(The below was written before tonight's bets. I meant to post it last night but didn't have time)
Before I get onto the purpose of this post, I want to say a few words on the discussion I had with Tage in the comments section on the last post. Tage has been a member of TFA for a while (3 seasons I think) and therefore, we’ve exchanged numerous emails on the performance of the systems and the ratings and Tage has always been supportive of TFA. Over the years, we’ve not always seen eye to eye on everything and I know Tage has his own views on the service, the systems and what I should do differently in terms of following the systems and running the service. However, like all TFA members, I respect his views and I agree with a lot of what he says but I also have my own views (as do others) and therefore, I do what I want to do with the ratings, the systems and the service.
Tage was a little annoyed that I butted into his conversation on the last post when he said Vidar’s staking plan was “wrong”. There is no right or wrong way to follow TFA and therefore, I’m not going to have one member telling other members they are doing things wrongly. Everyone can do what they want with the bets and if someone wants to have a staking plan of 0-1,000,000pts, they can do so as it’s their choice. Might not be the staking plan Tage would choose but it’s not his staking plan.
I think we’re all still learning about TFA and the ratings, the systems, the draws, the Euros and so on and I expect it will always be a continual learning process for all of us but that’s part of the fun I think of following TFA. It’s what makes TFA fairly unique and ultimately, it’s why some people follow TFA believe it or not. It’s a challenge at times but I’ve had so many notes over the years from people talking about how good TFA has been for their betting, not only with the profits from the systems but the way it allows you to do different things with staking and portfolio bets and it has taught them a great deal about betting and how to make a profit and therefore, I don’t want that element curtailed.
I think it’s great Tage shared his thoughts on the blog and as subscribers will know, I allowed Tage to share a report earlier this season on why staking so much on some teams wasn’t worth the returns for the additional volatility it brings and I think all of us can learn from Tage after what has happened this season! However, at the end of the day, Tage can’t be telling people that their strategy is wrong when they are in profit and others are not in profit!
Anyway, I apologised to Tage for stepping into the discussion but I don’t want people thinking they are doing anything wrong when they are just doing their own thing with the staking. Tage laughs at this as he’s commented before on the blog but I know one guy who follows all (and I mean all!) TFA bets every season. He’s not had a losing season so far, is on course for another good season and constantly tells me that everyone else is crazy for not following all my bets! If anything ever points to TFA being unique, that is probably it. :)
Right, the purpose of this post is to answer a question Matthew raised on a post a few weeks back. I said I would do it at month end but I’ve had a little time today and it’s a fairly quiet midweek with fixtures, so I’ll do the post now.
Here’s the question from Matthew again:
Could you provide an update of the results of backing each individual selection once to 1pt for the season so far? If you could then split it into value bands as well that would be great.
I’ve pulled together the analysis for the UK bets and I think it’s very interesting. I keep saying it but with the introduction of me releasing the value ratings this season with the bets, it does add a new dimension to the systems. Admittedly, I chose to ignore this dimension this season even though all the evidence pointed to possibly removing the lowest value bets from the systems historically. Having done this analysis today on this season, I suspect the evidence is even more overwhelming now but like always, I’ll reassess things at season end and give my view. I don’t fancy removing the low value bets completely as it would lead to a big reduction in bet number but if the evidence is there, the least I can do is point it out and people can make their own decisions as always.
Here’s the results this season for the 4 rating algorithms (data to today), split by value band.
This shows it was a good weekend as remarkably, all 4 algorithms have now sneaked into profit. As usual, algorithm 3 (system 31) is wiping the floor with the other 3 algorithms. I guess the surprise is that algorithm 1 is beating algorithm 2 and historically, this definitely hasn’t been the case. System 21 is a better system than system 6 IMO and the results back this up.
As you will see, the results by value band are interesting. Systems 21 and 41 show large losses for the lower value bets (<10%). System 6 shows a large loss for the lowest value bets (<5%) but a great profit for the 5%-10% range and then a large loss for 10%-15%! System 31 bucks the trend and the low value bets do really well.
Looking at the other end of the scale, the highest value bets (>30%+) are having an amazing season on every algorithm! Admittedly, there are so few bets, I won’t be retiring just yet but it at least points to the fact that if you are only wanting to lump on a few teams a season, these are the teams to do it! :) (That’s tongue in cheek)
Being honest, as I keep saying, the only conclusion we can draw is that generally, the higher value bets do well and the very weak bets seem to be doing badly this season.
The actual question Matthew asked was around unique bets and not the algorithms, so here are the results for the unique bets at an overall level:
First comment is that it’s not exactly the best return in the world if you are following this strategy! You’d be much better just following system 31 as this return over the seasons has easily beat this strategy of backing each team that appears once.
Of course, to break the unique bets down by value bands, it’s not easy to just have one set of value bands. If we take algorithm 1, not every unique bet appears on this algorithm and therefore, we’ll have a bucket set of bets that don’t appear on the algorithm and therefore, bear this in mind! It starts to get quite complicated when you think it through as system 31 is the best system but this system seems to find bets that other systems can’t find and therefore, this should play through in the results here (and it does!).
Right, here are the results for each algorithm for the unique bets only:
I’m not about to sit and spell out hundreds of observations but I think system 31 is interesting. If you take the 212 bets that don’t appear on system 31 but appear on one of the other 3 algorithms, this accounts for a loss of 44.5pts from 212 bets. Not a huge sample but given system 31 is the best system historically, I expect that if system 31 doesn’t like your bet, not sure it’s worth having!
That’s a pretty good place to be and at least gives us some food for thought I think about the future. Likewise, if your unique bet only has a value of less than 5% and appears on system 6,21 or 41, it’s probably not worth having either!
You start to put together a couple of rules to build yourself a little unique bet system and quite quickly, you have a system that’s much better than just backing all unique bets.
As always, I prefer to draw conclusions at season end and on much bigger sample sizes than one season, so please don’t start doing things off the back of this post. The results this season with the value bands fit in with what I thought would happen having spent some time with the data during the Summer. That's pleasing although it's one step further to act on this.
For those reading this and thinking, ffs, he’s making it even MORE complicated, I will try to improve the service next season by having some systems that are based on certain rules regarding systems, ratings and draw systems and ultimately, these may be useful to some people. Not sure how they fit in the service and maybe they sit in another service where people are told what to back rather than told to do what they want to do!
As always, any questions and observations welcome!