Enough about me...
I started Cheekpieces as a central point for friends, family and colleagues to access my tips without me having to reply individually but it rapidly evolved into a private members club. I’ve had to change to a subscription service as I am struggling to get any reasonable bets on with traditional bookmakers. In recent years the exchanges have no liquidity until the markets are well-established and I am on a premium commission rate which has further eroded my margin.
My background is as an accountant and that has meant I’ve have developed an analytical approach to betting. I hate losing money and if I thought I would lose in the mid to long term I would stop betting tomorrow. Of course I have losing runs the same as everyone else but over a sustained period, I know from past experience that I will come out on top.
I keep precise records of all my betting to every penny staked, this is important to ensure that your profit can be evidenced. In the early days I was convinced I was making a profit but the belief wasn’t backed up in cash. I soon discovered that my returns were being reduced by too many “mug bets” I have a separate bank account for my betting “tank” (or as I like to refer to it…my pension fund) which helps to back-up my records with ‘cashflow’ control.
I developed my methodical approach having spent many years recording ‘paper profit’ and reading numerous books by experienced punters (including Tom Segal, Dave Nevison, Clive Holt, Steve Palmer, Caen Berry). I’m always happy to share advice and to learn new ideas and approaches. You have to be able to change and adapt. My racing life has seen many changes: all weather racing, introduction of exchanges, abolition of ‘betting tax’, each-way rules…to name just a few.
Having worked for one of the leading betting exchange companies for a while which was an education in itself on how not to lose too much! I’m now in a position to share my knowledge to help fellow punters and to receive feedback to help myself.
I read somewhere that the strike-rate of favourites is around one in three. If you are betting to level a stake and have a strike rate of 33% you need an average price of winners to be 2/1 just to break even. I have no statistics on the average price of favourites and I have no intention of finding out but I doubt it is above 2/1. I tend to have a lower strike rate – typically over 20% winners – but with averages prices in excess of 9/2.
Strike rate is inevitably related to prices, backing horses that are odds-on is likely to provide a strike rate of at least 50% (not enough for level stakes profit). As I’m operating outside the favourites range I expect a lower strike rate, longer losing runs but a better return on investment (ROI). For the 2014 turf flat season I averaged around 25% winners at 9/2, in 2015 I consciously targetted bigger prices and lower stakes which resulted in a drop to 19.5% winners but with an average price of over 7/1 – a better profit %. The averages for losers was 11/1 and 14/1 respectively and the longest losing run was 19 consecutive losers. That type of losing run really does test your self-belief!
The backup team…
I have a network of respected professional and we exchange information on a daily basis. With more racing than ever I have found this “shared knowledge pool” to be invaluable and mutually beneficial as it’s impossible for one individual to cover everything in such a dynamic business.
This arrangement allows us to advise on prices, updates and, just as importantly, flagging-up any mis-judgement I might have made. For example, “You’re intending to tip horse X…did you know it’s now heavy going there?” This type of insight and advice helps to prevent mistakes that I might pass on to members and is a vital part of the benefits of membership.