Saturday, 3 December 2016

Land Of Youth

Philly was chilly, but not bitterly so. As some of you will know, the live sporting highlights were a Sunday night Flyers v Calgary Flames (ice) hockey game, followed by a Monday night (American) football game between the Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. Two more entries to check off in my I-Spy book of Sports Venues. My son and I did consider going to the 76ers v Cleveland Cavaliers game earlier on the Sunday, but decided to save that one for February or March.


For the Thanksgiving weekend we ventured down to Washington DC, followed by a trip to see relatives in Maryland. The highlight of the DC trip was my son getting lost for about seven hours, his sense of direction taking him on an adventure which ended when he arrived back at the hotel at 5am. One minute he was with me about to enter a steak house, the next he had vanished, and with both our phones dead, no way of getting in touch. How did people manage before cell phones? 
The bar bill for the pre-dinner drinks for the two of us came to $137.74 (£108.22) which may go some way to explaining the mix-up. Considering that was all beer, and in an unpretentious sports bar, that was apparently quite a session. 

We also had a couple of good Saturdays in a downtown Irish pub (Tir Na Nog) watching Crystal Palace lose and the Rugby Autumn Internationals. At least one reader will recognise that pub name, having met me there during Palace's summer tour of the USA. It's a small world. 

Philadelphia has  large Irish community, and there were a lot of rugby followers for the Ireland games. Quite a few people I spoke to had been in Chicago for Ireland's famous win over the All Blacks there a couple of weeks earlier. In fact, it was so much fun I plan to go back there for the weekend of what should be the Six Nations decider on March 18th in Dublin.

What else is new? James has published a new book called Betfair Trading Techniques which looks worth every penny of £19.09. Unfortunately, the book is priced at £19.10... 

Despite the lack of new posts, the blog has averaged over 300 hits a day during my absence, which is a little surprising. Now I'm back, I expect that number to decline significantly, but 1.4 million by year end is looking probable.

As for betting, one of my NFL Small Road Dog System bets happened to be the game I was at in Philadelphia last Monday which made the game a little more interesting. The Packers were +4 and won outright 27-13. For the season to date:
The College version is performing slightly better, but both have been strong systems so far this season.
Early days still in the NBA season, but the BLUnders is not off to the best of starts with just 8 wins from 20 so far. The Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns game tonight has the highest total (229.5) of any game this season other than a couple of Warriors v Lakers games. 

The Lay Last Loser System for this 2015-16 season came to end today with Tottenham Hotspur's thrashing of Swansea City, meaning that three of the five qualifiers won immediately, and thus we took a small loss of 0.7 points on the season.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Gold Help Us

There are tipsters covering probably every sport, but I have identified a gap when it comes to Political betting, and after my success at tipping Hillary Clinton at 1.6 back in September I've decided to start a Cassini Political Advisory Service.

When I said to back her, I meant to win the Popular Vote of course - I hope I didn't need to spell that out.

The subscription cost will not be cheap - not because the advice will be valuable, but because I have US Presidential Election and Brexit losses to recoup (although the latter is in better shape following the misunderstanding by many that the initial result was actually anything but an expensive opinion poll).

Clearly, like most sports tipsters, I have a significant edge.

When I give you advice, you lay it.

On a more serious note, it appears to be a disastrous result for the US and the world last night, although for the sixth time in seven elections, the Democratic Party may well win the Popular Vote. 


Time to buy gold. Stock Markets down around the world. I don't think I'll be updating my spreadsheet tonight.

With Trump just confirmed as the Next President (faithless electors permitting), any plans to visit the in-laws in California will be on an indefinite hold. They have an unhealthy obsession with Muslims and Mexicans, an irrational hatred of poor people having access to healthcare, think climate change is a hoax, just to name a few issues I have, and the gloating will be intolerable.

Moving on, and Steve 'hamper boy' M had another post within minutes of my previous one. I mentioned that we were both at the Rugby World Cup Final a year ago, and Steve references this event as something of a turning point in his fortunes:
Since returning to Australia, I have been on a $250,000 losing run. It took 5 and a half years to build up to half a million in profit and just 12 months to give back 50% of it. Ouch.
Ouch is the word. Steve keeps his foot on the pedal with his betting approach, but burning through 50% of 66 months profit in just 12 can't be easy to handle, although Steve does a good job of staying the course. Hopefully the tide will turn soon. Maybe he'll be my first Political Advisory Service subscriber? Alain Juppe anyone? 

Signing off now for a few weeks to visit the newly red state of Pennsylvania, and James wishes me well: 
Have a safe trip and return to us reinvigorated.
May I suggest some music for your long journey?
Status Quo with "Whatever You Want"
We wouldn't want anything radical for the journey ahead.
Francis Rossi lives in my home town, although his house is a little more expensive than the manger I was born in. Back in December. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Cruising To 270

Steve M’s latest post makes me realise that he and I have more in common than I had thought.

Aside from the obvious - good looks and hairy chests (though mine is perhaps a little greyer in hue) – we both have Italian roots (though mine are perhaps a little shallower in depth having eroded away over a couple of centuries).

We both write blog posts in a friendly, upbeat style and we both call out bullshit when we see it.

We’re like identical twins, separated only by a generation and a few thousand miles.

Steve and I go back a long way. As part of Project Verdana, I came across a post thanking Steve for the very generous gift of a hamper delivered to my front door almost four years ago, his quite unnecessary and generous way of thanking me for some Draws that had been sent his way. He commented, and I paraphrase here, but it was something like:

Never before in the history of football, have I enjoyed so few goals, in so many matches, for so long.
Thanks for a great year of draws. Never have I watched matches and been so bored and yet happy at the same time when a game ends 0-0.
Another coincidence was that we were both at the Rugby World Cup Final a year ago, but anyway, Steve is one of the good guys - normal, extremely generous and with a positive outlook on life, a trait that has no doubt come in handy following the recent downturn in his betting fortunes.

Although it wasn’t related to betting, Steve’s latest post provides details of his Mediterranean Tour from May / June this year which will have made many of us slightly envious, and congratulations to him on his engagement.

Steve mentions that one downside of cruises is the expense and availability of Internet access, but for me this ability to escape from work and go off the grid for a few days is a definite upside to cruises. 

On the subject of escaping from work, I'll be off to the important election state of Pennsylvania next week to spend Thanksgiving with my son, and hopefully celebrate the election of a second President Clinton with a few pints of Allagash.

It's hard to see how Hillary can lose. She has 269 Electoral College votes in states where she has an 80% or greater chance of winning, meaning she needs just one more vote to reach the 270 winning line. 
Nevada has 6 votes and Secretary Clinton has a 78%+ chance of winning there. If she takes Florida and its 29 Electoral Votes, it's all over, and she has a 67%+ chance there. 

North Carolina (15 Votes) is the sole toss-up state, but Hillary Clinton can probably afford to lose there. Her final rally was, perhaps not coincidentally, in Raleigh last night, with the penultimate one notable not only for the appearances of the Obamas, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, but also for the attendance of my son - his second Clinton rally of the campaign. I've raised him well.  

Donald Trump has 180 Votes in states where he has an 80% or greater chance of winning, and 215 in states where he is expected to win. Where is he going to get the other 55? 

15 votes from North Carolina would give him 230, still 40 short. If he somehow wins Florida, New Hampshire and Nevada, he's still one vote short. Michigan is his next best chance, and perhaps the reason why his final rally was in Grand Rapids last night. More lies from him there incidentally, but not the place to discuss that here.  
In summary then, Trump needs to win every state he's expected to win, plus a handful of states where he is not favoured. Can that happen? Of course. Is there a 19% chance it can happen? No, and the stock market doesn't think so either.  

Get on Clinton at 1.22 / 1.23 - sorry, already took the 1.6. 
I've also had a speculative bet on Clinton getting 300-329 Electoral College Votes at 3.05, which is likely dependent on her winning Florida.   

I meant to mention at the weekend that one of my local teams, Merstham, somehow managed to get to the FA Cup First Round for the first time in their history, where they hosted Oxford United last Saturday, a team from four levels above them, and Merstham aren't even that good - 19th of 24 at the time of writing with their next match at the not so mighty Wingate & Finchley tonight. Attendance there could be slightly lower than Saturday's 1,920.

Anyway, while betting on Cup games isn't something I usually get involved in, I did take a look at the prices for this one, and couldn't believe that Oxford United were 1.41 on Friday.
The gulf in class showed as Oxford United ran out easy 5:0 winners.

Finally, Trump's advisers took away his Twitter access at the weekend. Not sure if it was in response to my comments on twittering or not, but bizarre that win or lose today, so many people think a man who can't be trusted on social media is fit to be President. He's not. If you have a vote, use it. 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Comment Catch Up

I've had a few comments in the past week that I've been tardy in replying to, but here goes.

James questioned:

Too much Tweeting is bad for you?
But "successful" traders like Mr Iverson and an Australian friend of his called The Bodger (I think that's his name) are never off Twitter.
I've set my clock back.

To 1993, when democratic principles were usurped by the shadowy elite.
If you are a Remoaner then I suggest setting your clock back prior to 1665. Some people are desperate for civil war.
As I'm not a follower of Mark Iverson or 'The Bodger' on Twitter, I have no idea about their twittering, but I would say that in a slow game such as cricket, which Mark used to do very well in, posting comments is probably a good way to alleviate the boredom!

A quick look at Mark's recent use of Twitter reveals I'm not missing much. A few comments on the Bangladesh Premier League and the use of grown up terms such as 'pile of pants' suggesting his target audience isn't the same as mine.
As I said in the original post, most Tweets are completely pointless and adding absolutely nothing of value. 

Lenard M asked:
Hi Cassini,
What do you make of a fella called Caan Berry. Tweets a good bit, has some sort of sponsorship I believe with Geeks Toy software, has multiple Youtube videos up dealing with all aspects of trading etc pimps a racing book and a costly video service. Comes across as a sincere guy however was wondering what your thoughts on him are, have you had any dealings?
In a word, no - I haven't had any dealings with Mr Berry, probably because his world is primarily Horse Racing and Tennis I believe and mine isn't. I do have a link to his blog on my blog roll, and he has been around for coming up to six years which is a good sign, but his side business of selling trading guides is, of course, suspect.

It should be obvious that the suggestion that for £39 you can become a winning trader is nonsense. 

With all these winning traders, is anyone actually losing money on the Exchanges these days? 

Why would Mr Berry, or anyone else for that matter, sell a winning formula, knowing that his profits would suffer as a result? The Betting Exchange market is a very small world. It's not like teaching someone 200 miles away to grow vegetables where their success has no impact on your vegetable growing business. 

What you are expected to believe with these traders are that they are conceding a slice of the small exchange pie. If that slice is worth just £39, then you would have to ask yourself how useful the information is going to be.

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings published its 2016 provisional results last month, and the average weekly gross wage in London is £671. I'll let the reader do the maths. 

James, presumably tired of waiting for a response from me, stepped in and volunteered:
@ Lenard M...

The first thing you need to ask yourself when you see an eBook is, "Why is it not on Amazon?" After all, if you want to get your product seen by as many people as possible then Amazon Kindle is the way to go.
For the consumer it means they get to see reviews from verified purchases. You don't get that with an eBook sold exclusively on the author's website. It's a punt.
I put that question to The Bodger who also flo... I mean exclusively sells self-published PDFs, I mean hand-crafted eBooks on his website. His answer was, "Amazon don't sell gambling books." Funny, I thought, Amazon is full of "gambling" books and I thought you are supposed to be teaching people how to trade, not gamble.
http://www.betfairprotrader.co.uk/2016/10/how-to-read-sports-trading-website.html
James has a point:
And of course James comments on my Brexit post with:
Fear not, punters.
Normal service will resume shortly when Crystal Palace win and Cassini cheers up.
Cassini is rather pleased with how the whole Brexit debacle is playing out and is in quite a buoyant mood. A long way to go yet, and a lot of damage done, but amusing to see the Leave's line of wanting to take back control explode in their faces:
My NBA Blunders post drew this Anonymous comment:
Looking at those two tables, the -9.5 selections have a marginal ROI of 0.000043%...
529 extra bets for .23 extra profit.

I'd save yourself the time and stick with -11.5 only.
Or one could always adjust the stakes for the 'stronger' selections. While I record results for these systems to a one point level stake for transparency, I don't limit myself to level stakes in practice.

Bossman Megarain wrote:
Hiya,
Thx for the mention -- I get at least 5 referrals from your site .. // almost doubling my readership, lol.
Just as well, we don't do it for the money.
I have tried collaboration, but, am usually disappointed, by the lack of skills, most people have. Programmers especially, seem totally over-rated, and can basically only code, if u dot every i etc. For all this, I have a fondness for seeing blogs, which run automation scripts, showing P/L's, for a few pence here and there. It can be done .. just, not by me.
As an aside, I hope u are aware of the PC exempt trials, for Basketball, over the next season. Maybe it will be worth, getting up in the wee hours, to make a market.
Always pleased to double someone's hit count!  

And finally, this unintentionally amusing line from someone who should know better:
...or if you have not yet looked at the Greyhound markets then I would defiantly recommend doing so...
Bold disobedience it is then!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Cubs Win! MLB Systems Wrap 2016

With the 2016 MLB season finally over, the good news was that for the third consecutive season, the UMPO System finished in profit.

The more disappointing news was that the profit was 0.05 of a point, or an ROI of 0.2%. Should anyone be interested, here are the full results:

The T-Bone System ended in profit for 2016 too, with all three bet types (Money Line, Run Line and Overs) profitable.  Results for the past five seasons updates here.

Backing very hot favourites (Implied Probability >= 0.75) continued to be profitable this season as the reverse favourite-longshot bias continues to appear to no longer exist in this sport:
For those who like their favourites a little more tepid with an Implied Probability of 0.667+, the 2016 numbers were +1.23 points from 284 selections, an ROI of 0.2%. I've seen that number somewhere before. 

The reason profits were so low was due to a very strange July when these favourites hit at just 54.9%, the worst month in almost 12 years. 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

You Were Only Supposed To Blow The Bloody Doors Off

Quote from anon Leave MP
On July 6th, I wrote:
The UK is a parliamentary democracy, a form of government where voters elect the parliament, which then forms the government, and not a Direct (or pure democracy) which is where people decide on policy initiatives directly, and any triggering of Article 50 would thus need to be approved by a majority of MPs.
"The best argument against [direct] democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill
Now MPs make decisions based on many factors, of which constituency opinion is just one. If a vote to trigger Article 50 is ever actually held, an MP would, of course, take into consideration the opinions of their constituents, but they wouldn’t necessarily vote to reflect those opinions.
A fair bit of money has traded in the 1.1x range for Article 50 to be triggered in the first half of next year, following Prime Minister May's comments at the weekend.

The current price is ~1.2 but as the Independent reports today, Theresa May's plan to invoke Article 50 without consulting Parliament is subject to legal challenges. The legal arguments can be read in the link, and while I find the choice of some of the "concerned individuals" in the case to be somewhat random, the argument that the PM should not take such a momentous decision alone, based on an advisory referendum, seems rational to me, or at least likely to be subject to legal challenges. There's already one in Northern Ireland, and more can be expected.

The proposed timing (prior to next year's French and German elections) is also rather odd, as is May's comment that "It's for the European Union - the remaining members of the EU - to decide what the process of the negotiation is".

Given all this uncertainty, ~1.2 looks a value lay to me at this time, with plenty more upside than downside.
That 1.2 is now out to the 1.7x range following the High Court's excellent decision today. Betfair have added a new market UK - Article 50 Supreme Court Ruling - Overrule / Do Not Overrule High Court, but no money matched there yet. 

A reminder to the declining number of Brexiteers that the EU referendum was advisory - the result was not legally binding. It was a glorified, and expensive, opinion poll.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Friends, Experts And Failure

Some of you may have noticed I've had a few days away - very poor timing from my firm who seem to schedule seminars for their managers with no regard to the sporting calendar.

As CEO, I feel like I should have been consulted on the dates, but it's almost as if my CEO title exists only in my imagination.

My post on the topic of collaboration would have been improved had I taken the time to read Ian Erskine's views on the topic, a subject he touched upon in early October:

It seems to be the perception that trading together is better and makes it easier. I have my view on that and I will share it. Personally I think it is claptrap.
I have preached this numerous times in numerous ways, advice, ranting, trying to be nice, seminars in a room with people, Skype sessions, 1-2-1 meets and I can say categorically in 99% of cases it has been an abject failure.
In typical Ian style, he expands on why, with his posts revealing a lot about human nature along the way. Ian also appears to agree with me that "set and forget" betting is the way forward these days:
What should you do? Do exactly as I showed on both days, set your bank, place the bets and go out for the weekend.
I moved away from trading to spend more time with my lovely wife as we now just 2 with my son off to Uni and it was unfair to sit at a screen all day. It also is more profitable not having to make decisions and trade games, it is much simpler I promise you. Put your bets on and go out enjoy life! 
On the topic of chatrooms, Ian writes:
The fact is if that if that was going on in a chatroom more people would have listened to the negative people and less people would have won. That is another absolute fact. Which then beggars me to understand why people go in them and listen to people in them. We have had numerous versions. Art often reminds me of the evenings in 2007 when we used to trade football and I did it via MSN Messenger. It was a disaster, people discussed Eastenders, the weather, sex, posted stupid emoticons and basically talked complete and utter b******s. What chance did you have of winning?
All stuff that makes perfect sense, and that I can relate too. When I see threads on Forums for big games, it's clear that no one posting can be making any money - they're too busy seeking attention and posting pointless comments.

A three minute example from the Crystal Palace v Liverpool thread yesterday on the Betfair Forum:
sofaking : 0-1

GEESUSS : BBOOOOMMMMM..................

The Dragon : yessssssssssss

sofaking : 1-1

sofaking : easy overs.
Every one of those comments completely pointless, adding absolutely nothing of value, and you see it all the time. I'm sure the creator of Forums had higher hopes for his idea. Ian continues:
So that leads me to the main point of the post. Why would you listen to someone in a chatroom on any day UNLESS they are a proven big winner? The main issue is the negative people don’t realise what effect they have on people. they make our lives harder not easier. I get so much shite weekly and going back it did effect me. I have not sent selections before from JG, FTS whatever it may be because I was worried about the emails and people losing. I was being controlled by the negative people myself, it is easy to fall into that. Now I just laugh and say sod them!
I've written before that Ian's attitude is, in my opinion, the single biggest reason behind his success. He's confident (he would say arrogant) in his abilities, knows his strengths, and understands the emotions that can get in the way of success. He continues:
If I wanted to make a living at football I would listen to me, may sound arrogant but it is a fact. If I wanted to win at Basketball or NFL I would arrange to speak to Cassini. If I wanted to beat Cricket I would speak to Mark Iverson, Tennis I would seek out Matt from puntdotcom. That is what I would do.
Nice to receive a mention there, and if you follow me on Twitter @calciocassini, you will know that I seldom Tweet, but when I do, it's always (well, usually) something worth reading. 

There seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount someone Tweets, and the value of those Tweets. If someone's Tweeting 60 times a day, it's guaranteed they have nothing worth saying. 

Successful people are too busy being successful. If you're Tweeting multiple times a day, you're wasting your time - time that could be spent on actually finding a job or making money. Ian's thoughts on social media next:
The absolute last thing I would do is seek out some people in a chatroom who have lost perpetually and chop and change more than the tide yet in a chatroom become experts. They are not experts. It is like people who say they have 3 trillion friends on Facebook- no you don’t. You have probably 3 friends and 2.9999999 trillion saddos who like looking at pictures of your breakfast or a selfie of you in front of some obscure tourist attraction that you managed to make blurry just so you could get your own daft mug in frame!
I actually have about 4 friends in the world as I am a miserable git and that number could decline any day!
I think Ian is bragging, because four friends is a lot! I have colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances but very few friends. I'm not sure why.

Now put your clocks back an hour if you haven't already, and if you voted for Brexit, set them back to 1952.