Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Cold Hard Cash BS

I have just finished reading a (free) copy of the Cold Hard Cash (CHC) Betting System, first published in 2004, and what a pile of garbage it is. It consists of 28 pages of poorly written prose, the first 21 of which not only have nothing to do with the system, but are full of mistakes.

Anyone heard of the ‘Martindale’ staking system? Me neither, and that is by no means the only error contained within.

Anyway, the introduction is so painful to read that I can’t bring myself to spend any time on it at all, well, other than to generously point out that he warns readers to be wary of the scams and BS that are out there on the Internet… Oh the irony.

As for the system itself, it’s for football betting. Teams within a division are rated based on last season’s finishing positions from 100 for the bottom team in increments of 100 so that in say the Premier League the top team is rated 2,000.

Here is the meat of the system:

“As teams play each other they effectively bet 10% of their score/rating on the outcome of the game. E.g if Manchester United (score 2000) play Bolton (score 1200) Manchester would risk 200 on the outcome and Bolton 120. The winner of the match takes the 320 points. So if Bolton won their new score/rating would be 1520 and Manchester United would be reduced to 1800”.

“CHC looks for matches where there is at least a 1200 - point advantage to the home team. No matter how strong the advantage of the away team I do not bet on the away win. Partly because I know how I feel after a long car journey, my energy levels are low, I am tired and the last thing I want to do is run around. However, the main reason I don’t bet is, I believe this is always the best opportunity for the underdog to do a bit of giant killing. The home team is in familiar circumstances, the players have their wives, girlfriends,
mistresses and family watching and they have thousands of fans cheering them on to vistory!”.

“Expect odds of around 1.5. Be suspicious of odds over 2.2. If the odds are below 1.3 consider using a betting exchange or placing the bet in a double..”

And that is basically it. Back short-priced home favourites! No mention of value at all. Back whether the selection is 1.01 or 2.18 I suppose. No mention of what happens to the ratings when a team draws. All in all a very poor effort. At least if you are going to sell a rubbish system, make it well-written and tart it up a little.

This is actually a simplified version of a system featured in an excellent book called “The Punter’s Revenge” written by Tony Drapkin and Richard Forsyth which I purchased when it was first published back in 1986 just as home computers were becoming commonplace.

Based on the Elo rating system then used in Chess, the book suggested rating teams initially around an average of 1,000, and then adjusting them after each game with the home team ‘risking’ 7% of its rating, and the away team ‘risking’ 5%. In the event of a draw, the two teams would receive back 50% of the ‘risked’ points.

I actually used a modified version of this system quite profitably back in the days of betting shops and fixed odds coupons, but it was a lot of work maintaining those ratings after each match. Admittedly I monitored all 92 league teams for an entire season which may have been a little ambitious in those pre-Internet days, but surely someone out there with a little more talent than me could automate this and publish up-to-date ratings. Thinking about it, if it worked well in the days of fixed odds and bookies, it might be worth a shot today with Betfair.

By the way, if anyone would like to buy the CHC system from me, well - you can't.

But I will e-mail it to you for free...


Graeme Dand said...

Hi Cassini.

Hope things are going well.

I laughed when I read this post as even though I have never read this particular system, I have read various similar books over the years. In particular, I tend to read book on horse-racing systems as that’s where my knowledge lies but I’ve read a few on football systems. They always make me chuckle……

Since I work with Excel every day of my working life, I’m pretty good at using it and it is very useful for developing systems for betting strategies. About 2 years ago, I decided to get into correct score betting in a big way and I tried to develop a system to find an edge on correct score betting.

After about 3 months of analysis and hard work (and sweat and tears!), I managed to stumble across a system that produced fantastic results and allowed me to win around £1k for fairly small stakes in a season.

I’ll drop you an email with a few models I looked at and it really was a licence to print money for 12 months.

So, you may be asking, why am I not sitting in the Bahamas having made my millions?

3 events…..

Peter Cech got injured
John Terry got injured
Chelsea sacked Jose Mourinho

My system was dead…….


P.S. Anyone who has looked at correct score betting in the 5 years will know what I’m talking about! Let’s just say that Home and Away, Chelsea had developed the art of winning games by the same score. The correct score odds predicted it should happen about once in seven games, but it happened over 3 years about 1 in 4 games. I latched onto it in the final season and won a few quid but then the 3 events above made the model redundant! Bloody typical….

Cassini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Graeme Dand said...

Go on then mate, ping me a copy.

No guarantee I'll read it but it may help me doze off at night if I'm struggling to sleep.

I've sent you a few s/sheets this morning, so they should be in your inbox now!