Friday 30 November 2012

Cassinian Concept

Big Al (right - with Trident)
The Anticassini is among us. As Wikipedia explains it:
The Anticassini is a Cassinian concept based on the exegesis of Green All Over (2008 - ?) texts that refer to anti-savvies. In Cassinian belief, Cassini the Messiah appears in his Second Coming to sports trading, to face the emergence of the Anticassinian figures. Just as Christ is the saviour and the ideal model for humanity, so Cassini is the saviour and ideal model for the betting community, and while Christ's opponent in the End of Days will be a single figure of concentrated evil, Cassini's opponents are multiple figures of distracted dopiness. They come in many forms, often Anonymous, but occasionally with names like "BigAl ", "the Silverback", "Rick" or "Adam Heathcote Fan Club". Unlike Branch Davidians, who (allegedly) took advantage of under-age children, Twig Cassinians take advantage of the clueless, the ill-disciplined, and the mathematically challenged.  
It occurred to me today that should the world end in three week's time, as some would have it, I'll be quite annoyed. All that effort over the years to gain a small financial cushion, and it's all over. Speaking of conspiracy theories, Fizzer555 loves them too - here's how he spent his evening:
Have you noticed how Rick does seem to turn up every time you are "away" Cassini?

Have you stopped to consider that Rick might be your alter ego?
I mean, look at the evidence.
Cassini has a blog "Green-All-Over"; Rick has "The Green Trader".
Cassini's coverage of Rick this year is only less of that of Big Al and Obama.
One of Cassini's best friends was named Ricardo.
I'm thinking that the NBA loving, Premium Charge Paying, Elo Rating Cassini is our Dr Jekyll, but some trigger turns him into our dogs, nags and accies loving Mr Hyde, Rick.
It might be Betfair going down just as the Houston Rockets are starting a 30 point comeback, or maybe Mrs C forgets to put a teaspoon of sugar into Mr C's cocoa as she heads off to bed whilst our hero settles down to a night of NBA trading.
Whatever it is, Mr C. goes missing and up pops Rick.
I'd check out your office in the morning.
Do you wonder how your keyboard got smashed to bits during the night?
Is the Racing Post open on the desk at a 30-runner handicap with half the runners circled in biro?
Do you seem to have a large wordpress bill for new green related blog names?
Might be time to go see somebody.
Just a theory.
Then again, maybe Rick is your own invention to show us how not to do it?
A couple of corrections though. Do I look like the kind of guy who would have a friend named Ricardo? A goatee and Crocs maybe, but hanging out with a Ricardo - never. I also do not take sugar - it's bad for you - even if a spoonful of it does help the medicine go down. So they say.

Wednesday 28 November 2012


Just noticed this comment on the Daily25 blog this week:

Please check out the blog and feel free to suggest items for my Xmas hampers in the comments. (He clearly states that I won't be getting one, which means at least two I guess).

Excellent news. I don't suppose it would be right for me to mention that I am partial to a glass of Port and some stinky cheese, would it?  

Rick Return's

A little over two months ago, I received a request from a Rick Ford to add his blog to my blogroll, and I obliged. Some of you may remember the story - after a few winning bets in the 1.0x range, Rick hit the inevitable loser, and then deleted all his posts. It seemed very immature, but he's back already with a new request to link to a new blog. 
Would appreciate if you can add my new blog to your bloglist? I've already added you.
That's very kind of him, but his two readers a day (his Mum and Dad perhaps) are of little interest to me, and frankly the whole setup doesn't look too promising or interesting. The original blog linked to in the original September request which was wiped clean, now has a grand total of three posts with the most recent saying:

Comments at the time:

But of course, very little in the way of evidence to show how these profits are achieved. I shall add the blog if it shows promise of being of interest, but if you can't wait for ever, you can find the link in the comments on my last post.

At least the two months since Rick last posted have been kind to him, he's in a happier place (EuroDisney?) and returns a changed man, even if his spelling remains poor.
A quick intoduction, I'm 33 years old and I've on and off tried to make money from straight backing, laying, tipsters, systems, scalp & trend trading, arbitrage betting, attended courses, webinars, the list goes on........ . I probably failed with most these methods due to my personal circumstances/lifestyle and lack of discipline but now all that is behind me, I'm in a happier place and ready to challenge myself.
Then later, we read:
I had my daughter for the rest of the weekend but I managed to swing trade a few horses on saturday and dabble/scalp prices in the football markets on my mobile.
Sounds very disciplined to me. And later (still unable to spell or use apostrophes correctly - never a good sign):
I'm going to use all my previous experience and resources to start off and then go on my own learning curve as I experience the latest markets. A few P&L's and success stories on blogs have given me hope of acheiving success so in 2013 I'll set myself a personal challenge. If they can do it, why can't I?
 Why not indeed? Perhaps because he has absolutely no idea what is needed to be profitable.
I am going to try and specialise/trade in pre-race horse racing & greyhound markets and also pre-kick off on the football predominantly on Betfair but also Betdaq where possible.
Well good luck with that, free money on those niche markets I'm sure, but why bother with BETDAQ? The PC is unlikely to be a threat any time soon.

A reminder of the September post:
Rick Ford's Sports Betting and Trading Blog was recently added to the blog roll, and a little over a month ago, Rick started a 'challenge' with this post:

Another betting strategy I'm going to use for the season is back 1 in 20-25 selections (1.04-1.05) and compound the stakes from £100 until I acheive fair sum of money. I've attempted this on the blog before with moderate success so please refer to my posts earlier in the year to have a feel of what I'm trying to achieve.
What is certain with all these challenges is that sooner or later, it will end. While the probability of any single bet losing is small, it is not infinitesimally small, and so it is sooner, rather than later, that 'luck' runs out.
Assuming the 1.04 is a true price, the bet has a losing probability of 0.03846 - almost 4%. For 1.05 the chance of losing is 0.04762 , close to 5%, so there is a between 1 in 20 and 25. If we take a mid-point of 1.045 (0.043), the odds are against you getting to 17 wins. That Rick made it to 25 before losing on Bet 26 was actually quite good - as there was a 65% chance of failing at or before that point.
A bet at 1.04 might look a certainty, but it is far from it. Rick's opening post mentioned he has tried this strategy before "with moderate success". That's a very vague term, but I've yet to see any of these challenges have any real success. For that, you need to be finding value, and you need to have a sensible staking strategy. A strategy that doesn't allow for a losing run of one is fatally flawed.

Updated Belated

A little late with the update for this past weekend, but here it is with the table first:

With a record number of 18 selections, this was the busiest weekend ever at XX Draws HQ. There were nine winners from 18 selections which was quite remarkable, and three winners in each category, which was excellent in the unofficial Bundesliga category as there were just the three selections, good in the Classic category, where there were five selections, and average in the Extended category where there were ten selections. There were also four one goal games that boosted the Under categories, none more so than the Pescara v Roma game that the market thought would be a goal-fest, but which turned out to be anything but. The net result is that the contenders from the XX family made a general move up the Friendly Tipster Table, while most other contenders either stayed about the same, or dropped a few points.

From the top, Peter Nordsted’s Drawmaster had another blank week, but after his amazing run earlier this month, he is still well in profit.

His Premier Betting made a small profit on the weekend dropping one spot to ninth, while Neil made a slightly bigger profit to stay in tenth.

Very slightly in the red is Al who had just two draw selections, making a profit when Everton and Norwich City shared the points.

Premier Edge made a small loss and the Free Over / Under selections had two losers from two this weekend. These two are 19th and 20th respectively.

Down to 21st place fall Football Elite who had four selections, but their disappointing season continues with three losses and one stake returned.

Football Formbook had their worst weekend ever dropping 4.79 points, while Talkbet made a small profit.

Lay the Draw found another winner (for them), a loser for anyone opposing them and just one draw from 23 selections. Credit where it is due - that is most impressive!

After submitting just one entry in time for last week, Tony went one better this weekend and had no entries this week. CKL Selections also had no updates.

A few midweek games for the XX Draws and other participants, but I'll probably wait until after the weekend before updating this table. 

Friday 23 November 2012

Dirty Money

To prove Anonymous' point that "Cassini is just a master of the cut and paste never too much original content other than patting himself on the back to be fair" (what does the 'to be fair' mean anyway?) I bring you the following article by Lisa Scherzer which I found interesting, and thought that some of you might too. There's even a mention of gambling in it, making its inclusion here even more justified, but to further confirm how uncannily accurate Anonymous is in his assessment of me, I would like to first congratulate myself on finding it. Well done Cassini. Enjoy.
A dollar, it turns out, is not always a dollar.
You see that worn-out old fiver in your wallet? You're more likely to spend it than you would the brand-new bill next to it. That's what two Canadian professors found in a recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
In a paper titled "Money Isn't Everything, but It Helps If It Doesn't Look Used: How the Physical Appearance of Money Influences Spending," Theodore Noseworthy, associate professor of marketing at the University of Guelph, and Fabrizio Di Muro, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Winnipeg, say a currency's physical appearance can alter someone's spending behaviour. It turns out people want to get rid of crumpled old bills more than they do fresh ones.
The findings challenge the notion that money is fungible — meaning that one $10 bill is as good as another $10 bill and that people only perceive the face value of money, and not its physical appearance or condition. "It shouldn't matter what money looks like," Noseworthy says. "But we show it does matter. If I gave you a crisp, new $20 bill, I don't want you to give me crumpled bills back."
The Ick Factor
So why would we rather go out of our way to hold onto new bills and get rid of older bills? As with other consumer goods, people tend to favour the new over the old. "We tend not to like money that looks like a lot of others have touched. It's gross," says Noseworthy. "People want to get rid of worn currency because they're disgusted by the contamination of others." And they tend to spend those worn-out bills faster.
In one phase of the study, subjects were given $20 (either worn or crisp bills) and assigned a shopping task. They were told they could spend as much as they liked on a selection of products of varying prices in a mock retail lab (under the guise that the researchers were interested in how they prioritized their spending). Participants given the worn money spent more on average than those with the new bills.
"Where someone with a crisp bill would tend to hold on to it… someone with a worn bill tends to use it as soon as they get it," says Noseworthy.
The look of money also impacts our willingness to take risk with that money. In another phase of the study, participants were awarded $10 (either a worn or crisp bill) for completing an anagram successfully, and then given the option to "gamble" that money on one more anagram question. If they got it wrong, they'd lose the $10; if they got it right, they got $20 (either a worn or crisp bill which the participants saw in an envelope). Participants who got the worn $10 and were enticed with a new bill were more likely to gamble their money than those who were awarded a crisp bill and enticed with a worn one, and they also gambled more than those who were awarded and enticed only with worn bills.
The Social Factor
Adding a social element to the mix, however, reversed that behaviour in another experiment. When they believed they were being monitored by peers, participants were far more apt to spend a brand-new bill.
The participants were more likely to spend more of their new-looking money, even if they had to pull out four freshly-printed $5 bills rather than one tattered $20 bill. "People put a premium on crisp currency because they take pride in owning bills that can be spent around others," the authors say.
Turns out money isn't viewed merely a means of acquiring products but as a product for consumption itself, Noseworthy says.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Dallas Cowboys

As you all give thanks this Thanksgiving Day for the existence of this blog, I share with you all a rare piece of Cassini humour:
Albert Einstein was attending a party, and introduced himself to a stranger.
"Hi, I'm Albert Einstein. What's your I.Q.?"
The man replied "About two hundred and forty".
Albert Einstein says "That's great, we can talk about pulsars, quasars, inter-stellar space travel, atheism, quarks and leptons, we'll have a great conversation" so they chat for a while before Einstein says "Well, this is a party, so I'd better go and circulate" and walks off.
He approaches a second stranger, and again introduces himself -
"Hi, I'm Albert Einstein. What's your I.Q.?"
The man replied "About one hundred and forty".
Albert Einstein hesitates for a moment before saying "That's OK, we can talk about politics, religion, the economy, we'll find something to talk about" so they chat for a while before Einstein says "Well, this is a party, so I'd better go and circulate" and walks off.
He approaches a third stranger, and again introduces himself -
"Hi, I'm Albert Einstein. What's your I.Q.?"
The man hesitates, before replying "About forty".
Einstein looks at him before raising his hand for a high-five saying:

"How 'bout them Cowboys".

Home Advantage

14 Aways, 4%
Courtesy of Archie Rhind-Tutt @archiert1

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Drawing Away

As 58% of you voted for me to spend a few hours each week maintaining the Friendly Tipster League table, (thanks a lot) here it is as of last weekend, including Monday. 

Highlights are the Extended XX Draws regaining first place from Peter Nordsted's Drawmaster selections 0 from 3 this weekend), but otherwise not too much change. 

Interesting that the top three are all draw systems though. The XX Classic selections improved slightly, the XX Bundesliga had a 1-0 and a 2-0 so improvement on the Under bets if not the draw bets. 

Talkbet had a small disaster losing all six bets, and Neil and Premier Edge had poor weekends. 

Football Elite had seven selections, coming out close to even, and Tony's Lays had one selection emailed in time (which lost) and three others which won, but were received after the result was known, so in the interest of fairness to all, I really can't include those. 

Ian Erskine continues to find winners in his Lay The Draw selections, with just one from 23 so far ending all square. Quite remarkable actually. No selections from Griff again, and note how bad the Extended U1.5 returns are, when compared with the other markets for this category. 

This is also the worst performing bet of the Classic selections, although the Bundesliga returns on this bet compare quite well, but from a small sample. Al dropped into the red with no draws being found, and is level with the Classic Draws but behind on the tie-breaker (ROI).  

A couple of services I don't follow are TFA and Skeeve but I know a man who does, and apparently they had a poor weekend. Skeeve, I believe, focuses on non-league, while TFA focuses on the English League. 

I still haven't got around to setting up Elo ratings for a lower league, but my forays into the Championship have been profitable helped by Crystal Palace consistently being underrated. Another winner on Saturday as they easily beat Derby County, and next up at Selhurst Park are arguably Sussex's second best team... 

My choice of Fulham to beat Sunderland came up short in a game where an early, and unpredictable, (Fulham's first red card in over a year) sending off changed the game, and my balance matched the card.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Ton Twister

100 - But Starting To Wilt
Josh came back to explain his £50 bank comment, and had this to say:
Hi Cassini, thanks for your comments. Sorry about my ambiguity in my last comment, I should clarify that I have two separate banks; one for trading the outright markets, and another for what I like to call 'week to week' trading, it is just easier for me this way. I started with £50, but I do not top it up if it goes below that amount, nor do I take out winnings above that amount because, like you, I find that pointless. At times this season losses have meant my bank has sunk below £50, so when I mentioned training myself to control the bank I was referring to learning to deal with losses and react by lowering stake size in relation to the bank etc. Similarly, when the bank shows a profit, learning to slowly grow stakes progressively and proportionally while not getting carried away. I see now that I wasn't very clear here, so apologies for that! 
On the subject of age, I agree that immaturity is an issue and this is definitely something which I attempt to stunt. I do however feel that I have benefited from trading in ways which I wouldn't necessarily have otherwise. Being young I have little real responsibility but I am now a lot more adept at organising myself and controlling my money for instance, assets which I think otherwise I wouldn't have gained until later in life. You mentioned young people often have little patience, but I consider myself as having a lot of time to learn, meaning I am in no rush.

Sorry if this has been a bit waffly, but I thought I should clarify a few things I was vague about previously.
It is this blog that is prone to waffle, so it has been said, not any comments. If you stick with a stake that is around 2.5% of the bank, then as the bank fluctuates, so does the stake. Learning to deal with losses by lowering stake size is a question of setting up a simple spreadsheet and sticking to it. It all fits under the general category of "discipline".

An interesting aside that trading has benefited you in becoming more organised - again, discipline. I find the keeping of records invaluable in this regard, and as I have said before, I maintain spreadsheets for all variety of life's activities, and whether your goal is to lose weight, drink less, run or bike longer or faster, golf better, financial or whatever, seeing the truth in a spreadsheet is a dose of reality. The spreadsheet doesn't lie, at least it doesn't if you are honest with yourself. 

Speaking of which, my spreadsheet today reveals the sad truth that the Super Premium Charge is really hurting, as I suppose it is intended to do. (Sorry to mention this again Anonymous, but it's a topic that has recently become reality, and the full impact is still being dealt with). 

Anyway, one column I keep is the all-time (since records began on 1.Jan.2006) average net daily profit and since 17.Jan.2011 this has not dipped below £100. Until today.

At the time of writing, the average sits at £99.99. Ouch.

While £100 a day is not a goal, (it just so happens that my long-term daily average falls around this nice round number) it is a good number to measure performance against, and while in real terms the difference between a daily average of £99 and £100 isn't much, psychologically it is quite a blow. And that £99 is likely to continue to drop if I continue on Betfair. I should mention that this is just my net Betfair figure, and doesn't take into consideration my losses that are arbs, and profitable elsewhere, but after nearly seven years of keeping these records, this is the number I look at for reassurance after a poor run. 

It looks like the poll favours keeping the Friendly Tipster League going, so more work for Cassini who will be in the United States for the Thanksgiving holiday next week, and spending quality time with Mrs Cassini's family. Probably won't be celebrating the Election win though! Normal XX Draw service will continue although other investment activities will be somewhat limited, and so might waffling contributions to this blog. 

Friday 16 November 2012

Young And Reckless

A couple of comments from the last post, the first from Josh who wrote:

I agree with you here Cassini. This year I have used a starting bank of £50 for my week to week trading, despite the fact that I could invest more if I wanted. Like you say, finding the value and making small and incremental profits is the most important thing for me right now, and I find it very rewarding. Each £2 win is much enjoyed while every £2 loss is extremely aggravating. You could say however that I have an advantage being only 21 and therefore a lot of time to learn, because I think the problem with many people (particularly those older than myself) is their eagerness to hurry through the learning process as greed often overrides patience. But at the same time I do still have to battle greed like any other person, so teaching myself to control and maintain a bank as small as £50 is crucial if I ever want to progress to larger stakes. And I believe that is the same for everyone.
I'm not quite sure what the qualifier "for my week to week" trading means. Once a starting bank is in place, leave it to grow. To me, there's no point building the bank up to say £100 in a week, and then pulling out £50, nor is there any point in repeatedly topping the bank up to £50 each week, but maybe I'm not understanding Josh's phrasing there. I think I am though, because he talks of learning to control and manage a bank as small as £50, which hints at a lack of self-control if the bank should grow by too much. You certainly need to learn self-control.

As for wins and losses being enjoyable / aggravating, it's (almost) the same when you get to a bank of £5,000 and win or lose £200, although it's probably fair to say that winners are accepted more nonchalantly and losers more pragmatically than winners and losers from fledgling banks.

An interesting comment on age there too. For a number of reasons, I'm not sure that youth is necessarily an advantage when it comes to successful trading / betting. I am generalising hugely here, but it seems to me that it is the young who are impetuous and lack the all important ingredient of patience, as well as lacking experience, and usually time. When I was a young man of 21, life was all about going out and having fun, and even if the Internet were in existence back then, I think that other choices in life would have taken priority.

When you have been around the block a few times, are settled in a career and domestically, and with a little money behind you, it leaves you free to spend time on other things, such as trading and betting. I don't see too many young long-term winners around, although I am sure there are some. Look at people like Peter Nordsted, who I believe is retired, and living out his days in a nursing home somewhere. (Just kidding Pete - thanks for the positive comment on Twitter this morning). It also tends to be the younger ones who have to bet every day, even if the biggest match is in the Argentine Second Division.

Then there was Henke who came back with: 
Thanks for the comments. I really like user-owner interaction with this blog, many good points taken.
The reason why I gave the example of making small profits just marginally above the minimum bet was it was that a fail bet would drain a lot profits from your hard earned profits, since you cant bet below that minimum, and since you are playing small you are going to bet at or just above the minimum, but making larger profits give you bigger room for deciding how much you can bet.
In any case I guess the most important thing is the stake percentage and I kind of your way of putting it. 2,5% each bet sounds fair to me. And I guess patience is the key with starting small. Value is value:)
Thanks. Keep up the good work, and good luck!
Two positive comments in one day? The world is already a better place following Obama's re-election! At the risk of teaching Grandma to suck eggs, it's easy to bet less than the minimum on Betfair. Established punters look away now.

If you want to back Crystal Palace to beat Derby County at 1.98 tomorrow, but only want to invest 10p, you do this:

Back Palace at 3.0 for £2. The bet will be unmatched. Increase the stake to £2.10. You will now have two back bets, one for £2 and one for 10p.

Cancel the £2 bet and reduce the odds on the 10p bet to 1.98. Done.

Established punters may now resume reading.

And yes, value is value, and once again, same as I wrote for the Crystal Palace v Ipswich Town game a few days ago, my rose-tinted spectacles see Crystal Palace as being huge value tomorrow.

Apart from an away win at Nottingham Forest back in September, followed by a point at Middlesbrough, Derby's away record isn't great, and only a week ago they lost in south London at Millwall, who are clearly nowhere near Palace's level right now. Having spotted everyone else in the division a three game start, pointless Palace took just 12 games to reach their rightful place at the top, which could be a record for a 24 team division. The Guardian will have the answer to that next week, in their very enjoyable the Knowledge series

Anyway, once again, Palace look good value to me at anything close to evens, and I have had a small interest bet. Sadly no screenshot for fear of being called a cherry-picker, but a win will be gratefully received, while a loss will, well no, that's not going to happen.

I've added a poll on the future of the Friendly Tipster League table. Feel free to vote and express your opinion. Unlike some politicians who shall remain nameless losers, (well, apart from his multi-millions) this blog is interested in all constituents, not just 53% of you. 

Thursday 15 November 2012


On the subject of 500 to 0's retirement from the world of blogging, and one hopes for his sake, the world of betting, I see my name to the fore over at A Football Trader's Path.

The blog owner, Mr Soccer Dude (not his real name) writes:

Personally, I do enjoy Cassini's blog. He waffles on a little bit too much about American sports (which, as we all know, are not really sports at all), and he should perhaps move his little friendly tipster league reports off somewhere else as I can't see them interesting anyone but the individuals involved. But besides these minor gripes, there is a lot of content there; Cassini is eloquent, writes well and covers a broad spectrum of subjects. For my money, one of the best out there.
Point taken on the Friendly Tipster League. I actually used to post it over at the boring old Gold All Over, but I've got a little away from that in recent weeks. It actually takes quite a lot of effort each week to maintain, so if the consensus is that it is boring, I will probably do away with it. I'll continue to track my own XX Draws and the professional services for my own records, but if anything, it just goes to show how difficult it is to make money on football, which is precisely why I "waffle on a little bit too much" about the opportunities in less popular sports, or indeed politics.

Anonymous chimes in with:
Cassini is just a master of the cut and paste never too much original content other than patting himself on the back to be fair. Although I have noticed now he's charging he likes to mention super PC every other post and stick in the odd cherry picked screenshots as often as possible like all the other leeches in this 'profession'.
Yes, seems fair. I do copy (not cut) and paste comments and other information I think people might find interesting, but I see nothing wrong with that (obviously). It seems that Anonymous doesn't either, or why we would he, and about 619 (on average) others visit this blog each day? There's little point in blogging if you are the only reader, and if an article I read on another blog or from another source is of interest to me, there's a good chance it's of interest to like-minded readers out there. Of course, the fact that Anonymous hasn't yet mastered the art of winning is clear, as he refers to those who have, as 'leeches', so a little jealousy is to be expected. I'll take it as a compliment.

Henke commented on my last post (no apologies for the copy and paste, it's relevant):
After briefly glancing through the 500 to 5000 blog, I was just wondering if the main difference between a punter like you or someone like him is the difference on the amount of money each individual risks on each bet. Not that I am saying anyone can make huge profits without the proper knowledge, research and experience, but seeing so many people making huge profits, and so many with failing to do so, I was just curious about the reasoning behind it. What I mean is, we all know that, at the end of the day we cannot know the outcome of many games, there are some which we really believe in, and some we are not so sure of.
After seeing the screenshots of your very well played NBA games (Lakers a week a go, and Knicks yesterday) I was just wondering if the huge winning differences occur since you play much bigger amounts (of course in relative to say, an average player, like 500 to 500, who probably cannot wager 1xxx pounds a game) when you have much more confidence in your bet, and some one else, even if they are confident with their bet, cannot do so. Perhaps totally wrong, but It is my impression that it may be easier for someone to make 500 into 5000, rather than 50 to 500 . Because I always had the impression that when you play small, you cannot create a lot of safety margin on your wins (that is profits enough to cover further losses), and even if you win quite a few times on low amounts, your potential profits are not raised significantly as they will be drained by the losses you make.
If I had 50 pounds on my Betfair account today, and if I bet 20 percent of it on a very confident Knicks game, I would only make profits of 8.4 pounds which is only 4.2 times the minimum stake amount. Thus 2 failures from football (which, usually is less secure than a basketball game, obviously depending on the condition), would drain my profits by a lot, while on the other hand if I had 5000 on my account and bet 1000, a profit of 840 pounds create much bigger margin for losses depending how I figure my own minimum bet stakes, depending on the game.
Well everybody knows this is obvious, but its just shown me again that winning on this thing, like everything else in the world, depends on the initial investment a lot. Perhaps for this reason, quick ways to make small amounts into more significant amounts fail easily, heh?
As I have written before, stake size is all relative, and the initial investment doesn't need to be large. My initial (and only) investment was £98.50 (after fees), and I have had a balance as low as £21.40. Start small and build up. There's no hurry, and it's far more important to focus on the principle of finding value and making profits, however small, than focusing on the profits themselves.

This is a hobby for most people. I played with £2 stakes for over a year when a win of 50p was significant and much enjoyed. Whether you start with £100 or £100,000, without an edge, your bank will steadily decrease. Odwyer was of the opinion that his supposed edge derived from bank size, but he's wrong. If your bets aren't value, you will lose.

Henke gives an example of betting 20% of his 50 bank on a basketball game at 1.84, and winning 'only' 8.40. He then compares this to the minimum stake, which is nominally £2, but can easily be any amount you like, but it's irrelevant anyway. Not too mention that 20% is way too high a percentage of your bank to be risking on one bet, whatever your bank size. 2.5% is my best advice.

And what does the statement that football "usually is less secure than a basketball game" mean?

If Chelsea can be layed at 2.0, and the Knicks can be layed at 2.0, how is one bet any more "secure" than another? 2.0 is 2.0. The comment hints at Henke struggling to make money from football, but finds it easier to obtain value at basketball, and as mentioned earlier in this post, I tend to agree. So the recommendation is to start with small stakes, and build your bank up on events where you are able to find value.

It goes without saying that you don't start with money you need, but small wins add up, an as your bank builds, you will increase your stakes in actual size, if not in terms of percentage, and playing the percentages is what this is all about.

Left, is a cherry-picked screenshot from last night, to show that not all nights end in profit. I hope Anonymous enjoys it. 

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Winners And Losers

A little later than usual, but here is the updated Friendly Tipster Table from this weekend. Drawmaster continues to set the pace with two more winning draws, although Peter Nordsted's Premier Betting had a poor weekend with three losses. Another poor weekend for Football Elite with three losses and a money-back on the fourth. Neil stays in profit, and Little Al moves into the green. 

The Free Under / Over site picked two winners to climb up the table, while Tony's laying of the away favourite lost on all five selections, dropping to 23rd. Still no selections from Griff who, for the second season, appears to have called it a day.

The Super Premium Charge continues to dampen my enthusiasm, which wasn't exactly boosted by the win that never was in the NFL on Sunday night. Occasionally there's a bet that looks too good to be true, the New York Knicks at Orlando last night was one such example was the unbeaten New York Knicks against an Orlando Magic team on a four game losing streak. A decent win, (Knicks won by 10) but last week's Premium Charge was more than this, and there's the definite feeling that I am getting too little in return for my efforts these days.

As SoccerDude reports, another blogger has called it a day, the optimistically named 500 to 5000 who I have written about previously. Some of you may remember how I caught him in a lie back in March with the infamous post subject "Profits are down...slightly....a short break needed" which in fact meant "Losses are up...a lot...", and apparently the short break needed is becoming permanent.

I wasn't actually a regular reader of the blog, but I just had a quick look and saw my name out there from a week ago (I'm famous!) when 500 wrote:
The second comment was from 'Averageguy' who posted:
'Al is everywhere, in fact I think that Cassini at Green all over loves Al even more than you do. Why do you care what his opinion is, the more constructive criticism we have the better. I don't agree with 99% of what Al says but it's nice to see an opposing view.'
Yes, I agree with some of what you write, and yes Cassini hates him more than I, but 'Al's comment on my blog wasn't constructive in any way at all. I don't really care what he writes, I just wanted to write what I think in response. :-) It's a free country, people can write what they like (as I chose to do). I am open to criticism and constructive comments.
Whilst my political views are a little different to Al's, I certainly don't 'hate' him. If I hated everyone who had different views on politics and religion, I wouldn't have too many friends.

Actually, come to think of it, I don't. How strange.

Monday 12 November 2012

Tied Down

On the surface, a weekend with fifteen XX Draw selections and five winners sounds decent enough, but for anyone backing the derivative markets, the unders or the Half-Time 0-0, the story wasn't so pretty.

The Under 1.5 goals bets had not a single winner, and just one match was 0-0 at half time, and with a very approximate average price on these markets expected to be around the 3.65 and 2.98 marks respectively, under performing to that extent takes some doing. Just four matches ended under 2.5, and only six ended under 3.5.

There is also a big discrepancy between the returns on the three Unders markets I follow. Of the 155 total selections to date, the Under 2.5 market is basically flat (actually +.29 point), but compared to the Under 1.5 and Under 3.5 markets, this is relatively impressive. Th U1.5 shows a loss of 30.12 points, the U3.5 a loss of 10.24 points. These markets do tend to be less liquid than the popular 2.5 market, but even so, it is quite surprising to see such a difference in returns. 155 isn't exactly a huge sample, so it's probably too early to draw any conclusions, but as the latest Friendly Tipster Table shows, some of these fringe markets are not performing too well, even if the draw component is holding its own.

Things did not go to plan in the NFL this evening. Ties in the NFL are rare, I believe the last was in November 2008, but typically there was one today and one where I had traded to a nice "Green All Over" position. The result meant that all bets are void. Ah well, half of the profits would have gone in taxes anyway!

I shall update the Friendly Tipster League table tomorrow. After nearly four hours of back and forth action, I'm feeling somewhat drained right now.

Saturday 10 November 2012

Silver Medal

When I saw the headline “The Man Who Predicted Obama’s Win” on the BBC site, I clicked on it, fully expecting to see an article about myself and Nate Silver, or perhaps just Nate Silver, but while the latter got an honourable mention, and has seen his star rise as I predicted (his book The Signal And The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't, which I purchased a few days ago, is now second on the Amazon Best Seller list), the star of the show was Drew Linzer who runs the Votamatic web site.

There is some very interesting reading on both sites, and whoever told me that the Rasmussen polls are the most reliable would do well to read the book. Back in September, one commenter (not Al surprisingly) suggested that:

The polling numbers you cited in your most recent post are sheer nonsense - beware!

Rasmussen have a solid record of being the most reliable political polling organisation in the US, and they give Obama only a slight lead at best, all of course well within the margin of error.
Fortunately Signor Cassini is not easily swayed, and Rasmussen's reputation, as well as the Republican party's future, is now in tatters. One can hope. Here's the latest on 'reliable Rasmussen':
On Tuesday, polls conducted by the firm Rasmussen Reports — which released more than 100 surveys in the final three weeks of the campaign, including some commissioned under a subsidiary on behalf of Fox News — badly missed the margin in many states, and also exhibited a considerable bias toward Republican candidates.
It's somewhat unfortunate that these elections come along so infrequently, because opportunities are certainly there. Unfortunately (from a betting perspective), it's hard to see anything other than a Democratic Party win in 2016, but another so-called "toss-up election" would be nice. 

Onto football now, and I have taken another look at The Championship this weekend. I selected three teams who appeared to be good value, with the first (Middlesbrough @ 1.87) winning 3-1 last night. The other picks are Cardiff City (2.1) v Hull City and Blackburn Rovers (2.12) v Birmingham City. The Boro win came at a price though - Crystal Palace were knocked off their perch. Eagles don't like that. Even my little bird (Winston) doesn't like that:

Winston Cassini
The opening pick of the weekend for XX Draws (Classic) was a poor one, with Nancy losing 1-3 to Rennes, and nothing to write home about.  

In the EPL, my Elo ratings, which are based not only on results, but factor in other data, occasionally get out of step with the general consensus. Last season I mentioned that Liverpool’s rating stayed higher than results alone warranted, although in this case perhaps more emphasis should have been placed on the results. Opposing Liverpool has been profitable this season, as the tipping-point has yet to be reached when people realize they are not close to being a top four team, and more in the 7th to 10th place range. I have Liverpool currently in 7th place, with Fulham alone in 8th place, before 9th thru 15th are all fairly close (West Bromwich Albion, Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, Newcastle United, Stoke City, Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United for anyone who is interested). Aston Villa who started the season at 19th currently occupy last place. With a quarter of the season gone, the ratings have worked out any kinks with the ratings assigned to the promoted teams. Reading and Southampton currently occupy the other two relegation spots. 

In the NBA, my tip to lay the Lakers has been read by their owner it appears, and the coach Mike Brown has been sacked after five games. One win in the last 15 (including pre-season) was clearly unacceptable, and while it takes time for a new star line-up to gel, think Miami when their big three came together, it seems that the players were not behind the coach in this case. I have concerns about the ability of Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant to play as many minutes as the Lakers need them to, given their ages, and already Nash is missing one week. Dwight Howard’s back surgery is a concern too. The Lakers played the Golden State Warriors last night, and the line of -6.5 moved out to -7.5 on the news of Brown’s departure. Well, not on Betfair. Lakers won by 24.

Some picks from the FTL entrants this weekend:

Premier Edge have Stoke City v Queens Park Rangers Both teams to score: Yes (1.99 at Betdaq) and Wigan Athletic v West Bromwich Albion 2 or 3 goals (2.12 at Betdaq)

Tony's Lays are Manchester United 1.52, Borussia Dortmund 1.56, Juventus 1.37, Real Madrid 1.38, Barcelona 1.26

Talkbet goes for Hamburg (3.6+) at Freiburg, Reading v Norwich City Draw (3.4+), Doncaster Rovers (2.8+) v AFC Bournemouth, Burton Albion (3.75+) at Cheltenham Town, Barnet (3.6+) at Morecambe, and Rayo Vallecano (2.38+) v Celta de Vigo.

Al's draw selections are: Aston Villa v Manchester United (4.8), Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur (4.5), Arsenal v Fulham (4.4) and Everton v Sunderland (4.5)

Neil goes for Wigan v West Brom - Draw @ 3.48, Newcastle v West Ham - Newcastle @ 2.06 and Chelsea v Liverpool - Chelsea @ 2.01

CKL Football Tips goes for: Under 2.5 goals (4/5, Stanjames) in the Stoke/QPR game; Back Coventry (21/20, William Hill) to beat Scunthorpe; Lay MK Dons (2.32, Betfair) to beat Sheffield United

Interesting that one has both teams to score in the Stoke City v QPR game, and another has Under 2.5 goals. 1-1 perhaps?

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Election Arbitrage

Scott brought the following Nate Silver piece to my attention - too late for this year, but something to think about in future elections:

And it's worth mentioning that Nate called this election just about perfectly. For various reasons, the media wanted to portray this election as a close one, but the reality was always different, and Nate's reputation grows as that of his 'mealy-mouthed' wimpy rivals who are afraid to offer a clear opinion, and back it up, declines. If you followed my advice from a couple of months ago on how to play this election, you no doubt did very well, but more important was the lesson that in betting, and more so in political betting than other areas perhaps, where you look for your data is the key.

Consequence-free Prognostication

Quite a day at Cassini HQ, with Crystal Palace not only comfortably defeating Ipswich Town 5-0 at a price I am still in some shock over, but also moving up to top spot in the Championship in the process. Heady days at the Palace and hard to believe that a year from now, we could well be propping up the Premier League!

Perhaps the result is also more support for the argument that it is easier to identify value in the lesser studied leagues than the big leagues. The five Palace goals also ensured the Overs came in quite easily, although I was expecting more a 3-1 score than all five from the hosts.

The results from the US Presidential Election also went as expected and as hoped. As I write this, it seems that Romney has not yet conceded, but then rich people don't like it when they want something and don't get it. Especially things they have paid big money for. 

I would like to thank Al for trading opinions with me on this election, but while the overall count looks close, the secret to profiting from this market was always in looking at the polls that mattered. I hope Al trimmed his losses, and perhaps will see that his, and the Republicans, rather cruel "it's all about me" attitude is on the way out. 

Also encouraging is the results on marriage equality that look like passing in perhaps four states. There is hope for the world, and after four more years of Obama, I am hoping Hillary will run in 2016. The Republicans are becoming more and more marginalised, and their message is not popular. Old white men are declining in importance, religion is declining and the future for their selfish policies is bleak. 

Opposition to same-sex marriage is an old person thing, and old people are dying. The planet is getting warmer - that's a fact - and the demographic sands are shifting, but the future for the Democrats and decency looks bright. Thank god. (That's the one true god of course. Apparently he's not Mormon).

Romney has called Obama to concede, and the concession speech is coming up I see.

Regular readers will know of my admiration for Nate Silver and his analysis, and there was an article on the Yahoo Finance page about him and this election. The article in full is below, but one piece I wanted to draw attention to was the comment that "there is way, way too much consequence-free prognostication these days". Having established himself four years ago, Silver does indeed have a lot to lose should he be proved wrong, more than anyone in the media in fact, but I much prefer the "ballsy" approach to the "clueless mealy-mouthed wimps" approach any day. To quote the wonderful Blackadder, one might say "I've got to admire your balls".
As of this morning, New York Times poll guru Nate Silver is giving President Obama an 92% chance of winning re-election--an overwhelming advantage.
For the last couple of years, Silver has never shown Obama as having a less-than-even chance of winning, despite some polls that gave Romney an edge.
Unlike almost everyone else who prognosticates about the election, Silver has a highly detailed data-based methodology that averages hundreds of state polls and takes into account factors like economic data.
But we're in "silly season" now, so every time Silver opens his mouth, the folks who are rooting for Romney accuse him of being an idiot, being "in the tank" for Obama, or both.
This criticism itself is silly. Silver is transparent about the way his model works. The model could be wrong, but Silver has always been clear about the methodology. Those who slam
Silver mostly don't like what his data is showing--that Romney is likely to lose.
The Silver critics are right about one thing, though:
If Romney does win, Silver's reputation will take a severe hit.
Unlike the vast majority of prognosticators and pundits, Silver has the balls to back up his model with his wallet and mouth. For the past couple of weeks, Silver has been extremely outspoken in defending himself, even going so far as to challenge pundit Joe Scarborough to a bet. This vocal defense has garnered huge publicity: Searches for Silver's name on Google have soared.
What that means is that Silver has, effectively, bet the farm.
If Obama wins, as Silver's model is now predicting, Silver's reputation will become gold-plated, and the traditional pundits who are calling the election a "toss-up" will look like clueless mealy-mouthed wimps.
If Romney wins, however, Silver's reputation will go "poof."
And that's the way it should be.
There is way, way too much consequence-free prognostication these days. Analysts like Silver deserve credit for laying it all on the line.
(For what it's worth, having listened to the logic of Silver and the Silver critics, I'm betting on Silver. He has calmly, patiently, and persuasively nuked every counter-argument that has been thrown at him. And his critics, meanwhile, are now just resorting to logic-free assertions and insults.)

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Subjective Elective

I don't often bet on my own team's games, but tonight I am tempting fate and making an exception. I'm well aware of the dangers of trying to objectively analyse your own team's chances, but when a third place team on a roll hosts a struggling 24th placed team, you might expect the home team to be well odds-on, yet Crystal Palace are available at evens, or very close to evens.

After opening the season with three losses in August, it was looking far more likely that any change in status for Palace next season would be downwards, but September saw four wins and one draw, and October saw three wins and two draws. November started with a comfortable win over top six team Blackburn Rovers, and the team haven't missed a step despite the loss of manager Dougie Freedman.

I like the choice of Ian Holloway as his replacement. Whether or not it proves to be inspired remains to be seen, but he is proven at this level and for what it's worth, assistant Keith Millen is a Croydon boy who played for Palace as a youth. Anyway, while longer term Palace may struggle to hold on to some of their young talent, they will be on the field tonight and I'm quite baffled as to why they are so generously priced against a bottom of the table Ipswich Town.

After four consecutive losses, Ipswich did have an away win at lowly Birmingham City on Saturday, and also have a fairly new boss at the helm in Mick McCarthy, but in their two matches away to top six sides, Ipswich have lost both. They also lost 6-0 to Ian Holloway's Blackpool. Ipswich have scored in 5 of 7 away games, and Palace have scored in every game this season, and while I don't have ratings for this league, the Overs might be of interest. I'm thinking that whatever the outcome at Selhurst Park tonight, it's hard to argue that a back of Crystal Palace is anything but value. But I am admittedly biased, so don't go crazy.

Decision day in the United States today, and with President Obama 1.27 to keep his job, I am cautiously optimistic that my back at 1.47 will be a winner. That the UK media keep calling this a 'toss-up' or 'cliffhanger' election really is lazy journalism. Anyone who read my piece at Betting Expert 'penned' back in September will understand that the votes in the majority of states don't count. Well, they do, but they are irrelevant when deciding the next President. Those states are done deals. It's only the 'swing states' that matter, and while Florida and North Carolina may go to Romney, key state Ohio is leaning more to Obama, as is every other swing state. Individual poll numbers are always suspect, but for every poll to be wrong, now that would be quite something. Romney had better start praying, but I have it on good authority that that may not be enough to help him.

Sunday 4 November 2012

The Master

I'm not sure how interesting these 'weekend football summaries' are to readers, but I'll touch on a few highlights, lowlights or things that I thought were interesting.

The big highlight was undoubtedly the continued success of Peter Nordsted's Drawmaster selections, finding two more on Saturday, and Liverpool v Newcastle United today, and extending his winning sequence to seven which, when you are talking about draws, is quite remarkable. Not that anyone would, but an accumulator on those six draws at 3.45, 3.66, 3.45, 3.38, 3.6, 4.0 and 4.3 would have amounted to 9,116. And then Pete had three of the previous five selections also win, making it 10 winners from the last 12. All the more remarkable when you consider that the system started off with one winner from 14. How fickle our results can be. Drawmaster now sits proudly atop the Friendly Tipster Table, included below.

Here are the Drawmaster results since October:
I was looking at my own HT0-0 bets, which at one time in this young season had me quite excited. After 58 extended selections, exactly half had been winners, and at an average price of 2.94, the level stakes profit was 27.76 points. Promising, but subsequent results have seen a regression to the norm, with just 3 of the next 32 winning, including two today, so the run was even worse up to and including yesterday.

As with Drawmaster, (I am assuming), nothing has changed with the selection process, just a couple of examples of how short-term winning or losing sequences occur and the importance of not getting too carried away by either the wins or the losses. 

Neil quietly moves into fifth spot with some consistently good results. Here are his results from October:
And Premier Betting completed a good weekend for Pete Nordsted with two winners and moving up to 7th.

Little Al moved within a whisker of profitability with two draws from three selections, and Football Elite moved up three places on the week to 14th. Tony found some winning lays again to move up to 16th, and backing the Lay The Draw selections continues to struggle, as this strategy drops below Griff's two entries into last place. Griff has gone very quiet, with no selections in a month.

As for the XX Draws, another profit when backing the selections across the board (up 2.87 points) but the returns from the individual bets are so far not in line with each other as I suspected they would be. The Match Odds Draw bet is the best, with the results for the Classic, Extended, and Bundesliga below, with the Under 1.5 the worst:
There's no reason why the U1.5 should be so poor relative to the U2.5 or U3.5, and I expect this to even out in time, but for now, the insurance against a 0-1 or 1-0 result doesn't seem worth taking.
And that's all for now, other than the full table. There may be some small updates needing to be made, and I'll get to them, but I think the important P&L numbers are all there.