Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A few thoughts on the trial

I didn’t get a chance to do an analysis of the ‘fun’ bets from the first part of this season before now but I think it’s worth looking back to see what info we can glean. In addition, it was the first time I’ve shared the information regarding value % and it’s the first time anyone has seen the output I get from my ratings although I’ve discussed what it looks like before on the blog.

It’s important to remember what we’re trying to do with these ratings of mines. Simply, I think the fundamental point of using ratings it to be able to identify the best bets from each set of games. I personally don’t care what my ratings say about games where I don’t see any value in backing any of the teams to win. I therefore don’t include any of these games in my results as you will know by now.

This is a debatable point I suspect but I’d even go a step further and say that I don’t really care about whether my ratings make a profit or not when backing all games to level stakes. I’d like my ratings to make a profit from backing every team that is defined as value but as I’ve spoken about before on the blog, it isn’t compulsory that this has to happen. I don’t want to be judged on my ratings, I want to be judged on my systems from the ratings. It’s also for this reason that I don’t share the ratings each week for all the games as in the wrong hands, my ratings could do some damage to a betting bank!

So, keeping the above in mind, how do the results from this early season trial look compared to the historical results?

The first observation is that backing every team to win defined as value created a 4.54pts loss across 63 games. There was a profit of 0.28pts from the 63 games for DNB. Is this disappointing?

Well, to answer this, you need to look at last season I suspect. Last season, there were 765 unique games thrown up my ratings as value. These generated an ROI of 2%. For comparison purposes, backing DNB gave a return of 3% last season in these games.

I’ve spent a long time trying to look at the historical correlation between my base ratings and the systems I use. There isn’t a simple formula you can use (or at least, I’ve not found one!) but I reckon that when my ratings break-even, you’ll make a 5%-8% return from using the systems. If the ratings make 2%-3% return, you’ll make 8%-11% return from the using the systems. If the ratings make 3%-5%, you’re talking about a return of anywhere up to 15% from the systems. If the ratings make in excess of 5%, the returns from the systems can be above 15%.

In the first half of last season, my ratings were making 10% return and the systems were making 25% return overall with the best systems making 40% return.

Therefore, you’re looking at a return of 2.5-4 times the return from using my systems compared to the base ratings.

Obvious question then…..why is this? Well, it’s the way I’ve structured the ratings but also the way I structure the systems.

In my humble opinion, the reason the results from my systems look so good is because the ratings are able to identify the strength of the bets. Hence, a team that is high value is a much better bet in the long-run than a team that is marginal value. Seems common sense to everyone in here but if anyone has built a rating algorithm, they’ll realise how difficult it is to get to work out the way you want it to!

If we look at the results from this trial, we can see that the systems made a profit of 28% and yet, the ratings lost money! ;)

Simply, the highest value bets won and the lowest value bets lost during the trial. Obviously, this is nearly perfect from what we’re trying to achieve and therefore, I’m pretty chuffed about how the ratings performed during the free trial as it lets people see how the ratings work but also how good they can be when they do well!

The top 4 value rated teams won during the trial, at odds of 5, 4.2, 3.25 and 2.5. By anyone’s standards, that’s good going. The 5th rated team drew at 3.25.

The top 13 rated teams had 7 winners, 2 draws and only 4 losers. At average odds of 4.6, a good summary of what my ratings can do I think on high odds teams.

The top 17 rated teams had 9 winners, 3 draws and 5 losers.

As you work down the value %, the profit falls and due to the fact there were a lot of very low value bets during the trial, overall, you end up with a loss if backing every team.

At the end of the day though, no one is backing teams based on the value %. If they were, they could choose a value % cut-off and follow these but no one has to do this work as my systems do it all for them!

As you can see from what I posted, the lower value teams appear on systems 6 and 21 as these are the weakest bets my ratings find. As you work up the value %, the teams appear on less and less systems until you reach a point where you end up with the very highest value bets appearing on the best systems.

That I think is what makes the TFA systems pretty unique. If my ratings weren’t so good at identifying value, I’d never manage to have systems that create returns in excess of 10% like so many of my systems do.

As you can see from the trial, the systems did their job perfectly and the fact they took 63 games that made a loss and turned them into a profit of 28% is an example of what they can do. Obviously, there is a lot of luck involved here as I wouldn’t expect every team with a higher value % to win like what happened during the trial but it gives an indication of what can happen over a small number of bets. I wish the highest value teams always won like they did in the trial!

The 46 lowest value bets created a loss of 21.89pts during the trial. The 17 highest value bets created a profit of 17.35pts during the trial.

Importantly, the systems took the 46 bets and turned them into 101 system bets to generate a loss of 43.10pts on the systems.

However, the systems took the 17 highest value bets and created a profit of 102.45pts.

This sums up the potential of the TFA systems……..

Anyway, that’s a quick summary of the trial. Hopefully this rolls forward to this season. ;)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Summary of Trial

I don't have time to analyse this but I don't want to dwell on these results anyway as at the end of the day, I've not had a penny on any of them yet. I do think it shows how powerful my ratings are but more importantly, lets us see the power of the systems more than anything.

I'll be back next week.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Weekend Results - End of the trial

A really quick post as I’m getting married tomorrow and I thought I’d relax by updating the results from today to bring this trial to a close. :)

Today was another good day although being honest, looking at the basic results, you’d wonder what all the fuss was about with my ratings unless you analysed the % value aspect.

Overall, 15 games today managed to find 7 draws which means it is difficult to make a profit usually. However, backing all the value teams to win returned a small profit of 0.37pts (2.47% ROI). Backing all the games DNB was much better though with a profit of 2.97pts (19.80%). However, this DNB figure includes games that aren’t defined as value by my new DNB ratings. Only looking at DNB value games returned a profit of 1.97pts from 9 games (21.89%).

As we know, the above results don’t mean too much as we’re more interested in how the systems do. As I said on my last post, Burnley were the 3rd system bet this season to appear on system 8-22 and it was another winner. That’s 3 bets, 3 winners so far this season(4/1, 9/4, 6/4) which is good in one sense but considering I’ve not had a penny on any of them yet, I just know the first one from next week when the real system bets start is going to lose!

Overall, the 62pts staked returned a profit of 7.37pts (11.89% ROI). When you consider Burnley was a profit of 24.75pts alone, you can see how difficult it was to make a profit this weekend on the systems due to the number of draws.

If backing DNB on the systems, it was a better day with a profit of 15.48pts (24.97%). Lastly, if backing on the systems using DNB where DNB was deemed as value, you managed a profit of 17.48pts from 47pt staked (37.19%).

Overall, not a bad weekend and with so many draws on the games picked out, backing DNB was always going to do better than backing teams to win.

That brings this trial to an end and the real system bets start from next week. I’ll do a post next time on the results from the trial and all the bets thrown up so far this season. I don’t have time to analyse them fully but I think the conclusions are all fairly obvious if you have been following this trial.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Last of the trial bets this weekend.....

Well, it feels like it’s been a long summer but the first system bets will be next Saturday. Really looking forward to seeing how this season pans out and fingers crossed it is profitable for everyone following.

Before we get to the real stuff next week though, the last of the bets from this little trial I’ve been running. There would have been 62 system bets if this weekend was the first real weekend but as you know, 6 games haven’t been played in leagues yet, so that’s a big if!

Below are the bets for this weekend.

Again, I don’t want to be sharing what bets appear on each system as people would jump the gun and start following their chosen systems, so best that this remains a private trial and we’ll start from next week when we get the first system bets. Just to be clear, none of these results so far will ever be included in my results tracking as they don’t count for real.

Looking at this weekend’s system bets, Burnley would be the 3rd maximum bet so far this season. The first two have won so far, so we’ll see if Burnley can keep the run going..........

Monday, 22 August 2011

No Midweek Bets

There are no midweek bets this week. After the weekend performance of the bets and the non league bets in general, maybe this is a blessing!

One thing I touched on in the last post concerning the results was the performance of the DNB bets. To recap for anyone who's not been reading this summer, I've spent a lot of time building a 3rd rating algorithm over the summer that only looks at whether backing a team is value for DNB purposes or not. This was an idea I had after watching so many of the systems struggle in the second half of the season last season due to an above average number of draws on all of the systems.

These new bets will be trialled on the blog and in the SBC forum this season. This will be systems 31-33. Due to the fact these are unproven and untested in a live environment, my advice has always been to ignore these new systems and the new rating algorithm as we should all concentrate on the established systems from last season.

However, after tracking the system results so far, I think I should point out something regarding DNB betting on the established systems. Of course, it's only based on a very small sample and I don't have the time to invest any more time in understanding the system results or building new systems as I'm gearing up for the first system bets next weekend. I'd feel like I'm not doing my job if I don't point this out though as some of you may be following DNB next season.

What I've noticed so far this season is that the results for DNB are better on the established systems when the DNB rating algorithm agrees that there is DNB value apparent in the games.

If we take Saturday for example, there were 21 value bets thrown up by my ratings algorithms. However, only 12 of these games were classed as DNB value. The 9 games where there was no DNB value resulted in 6 losses and 3 draws.

If we look over the games so far, for each set of games, backing the DNB value games only for the established systems has beaten the DNB returns for all the games. Is this too surprising?

Well, when you think about it logically, it's probably common sense. Backing DNB on games where the DNB rating algorithm thinks there is value in the DNB bet has to be a better idea than backing every game DNB thrown up by any rating algorithm.

Below are the results during the trial to allow us to make a comparison:

As you can see, there are 27 bets that have been thrown up so far on the systems that wouldn't have been value on the DNB algorithm. These must have amounted to a loss of 9pts on DNB betting (42pts total if you exclude these against 33pts total if you include these).

Importantly though, as well as increasing the profit, it also increases the ROI. So far, backing DNB on these DNB value games has actually ensured a higher profit on the systems than backing the teams to win. I don't expect this to remain during the season (or I hope not!) but it is interesting I think.

As I've said above, I don't want to go into great levels of detail or analysis based on 3 sets of games and less than 150 system bets so far this season. However, I actually have a piece of analysis already done to help us out here.

One of the new systems for next season is system 6-21-31. This is all the bets on system 6-21 where the DNB rating algorithm (31) thinks there is value too.

Last season, System 6-21 had a profit of 29pts (9.8%) from backing DNB. System 6-21-31 had a profit of 23pts (18%). I think this shows what I'm getting at here. Clearly, backing DNB on system 21 isn't a bad system in itself but cross referring it with the DNB rating algorithm nearly doubles your ROI. If I go back another couple of years, it increases the ROI by around a third overall.

Now, I don't have the time or inclination to look at every possible system for H/A returns and DNB returns as there would be thousands of combinations but I think the above is something to consider if seriously thinking about following DNB this season. Of course, you could break this down and look at homes v aways and price ranges and so on but that will have to wait until next summer!

Good luck for the season ahead. 10 days to the first system bets this season....

I'll be back with any weekend bets later this week.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Levels it up a little......

I feel like I’ve spent a long time on the blog this summer discussing how my ratings at times can look like the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Obviously, they can look like the best thing since sliced bread but sometimes, I look at the results and wonder how the hell they ever make a profit!

This weekend is definitely one of those times I think.

As I mentioned on my last post, there was a lack of high value bets this weekend and with the average odds of the aways, I had a feeling it would either be very good or very bad. What I didn’t think would happen though would be the homes would have a washout!

21 value bets in total this weekend, 1 winner and 20 losers. 5 of the 9 home games were a draw. Overall, a loss of 17.7pts to 1pt level stakes. If using DNB, slightly better with a loss of only 10.67pts.

As I keep saying, the DNB return here is unfair as if we use the DNB ratings, we can see that there was only 12 DNB value games. These made a loss of 4.67pts. This topic needs a post on its own this week as it’s something that’s quite important I think for anyone considering DNB this season.

Obviously, the above results don’t mean much as it’s the system bets that matter. 56pts staked and 46pts lost this weekend. Ouch. If backing DNB, you would have escaped with a loss of 27pts.

Whatever way you look at the above, a disaster of a weekend.

Someone asked me on Saturday on the blog to post the system results. I decided against posting before the games this weekend as I felt it would have been opportunistic to show results after two great sets of games. This weekend levels it up a little though.

Here’s the results of the trial to date:

Looking at the above, nothing is too surprising so far. There has been a distinct lack of very high value bets to date which has meant that many of the bets so far have only appeared on systems 6 or 21 which are the weakest bets my ratings find. Hence, the low value bets have been performing very up and down so far and when they work, they look amazing but when they don’t, they make you look daft. Anyone following systems 6,7 and 21 will fully appreciate this already as we saw it last season.

The way around this variance is to use the combine systems as I showed last season and although they took a hit this weekend, the results are still decent enough so far although it’s a small sample.

Overall, with 3 sets of games into this trial before the real system bets start, I can’t say I’ve seen anything too much to make me think we’re missing a trick by not playing these early games. I did have my doubts after the first couple of sets of bets but this weekend has helped a little to bring things back into perspective!

I’ll post up any midweek bets tomorrow.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Midweek Results

A quick rundown of the midweek results.

I was annoyed to see Coventry somehow lose a game where they were 1-0 up in injury time on Tuesday night but as I keep saying, I'm personally not backing these, so maybe a small part of me didn't care too much. Just so you know how much a game like this can affect the systems, Coventry appeared on 5 of the established systems. Hence, it was a swing of 20pts against the systems there. Ouch!

Having been on the end of this numerous times last season from Christmas, it does hurt a fair bit when it happens. That's partly why DNB on big priced aways helps the mindset. However, I can't imagine what I'd have felt like if I'd backed DNB in that game. :(

Overall, there were only 8 games where my ratings defined value. They only found 3 winners but it still amounted to a profit of 6.52pts across the 8 games. An ROI of 81.5%. If backing these DNB, it came to a profit of 3.9pts and an ROI of 48.3%.

As discussed last time, that's a little harsh on the DNB return since the ratings said there was only DNB value in 6 games. These 6 games made a profit of 4.22pts and an ROI of 70.4%.

Even though no one has asked me this midweek (sure you're as curious as me anyway now!), I've had a quick look at the systems and how they played the games. Overall, there were 23 system bets in midweek. If Coventry had held on to win, the top 3 rated games would have won at odds of 4,7,5.22 and I'd have probably retired the systems there and then for the season as I can't beat that. However, they didn't win, so it wasn't as good as it could have been!

The 23 system games returned a profit of 27.6pts. An ROI of 119.8%. Backing DNB returned a profit of 17pts and an ROI of 73.8%.

Overall, a good midweek although it could have been better if Coventry had held on. However, Oldham did score pretty late on Tuesday to win, so it's all part of the game with late goals at big odds aways I think.

All of the combined systems from last season are running at ROI's of 100%+ at the moment which makes me chuckle but I'll be glad when we get away from these bets and onto the real bets in a few weeks. I might actually start making some money then and so might some others who are following my advice to ignore these bets at the moment!


Weekend 'Fun' Bets

Here’s the ‘fun’ bets for this weekend. Quite a few bets this weekend but there is a lack of high value bets I think. A few of the home bets look quite strong I think based on the % value and a couple of these are also classed as DNB value. The rules for Home DNB value bets are too complicated for even me to discuss but you can get these odds on shots thrown up under certain circumstances.

The aways look very risky as they’ve looked for the last two sets of games I guess but it only takes a couple of winners to ensure no damage is done.

In terms of the systems, Newport would be the strongest bet I think as they’d appear on system 22 which has a great record for Homes.

Only 2 weeks to go before the first system bets, so not too concerned with what’s going on at the minute. Counting down the days to the first bets.....

Last Weekend's Results

A quick update from the results for the past weekend.

In total, there were 20 games highlighted as value by the TFA ratings. Backing 1pt on each game to win returned a profit of 5.3pts (26.4% ROI) and backing 1pt DNB on every game returned a profit of 3.1pts (15.6% ROI).

The DNB return is a little unfair though as my ratings also now have the ability to tell us when there is value in the games for DNB and when there isn't value for DNB purposes. In addition, the DNB ratings deliberately don't take into account Premiership Away games as they always throw up high value bets which seem to make a loss every season. Swansea were the example last weekend which is a good indication of how crazy the ratings can be!

There were 13 games where the ratings determined that there was DNB value if we exclude Swansea. These 13 games returned a profit of 6.55pts and an ROI of 50.4%. If people think I'm trying to make it seem better than it was even though I said Swansea wouldn't qualify as a bet, then Swansea included gives 14 games, a 5.55pts profit and an ROI of 39.6%. However, Swansea wouldn't ever be a bet as I said when I posted the ratings!

I think it's important this season to make the distinction between when my ratings determine DNB is value and simply, using DNB on all games where the ratings suggest backing a team to win is value. Looking at historical results, backing short priced home teams DNB isn't value for example, so these will mainly be excluded from the bets given out by my DNB ratings you'll find. Hence, although the 15.6% ROI for DNB above seems decent enough, I doubt it will beat the DNB returns on the DNB algorithm this season. This new DNB algorithm is totally unproven though, so no one should be following these new bets anyway!

Overall, whatever way you look at the first real set of results from the ratings this season (even if it's only a trial!), the results were very good.

Now, anyone who understands my systems will know that the results above aren't really meaningful. Yeah, it's good to see backing every team made a profit but long-term, this isn't how my systems will be judged. The systems will be judged on how good they are at identifying the higher value bets from the lower value bets. As everyone knows, the higher the value of the team, the more systems these bets will appear on. I deliberately don't give out the value ratings relating to each system as I think I'm best placed to decide which teams should go on which systems.

This is a subtle point but it's very important. I could just give out the bets each weekend with the value % attached and leave it to people to decide on their own staking plan and people could build their own systems. However, I know most would just back every value team and therefore, they'd be missing the whole point of my ratings. The reason my ratings were so good last season and the reason the results look so good historically is because I play on the fact the ratings are very accurate at determining the % of value in each game. Hence, the higher the value, the higher the stake you should be playing. In simple terms, my systems are trying to recreate some sort of basic Kelly staking criterion here which was my intention when I started out with this project.

However, I don't want to tell people the value% cut-off marks for each system (it's different for Home and Away teams on each system incidentally) as I don't want people trying to do something smart with the ratings and trying to use Kelly staking on my bets. The systems are doing this for everyone already, so no one needs to try to be smarter than the systems.

A few people have asked me how the systems would have performed at the weekend. Well, if we look at the results of the games by % value, this tells you all you need to know about Saturday's results.

As you can see, 6 of the top 9 value bets won. An exceptional performance and if every weekend was like this one, I wouldn't need to work I suspect!

At a high level, there were 67 points staked on the systems with a profit of 62.2pts. That's an ROI of 92.8%. By backing all the teams DNB, there was a profit of 44pts and an ROI of 65.7%.

As I said on my last post on here, you really can't read too much into one set of results. Yeah, the results were great last weekend but if you read my blog last season, you'll know that these sort of returns happened fairly frequently but so did losses as large as this happen nearly as frequently! Hence, you can't read too much into these results.

I'll round up the midweek results later or tomorrow. I now need to go and work on the weekend ratings as I'm a bit behind this week!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Midweek Value Bets (Just for fun)

I've not had much time since the weekend to post up the results. As you will have gathered, it was a very good weekend for the ratings. Those who read the blog and understand the ratings and how they get onto the systems in particular will have understood the fact it was a good weekend for the systems (if I had been giving bets!).

I pulled together the results on Saturday night after seeing the results on Saturday afternoon but I don't have time at the moment to post up some thoughts. All I'd say is that anyone who followed the system bets last season will know how good these systems can do on a good day. However, you can't read too much into one day of results. On their day, the systems can also look twice as bad as you can ever imagine!

I'll post some thoughts up later this week hopefully.

In the meantime, below are the value bets for this midweek. Although it's nice to hear a few people ignored my advice and dabbled on a few of the value bets at the weekend, I really suggest people wait until the 6 games are played and stick to the real system bets. Anyone following these value bets at the moment are taking a chance I think.

Anyway, here's the bets for this midweek. As you'll see, on average, the value is lower than the weekend bets, so not as confident as I was then. The weaker bets tend to not do as well as you'll know from last season.

We'll see what happens.....

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Value bets this weekend (just for fun remember!)

As discussed on my last post, attached are the bets thrown up for this weekend which are classed as value by TFA ratings. This is bets thrown up by any of the 3 rating algorithms.

I don't want to go into too much detail around what my cut-off value % rates are for each system as it's different for the 3 algorithms and also different for the Similar Games Model I've developed. I can't use the SMG model even if I wanted to as I don't have the time or inclination to look at this at the moment.

One thing I am pondering is how I'm going to manage to get all the system bets out from the 3 rating algorithms each week at a decent time and how I'm going to find the time to do the necessary work for the SGM. The SMG model is fairly complex in terms of Excel work and once I've updated all the rating algorithms, I don't have much spare time for the SGM work. This shouldn't affect the blog too much as I'll be pasting the bets on here each Friday night late on, so I'll have the work done by then I would think. Anyway, something for me to ponder.

Looking at the bets for this weekend, it's hard for me to look at the bets and comment as there is a mixture of 3 algorithms there and I've not put them into the correct systems. What I would say is that you can see the difference in the type of bets thrown up by my new DNB rating algorithm compared to the other bets. Anyone following the blog from last season will notice this.

Teams like Swansea, Stoke, West Brom and Newcastle can only ever be thrown up on my DNB rating algorithm. They are playing Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal!

My first two rating algorithms have the 4 top teams as obvious winners but with no value at all by backing them. The smaller sides are poor value. However, on my new DNB rating algorithm, these 4 smaller teams are thrown up as decent value.

Looking at it logically, Man Utd only won 5 of 19 games away from home last season. Chelsea won 7 and Arsenal won 8. I'm not sure I'd be backing these teams odds on away to teams who finished 11th,12th and 13th last season and who only lost 5 games each at home all season.

I quite like the fact the new DNB rating algorithm is going to give us lots of different angles to hopefully exploit this season as the bets aren't the obvious value bets that are usually thrown up on the other rating algorithms. As you'd expect, there is a much higher variance by backing these teams to win but with DNB, you can actually have a fairly smooth P&L as I've shown using the historical results. Let's hope the same is true this season!

The Swansea one is a tricky one as I've no idea how much you adjust the ratings by to account for teams moving up to the Premiership. I've looked at the last few seasons with decreasing weights on each season and looked at how newly promoted teams perform. Obviously, Blackpool carry a little bit of weight from last season and they started the season very well. Looking through the data, it does appear that newly promoted teams do tend to easily outperform their expected finishing position (if I assume they should finish bottom 3) early on in the season.

Splitting the data between Home and Away, I can see that newly promoted teams at Home are particularly very strong and easily outperform their expected finishing position.

Interestingly, QPR are at home this weekend and I have Bolton as a less negative value bet than QPR are! That's more to do with how QPR ended the season I think and how strong Bolton were last season. All interesting though.

Incidentally, not for a second do I think Swansea will beat Man City this weekend but at odds of 10/1, I can see why my DNB rating algorithm thinks Swansea represent a bit of value in that game.

Anyway, seeing these games thrown up and trying to analyse them and why the ratings pick them is all part of the fun for me. It's just rows and rows of numbers in Excel with different weightings and I just concentrate on the output page which tells me the % chances on a home/draw/away and of course, based on the odds, whice bets are value.

Incidentally, my ratings rarely find value in the draw. The way my ratings work mean that the draw % tends to always be lower than it should be, so it doesn't tend to get many value draws.

For the record, the only 2 games with draw value this weekend are the Swansea and Dunfermline games. Both are away picks by the DNB ratings although Dunfermline also appear on one other algorithm if I remember correctly.

I'll do a post after this weekend on how the ratings did and I'll also post the midweek bets too for next week.

Date Home Team % Value Win Odds DNB Odds
14/08/2011 Kilmarnock 29.38% 2.50 1.78 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Bournemouth 22.85% 2.60 1.84
14/08/2011 West Brom 21.68% 7.04 5.38 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Newcastle 15.83% 4.35 3.14 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Watford 7.91% 2.10 1.52
14/08/2011 Stoke 3.68% 6.03 4.44 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Plymouth 3.28% 2.52 1.78
13/08/2011 Blackburn 2.78% 2.16 1.53
13/08/2011 Accrington 0.35% 2.45 1.73 DNB Value

Date Away Team % Value Win Odds DNB Odds
15/08/2011 Swansea 109.25% 13.20 11.00 DNB Value Wouldn't be a bet as it's Prem Away
13/08/2011 Reading 43.41% 5.00 3.67 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Torquay 28.93% 4.20 3.04 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Cambridge 26.78% 3.25 2.29 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Dunfermline 19.88% 4.50 3.20 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Southampton 11.83% 2.45 1.74
13/08/2011 Walsall 11.15% 3.60 2.58 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Everton 11.06% 4.50 3.24 DNB Value Wouldn't be a bet as it's Prem Away
13/08/2011 Preston 10.97% 3.02 2.16 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Aberdeen 3.69% 5.26 3.89 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Tranmere 1.75% 4.02 2.86 DNB Value
13/08/2011 Swindon 0.39% 2.20 1.58

Monday, 8 August 2011

A factor called X

It felt a little strange watching the games last weekend and not having any financial interest in the games at all. As I've said a few times now, I'm really disciplined when it comes to the punting side of things and I won't be having any bets until the first 6 games have been played.

However, I'll admit to being a little envious when I read Cassini's blog at the weekend and saw some picks posted for the first set of European games. Reading through Cassini's blog this morning, I missed the comment Cassini had posted when he said he rolls over the form from the end of last season but he won't have much confidence in it until the first 6 games are played.

Well, there is nothing to stop me from doing the same on here. We're all adults on this blog (well, if you read some of the anonymous comments I delete, that would be debatable!) and therefore, there is nothing to stop me from trying to do something similar with the leagues I play in.

I'll stress again that I won't be backing in these games but I like having some sort of interest in the games and for someone like me, trying to find a way to roll on form between leagues and from one season to another is quite intellectually challenging but also very interesting!

So, I'll be posting up the first set of bets this weekend for a bit of fun. However, I don't want anyone to think these are anything other than a bit of fun, so I won't be putting them into the systems that we're so familiar with on here. What I'll do instead is just post the teams, the % value I think they represent and we can track these bets over the next few weeks. Of course, if things went really well, then I would think about starting next season on day one which would be pretty revolutionary when it comes to ratings and supplying bets to others (aside from Sir Cassini who is doing this already!)

Of course, I'm deliberately putting myself in a no lose situation here because if the bets all bomb over the next few weeks, I'll be taking great pleasure from the fact I'm not betting on them and not suggesting anyone else does. On the other hand, if they do amazingly well, I'll be slapping myself on the back for being able to run a ratings algorithm effectively using no live data from this season.

One thing I need to give a bit of thought to is how I deal with teams who are relegated and promoted. At the moment, I'd be having the mortgage on Swansea away to Man City I suspect this weekend looking at my ratings from the end of last season. I need to look at adjusting the teams who are promoted and relegated by a factor called X. I'll use the last 5 seasons and adjust for how promoted and relegated teams do in their first few games before their rating adjusts from the previous season's finishing position.

For the Bsq Prem games, I'll just stay clear of the newly promoted teams for a bit as I'm not about to try to interpret the lower league results by season. Not worth the hassle for a bit of fun!

I'll also try to say which teams are value for DNB too just in case DNB does really well with these bets early on in the season.

So, I'll be back in a couple of days with these bets. Just need to work out how much to reduce Swansea's value by! ;)

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Why am I doing this?

After my last post and teasing you with a potentially very long post about how I ended up where I’m at, I remembered that a lot of what I was going to write has already been written by me! It’s either on my first blog or on here.


This post above was written by me on 30th January 2008 when I started my old blog. The purpose of the blog was to track my progress as I learned to trade on Betfair and throughout the 12 months on that blog, I developed a methodology for using my pre-race trading skills, my form study and the ability to leave IR lays on Betfair.

I started this footie blog in August 2010 and I wrote a couple of posts about my recent history and how I ended up looking at football systems.

Here’s both parts of the story:



So, I think that probably saves me about 2 hours of writing and a lot of thinking back to when I was younger and trying to understand how I’ve ended up here.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me as I’m always pretty open about things and I’ve got nothing to hide. I read back to some of the posts on my first blog when I started out with no idea of how to make money on Betfair and no real edge at what I was doing and sadly, no understanding on how to develop an edge.

I’ve obviously had lots of help along the way from a number of people who’ve offered me advice through blog comments, forums and emails. There are too many people to mention by name but everyone who has helped me knows who they are.

Anyway, it is now 4 and a half years since I started out on this venture. I started my first blog just over 3 and a half years ago but I spent a year at the outset reading blogs, reading books about Betfair and familiarising myself with horseracing form and how to pick winners.

One thing I should say is that for me personally, this has always been a hobby. Like anyone else who plays this game, you do get the odd thought at times that it would be great to do this full-time but for me personally, I could never do it. Back when I was learning to trade, I arranged to get some time off work in the afternoons to learn to trade the horseracing and basically, I found it nearly impossible due to the fact I knew I was missing out on money by not being at work. The pressure was immense and that was me just trying to replace the money I was foregoing from not being at work for a couple of afternoons a week!

I think the reason I do OK at this game is because I do it when I want to do it, I play with money I can afford to lose and overall, I enjoy the challenge of trying to make extra money to buy nice things with.

I don’t want to throw around figures of how much I’ve won since I set out as it’s all relative. £1k to one person may mean a lot more to someone else. What I would say is that the £6,800 I made in my first year on Betfair and through selling my horseracing tips meant a lot more to me than most people know. I’d just bought a house the previous year and it had really taken its toll on my finances. I wouldn’t say we were struggling to eat as that would be a bit of an exaggeration but simply, we had no spare income in any month.

We’d miscalculated how much our outgoings would be when we moved to a much bigger house and simply, we saw the house as an investment and people always say you should stretch yourself when you’re young to maximise this investment. We went a bit far I think! Anyway, the income from the first year on Betfair really made a difference to our lives which looking back now, is something I’m quite proud of.

I made slightly more in my second year on Betfair although it was all to do with the run I experienced on the horseracing in the Summer of 2009 although what happened with the tipping service hurt my profits as well as affected my mental state a fair bit.

My 3rd year wasn’t so good and I made a little less than I made in my first year. However, I was now developing my football ratings and systems and therefore, I could live with this as I knew I was investing in something that could help me long-term.

Last season on the footie, I made a lot of money to Christmas. Looking at my P&L, it was hardly a smooth journey but I doubled my bank a couple of times at various points in time. However, after Christmas, I increased stakes, increased the number of systems I was following and lost more money than I ever thought I’d feel comfortable losing. It was money I’d won earlier on in the season though.

All in all, I’ve made around £20k in 4.5 years. Again, it’s all relative as big gamblers would laugh at this as they can make this every year and other smaller punters might think this is OK as a hobby.

I think one important thing to mention is for me personally, this game has always been more than just me trying to maximise my profits from gambling and trading. I’m not sure what is behind this really as I’ve thought about it myself a few times but I have always tried to help others make money from this game too. I don’t want to rattle off all I’ve done in past couple of years as those I have helped know what I’ve done but it can range from advice on portfolio betting, advice on tipsters, help with recording of results, spreadsheet advice to racing tips, football systems etc. As I say, I don’t want to dwell on this too much but it’s something I’m quite proud of.

Of course, helping people out in the gambling game always means that people will always think you’re hoping to get something back from it. Over the last couple of years, I’ve met (online) an amazing amount of people who have helped me out and therefore, I’d like to think that I’m giving a little back by helping other people out when I can. However, every so often, I come across people who see me as just another intelligent guy who might be trying to pull off some sort of massive con to make myself money.

It’s for this reason I think that I hide behind the TFA forum a fair bit these days. There is a group of people in there who have known me for a couple of years and therefore, I feel completely at ease in there. The guys are all very supportive of what I’m doing on the footie and importantly for me, when things didn’t work out with the horseracing, they supported me through it and if it wasn’t for them, I’m not sure I’d still be gambling today. Therefore, when anyone in that place asks me to help them out with anything, I’ll always try my best to do it.

I’ve recently started to get more involved in the SBC forum and I’m enjoying being part of that forum too. At first, apart from the odd comment, I felt like I couldn’t get too involved as people were always wary of me and the fact I always seemed to be helping people out. However, I’d like to think that more people now understand me more than ever, so I’m in a good place.

So, getting back to Rowan’s question the other day on his blog, what am I trying to achieve and where is it going?

Well, having written the above, I think it’s clearer in my head than it’s ever been. It is a combination of two things.

One is to make myself some money at this game and hopefully, this money can make a difference to my life in some way. Whether it be paying for a holiday every year, DIY improvements on the house, being able to splash out on nice gifts for my future wife (we get married in 3 weeks!) or being able to help my family out where possible. All of these things are the reasons I play this game. It has nothing to do with trying to turn into a professional gambler, trying to give up my job, trying to retire early and so on. It is much smaller than that and there are no thoughts to make it any bigger than it is at the moment.

The other reason though is something that is also important to me but may not cross most punters minds. It’s about helping others playing this game being able to achieve their targets and aims and of course, to help them make a profit. On a small scale, this would be helping people out with spreadsheets, analysis of results, advice on portfolios and so on. However, on a much larger scale, this would be giving people access to a system or a method to make consistent profits.

I think that is behind the reason I’ve got this blog. It started off as a bit of a ego trip where I wanted to show I could find an edge on a sport I don’t have a particular passion for (horseracing is my passion) but now, it’s much more than that. It’s about being able to use my work to help others make money from betting on football.

So, there you have it. I think that’s the two main reasons why I put as much time into this as I do. It’s to make myself a little bit of money and to hopefully help others make money too.

Friday, 5 August 2011

It's oh so quiet......

I'm aware of the fact that it's very quiet on here at the moment. I'm not really one for writing blog posts unless I've got something interesting to say (I'm sure a few of you would disagree with that comment!) but with no football to analyse, I thought it was better to write nothing rather than write rubbish people would have to wade through.

I'm sure all of you reading the blog read most of the other blogs down the side I'm reading too. I linked to a couple of new ones in the past few days that belong to Mark http://betfairhorsetrader.blogspot.com/ and Dave http://soccercompounding.blogspot.com/. Both are worth a look.

Without sounding like I'm sucking up to my mate Rowan, his blog remains a brilliant read and I've particularly enjoyed the last couple of posts on why we do what we're doing. His blog comments are worth reading too as like this blog, he seems to have an above average IQ reader I suspect. I'm sucking up to my readers now ffs! It rivals Cassini's as the most entertaining blog I think. I best stop the sucking up now......

In terms of why we're betting and how we got here, my story is actually quite interesting (well, to me anyway!) and therefore, I would like to do a post on here. I would write it on Rowan's comments section but I'd need about 10 comments, so I'll post it here. I don't mind sharing a little about my journey over the past few years as it does feel like a bit of a journey when I think back. I seem to have come a long way with regards to online betting considering I didn't own an online betting account 4 years ago but I'm not really sure where I'm going which is something I should probably reflect on before the season starts. If I can get some time this weekend, I'll do a post on it. Gets me away from analysing spreadsheets for a bit.

In terms of my last post, it turned into a bit of a non event with ICT playing well, being unable to score and then Hibs scoring in the 3rd minute of injury time. Three interesting things about that game.

Firstly, the reason that ICT were being classed as value was defined on my last post. Interestingly, I read a few of the reviews of the game and they referred to the Hibs win as a massive surprise given the relative strength of the teams at home and away and the fact Hibs hadn't ever beaten ICT away from home in the SPL. When you consider ICT were 11/8 to win, I took a little satisfaction from that fact that my ratings appeared to agree with the consensus of the writers.

Secondly, Alan kindly pointed out that Fink Tank had rated the game very similar to me and had ICT as odds on shots for the game too. Of course, no consolation as the bet would have lost and we were both wrong but in terms of thinking my ratings were a long way off, maybe they weren't as far out as I thought last week. Fink Tank has some pretty good results (Dan at the SBC is a fan of them) and therefore, it gives me a little confidence to know mines were maybe not as far out as I thought last week. Of course, we could both be miles off at the same time but I take comfort anywhere I can find it when the ratings are wrong!

Lastly, when I suggested ICT, they were 11/8 in most places and they weren't being backed. I checked near kick-off and I think they were 2.38 in one place, 2.30 in one places and 2.25 and lower across the board. I think they were about 2.24 on Betfair whereas they were 2.40 when I put it up on here as I remember looking.

Again, you can't read too much into this sort of thing as it's based on one game but I like to think this game is all about value and betting on teams who kick-off 5% lower prices is a good way to make money, even ignoring the fact the market and the ratings got it wrong! Last season, the majority of my teams started lower than I backed them at (much lower in some cases) and therefore, it's another indication that I might have a way of beating the market here.

I'm pleased to report having looked quickly at this weekend's games in the SPL, there are no value bets. I was going to do the same for the first set of fixtures down South but I've had no time this week as I've been busy doing stuff for others, so you'll have to pass on my words of wisdom. As I said on my last post and in a reply to Alan, I won't be betting until the 6 games are played this season in each league, so I can bide my time. I've waited all summer, so what's another 6 weeks?

In terms of what I've been doing, I've been working with some of the guys who are on my email list distribution next season to come up with small portfolios of systems for them to play. As I said recently, my dream would be for this to be automated (either on a website or in Excel) one day and people could choose systems, staking plans and run What-If scenarios to determine an optimal portfolio they'd like to follow.

I obviously don't want to give away any of the guy's portfolios as that would be a bit unfair and I also don't want to go quoting which portfolio is which as that wouldn't be fair on them either. However, here's a couple of pictures of the sort of info I was sharing with the guys.

Seeing this sort of thing just whets my appetite even more for the first set of bets. :) Only another 29 days to go......