Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Marshmallows - Who Can Resist?

Steve over at the modestly named Best Betfair Football Trader blog wrote a piece on long-term Betfair trading, specifically the promotion / championship markets. While the presence of new teams into a group of ratings which have evolved over at least 34 matches complicates things, I was interested in seeing how the three lowest rated survivors from last season had performed in each league, thinking that, on average, one relegated team would come from that short-list, one would be a promoted team, and one would be a relative surprise.

In England, three three lowest rated survivors last season were, (worst team first), Sunderland, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers. Wolves are already down, and Bolton at 1.42 to join them. Sunderland were never in trouble. Blackburn were not much of a surprise, they finished one place higher than Bolton in the rankings last season, and if Queens Park Rangers go down, there's the promoted team.

In Serie A, the three were Bologna, Cagliari and Lecce. Lecce are 1.07 to go down, Cagliari struggled but survived, and Bologna were never in trouble. Novara were the relegated promoted team, if you see what I mean.

In La Liga, the three candidates were Real Sociedad, Mallorca and Racing Santander. Racing finished bottom by some distance, Real Sociedad struggled but survived, and Mallorca were never in trouble. Of the promoted clubs, Rayo Vallecano and Granada are both at risk.

In France, the three expected to struggle were Nice, Brest, and, get this, Montpellier! Brest are at risk, Nice slightly at risk, and Montpellier? They are at risk of winning the title! I guess that counts as 'never in trouble'. Dijon are the promoted team most at risk.

And in Germany, Freiburg, Koln and Wolfsburg were the trio to watch. Koln went down, Freiburg survived, and Wolfsburg were never in trouble. Of the promoted teams, Hertha Berlin could go down if they lose their relegation play-off with Dusseldorf.

I'll try and remember to revisit this topic once the season is over, and put up the teams that may struggle in 2012-13.

New blogger Derek posted a comment on yesterday's post saying:
...the only thing I don’t agree with is “If your discipline is so bad that the only way you can keep your stakes small is to keep a small bank, then you do not have the discipline required to be successful at this.” In my opinion discipline is not something we are born with. I believe it is something we can learn. it is one area that I do work hard on and I have come on leaps and bounds since I have started so I don’t see why I cant develop this further to gain the discipline required.
I guess my thoughts on this are that if you can build up from a small bank, you should be increasing your stakes (slowly) as your bank builds, not keeping the bank artificially small, not to mention that if you have pulled money out, you surely still think of that money as part of your betting bank. For me it's just easier to leave the funds in one place, but then I'm not the type of person who lets bank size influence the stake size, beyond  the latter being a percentage of the former. I'm not a huge fan of marshmallows either. Self-control is part learned, part inherited, but it's an important skill to learn.

Past studies have reported that self-control is partially inherited and partially learned and that those with less self-control are more likely to be unemployed, en­gage in unhealthy behaviours such as overeating, and live a shorter life.
One study found that children with lower self-control were more likely as adults to have poor health, be single parents, depend on drugs or alcohol, have difficulties with money and possess a criminal record.
Or there is this:
"A test of both general ability and much else besides was discovered by psychologists in the late 1960s. No examinations are involved, no questionnaires, or psychometric testing. All it requires is a bag of marshmallows.

"The Marshmallow Test emerged during studies by Walter Mischel and his colleagues at Stanford University into the ability of children to delay gratification. In a series of experiments, they measured this ability by putting a marshmallow on a plate and telling the child that he can help himself - or wait until the researcher gets back in 15 minutes, in which case he will be given an extra marshmallow.

"Predictably enough, some of the children wolfed down the marshmallow immediately, while others decided to wait and get the bigger reward. The researchers were struck by how those who waited devised ways of avoiding temptation, from talking or singing to themselves to inventing simple games; one even decided to doze off.

"The real surprise, however, came a decade later, when Prof Mischel and his colleagues tracked down the children to see what kind of people they were turning into. They found that the children who had been best at delaying gratification had better academic and social skills. They typically achieved much higher Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, were less likely to be distracted, more motivated to succeed and were better at making and keeping friends."


Peter Webb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Webb said...

Sunderland were in trouble at one point under Steve Bruce, but it looks like they 'only' reached odds of 4.5 to be relegated.

Tony said...

Hi Cassini, this might have been covered before but if you have stats available, can you tell me how many times this season a team has been odds on away from home and failed to win? Can you provide a breakdown for each of the big leagues you monitor and can you go back more than just this season?

Like I say, it may have been touched upon but other than the odd one or two team there arent many that win more than 50% of their away games but I dont know if they win over 50% of the games in which they are odds on.

Possibly one for your friendly tipster table?

I like marsh mallows and I always burn my mouth if I toast them as I dont wait for them to cool.

David Bright said...

Having just reached my first £100 profit mark (£150 bank from a starting point of £50) I can appreciate the 'Building a small bank'. I've stuck to my original stakes all the way through but am itching to up them at some point.
Do you stick to set amounts or up them as a percentage?