BOZmail – 30th DECEMBER – the 2019 home of the BOZmail


Welcome to the new BOZmail service including the daily LESS IS MORE bet.






I promised you the article I published in April 2017 – just after the Cheltenham Festival finished – on the importance of breaking even. I reproduce the important edited highlights of it here as further insight to how and why I play like I do.


The Importance of Breaking Even

Hands up if you had a good Cheltenham. There will have been some of you I know but every bookmaker I've talked to is very smug. Not heard from one of them reporting losses. My old man backed both Champion Hurdle winner and Gold Cup winner and their returns covered all his losers leaving him home free on Labaik which he backed at 40/1 for the Supreme Novices in race one on day one. The profit he was showing at 6pm on the Friday was 40 points. Not a sou up or down on what he showed at the end of the first race. The rest of the week he had a whale of a time watching his favourite sport at its highest competitive level and literally broke even betting on it.

And that's what this column – in my series on betting psychology – is all about, the importance of breaking even. A breakthrough realisation for me in the early days and still the one that best helps me to keep ahead in the long term. It's not how everyone plays I know. For some, starting with a 100 point bank, they are not in the least bit phased by going 60 or 70 points into the bank. Confident they have the strategies to build back the losses. And certainly that belief in your methods is crucial but I learned early as a tipster that the big priced winners were neither a daily nor even a weekly occurrence for me. Not to be relied on anyways.  

Likewise the winning streak. In my 2016 annual tipping cycle, I had just six successful backs at 10/1 or over. That's with tipping every day, seven days a week. Likewise, my longest winning streak was just 8 days achieved last week of August. All seven of these successes were however notable for not having to cover any losses of substance. They were pretty much all pure winnings and there were no balancing losses of any great note simply because of the way I play day to day, doing my damnedest to stay at break even, or just either side thereof. So that when I do land the big one, I push my annual plus figure well forward.  

It's a psychology I can recommend if you have patience as a virtue in your personality. No rollercoaster ups and downs. Just long periods of equilibrium punctuated by occasional profit peaks and a healthy plus at the end of the year. And the bank in place pretty much throughout. The furthest I went into my starting 100 in 2016 was 8.67 points and the furthest this year so far is 7.38. And that was with a 21 day losing streak in January 2016.

The reason that didn't eat 21 points into my bank is because of the cautious way I play. Often hedging but more importantly keeping a keen and disciplined eye on my staking. Very often decreasing stakes after a loss and after a win too. Indeed, whenever my instinct is to up stakes, I question it per se. Am I really that confident of my tip? If after rigorous inquiry I am confident, I'll go up but that is not a frequent occurrence!

Much of the long term success of betting lies in getting your staking right, or at worst, minimising your mistakes. And, of course, I still make those.  

And thus my tipping sheet, which has been slightly the wrong side of break even ever since January 1st is back in the black. But still I patiently play with caution and wait for the big priced winner that will be pure profit. It is the way I play and show by example. Of course it can be mighty frustrating too. That feeling that a small winner is not really a winner but just a cover over the cracks of the loser. Or when the winner that wasn't strongly fancied won doing cartwheels with only a miniscule stake on it.  

It's a bedrock of the importance of breaking even that you learn to live with the difficult feeling of having undercooked a beezer bet. The downside of being ever cautious. And if you let that frustration get the better of you, best not play cautiously at all. Go back to gung ho and dealing with 60 or 70 point dents in your bank pronto!

My not playing that way is partly to do with realism in accepting that I'm not top notch at securing regular long priced winners. But also, and mainly, it's because being down to my last 30 points of bank would quite simply do my head in! I wake up sweating in a morning if I'm 5 points down!

I have been there, as a young punter in this game, and will put my hand up and admit to plonking all 30 remaining points of bank in desperation on one particularly strong fancy. Once with success I remember. And I also remember how dangerous and heady that drug of elation was in leading me to repeating it again a few times (unsuccessfully) before I got the message that it was not the way for me.  

As soon as I started playing with the absolute determination of never doing my 100 point bank again, I started the turn into being a winner. Both as a tipster and as a gambler myself. And they are two very different things but united by that premise that playing to break even most of the time – and having patience to wait for the mega win to roll in (and of course continuing to try to achieve that without serious risk of denting bank) works and is fundamental.

In my currently completed monthly gambling cycle (I run my tipping service to annual P/L but I always start afresh as a gambler on a monthly basis having found this more effective at keeping me personally focussed) I won big on day 2 and have employed all the psychological wiles to hang on to that success. The tactic I didn't employ however was taking a break.It is a critically important psychological filip and is just as pertinent in learning how to win as it is in learning how to lose.  

I got my plus for this month up to 4x the big win achieved on day 2 and still didn't take the break. Invincibility factor and habitual practice kicked in. Consequence? Two big losing days in the last four days of the monthly cycle. Days I know I could have minimised or simply avoided. Down to just 2x that day 2 win by the end of the month.

Taking the two days out now to work on writing this. Annoyed with myself as always that I still need to remind myself of my own advice! But busy also patting myself on the back for what has still been a good winning month and that I did remember to take a step back before catastrophe took hold. And assessing that part of the problem with my discipline this month has been not having the long period of break even to balance me.  

I got up too easily and too quick. Lost sight of gradual growth targets and allowed greed and the rhythm of betting every day to become habitual. Have much less trouble of this kind as a tipster. There, knowing that others are relying on me, I find the daily discipline and the sticking to the known rules much easier. The pain of losing is keener as a tipster so I am more constantly on watch to avoid.

As a gambler, much sloppier! Successful tipping has helped but not as much as I would have hoped! Even as I've been writing this, I've been putting the words down and thinking yes, that's exactly where I went wrong and I should have known better!

Always a learning curve of course.And the more I've gotten into this the more convinced I have become that the process of breaking even as a psychological cornerstone to daily activity is a positive fundamental to long term betting success.  

Yes you have to endure losing days but so you should also seek all the time to not let them turn into destructive bank busting streaks. Prepare yourself for the peaks of a long priced winner not needed to cover the losses.




I came close to calling a no play day Sunday with little of consequence over jumps but there will be a few gaps in January until the tennis starts so I’ll keep momentum for LIM whilst the winning thread is still on as this flat race does appeal a tad. El Hombre is the lay off his career high mark with no proven liking for this surface. Only time he ran here – albeit a class above this – he finished 13th of 13 showing no liking for the sharp turns.

Merhoob is the opposite and loves it here and will benefit from a fast pace and get every assistance from the saddle with Morris being the sort of jockey to never let his mount rest.

Outsiders Zac Brown and Doc Sportello are the other two I give a good chance to so it’s a fancied lay with a small spark that Morris can get the venue preference working for his mount.



0.3pt LAY on EL HOMBRE



BLWM LIM strike rates:  LAYS: 21.5/27 = 79.62% :   BACKS: 2/17 = 11.76%



THE BOZmail NH horses To Follow list will arrive on this service on January 1st 2019 with its own starting bank and advices in line with encouraging a portfolio approach to successful punting.




Stands at 9.5 points.



(remember that stake of successful first leg bet is always returned directly to bank and that stake for leg two is simply the winnings from leg one.)


LEG 1:

Redditch fell in a hole trying to equalise but that was a disastrous show.Haven’t had chance for proper post mortem yet but will be leaving them alone for rest of season now. First time bank has been breached since service began so serious work on now before next acca is initiated. Likely to switch focus to To Follow horses for a while.


Good Luck with your bets.




The BOZmail golden rules:


1/ Try to look where others do not.

2/ Make sure your selections are as good as you can get them(that’s my job here)

3/ Get your staking right (up when confident – down when less so or when managing bank)

4/ Do all in your power to get best price available(whether that be using price comparison sites or using partial staking techniques on the exchanges when unsure which way a price might go. Be careful not to take exchange ‘silly prices’ if you are going in early on a price. Always check bookmaker tissue prices first to get a guide on what to expect from the market if it is not yet properly formed on the exchanges)

5/ Never accept an overall loss. This has been my mantra for 22 years. The year the BOZmail posts an overall loss is the year I pack in.


I play cautiously and strategically with bank management also always in mind. The staggered acca is the attempt to win large from small stake. The LIM is the cashbuilder to gradually accumulate profit over a 12 month period.


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