Monday, 1 March 2010

Solving A Problem Like Maria

Every Saturday, when I update my ‘very interesting’ Elo ratings, I notice something new. This time I noticed that even though the day was decidedly average for bullseyes, the number of losses if I had layed the opposed team would have been very low – just 11 from all the English League (including Conference), Scottish, Italian, French, German and Spanish games. Another value opportunity perhaps?

At the top level of the English game, the ratings were poor this weekend. Only the draw at Sunderland came in exactly as predicted, although the League Cup Final also finished as expected, but with no money invested!

The wins for Arsenal, Birmingham City and Liverpool were all close with the winner right, but off by one goal. The draws at Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur also missed by one goal which leaves the shocker at Chelsea and the surprise at Burnley.

The other English Leagues, Championship to Conference, went 4 of 12, 2 of 10, 4 of 12 and 2 of 8 respectively.

In Europe, the Bundesliga for once had a good week with 4 wins out of 9 matches, and La Ligue was even better with 5 bulleyes from 10 matches. Strange how it goes – one week ago France and Germany had just one bullseye each. Serie A was good too with 4 bullseyes from 10, with La Liga a miserable 1 from 10.

So back to the idea of laying the teams that are opposed. With less than a full season in the spreadsheet one has to be careful, but a conservative laying system along the lines of Maria’s Laying System which caused a bit of a sensation a few years ago and enabled Maria to turn a bank of £3,000 into over £100,000 in less than a year laying horses.

Her system was a ‘laying’ system, i.e. her selections were all horses that she thought would lose, and she managed to select 3,547 losers (winners to her) from 4,131 selections – a strike rate of 85.86%.

There were three keys to her success:

1. A good selection process
2. No losing selections romping home at big prices
3. Liability on each race was controlled and limited

Her selection method was never divulged, smart girl, but what’s of interest to me is the staking system that she used.

For selections where the prices were less than 3.6, the system layed to 1% of the bank.

For selections where the prices ranged from 3.6 to 7.4, the system layed to 0.6% of the bank, and for selections of 7.5 to 11, the system layed to 0.4% of the bank.

Any selections at prices over 11 were not considered.

She had some other rules in place, but that can wait for another day.

Looking at my results, a system laying the opponents of a home team I predict will win by 1 in the EPL would have a strike rate of 91% so laying at below 11.5 should, in theory, be profitable, but nothing is that easy of course.

Update: Courtesy of Stripped1977 here is a link to some details about "Maria's Laying System". (A search on those words will return other links)


NoseAhead said...

Another interesting post Cassinni,

It seems Maria had her risk liability down quite tight. Very smart girl. If it can work for her then it can work for most anyone adapting the same approach.
Replicating her selection method being the difficult part as consistancy is where the success comes in.
Would like to read more on the subject as i have started a little trading myself lately.
As I dont know much about her apart from her 1st name, if you can forward me a link on the subject I would be grateful :)

Cheers Anthony

SleazyNick said...

As you know the frustrating thing about laying is when the big priced one hits home and wipes out alot of the previously made profits!

What people dont notice about marias staking plan is that its actually a pretty thin line between profits and busting half your bank if you hit below the 75% strike rate.

Warren Banks said...

Interesting post, can I ask for a bit more info about marias past exploits, any links?

Anonymous said...

Ummm. Forgive me is I've got this wrong, my maths isn't the best, but:

If you lay 100 of these selections at an average price of 11.5 for one unit you would lose 10.5 units for each of the 19 you lose? = a loss of 199.5 on those 19 selections

And you would win one unit for each of the 81 winners, a profit of 81 units.

net profit (loss) = -119.5 Correct? Not profitable in my book or am i being dim and have misunderstood what you meant?

AC said...

And I reckon the average price of a team expected to lose by one would be 11-2.

so a loss of 110 on 80 losing selections and profit of 80 on the others. So still a losing proposition even if you change your max lay price to 6.5

Anonymous said...

loss of 110 on 20 losing lays i mean

Anonymous said...

Cassini, is it alright if I give those asking for a link to Maria?

Here it is


Rob The Builder. said...

I think point i. ( her selection process ) is considerably more important than the staking systems. Yes, you need consistent staking, but the actual percentages aren't that vital, as long as they work mathematically. It's then all about hit rate, and to achieve what she did she had the selection system sorted. And, as you say, cleverly she kept that info to herself.