Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Golden Age

Some interesting and kind comments over the past couple of days. Mike had this to say to my thoughts about the exchanges being a big game:

This is a quality piece. Its a shame about all the Spam, that Blogs seem to attract.

I have been with exchanges since 2001, and can certainly relate to a lot of what you write.

The Golden age is probably behind us, for many reasons, not least, Internet Bookmakers have stopped laying decent bets.

You can definitely beat exchanges, but, you have to an expertise in a certain field, and not be distracted to lose in others, where you are just gambling.

This should be easy, but, I find it incredibly hard.

Well done with this Blog. It looks good, and I especially like the General Betting blogs update.

I have started a blog - beatingbetfair - at wordpress.
I'm not sure it was a 'quality piece', but I appreciate the compliment. The point Mike makes about specialising and not getting distracted and losing in other markets where you are just gambling is a good one, and something I was guilty of for a while myself. After losses on football in 2005 and 2007 that made a big dent in the year's final profit total, I finally realised that jumping in and out of the in-play markets with no pre-defined entry and exit points was just never going to be profitable. I had no edge. What did I know, watching my TV that a few thousand other people didn't know? Nothing. Admittedly I do still sometimes dabble in these markets, but not with four figure sums. When you get burned with a couple of hits for those sums, (my biggest loss was £5k), you learn your lesson fast enough. When I get involved now, it's with small sums, and when things go wrong, as they do, I tell myself that any losses are for the anti-PC fund. Mike again:
I note you seem to like trading sports, especially Basketball. As this is pre-eminently an American sport, what are your thoghts re the legalisation of on-line gambling, in New Jersey, and maybe California ? Will they become gambling havens ? - will Betfair benefit ? Cheers Mike
The land of the free is a long way from allowing online gambling in my opinion. There are promising signs in New Jersey as you say but as Scott Ferguson, who knows far more than I do on this subject says
Sports betting still remains illegal in all bar Nevada, it covers racing only, and at that rate, probably only New Jersey racing. To make matters worse, it's likely to only be offered to New Jersey gamblers as well, at least initially, so there's no chance for any liquidity of note to build.
Betting in the US is hugely popular though, but unfortunately, so is Jesus, and religious people like nothing more than trying to impose their beliefs and ideals on others. Hear voices and want to own a gun? No problem - just sign here. You have a constitutional right to own an AK-47, Kalashnikov, Uzi... Want to play poker from your living room? Bad luck - there's nothing in the Constitution about that, but most states will let you buy a lottery ticket.

The kindest compliment?
Hi Cassini, Quit your day job and write a book!! You have a fantastic talent in your ability to write informative information and in keeping the readers intrigued on many various topics! Best blog about by far! keep it up and thanks for doing it for so long. Peter.
Thanks Peter. It's hard to believe that I started this blog just shy of three years ago with a post called "Opening Thoughts" where I wrote:
What is "Green All Over?"

The title is a reference to 'Greening-up', a term used by Betfair users to describe the ideal scenario whereby every possible outcome on an event will result in a profit. (The 'what-if' figure shows on the screen in green.)

I have been active on Betfair for almost four years now, and have had some moderate success. Some good wins, some small wins, some small losses and some frightening losses, but overall I have made a steady profit.

I have recently starting reading a number of blogs themed on Betfair, hoping to pick up some ideas, but sadly most seem to be a diatribe of eating and drinking habits, interspersed with less than informative betting related comments like "Lost £2.67 on the cricket today".

So, as arrogant as ever, I am hoping to fill this gap with a blog that goes a little deeper into the reasons why I made or lost money, my thoughts and emotions as the win / loss was happening, and perhaps filled with other observations from the world of betting.

If horse-racing is your thing, then this blog is probably not for you. Racing is just not for me. Rather like the stock-exchange, there are far too many insiders with access to a lot more information than I have and I find that the world of sports offers a more even playing field.

My investing style, and I prefer the term 'investing' over 'betting', is to trade fast moving sports in-running, looking for value. The markets are driven by two factors, fear and greed, and in the heat of battle, these factors drive people to make bad decisions and take or offer poor value bets. This is what I look for. I don't always win, but like I explained to my old Mum, if I can get 2-1 on a coin toss, I'll lose some but win a lot more. Sadly I don't often find 2-1 on evens chances, but in Betfair terms if I can get 2.1 on a 2.0 chance, I'm happy.
Not much has changed, and what I wrote on the eve of my birthday almost three years ago still applies. I think the quality of blogging has improved though, although there are still plenty of P&L or challenge blogs that don't exactly set the pulse racing. The blog is also closing in on 200,000 hits and should meet that total before the three year anniversary.

The other comments I shall get to later.

Football today, and I haven't had time to look beyond the draw bets yet. My strong picks are Blackpool v Aston Villa, Bari v Genoa and Brescia v Lazio, while weaker selections are Nancy v Auxerre, Koln v Mainz '05, Juventus v Internazionale, Atletico Madrid v Valencia and Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur.

And finally, nothing to do with betting or sport, but there was some confusion at work earlier this week when a telephone conference with about 200 invitees had to be rescheduled due to problems with the dial-in. A hastily put together e-mail was sent out, with the subject line: "This meeting will be reschediled - they apologise for the incontinence". Someone commented that there were two errors, which was true, but somehow I suspect it is the second that will be long remembered.

1 comment:

bernard said...

Hi cassini, just ran into your blog today and I am impressed with the clarity with which you espouse this way of life and related issues. I have been an IT chap for the last 12 years but in the last 2 years, opportunities in my line have been dwindling and I am finding it hard to remain in the field. I discovered betfair mid last year and it's been a steep learning curve ever since - especially with regards to tuning my mindset to react in a timely fashion. but am getting there!! my preferred sport is tennis.

I need to ask a favour of you, do you have a list of books especially in psychology and mindset tuning that can help me get to the destination slightly quicker; on the maths side, I am a statistics major at the uni but wouldnt mind some guidance in that too.

much obliged!