Friday, 29 July 2011

Running On

A couple of comments on my Purposeful Practice post, with Graeme Dand being extremely modest about his efforts to identify value in the football markets. Certainly Soccermetrics takes football analysis to a whole new level, but it seems to me that whereas Graeme, and most of us reading this, are looking at data from the point of view of identifying value and making money, Soccermetrics isn’t so vulgar, and betting doesn’t seem to be a driving factor behind his analysis. My point really was that anyone serious about finding a long-term winning method needs to be prepared to put in some effort. Googling “Winning Football Betting Systems” is unlikely to be the path to riches.

Graeme continues with:
“You're definitely correct when you say it takes time to find something that works. I've been at this footie game now for 18 months and although I'm closer to finding an edge than I was 18 months ago, I'm a long way short of believing that I have something bullet proof that I can follow with 'serious money'. Saying that, I still staked well into six figures last season on my bets and made a nice little profit. I'm hoping to stake the same again this season but hopefully manage to achieve a double figure ROI instead of what I achieved last season. Easier said than done I suspect but we'll see.

I'm also keen to do a bit more work this season understanding when we agree and when we disagree on certain games in the Premiership. My results in the Premiership haven't been good but it's driven by the poor performance of Aways on my systems as I've pointed out before on my blog. I won't have this issue next season (they just won't be appearing so frequently as bets as I've dropped them from some systems) but I'm still keen to see how we compare in certain games.

Good luck for next season.”
500-5000 said:
“Hi Cassini, Nice to see you mentioning my blog again.

You make some interesting points in your post. I agree it takes many hours to become proficient at any type of job that you do. It certainly takes time to work out what works and what doesn't when it come to trading on Betfair.

Yes, I m being honest with my trading journey, and yes, I have made mistakes, as you so painstakingly point out. I'm sure we all have. However, I am learning from those mistakes.

Do you have any advice for a newbie trader? Obviously, not laying 0-0s willynilly and analysing form is key, but do you have any other info you could share?

I'd be grateful for any assistance.”
Unlike the delusional O'Dwyer, 500 to 5000 actually seems to have taken on board the advice given and accepts that his previous 'strategies' were leading nowhere. As for further advice?

Well, you're reading this blog, which is the best advice anyone could give you, and if you have read Green All Over from day one, you’ll know that for me, the key is to only bet when you have identified value. (Incidentally not a rule that I always follow myself, or I wouldn’t be lumping on Copa America matches where I clearly have no edge, and thus have no business getting involved - do as I say, not do as I do). There is nothing wrong with laying 0-0s per se, if the price is right. There is also nothing wrong with backing 0-0s, but again, only if the price is right. What makes you think that 0-0 is more or less likely than the market thinks?

The trick, of course, is in identifying when the price is right, and staking sensibly when you do.

Find a sport, or sports, you have an interest in, and specialize. It doesn’t have to be a popular sport - it’s a paradox that the more popular sports are perhaps the hardest to find value in, although If you like football, there are dozens of leagues and markets you could focus on. I follow the big five leagues in Europe (England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) which are all very popular – a double-edged sword. They have the advantage of being liquid, but the disadvantage of being studied by lots of people, making finding an edge all the more challenging.

Test your ideas. If you suspect, for example, that odds-on favourites in the Bundesliga are too short, and do not reflect the unpredictable nature of that league, make small bets and record the results. Research the results from previous seasons. I spent much of my first year on Betfair playing with 2 bets. The thrill was not in the money, but in the challenge of making a profit. (If you NEED the money, then you shouldn’t be doing this).

Keep records. Understand exactly where you are winning and where you are losing. Accurate record keeping not only helps with maintaining discipline, but it also helps you to keep wins and losses in perspective. A losing run looks a lot less disturbing when you can see the big picture. And don't beat yourself up if your discipline does slip. Step away, regroup, and get back on track.

Always look to improve. Review your results and eliminate losers. Record your results in a spreadsheet, and filter to identify what may not be working. Keep looking for new opportunities. Edges can literally disappear overnight.

Be realistic in your goals, or at least the time-frame for achieving them. While 500 to 5000 is certainly achievable, it is a goal unlikely to be achieved in a few months.

And last, but by no means least, be patient. Keep your discipline and your focus. You don’t need to bet every day, nor do you need to limit how many bets you have in a day. Some days there may be no value bets. Other days there may be a dozen. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

1 comment:

Paul R. said...

Lots of good advice there. I've recently started my own blog - - and this afternoon realised there was a fundamental I'd never seen discussed I think is more important than the research effort you highlight as necessary: knowing when you're wrong, and acting accordingly:

I'm going to be focusing on bot building over the coming months, but the more I think about how out of kilter my own thinking with most punters is when it comes to the fundamentals of not just research but money management, the more I think it would make a more interesting blog!

Anyway, that's my first "proper" post. Hope you might consider keeping an eye on it - you're in my RSS reader, and I always look forward to the updates.