Saturday, 7 December 2013

November 2013 Monthly Review

I talked a lot last month about the fact that historically, November has tended to be a good month for the systems and after most systems started the season with two losing months, seeing a profit in November was always going to be important. Of course, with the way variance works, we could have had another losing month and I’m sure everyone would have been doubting the edge the ratings have (as has been happening all season) but I suspect people feel a little bit more contented now.

Of course, as I continue to highlight on the blog, everyone plays these systems different ways and therefore, I can’t even be sure everyone had a winning month in November even though the systems overall had a winning month. For me personally, November was one of my best ever months (top 5) following the systems and therefore, I’m writing this from the perspective of winning back all the season losses and being back in the black but if you read Steve’s daily 25 blog, then I’m sure Steve will be writing his review of TFA for November from a slightly different perspective considering he’s still substantially down for the season.

As always , I’ll write each review looking purely at the system results for the month and try to not get too bogged down with the season results. Many of the trends and patterns we’re seeing this season were also apparent in November, so I’ll touch on these but I won’t discuss the season results. I’ll do a follow up post with the season results instead.

Similar to the last two months, I’ll touch upon the performance of the rating algorithms first before discussing the systems. These are the building blocks for the service although as we’re seeing this season, the correlation between the building blocks and the higher combined systems can actually be quite low at times!

Est Systems

Algorithm 1 achieved a profit of 7.6pts from 96 bets (7.9%). That’s a solid performance from the algorithm this month and the points return from Homes and Aways were very similar. There were exactly twice as many Away bets, so the ROI on Homes is twice as high than Aways. I guess the key to the algorithm having a winning month can be seen in the 3 bets at value of greater than 30%. 1 away bet generated 4.8pts profit and 1 winner from 2 home bets generated 4pts profit.

As always, trying to look at the P&L by value bands is difficult due to the low volumes of bets in each category but this month, the highest band hit the jackpot and the lowest band was loss making again.

Overall, a solid month for algorithm 1. Similar to what has happened all season, system 7 takes these bets on system 6 and makes a mess of things. A 7.9% return is turned into a 14.1% loss on system 7. Very disappointing and sums up the way the season has gone in terms of trying to filter the bets.

System 8 at least managed to make a very small return of 0.7pts from 10 bets but considering the return on system 7, this is actually a decent result. This season, it appears very random whether or not the systems can filter the ratings well or not and overall, it has been a massive let down this season.  The next 6 months are going to be interesting as if this continues, I expect it will signal the end of many of these systems currently within the TFA portfolio as there is no point having systems unless they add something to the ratings.

Algorithm two didn’t do quite as well with a profit of 3.6pts from 71 bets (5.1%). It’s an OK month but a little below what I would be hoping for from this algorithm.

In terms of Homes v Aways, Aways made a small 0.5pts loss but Homes made a profit of 4.1pts from 14 bets. A really good performance by the Home bets on this algorithm.  If you look at the value bands, it’s clear that the same 3 high value bets that appeared on algorithm 1 were picked up by algorithm 2 also. 8.9pts profit from these 3 high value bets were key to the profitability this month of the ratings.

In terms of the filtering then, system 22 actually did a really good job this month. 6.3pts profit from 12 bets on system 22 is a really good return and helps to undo some of the damage done earlier this season by the filtering on system 22.

If we look at the combined systems then, 6-21 had a really solid month. A profit of 8.8pts (14.1%) is an improvement on the returns on system 6 and 21. 6-22 did well too with a profit of 6.3pts (52.7%).

The issue with the combined systems was again 7-21 thru to 8-22. A small profit/loss was made on each of these and that’s the issue this season. When both algorithms make profits, when 6-21 and 6-22 do really well, this is setting up systems 7-21 to 8-22 to do really well. Unfortunately, this month, the filtering from system 6 to 7 didn’t work and therefore, this impacted 7-21 thru to 8-22.

If we look at the results overall on the 11 systems, a profit of 31.8pts from 326 bets (9.7%). The overall results are decent enough and given 9 of the 11 systems made a profit, I would hope anyone following these systems made a profit this month.

New Systems

Algorithm 3 has been the star performer for the last two months and yet again, it has produced the goods this month. A profit of 8.6pts from 105 bets (8.2%). This makes it 3 months in a row of profits in a season when many other algorithms have struggled with the underlying market conditions being so difficult at times, so it shows how well this algorithm has done.

The Aways struggled a little this month with a loss of 0.5pts from 75 bets. The Homes were much better though with a profit of 9.1pts from 30 bets.

The value ratings on this algorithm are a bit all over the place this month with all the profits coming in the lowest band and highest band. I guess the interesting thing is that looking at the highest band, a profit of 13.5pts was made from only 5 bets. That’s the idea when it comes to following high value bets I guess but I think the issue with the ratings is the lack of high value bets!  Then again, I wouldn’t expect the bookies to make pricing errors of 30%+ too often, so maybe I shouldn’t expect a lot of bets.

Algorithm 4 did even better this month with a profit of 12pts from 122 bets (9.9%). Homes were again the key to making a profit on this algorithm with the Aways creating a small loss.

Overall, both algorithms had profitable months and it was nice to see algorithm 4 bounce back after the last two months and it was pleasing to see algorithm 3 build on the performance in the last two months.

In terms of the systems and the filtering then, same issues as the last two months and the same issues as have haunted the systems this season. System 32 made the returns worse and then system 33 basically broke even. Same story with 42 which took a 9.9% profit and turned it into a 3.8% profit.

This made its way onto the combined systems too and when the base ratings are making 8.2% and 9.9%, you are looking for 15%+ from systems. Unfortunately, only two of the systems managed this (32-42 and 33-42) and it would have go down as slightly disappointing they couldn’t do better. 31-42 managed to make a loss which is really poor but 10 of the 11 systems generated some form of profit.

Overall, a profit of 39pts from 545 bets this month across all systems. I think if it wasn’t for the poor start to the season, this would be an OK month but when the ratings make up more than halve of this profit, you have to wonder what the other 9 systems are contributing at the moment. Same goes for this season if I’m honest. System 31 is wiping the floor with the other systems (31-41 is also doing well due to 31 admittedly) but apart from this one system, the rest are struggling.

Compared to last season, these systems don’t seem to have the same sparkle but it’s still early days.  I think the 3rd algorithm is performing in line with expectations and 31-41 is doing well but the other 9 systems are really struggling. Hopefully they can pick up from here and get somewhere near the returns from last season.

Misc Systems

This is much more like it on these systems. :) 

A profit overall of 56.5pts from 275 bets at an ROI of 20.5%. All 6 systems made a nice profit and it was particularly pleasing to see TOX, STOY and STOZ bounce back after the last two months.

It’s difficult to write too much when the systems perform like this as we’ve seen this sort of performance before and this month is only the 5th best month these systems have had in total since they went live but after the start this season, it’s easy to forget. These systems made over 100pts in a month last season with a 38% ROI, so I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised to see this sort of return here.

I think the Home/Away split is interesting and as you can see, a return of 22.2pts from 49 bets on Homes with a 45.4% ROI. Very good and as I’ve touched on many times before, the Homes on these systems tend to be very good. The Aways still weren’t bad with a profit of 15.1% from 226 bets.

Overall, a really good month and hopefully they can build on this now. It’s unlikely they’ll get anywhere near the returns from last season but that season was very special for these systems. Any sort of profit on these systems after the start this season would be great news I think.

Draw Systems

One common theme coming through on the blog this season has been how the filtering of the ratings hasn’t worked well at all and ultimately, it is what has led to some people suffering large losses this season as it has worked for the first 3 seasons. These draw systems are obviously in their first season live but it’s interesting to note the filtering on these systems has worked amazingly well! 

When you look at the results this month on these draw systems, you can see how powerful the filtering can be and how good the combined systems can work.  I just wish we were seeing it on some of the other systems this season!

Here’s the results:

As you can see, a stunning return with a profit of 63.4pts from 283 bets. An ROI of 22.4%.

However, when you look at the ratings, you will see the first algorithm made a profit of 9.1% from 60 bets but system D2 made a 72% ROI and system D3 made 70.7% ROI. It gets even more impressive on the 2nd draw algorithm with the ratings creating a loss of 15.8% but system D7 turning that into 33.3% ROI.

The 6 combined systems follow a similar pattern with system D2-D7 hitting 5 winners from 9 and a profit of 8.1pts at an ROI of 89.6%. Overall, the 6 combined systems hit a profit of 37.2pts from 110 bets.

It’s still early days for these systems but they had a losing first month and then have followed it up with two very decent months. I suspect given the average odds on the draw systems, they are likely to be a bit hit and miss on a month by month basis but so far, I can see lots of potential with these systems.

Euro Systems

Only the second month of the season for these systems but a really good month it was. A profit of 51.8pts from 271 bets (19.1%). 9 of the 11 systems made a profit although it was really pleasing for me that the higher systems E3 and E7 did well as last season, even though these systems failed, the filtering of the bets worked OK.

Early days this season but it again looks as if my Euro ratings probably won’t be as good as the UK ratings but the systems are able to pick out some really nice bets which is part of the trial this season. If I find out after two seasons that I can’t get ratings to make a profit but I can find maybe 100-200 bets a season to make a profit in these leagues, that would do me I think.

Long way to go this season for these systems but it’s a solid start and I have more confidence in these Euro systems this season than I ever had last season!

Under-Over Systems

Another poor month for these systems and they do look like a waste of my time now. The first season was promising, second season was very disappointing and this season is proving very disappointing again. A loss this month of 3.5pts from 35 bets.

The Under 2.5 system actually made a 1.8pt profit but the Over system lost 5.4pts. Both systems are now loss making for the season and the long-term ROI on the systems is down at less than 3% now and the profits were all achieved in the first season which was only a trial season.

I’ll run them to the end of the season but every chance these systems will then be retired to the shelve.

Overall, a very good month with a profit of 238.88pts across all systems from 1,735 bets. An overall ROI of 13.7%.

Next post will give a quick summary of the season to date.


  1. What do you mean when you refer to 'underlying market conditions'?

  2. Good question, I should maybe have expanded on that point although I touched on it last month in the review. I mean the P&L if backing the winner in every game I've rated. Long-term, you tend to lose 4%-5%. This season it has been 8%-9% due to the large home bias we've seen. Backing homes blindly has been profitable for the first 3 months of the season in the games I've rated.

    Hopefully that makes sense. Difficult to make money if backing all winners generates an 8% loss to start from! The bookies edge isn't as big as this.


  3. thanks for replying - I still don't get it though!

    Backing the winner should always generate a profit... purely because they are the winner.... I'm obviously misunderstanding this - any ideas why?

  4. What I mean is that when there is a big home bias as we're seeing this season, backing 1pt on the Home, Away and Draw in all games will generate a substantial loss. I don't have my figures to hand as not in the house but if you imagine a home win maybe loses 1pt per game (assume a 2.0 winner on average at home). With an Away winner (assume average odds of 3.5), you win 0.5pts per game. Hence, when I have systems backing homes, aways and draws, it is much more difficult to make a profit blindly when there is a home bias.

    Obviously, part of the issue is the fact 70% of my bets are aways, so when backing all aways is losing 10%, then the chance of my away bets making a profit is reduced.

    It's all just short term trends. In my first season, I lost a small fortune in Feb and Apr but it was simply due to the market conditions as the strike rate for draws was close to 35%. Hence, backing homes and aways was impossible to make money.

    I don't discuss the market conditions too much and never will as long-term, it will edge back to within a few percent of the long-term averages.

    Hopefully this makes more sense. If not, let me know!

    Interestingly, the systems doing best relative to the market are probably the draw systems. Making money backing draws blindly this season has been difficult, so it should get easier.

    Assuming backing each outcome loses 3%-5%, I would hope that my ratings would make a profit without too much issue!


  5. Now I see!

    It makes sense now, but the way i see it you're only subject to these swings because of you're using level stakes. But I guess you need to keep the systems easy for people to follow and I agree with you about the long term averaging out.

    Thanks for your explaining.