Thursday 8 September 2016

Know When To Fold'em

Bossman Megarain comments on the Gambling Commission's report on In-Play Betting:
This is all good, and I tend to agree .. but, something isn't quite right.
The matched amounts in cricket games, have been steadily rising, probably more so, than any other 'in-play' trading. An average international T20, might get $25m traded. A domestic one (on Tv), $20m.
At the English grounds, members of the English Cricket Board (ECB) integrity unit, police the ground, and allow courtsiders with laptops, to tap away, but, will eject those, only with phones, relaying ball-by-ball info.
Now, I know betting is illegal in India, and, its likely this is where the majority of the liquidity comes from .. but, how, can the matched amounts, be so steadily growing, if these accounts are consistently losing ?
I promise u .. there are edges in these games .. maybe not as big, in the shorter format, as 5 day tests, but, u don't have to be present to win.
U just need strategies, which protect u, from courtsiders.

As a further aside, I found it interesting, the GC specifically noted, that courtsiding was not be considered cheating. This might be important, for US legislation .. down the road.
Relative to other markets that I am familiar with, those numbers look impressive. The biggest market currently on Betfair is the US Presidential Election with over £32m matched, so $20m (£15m) for a single T20 game is pretty decent.

I'm not sure betting is illegal in India - it may be technically, but  believe rules are loosely enforced, and Betfair is available there.

As for the logic of ejecting phone users relaying info but not those with laptops - really? With everyone having phones these days, that would appear to be an exercise in futility.

An increase in liquidity could be simply courtsider betting syndicates going up against each other. 

Logically, if the same accounts are consistently losing, whether they be from Delhi or Southall, those accounts would stop playing. 

If there are edges on cricket, and there are courtsiders, then MegaBoss RainMan (surely not another global CEO?) is saying that the people behind the courtsiders don't know what they are doing with the information they are getting. Considering the costs of acquiring that data, and the number of courtsiders likely active at a big cricket game, I'm not sure that's a scenario that is probable or sustainable. If courtsiders are leaving money on the table, that inefficiency would soon be resolved. 

I'm reminded of an old joke where a priest was on his way to Heathrow Airport having been summoned to Rome upon the, as yet, unannounced death of the Pope. He comes across a homeless man, and taking pity on him gave him some money and whispered "go to the bookies, and put this all on a new Pope by next week". 

Upon his return, the priest saw the same guy shuffling along, and went over to him and said "What happened? Didn't you do what I told you? I told you there's be a new Pope - You could have more money than Big Pairs by now," to which the homeless man replied "Oh I heard you Father, but I did him in a double with the Archbishop of Canterbury". 

It's one of my cleaner Catholic jokes, (the others usually relate to priests preying, or similar), but there is simply no way that long-term you could gain an edge over someone with faster data than yourself, unless your opponent doesn't know how to use the data. 

Short-term, yes, you can get lucky. Long-term, no. Try playing Texas Hold'em against someone who knows the Flop, Turn or River cards before you see them. Sure, you might win a few hands, but if your opponent knows how to play poker, you'll soon get cleaned out. 

On the 'cheating' topic, I don't think there was ever a case that courtsiding was cheating. The problem with it is that relatively few people have access to this data, with the vast majority of the markets watching pictures on TV, which will always be delayed to some extent. 

That this scenario is not fair to the home traders doesn't mean that a few are cheating, but it should make the operator take steps to ensure that the majority are not being taken advantage of, as well as safeguard their product long-term. 

People tend not to like being taken advantage of, and putting up a disclaimer and charging the few a 60% tax on their winnings, is arguably not the best long-term solution for a company to this situation.

I suspect that James has decided writing another book is too time consuming, and has replaced Bernie Taupin and started writing lyrics for Sir Elton John. 

It's nice to see James in a partnership.

His first effort is a song to be called "I Just Wanna Make Money":
Why are you telling me this Cassini?
I just wanna make money.
You keep telling me how hard it is and all the work I have to put into it.
I just wanna make money.
I hate my job. They make me do things. It's too hard. They make me think.
I just wanna make money.
Tell me how the others do it. You know, easily.
I just wanna make money.
I have the chorus of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" running through my head now! 

James had another comment, this one on my last post, writing:
There is no beginning to your talents.
I think he meant no "end" to my talents. 

Hey, wait a minute... how rude! 

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