Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Seirenes

One comment on my Australian Open Tennis Tip post which comes from best selling author James, who took a break from writing his next book "Reverse Portuguese Calculus" which promises to be a page-turner.

He wrote:
I too noticed Mr Poolside and Webby discussing the Australian Open on their blogs. A little winter filler, something to say, to let their acolytes know they are still thinking of them.
In Webby's blog he added the ability to get live scores direct from the umpire's chair. But you still need visuals for an edge and only a court-sider will be seeing the action live.
I doubt that either of these two will be trading the tennis. Maybe a little to get a video of their genius. Assuming they profit, otherwise the video gets deleted. An exercise in survivorship bias.
Still, the acolytes will get taken in.
Of course, we should expect a winning video from Webby. After all, you'd be an idiot not to profit in the curious positive-sum trading market that is tennis. (Of course, we shouldn't really call any trading zero-sum when you factor in commission and other costs.)
And yet the acolytes take the rubbish that these two write as the gospel truth and never question it. "I don't need to test anything. Sir says it is possible so I am going to throw myself into this without a strategy. If I fail then it's because I was stupid and was not doing what Sir told me to do."
I have looked at tennis, decided it was an interesting mathematical exercise (Markov model) but that I would need a syndicate to make it work. And, even then, I might step on toes and get more than I bargain for.
Tennis is an interesting sport for mathematical analysis between matches, but not so much when games are in-play. 
Anyone For First Round Grand Slam Favourites?
If you have a system that, for example, is triggered on a 15:30 score, someone else sees that score reached before you do, and will have taken any bets that represented value.

"Live scores" are never "live" and while they might fill a need for an avid tennis fan, from a betting perspective I'd suggest they are worse than useless. I say worse, because they can encourage an unsophisticated gambler to play in a market they have no business playing in. 

James' comment encouraged me to be brave and take a look at Peter Webb's post on the Australian Open, and as James hinted at, it is full of fluff about how great a sport tennis is for trading, 
January is when the Tennis season starts up again and it’s a good the year is a great time to get some Tennis trading experience under your belt. With weaker markets elsewhere, the Australian Open is a great time to get going on Tennis.
Unfortunately the post is devoid of any substance whatsoever. It's a vendor blog of course, and the usual errors such as "And it's a good the year" and "he feel ill" shows a concerning lack of attention to detail which should make readers a little wary, but other than sloppy writing, is there anything useful or fully transparent in the fluff surrounding the unsubtle sales pitch?

The answer is not really. Perhaps Webby genuinely thinks the below comments are 'advice', but to me and anyone with just a few functioning brain cells, they are at best up there with 'stay hydrated', at worst deliberately misleading.
Through really in-depth research you can find a lot of really useful things

Don’t forget that it’s summer in Melbourne and that heat has often been a factor

The time difference in Australia can pose a problem for trading
Find key points within a match to trade from
It would be nice to see a disclaimer saying something like "of course, all the software in the world won't help you when others are maybe a point ahead of you" but such honesty isn't going to sell anything. 

Another look at Caan Berry's post, which bears remarkable similarities to Webbo's it must said, and you'll see this:
During this period I like to reflect a little, review and learn from mistakes. Gain any knowledge I can that’ll help in the coming months. But after a couple of years doing this I realised I was missing a trick… tennis. Like I said above, time-zones aren’t brill but January offers an interesting opportunity in the tennis markets. And so; the Australian Open isn’t just for tennis traders!
The trick, apparently, is to sound very deep, serious and philosophical, before announcing that the outcome of your months of solitude and meditation is.... wait for it.... to trade tennis, which offers an "interesting" opportunity (whatever that means - why is a tennis market any more interesting than the FTSE or Pork Bellies?) 

And "sothe Australian Open isn't just for tennis traders!" Wait. What? So everyone can have an edge? Count me in. How do I gain an edge? Obviously I don't want to sign up and simply hand over my money. Turns out the answer is easy:
Finding one of these points where the market is as it’s most compact, along with a particular personal trend in behaviour (from a player) is the perfect opportunity. The only downside being; you might have to watch a load of tennis before the opportunity presents itself. 
I'm not sure what "is as it's most compact" means, but that's because I must be the idiot. May I ask here why the tennis specialists wouldn't have noticed these 'personal trends in behaviour' ahead of me? Just a thought. I don't mean to be difficult.
In short, the key to winning for any would-be tennis trader is to know where the market (and players) strengths and weaknesses are. And then deploying with our old-friend discipline!
Wow, this is easy. Again though, are these specialists actually mentally challenged? I mean, wouldn't they know far more about players' strengths and weaknesses than myself? Just a thought. Not meaning to be difficult.
One of the most positive things about tennis is; you can really stake up when you find a solid opportunity, and generally, the market will take it.
Only a cynic would suggest that a solid opportunity would have long gone before a novice / non-court-sider would have become aware of it. If the market is taking your money, be afraid, be very afraid.

My thoughts on tennis trading are not new, but no one, not even Mr Poolside or Webby (as James refers to them), has ever put forward an explanation of how exactly traders are expected to overcome the advantage of court-siders in the long term. I'm not holding my breath. 

Seirenes: The Sirens were beautiful but dangerous creatures that lured the sailors with their beautiful voices to their doom, causing the ships to crash on the reefs near their island.


Robbo the trader said...

Whilst you and snidey James pontificate 'it can't be done' traders like Peter and Caan rake in in the dosh, kerchinnnng.

James said...

Whilst the acolytes work themselves into a frenzy over the latest post or video by Sir Peter or Sir Caan, Cassini and Snidey James (I thought it was Sydney James, nevermind) don't say "It can't be done" they say, "It is not as easy as Sir makes you think it is."

We (and other realists such as Joseph Buchdahl) tell the truth about betting and trading. Others create an illusion for you to lap up because their real incomes depend on you being taken in by the simplicity of what they say.

I don't see any real evidence that either of them trade that much. Do you have such evidence? Its Big Pairs again. If I owned a 7 figure software subscription business I wouldn't waste my time sports trading.

Obviously, trading is not that easy otherwise you wouldn't have posted your comment. You'd be getting it quietly.