are flagged by a lot of systems, then the odds may be inflated for a reason? Consider a team's 2 most important players get injured in a midweek cup match. The odds then get pushed out enough for them to qualify as value selections but the systems don't account for such information.

      Just a thought.