Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Monthly Review for December 2015

It’s always hard to write a monthly review for December without looking back at the year as a whole. Given my ratings and systems have just had their worst ever month (seems like a consistent theme in the monthly reviews at the moment!), it’s hard to not think that this might be the last December update that this blog sees. An absolute disaster of a month which follows a terrible start to the season for the ratings and systems and overall, the service is on its knees after December’s performance. 2015 as a whole has been a nightmare for the service.

Personally, 2015 was my first losing year betting since I started taking this semi seriously in 2008 and I guess I could say I was due it. My footie losses ran into 5 figures for the year which sort of sums up 2015 for me when it comes to football betting. There were no hard luck stories, I deserved a decent loss. My losses were reduced somewhat over the year as a result of other non-football related activities (horseracing in the Summer and a Twitter tipping game in the second half of the year) and I suspect if I hadn’t gone down these other routes, I would probably already be looking for another hobby for 2016 and beyond. As things stand at the moment, I still think I can make a profit long-term at this game but it won’t be from simply following the football ratings and systems like I was doing a few years ago.

When you add in that the 2014/15 season was my first losing season at the football and now the 2015/16 season is loss making also, I have to seriously question whether or not I’ll continue with betting on footie beyond this season. Being honest, I was very close to calling it quits at the end of December after a disaster of a month but I’ve decided to see it through until season end. My personal betting won’t impact the service and I’ll keep churning out the ratings and bets for those still following until the end of the season but as I said last month, if you are making money at this game using my bets, you are definitely not following the systems or ratings blindly!

So, what happened in December? Well, the first half of December wasn’t too bad I thought. The UK Draw systems started well, the Euro systems were doing OK, the UK bets were plodding along OK and then boom, we hit mid-December and trying to find a winner on nearly any system was like finding a needle in a haystack. A total nightmare and the Festive period in particular hurt like mad as I worked really hard to get the bets out to everyone, get my bets placed and then watched in anguish as game after game went the opposite way to what I wanted!

The UK Draw systems went from being in a decent profit in mid December to losing all this profit in a couple of weeks. There was a very high number of Draw bets and unfortunately, they barely bit a winner over a couple of weeks. January has also started poorly for the Draw systems and given I stake these fairly high these days, it just adds to the mess my P&L is in this season.

Overall, nightmare is the only word I can use to describe December and therefore, it rounds off a very poor 2015 for my ratings and systems. I thought 2014 wasn’t great but jeez, compared to 2015, 2014 seemed like it was amazing! It’s clear that whatever edge I had before is no longer slowly evaporating, it has pretty much evaporated completely and I think my base systems and ratings are probably unlikely to return to profitability. New max drawdowns are being set on so many systems at the moment it’s unreal and therefore, I have to think the days of being able to simply follow my ratings and systems and be able to make a profit are gone.

I think my saving grace this season and probably the only reason I am still betting on footie is due to system 41! Yes, the system that is heavily loss making and absolutely hopeless. I was going to drop this system in the Summer as it had clearly lost whatever edge it had in its first season and was looking like the worst system I’d ever seen but I think it was Matthew Trenhaile on Twitter who told me to keep this system as having a losing system can actually be beneficial long-term. I then cottoned onto the fact that you can use this system as a filter and the Not 41 system was born.

I already have the Max 4 system which Tage had noticed and as I showed last month on the blog, these methods may not be conventional but so far this season, they have really saved my bacon. Admittedly, it’s a helluva lot of work to update 4 rating algorithms, filter out bets and then only place bets that don’t appear too many times or bets that don’t appear on system 41 but so far this season, they have been my saving grace.

At the moment, all 22 UK systems are loss making. All 11 Established Systems and all 11 New Systems. However, the issue is the fact that the teams which appear on multiple systems have been doing terribly. Being honest, they have done terribly for a couple of seasons but this season has really seen them get worse!

In addition, system 41 is having a nightmare season (even worse than anyone could have expected) and all this means that if you were using system 41 as a filter or using Max 4 to filter out the multiple bets, you could actually take a set of systems which have clearly lost their edge and create your own edge.

My issue (and I suspect the issue of many reading this who follow the service) is that none of this was crystallised before this season started. I only started following Not 41 when it started badly this season and likewise, I didn’t invest too heavily in Max 4 after a poor season last season. Hence, although I have made money from both these other methods, it doesn’t cover the losses I have from following the other systems I follow. :(

However, 2016 is a New Year and I made the decision to adjust stakes a little (might be called chasing your losses!) and I’m lucky that January has started OK. Of course, increasing stakes when you haven’t made a profit for over 2 year seems like a quick way to the poor house but I have as much confidence in Max 4 and Not 41 at the moment as I’ve had in any system apart from system 31. Unfortunately, my confidence in system 31 has resulted in about a 20pt loss so far this season, so this confidence is fading fast! :(

Here’s the updated results for Max 4 and Not 41 this season:

It makes me smile that Max4/Not 41 has made 50pts profit this season from 326 bets. System 41 has lost 56.8pts from 414 bets this season. That’s a helluva swing! Considering every UK system is loss making, seeing Max 4 and Not 41 in profit highlights just how crazy the losses are on multiple bets.

I’m sure I hinted at this last month but given how bad the losses are on multiple bets, this could be the greatest service ever if I simply reversed the bets where teams appear on multiple systems and continued to back the teams who don’t appear too often! Not 41 is a step there but it would be reversing 41 in addition to Not 41! If 41 is going to run at -10% ROI, then there must be a profit to be made somewhere from the other side. ;)

Anyway, I apologise to anyone reading this that has done their bollocks in 2015 on the footie systems and ratings like I have. I’m sure my 5 figure loss won’t be the worst loss but you can’t change the past at this game, you can only change the future. I’m trying to find a way through this for myself and if anyone is still following, hopefully some of musings may help.

Right, onto December’s losses. This isn’t going to be pretty.

Est Systems

Both algorithms had a nightmare month. System 21 in particular had an amazingly bad month but system 6 wasn’t much better. System 22 continued the trend this season of making a worse return than system 21 and the combined systems did absolutely nothing to improve upon the returns of the single systems.

Overall, a loss of 106pts from 471 bets. The second worst month system 21 and system 22 have ever had. The worst month system 6-21 has ever had by a long way though (around 12pts worse!) and the second worst month system 6-22 has had. Records falling all over the place but for the wrong reasons!

New Systems

A very similar story to the first two algorithms. A nightmare month and both system 31 and system 41 have had an amazingly bad month. System 31-41 did nothing to help and basically, nothing is working like it is supposed to work and being honest, it has been this way for a while now!

Overall, a loss of 86pts from 327 bets. The second worst month system 31 has ever had, the second worst month system 41 has ever had and surprisingly, the worst month system 31-41 has ever had. Terrible results.

Misc Systems

Hard to know where to start here with these results! Before this season, system 6-21-31 had never come close to losing over a season. Now it’s lost about 2/3 of its full betting bank this season and these systems have wiped out a massive chunk of historical profits this season already. Hard to believe how bad they have been!

All 5 systems here lost with a combined loss of 143.6pts from 384 bets.

Draw Systems

Another poor month for these systems. The month started very well and half way through the month when I updated the results, the systems had an overall ROI of 10% so far this season but 2 weeks later, they are basically break-even for the season. An amazing drawdown in a very short period of time which sort of sums up the last couple of weeks of the year for the systems.

Overall, a loss of 23.8pts from 214 bets.

Euro Systems

A small loss this month for these systems. The systems haven’t got off the starting line so far this season and unless we see a change in fortune in the second half of the season, it looks like a losing season is on the cards.

A loss of 5.4pts from 185 bets.

Euro Draw Systems

A bit of irony here that the worst systems I have are the only systems to have made a profit this month. A profit of 11.4pts from 100 bets.

Overall then, a small loss (just kidding!) of 353pts from 1,681 bets.

If anyone has any doubts whether or not the edge is now gone on simply following my ratings and systems, then this graph tells the story I think. Here’s a graph of the full P&L for all TFA systems proofed since inception of the service:

As you can see, since the last peak (Jan-15), the systems have now lost 50% of all the profits they had previously achieved. This doesn’t happen to systems which still have a significant edge!

Let’s see what 2016 holds……