The Maria Staking Plan Explained | Football Advisor

The Maria Staking Plan Explained


The “Maria Staking Plan” took the gambling world by storm fifteen years ago and there are still countless posts and discussions about it, even today.

For those that don't know, the story began way back in 2005 when a young lady, supposedly going by the name of Maria Santonix. She started a thread on the forum “Expert Betting Advice”, where she would look to chart her daily lay selections on the UK and Ireland horse racing.

Now there is nothing greatly unusual about this at this stage. Threads like these are started ever day across forums and message boards. But most last for only a short time and quietly disappear before being replaced by someone else's attempt at glory.

However, what was different here was that the thread last a total of 303 days and led to her turning a £3,000 betting bank into £100,000 in that time. (Well, £100,603.78 to be precise).

A hugely significant achievement by any standards but there was as much mystery as there was success when it came to Maria and her staking plan.

– Who really was Maria Santonix?

– What exactly was her laying system?

– And did she really make us much money as was suggested?

– And can it be repeated?

As you would expect with the online world, the success of the thread brought out the sceptics in equal measure and to this very day, it remains shrouded in mystery and conjecture.


Over the next few days we are going to unpick what is known about the Maria Staking Plan, separating the fact from the fiction, where best we can.

We are also going to take on the challenge of attempting to apply (successfully) the Maria Staking Plan to the football betting world – and if you stay with us over the next few days, you'll also have the opportunity to join us on the journey.

What Is The Maria Staking Plan

Firstly, it is important to say that Maria never fully revealed her strategy. She never said why she laid particular horses. All that she did mention was that her father had connections to several bookmakers and this allowed her access to “privileged” information, which she was using to identify and lay particular horses.

So all adding to the ‘mystery” of the Maria Staking Plan.

What she did reveal, hence the name, was the staking plan that she was going to use. We outline this below and it was designed to enable her betting profits to be compounded, thus growing the bank in a quicker, more accelerated way.


Prices below 3.5: lay to 1% of bank – backer’s stake £30 (max liability under £75)

Prices from 3.6 to 7.4: lay to 0.6% of bank – backer’s stake £18 (max liability £46.80 – £115.20)

Prices from 7.5 to 11: lay to 0.4% of bank – backer’s stake £12 (max liability £78 – £132)


The first observation to take from this is that compounding your stakes is a smart approach to building long term betting profits. It also an excellent way to approach staking by adjusting your stake in line with your risk – in other words, limiting your risk (size of your bet), in line with the odds available.

However, even the best staking plan in the world will not turn a losing system into a winning one.

It is important that you understand this before ever attempting something similar. If Maria is to be believed, she had a strategy (her fathers racing connections), which gave her an edge. The staking plan above, simply enabled her to maximise her returns from this edge.

And it is hard to disagree with her success by turning 3k into over 100k profit.

Maria ended her thread with a remarkable 85% strike rate laying a little over 6.00 as average odds. With a high strike rate, this approach can certainly reap benefits but it's equally important to note that had her strike dropped to just 75%, her losses would have been significant.


So why the controversy with the Maria Staking Plan?

The tall-poppy-syndrome is something with origins in Australia and New Zealand, but has it's on versions across many countries and cultures. In simple terms it is described as:


the tendency to discredit or disparage those who have achieved notable wealth or success

In other words, we love the up and comer, but we then equally look to pull them down if we feel they have grown too big or successful. This is common in celebrity culture but is equally so across the world wide web.

With the relative anonymity of the internet, people do not hold back, whether it be in the form of trolling, jealousy or just simple scepticism. Anyone showing any sign of success, is ripe to be attacked and doubted.

As we have seen with Covid-19 over the last 12 months, it is very easy for people to cast doubt on anything. A simple comment unsupported by facts or evidence, can be taken as gospel and spread like wild fire.

Back in 2005, social media didn't exist, certainly not like it does today, but that did not save Maria entirely from scepticism and conspiracy theories.

Firstly, Maria always posted up her selections each day well before the racing started. So her selections and strike rate are irrefutable and correct.

Many thought it was a lead into selling a product or service, but Maria never asked for a penny from anyone.

The doubts began to originate when the stake sizes began to increase significantly and people began to question whether she was actually putting the bets on herself.

Our old friend odds was also brought up. She would advise that she had placed a bet at X, but by the time the post was made, those odds were long gone. For example, posting a lay at 4.00 but followers were only able to get on at 6.00

It was getting on at much lower odds that were certainly helping her make the money that she did.  (Some forum readers did check whether the amounts were placed at the odds claimed and they were – whether they were by Maria or not, we'll never know).

It is easy from this to see why readers would start to get sceptical. However, in her defence it is hardly surprising that you'd see significant odds movements on selections on a thread as popular as this in a publicly available forum. It would not surprise me if you had 100's if not 1,000's trying to follow her in the later stages of her run.

In my opinion, for the attention and fever this drew, I would say it is not as controversial as many would have you believe. It is not in doubt that she, at worst, did theoretically achieve what she said, whether she placed the money or not will never be known. But her strike rates were correct, her selections posted in good time, and I am not surprised in the least that the odds moved so much.


Who actually was Maria?

The other area that has proven to be a little contentious has been around Maria's identity. Although, again, I would suggest that this has been blown a little out of proportion.

For starters, many have claimed that Maria was a man. Not in any LGBTQ way but simply that it was a man using a female identity online. Perhaps the strongest claim was that it was a man by the name of Adrian Massey, that ran a popular racing site at the time.

But it does beg the question of why? If Adrian Massey really wanted to prove how good his selection process was, why use a false name – surely it would only have brought more attention and users to his site.

For me her identity, nationality or anything else is pretty much irrelevant. While also being impossible to solve – unless Maria herself came forward and revealed it all with supporting evidence.


Anything else?

Further adding fuel to the fire, some years ago “Maria” took over Adrian Massey's website and renamed it Marias Racing Forum, but even that site went offline in 2013 or 2014.


Final Thoughts

This is likely to be a story that is never fully resolved. The most likely answer is that thread was effectively “paper trading”, meaning she wasn't placing the actual bets, but had she been able to do so, at the odds suggested, she “would” have achieved what was claimed.

So my view would be, as punters, that we take this story as inspiration for our own efforts and try to put the conspiracy theories surrounding it to one side. After all, the bottom line is that she (or he) did demonstrate successfully what is possible and that £3k could be turned into £100k if using this approach if your edge is strong enough.

In the next part of our Maria Staking Plan Explained, we'll be taking a look at the numbers behind the Maria Staking Plan, including a pretty cool spreadsheet that you can use.



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  • Jeremy Glass

    Great read… Looking forward to the next installment 😁👍


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