Welcome To The World Of Sports Monitoring…Watch Your Wallet
As part of our website, we offer a daily newsletter called Professional Gambler. It’s emailed or faxed to about 150 people each day, sometimes more than once a day. In it, among other things, we publish our NFL, NBA and/or MLB picks for that day. In other words, the newsletter can be described as being a pick service. Trouble is, we’re honest. Over the long term, we expect the picks in the newsletter to return a winning percentage against pointspreads and total lines of between 56% and 58%, with a commensurate return on investment against money lines. We don’t solicit recreational gamblers, newcomers, or people who believe someone can call 65+% winners over the long haul. Our subscribers are professional-level sports bettors and successful part-timers who understand the limitations of our business.
Every year about this time, we get offers from so-called “monitoring services” to have our won-lost record compared to competing sports services. The deal is, we’re supposed to pay them to rank our performance with our competitors, then, presumably, you’re supposed to pay them to get to look at those comparisons. We recently got this e-mail from such a monitoring service:
If you are running a Sports Service this fall, we would like to invite you to participate in our third annual Sports Service documentation program at http://SportsHandicappers.com.
We received over 3 million hits to our website last football season (by far the most of any documentation website), so no matter how good your traffic is, participating in our program will benefit you. Please e-mail back if you would like further details. There is a limit of only 50 services and we already have 35, so it’s important that you register soon. If not, good luck this football season!
“Home Of The Nation’s Top Sports Services”
Well, we would, indeed, like to be “documented” by someone we can trust. As it is, we post our picks on our own website after the games go off, but before they’re final. That way, potential clients can monitor us themselves. The trouble with that arrangement is, it takes too much of our time to keep up. We’re tied to the computer as games keep going off, sometimes all day long.
We answered Mr. Kennedy with this e-mail:
We’d be interested in being monitored, so long as we had confidence in the monitoring service. Unfortunately, we’ve never been able to do that. Could you answer some questions?
1. What are your rules of determining winners? Do you have the rules posted on your site? Where can I find them? Do you post a solid line for one and all to bet into, or do you go by the so-called “closing line”, or what? 2. Do you also offer a pick service on your site? Does anyone operating your site also operate a pick service? How many people would have access to our picks before games go off?
3. Do you post our picks before the games go off, or are all picks kept confidential? (We sell our picks, and would not be interested in having our picks publicized beforehand.)
4. Do you have references in the gaming industry? This is important to us. We are very careful with our reputation, and we do not want to be associated with such names as Jim Feist, Mike Warren, Stu Feiner, etc. Can you tell me the names of some of the 35 services that have already signed up?
– – Thanks for your time. J. R. Miller
Kennedy didn’t answer all our questions, but here’s his reply: J. R.,
(1. What are your rules of determining winners?)
If you cover the spread, you win.
(Do you have the rules posted on your site? Where can I find them?)
B (Do you post a solid line for one and all to bet into, or do you go by the so-called “closing line”, or what?)
We don’t change the lines or use the closing line. The line posted is a solid Vegas line 3 hours before the forst game of the day. (sic) (2. Do you also offer a pick service on your site?)
No. Not on SportsHandicappers.com.
(Does anyone operating your site also operate a pick service?)
Yes, but not on SportsHandicappers.com
(How many people would have access to our picks before games go off?)
One. The person that takes the games off-line.
(3. Do you post our picks before the games go off, or are all picks kept confidential? We sell our picks, and would not be interested in having our picks publicized beforehand.)
The picks are posted 5 minutes after the start of each game. …We are currently registering services to be documented for this upcoming football season. There will be a limit of 50 and we already have about 35, so I suggest you hop on board as soon as possible if you are interested.
SportsHandicappers.com is the Home of the Nation’s greatest Sports Handicappers. This is our 3rd full season, and it’s going to be bigger than ever. Last football season we received over 3 million page hits. We received more page hits than ALL of the other documentation services COMBINED! In ANY business advertising campaign, EXPOSURE is the most important thing. The actual product or service you offer is SECOND. Because if you don’t have exposure, your service could be giving away money for free and no one would even ask for it if they didn’t know about it. …Seeing is believing, and it’s all there for everyone to see. You can rate your plays from 1-5 or 10 units (a best bet). This season there will be a limit on the number of releases. It looked kind of ridiculous last season when services were giving out twenty best bets a day! So this year everyone is allowed a max of eight releases, and three BEST BETS. …But honestly all that matters is our traffic. Gamblers have to know about your website. (Note: Once again we will be adding hundreds of stats and handicapping pages when the football season starts.) Here are our rates for the ’99-’00 football season. You have two different options.
A) $150 for the entire season both Pro and College.
B) $50 for the entire season both Pro and College, but you must also post our SportsHandicappers.com banner code on your website. This banner will state that you are Documented by SportsHandicappers.com and will encourage others to visit our website. The banner CANNOT be posted below the midway point of your webpage. Also, it MUST be posted on your free picks page if you have one. (Your banner must be posted immediately upon registration and remain in the same spot until the Superbowl)
…(Remember, we are only taking 50 services. We only have 15 more to go Don’t get shutout! Register today!)
Please send payments to —
PO Box 34399
Detroit, MI 48234
regards, Pat Kennedy
We’ll ignore Mr. Kennedy’s questionable statement, “In ANY business advertising campaign, EXPOSURE is the most important thing. The actual product or service you offer is SECOND.” That’s not where the real stink in the above letter is coming from, anyway. The first odor we noticed in the above letter is in his reply to our question: “Does anyone operating your site also operate a pick service?”
He answered, “Yes, but not on SportsHandicappers.com.”
Another source of smell in the above letter is in this: “You can rate your plays from 1-5 or 10 units (a best bet). This season there will be a limit on the number of releases. It looked kind of ridiculous last season when services were giving out twenty best bets a day! So this year everyone is allowed a max of eight releases, and three BEST BETS.”
Those two items clearly spell ‘r-i-n-g-e-r’ to me. In my opinion, we were corresponding with, at best, an amateur, and, at worst, a rip-off artist. I decided to tweak Mr. Kennedy a little to see if he’d open up and reveal a little more about himself and his monitoring service. I sent him this e-mail:
“…You can rate your plays from 1-5 or 10 units (a best bet).” (Real full-time sports bettors) do not vary their bet sizes; they risk the same on each bet. Progressive betting schemes are used by amateurs, not by real pros.
“…This season there will be a limit on the number of releases. It looked kind of ridiculous last season when services were giving out twenty best bets a day! So this year everyone is allowed a max of eight releases, and three BEST BETS.”
…A real pro will pull the trigger whenever he thinks he has a 55% or more winning expectation, and would never, ever — never — limit himself to a certain number of bets. Those contestants who were giving out 20 plays at the maximum rate last year were probably the only real pros you had on your site. We’re looking for a monitoring service geared strictly for professional-level handicappers, not sports fans or amateur bettors.
Good luck. — J. R. Miller (www.professionalgambler.com)
He took the bait. He revealed himself as an utter amateur by responding with this:
“If you think giving out 20 plays a day is professional, you need a new profession…
I responded with this, deciding I was finished corresponding with him:
Whatever you say. — J. R. Miller
…And then, to my surprise, Kennedy sent one more e-mail and revealed himself as an out-and-out scam artist!
“On more thing.
We rate our plays and hit 68% with our best bets in NCAA Hoops and 61% overall. Plus 66% in the NBA. So if we’re “Amatuers” (sic) not “Real Pros”, we’re happy we are Amatuers (sic). We beat out EVERY “real pro” service in the country! LOL….
…So I sent him one more email:
I’ll post this email exchange between us in my newsletter; and maybe I’ll write an article about it. Maybe some of my clients will want to drop me and change over to you. After all, since you hit 68% winners, why should they want my picks? (By the way, its spelled “amateurs.”)
– – J. R.
The bottom line here is that we’ve never found a reliable monitoring service. We did sign up to be monitored by one once, “Big Guy Sports,” then found out they decided what the lines “should have been” after we placed our picks!
Don’t waste your time with monitoring services. Almost all of them have incestuous relationships with their own pick service(s). Mr. Kennedy claims he can hit between 61% and 68% winners. In my opinion, anyone claiming to win 65% against pointspreads over a significant number of bets is an out-and-out liar. I’d like to bet Mr. Kennedy that his picks won’t win 60% against the NFL this year. That figures to be as close as I’ll ever come to having a genuine “lock” bet….But I’d want a trusted third party to hold the money. — J. R. Miller
thedailyspread.com | June 10th, 1999