Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Winners Help

BubblesBrian came back to yesterday's Winners Overrated post with this comment:

Thanks for the remarks on your blog.

You say that "Betting is not about finding winners.", now I'm not being pedantic or ignorant here, but surely that's what betting is precisely all about. Finding winners that make you more money than the losing bets.

As I mentioned my biggest problem is that it's so subjective, two different people could bet on exactly the same results and generate a profit, one can say they followed value the can state that they went with gut feeling, yet you would say they have both achieved value. Yet who is right? The person who admits they chose value or the person that denied it? Because it's subjective there is no definite answer.

I am a little fish in the shark infested waters at the moment, so as such I don't fully understand every concept about the gambling world. And obviously I am open to learning about it in order to help myself succeed. I will hopefully have a eureka moment when finally it clicks and suddenly it becomes clear. Until then I will continue to search out good guides and read what I can find to improve my knowledge.
There is no finer resource for improving your knowledge of sports investing than this blog :) Yes, winners certainly help, but my line "betting is not about finding winners" was not meant to be taken literally. Rather, it was intended to make the point that successful betting is about MORE than just finding winners. Winners alone will not cut it.

To address your question of value being subjective, and subjectivity is not a problem at all - it's how we make our money, in sports betting this is of course true. If we all agreed on the true price, betting exchanges wouldn't do too much business. Also, understand that it is not possible to say after one match that you had a value bet. A win doesn't make the bet value, and a loss doesn't mean the bet wasn't value. You can only be confident that you have value if you consistently make money, and if you are, then you are finding value whether you realise it or not.

Understanding the concept of value is actually the easy part - the harder part is finding it!

I was about to publish this post when I saw that the Sultan has weighed in on this debate again. Worth a read in full, but the last part I thought was particularly astute when trading in play. While tennis doesn't do it for me, basketball and the NFL do, and these comments are exactly how I think about finding value trading these sports. I don't see the same opportunities in football due to the pre-determined direction of price movements.
How do you know that the price you are taking is value? That is all down to experience of watching and analysing the markets. For example, I know instantly when a price in a tennis match looks like good value because I have studied those markets for years and can work out the probability of a particular event happening based on instinct and intuition. I see patterns emerging that I recognise and these are based on a variety of factors, the key ones being the players themselves and how they tend to perform and the market and how the prices tend to move. Remember, the market fluctuations are driven by human emotions and reactions to what is happening in the game. If you can spot over-reactions, then you can spot the value. You won't get it right every time, you may not even get it right MOST of the time but that doesn't matter because your risk-reward ratio should ensure that, in the long run, you will come out on top.

1 comment:

gundulf said...

The pre-determined direction of price movements in a football match are surely down to two main factors - time decay and goals. Are they not also the key drivers in basketball and nfl? If not, why are those two different? (I know little of basketball and absolutely nothing of NFL, so this isn't a 'flippant' question btw)