Thursday, 12 December 2013

Confusion Fixed

Ellis Rayner has an opinion (albeit a wrong one) on the spot/match-fixing story and my post yesterday:

I think you and Sports Trading have missed the point. This story is bullshit, you cannot, major finals aside, bet on any random player to be yellow carded, whether during a match or in a timed window.
You say, or at least imply, you don't bet on things where inside knowledge, of which you have none, could play a part. Yet you are happy to make comments about markets (which don't exist) about which you have zero knowledge!
While the exact details of he alleged fixing are not yet publicly known, I haven't read any suggestion that the alleged spot-fixing was to allow anyone to necessarily profit from a "bet on any random player to be yellow carded", and nor did I say that was the case. It's nonsense. Even Betfair with their 972 (approximately) markets on a top level football match don't have this one!

So while I, and others, seriously doubt that this is the case, I am struggling to find where in my post I made a comment about a (probably non-existent) market of which I (by definition) could have zero knowledge.

And quite frankly, as long-time readers of this blog will know, if I have zero knowledge of something, it means it doesn't exist. What do I know about god, for example? Nothing. 

What I actually wrote was that "cards affect markets", and if there is any doubt about this, the importance of a red can be inferred by the fact that Betfair suspend trading if a red card looks possible, and clears any bets if a red is confirmed. 

I think Ellis, and indeed Sport Trading Life, have missed the point, which is that if you know a team will collect yellow or red cards, that knowledge gives you an edge in markets which actually do exist. 

If you read the articles and seriously thought the fixer was profiting from betting on "any random player to be yellow carded, whether during a match or in a timed window" you should probably quit gambling. Indeed, it is quite possible that the fixer was simply proving to others his ability to 'buy' the player in question, and use that to his advantage later. Ellis' interpretation is way too simplistic I'm afraid. 

For the record though, yes, I am happy to comment on markets that do exist, and I am also happy to confirm that I make no comments about non-existent markets.

Here's more on the affair from even more of an expert than myself:
As Ed Hawkins, author of a gripping book on the scale of the problem in cricket (Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy), has pointed out, there is no way of wagering large sums of money on outcomes such as a yellow or red card on the legal betting markets in Britain. All are tracked by the major bookmakers and, increasingly, by monitoring firms on behalf of the biggest sports.
Any substantial bet of more than, say, £200 would immediately arouse suspicion and could lead to the market being pulled. Nor is there any evidence that it is possible to place bets on yellow or red cards in the $500bn grey and illegal market in Asia and the Far East.
At least Peter understood my point:
To suggest match fixing at whatever level has no effect on the outcome is laughable and shows their knowledge of betting. Sports Trading Life is just one of those blogs hoping to make it's money via affiliate and click thru money. I can't imagine anyone takes a blind bit of notice of the crap they usually post.

For them it's all about key words hoping for new visitors, I doubt even they read what they've written :)


Emp said...

Cassini is dead right. Especially about this sort of thing being proof of "good faith" amongst fixers.

Secondly, as Hawkins book notes, our markets are very robust and we don't allow bets on retarded trivia like "player x to be booked" or "number of passes made by player z to player y" and stuff like that. Asian markets focus on the main action, which is necessarily tougher to fix.

Peter said...

Has Ellis never heard of bookings markets or does he assume everyone bets with Ladbrokes and their £2 limits. I've never had problems getting relatively large bets thru the bookings markets in the past and I'm sure others haven't either due to the two way trade the spread firms used to take.

It's been shown plenty of times in the past with match fixing that very little 'trade' ever comes thru to the UK bookmakers and is usually centered around the illegal Asian betting markets where pretty much any bet can be accommodated.

It takes a very naive view to imagine players are paid to get a card where the perpetrators have no way of cashing in, but then again we'll always have people like Ellis and Sports Trading Life to fill the gap.