Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Weekend Results

A tricky weekend again for the ratings and systems. I quoted some stats on Twitter on Sunday evening but with a week left in the month, the month is shaping up to be the toughest month for Away bettors since November 2006. Not exactly the sort of stats I want to be quoting at the end of the first month of the season but the bias towards Homes has been massive thus far. We know it can’t last though and a correction will take place sooner rather than later and when things revert to normal, hopefully my ratings will start picking up profits.

I guess the pleasing thing (if I can say that!) is that the losses are nowhere near as bad as we witnessed last September. Crudely, based on last September’s performance, I would have expected us to be losing much more money than we’re losing now if the ratings were the same as last season! The fact that we are working with refreshed rating algorithms and we’re seeing slightly more Home bets means that we’re not doing as badly as last season.

The proof in the pudding will be what happens when underlying results improve and I’m hopeful that we’ll see increased profits off the back of the refreshed algorithms. If this happens, combined with the fact we haven’t lost as badly as we could have done, I hope we’ll have an OK season!

I must be the only bettor who loses money in the first month of the season and I’m thinking I’m doing great as I could have lost much more. :)

Here’s the weekend results below.

Est Systems

 Only 20 winners from 69 bets and a loss of 19.79pts. Losses on all 11 systems I’m afraid and it’s been a tough start to the season (again!) for these systems. Took them a long time to recover from September losses last season, hoping they get into profit before the 2nd last month of the season this time!

New Systems

A much better strike rate with 46 winners from 106 bets. A profit of 15.10pts. The ratings are struggling a little (31 & 41) but the combined systems had a decent weekend.

Misc Systems

18 winners from 52 bets and a loss of 2.28pts.

Draw Systems

9 winners from 26 and a profit of 5.77pts. Ratings found some nice winners, systems did great in filtering them out!

Overall, a loss of 1.2pts from 244 system bets.

We have a full weekend card left this month, followed by a midweek card in the Conference next week. Apart from the first day of bets, every set of fixtures has been loss making this season. Due a run of away winners I think and I just hope they don’t come against my Home bets. :)  

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Midweek Results Update

A very quick post with the midweek results. Wanted to get these out the way as we have a very busy weekend coming up and I had some spare time tonight.

Another poor update really and it was a tough midweek. A little early to start discussing underlying results but so far, it has been very difficult if backing Aways or Draws. The strike rates are lower than expected but the sample size is tiny. Last season, September saw a massive home bias with a massive loss for Aways and Draws. So far, history is repeating itself but on the plus side, we’ve not dug ourselves into as big a hole as last September (yet!).

I think the most interesting thing so far has been the fact that even though my rating algorithms have struggled, the systems have seemed to do OK. That comment excludes the Draw systems of course! 1 winner in 45 bets so far does feel a bit like déjà vu from last season.

Hopefully things pick up this weekend.

Est Systems – 8.53pts profit from 80 bets.

New Sysems – 4.26pts loss from 72 bets

Misc Systems – 11.64pts profit from 35 bets

Draw Systems – 22.52pts loss from 26 bets

Overall, a 6.61pts loss from 213 bets. 

Star of the season so far? TOX. 5 winners from 8.

Disappointments of the season so far? 6-21 (4 from 18), 31-41 (5 from 19) & D1-D6 (0 from 4).

Let’s see what happens this weekend……

Saturday, 13 September 2014

First results update of the 2014/15 season

A strange start to the season and today saw the 3rd round of bets. The first round of bets was very good, the 2nd round of bets saw a wipeout from 4 bets in midweek and then today saw another very poor performance overall with a lack of winners from a decent number of bets.

It’s funny, we’ve had just over 1% of the system bets I expect this season (15k system bets are expected) and yet, the parallels to last season can already be drawn. Est Systems have started very poorly although the combined systems are worse than the ratings themselves which is in line with last season. New Systems have started OK and continue the pattern of looking much better systems than the Est Systems and of course, when other systems are losing, system 31 somehow manages to keep churning out winners and has started the season well so far.

Misc Systems have only had a small number of bets, so hard to draw any conclusions and the Draw systems started like they started last season and have yet to find a winner yet!

Of course, the interesting point for some reading this will be the fact September is now loss making and those wise/foolish (delete as appropriate) people who decided to have no bets in September after seeing that September is loss making historically are probably quite glad of today’s results. Of course, this game is always tight margins and if Welling had held onto a 1-0 lead today or if Alfreton had held on to beat Barnet last week, it might look a little different but so far, I expect those who have kept their powder dry are probably glad they have. Then again, after the first round of bets, they’d have been sweating. :)

A busy midweek coming up and a long way to go in September before we reach month end.

Est Systems

No winners yet on the Est combined systems and system 6-21 has started with 7 losses in a row. System 6 is actually in profit so far, so system 21 has started very badly and is causing the losses on the combined systems. Long-term, system 21 is a better system than 6, so hopefully it will improve soon!

A loss of 28.6pts from 60 bets.

New Systems

A profit here of 18.88pts from 78 bets. A great first weekend, a terrible day today. System 31 has started with 8 winners from 16 which is a solid start.

Misc Systems

7 winners from 26 and a loss of 5.25pts.

Draw Systems

19 system bets, 19 losses. -19pts. Looking at last season, the Draw systems started with 2 winners from 28 bets last season, so 0 from 19 is maybe only a little worse! Due a winner soon. ;)

Overall, the first 183 system bets have yielded a loss of 33.97pts. Not the start I was hoping for this season but we’ve had worse starts!

Last season lost over 250pts in the first month, so we’ve plenty of time left to dig ourselves a much bigger hole this month! 34pts is a drop in the ocean. ;)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Guest Blog Post - @pokersunited

One of the things I was keen on this Summer was to try to tap into the vast experience of some of my subscribers. A few people offered up potential ideas for posts but I decided to take a new subscriber up on his offer of a blog post as although this subscriber had no experience of TFA, he had plenty of experience of football systems, poker and bank management and I thought it would make a change to hear from a new TFA user about how he plans to use the systems.

The brains behind the post is one of the authors behind the very interesting and useful site pokersunited. You can also follow at @pokersunited on Twitter.

I hope you enjoy the read and thanks again for taking the time to write this post @pokersunited. :)


As a first time TFA user and former poker professional, Graeme asked me to write a blog post about my approach to TFA systems as it might be slightly different than the way most other people use the service. As a poker player, I’m a very risk-orientated person and have learned that the most important factor when gambling (with a positive expectation!) is money management.

Poker/sportsbetting/investing are all kind of similar in a way that you can make good decisions, but still lose money. The utmost important thing is to minimize the risk of going broke to as close to 0% as possible. As a poker player who has played probably close to 10 million hands, I know a thing or two about variance. 

So just like in poker, my main concern when sports betting, is how to minimize the risk of wiping out my bankroll in a bad run. That doesn't even mean the chance on going broke right away in a bad run, but even losing 75% of a betting/poker roll is a killing for me.

Sports betting has always been a sort of hobby for me next to poker, but over the last year it has turned around and my main focus is on sports betting as poker has changed a lot since black Friday and playing at nights isn't recommended with children.  :)

I found my way into sports betting by first betting games in my own league (Dutch Eredivisie), but last year I discovered blogabet and started following (a lot) of tippers. But as most reading this probably have discovered, there is a lot of garbage in tippers, almost all are looking for a quick buck and do not really understand what sports betting is about. It made me clear that next season should be about quality picks (tippers) and not quantity.

Somewhere last year I discovered Steve’s blog (daily25.com) and through him I found out about TFA. Despite reading about his bad run with TFA I knew that TFA would be one of my (max) 5 services I would follow. Graeme seems to know what he's talking about and I really like the idea of betting through systems and get the emotion out of it.

The first thing I did was analyse all the bets from TFA and thinking about a smart way to make a selection from all those different systems.

Right from the start I didn't like the idea of having to choose a couple of systems and blaming myself at the end of the season picking the wrong ones (like the whole TFA <> Daily25 discussion). 

So I had to find a different way of betting with TFA than the portfolio approach....

Risk management

What surprised me most when reading Steve's and Sportingvalue’s blog  (2 TFA users) was that both had weekends were they had huge bets on one (or even more) games, sometimes up to 9% of their roll (Sportingvalue). How can that ever be justified from a risk perspective....??

So my TFA betting portfolio won't ever be built up by choosing a couple of systems. It will be based on unique picks with a certain value generated by all the systems. This way I may have less picks and therefor a lower ROC, but my max drawdown will be significantly lower than a combined portfolio with a lot of correlation (read: double/triple staked picks).

From what I read from Steve he is very focused on turnover/ROC, but what he has to remember is that increasing turnover by picking a lot of double/triple staked picks is nothing more than upping stakes and therefore, should be accompanied by a higher bank size, which will neutralize the higher ROC he is aiming for. 

To explain myself further I did an analysis on Graeme's data and analysed 3 different 'portfolios':

1). Steve’s portfolio from last year with all the correlating picks staked with the same amount (I made no difference in home/away bets staking wise, I know Steve did, but for this analysis I just use flat staking for all picks).
2). Steve’s portfolio again but this time all correlating picks in different portfolios will be staked just once (resulting in 1/3 of the number of picks in portfolio 1).
3). Not using a portfolio of system but just betting all unique UK picks above a 3% TFA value.

When looking at the past performance of Steve's portfolio, it's clear to see why Steve made the choice for those systems. They've had an amazing year in 2012/2013, with a combined 17.7% ROI, but also 2010/2011 had a 19.2% ROI and 2011/2012 wasn't that shabby either with almost 10%. 

The tricky thing here is that a lot of people will see the 4000 picks/bets that were made during that period (3 seasons) as quite a big sample, certainly big enough that it's almost guaranteed making a healthy profit next season again. Well it would be if those 4000 picks were actually unique ones.....the problem is, those 4000 bets are actually just 1200 unique picks and while 1200 is a nice sample, it's certainly no guarantee that next season will be in the same range of 10-15%.

Now let’s look at some stats about portfolio 1:

While the ROI is the best over a 4-year period (10.5%), the maximum drawdown during this period is a massive 157! points (in the 3 very good seasons before choosing this portfolio it already had a 95! points drawdown, while those were obviously very good seasons) 

On average there are 169 bets per month with an average profit of 17.76pts per month with this portfolio. By calculating the standard deviation (46.2) we can make confidence intervals for monthly results. 

For portfolio 1 we can say that with 99% confidence the results in a month will be between -100 and +136 profit....It's clear that one needs a bank of at least 160 points here, but 200 would be my advice at least (2 times the max loss in a month 1 in 100 times).
If we now calculate ROC by advised bank sizes we can see that ROC has been 319.66% in 4 years. Not bad at all.

Now let’s look at some stats about portfolio 2:

While the ROI is slightly lower here with 9.4%, the maximum drawdown during this period is just 43.6 points (about 25% of portfolio 1). On average there are 54 bets per month with an average profit of 5.07. By calculating the standard deviation (11.4) we can make confidence intervals for monthly results.

For portfolio 2 we can say that with 99% confidence the results in a month will be between -24 and +34.4 profit....This leads to a minumum bank of at least 50.
If we then calculate ROC by advised bank sizes we can see that ROC has been 364.95% in 4 years. So with much less picks (30% of portfolio 1), a lower ROI, we still have a better ROC!
Basically we save time/capital and stress by choosing a portfolio like this one above portfolio 1.

Now let’s look at some stats about portfolio 3:

This one has the lowest ROI of the three with 7.4% , the maximum drawdown during this period is just 32.8 points. On average there are 78 bets per month with an average profit of 6.8. By calculating the standard deviation (12.8) we can make confidence intervals for monthly results.

For portfolio 3 we can say that with 99% confidence the results in a month will be between -26 and +40 profit....This leads to a minimum bank of at least 50 again.
If we then calculate ROC by advised bank sizes we can see that ROC has been 409.71% in 4 years. 

So what we see is that the portfolio with the lowest ROI, has the best ROC. This is because it has 40% more picks than system 2 and a lot better risk profile (resulting in a lower bank needed) then portfolio 1.

With the conclusions I make here I don't want to ruin Graeme's portfolio approach, because I still think his idea is nice, I would just use his systems in another way. My idea would be to make a couple of absolutely NON-correlated portfolios namely: UK home, UK draw, UK away, EU home, EU draw, EU away and maybe even something like away favourites/away outsiders or you name it. 
Graeme could then decide when to add a pick to UK aways, if it shows up in just 1 algorithm or maybe only when it shows in 3 of them etc...?

In this way there would be 10 portfolios at most, a lot less picks and swings and probably more profitable and happy customers in the end :-)