The Church of Betting

The Good Tipsters

The Good Tipsters

I have since only written one article about tipsters – Cheap Tipster Tricks – trying to show you all the nonsense and deceit so common in the tipster business. I thought it is a bit unfair to focus only on the one side of the story so today I would like to introduce you one of the tipsters whom I really like and who has so far achieved great results tipping and betting on the Estonian football leagues. Erik has his own P&L betting blog (already featured in my Recommended section) describing his learning experience in Estonian football and the steps he is taking to improve his betting game. He also has a TipsterTube account where he shares his tips for free (for now) and where he has so far achieved a great yield of 18.24% out of 69 tips and acquired 179 followers.

At the moment Erik is not tipping as Estonian football is in its winter break, but he has agreed to give an interview for the Church of Betting, which I am sharing with you here. I hope the insights given by Erik would help you to acquire some further understanding of football betting and get an idea on how a serious tipster operates. I have marked my questions in bold, my notes in italic and Erik’s answers in regular text.

The Interview

Hi Erik, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Could you please tell us a few words about yourself? What are you up to these days and how are you filling your time during the Estonian football season break?

Hi everyone. I’m Erik and I’m a sports and data fanatic. I’m 27 and currently working as a Business Intelligence developer. I have followed football since I was a little kid and have had some jobs in the industry also. During the Estonian football season break I have built a ratings system for top division teams and also players. I’m also constantly looking for more ways to gather and learn data. But mostly I have just followed other tipsters who are better in other leagues that are currently being played.

Before we go on to the betting stuff, just one more personal question: Did you remain an Owen fan after his move to Man Utd? I remember it almost broke my heart…

For me the true and only real Owen was the guy who played for England and Liverpool. Everything that came later wasn’t just the same.

So you were working as a live odds operator for a betting company. How much would you say did that experience help you in learning to spot value on the betting markets?

I don’t necessarily say that it helped me to spot value, but it helped me a lot in general. I watched a lot of matches daily, I saw how the prices are being calculated and how prices shift during the match. Unfortunately I wasn’t that much interested in betting during the time. Well it was prohibited to us anyway. So maybe if I had more interest in the betting field as a tipster and bettor then maybe I would have learned more.

You have mentioned that you managed to gain some extra edge by utilizing the live betting markets. You often tip live on TipsterTube. When do you prefer to bet live as opposed to pre-game? And in case you go for live betting, how do you decide when exactly to take a position during a game? Do you follow certain rules or is it more of a gut feeling?

For me live betting is way more important than pre-game betting. You can see the lineups and runningball to compare what I had in mind or in paper. Also it is way easier to stake more in-play and be less noticed of your bettings and the price lasts longer.

N: Erik is raising a great point here about the opportunities that live betting offers as it comes to staying under the radar and avoiding/circumventing limits. I have also shortly covered the topic in my article about Middles, check it out if you haven’t.

E: Entering point is something that I need to work on more, but in general there are two rules, first if the price is good, then I usually want to be in 10 minutes after kickoff. This is to protect me from rball bettors and late wakers who might also see the value. The second rule is if the price meets the line earlier than expected. For example if I think -1 AH should be 1.8 on 60th minute, but it comes in on 40th minute.

There is a widely held view in the betting circles that the closing line reflects most adequately the true probabilities of all outcomes in a game. Do you share that view as it comes to Estonian football? When betting pre-game, do you prefer to place your bets as soon as the market opens or shortly before the game starts?

I think it’s usually true, that’s why most of average punters lose and few win. For Estonia I’d say it is mostly true for the top division, less true in second division and false in the lower divisions.

When betting pre-game then it depends. Usually Estonian leagues don’t have very good liabilities, so I have to wait, before betting or tipping. But sometimes I have to bet as early as possible, when there is some liability and I might be off the computer during kickoff time or know that the price wouldn’t hold.

So far you have focused mostly on Estonian football. Would you consider applying your methods to another football league? In general, how important do you think league-specific knowledge and experience are in today’s betting markets?

I think I have plenty to do with Estonian football at the moment. My goal is not to become professional tipster, rather just good profitable tipster and maybe semi-pro bettor.

For league-specific knowledge I think it is way underrated and way oversimplified topic. For my tipping it is the most important knowledge I have. I know most of the players, I know how some players may boost team confidence and some team news may reflect on results. For me, knowing the league is a must!

How do you deal with limits? Being that you turn a profit every month and lower leagues are often covered by only a few bookies I imagine this can turn into an issue.

Yes, this has been an issue. I have been limited nearly 10 times now. After losing my first Bet365 I felt really bad and really good at the same time. I knew that I’m going in the right direction, but now I have to face some obstacles. For an Estonian player it has been a rough second part of the year as Estonian located players are not allowed in Bet365 until they reopen it in 2017. This made things also a little more complicated, but you have to adjust with the situation or you will lose.

For new bettors I suggest to sign up for maybe 10 different bookies accounts when starting. Take the sign-up bonus, learn with it, make some of your own bets and then leave your account there for a while. Focus only for like 2-3 account then and share your bets around them. When you get limited from one of them, then switch for another 2-3 account and leave others to stay under the radar.

On the same topic, which are your most used bookmakers? Do you find good odds in the sharp bookies and the exchanges or do you resort to the soft ones?

Most used ones are bet365, marathon, 10bet, some local ones and Asian markets through Sportmarket.

N: Sportmarket appears to be another betting broker offering access to a number of Asian bookies and exchanges. You can read more on the topic of betting brokers here.

E: So I’d say it is a mix of big, small and Asian bookies. I usually have money on 3-4 bookies.

You mention in your blog that aside from making your own tips you also follow some tipsters. Is that still the case? Would you recommend someone?

This is actually my main focus. I spend quite a lot of time to find good tipsters and learn from them. Most of my money is made thanks to tipsters like myself. I’d say 50% tipsters, 40% my own bets, 10% other.

I recommend looking into and sites. There are some really good tipsters out there. For different tipsters it is important that they will suit your betting style. I have found that I don’t need many tips, rather less tips and more value. Some like to gamble more and win on betting a lot and with a smaller win margin.

In your profile in TipsterTube you have an impressive 18.24% yield from 69 tips, which have attracted the interest of a total of 179 followers in a relatively short period of time. Given that, do you plan to start charging for your tips in future?

I have thought about it yes. I’m looking forward to 2017 and hopefully I will be able to improve my results. When I reach something like 250 followers I think I will stay free for followers, but charge new followers. Maybe eventually I will charge all my followers, but it all depends on my results. I would never charge for month with no profit.

N: I imagine once Estonian football season resumes Erik’s followers will keep growing with great pace and will probably reach 250 quite fast. Meaning now might be one of your last chances to subscribe to his great tips for free. Don’t let it slip!

I imagine your knowledge about Estonian football would be a useful asset for many bookmakers. Would you consider going back to the bookies? Did the “dark side” try to solicit you already?

I have thought about it, but the main issue is that I don’t like to work on weekends and evenings 😀 That is why I quitted the live odds operator work. If I would go to work for a bookie, then maybe for data analytics/science. Not to price Estonian football.

What are your next plans? You wrote you will give a shot to trading, did that go somewhere or will you rather stick to Value Betting at this point?

My next plans are to step up with Estonian tipping/betting and focus more on value betting. For now I have left trading aside, but as I do data analysis every day at work then I think, I will check it out at some point again.

For me 2017 main goal is to stay sharp in tipping and focus on building betting bankroll. My weakest point at the moment is cashing out. I repaired my apartment and traveled Europe with betting money, but because of that I have stayed on the same level during 2016. Now 2017 I hope to not cash out a lot and steadily grow my bankroll.

Finally, is there something more you would like to share with our readers?

The main thing about sports betting is, that you have to enjoy it. I tried trading on the horse racing. But I have never enjoyed the sport. So my motivation lowered every day until I didn’t care anymore. Football is something I have followed a lot and still enjoy it. So it is easy for me to do the research, look for momentum changes in the match, keep an eye on the rball and so on.

You never win in the long term, unless you enjoy it.

From my own experience I must confirm that is absolutely true. Thank you for the motivating words and for the great insights. I wish you best of luck with your future betting activities and even better results in 2017!

I hope you have enjoyed the interview with Erik and have managed to learn something from his ways. Make sure to follow Erik’s blog, the Soccerbetblog, so that you don’t miss any new content from him. Moreover, don’t miss the chance to follow Erik on TipsterTube, where he will be posting the best tips on Estonian football again in 2017. If you have any questions on the topics we went through in the interview, feel free to drop a comment. Erik will also be around and will try to answer your questions!

More on the topic of tipster services, in my next article I will give and explain to you an easy to use statistical formula with which you can evaluate the performance of tipsters. I will also be announcing a few affiliate deals for some great betting services and products that I will be promoting on my blog. As you have perhaps noticed I have added a gambling news feed to the blog to keep you posted on what’s happening in the industry. I will keep adding new and exciting material on everything betting related in the new year as well, so make sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook to stay tuned. I also wish all of you a great holiday season and hope to see you around in 2017!


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