Note – the video introductions may take some time to load as they are 6MB to 10MB
VIDEO INTRODUCTION I
VIDEO INTRODUCTION II
VIDEO INTRODUCTION III
CONS TO AVOID
MY CURRENT SET-UP
MY TRADING JOURNALS & VIDEOS
Although my overall experience with sports arbitrage has been very positive and profitable, there have been a number of companies I have dealt with which, frankly, conned me. Some losses have been small and just irritating, whilst others have been substantial and quite painful to bear.
Everything here is an expression of my personal opinions based on my personal experience, written not out of rancour but just to act as a warning to you to exercise caution.
WinRiskFree/BetArbitrage – Arb Hunting Software
Update: I have been threatened with legal action by the WinRiskFree company for posting email correspondence on my site. This came as quite a shock to me, but I suppose the company has to do what it can to prevent bad news about it leaking out. Therefore, I’ve edited parts of my report below, taking out the email and paraphrasing instead.
This company is now also advertising under the guise of “BetArbitrage”. Beware – it is the same company and same product.
When I first read about this, I thought it may well be the ultimate solution for arb-hunting. Software that you run on your own computer, which downloads prices from bookmakers and spits arbs out at you.
The demo version is free to download, so I went for it with great excitement, calculating that if this worked as well as the vendor claimed, then I’d be able to replace all of my expenditure on arb services with a subscription to this software. The demo, which is restricted to getting prices from two bookmakers, loaded up easily enough and I had it running in less than 10 minutes.
I did a few quick comparisons with the actual bookmaker sites and was able to verify that the software was gathering the prices “live”. I noticed that it wasn’t quite real-time, as there was a lot of work going on in the background in order while the data was being processed. Still it was a lot faster than I could do manually so I thought I’d give it a shot and purchase the full version.
After my experience with Odds Exchange, I decided to be cautious and opt for the 1-month package, with a view to allowing the next month’s profits to pay for the full year.
The update to the full version was easy and within 10 minutes, I had it installed and was ready to run it. The full version had 20 bookmakers and scanned each for 8 sports – soccer, tennis and 6 American sports.
There were a few preference settings to go through, such as choosing which bookmakers and sports to scan and what level of arb should trigger an alarm. There were 2 bookmakers which I do not use so I disabled those, leaving 18 on the list. I also switched off soccer because of the time of year and because I wanted to concentrate first on 2-way arbs.
By now I was extremely excited at the thought of having the software patrolling for arbs on my behalf.
I pressed the button to start the scanning and watched as the program’s window began filling up with data, from one bookmaker at a time. It appeared to be working exactly as the demo had done, except that I was noticing a considerable slowdown in my PC. As I attempted to write an email, the words I was typing were taking a couple of seconds to display on my screen – as if my fingers were faster than my computer – which was very unusual.
*This part of my report has been edited due to the threat by WinRiskFree of legal action against me*
When I tried to find out from the company whether this was normal or if anything could be done about it, I found out that since building the content for the main display involves cross querying many lines it was likely to use 100% of the computer resources, causing the computer to freeze. In fact, the program appears to have been designed to hog resources because that is the quickest way for it to update the active lines. The advice given is to stop the program once an arb has been found, so that the heavy processing can also stop. Solutions to this dilemma appear to be to limit the amount of time the software is run and reduce the number of bookmakers that it scans. In my view this defeats the object.
I had just bought a new PC in June. It’s the most powerful computer I have ever owned and at the time I purchased it my son told me that the specification was overkill for my purposes so I know that my PC is up to the job.
My new computer:
Processor: Pentium 4: 3.0GHz
Memory (RAM): Dual-channel DDR400/333: 1GB
Memory (Hard drive) U160 SCSI: 146GB
Graphics: 8X AGP
My initial excitement about this software was fast turning to disappointment.
I decided to try my best to make the software pay for itself and then stop using it. I paid $100 for the month so I didn’t think it would be too hard to make it back.
I started it up, running 18 bookmakers but only scanning for one sport – tennis. It didn’t take long for my system to slow down again, although it was bearable as long as I didn’t have anything else running. I shut down Quicken, Excel and Outlook and turned the volume up so that I’d hear any arbs come in.
After about 10 minutes, I heard the alarm, and saw that the software had indeed located an arb. The details were
NADAL 1.25 LADBROKES
NORMAN 5.50 OLYMPIC
I stopped the program from scanning, and typed some numbers into its built-in stake calculator. I knew that Ladbrokes would limit my stake to £250 but I would be able to double this by using my son’s account. So I was to place a total of £500 on Nadal and balance this with £115 on Norman.
I placed my bets at Ladbrokes whilst I had the betslip at Olympic ready. I then entered my stake at Olympic at which point, the screen froze. An error message came up saying the WinRiskFree has caused an illegal operation and would now shut down. I clicked okay and, to my horror, my computer rebooted of its own accord. It took 3 minutes for it to shut down and fully reboot during which time I was sweating the fact that I still had £500 outstanding at Ladbrokes. As soon as I was able to, I went back to Olympic only to find that their price had now moved to 4.50. DAMN! This now meant that I had to place £147 on Norman and accept a locked-in loss of £22 instead of a sure win of £11
So my first arb with this software had turned into a loss because it crashed my system. I decided to go downstairs for a walk to calm down.
When I returned, I opened Outlook to write an email to the software company. I had actually forgotten about leaving Outlook closed and it turned out that I had missed several arb opportunities from my other subscription services. I scanned through them half-heartedly, knowing that they would all be expired by now when 2 very similar arbs caught my eye. They were both on the Nadal/Norman match and both involved Ladbrokes and Olympic. The differences were that one had arrived 6 minutes before WinRiskFree had alerted me and the other had arrived almost 5 full minutes before that. In addition, the early one showed Olympic as offering 6.50 on Norman – which meant that I had missed out on a 7% arb.
Again I tried to find out why this program was not performing as I expected it to.
*This part of my report has been edited due to the threat by WinRiskFree of legal action against me*
It appears that the logic used by the software to pull lines is not perfect. It assumes that the HTML format has not changed. When bookmaker sites change the layout of their sites even slightly (which happens extremely often – daily in some cases) the software then may not show any lines from that site, or it may show wild numbers that do not correctly reflect the bookmaker’s lines.
It also became clear to me that the software is not equipped to deal with the many variances in the way that bookmakers might spell the names of teams of players. If the spelling is not standard, then that bookmaker’s prices are ignored and any arbs which it may be involved in are not reported.
In addition, since the software relies entirely upon my computer resources and the bandwidth provided by my internet connection bandwidth to gather and process the information, this is a source of potential bottlenecks which slowdown the software so that some arbs are advised late.
So, when using this software, you still need to monitor the bookmaker sites manually, or simply remain ignorant of many arbs that are being missed due to these variances. For me, this means that there is absolutely no value from this software as it does not actually reduce the amount of work involved.
Laughably, the company still claims that “Despite these occasional problems, you will find that getting your lines directly from the bookmakers is far superior to any competing systems.”
I have been severely disappointed with this company and its software. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I would advise against wasting any time or money with them.
earnriskfree.com / riskfreeprofit.com / surebetpro.com
My normal instinct was to stay away from this outfit for the following reasons:
– they are pushing their arbitrage software as an MLM opportunity
– they appear to have a number of aliases that they operate under
– much of their site text has been copied from other arbitrage websites
– they use unknown payment processors which they have chopped and changed at least twice since I have been watching them
All of this gave me the initial feeling that there is something not quite right about this company.
In the end, it’s only because of this site, and the number of requests I’ve had for a review of the software, that I decided to give it a try.
Well, I wasted $139.
The software seems to be a copy of the winriskfree software but with a different look. Actually it looks very pretty, resembling software found on the Apple Mac. But it has exactly the same problems as the winriskfree software and I uninstalled it after 5 minutes.
To add insult to injury I’m now getting 2 or 3 spam messages each day from people who have been sucked into the MLM aspect & are now trying to make money by recruiting new members!
UPDATE: The company owner, a James Beattie, has recently started making claims that he made a deal with 50 bookmakers to get their odds directly into the software. Unfortunately, this appears to be a blatant lie. It seems to me that they have done a deal with the likes of oddsexchange.com or betbrain.com to use their lines. This has almost no value because the data is available for free on the respective websites and the problem is that it is not updated frequently enough to be of use in arbitrage.
It’s my opinion that the people running this are simply trying to hype up some inferior software using MLM techniques to make as much as they can from unsuspecting customers and agents as fast as they can before it all
I will revisit this again in a few months to see if anything has changed, but for the time being my recommendation is to steer clear.
UPDATE: In the last 6-8 months, RFP have become operational and they have made some changes to their desktop software. It no longer hogs PC resources as before. However, my opinion of RFP is that they have a slick marketing method and an army of recruits willing to say anything in order to sell more product. With respect to the product itself, the desktop software is now very well-presented and has some nice features. The fundamental problem is their price-collection: it is much slower than 4 out of 6 of the other software-driven service providers and it delivers most arbs 4-6 minutes later than the competition. This goes some way to confirm that the claim about direct price-feeds is a lie. It has also occurred to me that if they genuinely had a direct feed then their software would never display errors. Since this is not the case, by a long shot, my feeling remains that they continue to use an inferior 3rd party solution to collect the odds.
Until they resolve this, the product is close to useless for trading purposes – which is why the MLM army sell it so enthusiastically; it’s the only way for them to make money with the product.
This is another MLM company using arbitrage software as the product.
ArbTracker displays arbs on a website in a members-only area. The results are fairly poor and seem to be gleaned from the free odds-sites such as Betbrain.
A little research on Google actually reveals that the owners of this company used to work with surebetpro (above) and stole the customer list to start up a rival. Although this doesn’t necessarily have any impact on the service, it does give you some idea of the type of people running the company and how safe your own personal details might be in their hands.
My advice would be to avoid any contact with this company and certainly not to give them any money unless they are first able to impress you with a free trial.
First Independent Corporation
This company recently started advertising offline (and spamming online) quite heavily and for some reason they refer to arbs as “agios”.
The content of the ads is extreme hype, suggesting for example, that there is a potential to increase funds employed by up to 320% over a month. Sports arbitrage can be profitable but certainly not to that degree.
Companies that advertise this way are usually best avoided – if they are prepared to present such hype and nonsense as a realistic appraisal of sports arbitrage, then in my opinion they are either liars or completely ignorant of the activity.
However, after a brief telephone conversation with the proprietor, Mr. John Donaldson, I was offered a 4-week free trial which I accepted.
Although Mr. Donaldson claimed to be using “special software and a team of specialists” to source the arbs, it appears that the majority of the arbs are simply relayed from some of the other online arbitrage services. On most occasions, email messages would arrive between 30 and 60 minutes after I had received the same information from other sources.
Services such as this are simply a waste of time and money and it is unfortunate that they seem to be proliferating the web as the interest in sports arbitrage increases.
Sportsmaster “Sportsbet” software
This was my first venture into buying “arbitrage software”. Unfortunately, the site grossly exaggerates the scope of the software. It does not automatically search for arbs – all it does is help you to calculate whether an arb exists, when you type in the details. The whole process of typing in details is a lot slower than just using a calculator or spreadsheet and after spending a full 90 minutes making sure that I wasn’t missing something, I have not gone back to it again.
They also provided a service, which was supposed to update the software with arbs. In actual fact, they sent out 2 emails per week – on Friday and Saturday listing a few “value bets”. There are hardly any arbs and there is no sense of urgency about the service as there would need to be for any effective arb service.
This software, despite what the vendors suggest, will definitely not help you to find arbs automatically, so bear this in mind if you decide to buy it
Hedgesyn.com – Arbitrage HYIP (High Yield Investment Program)
This site promises investors a 10% return every 10 days, which equates to 30% each month.
It is not possible to make this type of return with sports-arbitrage consistently – a diligent trader will be able to return 10% each month whilst a single month return of 20% would be absolutely outstanding.
The people running this program have thus far ignored all invitations to explain how they can guarantee such unrealistic returns and as far as I can tell, the only way it is possible is by paying current member returns out of a mixture of arbitrage profits and new member investments. In other words, your returns will depend on the program managers suckering more investors into paying in to the fund.
Update: As of 3rd December, Hedgesyn appear to claiming that their e-Gold account has been “hacked” resulting in the loss of about 70% of client funds. Surprise, surprise.
There are quite a few of these types of “investment” programs springing up these days and they should all be avoided unless they offer much more realistic returns. In any case, however, you should keep in mind that your funds will not be protected by any regulator and you will effectively be handing your money over to a group of strangers whom you will simply have to trust to do the right thing.
It is very unfortunate that Oddsexchange.com, a company that really should know better, is now actually endorsing hedgesyn.com as a legitimate investment. They are doing this as affiliates – so they have a financial interest in signing up new investors. This appalls me as it has all the makings of a scam which will fleece those who are least able to afford a loss. It has lowered my opinion of the people running Oddsexchange.com considerably as it is now clear that they have no interest in the welfare of their clients.
If you want to make profits from sports-arbitrage, you will need to put the work in yourself – please do not hand over your money for investment to anyone who is unknown to you.
Streetwise Marketing – Arbitrage Advisory Service
This was the company which first introduced me to arbitrage. I paid £50 for a handbook, which was interesting enough to prompt me to investigate further but nowhere near detailed enough to be useful beyond that. But the book provided me with the push to learn more, so I am quite happy to have purchased it.
At the back of the book, the author mentioned a service which he provided to a “select few owner of the book”. An arb service where he and his team would do all the work, using their extensive experience to find arbs and send them to me immediately by email. Well, this sounded absolutely perfect. The only problem was that they wanted £999 up front for a 12-month subscription. This is pretty steep especially as at that time, my betting bank was only £5000. But the blurb was very convincing and I was obviously very naive. I sent them my cheque and within a week was placed on their mailing list.Over a period of just under 3 months, I received 53 arb emails from Streetwise. Unfortunately, not even one was actually bettable. On every single occasion the odds shown on the Arb Alert did not concur with those offered by at least one of the bookmakers stated.
I had thought that I would really be able to capitalise on the service as I’m in an advantageous position – at home all day and ready to act on Arbs as and when they are sent. So, initially, I assumed that I was doing something wrong.
I raised the problem with Streetwise and they said the only delay is in the ‘delivery’. So I started monitoring the despatch and receipt times on the alerts they sent, and the lag times were never more than 1 minute. It was becoming quite clear to me that these arbs were dead before they were even being sent out.
As I had been unable to make a single penny I asked for a refund of the £999 I had paid, which they refused. In fact the proprietor actually told me that 3 months was not enough time to see the service work. In the entire year I received alerts from this company I was able to make £64 on their information.
My advice is to steer well clear of this “service”.