On the topic of BBC's coverage of court-siding, The Fear wrote of the Betfair Forum:
I didn't think the programme acted as much of a selling point for Betfair. It all seemed a bit like the ordinary man on the street has no chance against people live at the event with automated systems. Steer clear. Disappointing they choose not to have a spokesman give an alternative view, because there must be people on here who have won a lot of money without resorting to fast pix and what an advert for Betfair that would be.I fear The Fear is deluding himself if he believes the ordinary man in his flat does have a realistic chance of long-term success competing against others with automated systems and live data.
As I pointed out on the thread:
How could he? Any time he gets matched, it is at a price others with more information know is poor value. It's possible that the court-sider is stupid and doesn't know how to use his advantage, and this may have been true in the past, but today these groups are all a lot more efficient.DStyle (a former commenter here) suggested that:
being first is just one part of in play betting.but I fear he too is not thinking this through. What they are suggesting just doesn't make sense if we assume the court-siding operation knows what they are doing (and it seems reasonable to assume they do, or they will soon be out of business) and are able to accurately price an in-play event.
To make money from trading long-term, you need to be able to get matched at a price greater than the true price - i.e you need value on your side. When several people are ahead of you on game state information, why would there be any value for you to pick up? In an inefficient market, this may be possible, but the presence of organised, professional court-sider groups, means that such markets are now very efficient.
This is not to say that a skilled (knowledgeable) trader can't get close to value during breaks in games, but to do so does mean that they need to be as good at identifying value as the court-sider people, and since they are doing this full-time and will see more live than the man in his flat can see on TV, the probability of that seems somewhat unlikely.
If anyone thinks that a few seconds disadvantage can be easily overcome, the point may be easier understood by thinking of the delay as minutes rather than seconds. Value doesn't wait around for long - it gets snapped up by the first person with funds available to recognise it.
Being first may be "just one part of in-play betting", but it's a very big part. Overcoming such a disadvantage seems as likely as dropping a £20 note at the bus stop on your way to work, and it still being there for you to pick up on your way home from work later that day.
Short-term, of course it is possible to win without value, but over the long-term it is not.