My reply to The Football Analysts reply (finally)

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  • Hejik

    Fair post Steve, you should rant more often!

    Not wanting to go over old ground, I’m sure all these ‘Tipsters’ are chuffed with life when the going is good and you’re giving them much free publicity. For them then to have complaint about the flip side when things aren’t running as planned is poor form in my opinion.

    I’d certainly be concerned about the introduction of more systems next year, as I’m really not sure you need 60 when you already have 52. Presumably at this point there would ALWAYS be a host of systems winning because you’d quite possibly be covering every result on every game in some way or other.

    Food for thought if nothing else.

  • TFA

    Hi Steve.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply and I really enjoyed
    reading your response. 🙂

    I’d love to sit here and ‘do a Skeeve’ and say you’re
    talking bollocks mate but reading your post, I couldn’t help but agree with nearly all of it. I apologised on Twitter earlier for the fact that maybe I have discussed the draw systems a little more this season than I should have done given not everyone is following them but that’s in no way deflecting attention from the other systems and their underperformance. I’ve laid into my other
    systems on numerous occasions this season and they are an embarrassment at the moment tbh!

    I said this in my original post but I think the fact I
    report on the results of EVERY live system bet I’ve ever given covers my ass a great deal. I don’t think it really matters whether I have 1 system or 100 systems as long as I report on all results. As I’ve said before and as Cassini’s league shows again this season, creating profitable football betting systems isn’t easy. The fact I seem to be able to do it season after season and with different sets of ratings and systems is what makes TFA unique but I agree that the service is now a mess with 52 live systems.

    When I started out, I would never have believed I would
    end up with 52 systems after 3 seasons of live results but the truth was, until this season, I had a golden touch with building systems and therefore, the more the merrier was my thinking! I’m a really strong believer in a portfolio approach to betting and I think that you want a very high turnover of bets with a small
    edge and the more edges you can find, the more diversification you get and so on. Hence, adding another set of systems this season looking at draws was a natural progression for me and likewise, I continue to hunt around for an edge in the Euro leagues.

    As I’ve said before, I could have stopped developing ratings
    after my first rating algorithm and my first system but as you have correctly picked up on, that would mean I’m following one set of bets. I don’t want all my eggs in one basket (I don’t know any successful football bettor or betting syndicate who does this) and therefore, if I want to get where I want to get to at this game, I need more systems, more edges.

    This is the first season I’ve followed anything other than TFA systems seriously and it’s no coincidence that I added FI to my portfolio. I watched Stew’s bets for a year and then took the plunge this season. The fact is though, I spent hours and hours understanding the correlation of our bets, how they’d perform in a portfolio with my systems and so on. My staking plan was
    such that if TFA struggled, FI could potentially fill the hole. However, if TFA did well, FI couldn’t hurt me too much.

    I said this on Twitter but if following TFA/FI over the
    last 4 seasons, you can’t lose money! In the season FI lost, I made massive profits and this season, it has been reversed. I mentioned this in my post but that your staking plan is a big issue this season for FI/TFA. I think you need to correct this next season.

    Ideally, I’m looking for 1,500 unique bets a season with
    a 3%-5% edge long-term. I thought I had taken a big step forward this season with following my Draw systems and FI but unfortunately, my other systems have killed my returns this season. However, that’s why I follow so many systems, to cover myself for this possibility. I think that’s where you need to get to with TFA/FI long-term although at the moment, you’re lumping on less unique bets with massively variable stakes.

    One thing you touch upon is the need to understand the
    downside. I’ve said this before but IMO, this game is all about controlling losses. Previously, my own portfolios have done this OK over the first 3 seasons but this season, it is an epic fail for me personally. It’s easy to make money at this game when the systems have an edge and results go your way. The issue is what happens when there is a run of poor results and this season, this is where I have gone wrong along with many others. Very few have got it as badly wrong as you have done but as you rightly say in your post and as I’ve said, I don’t think there is anything fundamentally wrong with your portfolio based on past
    performance although there is high correlation which means it is boom or bust. The fact this is the worst season I’ve had and the fact the filtering of the systems hasn’t worked well means that you’ve caught the worst of the results this season. Any other season and you’d be quids in!

    One thing that is clear is that the service is no longer fit for purpose for everyone and 52 systems is too many and the days of letting people run riot with picking portfolios is maybe not the way the service should operate. Over the first 3 seasons, it was impossible to lose money and therefore, it glossed over the fact that people created some dodgy portfolios. When every system is profitable, Stevie Wonder could pick a portfolio of systems to make a profit. The test was always going to come during a poor
    season and unfortunately, too many of you have made large losses this season.

    I’m not sure I agree that the system creator is always best
    placed to create a perfect portfolio. I’m best placed to develop a profitable system but as I’ve seen this season, I haven’t exactly done a great job with my own portfolio of TFA systems. Importantly though, I’m in profit this season and when I compare that to where you are and some others, it’s a massive difference!
    Hence, I’m better placed than you maybe but there are a lot of subscribers who have beaten my returns each season and I
    expect it will be the case again this season.

    As for Hejik’s point about advertising, I love this blog as it gives a real insight into the difficulties with making a profit at this
    game. Until this season, people joined TFA and thought it was a cashcow. Pay £180, make £5k or £10k or even £35k (;)) but it’s not always easy. I remember falling out with someone last
    season and telling them to fuc* off and refusing their renewal as they complained they only made 40% or 50% profit last season whilst others were making 100%+. I said it at the time but they didn’t appreciate just how good
    that return was. This season is a wake-up call to all of us and next season, if people renew or new people join, they will join with expectations that this isn’t easy. I’ll direct everyone to this blog so they can see what happened this season!

    Anyway, happy to do as you request and I’ll do my best to
    help you out for next season if you decide to renew. As I said to someone last night on Twitter though, if this current drawdown continues and anyone loses their betting bank assigned to TFA, I would suggest they move on and don’t look back. I would give you the same advice too mate. I would never reload my bank for any system, tipster or service myself. Earlier this season when I lost 50% of my bank, I was walking away from this if my bank went. Thankfully, that’s as close as I’ve ever come but if the worst happens here mate, walk away. Plenty of other systems and services out there with an edge on football.

    Best of luck for the next few months.

    Graeme

  • BetPreviews Thomas

    To quote Graeme “Ideally, I’m looking for 1,500 unique bets a season witha 3%-5% edge long-term. ” …surely if you’re a professional football bettor then you would expect to do a lot better.

    Personally I think there is very little edge for an analyst that runs multiple systems..focus on one…work it, refine it and make it the ultimate product.

    Sorry I din’t know you personally but I know about betting and follow a group of very successful analysts. I just don’t know how you can operate all these multiple systems and hope for long term success.

    Maybe you should read this Graeme to realize what is required of a successful system

    http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/dollars/post/_/id/2935/meet-the-worlds-top-nba-gambler

  • Tom

    Come now, 1500 bets a season at 3-5% is the dream. You’re kidding yourself to think anything higher is sustainable long term.

  • I’m at 5240 at 2.66% with still 3 months to go for the season. Without TFA that’s 2400 bets at 6% ROI.

  • Tom

    Exactly! 6% would be wonderful, but it isn’t whats happened.

    Maybe you will keep TFA for next season and he will be great, then tipster X will be rubbish and you can say it would have been 8% if it weren’t for X!

    Such is gambling and why 3-5% sustained is the dream!

  • Agree for the most part. I do work off 2-5% as a realistic return. But if I look at just Sportpunter returns over the past 4 years they are well over 5%.
    It can be done, but you might be sacrificing ROC for it

  • BetPreviews Thomas

    I disagree Tom. He should be hitting 8% or higher. Why is that unsustainable? He is doing this as a professional and has hundreds of games to choose from on a weekly basis for 9 months.

  • It’s not his full time job. So can’t really call it professionally