Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Just to wrap up the Affiligate scandal, or rather non-scandal - Al posted an apology in a comment that he may well have missed the affiliate links on Mark’s blog due to something called Ad Block Plus and is now on his way to Specsavers, Hopefully we are all good now.

Fizzer555 had this to say:
The bit in Affiligate I haven't got my head round is Mark's comment that "the banners are just there to make the site look pretty and fill some space."
Well, most people would say that these affiliate banners make a site look tacky.
I manage a website for a non-league football team and I'm constantly being approached to put these banners up on our site, but if you look around at all the teams that do, they really detract from the look and feel of the site.
The defence that they don't earn any money doesn't mean that they were not originally put there to try to make some money.
It reminds me of when I noticed my neighbour's builder was creating an arched gateway leading on to my drive. When I confronted my neighbour about it he said he wanted it to look pretty and he never intended to use it - it was just an ornamental gateway! - Try telling that to your kids. Once confronted, he decided he didn't want to spend the money on an ornamental gateway after all.
I tend to agree with all that.

Sent via email from Jamie, and intentionally not as a comment, was an interesting link to articles on how bookies treat winners. Too much to review in this already full post, but I shall publish the links and comments shortly. Thanks Jamie.

And then we have Danny back, claiming to know me better than myself. He writes that my claim to have gone back in when Betfair arrived is risible. I can only repeat what I have written before, (Danny must have missed my story), and say that after my bookie accounts were closed down, I did not bother with gambling any more. Betting was a world that I shut myself off from. I saw the writing on the wall, and decided to steer my interest in probability and statistics in other directions – trading shares and options for example.

Here is Danny's comment in full - facts have not been verified:
Your remark 'it was only the arrival of Betfair that let me in again to play' is just so risible. You like to characterise yourself as a Patrick Veitch like figure, a punter so dangerous bookies throughout the world wouldn't entertain his business.
It's so obvious you have no idea what you are talking about because at the time you are referring to, the early 2000's, the bookie scene was a goldmine for those with the knowledge (not me sadly). Just because you didn't work it out and become a part of it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Someone with your skills and abilities would have made a lot of quick easy money. People did.
Before 2006 there were good amounts to be made from US facing bookies and then there was a slew of European outfits.

I understand you enjoy Betfair and were in it for the challenge as much as the money. But the fact is there was a lot of opportunity elsewhere at the time and to deny it is factually incorrect.
You could have made a lot of money from online casinos had you got into that, I think people tended to gravitate to what they enjoyed.
Listen I could give the talk about account preservation but SBC will do a far better job than I could.
Cassini I know you reside in the suburbs but it wouldn't hurt to leave the house once in a while and visit Londinium. I don't know what the shops are like now but again a few years back it was a good opportunity. I know guys were hitting them quite hard so they did react eventually.
Naturally it's all got tougher as the betting/gaming industry has matured in recent years, with few new entrants now.
It may be hard for someone wrapped in in betting every day to understand but the point Danny is missing is that the world of betting and bookmakers was just one that just didn’t interest me at this time. With no access to inside information, (unlike Danny’s hero Patrick Veitch), I had no interest at all in betting on horse racing, and I had no interest in walking around the streets of London betting into over-rounds of 115% on other sports. I might as well have been living on the Space Station.

Danny talks of the goldmine at the bookies in the early 2000s and it may well have been for some. It was just a world that I wasn’t interested in, and not a question of not being able to work out how to profit from it. I simply had other priorities for my time and efforts. The benefits of putting in the groundwork for a career may not be immediately apparent in your 20s or 30s, but as you climb the ladder, your earlier efforts are rewarded several times over.

A second factor here was technology, or rather the lack of. I’m not sure how old Danny is, but my early Elo ratings in the 80s were all done on paper, a significant investment of time and effort.

Additionally, in the 80s I had other things going on in my personal life – young children for example.

So I had three good reasons to not bother at all with betting, and when I say that it was the advent of Betfair that opened up the window of opportunity, I should perhaps also say that advances in technology and changes in my personal life were contributing factors.

Betfair was the key though. Whereas I now had the time, and there was more data than ever, and crunching data was far easier than ever, there was still little point in having an advantage if there was nowhere to play.

Betfair was the playground I needed, and the three stars of timing, technology and a sustainable environment were aligned perfectly.

I can still picture the moment I discovered Betfair. It was a Saturday afternoon in early 2004, and I was sitting at my desk at home performing a search for something long-forgotten on Google which returned a list of links including one for ‘Betting Exchange’.

Risible or not, this was the first I had heard of the concept. As I say, I had closed myself off from the betting world, and it just didn’t interest me. The link intrigued me though and I realised almost immediately the potential of this concept, with its revolutionary in-play option. It promised to be sustainable with their ‘we welcome winners’ mantra and cautious by nature, after a few weeks of due diligence, I decided to risk a massive £100, of which £98.50 made it into my account after fees.

As I have said before many times, that remains the only deposit I have ever made into my account. It would almost certainly have been to my advantage to have been in on the ground floor of Flutter or the fledgling Betfair, but the past is gone and there’s no point in ‘what-ifs’. I simply wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I’m just grateful that I caught the wave for a few good years of opportunity, before being washed up on the beach.

Not that I am quite washed up yet, but it is getting harder and harder to make money, not helped by the punitive 50% tax. My lifetime daily average income from Betfair declines almost every day it seems, but I am grateful to at least be able to make a little extra income on the side, and I still enjoy the challenge of finding value almost as much as the money itself.

Danny talks of opportunities missed with bookmakers, and that may well be true, probably is true short-term, but consistently profitable bookie accounts are not sustainable for me, and those ‘opportunities’ had a cost which was too high. I have certainly never denied that short-term past opportunities existed.

Remember that gambling is not a full-time occupation for me. It never has been, and it never will be. It’s an interest outside of my proper job, and I can’t see that it will ever be worth my time and effort driving around the country trying to find a high street bookmaker who will take my bet.

I like my life to be simple. Click a button here or there. If / when the Betfair window of opportunity closes, I’ll move on with my life. Risible or not, this is how it was for me.

As the great Ricky Gervais might say, it’s always good to hear from people who still live with their parents, how I could have done so much better with my betting.

As for the comment that “Listen I could give the talk about account preservation but SBC will do a far better job than I could” – well if you see my post yesterday, it seems that their message is not reaching their members, so we look forward to your own contribution on this important topic. And no, I am not affiliated in any way to the SBC.

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