Thursday, 11 May 2017

Cops and Bloggers

As popular as this blog is, incidentally well on track for 1,000 hits a day this month, it's not often that I receive special requests for a post, but the above Tweet from @GeeksToy last night, read by his 103,000 followers, which is more than I have, couldn't be ignored. I'm expecting a bumper day.

The request came in the midst of something of a Twitter storm, with Geeks Toy surprisingly at the forefront. 

Whether Paul Spry himself was at the helm or not, it was surprising to see what I'd always thought was a reputable product, with a sense of humour,...
...get involved in some rather questionable behaviour, the details of which aren't important and won't be repeated here, although I don't see that any crime was committed. That it was late in the evening suggests alcohol may have played a part!

The trigger appears to have been this post from Betfair Pro Trader, which was in turn prompted by a comment from Boris which opened with:
James you have never been keen on showing the poolside life of trading, I understand why.
James wrote a post mostly about the future being algo-trading rather than manual, before concluding with:
I have no problem with people taking holidays. What I have a problem with is people using exotic holiday imagery as a marketing exercise to sell an unattainable lifestyle to the many.
Now if anyone was to have a problem with this perfectly reasonable observation, you'd expect it to be someone using exotic holiday imagery as a marketing exercise to sell an unattainable lifestyle to the many, but it was Geeks Toy who seemed upset about it, although others joined in later. Why would a software vendor care?

One can only assume that the comments of James are seen as a risk to their sales. He may well have commented on the merits of Geeks Toy, Bet Angel and whatever other trading tools are out there, but I don't recall him taking any strong sides, and it's not a topic I know anything about myself. Software is not one of my many strengths - far too nerdy for a normal person like myself!

So why should James' post, which at its core merely encourages readers to look carefully at claims and how realistic they are, before getting involved, trigger a reaction from Geeks Toy?

Understood that James is a "best-selling" author whose publications are available on Amazon, and James may have something to gain from encouraging people to move in an algo-trading direction versus manual, but that shouldn't hurt Geeks Toy's sales significantly unless I'm mistaken. Maybe their software is for manual traders only? 

Boris's 'poolside' reference was presumably to Caan Berry, who hints at a "£100,000 a Year" income, with a "No Boss. Better Living" lifestyle but as this blog as pointed out, the actual lifestyle doesn't quite match up with the claimed lifestyle. 

Caan's address, a distinctly average rental property, wasn't mentioned, in part because details of any company's address, including Talented Mavericks Ltd, are readily available for anyone who is interested, i.e. anyone performing due diligence before buying any products, but also because it seemed unnecessarily invasive. Who cares if someone lives at number 4, Acacia Gardens, Craptown?  

A quick look at the Geeks Toy (shouldn't Geeks have an apostrophe?) web page shows that all recent blog posts are written by Mr Berry. 

Are Geeks Toy sales that dependent on one trader? 

One other topic that came up in response to a Tweet from a none-too-impressed Geeks Toy customer, was that of selling.
The reply needs a little clarification:
James does sell books through Amazon which guarantees your money back in the unlikely event that you may be dissatisfied. 

As for 'one did', that would be me, although my service has long since permanently closed since a promotion at work meant that I no longer had the time (several hours a week) for it, but again, it was run with a money-back guarantee:
The refund clause was never triggered, which was fortunate given that inputting data each week, calculating new ratings, reviewing 49 matches each week, and compiling the emails, took up so much time that the service was a bargain anyway and halving my already miserable hourly rate would have hurt. 

Back to topic, and one curious Tweet was this one:
Although I have yet to see a Star Wars film, again - far too nerdy, I believe C3PO is a robot - but was it formed of a single large block of stone which is what monolithic means? Perhaps the intended word was monotonic - "speaking or uttered with an unchanging pitch or tone".

In summary, I have nothing bad or good to say about the Geeks Toy software, or Bet Angel's for that matter, since I am not qualified to offer an opinion. 

What this blog does do is offer unbiased, impartial opinions on many subjects, but is always open to a reasoned debate. 

If you think you can beat court-siders, explain why logically this might be so. 

If you think a course is going to really teach you anything of value, i.e. to the detriment of the course provider, explain why. 

If you believe someone has made several hundred thousand pounds trading horse racing from home, explain why their edge hasn't been identified, replicated, and eliminated long ago.

If you have experience of courses, video packs or trading guides, share them, good or bad. 

I'm away for a few days shortly, but keep the hits and comments coming, and I'll address them on my return.     


Aaron Davidson said...

HI Robert, a little one sided. It seems James doesnt like hyperbolic statements however the twitter storm errupted by his refusal to answer any comments as to why his book was removed by Betfair. Also — I don't see any "proof" on his site (or yours) on trading successfulness (and I note you shouldn't need to you have been round long enough). But why then is it demanded of Caan or whoever else is the subject of the current fury.

I think its also classic that between you, you think that PeeWee is some kind of fraud. Anyway, enjoy reading your blog (most of the time) I just feel recently your blog has gone a little biased and one sided and in support of James.

The Geek said...

Why it started was because a rank hypocrite, & name calling child who seems to make a career out of slating others to sell product made the mistake of calling my integrity into question.

Stones & glass houses spring to mind. Ditto my opinions on dodgy characters.!

As for the rest, no alcohol involved, sales are just fine, & I apologise profoundly for not having a 100% command of the English language which seems to be the second most heinous crime round these parts.

G said...

To me it is clearly obvious, if you're selling/pushing a product with claims of making a 6 figure sum per year, then you should be able to back it up with solid proof.
No witch hunt etc- a reasonable ask imo

James said...

I only became aware that Programming for Betfair is no longer advertised by Betfair at one of the two locations when it was pointed out to me by someone on Twitter.

I have not asked Betfair why they stopped advertising the book at this location as I am not interested as to the reason why. I stopped being an API beta tester and being in regular contact with Betfair of my own volition over a year ago when Betfair decided to punish users of the API with a one-off £200 registration fee for live data. Still, it's cheaper than perennial subscription but off-putting for newcomers.

I am surprised I sold so many books. It rather took me by surprise and shows there is a large group of people looking at alternative trading methods.

I guess the "fame" has been hard to shoulder but my pending retirement will be as welcome to me as it will be to others. No doubt it will be seen by some as a victory for manual traders. They would be foolish to think so. Sports trading gets harder every year, never easier.

Tony Stephens said...
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Tony Stephens said...
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James said...

Reading the vendor statement above makes no mention of the fact that I referenced articles published on this blog (Green All Over).

And yet, the vendor in question is cordial to the author of this blog (Green All Over) and makes no complaint about said articles on this blog (Green All Over).

This I find most curious.

Have other comments from said vendor been blocked or are we to take it that the vendor is merely going after a soft target i.e. the parents of someone brave enough to publish in his real name?

The Geek said...

Has nothing to to with being a soft target James, it has to do with the the fact you are a complete hypocrite. Whether you lived with mummy & daddy at the age of 52 is irrelevant. The electoral roll said you did, and seeing as you've been extrapolating & jumping all over Caan and Peter with incorrect assumptions and degradation, based upon what you yourself described as "Excellent investigative journalism" I felt it was high time you got a little dose of your own medicine.

What no one was expecting was the toys coming out of the pram quite so dramatically, and the admission of the fact that you yourself were the very thing you were accusing the chuckle brothers of being. You couldn't make it up!

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, however if you live in a glass house and keep throwing stones, it should be no surprise if somebody throws a dirty great rock back at you. { 2 other sellers in this industry made this mistake a few years ago, and the rocks I threw back at them still get referenced to this day, as I'm sure this one will for some time to come.}

Marketing is everywhere, but yet I don't see you going after Colonel Sanders managing to convince generations that unhealthy, greasy shite is finger licking good. :D. But yet constantly you are digging out Caan and Peter for some reason, and after your latest outburst, it's very clear why. Notice you haven't rebranded your site Betfair failed trader, and are still selling the books though. See you conveniently forgot to mention in all your snideness that you were actually making more money from the books than you were from trading for a considerable time now. { BTW Peter & Caan are rank amateur marketers compared the the genius of Paul Reblo and Adam Todd. }

Marketing is even here, where for some reason Cassini refers to you as a best selling author. Best selling at what exactly? Can't see JK Rowling being to worried about being knocked off the top spot by somebody who now admits their time would have been better spent working in McDs.

The fact that even after our private communications you still felt the need to publicly question why pick on poor James shows a distinct lack of intelligence and character on your part. { Ditto when I pointed out one of the many incorrect claims made on your blog that still remains. }

I have no beef with Cassini, although I do agree wholeheartedly with what Aaron said above. { But between you you do remind me of Statler & Waldorf. :D } However I and quite a few others { as you have seen } do have a beef with the 2 distinct commercial agendas that constantly keep fuelling, this rather targeted witch hunt.

Yours is transparent as hell, so doesn't need any further explanation, and if Cassini isn't wise to the other one yet, he's more than welcome to join me for a beer or a coffee any time he and I are in the same part of the world.

PS Apologies in advance if there are any spelling or grammar errors, as I'm just a lad from a council estate that opted out of formal education at an early age, writing this on a mobile device.

James said...

Who cares which UK address I use for certain matters? I'm not going to buy a house in the UK just to use it as a letter drop. A house I would spend little time in as I am out of the country most of the time. Some might find it admirable that I still associate with my parents. I am sorry if that is not the same in your case. Not everyone is lucky in that regard.

I have a way to go to my 52nd birthday. Are you sure you have the right address? You appear to be backtracking on Twitter by saying, "some random address".

A hypocrite in what regard? We have two separate marketing models.

Me: Book 1, save money writing your own software instead of subscribing to software like yours. Book 2, a review of various trading methods, warning people away from the well worn tracks. On my website I do not make any boasts about success or lifestyle. I even said in one article that I am not a PC payer. My website exists to tell people that sports trading is extremely hard to make a profit from. That the vast majority will lose money. My website is an attempt to help people to lose the minimum amount of money possible. If I put people off trading then I regard it as a success, just as much as if they had made a profit. "Betfair Pro Trader?", a common search term. Far better that people find my website before many others.

You: Software you have to subscribe to. A lost subscription is a loss to your income stream so you (your colleague and the likes of Webb and The Badger) have to churn out articles daily to keep people interested in trading and subscribing.

I have sold only about 2000 books, you will be glad to hear. Not much of a threat to your subscriptions. At least I hope so, though if you go after small fry like me then maybe you are just a small player in the trading software market.

I have always thought that selling subscriptions for software that in over 90% of cases will lose the subscriber even more money is like being a used car dealer who flogs cars where over 90% of the vehicles have no engines.

My website has guided a lot of people into making decisions that will save them money. Something that you can never say because you don't care whether people win or lose so long as they do it through you.

Now, do run along because I have said all I will ever say about sports trading. Wasting your valuable keyboard time on me is just that, a waste of your time.

Off to the beach. Toodle-pip!

James said...


Evidently, Mr Spry, you have no idea what my website is about. I have a small but discerning readership with about 1000 page views per day. Although, thanks to you, the readership has increased, even without having to write articles anymore.

My readers want to avoid losing money. You are more than welcome to the "get rich quick" mob. Such people will never listen to what people like myself, Cassini etc have to say. We and you, are oil and water. You have your customers. We have our readers. Never the twain shall meet.

Now, stop interrupting my beach time.

The Geek said...

Who cares? Only you, and that's the entire point. { OK so maybe Cassini too as it's a further boost to the ratings. :D }

2000 books, you business genius! Ironically, Peter, Caan, Blagger, Paulo, Adam et al, are responsible for a very big percentage of your playboy lifestyle.

Not wasting valuable keyboard time either as this is the most fun I've had online since the 2009 / 2010 vendor wars. And sooooooooo sorry to rain on your alleged final, final goodbye, but I'm writing this from a much better beach than the one you're off to. ;). { Caan says hello BTW : D }


Jamie said...

I am confused to why Geek Boy is such and angry cat, or indeed any software vendor should be. Provide your software and let the traders get on with it. There will always be someone who doesn't like the software. Let them subscribe elsewhere and get on with it. I have flitted between different vendors over the years. They are much of a muchness. Some have a few features that may suit a certain traders style but that's it.

As regards to the 'expert' traders selling their 'knowledge' I want to start by saying I don't really have a problem with any of them. Anyone like myself who knows his way around trading can see that for the money being charged you ain't going to learn anything new if you have been trading for a while and are still around to tell the tale. I am still around after about 8 years. Why ? Well not because I've made loads of money its because I've managed to stay in the game by managing the risk side of things. The edges I have had have come and gone and the search goes on for more. But it was managing he downside is why I am still in the game. That is never covered by the experts selling their ebooks or training courses. Trading is a very difficult & sometimes dangerous game and they put it across that anyone can do it and learn it all in one days training. I think that what was James and Cassini have been trying to say (that has been my take on it). But unfortunately things have gotten out of hand on what could have been a very constructive and informative debate between both sides of the argument which is a shame.

Again I have no problem with the peeps who are selling their courses. But I can see where the suspicions about them lie.
I've no personal problem with Mr Berry but when I see most of his posts retweeting Geeks Toy or starring in Betfair promotional videos or even posting photos of himself at the races as a guest of Betdaq, then you must expect people to start asking questions.
Same with Mr Webb, again no problem with him whatsoever but again heavily involved with BetAngel. Posting videos of himself at Betfair HQ has a peculiar whiff about it. Same with the Badger involved with racing traders, he has given over time, several different reasons to how he avoids the Betfair PC none of which make any sense.
So Mr Geek when someone like me sees these things, without any other outside influence or opinion, my alarm bells ring and I am strongly inclined to give them a swerve. I guess it will with others also. James & Cassini are merely bringing this to the public attention and is more of a help than a hinderance to the newbies who don't know any better. Letting them know it not as easy as some would make you believe.

Well that is my side of the debate from an outsider Mr Geek. But I strongly feel that it is not in your interests to agree. But I posted it all the same.
Look forward to any comments, disagreements, name calling or even threats (especially them) about the comments above.

Y'all take care now.


The Geek said...

James sells an educational product, so do the people he has been extremely critical of. Yet for some reason James thinks he & his product is in some way superior. They are not.

James is very quick to highlight what he considers the dubious market practices of others when he isn't whiter than white himself. James was quite happy to reference, extrapolate and publish incorrect assumptions as fact based on the perceived business & personal information of others, but yet doesn't like it one bit when he is on the receiving end of the same.

James made the mistake of throwing one of those incorrect assumptions in my direction, hence my involvement. The debate itself I will stay out of as being a seller of a sports trading related product, like James I am somewhat biased.

James said...

I always wondered why it was called Geek's Toy.

And now, after this display by an unhinged obsessive, it makes perfect sense.

The Geek said...

You still here? Pot, Kettle.

James said...

Hey Geek!

Are you Jonny Grossmark in disguise?

The Geek said...

Nope. Sure you've said your final goodbye twice already now though. :D