Monday, 12 November 2012

Season Review to Date

As I said on the last post, I think it’s important to stand back and take stock of the situation at times. I’m as guilty as anyone if I’m honest of paying too much attention to recent results and thinking things are worse than they appear to be. I think that comes from being so close to the ratings, finding the system bets, betting on them, going through an emotional rollercoaster most weekends and then having to spend endless hours updating results and then starting again with the ratings for the next set of fixtures.

The discipline needed at this game to make money is far greater than what most people could ever imagine and at times like this, I’m in danger of thinking I’m wasting my time this season with the footie betting as I’m staking large amounts most weekends to not make much headway at all or has been the case recently, to make small losses. In these circumstances (I’ve been here a few times before with the footie betting and footie modelling as regular blog readers will know), my answer is usually to stand back and take a look at how things have gone over the season. It doesn’t change the profit I’ve made or the results the systems have had and I don’t know why but it usually helps me keep things in perspective by doing this.   I could even go further and look at things over the last couple of seasons but I only tend to do that when I’m really, really low about the performance of the systems. I’m not quite there yet!

So, how do the results look this season?

I think the below table gives us all the information we need on the season to date. So far, there have been 3,104 bets this season. I think we’ll have around 15,000 system bets this season in total, so I suspect we’re about 20% of the way through the season. Here are the results:

As always, there is a lot of information here and it isn’t easy to digest at first glance, so I’ll try to break it down into parts for us to look at.

Established Systems

At a high level, a 9.8% return across 870 bets and a 12.6% return for the combined systems across 332 bets isn’t a bad start to the season.  I think my only concern is the performance of systems 6-8 and the knock on effect this has on the combined systems.

A 1.8% ROI on system 6 isn’t great and although it improves as you move up to system 7 and system 8, returns of 2.7% and 5.5% don’t set the pulse racing I’m afraid. On the other hand, system 21 has a 14.3% return and system 22 has a 24.3% return and this is above average I suspect. So, we have the first rating algorithm a little below average, the second rating algorithm a little above average and we end up with some interesting results on the combined systems.

6-21, 7-21 and 8-21 performance is in line with expectations and as you filter the bets, the results improve. 7.1%, 17.9% and 21.1% are the returns as you move down the systems and this is nearly exactly in line with plan. If these systems finished like this for the season, I’d be happy.

The issue lies with 6-22, 7-22 and 8-22. The returns are 29.3%, 8.9% and -7.9%. It’s hard to explain or even understand why this has happened. Historically, if system 6-22 had that sort of return, the return of 7-22 and 8-22 would be astronomical but so far this season, it hasn’t happened.

My worry looking at this is that 6-22 is unlikely to continue with that sort of return and therefore, 7-22 and 8-22 may take a hit when 6-22 adjusts back to a normal return. Of course, these systems didn’t catch the upside, so maybe it’s pessimistic to think they’ll catch the downturn but it does worry me a little. 7-22 has only had 28 bets and 8-22 has only had 19 bets, so it may be the case that it is simply variance and as we get more bets, these systems will do what they have traditionally done and filter 6-22 successfully. Even if 6-22 does hit a barren spell, 7-22 and 8-22 may still filter the bets well and miss most of the losers, so it is too early to panic too much about 7-22 or 8-22 yet.

Overall, combining the systems does improve the returns from the single systems and therefore, most of the trends on these systems are OK. The correlation between 7,8 and 22 is the only thing that looks strange so far but maybe we’ll see a correction soon.

New Systems

These systems have definitely been the surprise package so far this season. Before I looked at the backtested results for the systems, I was very keen on the idea of cross referring systems 31-33 (which were live last season) with a new set of systems called 41-42 as I always felt like 31-33 were waiting on another set of systems to come along, built in the same manner that could help them realise their potential. Of course, the backtested results last season were poor (5.4% ROI overall and -1.7% ROI for the combined systems) and that led me to believe I may have been leading us up the garden path with believing these systems could be any good.

10 weeks of bets and all of a sudden, it looks like I may have paid too much attention to the results from last season and ignored the amazing results from the previous 5 seasons. What I would say in my defence is that we are only 20% of the way into the season, so it would be wrong to draw any conclusions at this time but so far, these systems look pretty decent (and that’s an understatement!)

15.3% ROI across 1,193 system bets in total and an ROI of 19.8% over 468 combined system bets. Fantastic returns and when you compare these returns to the Est systems, they have wiped the floor so far this season with the Est systems.

If I’m honest, I still struggle to believe the results on these systems and all historical evidence points to algorithm two (system 21) being my best rating algorithm, followed by algorithm one (system 6) with the other two algorithms (Systems 31 and 41) lagging behind. Therefore, the only algorithm that isn’t upholding their side of the bargain is algorithm one and therefore, I suspect once algorithm one clicks into gear this season (if it ever does!), then it will catch up with algorithms 3 and 4 and we’ll see the Est Systems overtake the New systems this season.

So far, so good.

Misc Systems

I was pleasantly surprised when I updated these results for the season to date as I give these systems quite a hard time. I think this is a hangover from last season and I was disappointed with these systems last season and the returns and they didn’t exactly start this season great either. However, now I look at the results, they aren’t bad at all and when you see some of the returns on the other systems in the portfolio this season, these systems are holding their own.

A 9.4% ROI across 571 bets is a decent enough return. The trends are strange though on some systems and this is a hangover from what has happened so far with the Est. systems this season. 21-31 wouldn’t be expected to perform better than 6-21-31 and yet, it has a return of 11.9% against 6.8%.

The most interesting for me is System TOX beating System STOY. All historical evidence points to STOY being stronger than TOX and yet, TOX has a 17% ROI and STOY has 0.5%!

These little quirks are partly due to variance I suspect but they are also due to the fact the correlation between the systems hasn’t shown the same trend this season as the last two seasons. In particular, the single Est systems have been very good at picking out teams that other systems may not agree with and it hasn’t impacted the returns too much. For example, system 21 is doing better than system 6-21 which is very strange also this season and this has a knock on effect onto some of these Misc Systems.

Overall, a decent start this season for the Misc systems and they are performing better than last season. Early days though but it does justify my confidence in continuing with these systems after the poor performance last season.

Under/Over Systems

Not going to say much here. A loss of 4.4pts from 95 bets and an ROI of -4.6%. I think break-even is about the best these systems can do this season and I’ll need some convincing to continue with these systems for another season. The overall ROI since they were live is down at 4.6% from 568 bets. I give these systems a hard time and being honest, the return isn’t bad but at the end of the day, I don’t have any belief in these systems generating a return long-term.

Euro Systems

The impact of the draw so far this season is clear to see in these results. At a high level, 2.2% ROI across 375 bets isn’t a disaster but unfortunately, this drops to a 6.1% loss across the 156 combined system bets.

If you look at AH0 (Draw No Bet) returns though, it is 7.5% and 5.4% across both sets of systems, so much better than what the outright returns are showing.

The other thing to highlight here has to be the filtering of the bets and how poorly it has worked so far this season. E1 has a 22.7% ROI and E6 has a 16.2% ROI. This really is dream returns for a base rating algorithm and without any filtering, these systems are doing themselves proud.

Unfortunately, E2 takes that amazing return and turns it into a 19.8% loss. Strangely, E3 takes that loss and turns it into a 12.9% profit! All very strange happenings with this first algorithm and the only conclusion you can draw is that it is simply variance. 30 bets on E2 and 15 bets on E3 are really nothing and it’s too early to draw conclusions.

Likewise, E7 takes the return on E6 and turns it into a loss of 19%. 

The only thing you can be sure of looking at these returns on the single system is that E1-E6 is going to do OK but the other 5 combined systems will struggle!

A 15.3pt return on E1-E6 is more than eaten up by fairly chunky losses on E1-E7 to E3-E7. Interestingly, all the 6 combined systems are showing small profits to AH0.5 betting, so it’s a clear indication that the draw is proving costly on these systems at the moment.

Again though, variance is playing a part and quite simply, the impact of the draw will dilute once we get more games on these systems I hope. Either that or we can just all back the selections as draws as we’ll make big profits!

Overall then, that’s a quick rundown of the systems so far this season. I’d be lying if I said it had been a good start this season but then again, maybe it’s simply a case of expectations getting out of control and should we really expect 45 degree P&Ls all the time, consistent monthly profits or dare I say it, winning seasons every season on all systems?  I think the last part is key to this. If I was only giving out bets on system 7-22 this season, I’m sure people would be pulling their hair out, looking at the results, questioning whether I knew what I was do, whether the ratings had lost their edge, whether the systems were no good any more and so on.  As this post shows me (and those reading it), there isn’t too much wrong this season. Yes, things haven’t exactly gone to plan but I’m sure people have had worse starts to a football season than we’re experiencing here!

As always, any questions or comments, post them up or email me directly.

As a bit of fun, I have ordered the results by system so far this season, based on ROI. How many of us are following systems in the top 10 this season so far?  Not too many I would have thought!

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