Wednesday, 18 April 2012

At The Races (Literally)

Somewhat tongue in cheek I suspect, but a couple of days ago, AL wrote
Cass, you young whipper snapper, how does one go about getting Ian's lay selections!? I wouldn't of minded a bit of that 3-3 action myself.
I actually couldn’t remember how I started to receive these e-mails, having never requested them, but after receiving a 2,379 word (I kid you not) e-mail from Ian yesterday, it appears that I must be a ‘Free’ member as a result of ordering his FTS (Football Trading System) some time ago. When I realized that the product was, as I’d suspected all along, not something worth paying for, I invoked the ‘money back guarantee’, but it seems that even though you request a refund, your e-mail stays on their mailing list. This happened with the Sports Betting Professor too, a handy trick if you are interested in looking for new ideas, although my experience with the two products mentioned earlier has only reinforced my opinion that if a golden goose is for sale, it’s not worth buying.

Incidentally, understanding Ian's membership structure makes choosing your mobile phone / service / plan seem like a piece of cake. The following levels of membership are offered: Mentors, Portal, Noir, Gold, Sapphire and Free - an idea that I will probably NOT be implementing for the XX Draw Selections. There's a lot to be said for keeping things simple.

In regard to the ‘Lay The Draw’ (aka FTS), it appears that Ian himself has now realized that, how shall I put this?, it’s value is limited. Ian writes:
“my FTS trading will be changing for the first time in 7 years. I have added new criteria and will be trading games slightly different. Those who understand gambling will understand that the Betfair markets are ever evolving and you need to evolve with them or die".
Well, good luck with that, although I’m not sure I follow the reasoning that, while the markets have evolved, they supposedly still leave an edge large enough for all the Lay The Draw traders to profitably exit their pre-match positions. It seems to me that would be one very inefficient in-play market, which is unlikely in a popular sport like football.

What should you do, knowing that after that first goal, a significant number of traders are trying to close their positions?

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the value is in backing the draw after the first goal at the (usually) now longer price. No less than ten of his last thirty selections have finished even, for a profit to level stakes at the kick-off prices of 14.25 points. Two matches were 0-0 so you would have missed those, and while I don't have the prices on the other eight after that first goal, it's not unreasonable to assume they would average significantly better than the prices at kick-off. In fairness, the ten games before that would have all been losers, with two more winners in the four before that, when my data runs out!

Ian often mentions, and indeed has a strong point, that the same matches can be given to a number of people, and all will emerge at the end with a different outcome. That same argument does make it easier to hide poor results though.

Met's Trading Diary had an interesting post yesterday. Apparently ATR (At The Races) showed several people at Southwell racecourse, or in fields adjoining the racecourse:
"with laptops, iPads, spotters with binoculars, waiting for the stalls to open. Amazing scenes. If you are betting in-running at home - give up - you've got no chance. - Matt Chapman
Check out the video that Mets has posted.

And once more, on the topic of ROI, Betfair Banter wrote that
The ROI for the prem selections is -47.67% ROI for the ‘week’ and although this sounds bad it’s from a very small sample size (3 matches) and has little effect on the overall ROI which is still 23.08%. To be honest weekly evaluations are pretty meaningless and monthly ones would be more indicative of performance.
I would suggest that it is only after at least 100 bets that this number is in any way meaningful. It goes up and down like a whore's drawers while the number of selections is less than three figures, and as I wrote a couple of posts ago, while ROI is good for show, what is really more important is the profits your system generates. I didn't post the Tipster Table up from last weekend, sharp eyes will see why, but here it is:
Chelsea v Barcelona tonight, and my pricing for this game is:
not a million miles from Betfair's current:
My Under 2.5 price of 1.87 suggests a little value at 2.1.

Finally, I had some interest following my post on how my EPL teams are currently rated using my Elo based formula, and here are my current rankings for Italy's Serie A:

Parma and Fiorentina are two teams that are perhaps placed a little low in the league table relative to their performances, while Palermo may be over-achieving.

For anyone wondering about the numbers to the right of each team, they are each team's standing at the start of the season.

Where to insert the promoted teams each year is a perennial challenge, but all three are close to their entry positions.

1 comment:

BigAl said...

If you have a model which is capable of pricing up Chelsea v Barcelona (teams from different domestic leagues) then you should be able to meet your "perennial challenge" easily enough.

If not, then your methodology is probably flawed.