Yesterday I told you about DataKings, a brand new service that will be launched next Tuesday…
In that email I focused on a review from our Head Reviewer Peter Philipson (you can read it here) and Peter’s involvement with the project, however what I didn’t tell you much about was the man behind DataKings.
That man is another Peter, Peter Higson, and the interview below should tell you everything you need to know about him and his service.
So Peter, could you tell me a little bit about yourself, your background and how you came to get into the world of sports betting?
I trained as an accountant, then specialised in credit management before various roles as Operations, Sales and Commercial Directors. My last position was as a company MD coupled with a non-executive directorship in a large national UK marketing consortium.
When I turned 50 ten years ago (ish!!), we moved to the countryside and I walked away from all of the ‘employed’ jobs to concentrate on some part-time business consultancy work.
The children had grown up, moved out, so it was just me, the wife and the dog with plenty of time for pursuing some leisure interests.
I have always had a passing interest in sports betting but mainly just the odd football game or horse race. Nothing structured and I had quickly realised that with no plan, no profit followed, so mostly I had been sensible and left it alone.
In whatever spare time I am left with I am also a Forex currency trader – the methods, disciplines, trends, data analysis are so very similar to my sports betting approach, only the ‘commodity’ in question of course is a horse, rather than a euro or dollar…
As far as the racing goes though, the huge huge game-changer was the arrival of Betfair, which I am sure we will talk about later.
I’ve been around this trade for many years, why haven’t i heard of you before?
Simple and that’s good to hear!.
I have up until now preferred to keep a low profile, below the radar – clearly successfully!
Clients have always come to me by word of mouth, so there has never been the need, or desire, for a public profile. For more than a decade, I have never needed to advertise. Every client signs a confidentiality agreement. Their inclusion in the other services ceases if that is breached – and I have not lost a client yet.
However this DataKings system will reach a market target audience that i do not have access to – this profile is outlined later…
I believe it to be unique and the application of the automated software in this way is ground breaking.
As you know, i remain, to a degree, reticent about the publicity the promotional campaign will entail – and I still believe it sensible to cap the numbers – but i am nevertheless excited about the prospects and am entrusting the enrolment process exclusively to you. My focus will be on optimising the system performance.
What was it about betting systems and the associated data analysis that especially appealed to you rather than, say, traditional form study or simply following a tipster?
For most of my business life I have studied, analysed, interpreted and been guided by figures…
I have always had a very deep conviction that the right way to make any consistent profit from betting is not through trainer/jockey/owner tips, hearsay, or anecdotal information but through analysis of racing performance data and the conclusions that can be drawn. I now have access to a wealth of such data and it is this that drives the DataKings selection process.
Your question also brings up an interesting point, as you say “betting systems rather than traditional form study”.
The soon to be released DataKings system has been very carefully crafted based upon a fundamental premise that it is the favorite that will be the selection.
Now if you pause to consider why the favourite is the favourite… well I venture to suggest that, every conceivable aspect of form study for any horse in any race, leads logically to the favourite being the horse on the day that has the best form – doesn’t it? So I am inevitably automatically taking all of the form study into account.
With the bookmaker margin on favourites considerably lower than any other price band (they do win a large percentage of races after all) the odds are already swinging in my favour BEFORE I even start to put the system to work and apply some filters…
The filters are there to help me find reasons NOT to pick that horse in that race on that track etc.
Your soon to be released service DataKings has obviously been a long time in the making. Can you tell me a little about the development of the service, from the initial idea, to your experiences working with our very own Head Reviewer, Peter Philipson?
Betfair completely changed the whole landscape.
Not betting against a bookie, good odds, market liquidity, a simple instant online process, laying opportunities, keeping your betting pot in one account… WOW. I opened an account within three months of them starting up.
My data and statistics enabled me to start putting together a few simple systems that could work through Betfair. Initially this was for my own use. However over a short period of time, friends, family, word of mouth introductions and business acquaintances were all tapping into the selections. In hindsight I wish I had tied up an affiliate scheme with Betfair at that time!
Over time the system grew – backing, laying, dutching (or greening up as it is often known) and a spin off was various clients asking more and more for something “bespoke”. It might be a system for a particular racetrack, a system for handicap sprints, something on all- weather favourites, certain national hunt distances…
No problem – I had the data and was quickly learning the best methods of picking the most pertinent bits of data to get the right results.
So for most of the past decade this is what I have been doing with a fairly small group of clients. However what I have noticed over past few years is that there is a very large group of individuals that only have a passing interest in horse racing per se, BUT a huge interest in anything that will enable them to make some tax-free profit, without having to do any research, form analysis, open several bookmaker accounts or spend much time at all doing it!
My idea was to develop a selection system that did everything for such a person, was incredibly simple to follow, was fully automated and took minimal time. This was vital – 5 minutes work, and then forget – no need to spend any time at all at the PC placing bets or watching races or even have any knowledge of the sport!
I needed some automation software. After many dead ends I found one that with some changes could deliver what I needed – Betex trader.
So for the past 18 months I have been working with Betex to specify how the software could be improved to handle my Betplans, become more user friendly and be robust enough to run un-monitored during the days racing. It took until August last year to pull most of these elements together.
Throughout this time Peter Philipson had been keeping a weather eye on results performance and the impact of the software changes…
When I felt that the software had become a package that could be endorsed alongside the bet selections Peter agreed to formally monitor/proof the system results and also to provide feedback as a ‘user’ of the software. This has been enormously helpful in further refining the ‘bot’ performance…
Just in the last few days for instance the final bit of the jigsaw – an export to Excel of the day’s results – has been introduced.
I think Peter would readily agree that the DataKings service combined with the Betex software is a vastly better product than the relatively raw components we started with 18 months ago. I must record my thanks for all of his input along the way.
So what sort of expectations do you have for the continued performance of the service in terms of potential profits?
Well, Peter’s proofing figures are already visible in his Betting Rant review and they are broadly in line with the selections performance since January 2012 for over 11,000 bets.
The staking is conservative though we do not advise level stakes – although it is of course profitable to level stakes, far better results are achieved with our plans. These stake either 1%, 1.5% or 2% of a moving bank i.e. as your bank grows the % risked stays the same but the bet value increases.
A duplicate set of plans are available for download for anyone wishing to use only a portion of their Betfair bank balance for the system (if they are running other strategies through Betfair for example).
During the proofing period a starting bank has more than tripled in value. At the time of this conversation Peter has proofed 723 bets, 302 winners, (42%) and a £1000 starting bank now stands at £3715 (after Betfair commissions).
The data and statistics used are of a substantial volume. I am confident that the system will deliver a continuing excellent level of return if the compounded staking Betplans are used.
As you mentioned earlier, in order to use the service you also need access to a piece of software. Can you tell us a little bit about this?
Sure. A couple of years ago this was known as Auto Fox. It is now Betex trader. It is fully approved and endorsed by Betfair and I use it myself because it presents a much simpler user interface than some of its competitors.
It’s very specific advantage though is that it offers the possibility of placing a bet instantly as the race actually starts – as soon as they are ‘off’.
This is vital as horse races never ever start on time. Even a few seconds delay (and often it can be as long as an hour) can mean that the race favourite changes or the price takes the horse inside or outside of parameters – leading to many many wrong bets.
This software fires in the bet directly to the Betfair mainframe within a second of the race actually starting – not the race start time. The software is incredibly easy to use. It can be downloaded and a user can be live within 15 minutes. I give full instructions on set up to subscribers and there are also full instructions that come with the download.
All of the Betplans (these are the instructions that you give the ‘bot’ telling it what parameters need to be met before sending in a bet) that a client will need are ready for download.
For the most easy, painless and straightforward introduction to automated betting, you need look no further than Betex – believe me I have tried them all – and I would not pin my DataKings to the Betex mast if I was not 100% certain.
One final comment and it is a very sophisticated piece of software – it is also truly exceptional value at less than 30p per day. It can of course be used for a variety of other sports betting strategies and I am delighted that we have a special deal (zero money or payment details upfront) that enables potential users to try the software out for 21 days before committing.
Now obviously a lot of Betting Rant readers may be used to more traditional betting strategies and may never have used software with their betting before. Is this something that even a beginner can use with ease?
Yes. I do not believe there is a simpler, more user friendly and competitively priced software package available.
Upon joining, a subscriber downloads a file containing a series of 56 Betplans. As mentioned above these are just the specific instructions given to the ‘bot’ as to what criteria need to be in place to enable it to fire in a bet. It will then do this automatically according to the instructions given e.g. how much to stake etc.
The Betplan numbers for the next day’s racing are notified to members the night before. It is a five minute exercise. Hit the start trading button. That’s it.
You do not have to be present during the day as the software will run automatically. At the end of the day’s racing you can check you results – these can also be downloaded to Excel.
A slightly different configuration will enable you to access the Betex software from a laptop, tablet or smartphone and set up the Betplans from wherever you are in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Truly portable!
There’s no searching around for best odds from different bookies. The bot will always achieve or get very close to the BSP – Betfair Start Price.
That’s good to hear. I’m guessing with the automation it’s also something that people with no real interest in horseracing can use?
Definitely. As long as you can use a PC or laptop it is no more difficult than navigating your way around a website.
It will take no more than five minutes of anyone’s time to load the following day’s plans and this can be done the evening before.
The Betplan does all of the work. If prevailing criteria within the Betplan are not met, no bet is placed.
So what sort of starting bank would you recommend for anybody who wants to try out the service?
The simple advice I always give is only to bet what you can afford to lose. If you are emotionally attached to your money serious thought should be given as to whether this is right for you – or indeed if any form of betting is!
Having said that, there is a minimum Betfair stake of £2, so realistically I would say that while you could certainly start with £200, a better starting figure is £500 perhaps but again, I stress it is whatever you feel comfortable with.
A £200 bank and using the 1% Betplan means your first bet would be £2. A £500 bank and 2% staking means an initial bet of £10… £1000 start with 1.5% plan is £15 first bet etc.
Finally (and I know you mentioned this very briefly earlier), the selections for this service will be placed with Betfair. If somebody is already using Betfair for other strategies are they able to segment their Betfair balance so they can continue to use the other strategies?
Yes. This was the penultimate modification that I stipulated Betex had to introduce before we could consider launching DataKings (incidentally the last request is the download/exporting of results to Excel which I believe is out next week).
A user can either attach Betplans that base the staking upon their entire Betfair balance, or download an alternative set of plans that work upon a % of the Betfair balance – a ‘virtual’ bank. The amount is predetermined by the user when setting up the software for the first time. It can of course be changed at any time.
Good stuff. Thanks for talking to us today and best of luck!
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Category: Betting Advice