Friday, 19 March 2010

Always Look On The Bright Side

St Patrick’s Day might have been a good day for the green, but the day after certainly wasn’t. The record of run of paying the Premium Charge looks likely to stop at eleven after a heavy loss on day one of college basketball’s end of season tournament, known as March Madness. Unfortunately playing in illiquid markets can be a double-edged sword. It’s arguably easier to find the value (less competition), but it’s then harder to trade your position, and whereas in an NBA game, I would have been able to trade out fairly easily, doing the same with a four figure sum in a college game is a different proposition. Lesson learned, I hope. A poor start to an event that has served me well in the past, but on the bright side, still 47 more matches to go (16 tonight).

In the NBA, Round two for the Sports Betting Professor was a lot more successful, with two winners from two selections paying out at 2.0 and 1.9. One winner looked good from the start, while the second was down by 21 points in the third quarter, before rallying to win by 10 in the end, and easily cover. I am backing these to level stakes right now rather than using the three step progressive staking system he recommends. Fancy staking systems tend to be a common way of hiding the fact that selections aren’t value and for me, the only true test of a system is the return to level stakes.

More bad news from yesterday was on the data recovery task, with the specialists reporting that they are unable to retrieve the data, so I now have to go back in time to February 16th and re-enter the results from there. Oh joy.


Anonymous said...

Your comment on level staking is off the mark.

If, say, you only enter the market when you have a 5% edge then there is no doubt whatsoever you should be staking more when you believe your edge is, say, 10%.

Yes, there is a case that the bigger edge you feel you have, the more likely it is you have missed something so perhaps some caution is advisable. But to win at this game you need to press your edges and maximise your EV.

Obviously, to have a staking plan of any description, you need confidence in your ability to price the markets and work out your edge

I'm not a big Kelly fan. Certainly in its normal form it's too volatile for my purposes. But the theory behind it is unquestionably correct and the staking plan can be modified to lessen the potential swings.

To be fair, if you're simply following someone else's picks then maybe level staking is the way to go as you don't know all of their reasoning and analsysis. You don't know exactly what kind of edge they feel they have and they could be basing bigger plays on factors such as "feel". But those reasons are more than good enough to prevent me from using mickey mouse outfits like the betting professor in the first place.

Cassini said...

I like the theory of Kelly myself and use it when I can, but that is in markets where I feel I am fairly good at estimating an edge, and in the world of sports (especially when trading) it's not that easy to apply.

These picks are someone else's and, for now at least, I have no idea of their quality, other than that they come highly recommended (by some). Return to level stakes is the way I shall measure the service's success (or lack of) since it will soon be apparent if it is a losing proposition. A system picking evens bets may well be a big success (for a while)winning every fourth of fifth bet and using martingale, but the selections are clearly crap and not value.