“Guess what day it is”

Reporting from Bet Chat HQ, north London…

January’s been long hasn’t it?

Like, REALLY long.

The highlights of my last few days have been thus:

Wednesday: A box of 12 bottles of wine arrived in the post which means…

a) I’ve been able to make full use of this splendid Christmas present from mother…

And b) I’ve got 12 bottles of wine.

Tuesday: I discovered ‘Hens Behaving Badly’ on Amazon Prime. Sadly its about human hens, rather than animal hens but still, it killed a few hours.

Monday: I have literally no memories of Monday.

Sunday: I made some really great soda bread.

However, while clearly extremely exciting, none of those days are a patch on today, because guess what day it is?

It’s the Launch of the Golf Insider Players to Follow 2021 Report Day!

This annual report is the delightful combination of interesting (these are under the radar players, not Dustin Johnson and co), profitable AND completely free.

Past incarnations have included not one but two tournament winners at 175/1, along with a number of players who went on to win their very first events in the named year.

Whether you like golf or just like making money, this freebie is a genuine January treat…

And all you’ve got to do to download it below ⤵️ 

So grab a cuppa (or a bottle of wine) and get stuck in!

Have your say about gambling regulation

Restrictions, bans, refusals to pay out, lies, incompetence, targeting of the vulnerable… it’s safe to say that each and every one of us has at least a couple of major gripes about current bookmaking practises.

We’re also in the relatively uncommon position of having experience of issues that the Lottery playing, fiver on the Grand National mainstream are unaware of. A mainstream that includes the vast majority of law makers.

I referred to problem gambling in the opening sentence and it is of course a hugely important issue (please do seek help if you feel like your gambling is out of control), but it’s also an issue which already receives a lot of good exposure that has helped to implement policies like the £2 maximum stake on FOBTs…

Issues like restrictions and refusals to pay out, on the other hand, are almost entirely ignored.

That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that we use our experiences of the industry to provide our input into the imminent government review of gambling.

Ideas put forward so far range from the sensible – affordability checks – to the ill-thought out – deposit limits irrespective of success, income etc. It’s things like the latter that we need to steer the uniformed away from… 

Saying that sports betting should only ever be for ‘recreational purposes’ is playing right into the bookies hands and is essentially the same as saying you shouldn’t be allowed to profit from it – if that’s the case, you may as well ban betting altogether. 

To reiterate, I am fully supportive of increased help for problem gamblers but, when only one section of society has a say, you end up with disproportionate measures being applied. 

If it becomes impossible for even the shrewdest of judges to make a meaningful income from sports betting then who exactly does that benefit aside from the illegal black market bookies that will no doubt spring up to take advantage?

So, let’s put forward our side of the story. Let’s explain how we bet, not by throwing darts or ‘listening to our gut’, but with logic and nous, and how we’re being unfairly prevented from making legitimate profits by bookmakers restricting everyone who appears to be even vaguely competent.

Maybe that way we can both protect problem gamblers AND make the industry fairer for the rest of us. 

How to provide your input

Ahead of the government review, the Gambling Commission are collecting the views of the public via an online survey…

You can access it here.

This consultation closes on February 9th, so make sure you have your say before then.

Just as with elections, you can’t justifiably not take part and then complain when things change for the worse. You’ve got a voice, so use it.

“I’m losing my mind”

Reporting from Bet Chat HQ, north London…

What with our ’12 Days of Christmas’ promotion and a subsequent January hangover, it’s been some time since I’ve written to you like this, but fear not (or perhaps just fear) as, starting today, you will once again be receiving my thoughts direct to your inbox on a regular basis.

As it’s been a while, I thought that today I’d provide you with a condensed summary of said thoughts over the last month or so.

It’s very easy to lose your mind during lockdown

If you’re anything like me, you can very quickly get stuck in a rut when you don’t have people around you and lots going on to keep you busy.

With Bet Chat Bec in Australia for the last month for visa reasons (thus 10 hours in front) and the most exciting outing on the agenda being a trip to the supermarket, it’s fair to say that my motivation of late has been sub optimal…

After all, even when it comes to things like earning more money, it’s hard to see the point when there’s absolutely nothing beyond necessities to spend that money on!

My first takeaway from today then is a two-parter:

  1. Try your best to come up with a challenge or two during this period of lockdown and work towards achieving it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s as significant as changing careers or as relatively trivial as mastering the art of curry making. Brains need stimulation or else they turn to mush.
  2. At the same time, don’t put too much undue pressure on yourself at the moment. We’re all feeling a bit cr@p and, more so now than ever, it’s okay to not be okay.

Talking of brains turning to mush…

I’ve somehow become a regular viewer of the Australian version of Married at First Sight, a social experiment/reality TV show where singletons get married to complete strangers (chosen by ‘experts’) and then try in vain to make the relationship work.

My general rule of thumb when it comes to this sort of thing is that they can be quite interesting if the participants are fairly ‘normal’ but that they should be given a wide berth when the men all have larger biceps than brains and the women more plastic than personality.

To this show’s credit, it’s more in the interesting camp than the inane and there are worse ways to while away the never ending January evenings. You’ll find it here on All 4 if you’re so inclined.

Takeaway:

3. A good understanding of human psychology is a potent betting weapon. Use that as your excuse when your partner walks in on you shouting at the TV as Matthew yet again fails to read the mood.

Aussie Aussie Aussie

To continue today’s antipodean theme, eyebrows have been raised at Novak Djokovic’s demand that tennis players should be able to spend shortened quarantine periods in private houses ahead of the Australian Open…

Actual Australian, Bet Chat Bec, is inclined to disagree after spending Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve AND New Year’s Day alone and locked in a hotel room to comply with the country’s strict-but-undoubtedly-more-effective-than-the-UK’s covid protocols. 

Takeaway:

4. Don’t be an arse.

Ciao for now

I hope you enjoyed that little holus-bolus brain dump and took a few things from it. 

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more time filling lockdown tips for you.

Bet Chat Diaries: New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re anything like me, you make a whole load of New Year’s resolutions that sound good at the time, but you fail miserably within a few weeks. So, in this time honoured tradition, I’m going to share some of my own related to my betting and trading, and what I hope to achieve in the year ahead. Hopefully some of them might spark a few ideas for you too!

1) Take a less is more approach

I’ve dabbled with so many courses, markets and strategies that I have certainly overtraded and bet on too many things in the past. Now, I’m at a stage where I’ve seen what works for me, what I like and what takes me the least amount of time.

Instead of exploring new angles of attack, I want to focus on making marginal gains in the things that are working best for me: value betting, market movers and a select number of strategies on football and tennis.

2) Listen to the experts

There have been times where I haven’t got on selections by people in the know, such as our very own Adam Cheng and it’s cost me dearly!

It’s good to have an opinion backed up by research in this game, but ultimately there are times to accept when there are smart people out there who know their stuff and have an opinion that can be trusted. As they say, form can be temporary, but class is permanent.

3) Testing

I’ve invested in some bots for the Betfair exchange and am testing a number of strategies. Rather than using big stakes in this most unpredictable of seasons, I’ve decided to test out a number of ideas over the next six months to see what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve adjusted my mindset to see this testing phase as an experiment. It doesn’t matter if I make a loss on small stakes and the profit is nice if it happens, but the most important thing is seeing how these strategies perform over thousands of bets, tweaking if necessary and cherry picking the best ones for next season.

4) Analysis

I’m not the best at record keeping but I try. The problem is you can collect all this data but never do anything with it. So, this year I’m going to make a conscious effort to look back over my results (however painful that can be sometimes) and actually pick out trends or patterns and where I can make improvements going forward.

5) Read more

The list of books and podcasts I want to read and watch (which I hope to cover in future articles) is ever growing, so I want to invest more time into reading a little more each week and listening to a wider range of analysis to inform my own opinions. There is so much good, free information out there that it’s costing potential profit by not exploring it.

(Editor Note: While listening to the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast recently, I was alerted to the fact that Chelsea haven’t beaten a top 10 team in the league this season (top 10 at the time the match was played). This helped to point me towards a bet on Manchester City to beat them last Sunday at generous odds of 5/4).

6) Write more

I haven’t been nearly as active as I had hoped when it comes to writing articles. It’s something I enjoy and hopefully something of use to you. This year I’ll be writing up more content on a more regular basis that I hope will spark up interesting conversations, debates and more profit for all of us all round!

7) Study more

I’m currently studying a Masters’ degree in Computer Science to help boost my skills in making predictive models and coding. This might improve my betting and trading but at the very least it might help me get a different kind of job if this all goes down the pan!

In line with the less is more approach, I want to spend less time trading but with higher stakes so I can free my brain up for some more learning.

8) Not beat myself up

I probably won’t achieve some of these, but I’ll try my best to make an effort. In times like this, that’s all you can do. Lockdown has given us all the opportunity to free up some time for other pursuits but sometimes it’s ok to switch off and have a lazy day or do something relaxing that doesn’t take up too much energy.

I love what I do but I’ve only had one day off since July. I’m going to make sure I take some time to recover and, if I’m not feeling it that day, just take a break.

Over to you

So, those are my main resolutions for this year. What about you?

Is there anything in your betting you want to look at this year? Anything you were proud of last year that you want to continue?

You can email use your thoughts at clients@thebetchat.com