Saturday 23 January 2016

Coaches And Confusion

As the NBA season approaches its annual All-Star game, (an exhibition game on Valentine's Day between East and West), there's an interesting twist to who will be coaching the two teams this year.

The best team in the Eastern Conference right now, the Cleveland Cavaliers, just fired their head coach, presumably after losing recent games to the West's top guns the Golden State Warriors (at home, by 34 points!) and the San Antonio Spurs. This means that the newly promoted associate coach Tyronn Lue will probably get the honour with just a handful of games in the bag as head coach.

In the West, the current Conference leaders are the Warriors whose head coach (Steve Kerr) has been out all season recovering from back surgery. His first game 'back' was last night, although 'officially' he has been head coach all season. However the rules do prevent the same team from providing the All-Star coach two seasons in a row, so the 'honour' will likely go to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who would rather have a week off than be involved!

Peter Webb seems a little confused about the 1% in the news this week. He writes

Saw some headlines this morning from Oxfam about wealth distribution. The glaring headline was that the top 1% of the world ‘own’ the rest of it.
I've not seen anywhere suggest that 1% 'own' the rest of it - that would have indeed been a glaring headline. The statement was actually that:
The combined wealth of the richest 1 per cent will overtake that of the other 99 per cent of people next year unless the current trend of rising inequality is checked
He also completely misses the point of the study when saying that:
Putting aside the detail, the problem with these ‘top 1%’ stats is that there will always be a top 1%. If you eliminate the top 1%, another grouping will become the new top 1%. If you plot a bell curve, you will always get a top 1% of something.
No one is suggesting that having a top 1% is a problem - of course there will always be a top 1%! There will always be a bottom 1% too. All totally irrelevant.

The issue / problem is that the top 1% have the same wealth as the other 99%.

As for "putting aside the detail", well OK, but for me, the details are rather important in a debate like this. Putting aside the detail, I thought Hitler was a rather good leader.

Some more numbers - in 2010, 388 people had the same wealth as the poorest 50 per cent (~3.5 billion people). Last year this number was down to 85, and this year is at 80.

Betting Tools Tweeted this yesterday:
This has been covered before, but the optimal staking method is to use variable stakes - Kelly, or fractional Kelly. To suggest that variable staking 'can' leave you exposed with just one bad bet is technically true, but it's also meaningless. It's idiotic staking that can hurt you, not variable. No single stake, whether level or variable, should ever deviate far from around 2% of the bank, perhaps up to 4% as detailed in the link - unless you have inside information of course.
Most gamblers are probably best served by using a flat 2% of their bank per bet, since figuring edges in sports is, as mentioned earlier, very difficult. For a season-long win rate of 55% (on a bet paying at evens), a good target for most bettors, this represents a little more than 1/3 Kelly, which is a conservative compromise between risk and return. Increasing this to 3%, or occasionally 4% on an especially good play, is reasonable.
On a lighter note, I saw this on the Betfair Forum:
When manager of Plymouth Argyle, Peter Shilton was giving a motivational speech.
He finished it with 'like a Pheasant rising from the ashes'.
Somebody pointed out that it was a Phoenix.
To which he replied, "I knew it started with an F"

1 comment:

Brian said...

Of course agree that Kelly is the optimal (we use it for the Holy Grail in fact and showing a decent profit yet again for this season :) ) and what we were trying to get at here is that if you are betting at level stakes you benefit each time the bookie is wrong. You can afford to be wrong more often.

But if you are using Kelly or a similar variable method, you need to make sure you don't get your pricing drastically wrong on ANY bet.

Find one even money shot you think is a 95% certainty and you've just wiped out a massive chunk of your bank. An extreme example maybe but even if you are not 'overstaking' one badly priced bet can still undo the good work of several other good ones.

Letting the bookie do all the pricing will work better for 99% of punters. Unless you have a computerised system that prices up events for you like we do.

I should think bookies probably hate large level stake punters more than almost anyone else.