Tuesday 24 December 2019

Caught In A Landslide

Mark tweeted the above earlier today, and my response was this:
Are you suggesting that someone with the skill to win at betting long-term is someone who would be unaware that they might not be able to extract money from a business indefinitely? This seems highly unlikely to me.
As stated in my previous post, sportsbooks / bookmakers are not charities. They exist to make a profit, and it's nonsense to think that any business would allow themselves to be exploited indefinitely should a loophole or vulnerability be identified. 

All-you-can-eat buffets ban customers who eat 100 plates of sushi and don't drink alcohol. Casinos will ban players they believe to be card-counting.

With the possible exception of individuals on the autistic spectrum, it seems almost impossible to think that anyone with the skill-set required to develop a long-term winning strategy would be someone unable to comprehend that they won't be allowed to win forever. It's basic common sense. 
No escape from reality, open your eyes, look up to the skies and see
The theory of winning at betting is one thing, but as many have discovered, the practical reality is somewhat different. This practical limitation on rewards needs to be factored in when deciding how much time and effort to spend working on developing an edge.

If the only profitable avenues for your systems are soft sportsbooks, save yourself some time because its useful life will ultimately be limited.

While I'm a big fan of the sharper book model and exchanges, there's always the risk that these may also change the rules, with the introduction of the Premium Charge a prime example. 
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me
Anyone quitting their job to go full-time on Betfair before 2011 would have found themselves facing an up to 60% reduction in income on reaching the lifetime threshold, which may sound a lot but isn't if it is your sole income. 

There's always the chance that sharp books and exchanges will start to ban winning customers, or lower the threshold at which punitive charges are applied. Matchbook's threshold for example, is effectively nothing:
1. $1,000,000 (one million US Dollars) of Betting Volume; and/or
2. $20,000 (twenty thousand US Dollars) of Betting Profits
The bottom line is that unless you are incredibly naive, you know your opportunities for winning money from soft books are very limited, and there's a risk the sharper books and exchanges might change the rules. 

So put in the time and effort while understanding this reality. 

I'd also add that the discipline required to develop an edge is a skill that may not make you a fortune from betting, but which can serve you well in other areas of life. 

And with that, a Merry Xmas to everyone and before feeling too sorry for all these poor footballers who have such a hectic schedule coming up, a reminder that in the olden days, football clubs often played on three consecutive days over the holidays:

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