My blog

  • May Review
    • Post in category: Last Month Review by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    Hello everyone. Just a couple of bets last month but both successful so a few more units in the bag. The season is almost over with only a few playoff matches remaining and considering that there is never great value in the championship deciding games, I decided to wrap things up for now and also give you an update for future plans and schedule.

    Next season begins much earlier this year due to the World Cup in China (31 August - 15 September) in which we will obviously get involved, so officially I will be back at August 30th and then go non-stop from that point for almost 9 months until June of 2020.

    This year has been relatively quiet so far regarding the number of picks but as usual, expect things to get much busier after August. Besides we are already in a nice position with a double digit profit for 2019 and hopefully you managed to at least get close to the official numbers.

    During this summer there will be no picks obviously but it's a nice opportunity to post some articles I've had in mind for some time now, including some insight into my betting strategy and also some general advice on tipster selection and management which I'm sure you will find very interesting.

    That's all for the time being. Expect to hear from me again later this month with a new post as promised and I wish you all a relaxing summer!

  • Update
    • Post in category: Overview by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    Hello guys. Seeing that we have fallen into a period in which I have advised no picks for almost a month now and I have received several emails especially from new subscribers wondering what is going on, I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain the situation a little better.

    Firstly, if you haven't done it already, I suggest reading last month's review as I give a brief overview of the current situation. On a more general note though I would like to emphasize again some points, especially for the new subscribers.(Welcome on board by the way!)

    This is a highly selective service, meaning annually you should expect 85-100 picks spread across the 8 to 9 months of the basketball season which usually starts from late September and finishes in early June. That doesn't mean those picks will be evenly distributed though. We may have months with just a handful of picks like last April and months with nearly 20 picks as in October 2016 and November 2017. Again it depends on several factors such as schedule density, matchups, odds etc. Usually September to December is the busiest and most profitable period for the service and we have always ended with a double digit profit these last 3 years during those stretches.

    Taking all this into consideration, you simply have to accept that there will be extended periods of inactivity during the course of the season. In fact 1 or 2 weeks with no picks advised are quite common as older members can testify. Having said that, it's also true that these last few weeks have been very quiet indeed and the longest period we have been inactive since the service started. So I fully appreciate how this can seem strange and even frustrating to some members.
    What I want to underline again here is that the usual work of researching the matches is always there regardless if it produces any tips or not but as I have stated repeatedly in the past, I simply don't compromise when the odds are concerned. I don't take speculative bets. If the value ISN'T there I don't get involved just as if the value IS there I have no problem taking 10-20 bets/month. That's just the way I work. Speaking of which, expect to see a separate post explaining my betting philosophy and strategy in more detail during the summer.

    Finally, one more thing you should be aware of. This is my 4th year tipping at Tipstersplace but I have been using the same strategy privately for many more years now. I know it works, period. The only thing you need to worry about is placing the bets, have patience and leave the rest to me. I hope this helps clarify the situation a little better. Thanks again for your trust and support!

  • April review
    • Post in category: Last Month Review by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    A small profit for the month but April was pretty quiet and we are in the midst of a period in which the schedule is light and at the same time either the matchups or odds are simply not favourable for betting. Times like this usually happen once or twice every year and this is clearly one of these periods.

    I fully understand that this apparent inactivity can be slightly frustrating but the service is anything but inactive during these times. You see, regardless of if there are any picks or not, the usual work of rigorously researching the games is always there but I simply have to draw the line somewhere especially as far as the odds are concerned. Sunday's game between Badalona and Barcelona was a prime example of this. I had identified the game since last Thursday seeing the opening odds of 3.65 for Badalona at Bet365 and was waiting for Pinnacle's opening line as well before advising the bet. Unfortunately the odds crashed everywhere in the meantime and as a result the opening line at Pinnacle was at just 2.54 which held to value, hence the "no bet" I decided at that point. During the course of the year there will be several cases like this one which obviously you can't be aware of but my point is that despite not producing any tips, the necessary work is always going to be there.

    Not much else to report, let's see if May turns out to be a little more interesting from a betting standpoint. Take care guys!

  • March review
    • Post in category: Last Month Review by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    March was a pretty eventful month with several games decided in the last possession and most of the times that's a good sign considering we are usually backing outsiders at big prices. Obviously when backing teams at this range of odds, we can't possibly expect them to win by 20 points but as long as they are competitive and in a position to challenge for the victory in the last minutes, we can be happy enough. And that's what they did last month with the exception of Nizhny Novgorod. In the end, we won a couple of those games (Real Madrid, Nanterre), we lost another couple (Antwerp, Breogan) but that was good enough for our first excellent month for 2019 and we are back in business again turning our balance in green for the year.

    The highlight of the month was surely the buzzer beating shot by Rudy Fernandez in Real Madrid's victory against Panathinaikos.

    while the biggest let-down has to be Antwerp's two missed free throws in the final seconds that would have sealed their victory over Murcia and a further 4 units for us.

    A pity, but we are going to win some, we are going to lose some...

    The next couple of months before the summer break are always a little tricky as the schedule gets lighter with fewer games and betting opportunities but hopefully we will be able to carry our good form into April too.

    • Post in category: Last Month Review by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    It's funny how the finishing paragraph of January's review would be enough to describe accurately what happened in February too. After a loss of 9 units, one could argue there were some really bad picks last month but nothing could be further from the truth actually. I will let the numbers speak for themselves:

    Fuenlabrada - Estudiantes (backed Estudiantes at 2.70, Pinnacle's closing price 2.02)
    Obradoiro - Murcia (backed Murcia at 2.92, Pinnacle's closing price 2.17)
    Breogan - Murcia (backed Murcia at 2.55, Pinnacle's closing price 1.92)
    So on one hand it's pretty astonishing we managed to secure this kind of value in a league like the Spanish ACB where odds are generally very efficient and on the other hand we still finished empty-handed. Go figure...

    Unfortunately our Bayern pick was practically ruined by the late defection of Stefan Jovic, a key player for Bayern's offensive efficiency and our Olympiakos pick was voided after match fixing allegations from the Reds who abandoned the game at half-time in protest!

    Overall, it wasn't obviously the start I had in mind for 2019 but sometimes it's easy to forget that we can only control what happens before the games, picking the right bets and that's where our hard work and effort ends. After that, it's out of our hands as the teams we backed have to do their part as well and quite simply they didn't. Be that as it may, there is no doubt results will start going our way again, not because I say so but because mathematics and probabilities say so. The only question now is when.

    • Post in category: Last Month Review by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    Well, there is only one way to describe January. A missed opportunity. We continually backed teams at great odds, securing excellent value and beating the Pinnacle closing lines by a huge margin but we still didn't get what we should have.

    Pinnacle's closing lines are usually a reliable indicator of a match's true probabilities, so beating them by such a big margin is always a good sign.
    First it was Anwil Wloclawek. Backed at 2.75, Pinnacle's closing lines at 1.90!  Then Fuenlabrada's -2.5 handicap backed at 1.74, Pinnacle's closing lines weren't even available as the odds had dropped significantly until the match start and one could only take the -4.5 handicap at the same price. And finally same story with Banvit's -8.5 handicap, only worse. Backed at 2.03, one could only buy Banvit's -15.5 handicap at the same odds before the start of the game! And yet we lost all these bets. Anwil Wloclawek and Fuenlabrada failed miserably losing by a big margin and while Banvit controlled the match all night leading by double digits until late in the game, we still managed to lose the bet by a fluke 3-pointer by Sykes a few seconds before the end, who also broke the record for points in the Champions League scoring 43 and shooting 16/24! Yes, not stuff that you see every day...

    Eventually Banvit's example is the reason I use handicap bets very carefully as they may be really tricky sometimes. As I mentioned, Banvit controlled the game from start to finish, held a comfortable double digit lead but a small degree of relaxation in the end cost us dearly, turning a bet already won into a losing one!

    To top things off, we also had the Kymi-Panionios game. It was one of the rare occasions that I wished I hadn't been proven right in what I was writing in my game preview. What was I saying exactly?
    ''Williams's impact for Kymi today is probably going to be a key factor in deciding the winner''.
    And it was, unfortunately for us. Williams shot an unlikely 7/10 from the 3-point line to make all the difference in the game. Panionios still fought bravely to get within 2 points of Kymi late in the game but just couldn't get any closer. I have no doubt that Panionios would have won if it wasn't for the phenomenal shooting by Williams but ifs don't change the result. Another missed opportunity in the end...

    Not everything was bad though. The Brooklyn Nets managed one of the biggest comebacks of the 2018/19 NBA season, getting the win after overtime despite being down by 8 points with only a minute left.
    And then we had Valencia's very rewarding win in Belgrade. A match that went down to the wire and was decided by Van Rossom's lay-up 3 seconds from the end. And it would have been a real shame to lose this bet as Valencia took control of the game in the second half and always looked like they would find a way to prevail. Fortunately for us they did.

    In the end we made all the right moves, picked the right bets but we still made minimal progress this month as far as profit is concerned and that's the harsh reality of sports betting sometimes. A reality we need to accept knowing that better months will follow. Talk to you soon!

  • 2018 review
    • Post in category: Last Year Review by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    It was another great year for us with last month being the icing on the cake for 2018. We couldn't match 2017 in terms of profit but we surpassed it in terms of yield with 27% being the best in 3 years. I have decided to make this review slightly unconventional and more an educational one. I will not bore you too much with stats as most of them are easily accessible anyway. Just a few useful numbers first before we move on to the main topic.

    Number of picks: We didn't reach the goal of having at least 100 picks/year ending with 86 for 2018. Obviously losing half of October due to the construction of the new site of Tipstersplace didn't help as that is usually the busiest time of the year. No matter. The final profit numbers are still very satisfying.

    Drawdowns: Our worst drawdown for 2018 happened between late September to late October with 8 consecutive bets and 13 units lost. Still a very manageable drawdown, hence my suggestion for an alternative staking system I mentioned back in my 2017 review for anyone interested in maximizing profit.

    NBA: An excellent restart for the NBA picks. We have had 8 during the last couple of months with 3 of them landing for a total of 5,52 units of profit.

    Now let's talk about luck! Luck and its influence on short-term results. The reason I decided to talk about it now is because we have just experienced such a wave of bad luck recently during the month of October when we lost 5 bets in heart-breaking manner in the last seconds of the games (Khimki, Olimpija, Neptunas, Nanterre and Lietkabelis). We also won one in a similar fashion that month (Zalgiris). 

    In normal circumstances for a game that goes down to the last shot like Milan-Khimki, one would expect to win more or less half of this kind of bets depending obviously on the type of shot being taken. In other occasions like the PAOK-Nanterre bet when Nanterre were leading 79-82 with 18 seconds left that percentage goes much higher obviously, in my estimate roughly to 70% empirically speaking as no such stat is available. But for simplicity's sake let's assume it's always 50%. Basically it's simply a toss of a coin at that point as anything can happen, a 50-50 scenario. (A small disclaimer. Assigning a 50% probability to win bets decided in the last seconds is an over-simplification but certainly not that far from reality).

    October ended with a loss of 2,66 units, winning just 1/6 of this kind of bets I mentioned earlier. Let's take the hypothetical scenario that we had won all of those 6 bets. That would have meant a profit of 21,98 units for that month and close to a +25 units upswing for the year. Would it have been unrealistic to expect such an outcome? Well, as unrealistic as expecting to get only heads if we had tossed a coin 6 straight times, meaning highly improbable but certainly not impossible. The percentage is less than 2%. On the other hand the percentage of winning no more than once in 6 bets of this kind (meaning getting heads no more than once after 6 tosses) is just under 11%. Yet that's what happened in October more or less! Perhaps it becomes a little more clear now that when we are talking about luck, we are essentially talking of randomness of results in the short term or variance.  

    I don't mean to bore you with numbers and probabilities but sports betting IS a game of numbers of probabilities. What I'm trying to say is not that we have been unlucky in 2018. In the month of October sure, we have been very unlucky. Overall I wouldn't consider 2018 an unlucky year though, or to put it another way, we weren't penalized excessively by randomness.

    The point I'm trying to make is that luck or randomness if you prefer, will always play a big role on short-term results and its influence should not be underestimated or misinterpreted. Especially for a selective service like ours, an unfortunate couple of months is enough to compromise or even ruin an entire year's results. On the other hand the opposite is also true. As you have seen, an extremely lucky October would have meant another 25 units of profit for us in 2018! Of course as time passes and bets accumulate, the influence of luck diminishes and in the long term will eventually be irrelevant.
    That's why ultimately I don't believe in luck. As Roman philosopher Seneca wisely said:  "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity".
    You always have to be prepared enough to recognize the opportunity when it comes your way. To other people it may look like luck when you succeed but you know better!

    Once you fully realize the influence of randomness, you will be able to make more educated decisions regarding your sports betting, including evaluating tipsters and their results more accurately. But that's for another entry in my blog coming later in 2019!

    That's all for now. As always, a big thanks goes to all of you, my subscribers, for your trust and I will be trying my best to maintain the same level of performance for 2019 (randomness permitting!:) and beyond.

    • Post in category: Last Month Review by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    A fantastic month to finish off 2018, our best ever here at Tipstersplace and it was really long overdue considering that both October and November could have easily ended with a double-digit profit with just a little bit of luck.

    Obviously the Denmark-Belarus game made the big difference for December and it's one of those rare occasions that the bookies totally miscalculate the odds, pricing the win of Belarus at almost double of what actually should have been! How is that for a Christmas gift? :) It was a match Belarus controlled from start to finish and if it wasn't for some late-game heroics by the Danes, it would have been a much more comfortable scoreline in the end. No matter. Glad we managed to take advantage and get surely the most satisfying winning bet of the year 2018.

    Speaking of which, my yearly review should be ready next week, so be sure to check it out as there will be an interesting thing called "luck" to talk about and why it's so crucial for every bettor to understand its influence. Stay tuned guys and have a Happy New Year!

    • Post in category: Last Month Review by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    A small profit of 3,34 units for November but with just a 5/14 hit rate I suppose it was impossible to expect much more than that. After all the bad luck we had to endure last month, we finally had a game winning shot going our way in the Kymi-Peristeri match but overall despite ending in green it was another frustrating month.

    Several of the teams we backed, most notably Spain, Neptunas, Portland, Varese have simply underperformed badly on matchday. Spain had a simply atrocious shooting night (36,5% field goal percentage) and despite tying the game 67-67 with less than a minute left, they just couldn't find the winning shot. Neptunas were another big disappointment. We backed them at 1.83 and odds kept shortening all day ending close to 1.35 but they simply failed to deliver. Portland were a no-show against Milwaukee losing incredibly by 43 points in another crazy NBA result and Varese were another under-performer losing to a Reggiana team who now sit last in the Serie A standings and have won only once in their last 7 games (you guessed it, that's against Varese!) and have lost even to lowly Pistoia at home.

    Anyway, it's all water under the bridge now and we move on to the last month of the year. Hopefully we will have a more consistent and profitable December to end 2018 and add to our yearly profit. Take care guys!

    • Post in category: Last Month Review by tipster: Demetrio Giotti

    What a pity... What could have been a fantastic month, actually turned into a nightmare. Call it bad luck, call it variance, the truth of the matter is that we were heavily penalized by it last month. Khimki, Olimpija, Neptunas, Nanterre and Lietkabelis all lost their respective matches in the last few seconds either by not scoring their last shot or making some silly turnover. Especially Nanterre, well no other way to put it other than they simply committed suicide! No professional team is permitted to lose a match this way.

    In the end it was a month that excluding Zalgiris's overtime victory, pretty much anything that could go wrong, actually went wrong for us and unfortunately it's one of the months that can really define a whole season. Consider this. If all 5 bets were won which could have easily been the case, we would looking at our best month ever with over 20 units of profit! If just one of them had landed we would have still ended October in green. That's a hard pill to swallow...
    No need to get overly frustrated though. Just keep one thing in mind. The wheel turns. Form and luck are temporary, skill is permanent. We will get them next time.

    Okay, some updates. You may remember that back in my 2017 review I mentioned I was considering droping the NBA from the competitions we are involved in and replacing it with the Italian Serie A2. Well, that plan is still a future possibility but for the time being we remain as we were. The reason is simple. During the summer I have been working on making some adjustments and tweaks in my selection process and formulas especially for the NBA and I'm hopeful those will pay off. Not so much in terms of immediate profit of course which we can't control but mostly regarding the number of bets we get from the NBA. So something like 5-6 bets/month would suffice to keep me involved. The following 2-3 months will probably determine a lot in that regard.

    A very busy month ahead so time to get back to work! I will talk to you again soon guys.