Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why am I withdrawing the profits?

Why am i taking out the profits each time I hit $1100 and depositing it in a bank account?
I could simply leave the money in the TAB and allow the balance to climb and as it hits vertain levels increase my base bet amount. That would enable me to make even more money each bet however greed might kick in and right now till i am convinced this really will work long term Im going to keep some tight control over it all.
So in the last 3 weeks utilizing a TAB "bank" of $1000 I have been able to earn $382.80 off that TAB bank. Its immensely satisfying to be honest. Im going to take the last couple of days of September off from this, do some more research on some things Im unsure of and then see if i can do better in October. Considering I didnt bet for the first week of September as i was away on a football tournament Im going to set my October target as $500. Thats not too over the top going by my progress so far. Fingers crossed....

29th Sept end of day

2 more meetings, 2 more successes a small profit from the 2 of $5.6 which brings my total up to $1098. Thats close enough to the $1100 I wanted by the end of the month. I will wander off to the TAB in the morning and withdraw another $100 and dump it in a savings account. that will make it $382.80 that i have taken from the TAB in the last 3 weeks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Will this fail?

I have a conservative approach to this which is partly influenced by the fact a friend of mine a few years ago lost everything to a gambing addiction. He ended up being caught having embezzled about $650,000 from his work and had to seel absolutely everything to avoid prison time and right the wrongs of his crime. He is still paying off that debt at present.
So with respect to what Im doing when i come across people who tell me it wont work my first reaction is to listen to what they say and essentially agree with some of their assumptions. On a couple of forums i have come across some very strong warnings with respect to the method im using from people who clearly have a lot of experience over the years watching people testing their various schemes and systems.
However one thing keeps coming across and thats that the people warning me dont seem to grasp the protection systems i have in place. The first being the stop trigger in the martingale sequence which means that if i hit a losing run I stop after the 7th no win and take the loss. The way i have this designed is that it means the maximum I will lose when a no fav win meeting appears is just on 1/4 of my account balance. Then I adjust my base bet so that it now would give me a 1/4 loss on the new account balance if I hit another no fav win meeting right after the first one.
Currently if I were to count the money i have withdrawn from my TAB account I find that in the 6 weeks or so since i started with a $50 account the balance comes to just under $1500. Within that total are a number of lessons for me where I have lost money because of simple mistakes i have made.
If tomorrow I were to have a no fav win meeting my account balance would drop to about $800 and I would adjust my base bet accordingly. It would take a 3 or 4  of these in a row to really hurt me and Im going to tempt fate by saying I doubt that would happen within the stats i have from the last few years real results. It could happen but its a low enough probability for me to almost (I repeat almost) dismiss it.
So right now looking at the bigger picture so far so good.
In the last 3 weeks I have (as long as in the next day i hit $1100) taken out $382 from a $1000 balance. Not a bad return on $1000 really.
Of course the truth is i have only been doing this a short while in the scheme of things and I could head off on a horror run at any point. I have been mulling over whether or not I should increase my TAB base balance to $3000 or $4000 to increase the size of my profits but that would probably be tempting the gambling gods to kick me in the nuts for getting cocky before I am truely convinced. Im going to hold off for a bit longer.......

29th Sept

4 meetings this afternoon all successful, small profits but no stress...
Total profit for the 4 meetings was $13.70, will pop up a screen shot later tonight as there are 3 harness meetings to hit tonight. A good day so far, earlier in the day I photographed the NZ All Black legend Dan Carter and Silver Ferns Netballer Maria Tutaia for a TV advert (yes my day job is a commercial photographer) both of them very cool people.

TAB account total is at $1092.40, I should be able to hit the $1100 target this evening with a little luck.
That will give me a total of $382.80 taken out of the account for September. NZ$ which is roughly 1/3rd of the British pound for those on the other side of the world or half the $US.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Screenshot of TAB account for 28th Sept

Closing in on $1100 where i will again take $100 out and chuck it in another bank account. If I can do this by the end of the month I will have withdrawn $382 since the 11th Sept. As it stands I started this whole thing off with $50 and have added no extra monies to this. My current TAB "bank" and the withdrawls have all come from successful betting.
Now comes the dilemma of whether or not I should increase my TAB "bank" so I can increase my base bet from $2. I have some spare money coming to me from some football coaching I do which I dont factor in to my general income, its play money essentially. I will have to give this some thought.

Monday 28th Sept

I have about 5 or 6 meetings to look at today and a couple of them are harness meetings which I will continue to try out despite my misgivings. It may be a simple case of adjusting my multiplier to deal with low dividends as the stats remain the same for harness and gallops.

On the positive since I started this in August I have only come across only one true no fav win meeting and all the other losses I have had have come from a variety of screw ups on my part, including falling asleep with my laptop just before the 7th race in a sequence where I had my bet all lined up and just needed to hit the sumbit button.... as it turned out the horse won costing me quite heavily. Other losses have come from phone call interruptions and following tv punsters tips rather than following my system.

Essentially if I can reduce my errors I would be doing much better although to be honest Im doing better than I thought I would, fingers crossed for today...

Speaking of mistakes.... missed the first race of the meeting at Bairnsdale in Victoria and the fav won. Do I skip the rest of this meeting? 8 races to left on the card, or do I break one of my rules and bet again at this meeting?. I will check the rest of the fields and see how it all looks and make my mind up shortly...

Ok so being a mug I decided to carry on betting at that meeting and of course the first horse lost so Im down $2 and thinking I have tempted fate here. However in the 3rd race of the meeting (my 2nd) the fav comes in but there is a slight sting in the tail, the dividend is only 1.6 which means I make a 40 cent loss  for the meeting. I had been keeping an eye on the dividend and 10 seconds from the close of bets it was still showing as 2.2 but the moment I make the bet it dives.

The next meeting was at Menangle and its a harness meeting.
1st race no win, $2 bet
2nd race no win, $2 bet
3rd race win, $4 bet but only a $2 dividend which means 3 bets and I have simply  got my money back, no profit. So far Im 40 cents down.

Then followed a string of first race wins, 4 meetings and the fav in the first race won each time.
Albury park $2 bet  1.6 div for a profit of $1.2
Pinjara $2 bet 6.2 div for a profit of $10.4 This was one of those times where the Australian TAB was showing a different fav to the NZ TAB. I went with the local TAB and ended up with a higher div
Orange in NSW $2 bet 2.1 div so a profit of $2.2
Horsham $2 bet 1.6 div $2.2 profit.

$16.20 profit from 6 meetings which isnt very much but I got a mental confidence boost after the weekends last race shenanigans.

However not quite over, 1 more meeting where I have tempted fate again when the slow TAB dividend update had me picking the second fav in the first race and then find the fav wins. So i am now at race 3.....

and we get a win, $4 bet div of 2.7 so profit of $6.8

Thats it for the day

Betting without fear

One big issue I have is that despite the fact that what Im doing has started with a balance of $50 and now sits at about $1059 not including the $282 I have taken from the account and put in my bank I still dont really believe this will work long term.
I think the reason I dont believe is because of the various warnings I have read with respect to probability based betting and the use of the Martingale sequence. However my use of the Martingale sequence is carefully controlled and i would add that what Im doing there is probably best described as a hybrid of the martingale sequence.
In the last couple of days I have twice adjusted my bets to the lack of confidence I had in a meetings progress. This can be viewed 2 ways, firstly and example of my own lack of belief in what Im doing or secondly a conservative but long term approach where making smaller gains over a longer term with less risk is more prudent than the short term bigger bang higher risk approach. In both instances this week i would have come out significantly better off if i had simply believed in what Im doing fully and bet without fear of having a losing day.
If I want this to be successful im going to need to get a balance between going hard out and being prudent. the key to that I suspect is more knowledge of the racing game which will come with time.

Other Blogs

One thing that really sticks out in ready other peoples betting blogs is just how inexperienced and green I am. I suspect any serious punter who reads this will be having a good chuckle at what a complete noob I am....
I have a shit load to learn...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

27 Sept

A quick note with respect to yesterday. At the end of the day I started betting at Toowoomba but didnt realize that it wasnt the first race of the day i was betting. It was the third race and in the previous 2 races favourites had won. My horse didnt win so i decided to take the $2 loss and skip the rest of the meeting because there was a chance i may have missed the only favourite winners to hit that meeting. Checking this morning I find that indeed was the case, no other favourites won. Its important for this reason that if you get a win on a favourite that you stop betting on that meeting, no matter how paltry the dividend.

Oamaru harness.... yeah i know its harness racing....

1st race now win $3 bet
2nd race no win $3 bet
3rd race no win $6 bet
4th race Motu Pocket won $12 bet  $3.3 div
Meeting profit

2nd meeting of the day was Hurdles from Rotorua. Heavy track also and nothing scientific here but I had noted that heavy tracks I had followed previously didnt have much in the way of fav winners and that coupled with the hurdles had me a little unsure. That trepidation turned out to be warranted as it took me till race 7 to get a fav win and its dividend was only $2.1 which effectively just gives me my money back.
However as the meeting evolved I started adjusting my bets to limit my losses if I was to hit a no fav win race.

Race 1, no win bet $3
Race 2, no win bet $3
Race 3, no win bet $6
Race 4, no win bet $12
Race 5 no win bet $24
Race 6 no win bet $30
Race 7 win bet $50 dividend of $2.1

Loss for meeting of $23.
Happy to take the loss this time and I was going to stop at the 7th race as i didnt have any confidence at the hurdles favourites.
As it is Ive only lost about $10 from yesterday. I had hoped to hit the $1100 mark by Monday so i could transfer another $100 out of the account but I still have a couple of days till the end of September.

26th bets last race win.....

3 more meetings followed this afternoon.
The first was in Randwick where horse #2 won at a dividend of $2.8 on a $2 bet
The second meeting was at Doomben where the first 4 horses bet on all lost and I finally got a result in the 5th race with a $16 bet at a div of $2.8.

So far a profit of $14.40

Now it gets complicated. The third meeting this afternoon was on the Gold Coast and it wasnt till the last race of the day that the favourite came in and only by a nose.  My normal cut off point in the sequence is at race 7 which would within the sequence of $2, $2, $4, $8, $16, $32, $64 come to a total bet of $128. However because I had the 3 meetings running and while the Doomben one was also bringing me losses I was adjusting the amount i was betting. As I do this I have a spreadsheet open which tells me quickly what to expect back if I win.
The Gold Coast races this afternoon were full of fields where there were no really clear favourites and so the dividends were very high. As the meeting unfolded I was looking at my possible losses and how confident I felt about races with 3 or 4 possible favourites. So my betting sequence for this ended up being $2, $2, $4,  $8, $16, $16,  $32, $32 which was 8 races, more than my cutoff of 7. However the amounts bet in the sequence kept me within my total sequence amount of $128 which is why as the meeting progressed i was able to get to race 8.
The longer the meeting went on the more my approach became one of trying to cover losses as opposed to making a profit.
The final fav which won in race 8 on a bet of $32 had a dividend of $4.5  which gave me a profit of $32 for that meeting. Thats all well and good but there is a dilemma here....

If i had simply gone all out and bet as per normally even going to a final 8th race bet of $128 my profit for the meeting would have been $320.  The quandry here is that should i be going all out and trusting the system and taking the big wins or losses that happen? Or should I be doing what i have done here and manage my losses as I go. Sort of knowing when to stop and when to keep going?. The main problem with doing what i did is that i miss out on a big payout which further down the track would offset the loss of when i hit a no win meeting.

Im not sure on this issue.
Anyway total profit for today was $53.4

I started 1 more meeting tonight which doesnt show up on this screenshot. The meeting was in Toowoomba and the first horse I picked didnt win with a $2 bet. However after the race had finished I discovered that it was actually the third race in the meeting and the previous 2 races had been already won by favourites so i called it quits and took the $2 loss. That meeting doesnt show up on the screenshot below.

Friday, September 25, 2009

26th bets

2 meetings around lunchtime
1st horse no win $2 bet
2nd horse win $2 bet div #3.3

1st horse no win $2 bet
2nd horse no win $2 bet
3rd horse win $4 bet div $3.10

Total profit from these two meetings $7

I changed from a $3 to $2 base bet because there are a number of meetings on and I didnt want to overstress my account if i was having a bad run.

If I had stuck to $3 my profit would have been $10.50 but Im pretty happy as I still have about 5 more meetings today and the daily profit will look after itself if it all goes well.

25th Sept bets

OK a classic example of how harness racing isnt as profitable. Despite the fact I have mentioned avoiding harness racing with this I still went ahead  and did 2 meetings, one at Alexander Park in NZ and one at Forbury Park NZ.

1st horse Alexander park lost $3 bet
2nd horse lost $3 bet
3rd horse lost $6 bet
4th horse a win $12 bet but only a $2.2 div so profit from this meeting is only $2.40

Next was Forbury park

1st horse lost, $3 bet
2nd horse won, also a $3 bet but the dividend was only $1.8 which mens a 60 cent loss for the meeting. I would have changed the amount bet to cover the low dividend payout but the dividend dropped after the race started.

So total profit from 2 horse meetings with winning results was $1.8

Current TAB balance below

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stick to the bloody rules dammit....

1st race meeting today, Banks Penninsula.

1st race horse finishes 4th bet $3
2nd race horse finishes 7th bet $3 total loss $6
3rd race and I dont pick the fav because of very confident tipster on tv selling the case for another horse.... The fav wins paying out $3.4 I bet $6 so now my loss is $12 when i could have been $8.40 in profit.
So the dillema, do I take the loss as a fav has won or do I press on with the next bet being $12. The other option is to only bet $6 on the next fav as long as the div is $3?
So yes i bet $6 but no result on the next race and then I bet 12 on the following race, no result. Its happened before  where I have not bet on a fav early on and its ended up being the only fav of a meeting.
Loss at present is $36.
next race horse 2 is fav, Hold It Harvey, placed $24 bet at $3.4 div and the horse wins.
Thats it for this meeting and i feel i got out of a possible bad spot there.

While Im betting on this meeting I started on a meeting in Geelong. The first bet didnt come through and so im $3 down there. Just before the next race a friend rings and I dont hit the submit button in time to bet on the 2nd race favourite. It wins. There are still 8 races left in the meeting but Im calling it quits for that meeting, dont want to tempt fate twice. i will take the $3 loss there and just absorb it into the $21.6 profit from my the above meeting at Banks Penninsula.

So profit for these two meetings comes out at $18.60

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

24th Sept bets

First race of the day at Otaki.
Horse Alladin Prince
Div $2.5
Bet $2
Horse won
$3 profit

So there are still 9 more races at the Otaki meeting but thats it for this meeting for me. $3 profit. A positive start for the blog but its not always in the right direction, as this evolves the losing runs will appear too.

I did one more meeting for the day and it was a Harness from Kilmore in Victoria. A useful lesson I have learned as i go through this here. I have found that often the harness races have lower dividends which can trip you up during a race meeting

The first horse I picked didnt come through as a winner so Im down $2. The second horse I picked also didnt win so now Im down $4. Ordinarily my next bet would be $4 but as I get get closer to race time I see the dividend  is very low, only a $1.5 dividend which if i applied the $4 bet would still leave me with a loss. the bet doubling not able to win enough from the dividend to cover my losses on the earlier 2 races.  The horse in this race was an overwhelming favourite so I upped my bet to $8 which simply gives me a break even point for the meeting. I could have bet higher to make a profit but there are always doubts and sticking to just 1 more ahead of the sequence  would leave me with enough room to spare if this horse didnt come in.

To make that clearer....

Race 1, horse #1 $2 bet no win. Balance for meeting -$2
Race 2, horse #1 $2 bet, no win. Balance for meeting -$4
Race 3, horse #3 $8 bet, win Dividend $1.5, payout $12, balance for meeting $0.

Generally I have found I prefer to avoid the harness races because this problem comes up more frequently than I would like. Not sure why I went for this meeting, over confidence maybe?.  Lesson for today is to stick with the "rules" ( I hadnt mentioned this rule before, dont do this with harness racing, the dividends are often too low....)

So for all the effort of betting on this harness meeting I end up with nothing.

Records start

Ok firstly the basic rules.
1. bet only on favourites to win.
2. If a loss then bet using next multiplier in sequence 2,2,4,16,32,64 then if still a loss restart from multiplier 1 again.
3. The moment a horse wins at a meeting stop betting on that meeting (statistically I may have hit the only fav to win for that meeting, even if its the first race and its a low dividend.

Screenshot of current TAB balance

A few warnings

Statistically one can make the data fit the wanted outcome and end up fooling oneself, thats been a clear warning I have taken onboard from the advice given to me from various horse betting forums.

So anyone following this be warned this could very easily fall over, Im not yet totally convinced and I doubt I will be for quite a while.

A key thing I have found is discipline, I cant deviate from what I do and get sucked in to thinking I can spot a winner myself, I just dont have that knowledge yet.

I started this with a balance of $50 and 3 months on I have a current balance of $990.60 but I had a couple of lucky breaks along the way, I could quite easily end up having a run of bad luck and see that amount drop away.

So I have set myself a target, every time my balance goes over $1100 I take out $100 and pop it into a dedicated bank account. So far I have taken out 1 lot of $182.8 and another lot of $100.
My base bank balance is set at $1000 and Im betting using a base amount of $2 with the sequence 2,2,4,8,16,32,64 as my multiplier. If my balance drops below $700 I drop my base bet to $1.

I hope to keep a daily record of what Im doing with screen shots of my balance and some bets.

Why favourites?

Well firstly statistically its a pretty consistent percentage over the last 70 years of favourites winning. Secondly I know nothing about horse racing, I have no library of knowledge and knowledge of all the indicators that true horse race punters have to make their bets.

To be honest from all the research I have done and all the forums I have looked at I believe experienced punters with real racing knowledge are making far mor informed and logical selections than what im doing. The longer I do this the more my knowledge base has built and i am now choosing favourites with more thought than just selecting the favourite.

The thing I have found is there are so called "false" favourites in that the horse the majority of punters are choosing may not be the best horse in terms of real indicators such as form, freshness, jockey etc etc.

So I happily accept that to the purest punter this system Im slowly outlining is flawed on one level. Blindly betting because the majority of punters have bet on a particular horse is probably able to be described as lazy and uninformed.

Safety stops

So how do I deal with the chance of a long run of consecutive. I decided to put in a stop point on my sequence ( 1,2 4,8,16,32). At 32 I would stop and start again at 1, this would mean that if I hit a 10 run no win sequence the losses would be $78 instead of the $1023. That seemed much easier to cope with but even then there is a flaw in that Im now relying on a fav winning within 6 races and that in terms of statistics can fall over even more frequently than 10 or more losses.

Then I found that the national horse racing bodies published all results and they have those results going back a number of years. Both New Zealand and Australia for both gallops and harness racing.

http://www.hrnz.co.nz/ NZ Harness racing website

http://www.nzracing.co.nz/ NZ Gallops

http://www.australianracingboard.com.au/ Australian gallops

http://www.harness.org.au/ Australian harness

My next trick was the laborious job (2 solid days...) of inputting a years results into a spreadsheet showing how the favourites winning would do within the sequence betting I had. Through this and various fiddling with what amount my safety stop should be I found that on this 1 years data the best trigger point was actually 128 which would give me a loss on that day of $255. This on this years data I had recorded gave me the biggest profit. A trigger point of 64 dropped the projected profit by about 10% but I felt it wouldnt be as nerve racking as getting to 128 in a sequence so i decided that would be the trigger point to reset. As it was from the data i put in the profit was about 25% on an imaginary bank.

Within that years data were 5 non win days and 2 of them happening in 1 week which caused a decent little blip. the other thing which leads to a loss is when I would see a sequence where i reset and the next race won on a $1 bet and then the next meeting would do the same thing. Ultimately my imaginary balance of $5000 using a 64 stop trigger ended up with a final balance of $7282. That was also using the base bet of $2 and using the sequence numbers as multipliers.

Another problem I found was that if looking at races in Australia the favourite on their course was often different from the favourite on the NZ tote. I found that the local tote tended to be the best indicator of the most likely fav winner.

A discovery (flawed)

The next day I decided to do some research on betting systems and one of the very first links I came across was this one http://saliu.com/bbs/messages/649.html

In this thread there was a mention of a thing called the Martingale sequence which is effectively doubling numbers in a sequence ie: 1,2,4,8,16 etc. A WARNING here, dont ever apply this blindly to any gambling, it can have some success but it also can lose you a huge amount of money very quickly if you are foolish enough to use it blindly. The thread explains its own controls so you dont blow everything you have but I dont think those controls are practical or simple enough relative to the amount one might bet. It talks about betting only 5% of your "bank" (bank being your betting account total) but that can give you strange amounts to bet like $3.74 and when you start applying the sequence multiplier (I will explain soon) it all gets messy and Im not that flash at maths.

However I did start out using this system as described, I hadnt yet seen or worked out the pitfalls and very quickly my balance rose from $110 to about $250. I thought I was on to a winner.

So here is how it works. You only ever bet on the favourite. For example start with a $ bet on a favourite to win. if it loses double your bet for the next race favourite and so on till one finally comes in. The idea here being that over the last 70 years statistics show that the favourites win about 34% of the time.

But there are some serious flaws. What if no favourite wins in a 10 race meeting?. The betting sequence would be $1, $2, $4, $8, $16, $32, $64, $128, $256, $512. Those bets are accumulative so your total loss would be $1023. What if you just happened to strike 2 race meetings where no favourite won?. This website http://www.adrianmassey.com/fav/fav0.php has a set of stats for horse racing and at the bottom of the page it has some stats showing the sequence of no win results. Those numbers are pretty sobering.
Probability and statistics can be your friend if you want but they can also trip you up.

Lady luck

So for the next couple of weeks I was doing $1 place bets on favourites and having a great time with the thrill of winning results but no real major progress in my TAB "bank". The problem was that the dividend on a favourite to place was so low that I needed 8 out of 10 results to make a profit and that was a low profit. If I only got 7 wins I would go backwards.

So my next idea was to go for each way bets where I would bet $1 on a place and $1 on a win. I did this because during a meeting 3 or 4 favourites would often win and the dividend was a decent amount more. My rational here was that even if a favourite didnt win but place my loss would be less when the 3 or 4 favourites winning was added to the mix.

Again immediate success and then after a week it all bombed with only 1 1st place and 3 place results in a meeting. I persevered for a while until my TAB account dropped to just $10. I gave up on it all for a couple of weeks, I had decided it was a mugs game (still undecided on this btw) but then one evening while bored I logged in to my TAB account and placed a $1 bet on a horse to place. While i was placing the online bet a friend rang me and because of this I wasnt concentrating and ended up accidently placing a win bet on a complete outsider..... you can guess what happened.... it won and all of a sudden my TAB account was at $110. I quit for the night decided to head out and think about it all the next day.

In the beginning...

Ok this isnt day 1, its about day 100 or so.

This is a log of my horse betting system. Its done partly as a control to be honest. I have a good friend who lost everything gambling and this seems like a good way to make sure i dont get too lost if it all goes bums up.

Firstly some background....back in the early 90's a flatmate of mine received in the post some sales pitch about how to make money betting on horses. I remember reading this thing and it made me wonder about how it was all done so I made up a simple spreadsheet to input all the relevant information. Jockey, form, track history etc etc . Out of this unscientific and convoluted spreadsheet i would come up with a preferred pick for a race.

After a few friday nights of doing this at home and then listening to the horse racing radio I woke up to the fact that often the horses i picked ended up being the favourites. I also discovered that out of a race meeting of 9 races the favourites would come in the top 3 places 6 or 7 times.

This was before the days of the internet and I had to grab my information from horse racing newspapers and one problem I found was that it would take me 25 minutes to get all the info into my spreadsheet (slow typist) and I was always just making my prediction just as the race would start.

I was a student at the time and all this was eating in to valuable friday night fun time and I had no money to spare for betting so I gave up on it after about 6 weeks.

Fast forward to 18 or so years later....
One night I ended up going out to the Harness racing with my parents and younger sister, we used to go to the races when i was a kid on a friday night, mum and dad could leave my sister and I to run around in the public area with a few dollars for hotdogs etc and my parents would go hang out in the members area away from us....
Anyway on this latest trip i remembered what I had done all those years ago and spent the night placing place bets on the favourites only. I got lucky, a few of the horses came through and i ended up going home with a modest $10 or $15 profit.

The local betting agency here in NZ is called the TAB and I did have an account with $50 in it which was meant to be a bit of fun on sports betting, mostly on football. However I had never actually used it so I decided to try and see what would happen if I started betting with it on favourites only to come in as a place. I had immediate success with the first meetings races giving me 7 out of 10 place wins. What the heck??