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October 2008: Winners To Losers System Review
It has been a fortnight since I first introduced you to the Winners To Losers (W2L) system, dear reader, and from a personal point of view it has not been the most straightforward of reviews to perform.
Let me explain: W2L is a simple enough system, with just seven rules. Six of them are child's play in that they're so straightforward. And the seventh is only slightly more difficult. But it does involve two date parameters which have caused me problems.
Now, before you start thinking, 'If Matt has problems with them, I'll probably have problems too', I need to put your mind at rest. The problems I've had were entirely of my own creation and nothing to do with any difficulty in using the system.
I simply believed I had committed the rule to memory when I went away (the guide being on my other laptop), but had the parameters wrong.
Mercifully, Dave, the system author and owner of the very promising TAPS service, has been putting me right on a daily basis.
The final nail in my own coffin was yesterday, when I said there were two qualifiers. There were none. Again, the same rule caused me a problem. Again, I had failed to correctly recall the parameter. [I'm actually pretty annoyed with myself for some shoddy reporting, which is not what you expect of me, and not what I expect of myself. Public humiliation over.]
OK, so allowing for my misreporting, how easy is the system to follow (assuming you have it in front of you!), and how useful is it anyway?
In terms of ease to follow, I'd say anyone who understands the concept of laying and has a betfair account will have no problem with using the system. It's pretty much entry level on the lay side.
But entry level doesn't mean it's ineffective.
The results in the two weeks trial can be seen here. Although the system made a small loss, two weeks is a very small window in which to trial a product where losers will set you back around seven or eight points. A system like this really merits a trial of around two months to get a feel for it.
And this is an important point: if you need your first ten bets to all be winners, then it may not be for you. The truth is that all laying systems require at least a degree of patience and discipline, and W2L is no different.
Dave was quite concerned about the fact that the short trial period could produce misleading results, and provided me with the following information to support his worries:
Just take a look at some past results and imagine the opinion people would have been given if the 'test' had taken place during one of the spells highlighted! (For ease of reference I have quoted the profits/losses to ï¿½100 level backer's stakes at SP although we do strongly recommend laying to a set 'Liability)....
15/05/2005 to 23/05/2005 - LOSS ï¿½1,315.00
17/06/2005 to 18/06/2005 - LOSS ï¿½1,305.00
Final PROFIT that year... PROFIT ï¿½6,667.00
28/01/2006 to 10/02/2006 - LOSS ï¿½1,315.00
03/12/2006 to 27/12/2006 - LOSS ï¿½1,305.00
Final PROFIT that year... PROFIT ï¿½9,337.00
16/02/2007 to 07/03/2007 - LOSS ï¿½1,930.00
14/10/2007 to 17/10/2007 - LOSS ï¿½1,520.00
Final PROFIT that year... PROFIT ï¿½10,998.00
21/04/2008 to 24/04/2008 - LOSS ï¿½1,335.00
05/07/2008 to 18/07/2008 - LOSS ï¿½2,240.00
PROFIT up to 31/08/2008... PROFIT ï¿½12,107.00
As with every system, my maxim rings true: "After a good run, expect a bad run. After a bad run, expect a good run".
It is only with a good product, where the good runs pay more than the bad runs lose, that you can hope to come out in front. There is no silver bullet.
Let me say that again: THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET.
Horse racing is a game that has perplexed the greatest intellectual minds for centuries across the globe. Nobody has a right to think they can find winners on tap.
But if you use a few well chosen systems and a healthy chunk of discipline and belief, you have a fine chance of coming out on top.
I've been able to verify Dave's profit statements using Racing Systems Builder which means that, despite showing a small level stakes loss (three points) during the trial period, W2L still gets the thumbs up from me on its overall sustainability.
In fact, I was able to ascertain that the rules in this system would have been profitable for any period I cared to go back to in RSB.
Since 2005, you'd have made a profit of around ï¿½8,000 laying selections for just ï¿½20 stakes. If your means are more significant, you'd have been looking at over ï¿½39,000 for ï¿½100 stakes.
This is a time proven system, which is simple enough and accessible enough for almost everyone.
Unsurprisingly, as it has such a proven pedigree, it doesn't come cheap. At $197, it's one of the more expensive racing systems out there. And in this case, like Stella Artois, it is reassuringly expensive. (Though unlike Stella, if you use it a lot, it is not going to give you a raging hangover and make you swear, 'Never Again!').