Reviewing The Sultan And His Tennis Trading Academy

I'll be out with football selections on Friday around 12:00 GMT

If you haven't come across the Sultan in your saunter across "blog world", this next post may not make an awful lot of sense. I, on the other hand, am quite familiar with this character and feel there are certain questions that need asking of him and the validity of his output. Unfortunately that's much easier said than done since he doesn't publish anything but arse-licking blog comments and refuses to respond to my questions on Twitter.

Before I get going on this, I would like to point out that despite what may seem a harsh critique to follow, I believe that he is inherently a good guy that just lost his way a little bit. Unfortunately, his head is now stuck so far up his own backside that he can no longer see things in a clear light. 

I must stress that I'm speaking metaphorically here and not suggesting he has real-world eyesight issues due to what he's been doing with his head for the last couple of years (although it may have had some effect on what comes out of his mouth) but rather questioning the motives behind both his blog and the rather tedious, though not unlettered, content that he provides on it.



I came across Sultan mainly from references on Cassini's blog and on reading the odd rambling post from his blog, and initially I just thought he was a bit of a harmless moron as he seemed to not really have any clue what he was talking about but knew all the buzzwords. 

Aaron would later agree with this:


Aaron Jan 25, 2012 03:35 AM
You really are a fucking moron, quit trading for gods sake.


On the evidence of his more recent posts, I haven't changed my mind about him being a moron, but must now ask questions about his agenda too. Which I did in a comment on his blog, something along these lines:

"As soon as you start a commercial service you can no longer be impartial so Cassini has a right to criticise. You forego the right to claim impartial opinion when that opinion clearly conflicts with your business interests"

This is not exactly what I wrote but not at all far from it. I didn't expect him not to publish so it didn't occur to me to copy it. With no right to reply to anything that he says on his blog with a conflicting opinion  (he seems to think his opinions are facts - they aren't) and despite repeated attempts to get him to do so on Social Networking sites, I am left with little choice to offer my thoughts here and hopefully he will deign my quite important questions, initially presented in good faith, worthy of reply.


Presumably he will have no issue with this since he did the exact same thing here to "Tradeshark" (who I'm not familiar with but will be soon) 


I attempted to respond with the following comment:


"Hi TS, I guess you are referring to me as the blogger who 'almost' criticised tennis traders! I did no such thing, here's what I wrote:



"A lot of tennis traders will switch to another sport during November-December but I have always planned my trading so that I don't have to do this. For me, taking a break for 5 or 6 weeks during the cold, heart of winter is ideal; just the right amount of time to re-charge the batteries, visit family over Christmas and go abroad travelling somewhere warm. I've proved this year that I don't need to trade anything else. I've adapted my life to the tennis calendar and adapted my trading so that it should (eventually) fill my requirements financially."



Where is the criticism here? I've simply stated what my plans are, how I've attempted to fit my life around the calendar and how it might differ from others. One of the reasons I got into trading was to give me more time to travel, as it's a passion of mine. So I've used the trading calendar to give me time to do this. It's in no way a slight on anyone else and I'm sorry you've come to that conclusion but it's not meant that way. 



I don't focus on what anyone else is doing, I learnt a while back that you have to do what works for you. 6 weeks is a long time off but when you've worked with no holidays or bank hols and few weekends off for the entire year, it works out as no different to anyone else. I just choose to condense my time off into one longer period. Anyway, hope that settles things!"

The comment has not been posted up so instead, I'll have my say here

Moving on, I first took exception to the Sultan when he basically started whoring himself to prospective investors with this superfluous post in January of last year which, even to the mentally challenged amongst us is a quite blatant over-reach:

"I've had a very interesting offer put on the table for me. I've been given the opportunity to trade with a bigger bank. Basically, I've been approached through this blog by someone who is willing to risk their own money in order to take a share in my profits. I won't go into exact specifics of the deal but it is still being discussed before we come to an agreement on all aspects. Suffice to say, I'm a tad sceptical but at the same time, very excited. If this goes to plan, I will be able to make significantly larger profit than I have so far been able to accrue, due to my relatively small trading bank, even accounting for the shared profits. This was something I was not going to reveal on the blog but as the interested party shows no problem with it, I don't see why  I should keep it a secret.


It's actually something I've thought about for a while, finding an investor who would be willing to bankroll me in return for a share of the spoils. With a year of solid profit behind me, recorded on this blog, I did hope that I might seem an attractive prospect to someone. Of course, with the online world a murky river full of sharks, you can't be too careful with whoever approaches you but rest assured, I have my head pretty screwed on and won't be venturing forth without diligent scrutiny. But I have been bemoaning for a while now, my lack of opportunity to grow my bank. Certain circumstances still prevent me from compounding and without that, I'm treading water when I could be applying the exact same techniques but earning several times more with a relatively small cash injection. If I'd had a similar investment in 2012, any investor would have seen an average 50% return on their money every month - can't ask for much more than that! Of course, that would've been split with myself but still a very handsome return for doing very little."

At this point, he immediately loses all credibility as a respected tennis trading blogger in my opinion because anything that comes next is always going to project an image of success - he is clearly looking for investment and using the blog to do it.

Prior to this, he was effectively just running a P&L blog with some depressing "thoughts" cobbled together as content. Some people would call it "wearing heart on sleeve" others would call it  "depressing tedium" but there is a marked change in approach around the same time where firstly he fell over himself desperately trying to associate with Peter Webb, constantly raising retarded viewpoints about a non-topic and lessons in pedantry.

This quite bizarre episode was shortly followed by a climb on the high horse and a bombardment of sanctimonious crap spewing forth from the mouth of the "Sultan", claims of profitability (finally), then talk of abandoning all trading on account of this imaginary investment not amounting to anything (could have saved you a month of waiting there Sultan!).

In a spectacular display of moribund blogging and some semi-whoring he decided to treat us all to  this rather nauseating post:

Time to Quit?


Talks have fallen through. The investment I was hoping for is no longer going to happen. I'm pretty fed up right now! I have been doing a lot of thinking over the past few days and am starting to think that I'm not sure I want to do this any more. I know I've come a long way and stopping now would be like giving up, which is something I rarely do but I just feel as though I'm not getting anywhere. I'm treading water when I could be freestyling into the distance. Yes, it's partly my own impatience that makes me feel this way but also, I'm not sure this is the path I want to take any more. I'd still like to be involved somehow as a trader but for the amounts I'm making and am likely to be able to make for the foreseeable future, is it worth it?


Maybe I need a change, perhaps the repetitive nature of my trading is grinding me down. Maybe it's because I'm not feeling stimulated any more by online debate or from learning new things. Writing this post, I realise I don't actually have much left to say. Or maybe I'm just pissed off because another investment opportunity has fallen through when it all seemed to be heading in the right direction.


I got into trading purely for the money. I wasn't that interested in tennis and had no interest at all in gambling. This was never about having a hobby, something fun to do in my spare time, a little extra pocket money. It was all or nothing for me - I want to make some serious cash or I'm really not that bothered. I always thought that was going to happen one day and I'm almost certain that it would if I could only compound my profits. But that isn't going to happen this year and I don't know if I can continue treading water for another year, when I could be doing something else. Without investment, I'm stuck and although I've been doing well, everything I earn goes straight back out.


I feel like I need a new challenge, something new to get the juices flowing. I'm just not sure what that is yet.

If you read the posts after this, there is a clear idea developing as he has realised he isn't cutting the mustard trading tennis. Again, as soon as a post like this is made, you have to be prepared to accept that people will think you have an agenda - clearly and repeatedly touting for "investors" and talking about needing a new challenge because he doesn't know how to win the one at hand..

The only post in March was yet more blatant whoring (begging really) for people to give him money to trade with, and a semi-riposte to valid observations that he was doing exactly this. I won't reproduce this in full because it's basically the same as most of his other posts but I will highlight and address the following from his March 2013 post:

I have never touted for business on here but  have been approached by people interested in giving me their money to trade with long before I wrote my so called 'sales pitch'. I've turned down all but one. Whatever you might think about those people risking their money on me, the facts are, if they'd invested in me last year, they would have made a profit.

Erm, you've just done it again Sultan, what's wrong with you man?

And this pearler deserves a blog post all of it's own..

 Firstly, I want to clear up the whole situation with me not being able to compound. The reason why I can't is irrelevant, that's nobodies business but mine, the only important detail anyone needs to know is that I can't.

Well, it is kind of relevant if you're asking them to give you their money to play with. His solution to this problem is quite hilarious:

Therefore, trading with someone else's money is a good alternative as far as I'm concerned

I'll bet it is you little rascal... can't be bad at all.  

It would seem the man has no shame, but a hint of what's to come was snook in towards the end of the blog post

"..sometimes, a spanner gets thrown into the works or an opportunity arises and you have to adapt and tweak those goals. That is what has happened in recent months and so it has got me thinking about other possibilities. I've had time to contemplate and have made a few decisions about where I'm going to go from here, which will become more apparent in the coming weeks"

At this point, the last ounce of anything resembling credibility is lost. 

The entire blog for the last few months has basically been devoted to whoring himself to anybody that will give him money to trade with, justifying this by saying he can't make it work so it would be better using other peoples money instead of his own, launching idiotic moral crusades against well-known people just to get a bit of exposure and then hinting at other ways he's thinking of making money.

This "contemplation" took him another month to finally come up with something and he eventually treated us to an extremely deceitful post designed to test the water. 

I arrive at this conclusion as he already had a Tennis Trading Guide planned at this point which pretty much franks my suspicions this post was a mailshot that could be disregarded if he got a bad response. 
The Sultan was later to label this technique "fishing" in an intriguing comment:

tommy kites  28 June 2013 14:10
You mean the whole package was a joke?
Or the fish pic ? 
I am lost....



The Sultan  28 June 2013 18:20
The package was a joke, the pic says April 1st on it. It's French, apparently they call April Fool's Day 'April Fish Day'.I guess it comes from baiting someone, hooking them, then reeling them in! I'm afraid you've been fished ;-)
But I might actually be a doing a real one later this year, so I'll be in touch to see if you still fancy it.

In May, two utterly shit posts aside, he decided he was a "Betting Expert" and posted up his first article on .......Betting Expert. It's important to make clear that up until this point, and I'm sure you'll agree, there's very little to suggest he is, by any definition, a Betting Expert. In fact, all the evidence points to the contrary.

In an interview, he talks of his long-time success at making money from trading tennis yet we only really have to engage our brains for a few seconds to lay this claim on it's backside. 

His fascinating insight into the French Open led to conclusions that:

 "Djokovic or Nadal will probably win the Men's title" 

and 

"Serena Williams is my bet to win the Womens title"

The sort of selections your nan would probably have come up with in a "Betting Expert Interview" so quite clearly you need to be a special kind of "Betting Expert" to come up with those likely winners - a pretend one. 




You may wonder why do I get all "bent out of shape" about this? 
Because anybody coming to the blog and not sorting through this series of events could fall under the misapprehension that Sultan is some kind of authority on betting. 
In reality, he clearly is not.



Moving on with this sorry tale, on June 6th he announces:

DAILY BLOGGING BEGINS!

Before promptly forgetting about this the next day and going on to treat his existing blog viewers with utter contempt for a number of months with a complete disappearing act from regular blog posting and just the odd link to another shit post from the worlds worst "Betting Expert" .


And then in September, the bombshell which we all knew was coming...

Thursday, 5 September 2013
Coming Soon.........


This time, it's no joke..............

Ok, so I have this thing, which makes me loads of money. 

It makes me so much money that I'm now a "Betting Expert".
It took me years to learn it.

But, I'm now going to give it away, for a price, to only 20 people (I really do mean 20!) that I don't know and will be in direct competition with me.

Seriously?? 
This HAS to be a joke!


Nowhere has this guy ever shown that he actually makes any money! 
Again, the opposite is very much true.



There's more..

After only the first week of operation, Sultan is already ramping the numbers
Only, you understand, because things are "going so well" despite 2 extensive blog posts explaining all the faults of the people that he's taken on and making excuses as to why they are all failing.
 For some unknown reason he decided that all traders fit into two loosely defined groups that he has invented all by himself...


Category 1 
People who get on his nerves asking him awkward questions about how much he earns, what size his bankroll is and when are they actually going to win some money 
"These kinds of people are not what I am looking for" he says.



Category 2
People that don't ask him any questions at all and just believe everything he says without proof.
"These are the kind of people I want signing up" he says

Amusingly, in October we see yet more excuses for the failure of his academy to yield any worthwhile results for anybody that signed up but of course, it's not Sultan's fault! No, no, it's the "Academy" members fault for:

"not being able to get Sultan's strategies to work for them"

I really could go on forever with this but I think at this point I have made a quite compelling case for The Sultans inclusion in my "Wall of Shame". All that follows hereafter is a few posts making lots of excuses as to why things aren't really working out, absolutely no mention of success or positive reviews, a few more blog posts begging for members just before Christmas time (funny that) and then it's year end and back on the high horse in 2014.

I hope at some stage he will get in touch to address some of the points I raised but since he won't respond to any questions anywhere else, I wouldn't hold your breath.

Sultan you are in at #2



51 comments :

  1. I'm hoping it doesn't escape anybody's attention that he wrapped his blog up a week or so after this post.

    It may be coincidence but I find it amusing that he throws the stick as soon as somebody actually pulls him up on his bullshit!

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  2. Hejik - found my way here via Cassini's blog - have to say this is one of the best articles i've read. Always had my doubts about the "Sultan of Swing" lol and this confirms them and more. Suppose he's done us all a favour by stopping his blog.
    Good riddance I say. I remember him trying to move the masses from Betfair to Betdaq one day maybe last year ....was hysterical.......anyway - cheers again for the great post.

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  3. Hi G,

    Thanks for the comment and I'm really glad this post is getting a bit of exposure as from all known evidence, he's almost certainly a chancer.

    There's plenty more I could have added to this which further muddies his "reputation" but I was holding back in the hope he'd at least respond in the negative. I have tweeted him numerous times but he never responds and I'm assuming he has me blocked.. hardly the hallmarks of a guy with faith in his product!

    Incidentally, "TradeShark" who I mentioned in the beginning of the post is somebody that I have been in contact with and on the face of it seems a decent hard-working chap. The problem I have there is the quite clear fudging of the results sample for his tipping service.(Very precious about this particular word is the "Shark")

    I have advised him that it doesn't really paint a true picture of his performance as a tipster as he's included tips since before the service went properly live. Unsurprisingly nearly all of these tips won and he was betting 10 points on those games before slipping neatly down to 1 point stakes when he started taking on members. (meaning it's very unlikely he'll go negative in his results)

    I advised that the only fair way to provide results is to adjust the 10 point stakes pro-rata to what his new adjusted staking would equate to in the old system. You cannot cherry pick results in this way and expect to be taken seriously,

    His response was - "The results are there and I won't be changing anything, I'm not a soft touch you know". The fact that the results need close inspection before you can tell they're not really very accurate, arouses a great suspicion in me and some further investigation is required before I can decide either way but should be posting something up soon.

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  4. Will this site remain free? Absolutely 100% yes, nothing will ever change.

    So you do plan to sell eventually? Erm, no

    FOR SALE - Super secret, private, (non verified) TIPS.

    LOL - dude where is your track record to come out and mock others. You lost me before your deluded rant started.

    Do you believe his monthly pnl's?

    Also, I think you should improve the look of the blog. Doesn't read very well.

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    Replies
    1. Hi "Dude".

      Thanks for your brave anonymous comment!

      I expect there will be plenty more of them but would ask people be a little braver in their comments. If you have something to say then say it, it will be published here as I have nothing to hide.

      In posting anonymously I naturally conclude almost immediately that you are somebody that I've upset, (probably the Sultan), and I don't think that's necessarily a fair response. So please, come on, man-up and post properly.

      In response to what you've said, after deciphering it I've arrived at the following..

      FOR SALE
      Nothing is for sale on this site and the tips on it will always be free. You have saved me the bother of reiterating exactly what I said by quoting it yourself. Thanks.

      Anybody can follow the results on here by email if they want to proof themselves.


      LOL - dude where is your track record to come out and mock others
      My record here will speak for itself. I don't know why you need a track record in anything to lay out a series of facts though?

      You lost me before your deluded rant started
      OK, fuck off then

      Do you believe his monthly pnl's?
      Who's?

      Also, I think you should improve the look of the blog. Doesn't read very well
      On a serious note, there may be some template problems in certain browsers but it's not something that I am aware of. I'd ask you to be more specific but I don't want to confuse you with big words

      Delete
  5. I too was directed here from green-all-over.

    Interesting read. All points the points you raised are valid. And I believe that his recent silence speaks volumes.

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  6. Hi Flash,

    Thanks for the comment, I've tried to structure this so as I'm only really highlighting "The Sultan's" own words.

    I too am amused by his silence in general, his refusal to respond publicly on twitter and his decision to quickly close down his blog.

    I'll be keeping an eye on him though as he's already hinting at writing a book ;-)

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  7. Very strange post... I am a student of the Academy. Sultan was always correct. His service is not free, but the price is okay. You learn his approach, but you don't have a guarantee to make money. It's like with a normal job, is about learning. I don't know why you blame him. Yes, I don't understand everything neither. Stopping the blog and don't show anymore the P+L are not things which create trust. But in my opinion he demonstrated enough that he is a good trader...

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brulati,

      Thanks very much for your comments and I respect your opinion and wish you well with the learning process.

      My post above was really just a presentation of the Sultan's own words on his blog highlighted in one place so that people could see the timeline for themselves.

      I don't expect everybody will agree with the post, but if there's something specific that you disagree with, I am happy to debate.

      Delete
    2. Hello Hejik S.

      First of all, nice blog. If you like you can make a link to my one: http://brucelaytrading.blogspot.ch/ (I already made one from my page to your one).

      In general I think you are too negative about him. What's bad about looking for an investor? What is bad about founding an academy? Even if it was his target to make some extra money, I don't see anything wrong with it.

      He never promised big profits. For me his service is better than a tip services with more losing picks than winners and wrong ROI and so on. Like I wrote, it's hard work to make money with tennis or any other sports. Obvious he is better than most people which just trade a few hours in a week...

      Delete
    3. Hi mate,

      Thanks for your comment. I suppose the over-riding thing for me is - if it's more financially effective to sell the idea than use it yourself there have to be concerns raised about the quality.

      In the interests of fairness I'm all for contrasting opinions on here but am quite happy to stand by my post.

      My main point really was, you can't believe anything you read on the blog once it's clear he is using it to tout for investors. Once that becomes clear, anything that follows is only going to create an image of success.

      Delete
    4. Hello again

      I know people which wanted to join the academy, but Sultan didn't let them in. Neither he sold his guide. If he just like to make easy money with a worthless guide, he would sell as many spots as possible.

      He was always honest with his customers. Like I wrote, I am more curious about guys which are selling their "great picks" and strategies. I appreciate the work of Shark (he is a good and honest guy), but his tips with odds around 1.70 to 2.30 are more or less wrong all the time this season (sorry to tell, but is true I am a customer of him). Beside his calculation of ROI is before commission, so it's worthless. Is just an example, I am sure there are even worse services...

      I would never tell a word about my edge which I found (for example my soccer approach which I developped over a long time with a friend together). .

      If people are not capable to make money with his support and strategies is definitely not his fault. I am still not really profitable at tennis, but I don't blame Sultan. I know is my lack of game reading, player knowledge and so on. I mean without exercise you can't compete in anything on this planet. If people think is just joining the academy and win without work is their mistake and not Sultan's.

      Jealousy you have to earn, compassion you get for free... You can read about it here (read the step 2):

      https://www.geekstoy.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1589

      Delete
    5. I will just add that although I have expressed concerns about the way Tradeshark records results - they paint a false picture.of success - he did actually seem a decent guy in my dealings with him and I wasn't convinced it was a sly attempt to mislead people but rather a convenient lack of knowledge..

      Obviously that's not to exonerate what's essentially cheating, but I did have quite extended email communications with him on the issue and he remained extremely patient, polite and helpful throughout.

      Fair is fair and as long as everybody knows there's a problem with his results they can make up their own minds about his service as a whole.

      I obviously could not vouch for the availability of advised odds but it would appear from your comment there is a problem there too and I'd thank you for raising it.

      Delete
    6. Tradeshark is a hard working guy. I like him, he is honest and patient. I am with you, I think is not an attempt to mislead people, but his ROI calculation is not correct. He mentioned in my case (I asked him if the betfair commission is included) that you also have to pay electricity and so on... so it doesn't make sense to include the commissions. If his ROI is 9% and you have to pay 6% of commission or if you have lower odds at a bookie you "just" make 3%. In this case is not correct to speak about a ROI of 9%.

      It's just an example and I am completely sure that there are a lot worse examples than Tradeshar. In the case of Shark is a lack of knowledge... others mislead people on purpose.

      Here is the point about Sultan. He never mislead people. He told the truth. You pay the amount and what you get is an ebook and answered questions by email. I think is fair. People can decide if it's worth it to pay quiet a lot (but there was always transperency about the package you get). About searching investors... nothing wrong about it, he improved his trading and when he can find investors with blogging is okay. It's funny... when I publish good P+L I have a lot of people which contacts me. If I publish bad P+L, nobody is interested. It's just the normal way of life. So it's normal that everybody who likes to sell something publish the "best stories".

      Delete
    7. SERIOUSLY he said that?

      I would have come away with entirely different ideas if he had told me he didn't take commission into account because it's just like paying for electricity!

      He's clearly in need of an education if he thinks that's valid

      Delete
    8. Yes, it's true... I was a bit shocked about his answer (and the link to the electricity), but at least he was honest and told me that commission is not included. Beside he has an extremely bad hitting strike at the moment. I think he is in 2014 below a 1/3 right picks with odds under 2.00. I have no blames against him (he tries his best and you see the work behind his service, but he is obviously not a good punter... at least not this year). At the moment he is the perfect contra indicator. I normally go for the opposite player :-)

      Delete
    9. Hejik good clever article it did make me laugh at times. You were right to raise the question but I have a different story to tell.

      When he was looking for an investor I exchanged a few emails and was asking The Sultan about the possibility of mentoring. At that time he told me he was thinking of stopping the blog so it definitely didn't happen as a response to your article.

      If you read right through the blog the mentoring idea makes a lot of sense as The Sultan was/is a teacher and writer and he was mindful of having a life after trading, it was only ever a means to an end for him. Also he said he was getting bored and needed a new challenge and he felt the mentoring was a good way to stay sharp and maintain his edge.

      As he clearly stated the mentoring was about looking at the skills needed to trade successfully and was not strategy based, there was never any promise of a profitable strat you could repeat again and again because that isn't how he trades, he does his trading based on his knowledge of the players and reading the market. So no false promises.

      Personally I was a bit surprised he launched the mentoring so quickly I would have thought he would have been better off waiting a year but as I said above I think he was getting bored so I think it is a way of keeping disclipline and motivation.

      Delete
    10. Hi Danny,

      I'm sure it was a coincidence him ending the blog but the entire thing doesn't smell right to me and that was my reason for posting.

      I'm really no conspiracy theorist but it's not difficult to notice the remarkable upturn in reported profitability when he announced he was looking for investors / considering other options.

      I am grateful for you adding a more first-hand take on this but would question the value in a service that is most likely only teaching you things you already know.

      If people need to be constantly "mentored" on the skills required (knowledge/patience & discipline) then the only advice they should receive is to give it all up. If he isn't providing any fundamental market advice and strategy to take advantage of it, what is the point of it?

      Delete
    11. Well it's all about opinions at the end of the day but I would argue The Sultan should not be on the 'wall of shame' because he was very honest and upfront about the mentoring offer, he made it very clear you were buying his time and not a set of killer strats like so many offer. And as for advertising for an investor well that is between him and the investor and is none of our business really. Many would see it as ridiculous and a few as an opportunity. But the point is he was only looking for one investor so the worst that could happen was one person lost some money. I don't think he was wanting a big amount either.

      As for your comments on mentoring I do agree to an extent and the thing with The Sultan is if you read carefully his approach to trading is all in the blog. Infact this is another reason he shouldn't be on the 'wall' because it's one of the best blogs out there. If you read through it he wasted about a year going down blind alleys and the idea of the mentoring is to save you that time, if you are working I would say it's a good investment on a time/money basis.

      Hejik your comment about knowledge/patience and disclipline makes it all sound so easy but I certainly struggle with all three! Last night I managed to ruin a very promising position on the tennis by getting too greedy, could have done with some mentoring then! If you read Matt at Punt.com he mainly talks about these issues, it's another brilliant blog. I think you are being a bit harsh here.

      As for fundamental market advice and strategy, it's about learning to read the market. But that's the bit you must learn for yourself as you can only learn with practise.

      So to sum up I don't see why The Sultan is in the 'wall of shame' when his blog is fantastic and he's offering a legitimate service.

      Delete
    12. Very well written and by the way in the package you also receive his winning strategies. You can discuss if it's worth the price, but like you said, he is and was always honest. Wall of shame, definitely not the right place for Sultan. I would not lose as much I did if I traded with the discipline Sultan's approach is about...

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    13. I appreciate your input Danny but still have quite a few concerns and it's not just related to the advice offered/not offered in his "Academy". I would seriously question the validity of his claim to be a "Betting Expert" for one.

      In the example above, what sort of mentoring would have helped you out in that situation? You already know what you did wrong and that you shouldn't have done it. I doubt very much if he'd be on hand to walk you through individual games at a few moments notice.

      Not ribbing too hard but don't understand the example.

      Delete
    14. Hi Brulati,

      Having been a member, what have you obtained from the service that you didn't already know you needed to work on before you subscribed?

      I assume you already know that discipline is a problem, so how did the Sultan help to eradicate this from your trading activity?

      Delete
    15. Thanks Heijik it's good to chew this over :)

      In the example above I know he would have been trading the match so it would just be good to hear another point of view. Sometimes a losing trade can feel like a bad trade when that isn't the case, just having feedback can be a big help. Perhaps it is a bit unrealistic though.

      Hejik I know what you mean about working it out for yourself and having discipline but offering the service doesn't suddenly make the Sultan a rogue trader. Peter Webb does a similar thing offering seminars and Tradeshark offers mentoring on his site.

      I must admit I do find it a bit odd he has gone for mentoring like this but he must be confident his edge lies in his reading of the match. It doesn't seem to have done Peter Webb much harm teaching dozens of people horseracing trading!

      Delete
    16. Brulati ....."If his ROI is 9% and you have to pay 6% of commission or if you have lower odds at a bookie you "just" make 3%. In this case is not correct to speak about a ROI of 9%. "

      Maybe not, but at least get your sums right....100 invested yields 9 profit. 6% of 9 is 0.54 unless my maths teacher was completely wrong. I don't see how you can record anything other than 'Gross' profit - commission, like death and taxes, is unavoidable if you win, but people pay different rates.

      Delete
    17. I think it really does matter Gundulf, because the profit claimed is never going to be attainable for anybody.

      As a rough example, were I to throw a 51% system up on the blog betting 2.00 shots, declaring Betfair prices and saying commission doesn't matter I'd rightly be slated.

      Of course, my 2% edge (no way anybody gets 9% on two-ways long-term) in this scenario is totally eroded by commission (becomes -1.06%).

      Presumably by Sharks logic that's just tough shit?

      If his service is sound, why would he not factor commission in? I can't think of a good reason NOT to do it if I'm being totally honest.

      I don't really have any issue with Tradeshark in particular, it's more the topic of results fudging that intrigues me and my position would be that it's really not ok to artificially inflate your results to show impossible levels of profit

      Delete
    18. No, you got me wrong... is not 6% of 9 winning units. It's 6% from the 100. He misses to substract of every single profit the 6%, now it's even 6.5%. But if you like to follow him, go ahead.

      I made my lesson with all the sharks around. Nobody sells picks or strategies if he can make money with them on his own.

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    19. Brulati,

      I can see sense in selling picks after you bet them for a number of reasons and my main incentive is to smooth out the variance. However, you do need to be honest about how likely people are to win whilst using them.

      I remember an old issue I had with Tradeshark results was he was generally staking at 1 point and 0.5 points if I remember correctly. However, he was also including the results of a very lucky (and unproofed/unmonitored) early spell he had in testing whilst using 10 point stakes.

      I did question him on this but he refused to acknowledge it was wrong to dupe people in this way. When I pointed out that excluding those results would most likely have put his "method" into the red he lost his patience somewhat and broke off contact.

      If you take commission into account on all bets, and remove the unproofed profit on all these 10 point bets (which I think were just a part of the testing process) the results don't look very good.

      I suspect this is why he has invented this silly analogy with taxes and utility bills but will ask his permission (not sure if I need it) to calculate his results accurately and perhaps do a blog piece on them explaining why it DOES matter if commission is included or not.

      It's not simply enough to say that you only have to take off 6% of the 9 units in Gundulf's example as the reality is that over any large sample, variance could have bust you out long before you got anywhere near those levels because your bank would not be recovering from losses at the rate implied in the results he gives.

      This really warrants a post of it's own so will put something up soon.

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    20. Perhaps I've a problem with my maths then. I don't follow Tradeshark's tips, but my point really was that if an ROI is achieved (whatever the amount - assuming it's positive) the commission (at whatever rate charged) is payable on the Profit - not, as I read the post I questioned, the Turnover. If the stated ROI is wrong, questionable, or over too short a period or too small a sample size then that's different.

      I look forward to a post clarifying it. In the meantime I'll put the Maths PHD on hold for another year :)

      Delete
    21. Hi Gundulf,

      I wasn't really commenting on your post to Brulati, I think there is some misunderstanding there but I know where you're coming from.

      Another way of saying what I meant is that if commission is factored in all along the results would vary greatly depending on how you are staking the picks.

      Your maths, on the face of it, appear logical but there's an assumption made by just taking the overall no-comm results and then applying a blanket 6% to those figures after the fact.

      The reality is that commission would apply to each bet and depending on how you're staking it you would have wildly different returns to those advertised.

      It's interesting to note that we have a guy in the comments here who, as far as I can tell likes Tradeshark and has taken his service, yet is suggesting he is on an extended bad run in real-terms results whilst at the same time TS is declaring extraordinary ROI's which ignore commission.

      I will do a piece on this sometime soon and will have a chat to TS about using his results. I won't intend it as a critique but more an illustration of why the assumption made is problematic.

      Delete
    22. Hi Hejik,

      I suppose my point (without wanting to labour it too much) is that if the stated ROI was achieved the effect of commission would not reduce the real return by 2/3 or anywhere near it! The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune wouldn't come into that simple calculation though I do see your point about variance and edge.

      To be fair, I think the subject under discussion relates to returns on straight bets - something I don't do and am therefore blissfully ignorant of some of the intricacies of long losing runs and variance etc.

      Nice blog, btw, interesting reading. Dave

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    23. Thanks for the kind words Dave and it is an interesting point although possible some of us are at cross purposes.

      The best way I could define my thinking is to take TS's results for 2014 so far and I stress this is a fairly quick observation as I've not long sat down.

      For 2014, I have calculated a declared profit of 21.90 and ROI of 4.24%. However, this ignores commission and if we assume a fairly standard 5% the real figures are 9.67 profit and ROI of 1.87%.

      As you can see, it's not adequate to just subtract 5% off of the no-commission totals and it really does make a quite significant difference when results are calculated the same way as you would actually experience them in reality.

      These figures are based on 533 bets of which 30 were voids so it's not as though it's an unrepresentative sample we're looking at. Neither is it necessarily bad to be hitting 1.87% on tennis markets (I'd reckon it is a winning method at this early stage) but it's still a long way short of the profit that would be declared as the results stand.

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    24. Thank you Hejik! Can you give some details, how you come from 21.90 profit before commissions to 9.67 after them?

      I wrote below an answer to Paul. A positive ROI is never wrong... but in my opinion 1.87% is not enough over long run. I mentioned the problems: Premium Charge (even with 6.5% it's hard) or limited stakes of Bookmakers.

      With straigt bets it's almost impossible to have an edge over the market. If the 1.87% are calculated right, Paul makes almost the best possible. The soccer game of Cassini (okay was soccer and not tennis... but I think the markets are more or less same effective) showed that most of the punters are negative...

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    25. Hi Brulati,

      I must stress that was a quick working and I'll need some time to go over the results accurately but I simply took the 5% commission off of each declared winning bet and of course this alters the results dramatically over 500 bets.

      I think it's certainly a more realistic area to be operating in and would have value were it just a betting proposition, but it isn't. Also, the sole use of Betfair would of course render this method redundant pretty quickly through PC.

      I will get back on this when I have done the work properly and throw up a spreadsheet detailing what I did.

      Delete
    26. Also, were you one of the unfortunates who's subject to 6.5% commission the results would devalue further to 6.0 unit profit and 1.16% ROI.

      Delete
  8. Very well written article Hejik. I can't really say too much about Mr Sultan as tennis, as we all know, sucks big time. Good luck with Hejik.com, I will be dropping in from time to time.

    Swearbox

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    1. Thanks Swearbox,

      Hopefully I can make it a decent read

      Delete
  9. I've been following the sultan's blog since the beginning and he has great writing skills and he managed to be a great trader after a couple of years. I see no problem wanting to create a group that pay for he's feedback (although one of the biggest prices with no guarantee or refund).
    About his blog I've re-read it many times and learned a lot for free. It's a pity that from 300+ posts over 250 are about some mistakes or struggles but every post has valuable information about trading. Not many offer such detailed insight for free. If he continued for several months writing more posts about how much he's winning after a long struggle perhaps he would have been less criticized.
    Putting it on your wall it's not too accurate as you lack detailed info about his service. He's selling email feedback and some strategies and that's exactly what he offered. Bruce Lay, who's the only member that said anything about the membership is happy with what he received so if the members are satisfied there's no reason to blame. Really I think you missed the point of the academy.
    You found his blog from Cassini's who's selling tips without a clear p/l and once was very successful and they had many contradictory replies. It's clear you take his part. Anyway thanks for being the first making a review even without having access to the actual membership. Cheers!

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    1. Hi Zergtrader

      Thank you for your comment and I'm always happy to present both sides of a debate on this blog.

      To be honest, this post was originally struck because the entire situation surrounding this "Academy" didn't smell right to me personally. As a result, I offered up my thoughts on why that was the case.

      It was not intended to be a dissection of the fundamentals of the service since I think it's fair to say it's still quite unclear exactly what you get for your money.

      The image I'm getting, and I've been wrong before (twice), is a kind of mentoring service with some email support for any questions you may have. There doesn't appear to be any responsibility nor expectation of any kind of profit or profitable advice and by your account the price is fairly substantial.

      If you are happy, I wish you luck in your search for profit.

      Delete
  10. Trading tennis is not for everyone as Swearbox said above. There is no guarantee you can watch 150 matches per month without getting bored.

    The thing about having an investor when you trade tennis is that compounding takes much longer. I can tell from my results that I'm satisfied with 5-10% profit from my stake. And most traders recommend using 5% maximum from your bank as your stake. That means having 1000 EUR as stake after a month the bank would be 1100 EUR and I can understand why not many will accept that profit. So wanting a larger bank without having to wait two years for compounding can be understandable.

    I didn't join the Academy as I search my own way to profits. Maybe having some professional advice earlier in my trading career would have saved many banks but I've passed the learning process for some time. After all, we are the only ones responsible for the results.

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    1. Hi again and thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Yes of course a bank boost makes the compounding process much easier and I don't have any issue at all with him seeking it out - that's none of my business!

      My point was, as soon as it's mentioned that investment is sought, you can no longer believe anything that you read on the blog in terms of profits. It's impossible to maintain the credibility once your blog becomes solely an advert for potential investment - you simply won't talk about the bad days anymore and that's exactly what happened in this case.

      As I say, it's not a personal thing, just my once-held opinion and I'm adult enough to reconsider that opinion from time to time. At the moment, I don't think my post is all that unreasonable.

      Delete
  11. Things may not be perfect for women but recent events such as the 2012 London Olympics have shown that women are being accepted as athletes by mainstream society.

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    1. A great contribution to the debate I have to say. :-)



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  12. I am a member of the Sultan tennis academy and I don't think he deserves to be on the hall of shame. However, I would not purchase the product again and other members' have told me the same. I have nothing negative to say about the Sultan but I don't want members of the public to part with their hard earned money for a product that won't provide the value you want. The strategies are well written but can be found on ebay or youtube as they are common knowledge and the email coaching service can be replaced by a book such as Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas or asking other sports traders via twitter or blogs about how they trade.

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    1. Good posting! I was very positive in the beginning, but I recognized that the price is far too high. Beside he deleted some postings at his blog which were critizised of Heijek (when he was looking for an investor). Now he is looking for more students despite he had the academy in the beginning more or less exclusive. Wall of shame is a bit harsh, but like Anonymous wrote, I would not buy it anymore. There are cheaper alternatives to reach this level. Beside you have to be aware that you are normally only breakeven after the academy. To reach the next step, it's still a long way to go... he can't show a real success story about former students, nobody made it to a successful trader until today. I am not even sure if Sultan makes money. He never showed a printscreen with his name or any real proof.

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  13. I would like everyone to know that the price of the trading academy for one year is £500 which is very expensive for an ebook and a few emails a month.

    It is also no coincidence that the sultan needs new members, so starts blogging again and posting wins attempting to entice people to part with their hard earned money? If he's winning so much then why does he need your £500?

    Lastly, if you were learning to drive, be a doctor or another profession and you emailed me your problems, do you think that I would be able to teach you how to be a doctor or how to drive without seeing you live in action? I doubt that the sultan's emails, which you will only receive if you email him and if you don't email him then you could go through your 1 year in the academy without receiving a single email from him, can eradicate your trading issues then think again.

    I hope that people don't commit the same error as I did and become a member because I regret wasting £500 which could have be used for other purposes.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Anonymous.

      I don't think it's any coincidence that the whoring has begun again although he's at least trying to be a little more subtle about it this time - presumably thinks people aren't going to read between the lines.

      Cassini made some observations to this effect over on his blog and I'd have to concur with a lot of what he said.

      I may come back to Sultan at some point as I'd like to put some of the first-hand experiences described here into sharper focus.

      Delete
  14. Just found the blog and noticed my name :-)
    Only fair to mention some errors in people's comments.

    The prices tipped are often achieved in play with the use of Betfair's keep bets option. Anyone who has used my service for any length of time will know that unless a price is matched after I post the tip ( and with enough liquidity for everyone to have been matched) then the tip is recorded as a void.

    I may be wrong on not including commission in the results. However I won't be changing it. I will however make it very clear on the results spreadsheet that commission is not included.

    As for my comment re the electricity. Sometimes when you are trying to criticise someone it is easy to take your rant and yourself too seriously. The comment was a joke.

    Hejik, as you say for much of our communication I was polite and helpful but I do not set out to cheat anyone and took exception to your saying otherwise.

    Cheers,

    Paul (Tradeshark)

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    1. Hi Tradeshark,

      I know you posted twice but I only published once and unfortunately I had to resort to moderation to deter Mad Jonny.

      I am happy to reiterate that you were patient beyond what could reasonably expected to be totally fair and you are obviously entitled to declare results however you choose. From our dealings thus far you seemed to be a decent guy who was proud of what he offered and there's nothing wrong with that.

      You will appreciate though, I'm sure, that if you're going to post up results as a marketing tool it's important that there is no room left for criticism and at that time I was genuinely interested in exploring tennis markets as a means of diversification.

      I've been doing this for a long time and the whole commission issue bothered me somewhat - as you know, I questioned you on this and suggested it was a "fudge". I later appreciated why this didn't go down very well but would stand by my point that it doesn't paint a true picture of the service people are signing up for as nobody is EVER going to be able to hit those figures regardless of what rate they are paying.

      I have downloaded your results to date and would like to use them for a future piece on the subject. I have done no analysis thus far but am prepared to present them in a fair light and it's possible they still show decent returns after the relevant noise is removed from the numbers.

      I don't think I need any permission to do this but I think it courteous to ask and will be sure to send the findings over by email before I post so you can double check my workings.

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  15. OK I had a rethink. As stubborn as I am I can see if I specify that I use Betfair only I have to include commission.

    I will amend the results spreadsheets over the weekend.

    Hands up, I was wrong.

    Paul

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    1. Appreciated, Paul! I think you are one of the few honest people in this market. It's looking more like a missunderstanding than bad faith.

      On the other hand I think it's not possible to make money over long run with your ROI. The edge is taken by bookmakers (their profits or they limit you after good runs) or betfair. 6.5% it's just the beginning, all good punters/traders have to pay up to 20% premium charge.

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  16. Commendable in my opinion.

    Nothing wrong at all in re-evaluating a position and listening to customers.

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Thanks for your input