Friday 5 July 2013

Account Closures

With an average daily visitor count a little over 350 these days, a little controversy is clearly good for business - except that I have no affiliate links so the soaring hit count is of academic interest only.

It also makes posting a lot easier, with comments often generating the next post, which generates comments and repeat. Danny did come back with a comment, and here it is, broken down with my replies to each part.

You like to act as judge and jury over the bookmaking industry yet as I understand it your sole experience is a couple of closed accounts with Coral and Ladbrokes circa 1983!
I don't think expressing an opinion based on the evidence available is in any way acting as judge and jury, and my experience goes a lot further than two closed accounts. Their closure was a turning point though, and although I had others at that time, they have long been dormant since, as I wrote yesterday, I moved on from gambling. One account I had was with a local firm called Surrey Racing who I don't think even exist any more, absorbed by SkyBet. Perhaps I should apply for reinstatement! I am also well aware that the online account business is a lot different than it was 22 years or so ago, and I doubt that it is any more winner friendly now than it was then.
While we are on the subject of ancient history, how exactly did you cane the bookies with your 'system', which was apparently something to do with a dodgy 1970's soft rock band? In those days you could barely bet singles anyway so how did you do it?
This is where Danny crosses the line. There is nothing dodgy about ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), one of the finest bands of all-time and still a top play on my iPhone / iPod, and as this post in 2012 said, "I'm sick of people comparing Jeff Lynne to God - he may be the almighty but he'll never be Jeff Lynne".

I suspect Danny isn't quite genuine with his feigned lack of knowledge of Elo ratings, and I suspect also that he hasn't read every post of mine. This one details my 1987 purchase of a book which has proved to be worth its weight in gold. and much of my modest success (there was certainly no 'caning') in those halcyon days was down to lessons learned and applied from this book. I also made use of the Racing Post back in those days to identify the top prices, and if I had an edge I would combine those select 'super-value' bets in accumulators because as Danny said, back in those days football betting was a little different. It was for this reason that I had many more than the two accounts which were ultimately closed.
Do you personally have any online accounts or should we treat everything you say as heresay? What have you got to lose by trying it for yourself, you could go through Mark's links by way of thanks for all the readers he brings you.
The word is 'hearsay' and a lot of what I write about is necessarily hearsay, and stated as such. When I post Tweets or things that others have written, then clearly it is hearsay. It is what the word means. I could certainly try opening accounts again but from all the evidence I have seen, and there's been a lot recently, it rather suggests that I would not last long. 

Punters need the ability to bet at the best prices (assuming the 'best' price is value of course), with amounts of their choosing.

Danny then says: 
As for account preservation I can give a couple of pointers:
1) Don't open an account and make your first bet on an out of line price.
You're suggesting taking a lower price than you can get elsewhere? You think that if your opening bet is a sucker bet, that your account is then marked as "sucker" for the rest of time?
2) Stick to the big markets, mainly weekends.
Yes, those big computers simply lose track of winners when they are busy.
3) Don't hit and run.
3? I thought you said 'a couple'. Define 'hit and run'. When you have an account, you want it available when that firm offers the best price, be that daily, weekly or monthly. I'm not sure who would bet, win, withdraw and never use the account again. Most people know that withdrawals cost the company money, so common sense says to leave the money there for next time.
4) Mix up your betting.
Fine if you have an edge in many sports / markets, but not a good idea if you specialise.
5) Don't be too greedy.
Voluntarily restrict your account? Throw Kelly out of the window? Wow.
6) When the inevitable happens accept it with good grace.
Agreed. The bookie has no obligation to enter into a bet with you.
Listen the bookies are small potatoes compared to what you do but it doesn't mean they are all useless.
Bookies are full-time. I am part-time. They are not all useless since they generally make rather large profits. I am just trying to make a profit. 

So not a lot of practical advice there on account preservation. Clearly many of these steps will help preserve your account, but I was rather looking for ways of doing it while still being able to actually use the account. Restricting yourself by 'not being greedy' and putting on 10p will work but kind of misses the point of having the account.

I did find this article which is well written and may be more useful if this is a concern for you, but there is no easy way of staying under the radar long-term if you are consistently winning. The article includes this statement:
It seems the noose is tightening on winning punters, bookmakers are trying to save pennies like all businesses and it seems they are getting ever more intolerant of the odd winning account. It seems unfair, and basically it is. Here is an industry that sells itself on taking bets, and on the promise that you have sporting chance of winning, yet real winners are locked out. It’s spoken about hardly at all in the media, who rely very much on bookmaker advertising for revenue. But bookmakers are culling anyone that even smells like a winning punter with what seems like ever increasing regularity.
And finally, Al writes:
No comment from SBC about their glowing endorsement of bookie sponsored GYTO?
Since I have nothing to do with the Secret Betting Club or Get Your Tips Out, I can't comment on this other to say that I had never heard of the latter, but I did take a look at the GYTO site and saw articles openly sponsored by bookies, and of course those tacky banner adverts. Not for me thank you. No idea what SBC's relationship is with GYTO.

A final comment on the book I mentioned yesterday by Joseph Buchdahl. Having read the book, I was a little surprised to read in the article on Most Bookmakers Don't Like Winners that he says this:
Furthermore, my professionalism extends to theoretical betting analysis only; this is not the same thing as being a successful forecaster of betting outcomes. I may understand the mechanics of a betting market but I am largely clueless when it comes to serious match prediction other than how to design a rating system. My profits from sports betting run to 4 figures only, several orders of magnitude less than the best professional punters in the industry.


Peter said...

I would like to clarify the comment that claims that the Secret Betting Club endorses GYTO.

SBC have never reviewed GYTO, let alone endorsed them. The person who left this comment clearly is not an SBC member and is woefully mis-informed.

Unknown said...

Serious questions for once:

1) How are Nate Silver's ELO Baseball ratings performing?

2) Looking at Chelsea QPR last season - with the benefit of hindsight the result was a total outlier and there were clues at the time such as QPR having no shots and little possession. Do results such as this throw the ELO ratings right out as I believe the weak team would get a lot of points from the strong team?

3) What are your thoughts about the STL interview with "professional gambler" Ian Erskine? I was wondering if you could run that clever number checking technique you wrote about once that checks the integrity of numbers (you see I do occasionally pay attention). His declared earnings are £1,423,678, quite an unusual figure in itself!

4) For £595 he will give me the "Millionaire Mindset" and six cups of coffee. Is this VALUE???

Jimbo said...

The 6 points that that your friend Mr Murphy made about account preservation may well have something there. His 6 points would keep accounts open.

However if I would give 6 points on how not to bet on sports and how to lose money long term then that would be them.

Find the firms who continually give good odds and continually take those bets. The likes of your Pinnacles and SBO's of this world, or an Exchange.

Why complicate your betting merely to delay the inevitable with firms who will stop you if you have an edge? Just does not make sense. You place the bets YOU want, at the odds YOU want and the stake YOU want. If not how can possibly expect to profit long term/

It really should go without saying. The hard work in successful sports betting starts after that.

I'm going for a lie down.