Friday, 31 January 2014

Results update to end the month

A quick update of the results from last weekend and the midweek games. A really strange month and the first week of January feels like it was a long time ago now and the losses suffered since then have been as bad as a few runs suffered earlier this season. I will get on with the monthly review after I’m done here and I want to spend a bit of time looking at the results so far this season for the underlying results as finding away winners was very, very difficult. I thought September was a tough month for Aways but this month has felt almost as bad, if not worse. I haven’t looked at the overall results yet, so not sure if it was worse than September for the underlying results but we’ll see later.

In terms of the last week or so, another tough update. Aways have been in very short supply as Homes and Draws have taken a hold in the leagues I play in. This has helped the systems with more Home bets and of course, the draw systems have benefitted from easier conditions but on the whole, it has been tough.

One set of systems that haven’t found it tough recently has been the Euro systems and they have basically rescued my portfolio this month, along with the Draw systems. I’m still not sure the Draw Systems or Euro systems have an edge yet but if I hadn’t had a few of these systems in my own betting portfolio this season, it would have been a different story for my betting this season.  Said this before but you make your own luck at this game.

Here’s the results for the last week.

Est Systems

A loss of 0.62pts from 30 bets. Aways lost just over 8pts and Homes won just under 8pts. Fits in with what I said above.

New Systems

A loss of 7.99pts from 80 bets. Aways hit 3 winners from 32 bets and lost 13.79pts. Homes won 5.8pts from 48 bets.

Misc Systems

A loss of 8.64pts from 37 bets. Aways hit 1 winner from 16 bets and lost 9.93pts. Homes won 1.29pts from 21 bets.

Draw Systems

A profit of 28.02pts from 85 bets. 33 winners from 85 bets.

Euro Systems

A profit of 27.3pts from 34 bets. A really nice return for these systems and when the bets weren’t winning, they were mostly drawing! The AH returns were very good too.

Under/Over Systems

A profit of 0.86pts from 12 bets. 6 winners from 12. First profit this month for these systems but the damage for the month and the season was done earlier this month for these systems.

Overall, a profit of 38.93pts from 278 bets. An ROI of 14%.

I’d be amazed if anyone has made a 14% ROI over the last week. If they have, they’ve set their portfolio up wrong this season (although, wrong is the new right this season of course!).

I’ll be back with the monthly review on the next post. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Latest Results Update

Well, well, well. Maybe I should take up clairvoyance rather than football betting as quite simply, some of my comments in the last results post were almost prophetic….

“The only thing I’ve learnt over the last 3-4 seasons is that when you have a really decent run of form with the ratings, the next drawdown isn’t too far away and therefore, I am sort of expecting a correction. Given the poor returns over the season, this will be frustrating for many following but I’ve seen it too many times now to know that we’re definitely going to hit a poor spell soon. How bad it will be, I’ve no idea but let’s keep an eye out for it as I’m sure it’s not too far away!”

My comments were as a direct result of me being up to date with my own portfolio results and one thing I have tended to find since I started betting on footie is that whenever I have a sudden upturn, a drawdown isn’t too far away. I keep a long-term trendline on my overall football results going back since I started betting on footie and a linear trendline is a fairly good fit to my P&L (R2 92%). Below shows the last part of the graph after the results update to 7th January:

As usual, I didn’t do anything about it (one day, I may react to the trendline as every time I get ahead of the trend, I seem to lose money!). The last two weeks have been absolutely horrible for my betting, for the systems and for the service as a whole. I thought I’d seen it all after the poor runs earlier this season but the last two weeks have been just as bad as anything I’ve seen earlier this season.

I guess the only thing that keeps me sane is that with the start the systems had this month, it is only a correction to my P&L. Of course, as I said in the last post, for those that didn’t manage to win back the losses from earlier this season, it would be frustrating to suffer this drawdown but it’s part of the game. The systems will bounce back as they have always done before.

Here’s the results from the last two weeks.

Est Systems

56.45pts loss from 100 bets. Only 20 winners from 100 bets unfortunately which means a large loss. There weren’t even a lot of draws on these systems and therefore, it’s just a really poor performance from the ratings and the systems.

New Systems

These systems get a lot of credit for 100pt profit winning months but I can’t ever recall the systems losing 100pts in 2 weeks! An unbelievably poor run of form from the ratings and the systems and so much so, system 31 is facing up to its first losing month this season which takes some doing after the start this month!

A loss of 102.13pts from 161 bets. Only 24 winners in there which is shocking really.

Misc Systems

A loss of 38.21pts from 67 bets. Only 13 winners on these systems which is shocking again! STOZ in particular appears to have lost the plot and only hit 2 winners from 16 bets. The worst performing of these 6 systems by far this season having been the best system for the last two seasons. Just about sums up this season tbh, nothing like the past!

Draw Systems

Not for the first time this season, these systems buck the general trend.  A profit of 36.83pts from 112 bets. A really good return given two weeks ago wasn’t great but the weekend past was much better. These systems started the month really poorly compared to the other systems, so this is a correction going the opposite way to most of the other systems.

Euro Systems

These systems started the month poorly like the draw systems but they’ve really turned the month around. A profit of 77.2pts from 132 bets. The AH returns were also massive as there were quite a lot of draws and with more luck, these returns could have been much higher.

Under-Over Systems

Another loss and these systems continue on a sharp downward trend. A loss of 2.49pts from 19 bets.

Overall, a loss of 85.25pts from 591 bets. The first results update this month had a profit of 186pts, so at a high level, the systems are 100pts up this month after a disastrous two weeks. However, with all the profits coming on the Draws and Euro bets, those without a fully diversified portfolio across all systems are unlikely to be in profit and are probably down for the month now.

There is still another weekend to go this month with the potential for some midweek games too, so the month is in the balance. Let’s see what the remainder of the month brings……

Friday, 17 January 2014

A quick look at 2013 from a betting perspective......

I did promise I’d post up something regarding 2013 from my own betting perspective but for reasons discussed before on the blog, I’m not too interested in using this blog to showcase my P&L. Not sure anyone really cares what I win or lose betting apart from me and I don’t want anyone to think I’m using this blog to entice anyone to join the service. However, what I thought I’d do instead is give some interesting facts about my betting from 2013 by way of a compromise.

To make it explicitly clear, these stats are from my own betting and not the systems or the service, so please don’t read too much into them! It’s more for a bit of fun. :)
  •         2013 ROI (based on £ won v £ staked) was only 4% (my lowest calendar year £ ROI since I started betting on footie)
  •          2013 ROI (based on pts won v pts staked) was 6.6%
  •         2013 ROC was in excess of 100% - perfect case again of ROI for show, ROC for dough
  •         96% of my profit over the year came from season 2012/13 as opposed to season 2013/14 (53% of the bets I’ve placed in 2013 are from this season!)
  •          I backed 923 teams to win with 320 winners (34.6% Strike rate) – equivalent to 4,463 system bets!
  •          February was my best month, September my worst month
  •          6 profitable months, 3 losing months in 2013
  •          League Two my best league (by far!), SPL my worst league (by far!)
  •         Blackburn were my biggest loser in 2013, followed by Middlesbrough, Plymouth and Oldham (TFA subscribers will be aware of these teams!)
  •          Newcastle were my biggest winner in 2013, followed by Burton, Leyton Orient and Morecambe (slightly surprising but I had a big Newcastle win this season!)
  •         The teams I backed the most (in terms of unique times) in 2013 were Wimbledon, Derby, Oldham and Braintree
  •          The teams I placed the most money on were Braintree, Blackburn (boo!), Wimbledon and Torquay
  •          My biggest winning single day saw my bank increase by 41% (in reality, the weekend wasn’t as good as this as Friday and Sunday were both losing days)
  •          My biggest losing single day saw my bank increase by 20% (in reality, the weekend was worse as Friday and Sunday were both losing days too!)
  •          Both the biggest winning and losing days happened in the space of two weeks earlier this season

Overall, quite interesting to look at some of this stuff and it does bring home a few memories over the past year. February was a truly amazing month and I remember thinking at that time how easy this game was as I seemed to be treading water at that point for a little while and then boom, along came a month like that.

I think September will always be etched on my brain the same way that Feb-11 and Apr-11 are. I think the fact it happened at the start of the season and the fact the service also suffered the same sort of losses meant I had 99 other people suffering at the same time which made it a very tough time mentally. For me personally (and others I’m sure), I increased stakes this season off the back of last season’s profits and when you have no bets for the summer months, then when September comes, you can’t wait to get placing the bets and making money again. Couldn’t have been more wrong really and the fact that many people are still recovering from the September losses shows how bad the month was!

I expect next season, I’ll maybe think twice about the stakes I play in September but I honestly believe this sort of variance can happen at any time. If I knew when I was about to lose money, I’d probably just give them bets a miss and wait until I knew I was about to win money and then place my beats. Simples. ;)

Seeing some of the teams I’ve backed so often brings back memories. I’ve lost over 25% of my betting bank backing Blackburn last year. Quite a stunning stat really but they do seem to appear too often in my ratings considering the limited ability that squad has! The Newcastle stat is surprising as I’d never have picked them out but when I think how much I had on them this season to win at home to Chelsea, it makes sense. I also had big bets on them at home to Stoke when they won easily and they were a biggish bet away to Cardiff when they won this season. At the tail end of last season, I had them as big home bets against Stoke (again!) and Fulham. Not sure I’d get 11/10 on them beating Fulham at home these days but I got that last season.

I was actually surprised my biggest winning day and losing day were so close together but they fell into different months and given I tend to look at things monthly, it didn’t quite click this had happened.

923 bets across 9 months is around 25 bets a week. Sometimes feels like more bets I place but when I look at it weekly, it’s looks more sensible. Probably split 20 weekend bets, 5 midweek bets on average and that’s not too bad a workload for someone like me with limited time.

Overall, my 4th calendar year betting on footie and in some ways, my best year and in other ways, my most disappointing year. This season so far has been poor and that has really brought down the yearly ROC figure and the ROI for the year but overall, if I was given this sort of return every year, I’d take it.

What’s my hope for 2014? Well, it started very well as the last blog post showed but as I also said on the last post, I didn’t think the next downturn was too far away and I was right. Last weekend was horrible and I’ve lost a chunk of the profits I had built up in the first week of the year!

I guess I hope for a really good end to this season for the service and my own betting. I tend to look at things season by season rather than year by year and at the moment, this season looks like it could potentially be my worst season to date which would be disappointing, especially since I increased stakes this season!

This has been my least enjoyable season so far and I guess I’d like that to change. I’m finding it tougher than ever to run the service, manage my betting portfolio and continue to progress my career but I just about manage. Not sure I could continue indefinitely like this though and given I’m unlikely to give up my career for this, I can’t see me running myself into the ground unless I’m enjoying what I’m doing.

Bookmaker restrictions mean that more and more of my bets are placed with Pinnacle, SBO although I retain a small number of other UK accounts I use on a Saturday morning to place bets and they’ll lay me decent stakes. The days of me being able to get top price on my bets or beating my advised odds are gone and unlikely to return unless I find a way to place the bets easier and before I release to subscribers (which always feels like something I’d not be comfortable with). I imagine if I didn’t have a full-time job, running multiple accounts with family names and friends names would be doable and would probably add a significant amount of return onto what I make at the moment but that’s not happening in the short-term. If this season has taught me anything, it’s that I’m as far away from being a full-time bettor as I’ve ever been and I’ve really no appetite for this to change.

I’ve a few ideas for the service for next season as one complaint I get is that I close the doors of the service in June or July which means that anyone who’s looking for a footie tipster at the start of the season can’t join. I quite like this aspect though as I don’t have time to help people understand the systems when the season starts and I also like the fact the service is not overrun with numpties moaning at me about results although every Summer a few of these types join but they tend to jump ship at the first poor spell, so I don’t have to deal with them for the whole season!

Anyway, I think that’s given a little insight into 2013 and some thoughts for 2014. If this was a school report card, I would say 2013 was an average year but given the first half of the year, it should been an amazing year for me. 2014 will just need to be much better then! 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

2014 results so far

I say the same every season but I can guarantee at least a few times a season, anyone following these systems will think these are the worst betting systems they have ever seen. I can guarantee you that people have said this about my systems at least once this season already, probably more than this if I’m honest going by some stuff I’ve read. However, I also know that once or twice a season, these systems will do something pretty special as I’ve seen it happen every season. How special can vary I think and I’ve seen these systems do some brilliant things over the years I’ve been following them and I think the run of form to start 2014 has been pretty special again.

Of course, given the start the systems had this season, even after this decent run of form, the season returns still lag way behind where we all hoped they’d be at the halfway stage of the season which is roughly where we are at but when you look at the returns over the last 5-6 weeks or so, my ratings have been on fire.

The only thing I’ve learnt over the last 3-4 seasons is that when you have a really decent run of form with the ratings, the next drawdown isn’t too far away and therefore, I am sort of expecting a correction. Given the poor returns over the season, this will be frustrating for many following but I’ve seen it too many times now to know that we’re definitely going to hit a poor spell soon. How bad it will be, I’ve no idea but let’s keep an eye out for it as I’m sure it’s not too far away!

Anyway, let’s keep this update upbeat and here are the results for 2014 so far.

Est Systems

A profit of 63.49pts from 55 bets at an ROI of 115%. 40 winners from 55 bets and the frustrating thing is that Hibs were a bet on Sunday at nice odds on 3 systems and were 2-0 up with 10 mins left and drew 2-2. Hence, it could and should have been better.

These systems have been disappointing all season and annoyingly, I think we’re having to face up to the fact that systems 7-21 to 8-22 are going to have a nightmare season as when they don’t claw back losses from updates like these, you know they are doomed this season! They didn’t like many of these bets and when you filter out winning bets like this, you aren’t going to do too well I think.

New Systems

A profit of 92.17pts from 110 bets. An ROI of 84%. 67 winners from 110 bets and not quite as impressive as the Est Systems but the difference here is that the combined systems on these systems haven’t been filtering out these winners! The combined systems made 44pts from 39 bets. :)

Misc Systems

A profit of 65.69pts from 50 bets at an ROI of 131%! 36 winners from 50 bets and a really strong performance. Interestingly, systems TOX, STOY and STOZ aren’t keeping pace with the other 3 systems this season and this is like the complete opposite of the last two seasons.

Interestingly, I think the 3 systems TOX, STOY and STOZ are more correlated to the combined systems 7-21 thru to 8-22 than any other systems and therefore, all these systems appear to be struggling this season, albeit the Est Systems are really struggling this season. Definitely something to consider for next season and the future. Not sure you want these systems in the same portfolio.

Draw Systems

A poor start to 2014 for these systems but again, they didn’t have the best of luck. These systems always seem to get fairly close and they did so again here but a late goal ruined it for a few bets. Only 5 winners from 42 bets and a loss of 25.15pts. 

Euro Systems

Not a lot of games here as some of the Euro leagues were on a break but a loss of 0.4pts from 53 bets. No damage done but we need to see a marked improvement in performance in the second half of the season or I don’t think these Euro leagues will be part of the service next season.

Under/Over Systems

I do find it slightly amusing that when my other ratings hit some decent form at long last, these systems fall off the edge of a cliff. Given they have been useless for the last two seasons, not sure I should be surprised at all but I can’t remember too many worse results updates than this over the last few seasons. A loss of 8.9pts from 13 bets. Said it many times before but these won’t be part of the portfolio from next season!

Overall, a profit of 186.9pts from 323 bets.  A great way to start 2014 and a great way to the start the month. However, I’ve been here many times before and seen a few months start like this and end with barely any profit, so a long way to go this month.

I may just be a doom and gloom merchant but I would suspect it’s odds against that the systems make any additional profit over the remainder of this month. Let’s see if I’m right. I hope to be proved wrong!

To put some sort of context around my comments, I’ve made 30% of the money I made in the whole of 2013 in the first 6 days of 2014. :)  

Updated results of the 'Cassini' TFA System

Firstly, a well done to Cassini for updating the latest TFA FTL tipster table. I monitor a lot of bets and systems myself as you may have noticed but all my data is always in a nice format and of course, I own all the bets and systems. I wouldn’t fancy doing the job that Cassini does every week by taking people’s bets via emails and spreadsheets and then having to record all the results at Pinnacle’s closing line and not the advised prices etc. I doubt many would do what Cassini does free of charge and therefore, I take my hat off to him.  You can see the latest FTL table here.

I gave an update on how the system I entered into the league was doing a few months ago and you can read that post here.

At that point in time, the system was running at a loss and had been through some fairly tough times early on this season.

As you may have seen on Cassini’s blog today, the system in his tipster league has now crawled into profit. A profit of 2.89pts at an ROI of 1.33%. Not setting the world alight but considering the system was -28pts not too long ago, to see it in profit is at least an improvement. :)

One thing I touched on before was my target for this system in the tipster league. I said that I would be hoping for 600 bets at an ROI of 5% to advised prices and at Pinnacle prices, I assumed it would be something like 3%.  The Pinnacle kick-off price bit was always a bit of a guess but given most of my advised prices are at Pinnacle prices, I assumed a slight drop off as my selections reduce in price from the Thursday evening to kick-off as all my members are aware.

Well, we’re roughly at the halfway stage of the season in the tipster league.  The ‘advised’ results from the Cassini system below are shown on the graph below:

A profit of 10.58pts from 217 bets. An ROI of 4.88%. 

Clearly, the system isn’t doing anything too special but considering the start this season, an ROI of nearly 5% is acceptable I think.  This could be backed up by any of my members but the advised prices being used here are achievable. My own records have me achieving 99.6% of my prices this season as of last weekend and I place a lot of bets on Saturday mornings these days which sees some big swings in prices on some bets but some go up and some go down. Interestingly, when I last did an update of this system, I was beating my advised prices, so over the last 6 weeks or so, it has got more difficult to match my prices but then again, I’ve been placing bets on the day of games over the Festive period when I’ve had a really decent run of form and been taking lower prices in the main.

Anyway, I hope this shows that my advised prices aren’t pie in the sky.

So, why is the system doing much worse at Pinnacle prices at kick-off?  Well, there are a few reasons for this but it’s easily explainable:

  •     Part of the edge of my ratings is the fact can identify value at a point in time. If my ratings have an edge, you would expect the odds I’m backing at to be higher than the odds at kick-off and therefore, it’s not too surprising that I beat the Pinnacle odds at kick-off on average.
  •     What I didn’t realise was that some of my newer subscribers (and some of my high roller subscribers) are placing bets at Pinnacle on the day of the game and in the run-up to kick-off as they can get their full stakes on the games. One of my ‘high roller’ subscribers plays his bets exactly an hour before kick-off like clockwork and his betting bank is £250k. Hence, he’s regularly placing £10k bets on some of my teams at big odds with Pinnacle and therefore, he is moving the Pinnacle price himself or at least, contributing significantly to the movement. Combine this with the previous point above and you can see why I’m at a disadvantage when Pinnacle’s closing odds are used. Incidentally, I think this is the fairest way to run Cassini’s league in terms of recording of odds, so I’m not saying it’s unfair but I just want to highlight why this discrepancy has arisen.

I did a quick check on the last 40 bets and if recording the best price on odds portal at kick-off, you will beat my advised prices and recorded P&L for this system over this period. Therefore, more often than not, in the lower league games, Pinnacle are nowhere near the best price at kick-off on my selections. Not something I had paid much attention to until now but I’ve been looking at it over the last few weeks and it’s definitely the case.

My other issue with the system so far is the low volume of bets. 217 bets isn’t enough turnover to achieve my target but as my systems have shown, the higher the turnover, the lower the ROI and therefore, it’s not just the case of churning out more bets on this system as it may lose the edge it has.

What does all this mean in terms of the Tipster league? Well, it’s not going to be as straightforward as I thought to win the league!

Rebasing the system targets then for this season, 450 bets at an ROI of 5% gives me a target return of 22.5pts. At Pinnacle odds at kick-off, this is more likely to be 450 bets at an ROI of 1.5%. 6.75pts.

6.75pts won’t win the tipster league but it would at least see me finish in profit. As I said at the start of the season, based on previous seasons, finishing in profit would see me in the top half of the league and given I was taking that as a given at the start of the season, that’s partly where my idea of a £25 bounty for everyone who beats me came from!

I have four options now.

1). I increase the turnover, make the system more volatile potentially and hopefully hit enough winners as my expected ROI may drop a little but if I get lucky, I could still make a decent profit. With no luck, I’d probably make a loss this season.  Not worth the risk.
2). I reduce the turnover, play fewer bets with a higher expected ROI and hope that I get a run of nice winners in the second half of the season. With the low bet number could come more volatility and therefore, it goes against what I believe in when it comes to these systems. No.
3). I do nothing and stick with the system as it is. Based on current projections, I’d scrape a profit this season at Pinnacle prices but end up with an OK profit at advised prices (which don’t mean anything in the context of this system!)
4). I build a new system for the second half of the season.

I did think of trying something new in the second half of the season and maybe going for broke and try to build another system but I think that with a bounty of £25 to everyone who finishes above me, if the system crashes and burns, it would be costly!

Therefore, after all this, I’m going to do nothing. I’ll keep this system churning out the same bets it has done all season and although it’s highly unlikely I can make enough profit to win the league, I can still finish top 6 or so which wouldn’t be a disaster and would at least minimise my bounty cost!

Of course, given the system has about 230 bets left, anything can happen this time. The first 100 bets on the system this season saw a 19pt loss, the next 100 bets saw a 23.5pts profit. The last 17 bets have saw 6.2pts profit. As you can see, over 100 bets, it is fairly random and over a sample of 100 bets, it is very rare to hit the expected return of the system. Hence, another 230 bets like the first 100 bets and I’ll finish last in the league. Another 200 bets like the last 100 bets and I’ll win the league doing handstands. In reality, I have little control over the results as always and I just have to hope that over 450 bets this season, the system has enough time to show the edge it has. The fact I’m beating the Pinnacle closing line by 4% on average for my winning bets shows that the system has an edge to advised prices but nearly all of the edge is eroded at Pinnacle prices at kick-off unfortunately.

Let’s see what happens next……

Friday, 3 January 2014

TFA Value Ratings - Season to Date v Historical Live Results

I've been promising this for a while but as always, I struggle to get the time to pull out the data and write a blog post. 

I can't recall doing this before on the blog but I'm not going to write about the results so far this season and the tables below. I said at the start of the season that I didn't want to draw any conclusions about the value ratings until we saw the results this season and that hasn't changed. The data is all there below and I'll share an update of this in the Summer with all subscribers but really, what we want to be doing is combining the value ratings with the systems and seeing what the results look like. However, this is a major project and one that needs to be undertaken in the Summer.

As you will see below, the sample sizes for the algorithms may be OK but once you start splitting the games between the value bands, the data gets very thin in places and even drawing conclusions from the historical live results isn't easy.

The other issue is that so far this season, the results are nowhere near as good as the last 3 seasons and therefore, drawing conclusions isn't easy due to this.  

Hence, it sort of feels like a bit of a teaser post this one but I think the real work still needs to be done on the value ratings and how we use them going forward. 

Let's park this until the Summer and we can pick it up again then. Anyone reading this can hopefully see some clear areas below where we can increase profits using the value bands and the systems but let's not jump to conclusions too quickly. 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

All Live Results v 2013 Results v 2013/14 Season Results

Not going to say too much in this post but conscious that any blog readers who aren't members of the service don't see everything my members see. Here's a few tables showing the live results of all systems since inception as well as the 2013 results in isolation and then the 2013/14 season results to date.

All data is up to the end of 2013. 

I think the tables help to put the season to date into context. Yes, it hasn't been great so far this season but the long-term picture still looks OK I think.