Sunday, 25 September 2011

Make Or Take

The "Lay The Draw", aka "The Cash Generator" system continues to come to the fore every few weeks. I'm all for it. The more people laying the draw, the better the prices available for those who prefer to back that outcome. "Lay The Draw" doesn't work of course, although I shouldn't say that. Proponents state that although there are fundamental flaws with the system, if you pick the correct matches, it's a winning system. Except that you can't "pick the correct matches", and that flawed logic applies to any system. 

Goalless matches can't be predicted, or why not simply lay the 0-0? Other problems - the web site goes down. The outsider scores first and the draw price doesn't move out before the favourite equalises. Or the equaliser is scored immediately after the 'bet winning' goal leaving you back where you started, but it's fun to read. I think it is so popular because it sounds so simple, and anyone can get lucky in the short term with it.

Hard to believe that people still pay money for this system though, but anyway, while reading another thread on the subject on the Betfair forum, someone posted this line
I would be willing to bet that at least 90 percent of people on Betfair just take whatever's up there, they can't be arsed to wait for a bet to be matched.
It raises a key point, because whether you are a maker or a taker of prices can make a big difference to the bottom line, especially when it comes to the draw where a tick isn't .01 but at least .05 (end of season Italian games excepted of course). Getting 3.45 rather than 3.4 or 4.1 rather than 4 is huge, and if you can put your bets up early enough, more often than not they will get matched by people "who can't be arsed to wait". 

Those ticks add up. It also pays to be a maker in illiquid markets. There may be a gap of several ticks between the back and the lay sides, but of yours is the best available, it will often get matched. If true value is in the middle of the spread, you are in good shape if you are able to get matched on the right side. My single biggest win came after I entered a lay bet of several thousand at a poor (in my opinion) 1.03 and was somewhat astonished to see it all taken in one bet. Would that money have come in as an ask at 1.03? It's possible, but somehow I doubt it. Someone saw the money there, greed kicked in, and they took the plunge. It's often easier to make your own edge than it is to take an edge.

And taking that logic a step further, feel free to try out the new Donate button. It was suggested to me that if people are willing to pay for selections, but I'm not totally comfortable with that idea, at least for now, that people may be happy to donate after, for example, winning on some XX Draw selections. I'm not convinced, but it'll be an interesting experiment.


pakayman said...

If you could also post the weekly picks for the big soccer leagues that would be really appreciated. Some of us would even pay a subscription tax for it. Probably I am asking too much but you gotta try. I am a big fan of your blog and I never miss a post from the first day I found out about it.

Marc Owen Banks said...

What is a key element to facilitating long term profit, is touched upon with the FACT that .05-.1 are big ticks and an element of patience can become you biggest ally in beating the odds. Again though, if an edge is to be gotten through self creation long live the impatient. The blog continues to deliver quality post after post Cassini