Live Trials are worthless
You’ll see “Live” trials of tipsters on many review sites.
In my post, Sports Tipsters LIVE Trials: What can they tell you? I say many of them have very little value.
Typically these “live” trials consist of here’s what the tips were and here’s what the profit or loss was followed by some kind of recommendation. You can get all of that, and more, from simply looking at the tipster’s historical records.
So why am I running a Live Trial?
- To prove that it is possible to do a live trial which is actually useful and informative
- Compare my recent analysis of Landry Horse Racing against real-world evidence
- Check if I get the same odds as the tipster’s selections
- Test if I can mirror the tipster’s success using Betfair exchange
If I can’t get the same odds as the tipster I’m not going to make the same amount of profit.
If I can get good odds on Betfair exchange then I can still make a substantial profit and it can be sustained long-term. In other words, I can avoid cycling through bookmaker if I keep winning and they keep closing my accounts.
My recent analysis of Landry Horse Racing shows that all the key indicators look good and this may be a tipster with great potential.
Over the next two weeks, I’ll be following the tips with real bets.
I’ll use only Betfair Sportsbook purely for personal convenience. I’ll set aside a £200 betting bank and bet 50p each-way on all tips as recommended by Landry.
I will consider the trial a success if the ROI is positive and I can achieve 80% of the Landry ROI for the trial period.
Full details of all tips, bets, odds and profit & loss can be found here.
TRIAL FINANCIAL OUTCOME
£20 profit & 16% ROI over 10 days – a qualified success.
Did I make 80% of Landry profits? Sadly no. But this was mainly due to poorer Betfair Sportsbook odds but also incorrect calculations on the Tipstrr site as you’ll see.
There were 221 tips and bets over a period of 10 days between 15th and 28th December 2019.
The trial produced 203.75 points profit which was £20.38 betting 50p each-way bets.
It was going so much better until day10 when we lost a whopping £16.12.
The Trial Strike Rate (SR) was 27% compared to 31% for the overall Landry stats.
Trial ROI was 16% compared to 31.2% for Landry overall ROI and compares with 24.3% just for the month of December when I did the trial.
Until the big negative day10 the figures of 28% SR and 28% ROI were much more in line with the overall Landry stats
I anticipate a run of several winning days now which will compensate for the negative day10 and the SR and ROI figures to realign with the overall Landry stats.
|Day||Date||Num.Tips||Landry P&L (pts)||Trial P&L (pts)|
I started this trial to prove that it is possible to do a live trial which is actually useful and informative.
I’ll leave that decision up to you the reader but for me, this has been an insightful and very successful trial on several levels.
It has highlighted flaws in the Tipstrr platform but it has also proven it is possible to make the same level of profits as Landry Horse Racing even if it does take a bit of effort.
Flaws in the Tipstrr platform
The trial has highlighted several flaws in the Tipstrr platform.
Can’t depend on emails
One of the big problems I found was that you can’t depend on receiving all the tips by Tipstrr email system. This must be a problem no matter what tipster you’re following. The only way to make sure you get ALL the tips is to go to the tipster’s page on the Tipstrr site.
Only once, on day 1, were all emails received. And once, on day 7, I received no emails at all for the 31 tips published that day.
Tipstrr profit calculation errors
The results feed from Tipstrr’s providers is not 100% accurate – at least not for horse racing.
Specifically, the calculation of profit on the place part of the each-way bets has been inaccurate on many occasions when profit was calculated based incorrectly on 1/4 odds when it should have been based on 1/5 odds.
This results in profit figures shown on the Tipstrr site being more than they should be.
Also the deductions applied for racing’s Rule 4 is not consistently and correctly applied.
Tipster specific findings
You can get the same odds as the tipster
With very few exceptions its has been possible to get the odds advised in the tips at the time they are published. It may not be with the bookmaker specified in the tip but there have been several different bookmakers offering the same odds.
Betfair Sportsbook (BFsb) was used for the trial and their odds have not been the best but have been reasonable. If I had been chasing the best odds and not just betting using BFsb my profit would have been better. But this is a real-world test and no one is going to have funded accounts at all bookies to catch all the best odds all the time.
To counter the generally poorer odds at BFsb they have sometimes paid out on more places in a race. When this has happened I have had made a profit whereas Landry has made a loss. Also, different Rule 4 deductions have had a minor effect on profit differences.
A lot of bets to place each day
There can be a lot of bets to place each day. And at times it looks like a bit of a scatter-gun approach to selecting tips. There are typically one or two horses tipped in the races which are chosen. But there was as many as 9 runners tipped in a 17 runner race (14:50 Chepstow on 27th Dec).
Now anyone betting on half of the field would hope to get at least one right I would think. But, whether betting on so many runners works out financially is a different question. For us, it paid off handsomely in that Chepstow race by picking the race winner and three places for a very tidy profit.
Need to dedicate time to get value and match profits
You’ll spend between one and two hours between 9am and 11am waiting for all tips to be published and getting your bets on as soon as you can.
This is quite a commitment and it may be a problem to fit it into your morning especially if you have a day job.
You could, of course, wait until later when all tips are published and then do your bets all at once. This could save a lot of time – you could maybe get all the bets placed in 5 or 10 minutes. The down-side of waiting is that odds will have probably changed for the worse – I’ve seen some odds halved in that time during the trial. What started as a value bet is no longer value and without value, profits will be (much) less.
May not work on Betfair Exchange
What has become evident is that at the time these tips are published the Betfair Exchange market is not well-formed. There is little liquidity so early in the day and the back and lay odds can be widely spread. To make these tips profitable on Betfair exchange it might be necessary to monitor the odds movements over time which could be very time-consuming.
Consequently, I’m going to leave this test for another time.
More Winning days than Losing days
Based on dates and times of races the longest losing run was 10 losing bets in a row which happened once on the 27th Dec. The longest winning run was 3 bets which happened 5 times during the trial period.
Looking at winning and losing days instead of winning and losing bets, the 10 days of the trial produced 7 winning days and 3 losing days. The longest winning streak was 4 days in a row. The longest losing streak was 1 day.
While its too short a period to be confident about this it does go some way to confirming the winning-days/losing-days thoughts in my analysis of Landry Horse Racing
Some final thoughts
Time is Money
Time is money so they say. So what’s your time worth?
It just struck me that I was putting a lot of time into doing these bets – how much was I making per hour?
As of April 2019 the UK National Living Wage for over 25’s is just over £8. Would you work for less than £8 an hour?
I spent about 12 hours over 10 days making £20 during the trial. Was I actually “working” for just £1.67 an hour? Making £2 a day profit isn’t making me feel wealthy.
Admittedly, most of that 12 hours was waiting for the tips to be published. Placing each bet maybe only took about 30 seconds – 2 hours in total. So I was simply waiting 80% of the time.
For the trial, some of this waiting time was used in record keeping. And some was used refreshing the Landry tips page to get the next tip since I couldn’t depend on the emails.
For the 2 hours spent actually placing bets I made £20 so maybe I could convince myself I was “working” for £10 an hour which isn’t so bad. Trouble is I know its not.
We’re going to need a bigger bank
To turn this into making £20 profit a day or £500 – £600 per month I’d need to be betting at 10-times this level.
I’d need to be placing £5 each-way bets instead of 50p each-way bets. Then means I could be placing up to £360 in bets in a single day and I’d need a theoretical betting bank of around £2000.
Apart from needing to give that some serious consideration I think the bookies might get a bit twitchy seeing me bet thousands of pounds every month and winning hundreds of pounds from them.
We’re going to need more bookies!
To turn this into a long-term serious money-maker I need to spread the bets and the winnings across several, maybe 10, bookmakers.
Perhaps at this level, I could fly under each bookie’s radar at least for a longer time before they think about limiting my stakes or closing my account.
Day-by-Day Trial Results
Landry P&L: -141.52 points – running total +326.39
TRIAL P&L: -161.2 points – running total +203.75
36 tips published between 9:36am and 10:48am – approx. 1.5 hours.
16 emails not received.
A bad day of losses all round to finish off the trial.
Landry P&L: +177.01 points – running total +467.91
TRIAL P&L: +137.2 points – running total +364.95
36 tips published between 9:05am and 10:47am – approx. 1.5 hours.
9 emails not received.
One more winning bet than Landry. Five places paid at Betfair Sportsbook (BFsb) gave us a place for The Two Amigos at odds of 15.
What was confirmed for me today was that racing’s Rule 4 is not consistently applied. In two of the winning bets today – one had a Rule4 applied on the Landry side and not on the trial side and in the second case it was reversed – Rule4 applied on the trial side but not on Landry.
Landry P&L: +38.63 points – running total +290.90
TRIAL P&L: +2.4 points – running total +227.75
33 tips published between 9:17am and 10:57am – approx. 1.5 hours.
7 emails not received.
One more winning bet than Landry. Four places paid at Betfair Sportsbook (BFsb) gave us a place for Mr McGo at odds of 26.
The big discrepancy between Landry profit and the trial profit was down to the winner Honourmission. Landry recorded odds of 19 with bookmaker Betway and recorded 112.5 points profit. I could only get odds of 13 on Betfair Sportsbook – a 75 points profit – and odds of 13 was the best available (even with Betway) when I checked on oddschecker.com at that time. I am assuming that there was a delay in updating the odds on Tipstrr which allowed out-of-date odds to be recorded for the tip.
Landry P&L: -136.19 points – running total +252.27
TRIAL P&L: -76.5 points – running total +225.35
31 tips published between 9:17am and 10:42am – approx. 1.5 hours.
No emails received – there must have been a technical issue with Tipstrr. All tips were picked up from monitoring the Tipstrr website.
One more winning bet than Landry. Four places paid at Betfair Sportsbook (BFsb) gave us a place win for Cap Du Nord at odds of 41.
Interesting to note that Rule 4 deductions of the Ascot 15:35 were different.
Sir Valentine and Not So Sleepy were tipped by Landry using Betfair Sportsbook and the results show a Rule4 10p deduction whereas my real-money bet using that bookmaker applied a 5p deduction.
Landry P&L: +219.21 points – running total +388.46
TRIAL P&L: +121 points – running total +301.85
21 tips published between 9:13am and 11:36am – approx. 2.5 hours.
Only 15 emails received – 6 not received.
Landry P&L: +117 points – running total +169.25
TRIAL P&L: +121 points – running total +180.85
15 tips were published between 9:08am and 10:03am – approx. 1 hour.
(Note:16 tips were published but one, Show on the Road, was duplicated. The race was abandoned therefore tips were voided and there was no impact on the Profit&Loss figures for the day.)
1 email not received.
One more winning bet than Landry due to Betfair Sportsbook paying an additional place.
Landry P&L: +17.5 points – running total +52.25
TRIAL P&L: +7.25 points – running total +59.85
18 tips published between 9:24am and 10:53am – approx. 1.5 hours.
1 email not received.
One more winning bet than Landry due to Betfair Sportsbook paying 4 places rather than 3.
Landry P&L: +47.25 points – running total +34.75
TRIAL P&L: +37 points – running total +52.60
Eleven (11) tips published between 9:05am and 10:16am – approx. 1.25 hrs
Again 2 emails not received but checked on Tipstrr and all bets were placed.
One more winning bet than Landry due to Betfair Sportsbook paying 5 places.
It’s clear even at this early stage that it would be very difficult to make a profit following these tips at SP odds. On average the SP odds of the winning bets are 35% less than the advised odds in the tip. The loss to date following at SP is -38 points.
What’s also becoming evident is that at the time these tips are published the Betfair Exchange market is not well-formed. There is little liquidity so early in the day and the back and lay odds can be widely spread. To make these tips profitable on Betfair exchange it might be necessary to monitor the odds movements in order to time getting sufficiently good odds. This could be very time-consuming.
Landry P&L: -50 points – running total -12.5
TRIAL P&L: -45 points – running total +15.6
Nine (9) tips published between 8:56am and 9:50am – approx. 1 hours
Two emails not received. Two bets missed. They resulted as losers so my losses were less than Landry recorded losses.
I decided not to depend on emails alone but to also check on Tipstrr site.
Landry P&L: +37.5 points – running total +37.5
TRIAL P&L: +60.6 points – running total +60.6
Ten (10) tips published between 9:21am and 10:38am – approx. 1.25 hrs
Using Betfair Sportsbook resulted in two more winning bets than Landry because of paying 5 places rather than 3 places.
Also noted the profit shown on Tipstrr for all three winning bets was over-stated because it was incorrectly calculated at 1/4 odds instead of 1/5 odds.
Joshua Webb was PLACED . With 14 runners in non-handicap this should normally pay out 1/5 odds for the first 3 places which is what happened with my bet at Betfair Sportsbook. However, the Tipstrr profit figure for this tip has been calculated at 1/4 odds – a 56% better profit.
Bookmaker used for the tip was Betway so there may have been a special odds offer for this race.
Mymilan WON in an 11 runner handicap race. The bookmaker used for the tip was Betfred.
Betfred place rules read as follows “Handicaps – 12-15 runners one quarter the odds – first three places. All other non-handicap races of 8 or more runners one fifth the odds – first three places” which was a little confusing since it didn’t cover handicaps under 12 runners. I spoke with Betfred who confirmed that it really should read “All other races of 8 or more runners one-fifth odds first three places”
Therefore 1/5 odds should be used in calculating the profit from this bet however the profit shown on Tipstrr (62.50) has been calculated at 1/4 odds. At 1/5 odds for the place bet the total profit figure is 60.
I didn’t check so giving the benefit of the doubt again this may have been a special offer for this race.
But what was most concerning was the Saint Dalina winning bet.
Saint Dalina was PLACED. This was 8 runners in a non-handicap so expected 1/5 odds for first 3 places.
I got 1/5 odds on my bet at Betfair Sportsbook at odds of 36.
The tip was published also at odds of 36 and also using Betfair Sportsbook. However, the profit figure shown on Tipstrr has been calculated using 1/4 odds – not 1/5th odds. That’s 29% better profit.
Same bookie same odds different profit – suggests there is a problem with Tipstrr’s place profit calculations.
Sharp & Soft Bookmakers
85% of tips Landry tips use Betfair Sportsbook, Skybet, Ladbrokes and Coral bookmakers. These are considered soft bookmakers.
Sharp & Soft bookmakers
It’s pretty straightforward. Sharp bookmakers such as Pinnacle and SBObet and exchanges like Betfair and Smarkets have the most accurate prices in the industry. They are quick to react to market changes and quick to adjust their odds. They set the trend. Soft bookmakers follow those trends – some more slowly than others.
Soft bookmaker’s odds do not always represent the true market price. They are slow to react and alter their prices. Consequently, this is where you can often get the best odds. The downside is if you keep winning at soft bookies they will restrict how much you can bet or close your account completely. Ladbrokes and Coral are among the most well-known “soft bookmakers”.
“Sharp bookmakers” on the other hand, like Pinnacle and Betfair Exchange, are quick to alter odds and react to market changes. They accept traders and arbitrage bettors and are aimed at serious and professional gamblers. You can expect their odds to be worse than soft bookmakers but the upside is you can keep on winning and not get restricted or closed down.
If you hope to be a long-term winner then soft bookmakers are only for the short term. Once you get restricted or closed you have to move on to the next set of soft bookies until they too shut you down. Eventually, you’ll run out of bookies – or at least bookies you can trust.
Sharp bookmakers are for the long-term. Poorer profits maybe but you can keep on winning and not worry about account closures and there are no hassles having to keep opening new accounts.
Note: Ladbrokes and Coral are effectively the same company since they merged in 2016. They maintain the two separate brands but their websites mirror each other and their odds are the same.