Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A bit more LTD

Comments from my last post included this from Puppyguts:

if you were going to LTD at HT why not wait until the 60-70 min? if a goal is scored early in the 2nd half the profit you gain is rarely satisfying, so why bother? there is nothing worse than firing off a draw lay at HT them having to witness the odds tank 10 mins later. overall you would probably make a better profit backing the draw and laying it off instead.

personally i lay the draw as one of my sole strategies and i find it easy to turn a profit, low draw odds get gubbed everyday

There are a couple of points here that need addressing. First, Puppyguts confusingly states, “personally i lay the draw as one of my sole strategies”. Not sure if he means it’s one of his strategies or its his sole strategy. If it’s the latter, then that should sound the alarm bells.

So what’s the problems only having one strategy? Well, if the only tool in your box is a hammer, there’s a danger that everything starts to look like a nail. In other words, if your only strategy is LTD, then every game is going to seem like a candidate, regardless of whether it’s a good fit for that strat or not.

The second thing that Puppyguts mentions is that it’s best to lay the draw at 60-70 minutes as “low draw odds get gubbed everyday”. Well, this is worth checking, isn’t it? I’m sure low draw odds do get gubbed – but the real question is, do they get gubbed enough for us to profit over the long term?

I took a quick look at the Premier League last season. There were 130 matches that were a draw at 60 minutes, and 75 of those were not draws at full-time. That equates to lay odds of 2.36. And for 70 minutes? Well there were 110 matches that were a draw at 70 minutes, but only 54 of those were not draws at full-time. This is fair lay odds of 1.96

Now it obviously depends on individual matches, but I'd say these odds are a pretty accurate reflection of the lay odds on offer for the average match. And if this an an accurate reflection, then there is no value there and no long-term profit to be had.

ironypirate seems to agree with me:

Interesting post, Eddie and I agree with your points. I think you need to excuse those in the chat room who regularly employ this strategy - most just seeing a 0-0 game and thinking it's a perfect candidate. A lot are reformed gamblers who have moved to trading to try and right their wrongs. LTD seems to me to be a necessary step that all those that make the journey across need to go through as it stands on the precipice between being a punt and a trade.

To me, every time I LTD (and I do it less and less) it still feels like a gamble. I feel less in control which is odd I suppose given that a goal or goals generally make or break a trade no matter what market you're dabbling in. Even discounting the historical data and in play stats, like you, I just don't think there is much value to be had in the price movements especially when prices are influenced by more than one factor - dog scoring / favourite scoring / red cards etc etc. Unless of course you LTD in the 85+ minute hoping for a last gasp winner as was the case at Newcastle on Sunday. But then it is just a punt in my eyes, even if the liability is low enough to justify punting in this manner.

I suppose I should point-out that I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with laying the draw. Like any other market or any other strategy, when used correctly (the right tool for the right job), it can work beautifully - and there are undoubtedly times when it is absolutely the right thing to do.

The problem, as I see it, is to rely on laying the draw over the long-term without any definable edge.

... But then again that's a problem on any market, isn't it? Do you have an edge or not?

Monday, 29 October 2012

Lay The Draw

Sigh, not another subject on Laying The (‘effing) Draw? Hasn’t everything been written on this tired old subject already? What are you going to say that hasn’t been said before?
Well, you’ve immediately put me on the defensive with this machine-gun fire interrogation, and maybe I don’t have anything new to say, but I wanted to cover a few points on this subject because, from what I’ve seen recently, it’s still a highly-used strategy amongst the betting community (or at least the small section that I’ve been exposed to over the last month).
Before I start, I should point-out that I'm not here to describe how to use this strategy (just Google it if you've been living in a cupboard for the last ten years), and I'm not going to discuss the usual method of laying the draw prematch. I think the fallacy of lay the draw under these circumstances has been laid bare on numerous occasions, so I won't discuss that here.
As mentioned a couple of posts ago, I’ve joined a betting community as I’ve found it increases my enjoyment of trading. It’s good to share your experiences with others, and also to see how others are faring too. There’s a decent bunch of guys in the chat room and, like me and everyone else, they are striving to make a few pennies in any way that they can. It's a microcosm of the world at large, with some in there succeeding and some failing. 
I did notice, however,  that laying the draw at half-time or part-way through the second-half seems to be a popular strategy within the chat room. I hope no one minds me mentioning this. This is not revealing any of the pre-set strategies that are put forward as part of the service. Even though those pre-set strategies are not really my cup of tea, I wouldn’t publish them in public as that’s part of the service that is provided. It would be unfair to do so.
But laying the draw is, of course, now part of football betting folklore and there’s certainly no mystery behind it. Common practice within the chat room is to look at the in-play stats for attacks, dangerous attacks, shots off target, shots on target, etc, and then to make a determination to participate at half-time based on those. Occasionally, these raw statistics may be supplemented by someone - perhaps quoting high average GPG here and there, but often it's these stats and these alone that determine whether a trade is entered into.
Now I’m assuming those people who do this on a regular basis have some records to show whether this works or not. I’m also assuming that it must work for them over the long term otherwise it would be foolish indeed to continue with the strategy. Then again, I do know there are a great many people who fail to keep strict records and so those people would be unaware if it pays or not.
Regardless of all that, I thought I would take a look at their strategy and see if I could run it through last season’s matches in an attempt to automate it all. Unfortunately, the short answer is that, no, I can't automate it. The problem is that there’s no way I can assess how many shots on target there were halfway through a match. I wouldn’t know where to get those kind of statistics.
So, instead I’ve had to settle for trying to lay the draw half-way through a match based on either the average Under 2.5 goals odds or the combined goals per game for both teams. My thinking here is that a high GPG or high starting odds for unders will perhaps be reflected in the goalmouth activity. A fallacy I know, but what else can I do?
In addtion to this, I also had to guess how much profit could be made after a goal is scored. If a goal is scored straight after second-half kick-off, the green could be relatively small, whilst a goal scored in the 93rd minute would be a full win of the lay amount. You may disagree with me here, but rightly or wrongly I’m going to assume a 70% green of the lay stake minus 5% commission.
Using the average Under 2.5 goals odds strategy, I found the optimum Betbrain odds to place a bet were 1.80. This resulted in 117 bets being placed and a 71.49% win rate. Using £10 stakes, this gave me a total profit of£14.10, or an ROI of 1.21%.
Using the average Goals Per Game for both teams, I settled on 2.60 goals per game. This resulted in 94 bets being placed and a 72.34% win rate. Again using £10 stakes, this gave me a total profit of £23.20, or an ROI of 2.47%.
Hmm, small beer indeed. Hardly bothering with is it? I suppose, if we were being kind, we could say that it’s not a losing strategy – and a non-losing strategy is only a hop, skip and a jump away from a winning strategy. The in-play stats that the guys use could be the key here to making it a winning strategy, but as mentioned there is no way I can verify this either way. My only concern is that often, those in the chat room will just scan all the in-play statistics, and then jump on the first one that “looks promising”. Based on that rudimentary filtering, I would be surprised if a long-term profit was made.
Individual Teams
One idea that I did have was that perhaps individual teams were more likely to make half-time laying of the draw a better strategy than others. Which teams, I asked myself, tend to score or concede goals in the second-half when the first-half has finished as a draw?
Well for the Premier League, all the following were above average for last season:

Okay, so we could do this for each team in each major league and then combine those with the current season stats using the same analysis. Add-in the original filters used (Under 2.5 starting odds and/or average goals per game), and then maybe, just maybe we’ll have lifted our basic lay the draw strategy out of the doldrums and into profit.
I say maybe because the given draw odds for all these teams will inevitably be higher than those teams where a goal tends not to be scored after a half-time draw. But that would be for you to check.

Personally, I feel these ideas would need supplementing even further with things like win-from-in-front, win-from-behind, goal times, who scores first, etc. All these kind of stats could help - although I'm not sure how much they could help.
Either way, looking at all this shows just how difficult it is to eek some profit out of the draw laying strategy. So many people have looked at it and so many people are still using this method that there is virtually no value left to be had. Indeed, backing the draw AFTER the first goal is scored is also a popular method, taking advantage of all those people trying to close their trades and driving the price down immediately after the odds have begun to settle.
Good luck if laying the draw is your most commonly wielded betting weapon. My guess is that you’re almost certainly going to need it.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Betfair make me very API

There has been a thread on the Betfair forum that's been rumbling along now since April, where Betfair customers are complaining that the old site consistently fails to load some pages. I'm sure you've seen it yourself. You click on a market, the market section goes blank and you find yourself looking at the "LOADING" page.

... and it just sits there doing nothing. The only thing to do is click off that market onto another, and then click back again onto the intended market, hoping it will load the second time around. Very often it does not.

So what the hell is going on? Well, of course there are a lot of theories put forward by the betting community on the forum, and reading people's experiences of the site itself - along with the utterly lame new site - is very interesting and also a little sad. Betfair appear to have gone badly wrong somewhere along the way.

You can read about everyone's problems here in the thread called Betfair markets taking an age (if at all) to load. Any advice please?

Personally, I find it incredible that Betfair continually allow software to be released into their live system that plainly doesn't work. I myself am in the software industry and so I know how hard it is to create an entirely bug-free system, especially a complex one - but this goes beyond the odd bug here or there. On the Betfair site there are massive problems that make it largely unusable for extended periods of time. That comes down to good old-fashioned testing, I'm afraid. Unit testing, integration testing, soak testing, any kind of testing for crying out loud. Just do some.

Oh christ, stop your moaning. Why don't you just go over and use the new site that they have created?

Well I would, but that suffers from the same (or in some cases worse) problems as the new site. It's not been tested properly. We've lost decent functionality that existed in the old site, and there seem to be more adverts for the Casino or slots than ever. Have Betfair ever asked (and listened) to any input from its own customers? Presently they seem to have cotton-wool in their ears.

I do realise that generally people are change-averse, and that if they have grown comfortable with something then any alterations made will be met with some resentment and complaining. Okay, nothing new there and a small level of angst would be understandable. This, however, goes way beyond all that. The level of anger and ire directed towards Betfair since they opened the new site has not only been sustained, it appears to be increasing.

And then we have examples like this, where someone on the new site submitted a £222 bet and it was automatically turned into a £22 bet. This is just about as fundamental a flaw as it's possible to get. Perhaps Betfair's software developers are coding directly into the live system, I don't know.

With Befair seemingly intent on foisting the new non-functional site onto us all in the not too distant future, it seems like there is only one viable alternative left to those of us who want to continue using their services. If you haven't yet availed yourself of an API, then can I suggest that you do so soon before you are left marooned on an island of Betfair shite, with nothing but a swamp of unmatched and unclosable bets around you.

What's an API? It stands for Application Programming Interface, and in this instance it allows you and me another route into Betfair's services without using their absolutely appalling website. Doubtless you've heard of many of these, but some of the best are:

  • Betangel. The annual cost of this is expensive compared to some (£150 pa) but it is rich in features, has excellent analytical tools such as Soccer Mystic and Tennis Trader, and also allows you to automate your trading through spreadsheets. Free API into Betdaq also. This is my personal choice.
  • Gruss. The cost is just £6 every 30 days or £60 for the year. Also has automated betting facilities and Betdaq access.
  • The Geeks Toy. Also now known as AGT Pro. This was an excellent free API for a long time, but has recently started charging (and why shouldn't they?). Not as feature-rich as the two above, but £20 will give you three month's access and £120 will give you the license. Great value.
There are of course many other APIs available but these are the well-known ones. Whether you are a professional, semi-professional, a serious hobbiest or even just a Saturday punter, I'd still recommend getting an API because someday soon you may just need it. One day, it may be the only viable alternative left to you.

Monday, 22 October 2012

I am a stalker

Trading is (or can be) a lonely business, which is why it can be quite nice to share your experiences with other people.

Largely, I trade on my own. I have my own ideas about what constitutes a good or bad trade and I have my own methods which I generally tend to stick to as they do bear fruit.

Recently, however, I've been craving that little bit of trader company, which those of you who are in the same position as me will undoubtedly have felt too. Sometimes it can be good to chat to others in the same position as yourself, even if you're not participating in exactly the same activities.

During this month, I've joined (only on trial, admittedly) a trading group. They provide some basic trading methods and walk new traders through those trades in their chat room. This works well enough even if I have no interest in it.

What I do really like though is the dynamic chat room. It's refreshing to be in the company of fellow traders and to chew the fat, even if we're not doing the same thing. People are happy to throw in ideas and to chat openly about the trades they have entered into - and quite frankly I've found it a breath of fresh air. All the traders are friendly and humourous, and also willing to help. And based on my experience so far, I will be signing up with them long-term. Not for the trading methods available, which are not really suited to my style, but purely for the chat room, which I think is top class.

So why the title about being a stalker? Well, for some reason, whilst in the chat room, I've been reluctant to advertise the fact that I run this blog and am the author. Not too sure why that should be, but consequently, I've been entering the chat room under a different name and just blending in.

When I say blending in, of course, I should point out that I don't think I've done too good a job, because one sharp individual has already asked me outright whether I write this blog. Not quite sure how they worked that out, but top marks to that individual.


Okay, I'll try and post a P/L up soon (probably tomorrow) but I'm still in the middle of a trade so haven't finished for this evening. I've been winning the last few days, but losing in general since I last posted.

I'm back in my hotel tomorrow, so I'll try my best to catch up with you all over the course of the next couple of days.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The mug is winning

Last season, with dry-ice swirling, flashing lights and trumpets blaring, Lee Dixon, the ex-Arsenal defender and TV pundit, was proudly announced as the Betfair Ambassador of football – and he was here to provide us with his sage advice and wisdom borne of many years experience in the game.

At the time, I thought to myself, “Hmm, just because he played the game, does that make him a decent bettor/trader?” A rhetorical question but one that I duly answered in my mind:   “No, it doesn’t.”

 Anyway, I started reading Dixon’s musings last season and, although I never officially recorded any of his bets (and most certainly didn’t follow any of them), it “felt” to me like he was losing hand over fist. Now this may well be untrue and, as I say, I have nothing but my instinct and a gut feeling to back me up, but I thought it deserved some closer attention.

Now at this point, it’s only fair to say that the task of a tipster paid by a newspaper or bookie is not necessarily an easy one. Amongst the general public, there are huge swathes of people who cannot/don’t want to build-up a solid assessment of a match for themselves, and they would rather let someone else do all the donkey work for them, to tell them where they should place their money. Fair enough, but there is then pressure on two sides for the paid tipster to come-up with regular and decent tips. Pressure from those who are paying them and from those who are following them.

We, as individuals, have the opportunity to just avoid a set of fixtures if we don’t like the look of them, or see no value there. The tipster, on the other hand, has to find something from somewhere in order to satisfy the insatiable appetites of his two masters. And its here that we have to give quite some degree of leeway to the professional, press or bookie related tipster. Because come rain or shine they have to come up with something.

Okay, so I thought I'd run a little spreadsheet and see how our Betfair Ambassador of football was faring this year. Ideally I would have liked to have downloaded his tips from last year and check how well he did in 2011/12, but those posts seem to have disappeared. No matter. I can still do it for this season.

To my mind, Lee Dixon would be classed as a mug punter with the kind of bets he recommends. There are a fair few sprinklings of First Goalscorer bets, which I generally think are something of a lottery, and for the last England match against San Marino, he was even recommending backing a hat trick at odds of 2.88. Not only is a hat trick bet a classic mug bet, but the offered odds were absolutely appalling and could never be considered value in a million years. I would also say that his reasoning for recommending certain bets are also suspect on occasions. He sensibly relies on advice from Opta much of the time, but when he strays away from that it’s possible to see him floundering, and his criteria become badly flawed.

Right, so the alarm bells are ringing for me. In amongst the decent analysis there are pockets of highly questionable advice and various tips to make a sensible person frown. But how has he been doing?

Surprisingly, he’s not doing too badly. It is, of course, rather early days. We’re only six games into the Premier League and things can reverse very quickly, but to my shock Mr. Dixon currently has an ROI of over 19% across 56 bets. There are, I should point out, the odd couple of bets here and there that I have deliberately missed out. In some posts he just rambles and says he’s not sure and if he had to be forced, he might look at this market, blah blah. I haven’t included those as definite tips. All too vague. Only his solid recommendations are included.

But using level stakes, he’s in profit at the moment – so congratulations go to him. However, before we all start patting him too hard on the back for a job well done, let me temper this with yet another small dose of reality. I will be absolutely shocked if Lee Dixon’s tips are still showing a profit come the end of the season. He started the season with a very long line of losers, and it’s only a couple of big priced winners that have lifted him into profit. If those one or two big wins had just gone the other way, he would be in the red. We do, therefore, need to take the current figures for what they are.

It’s at this point you may be asking yourselves what is the point in all this. A reasonable question indeed. My answer to that is I don’t really have an answer. If you’re like me, then you carry out your own analysis, settle on a list of possible selections – and then go looking for teams news and other views and opinions. I do this as other people often have managed to pull out interesting snippets or have viewed the forthcoming fixture in a way that I hadn’t foreseen. For Premier League matches, I might well pop-in and see what Lee Dixon has to say. If he quotes some Opta stats then it can be worthwhile just for that – but I wouldn’t strike a bet purely on his say so.
Then again, you may be the type of person who will indeed follow someone’s advice just because they’re on the telly. If that's the case then this post may be worth you while taking note of.

In profit now? Yes indeed. In profit over the long term? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

That's Not Trading

And it certainly wasn't. I said I wasn't going to trade on the England match, but the reality in the end was that I did, and I didn't.

I traded the Russia v Portugal match, which was an entertaining end-to-end game between two good sides. No problems there just my normal stuff.

Then, my wife was out in the evening so I had to do the cooking. Home-made meatballs, creamy mash, caramelised onions, thick gravy and vegetables. Yummy. Anyway, by the time we'd finished eating, the England match was well underway. I'd already placed a closing order on my Over 6.5 goals trade before the game had started (a set and go), but when I saw that it was still 0-0 with fifteen minutes of the first half remaining, I simply placed a back of England to win the first half at around 1.5.

Was this value? Almost certainly not. Was it trading. Absolutely not. Anyway, I think about three ticks later the penalty was awarded so I won £20 there. After that, I switched on the TV and scalped a few ticks on the 6.5 goals market, grabbing £35 there (including my original trade).

Considering I had no interest in the match, I was quite pleased with it in the end.

By the way, all the little penny trades you see below is just an idea I was working on. They're not serious trades.

Football: £101.54 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £101.54 


Football Showing 1 - 14 of 14 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / England v San Marino : Over/Under 6.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 20:00  12-Oct-12 22:01  35.27
Football / Slovenia v Cyprus : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 19:45  12-Oct-12 21:28  0.02
Football / Slovakia v Latvia : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 19:15  12-Oct-12 21:02  0.04
Football / Rep of Ireland v Germany : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 19:45  12-Oct-12 21:02  0.04
Football / England v San Marino : Half Time 12-Oct-12 20:00  12-Oct-12 20:50  23.77
Football / Moldova v Ukraine : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 19:00  12-Oct-12 20:49  0.04
Football / Turkey v Romania : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 18:30  12-Oct-12 20:30  0.02
Football / Belarus v Spain : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 19:00  12-Oct-12 20:29  0.02
Football / Luxembourg v Israel : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 20:00  12-Oct-12 20:28  0.06
Football / Kazakhstan v Austria : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 17:00  12-Oct-12 18:55  0.26
Football / Faroe Islands v Sweden : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 17:00  12-Oct-12 18:31  0.03
Football / Czech Republic v Malta : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 17:00  12-Oct-12 18:08  0.14
Football / Russia v Portugal : Correct Score 12-Oct-12 16:00  12-Oct-12 17:54  18.10
Football / Russia v Portugal : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 12-Oct-12 16:00  12-Oct-12 17:54  23.73

Friday, 12 October 2012

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker..

I'm not sure if these are the actual day jobs of the players that comprise the San Marino national football team, but I suspect it's not too far off. They most certainly are not professional footballers.

Yes today we have a true David and Goliath match-up when the tiny prinicpality of San Marino square up to the mighty England.

San Marino's international record is really quite breathtaking. The last match they played was back in August, and was at home against Malta, where they did themselves proud but still lost 2-3.

Before that, however, we have: 0-4, 0-5, 0-11, 0-1, 0-3, 0-1, 0-1, 0-8, 0-2, 0-8... and so on and so forth. One amazing, almost unending string of losses. The last time they scored an away goal was in a friendly against Lichtenstein back in 2003, where they drew 2-2. But they have never won a single international match. Not even one. And according to FIFA, they are officially the worst team in the world (tied last with Turks and Caicos Islands), which is quite some title.

So perhaps the 1.01 for England to beat them today is not too outrageous. I suppose it will be a case of how just interested the England players are in humiliating the opposition. And that may be the only thing that prevents them scoring too highly.

Almost every single market concerning this match has made me snort with disbelief. I don't recall seeing odds like it. The whole match and the whole spectrum of betting opportunities are something of a joke.

I won't be watching the match, as it's a bit like lambs to the slaughter - but I have layed over 6.5 goals for a small stake at 2.2. Even five minutes without a goal will see this market move enough to grab a few ticks and make a small profit. If England come out of the blocks fast and bang a couple of goals in quickly, then my lay will go down the pan, but I feel absolutely obliged to oppose these nonsensical odds in some shape or form, even if I end-up losing.

Of course there are plenty of other international matches on today also. Some of them are even competitive. I don't really know at this stage whether I will be getting involved in any serious way, but if I do any proper trading, it most certainly won't be on the England match.

Good luck to any of you that do get involved today.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Trading the tumbleweed

Feel a bit disappointed with the international break interrupting the normal football. There are never enough matches on to satisfy me. Then I also cannot ever really get excited by England playing, especially as Friday's match is such a mismatch. Lastly, however, I was building-up a nice head of steam with my trading, and now it feels like that momentum has been snatched away. It's a bit like a football team who are smashing the opposing team into submission, but then half-time arrives, which allows the opposing team to regroup and come back out to change the outlook of the match. I hope that doesn't happen to me.

Incidentally, take a look at the correct score odds for England's match against San Marino. The 0-0 scoreline is 160 to back and 180 to lay. Wow. I don't recall ever seeing odds that high for 0-0. Of course that scoreline does seem highly unlikely, but I do feel tempted to shove a small bit down on that, if only for short period. We'll see when the time comes.

Money Management
I received this from zteff the other day:

Zteff8 October 2012 10:35
The comment looks like it's from a bot (or someone having too much spare time) posting comments on blogs. It's basically a computer spreading links to dodgy webpages, all over the internet :-)

I've a bit more betting-relevant question for you:
I presume that you apply strict bankroll management, but which rules do you have?

Thanks. I think it has been established now that this was the dirty work of a bot. Posting a comment that only  contains a link and nothing more only causes Blogger to mark it automatically as spam - but a few lines of autogenerated nonsense circumvents the rudimentary spam detection.

On the money management question, I don’t really have anything original or ground-breaking to say on this. There are plenty of sites offering decent money management advice. The Staking Machine site has every possible staking plan listed there, and you can try them out on your own ideas to see if you will make money.

Regardless of all that, I'm currently doing this:

  • Trading: as mentioned in a previous post, I use an aggressive approach with my trading. This year, I reduced my trading bank right down to £1,500 and divided it into 75 points. I will happily use up to 10 points of that on any one trade – although the actual exposure is considerably less than that. Frankly I wouldn’t recommend this kind of money management to anyone! I do feel comfortable with this, however, and have traded this way for quite a few years.
  • My straight bets: Currently using fractional Kelly here, and so the exposure will vary according to whatever Kelly has determined. Based on previous years, I have a 45 point bank.
  • Fink Tank: Just running fun bets on the Fink Tank picks and so am using small level stakes on a £1,000 bank divided into 100 points. Tend to run 2 pts homes, 1 pt (Asians) on aways.
  • Golf: Running some golf bets this year too. Again level stakes (as I doubt an edge) with a £1,800 bank divided into 300 points. Most bets each ways.
As I spread my bets across multiple bookies, I tend not to report on those (can’t be arsed). But I do report my Betfair trading activities on here – mainly because it’s a trading blog and also because it’s no trouble for me to do so.

While I'm at it, I suppose I should give an update on how I'm doing overall. 

Original bank = £1,500 divided into 75 points
ROI = 4.94%
ROC = 104.53%
Points = + 78.40
P/L = +£1,567.93
Total P/L = £3067.93

Straight Bets:
Original bank = £3,000 divided into 45 points
ROI = 40.36%
ROC = 23.34%
Points = +10.50
P/L = +£700.08
Total P/L = £3700.08

Fink Tank:
Original bank = £1,000 divided into 100 points
ROI = -10.42%
ROC = -2.40%
Points = -2.40
P/L = -£23.97
Total P/L = £976.03

Golfing Bets:
Original bank = £1,800 divided into 300 points
ROI = -16.60%
ROC = -4.22%
Points = -12.65
P/L = -£75.87
Total P/L = £1,724.13

Even though I've doubled my money, I'm mildly disappointed by my trading profit, which is slightly down from where I envisaged it would be at the beginning of October. Still, it's early days and so I won't judge it too harshly. 

The straight bets are off the chart considering they only really began six games in. This is clearly unsustainable and will drop down to normal levels in due course.

The Fink Tank bets started off quite well, but have tailed-off a little recently. A couple of big winners, however, can easily get these back on track. As mentioned before, I'm only running these as a bit of fun anyway.

The golf bets have been poor for some time now, but I will persevere with these and see how they pan out across a more lengthy period.

And that's it really. Below is my trading P/L for the last couple of days. Now we await the internationals - although I tend not to fare too well on those.

Football: £128.12 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £128.12  


Football Showing 1 - 10 of 10 markets 

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£) 
Football / FC Koln v Dynamo Dresden : Correct Score 08-Oct-12 19:15  08-Oct-12 21:05  24.88 
Football / FC Koln v Dynamo Dresden : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 08-Oct-12 19:15  08-Oct-12 21:05  17.70 
Football / Hannover v Dortmund : Correct Score 07-Oct-12 16:30  07-Oct-12 18:23  21.07 
Football / Hannover v Dortmund : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 07-Oct-12 16:30  07-Oct-12 18:23  -3.44 
Football / Newcastle v Man Utd : Match Odds 07-Oct-12 16:00  07-Oct-12 17:55  0.00 
Football / Newcastle v Man Utd : Correct Score 07-Oct-12 16:00  07-Oct-12 17:55  3.34 
Football / Mgladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt : Correct Score 07-Oct-12 14:30  07-Oct-12 16:21  5.04 
Football / Southampton v Fulham : Correct Score 07-Oct-12 13:30  07-Oct-12 15:26  34.40 
Football / Southampton v Fulham : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 07-Oct-12 13:30  07-Oct-12 15:20  9.69 
Football / Southampton v Fulham : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 07-Oct-12 13:30  07-Oct-12 15:18  15.44 

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Couple of interesting comments from my last post on penalties, along with one of the most bizarre and surreal ones I've ever received. First, we had anon1:

Anonymous6 October 2012 16:14
I guess the team that does most attacking gets most penalties, stats for time in opposition penalty area would make comparison with penalties won interesting.

This is not a bad suspicion and worth taking a look at. Although, anon2 does point out:

Anonymous6 October 2012 17:18
Interesting theory anon., but that does not explain how Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs (the 3 highest scorers after United and City) were awarded so few? By the way soccerdude, I'm a different anon. so no one is talking to themselves!

As pointed out, if the time spent in the opposition danger area was anything to go by, then surely the other attacking teams would have a similar, albeit smaller, number of penalties. And what about Man City who won the title last year?

Anyway, the Opta stats don't have this figure of time spent in the opposition penalty area, but there other stats that we may use to help us. The table below shows passes made in the final third of the field (successful and unsuccessful). Presumably there is some correlation between these two figures and the amount of time spent in the penalty area also?

Liverpool are only 100 passes behind Manure and yet they received considerably less penalties. Arsenal also are not that far behind and yet they were only awarded three penalties to Manure's 11.

Okay, none of this is conclusive, but perhaps the suspicion that we've all had about United getting more penalties than other teams might just be true?


Okay, just a brief trip into the light fantastic now, if you don't mind. My Correct Score Overview post has continually proven to be my most popular post and always heads up the list in the count of weekly/monthly hits, but yesterday it received a comment that we all really should sit-up and take notice of. Here it is:

 Anonymous6 October 2012 03:26
I loved аs much as you'll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.


... Erm, well, yes. Quite. I'd like to respond to this thoughtful comment in the right way, but frankly I just don't know where to begin.

All I do know is that, whatever this guy is drinking, I'd like to buy some ;-)


P/L from Monday 1st:

Football: £329.48 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £329.48 


Football Showing 1 - 20 of 29 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Zaragoza v Getafe : Correct Score 06-Oct-12 17:00  06-Oct-12 18:54  33.28
Football / West Brom v QPR : Match Odds 06-Oct-12 15:00  06-Oct-12 16:53  7.72
Football / Swansea v Reading : Match Odds 06-Oct-12 15:00  06-Oct-12 16:53  5.89
Football / Wigan v Everton : Match Odds 06-Oct-12 15:00  06-Oct-12 16:53  0.00
Football / Chelsea v Norwich : Half Time 06-Oct-12 15:00  06-Oct-12 15:47  0.09
Football / Man City v Sunderland : Correct Score 06-Oct-12 12:45  06-Oct-12 14:38  19.60
Football / Man City v Sunderland : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 06-Oct-12 12:45  06-Oct-12 14:34  26.27
Football / Augsburg v W Bremen : Over/Under 4.5 Goals 05-Oct-12 19:30  05-Oct-12 21:20  8.41
Football / Augsburg v W Bremen : Correct Score 05-Oct-12 19:30  05-Oct-12 21:20  8.51
Football / Augsburg v W Bremen : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 05-Oct-12 19:30  05-Oct-12 21:00  15.27
Football / Valerenga v Stromsgodset : Match Odds 05-Oct-12 18:00  05-Oct-12 19:50  0.00
Football / St Pauli v Union Berlin : Correct Score 05-Oct-12 17:00  05-Oct-12 18:51  16.17
Football / St Pauli v Union Berlin : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 05-Oct-12 17:00  05-Oct-12 18:48  8.25
Football / St Pauli v Union Berlin : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 05-Oct-12 17:00  05-Oct-12 18:29  7.41
Football / Newcastle v Bordeaux : Correct Score 04-Oct-12 20:05  04-Oct-12 21:58  0.86
Football / Liverpool v Udinese : Correct Score 04-Oct-12 20:05  04-Oct-12 21:58  22.68
Football / Liverpool v Udinese : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 04-Oct-12 20:05  04-Oct-12 21:34  12.09
Football / Liverpool v Udinese : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 04-Oct-12 20:05  04-Oct-12 21:11  0.81
Football / Panathinaikos v Tottenham : Correct Score 04-Oct-12 18:00  04-Oct-12 20:03  4.62
Football / Panathinaikos v Tottenham : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 04-Oct-12 18:00  04-Oct-12 20:03  -16.04

 Pages: 1  2   of 2 Pages 

 Football Showing 21 - 29 of 29 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Rosenborg v Leverkusen : Match Odds 04-Oct-12 18:00  04-Oct-12 19:52  19.38
Football / Arsenal v Olympiakos : Correct Score 03-Oct-12 19:45  03-Oct-12 21:46  8.45
Football / Man City v Dortmund : Match Odds 03-Oct-12 19:45  03-Oct-12 21:38  15.84
Football / Middlesbrough v Derby : Correct Score 03-Oct-12 19:45  03-Oct-12 21:38  2.12
Football / Wolves v C Palace : Match Odds 02-Oct-12 19:45  02-Oct-12 21:43  15.22
Football / CFR Cluj v Man Utd : Match Odds 02-Oct-12 19:45  02-Oct-12 21:35  43.08
Football / QPR v West Ham : Correct Score 01-Oct-12 20:00  01-Oct-12 22:00  26.77
Football / QPR v West Ham : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 01-Oct-12 20:00  01-Oct-12 22:00  0.33
Football / QPR v West Ham : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 01-Oct-12 20:00  01-Oct-12 21:20  16.40

Friday, 5 October 2012

Penalty to Man Utd!

Heard that sentence before? I certainly have. In fact last season, there was a 28.95% chance (or odds of 3.45) that you might hear that sentence in each and every one of Man Utd’s matches. 

I don't have the stats for previous seasons, but I wouldn't be too surprised if these figures are reproduced year upon year.

Yes, I’ve been digging into the Opta data again to see if I can unearth any little nuggets of information that may be of interest to you and to me. Man Utd did indeed secure the most penalties last year, being awarded 11 of them. They scored 9, giving them a conversion rate of 81.82%.

The average for last year across all teams was 2.63 penalties across the season, with a conversion rate of 72%.

West Brom were only awarded a paltry three penalties last year and only scored one of those. This, however, was not the worst conversion rate. No, the worst penalty takers were the team who managed to hit everything but the back of the goal last term: Liverpool. They were given 6 penalties last season, and only scored one. That’s only a feeble 16.67% conversion rate.

Penalties Awarded League Table 2011/12

Penalties Conversion Rate League Table 2011/12

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


I decided to withdraw some of my funds from SBOBet to my Moneybookers account the other day, but after a couple of days, I noticed it hadn’t been actioned. Then I received an email from SBOBet  saying this:

A customer support staff member has replied to your support request, #987418 with the following response:

We acknowledge receipt of your request to withdrawal the sum of GBP 1500.

We would be grateful if you provide us with the reason for the above withdrawal.

Looking forward to hearing you soon.

Oh dear. Poor old SBOBet. They’re feeling all persecuted, worried and unloved. I decided to ignore this mail, but when it got sent again and no withdrawal occurred, I logged on and opened-up an instant chat session with one of their operatives.

"Can I have my money please?" I said.
"Can you tell us why you want to withdraw this money?" I was asked yet again.
I did briefly think about saying, “it’s not you, it’s me. I’m the one to blame.”. But instead, I replied, “Erm, no. That’s really none of your business. Can I have my money please?”
Oh, okay then, came the response.

All a little bizarre really. Why they couldn’t do that in the first place, I don’t really know. By all means make the enquiry about why your customers are withdrawing some/all of their funds, but don’t block the withdrawal until you get the answer. That’s plainly ludicrous.

Anyway, after me chastising them, they have duly paid out the money I asked for, so that little drama is all over with.

Account Hacked:
On the same day that I got the begging letter from SBOBet, asking their wimpering question about why I was being disloyal, I also received a phone call from Betfair while I was at work. The guy from Betfair informed me that there was a suspicious login attempt on my account and that for security reasons, they had suspended my account. He suggested that when I got home from work, I could call Betfair up and they would re-open my account, whereupon I should immediately change my password. Alternatively, they could permanently close my account, open a new one and move everything across - including my £10 million balance and my 45 million BF points of course.

Hmm, I didn’t really know what would be best, but of course I was perturbed by the idea that someone had tried to login to my account.

When I got home, I did as I was told and rang Betfair. I was passed to the security department and I asked if I could have the account unsuspended. This was agreed, but the fella then suggested I look in the security section of my account and look at the last few logins. This would show the suspicious activity. 

When the account was reopened, I changed my password (from “password1” to “password2”) and then looked in the security section, as advised. Each and every login listed was from the same IP address… and each and every one of them was me logging in.

So what was that all about? I have no idea.

Had the most strange comment on my blog I've ever received. It was a comment on one of my Euro 2012 entries about Denmark => HERE. The comment was:

global visa3 October 2012 13:39

Denmark Green Card - Global Migrate

We have received a large amount of applications under the Green Card Scheme. This means that the normal 30 day service goal for maximum processing time has been temporarily suspended.

Denmark Green Card

Contact Us:-
Head Office (pre booked appointments only)
International House,
39 Great Windmill Street,
Tel: +44 (0)207 993 4762
Fax: +44 (0)207 691 7969

Hmm, quite. This must have been some kind of program scouring the internet looking for the word "Denmark" and then plonking this information down. Why it's looking at blogs though, I'm not quite sure.