Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Place Your Bets (Plural)

A comment from Tage regarding the Push / Void debate, and to further the debate he has this to say:

There are some interesting variations on this theme.
On a tennis match you place a negative arbitrage bet at two different bookies.
The underdog is bet at a bookie who only requires 1 ball played.
The favourite is bet at a bookie who requires the match to finish 'normally'
Your profit will of course come when the favourite retires through the match.
This is not a void bet, but it is not a push bet either. How to record this bet?
The solution to this apparent conundrum is apparent when you see that Tage errs by considering this arbitrage to be one bet.

An arbitrage is created by two (or more, but we'll stick with two to keep it simple) discrete bets which when combined create the arbitrage, but there are two outcomes which both need to be recorded individually.

While one might want to consider a manufactured arbitrage as one bet, it clearly isn’t.

As Tage himself says “The underdog is bet at a bookie who only requires 1 ball played. The favourite is bet at a bookie who requires the match to finish 'normally' ”. "Bet at two different bookies".

Two bookies, two bets, two entries in the betting records. 
Arbitrage bet in sports betting is an activity where you simultaneously place bets on all possible outcomes of an event at odds that guarantee profit, whatever the result of the event will be. These bets are also known as surebets, miraclebets, surewins or just arbs.
In Tage’s example, he places two distinct bets, Bet One on the Underdog and Bet Two on the Favourite.

If the game never starts, then both bets are, of course, Void.

If the game plays out to its natural conclusion, then one bet is settled as a Winner, while the other is settled as a Loser.

If the game is abandoned due to a retirement, Bet One is settled as either a Winner or a Loser (depending on who retires), and Bet Two is settled as a Push because this bookmaker refunds the money if the game doesn’t end.

If the game is abandoned for reasons other than a player retiring, then unless there is some bizarre rule about paying out on the player who leads at the time, then the two bets would each be settled as a Push.

Tage goes on to offer a similar situation from Baseball:
Another bet type I had great success with 10 years ago.
A very well known UK bookie dipped their toes into MLB betting.
But they treated a baseball match exactly like a soccer match, that is, the odds stood even after a change of pitcher.
So place a bet on a big favourite at a bookie who voids the bet in case of a pitcher change and the arbitrage bet on the dog at the UK bookie.
This situation is a possible 'half void' bet. How to record this?
Again, the point here is that it is incorrect to refer to this situation as “the arbitrage bet”. The arbitrage opportunity is the result of two discrete bets, and the outcomes of each should be recorded separately.

Betting Tools Brian had this to say:
Interesting one Cassini. I originally included void bets in the ROI calculation on my TipsterTable but I changed when I read what you said on your site.
My thinking before then was that they should be included because the money was 'invested' without a return. Even if the money was never at risk due to a postponement, another potentially profitable investment may have been missed.
In most cases it will make little difference however and as long as the methods used are clear and consistent then I think either is acceptable.
It’s certainly true technically that once the money has been handed over for a bet, that money is not available to invest elsewhere, but because the bet requires the event to take place before it is ‘live’, I think there’s a valid argument to differentiate between a bet that is never activated, and a bet that is.

What is a little more awkward is how to handle an abandoned match. I lean towards recording this as a Push since the bet was live, and money was thus at risk so it more closely resembles a Draw No Bet, than a pre-game postponement, but I can see the argument for simply pretending the bet never happened and voiding it. A game abandoned in the opening few minutes bears more of a resemblance to a game called off before kick-off than does a game abandoned after 89 minutes. 
However, abandoned games are so rare that it doesn’t make a significant difference - of the 7,674 bets so far this season in the FTL, I can’t recall a single abandonment - but handling Draw No Bets as Voids rather than Pushes can make a difference.
Randolph has had slightly more than 10% of his selections end as "No Bets" and the difference between recording these as Void or Push moves the ROI% from 9.13% to 8.18%. While Randolph isn't a service, or at least not that I know of, Football Elite is, and his ROI% is either 1.16% or 1.07% depending on how the bets are recorded. 

Football betting may not be as mature as the financial markets yet, but it's growing as a serious option, and as it does, it will be important to potential serious investors what their expected ROI% really is.   

1 comment:

Tage Poulsen said...

As my comment clearly shows I’m of course aware that I place two distinct bets in the situations I describe.

And I agree with you that if ROI is the only purpose of a betting record your method is flawless.

But I actually use my own and tipsters betting records for many other purposes.
And I see problems with your method.

Conceptually I do in fact regard a surebet as one bet.
How else can I place two 10k bets with a 2k betting bank?

Most exchanges are smart enough to calculate the amount available to bet. So it’s possible to trade a golf tournament for 100k starting with 5k.

I doubt you record the 150 single bets on a golf market separately, and if you do I can’t imagine how the profit/loss on each bet should be recorded.

For statistical purposes a betting record with arbitrages is dangerous using your method.
A tipster has 100 bets in Denmark Superliga with a ROI of 3%.
I don’t see evidence of this tipster having an edge betting the Superliga if all 100 bets are parts of surebets.

I (mistakenly) thought you would agree that the simple method you describe is only useful in simple situations.
I went up a level and described what I called ‘a negative arbitrage bet’.
Using the definition of a surebet there is a guaranteed profit. Not here. There will in most cases be a loss. The profit occurs in case of a PUSH or a VOID. As your article was about PUSH and VOID bets I offered these examples.