2017 – a year that promised quite a bit, but turned out to be quite a rollercoaster.
Having done this for many years now, I can comfortably say that this year I learnt more than any other year.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, the unbelievable start to 2017 with that fortnight leadup to the Australian Open was possibly the worst thing that could have happened to me in terms of the long run in 2017. I know that sounds a little bit strange considering it was something like +80 units across that two weeks. I don’t know if this is something that is common amongst other tipsters, but you almost find yourselves getting caught up in the hype a bit.
I’ll admit I was caught out, at possibly the worst time – just before a Grand Slam. Not any Grand Slam, my home Grand Slam that I attend. I was getting tweets and mentions about almost every match under the sun, and I was starting to make plays when I probably shouldn’t have, or should have at a lower staking. The Australian Open was a very difficult stretch, and I think what compounded it was a couple of things:
- the expectations were so high off the fortnight before the Australian Open
- As a result, there was quite an odds shift on a lot of plays (which I have never seen before), especially for some round 1 plays, to the point where their closing odds suggested their opponents were value.
It was a brutal fortnight and considering the fortnight previous, and the responses I received on losing days did actually catch me off guard quite a bit. Not to say it wasn’t deserved, but I felt it didn’t quite correlate with the overall performance of the month. That being said though, when you put yourself out there, you have to deal with the ups and the downs.
After the Australian Open, I took a bit of time off to get my head around the previous month. As a means of trying to curtail getting drawn in to making more plays, I made the decision to turn off notifications for Ace in February and I have yet to turn them back on. This to me is a way of allowing myself to find a better balance. I’m on twitter when I want to be, and I’m making selections when i know I’m in the frame of mind to make them. Something that i have been working on since then is having more of a focus on quality over quantity. I think this is more of a focus in Grand Slam tennis as well, as when you make selections like I do (mainly in odds range $2 to $6), it can be pretty easy to have an off day from time to time. A reluctance to have a high number of units on pending selections is something I’ve had to think about, and I feel my adjustment to “one play at a time” has made things a lot more comfortable in that perspective.
I have felt a lot more comfortable since adopting that philosophy, and it is something that is going to stay.
Grand Slams are an area where I need to improve. I’ve been adjusting my mentality gradually over the years, but I am looking forward to shifting the focus back to quality with the one play at a time approach. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but I love tennis more. Sometimes I have had to take little breaks, but I feel like it was beneficial.
In an ideal world, this would be a full time job, and if anyone has a sustainable suggestion as to how this could be the case, I am all ears! The reality of the matter is though that I, along with all the other writers that deliver content, all work full time as well. I’ve made the decision that instead of overdoing it, taking a break, then overdoing it again, that 2018 is going to be different. I want to focus in on my strengths, which i feel are:
- Players ranked 30-300 in terms of finding an edge over bookmakers.
- Finding fatigue spots to oppose players (coming off finals or consecutive longer weeks or backing up quickly from a loss to qualifying the next week)
- I’d argue statistically I’ve been stronger in WTA and ITF, and will look into recording this next year.
- Finding conditions to oppose players (eg during humid Asian swing).
- Finding situations where bookmakers have overrated short term form.
So here is the plan for 2018, if it is something that appeals to you guys, the followers:
- Continue to utilise the one play at a time philosophy moving forward
- A weekly article highlighting plays I would be keen to oppose in the coming week from a fatigue and scheduling standpoint
- A better balance of plays and articles – when I first started I wanted to not only make suggested plays but also write more justifications surrounding plays
- Keep a record of plays for 2018
When I first commenced with this account, I initially wanted to provide information on tennis to followers and what I look for, so everyone can improve. I am always happy to be contacted to discuss anything regarding tennis. Also, I am more than happy to be unfollowed if anyone feels I am not helpful!
I am a pretty level headed person, but I honestly feel that I can take the learnings of 2017 and turn it into a very productive 2018. I hope you will come along for the ride.