Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Elephant In The Room.......

The title of this blog post could have easily read ‘the second half of season 2010/11’ but instead, I’ve given it a more appropriate name for the blog!

Any long-term readers will know a fair bit of what happened in the second half of last season and after paying particular attention to the first half of this season and the similarities with the first half of last season in the last post, it seems only right to again highlight what happened in the second half of last season.

Mark Iverson left a comment on the last post asking to see a graph of the second half of the season in May. Now I’ve read Mark’s comment again, I think he’s actually meaning May-12 and doing the same comparison with the second half of this season and last season, but if you read my reply to Mark, you’ll see that I thought he meant a graph of the second half of last season!

Anyway, ignoring my misunderstanding, I think it’s good to look back (for old times sake!) before we look forward. I will of course paste up a graph at the season end which compares the second half of each season (as per Mark’s suggestion).

Now that I’ve looked at this again (which is 7 months after the event), I honestly don’t believe it looks as bad as it felt at the time. Again, this is probably due to the fact that the wounds aren’t quite as raw as they were in February and April but being honest, it’s always hard on a blog to remain totally subjective when you are losing money.

As I’ve mentioned before on the blog a few times, I actually increased my stakes after more than doubling my betting bank in the first half of last season and therefore, I felt the second half of the season harder than most. I say most as I know I was not along in getting slightly carried away after the start last season and many of us had burnt fingers at the end of last season. Of course, the overall results were very good for the first season but when you make all the profits in the first half of the season on a new venture, it’s odds on you will not end up where you hoped to be, come the season end! Increasing stakes seemed like the easiest decision ever after 4 months of amazing profits but it was a foolish thing to do with hindsight.

Anyway, here’s the equivalent graph to the one I showed yesterday but this only shows the second part of last season. I keep calling it the second half but clearly, the season last season ended up being very lopsided due to the number of postponements in November and December, so many more games were played after Christmas than in a normal season.

As you can see, the graph isn’t pretty and it includes one massive drawdown but overall, the lowest point was only -45pts. However, the highest point was actually +75pts as the systems started January in great fashion last season, so it was a drop of 120pts from the peak to the trough. Again, it’s not a disaster based on betting banks or anything but at the time, it felt like the end of the world to me!

Interestingly, Jan-12 has started in OK fashion with Everton and Gateshead winning for me on New Year’s Day but it is too early to know how the month will end up.

Having now decided that the second half of last season wasn’t quite as bad as it looked at the time (felt much worse than that bloody graph!), if we look at the season as a whole, again, it probably looks better than it felt last season. I’ve shown the split between the first part and second part of the season by a line.

When the season ended last season, I was very down about how the season had panned out and as I said a few times on the blog, I was really disappointed with a return of around 9.4% on the systems last season. Many people commented that I was being too critical and that it had been a much better season than I painted it to be. Well, I think 7 months on from the end of last season, they are probably correct!

I can’t change the past and of course, I actually can’t change the future either as the systems will ultimately decide how this season pans out but at the moment, I feel very apprehensive about the second half of the season as you can imagine.

One other thing I had noticed before last season was that this apparent half season split was already evident during the backtesting results. Of course, I couldn’t act on it and I still can’t act on it as the second half of each season is still profitable in its own right but there is clear definition between the first part of each season and the second part of each season.

This table shows this by month and by part of season where Aug-Dec is part one and Jan-May is part two.

You can all draw your own conclusions but the first part of each season is on average 60% better than the second half of each season. That’s a worrying statistic considering we’re now into this stage of the season.....


  1. Exceptional blog G. For anyone similar to me who enjoys analysis like this, this blog is a must read.

    Is it easy for you to update the graph of last season with the results this season including the trend line? If so, can you post it up please.

    Keep up the good work.


  2. Hi Tom.

    Glad you enjoy the blog mate. I reckon that if it wasn’t me writing the blog, I’d really enjoy reading it, so that’s probably the best praise I can give the blog! lol

    It should be fairly easy to produce that graph for you. I just need to dig out the data I used the other data for the different graphs and combine the data. I’ll get it done in a bit.