Tuesday 2 August 2011

Out Of The Stretch

What a thin line it can be between winning and losing. After an awful Copa America that I should have followed my own advice about and ignored, whether July finished in the red or the green came down to the last day and among key events was a basketball game where my bet won with a shot with less than two seconds remaining. A few inches off, and the month is likley a losing one. Today's Free Under Over Soccer Picks had Kalmar v Mjallby, an investment that had I checked the progress of after 82 minutes, with a score of 0-0, would have looked safely in the bag. Luck this time went against me, with three late goals, but it's all part of the game and here's no point getting upset about it. One of the keys for successful trading is to take the emotion out of it. My own trading favourite of basketball often comes down to a last second (literally - a second in basketball is a long time!) play. Sometimes I need the basket to be scored for my best outcome, other times I need the basket to be missed, but I have no control over the play. All I can do is play the odds, and make the best decision given the situation. Whether it goes for you or against you in these circumstances, a ho-hum attitude seems to work best. In one way, it's perhaps somewhat disturbing how winning or losing a four figure sum seems so irrelevant, but in other ways it is really rather a good thing.

My last post showed the results from following two Free Picks systems, the afore-mentioned Free Under Over Soccer Picks and the MLB Daily Picks - systems that I blindly follow with a view to not losing too much, but generating commission and helping somewhat with the Premium Charge. No thought or rating by myself on these, but I do have other methods for both football and baseball, a sport where backing the underdog has offered much better value over the years than following the favourite, something I wrote about at the start of the 2010 season.
The results show that not surprisingly, betting on baseball underdogs is the way to go. Underdogs over the past seven seasons have gone 6917-9644 for a loss of 153 points. Favorites during that span are 9619-6891 for a loss of 641 points. Thus even though favorites win at a 58% hit rate, betting on them costs you more than four times your money. Of course, no one in their right mind blindly bets on either the favourite or the underdog, but the numbers show that there is better value to be found on the underdog.
While the picks I display here are those of Mr. Stretch, P commented - You're missing the boat with the MLB picks Cassini! Simply laying the home favourite appears to be much more of an edge: http://www.mlbdailypicks.com/2011-ratings-results/ Hard to argue with - laying the home team shows a profit to date of 40.74 points, while Mr Stretch's official results show 'only' a profit of 6.46 points.


Tradernomics said...

Hello Cassini,

Hope you are well. We have just launched our website over at www.tradernomics.net and would be delighted if you would kindly add ourselves to your blogroll.


we have been keen folowers of your blog for many years and appreciate your musings and discussion on all topics sports trading related.
Keep up the intelligent musings.

Taylor, Jason & Chris

Average Guy said...

Hello again,

still somewhat confused "Kalmar v Mjallby, an investment that had I checked the progress of after 82 minutes, with a score of 0-0, ".

As a trader I would have assume you could have gotten out at this stage with the lions share of the profit. Is it that you only use these picks as a PC offset and hence straight bets or do you use straight bets all the time? Am I being particularly obtuse here as maybe you thought that the green up price was not value in these circumstances ? I actually agree with the "Ho Hum" mentality as I'm trying to eradicate emotion from my trades and I find if I can achieve a sense of ambivalence I accept losses far easier and don't spiral back down the mug punter route.

I also feel that there is a link between the bank size and the acceptable loss size in that when my bank was small (about 50€, I know but we must start somewhere) I mentally wasnt able to accept even a red of €5 without doing something stupid. I keep it about the €250 level now (I still don't trust myself) and don't blink when I have a pre event loss of my "max red" which is about €15 now. Is there a correlation between bank size and behaviour or am I evolving (Christ, too much Criminal Minds on TV) into a better trader ?

Mark said...

Hi Cassini.

You contributed to my last blog which I closed down last year. I wrote about betting for a living after leaving my corporate job. Well, I'm still going and wondered if you would add my link to your blog:


Pete Nordsted said...

Hi Cassini,
As always an excellent blog that always fuels some good debate. It’s interesting how these baseball ratings seem to have grabbed some people’s interest.

As a bit of background I first started looking at baseball around 2 years ago and as you point out the beauty of the sport is the home favourites that are already being offered at poor prices by the bookmaker offer no real value anyway.

At that time I initially just looked at laying any favourite between 1.30 and 1.80 and after a little success this then led me to develop various ratings systems and since then I have been experimenting with various timelines to see if I can gain even more of an edge.

Due to certain commitments I dropped this process last season but this year I decided to experiment with the ratings throughout this season and I am now at a stage where I am convinced this will remain profitable long term.

Now this is all very well and good but you would not believe the number of people whose eyes are dominated by the end result rather than giving any thought to the rollercoaster ride and process it takes to get there.

These people who generally only see the headline profit do not bet with a betting bank, they are in most cases betting out of their pockets and when they have a losing run of 10 bets they instantly give up on the system.

Unfortunately people don’t understand that when embarking on this type of betting you are going to go through good and bad patches and when they do go through these bad patches they sure like to let you know about it.

I call this form of betting a bill payer however although the current profit of 42 points looks impressive there have been ups and downs along the way and I would state that this sort of betting does not suit everybody and as can be seen by the results table you can go through a losing spell which can take over a month to recover from. And if you are unprepared and betting out of your pocket a month can seem an awfully long demoralising time.

This season I am going to keep the ratings on this site however next year although Mr Stretch will carry on providing selections my ratings will only be available to readers of my newsletter as these people generally understand that the value of your investment may go down as well as up.

If following a strategy like this you have to allow for a bank of 50 points and this should be money that you can afford to lose. Then and most importantly you have to have the discipline to follow the system through religiously without question.

I also do a similar system where I identify tennis tournaments where there is a history of outsiders winning and again although this is profitable long term there can be and are many weeks where you are either taking a loss or simply trading water.

The moral of the story here is these systems can and do produce very good profits. At the time of writing the baseball and tennis are 70 points in profit this year, which is again a nice bill player but before embarking on such ventures people must ensure that they are correctly capitalised and prepared for an emotional rollercoaster that is bound to come into effect once the inevitable losing run hits.

Keep up the good work

Pete Nordsted