Thursday, 27 June 2013

Heel Nipping

Hot on the heels of my last post highlighting, among other interesting facts, the importance of achieving maximum rather than average prices, comes an article going into much more detail on the subject from Premier Betting's Danny Jaques.

The reality is that most of us can never get the best price all the time. For one thing, accounts are closed or seriously limited by many bookmakers as soon as we show signs of actually wanting our accounts to be profitable and having half-a-brain, and so our options are limited.

Danny suggests that it is worth spending a couple of hours opening accounts with as many bookmakers as possible, but from personal experience, I would question this. What is the point of opening an account with a bookmaker known to close or seriously limit accounts, often after just a few bets?

Bookmakers might try to act like they are your best friend, but of course they are not. They will open up their arms trying to get you to play the game with them, supply the half-time interval orange segments, refund your bus fare to the game etc., (bonus offers in other words) but as soon as you start to win, they will pick up the ball and go to find someone else to play with. And they likely tell their friends not to play with you too.

There’s a lot of whining about these practices being unfair, but they’re in business to make money. They are not providing an essential service, and as annoying as it might be, there’s not a lot we can do about it other than find alternatives.

With the Exchanges, at least for now, choosing the punitive tax option over banning winners, everyone can at least be assured of getting on at those prices, which are usually better than average. If they aren’t, then arbitrageurs would be piling in at the sportsbooks and laying off on the exchanges. Other sportsbooks also promise not to ban winners, (notably Pinnacle who pleasingly to me at least, don’t feel the need to seduce you with bonuses, but let their product do the selling), and these may be viable, but opening accounts with “as many books as possible” is at best a very short-term proposition, and at worst a waste of time and quite possibly money.

Only open accounts that are sustainable and with a good reputation. 

A quick look at a recent thread with this topic highlights the problem.
Around 20-25 I'd say, maybe a few more. I can only bet currently with 4 of them, and only 2 are fully unrestricted. My fav site to use is probably WillHill. Worst website of them all goes to Coral for me, it's just buggy as hell.
I opened loads of phone accounts in the days when bookies started offering bonuses to do so so did my missus, and mam and dad, and sisters, my hamster even had a tote account ! I rarely use any of them from choice as I think they are good at collecting data on you, and some stopped accepting bets after a few winners, and some stopped after I placed bets tipped up by shroodies on Betfair.
I did have about 10, I now only have 3 that I can actually use. and 2 of those wont let me have more than 50/100 bets on.

It's amazing! Before I started reading these forums I thought that bookie closures etc. were rare! I didn't realise they were so common! Is there anybody that hasn't had any restrictions!
I didn't last very long with Stan James!
Finally, I’m not sure Danny meant to say this in his article:
“…let us assume you are a reasonably good punter who has around a 50% strike rate on all your selections.”
Say what? Strike rate on its own is absolutely meaningless. What matters is strike rate relative to price. A punter having a strike rate of 10% at 12.0 is much better than a punter with a 90% strike rate at 1.01. If Danny’s imaginary punter is getting better than evens, then we can probably say he is ‘reasonably good’, but we can’t bestow this designation on him based on strike rate alone.

And similarly hot on the heels of my last post, comes this post from my old friend, and occasional sparring partner, Mark Iverson providing his valued his input on draws, which are fast becoming very trendy this summer. As Mark points out, there's little old me and my XX Draws, Peter Nordsted and his Drawmaster and now Graeme Dand crashing the party with his TFA Draw Systems D1, D2, D3, D6, D7.

You can read Mark's post in full here, but hold on for a second while I cherry pick a few lines first:
My expectations were that I could expect an average selection price of 3.60, so to at least break even I’d need a strike rate of 28%. 
This is a very reasonable expectation - by way of comparison, for the EPL my prices averaged very close to this, actually at 3.64. 
In total, I placed 168 bets and successfully won 52 (30.95%) at an average price of 3.91, with my ROI finishing on 16.71%.
How does this compare to the XX Draws in the EPL I hear you ask?  Well as it happens, I now have the final numbers for last season broken down by League, and I can tell you. With 35 winners from a nice round 100 selections in the EPL, the strike rate was obviously 35%, and the ROI was 27.25%. 

2012-13 XX Draw Results By League
Back to Mark:
A straight-up punting mindset is one I left behind quite a while ago, so despite being expected the losing runs were nevertheless uncomfortable (my longest run was 16 losers on the trot). To my mind this makes it all the more important to understand the system inside and out before getting involved and to make sure your bank is big enough to absorb the losing runs from the outset. If you have a good handle on how many bets you’re likely to place and can make a decent estimation of what your likely strike rate will be then this is a pretty forward calculation to do. I’d done this, and so arranged for my betting bank to be 20 times larger than my stake size.
Couldn't agree more. Backing the draw is not for the emotional, and those lengthy losing runs can be tough to ride out.
At the same time I now fully realise how important it is to get the best price possible for every selection, as over a high number of bets it really makes a difference to your overall profit and loss. It’s not even that hard to do with sites like Oddschecker allowing you to compare selections at the click of a mouse. However, don’t forget that not all bookmakers are listed and throughout the course of the season the majority of my punts were placed at Pinnacle, who are keen to stress that winners are welcome due to their high turnover model. Others on my regular hit list were Bet365, Sky Bet and Stan James but when possible I tried to spread my business around.
I think a full-time professional like Mark always 'fully realised' the importance of getting the best price possible, and I'm glad it's not just me banging on about it these days. I would take Mark's recommendation of Bet365 and Stan James with a pinch of salt though. With adverts for these companies present on Mark's blog, a jury would likely agree that there's a serious conflict of interest here.  

1 comment:

Mark Iverson said...

Nice of you to pick up on my post Cassini. I am becoming more interested in the football betting markets and probably have you to thank for that.

Just for the record though, I'd like to make it clear that I've not received one penny to date from the Bookmakers on my site. Not through any affiliation deal or advertising etc. so it's not an income I'm reliant on. I just don't get the traffic and my readers tend to be quite experienced so the banners are just there to make the site look pretty and fill some space.

On top of that I do have those accounts and did use them frequently last season.

All the best,