Saturday 4 July 2015

Mulligans And Antiques

A Mulligan, in a game, happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action; usually due to lack of skill or bitter luck.
With Wimbledon in full swing, perhaps it's not surprising that tennis is dominating this blog right now. Tennis Trader Martin replied:
Difficult to convince you . Yes, perhaps I like to convince me with your support. :-)
Well, clear words about tennis and it sounds logic, because it's a mature market. Smaller niche markets can be better to find a "technical edge". At tennis you have to do it mostly with the knowledge and patterns of players and markets. That was also the reason, why copy&paste of the Sultan strategies didn't work for me. You have to find your own way. In my opinion is possible if you don't compete with the courtsiders. Perhaps is luck at the moment, but since some weeks I trade quite consistent in the green zone. Let's see, where the way goes...
Unfortunately Tennis Trading's latest post made for uncomfortable reading. After losing some money trading pre-game, Martin wrote:
I didn't count this loss to my profit&loss statement (exactly -100 Euro), because I will not do this approach any more. It's looking like an excuse, that's true. Probably I would count the profit if I could turn the trade in a winner. I am honest about this issue. You see, never believe a profit&loss blog ;-).
Well, to be honest
So it counts if the bet wins, but not if it loses...  I'm not sure that's how it should work at all, but at least Martin was honest with us, if not to his P&L account. He continues:
If you don't count the mentioned trade, I had a successful day.
The problem is that small word that opens the sentence.

I also noticed Martin refers to this as the 'offplay market' - surely the opposite of 'in-play' would make this 'out-play'? I prefer the term pre-game anyway.

Still with tennis, and Bafel saw my comment "When I can tell who won the point before I see it on TV, it's time to move on" and had this to say:
In my opinion, tennis markets have matured to a point where the only real edge is your ability to read the game in play. Pro tennis traders make consistent profits because they anticipate to changes of momentum and take good risk/reward prices . They couldn't care less who gets to see the points faster as long as there is sufficient time between points/games to enter/exit a trade.
Courtsiders feed from scalpers and mugs leaving unmatched bets between points. But these strategies are not workable any more. Even nowadays mugs are getting smarter, and you will rarely see available money at volatile stages.
I'm sick and tired of people on tweeter complaining about guys trading with fast pics etc, as if it was the reason why they ain't making profits. I don’t know for other sports, but for tennis traders a courtsider is the least of your problems.
The idea of 'fast pictures' is nonsense for a start. All pictures are delayed, just some are less delayed than others, but none are as fast as being court side of course.

To address Bafel's points in order, he suggests that the "only real edge is your ability to read the game in play". For this to be true, you would need your ability to read the game to be better at this than anyone else in the market. That's a tall order. Confidence is good, but is this a realistic thought? Exchange betting is no longer a novelty, and one can presume that at least some tennis insiders are active in the markets and certainly people who are a lot more knowledgeable about tennis than the average trader.

If it is true that "they couldn't care less who gets to see the points faster", that statement can only be true if everyone ahead of them is less knowledgeable. If you can get matched at say 1.5 after a point, it's because the court-sider syndicates have the true game-state price at 1.51 or above and aren't interested in 1.5. It's a poor value bet.

If there is a lack of liquidity at volatile stages, I would suggest that is because the court-siders have driven the home amateur out of the market. I'm surely not the only one to realise that "When I can tell who won the point before I see it on TV, it's time to move on". What you end up with basically are court-sider syndicates competing with other court-sider syndicates. Best model wins!

The reason people complain about losing out to "guys trading with fast pics" is because trading skill (ability to read the game) is no longer enough - you simply can't win consistently if you are at a chronological disadvantage. It's a legitimate reason to complain, but it's also a waste of energy - no one is listening.

Perhaps this makes it clearer. Imagine you're an antiques dealer, and you walk into an antique shop where an item has been on sale for a year at the same price. It's probably not a great deal for you. If you think you're getting a deal, you're basically counting on the fact that every other fellow dealer in the past twelve months wasn't aware of the 'true' value, and passed on it. You would have to have a better idea than all those ahead of you of the real value.

However, your chances of finding value are much increased if you are the first customer in the shop after the item is listed for sale. The principle is the same for tennis trading.

A clueless, or shall we say a less sophisticated, customer could buy the item at the asking price, and after a while, the market picks up and they can sell it for a profit. That doesn't mean that they bought at value, only that they got lucky with how the market moved. If your habit is to pay more than the true price for something, you're generally not going to make any money.

So I would say that the tennis court-sider is certainly NOT the least of an at-home tennis trader's problems. He is why trading tennis in-play from home using the the TV for your data is an exercise in futility. I understand that some people have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth that the home-trader can consistently make a profit trading tennis in-play, but I fail to see how this can be true.  I'm Bafel'd quite frankly, given that fair value isn't nearly enough as I explained in this post.

Premium Charges

On a call to the Betfair Help Desk earlier this week, I asked about the Premium Charge portal which hasn't been updated since the week ending June 21st. For a few days, there was the option to review Premium Charges from the My Account / Activity tan, but that too has gone. The young lady told me that "they are working on some things because, to be honest, it was confusing people". Well no kidding! Someone finally noticed? I optimistically asked if the Premium Charge had been scrapped, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Something strange is going on though. The portal worked fine for several years, so why it has suddenly been pulled is odd. To deduct the charges without informing people first seems very poor, but they have us by the balls. Incidentally, when someone says "Well, to be honest", does it mean that usually they are lying?

C-LAY-ton Kershaw

Lost again last night, at a short offplay price of 1.44 I am told. That is four in a row for this simple system. If you don't count the losses, Clayton Kershaw is having a great season.

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