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Sandown
10 Jun 09 08:48
Joined:
Date Joined: 06 Dec 01
| Topic/replies: 3,390 | Blogger: Sandown's blog
There are many threads on this topic, many from people who have a vested interest in the subject because they are doing very nicely. I have never seen any figures published on the wisdom of playing in this market, so I decided to check it out for myself.

The results indicate that the edge against the average player is huge and I can see why those who have an edge want to keep the status quo. For anyone else, dont bother except if you want to have some sort of hedge against the unexpected happening at very small odds. I would be really interested to see a more detailed study from anyone else to see whether my findings are confirmed.

I took my data from Fracsoft and it was for horseracing only.

I recorded the number of losers at very price levels comparing expected against actual.

If there was no distortion in the market I would expect, for example , to find 1 loser for every winner at a price of 2.0. That is for every 2 horses which touch 2.0 in-running, 1 would go on to win and 1 lose.

I then expressed the returns in terms of a level stakes lay at each price. Here are my findings expressed as a % return on stakes as a layer.


Odds NP%

1.01 0.2
1.02 2.9
1.03 3.1
1.04 3.3
1.05 2.3
1.06 1.3
1.08 (0.7)
1.1 (1.5)
1.15 (4.0)
1.2 (6.6)
1.25 (10.4)
1.33 (2.5)
1.5 (9.8)
1.75 (15.2)
2 (18.3)
2.5 (48.8)
3 (84.1)

The findings show that as the price gets bigger after 1.06, so the % loss increases dramatically. At 3.0 the loss was 84%. In other words, anyone putting up a lay at 3.0 would find that those backing (presumably with whatever edge they have) are cleaning up.

Only at 1.06 and less does it seem as though there is a small edge in favour of the layer. Presumably, at this level backers are sweeping up all the prices and if by chance something does happen ( disqualification, beat on the line, saddle slip etc etc) they cannot predct it occurring.

I wonder why BF has never published the evidence? Could it be that it might kill their IR markets at least on horse-racing?

My sample was not huge (only 82 races) but the findings were so clear and as I am not an IR player I had no interest.

My advice to anyone contemplating getting into this, if they dont have an edge, is DONT.
Pause Switch to Standard View In Running : The Evidence, The Folly
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Report Sandown June 10, 2009 1:54 PM BST
Avon


It's a terrific series with excellent acting, great plots and superb direction. But the character? He's a pyschotic murdering criminal with no plusses and only minuses and represents everything that is bad about the human race. Apart from that, you can call yourself Adolf Hitler for all that it matters on here.
Report Sandown June 10, 2009 1:56 PM BST
Avon

Your sentiments re. mug punters would be those of the character, would they not?
Report Avon Barksdale June 10, 2009 1:58 PM BST
Disagree with the psychotic bit. Plusses include giving lots of money to the underpriviliged kids@ the boxing club? I thought the whole point of the wire is to show the politicians and people in power were no better than the likes of Avon?
Report Avon Barksdale June 10, 2009 1:58 PM BST
Yes, lets ban 'mug punters' from betfair for their own good.
Report Sandown June 10, 2009 2:04 PM BST
Takes $50,000 a DAY from crackheads and gives $15,000 to a club. Bit short on the balance sheet there.

As for attitudes towards losers you can take money off people without laughing in their faces. Respect for the opponent and all that.But yes, there are a lot of people who might just as well give it to you as opposed to the FOTB's so I've no problem with that.
Report Avon Barksdale June 10, 2009 2:08 PM BST
No one is laughing at anyone as far as im aware. Every IR player I know says its much more difficult these days. The only exception perhaps raw feed players who can hardly fail to win.
Report Sandown June 10, 2009 2:16 PM BST
Avon

Yep, getting more difficult by the day is what I fear happens as the market becomes more and more competitive and more efficient. Big arbers tell me that the arbs are not as frequent, that it is harder to get on. Big opinion players like Feck say how difficult it is to get money on unkess its a loser. The bot wars can only get worse pushing down the margins. The little fish are cottoning on that they have no chance. Personally, as a horseracing backer I have found that the past 10 years have been nothing like as good as the previous 10 years. Bookmakers are making it pay only through FOBT's or big mug clients. patrick veitch seems to make it pay so I guess that its still possible.Cest la vie!
Report Avon Barksdale June 10, 2009 2:19 PM BST
I only really know about IR but imo some people made a lot of money in the past without actually being that good. Thats now changed (again apart from your raw feed **s) and the best players are winning which is what we want really? Good luck, anyway.
Report Sandown June 10, 2009 2:21 PM BST
You too
Report they_knew June 10, 2009 2:41 PM BST
٩(
Report Roger OASIS June 10, 2009 6:08 PM BST
Sandown - sorry, possibly I was thinking of another market but according to my records for 2,960 UK flat only races - 27 horses were traded at 1.01 and lost.

But as I said earlier, one then has to delve deeper into which course and then further into race type. I notice some very famous courses not appearing on the list while others appear 3 or 4 times.

Incidentally, you will probably know there was a 1.01 at Beverley today - the first 1.01 anywhere on any surface (again according to my records) since Navan about 25 meetings ago, so perhaps the bubble has bust....
Report Sandown June 10, 2009 7:05 PM BST
Roger

OK the expecatation would be 29-30 winners so a little under par.I calculate significance at about +/- 2 at 95% and +/- 3 at 99% confidence.Looks spot on .
Report Sandown June 10, 2009 7:09 PM BST
All we need now is for someone to produce that kind of evidence for bigger prices. Anyone out there willing to provide it?
Report Glasgow Brian June 10, 2009 7:11 PM BST
in running is a science .
Report Baby Jesus June 10, 2009 8:08 PM BST
I did something similar with betfairs in running data a while back and it's much the same as yours Sandown, these were from betfairs own in running data files blind laying - obviously these don't take in account a lot of the lower priced lays you'd put in wouldn't even be matched unless you were at the front of the queue so the figures would actually be even worse

Lay price 1.01 Races won 4801 Races lost 79 Number of races 4880 PnL = 30.99
Lay price 1.02 Races won 4875 Races lost 117 Number of races 4992 PnL = 19.50
Lay price 1.03 Races won 4928 Races lost 176 Number of races 5104 PnL = 28.16
Lay price 1.04 Races won 4940 Races lost 207 Number of races 5147 PnL = 9.40
Lay price 1.05 Races won 4961 Races lost 256 Number of races 5217 PnL = 7.95
Lay price 1.06 Races won 4980 Races lost 289 Number of races 5269 PnL = -9.80
Lay price 1.07 Races won 4982 Races lost 308 Number of races 5290 PnL = -40.74
Lay price 1.08 Races won 4984 Races lost 324 Number of races 5308 PnL = -74.72
Lay price 1.09 Races won 4984 Races lost 334 Number of races 5318 PnL = -114.56
Lay price 1.1 Races won 5002 Races lost 421 Number of races 5423 PnL = -79.20
Lay price 1.11 Races won 5014 Races lost 503 Number of races 5517 PnL = -48.54
Lay price 1.12 Races won 5018 Races lost 553 Number of races 5571 PnL = -49.16
Lay price 1.13 Races won 5027 Races lost 610 Number of races 5637 PnL = -43.51
Lay price 1.14 Races won 5029 Races lost 644 Number of races 5673 PnL = -60.06
Lay price 1.15 Races won 5035 Races lost 673 Number of races 5708 PnL = -82.25
Lay price 1.16 Races won 5037 Races lost 694 Number of races 5731 PnL = -111.92
Lay price 1.17 Races won 5038 Races lost 707 Number of races 5745 PnL = -149.46
Lay price 1.18 Races won 5038 Races lost 718 Number of races 5756 PnL = -188.84
Lay price 1.19 Races won 5038 Races lost 723 Number of races 5761 PnL = -234.22
Lay price 1.2 Races won 5045 Races lost 824 Number of races 5869 PnL = -185.00
Lay price 1.21 Races won 5049 Races lost 905 Number of races 5954 PnL = -155.29
Lay price 1.22 Races won 5049 Races lost 965 Number of races 6014 PnL = -145.78
Lay price 1.23 Races won 5049 Races lost 985 Number of races 6034 PnL = -176.27
Lay price 1.24 Races won 5049 Races lost 1002 Number of races 6051 PnL = -209.76
Lay price 1.25 Races won 5055 Races lost 1128 Number of races 6183 PnL = -135.75
Lay price 1.26 Races won 5057 Races lost 1144 Number of races 6201 PnL = -170.82
Lay price 1.27 Races won 5057 Races lost 1150 Number of races 6207 PnL = -215.39
Lay price 1.28 Races won 5057 Races lost 1160 Number of races 6217 PnL = -255.96
Lay price 1.29 Races won 5058 Races lost 1171 Number of races 6229 PnL = -295.82
Lay price 1.3 Races won 5062 Races lost 1317 Number of races 6379 PnL = -201.60
Lay price 1.31 Races won 5062 Races lost 1384 Number of races 6446 PnL = -185.22
Lay price 1.32 Races won 5062 Races lost 1406 Number of races 6468 PnL = -213.84
Lay price 1.33 Races won 5063 Races lost 1496 Number of races 6559 PnL = -174.79
Lay price 1.34 Races won 5063 Races lost 1530 Number of races 6593 PnL = -191.42
Lay price 1.35 Races won 5066 Races lost 1640 Number of races 6706 PnL = -133.10
Lay price 1.36 Races won 5069 Races lost 1673 Number of races 6742 PnL = -151.84
Lay price 1.37 Races won 5069 Races lost 1700 Number of races 6769 PnL = -175.53
Lay price 1.38 Races won 5069 Races lost 1719 Number of races 6788 PnL = -207.22
Lay price 1.39 Races won 5069 Races lost 1724 Number of races 6793 PnL = -252.91
Lay price 1.4 Races won 5073 Races lost 1864 Number of races 6937 PnL = -165.20
Lay price 1.41 Races won 5073 Races lost 1898 Number of races 6971 PnL = -181.93
Lay price 1.42 Races won 5074 Races lost 1918 Number of races 6992 PnL = -213.08
Lay price 1.43 Races won 5074 Races lost 1923 Number of races 6997 PnL = -258.82
Lay price 1.44 Races won 5075 Races lost 1944 Number of races 7019 PnL = -289.00
Lay price 1.45 Races won 5075 Races lost 1957 Number of races 7032 PnL = -326.75
Lay price 1.46 Races won 5075 Races lost 1964 Number of races 7039 PnL = -370.50
Lay price 1.47 Races won 5075 Races lost 1970 Number of races 7045 PnL = -415.25
Lay price 1.48 Races won 5075 Races lost 1983 Number of races 7058 PnL = -453.00
Lay price 1.49 Races won 5075 Races lost 1991 Number of races 7066 PnL = -495.75
Lay price 1.5 Races won 5077 Races lost 2211 Number of races 7288 PnL = -327.50
Lay price 1.51 Races won 5077 Races lost 2319 Number of races 7396 PnL = -270.27
Lay price 1.52 Races won 5078 Races lost 2412 Number of races 7490 PnL = -228.56
Lay price 1.53 Races won 5078 Races lost 2457 Number of races 7535 PnL = -234.34
Lay price 1.54 Races won 5078 Races lost 2473 Number of races 7551 PnL = -269.12
Lay price 1.55 Races won 5078 Races lost 2534 Number of races 7612 PnL = -258.90
Lay price 1.56 Races won 5078 Races lost 2566 Number of races 7644 PnL = -277.68
Lay price 1.57 Races won 5078 Races lost 2580 Number of races 7658 PnL = -314.46
Lay price 1.58 Races won 5078 Races lost 2586 Number of races 7664 PnL = -359.24
Lay price 1.59 Races won 5078 Races lost 2590 Number of races 7668 PnL = -406.02
Lay price 1.6 Races won 5080 Races lost 2753 Number of races 7833 PnL = -295.00
Lay price 1.61 Races won 5080 Races lost 2821 Number of races 7901 PnL = -277.80
Lay price 1.62 Races won 5080 Races lost 2865 Number of races 7945 PnL = -284.60
Lay price 1.63 Races won 5080 Races lost 2899 Number of races 7979 PnL = -301.40
Lay price 1.64 Races won 5080 Races lost 2905 Number of races 7985 PnL = -346.20
Lay price 1.65 Races won 5080 Races lost 2924 Number of races 8004 PnL = -378.00
Lay price 1.66 Races won 5080 Races lost 2971 Number of races 8051 PnL = -381.80
Lay price 1.67 Races won 5080 Races lost 2990 Number of races 8070 PnL = -413.60
Lay price 1.68 Races won 5080 Races lost 3005 Number of races 8085 PnL = -449.40
Lay price 1.69 Races won 5080 Races lost 3013 Number of races 8093 PnL = -492.20
Lay price 1.7 Races won 5080 Races lost 3224 Number of races 8304 PnL = -332.00
Lay price 1.71 Races won 5081 Races lost 3262 Number of races 8343 PnL = -345.51
Lay price 1.72 Races won 5081 Races lost 3285 Number of races 8366 PnL = -373.32
Lay price 1.73 Races won 5081 Races lost 3293 Number of races 8374 PnL = -416.13
Lay price 1.74 Races won 5081 Races lost 3299 Number of races 8380 PnL = -460.94
Lay price 1.75 Races won 5081 Races lost 3323 Number of races 8404 PnL = -487.75
Lay price 1.76 Races won 5081 Races lost 3333 Number of races 8414 PnL = -528.56
Lay price 1.77 Races won 5081 Races lost 3341 Number of races 8422 PnL = -571.37
Lay price 1.78 Races won 5081 Races lost 3354 Number of races 8435 PnL = -609.18
Lay price 1.79 Races won 5081 Races lost 3360 Number of races 8441 PnL = -653.99
Lay price 1.8 Races won 5082 Races lost 3520 Number of races 8602 PnL = -545.60
Lay price 1.81 Races won 5082 Races lost 3570 Number of races 8652 PnL = -546.42
Lay price 1.82 Races won 5082 Races lost 3585 Number of races 8667 PnL = -582.24
Lay price 1.83 Races won 5082 Races lost 3595 Number of races 8677 PnL = -623.06
Lay price 1.84 Races won 5082 Races lost 3606 Number of races 8688 PnL = -662.88
Lay price 1.85 Races won 5082 Races lost 3608 Number of races 8690 PnL = -711.70
Lay price 1.86 Races won 5082 Races lost 3615 Number of races 8697 PnL = -755.52
Lay price 1.87 Races won 5082 Races lost 3625 Number of races 8707 PnL = -796.34
Lay price 1.88 Races won 5082 Races lost 3634 Number of races 8716 PnL = -838.16
Lay price 1.89 Races won 5082 Races lost 3654 Number of races 8736 PnL = -868.98
Lay price 1.9 Races won 5082 Races lost 3706 Number of races 8788 PnL = -867.80
Lay price 1.91 Races won 5082 Races lost 3719 Number of races 8801 PnL = -905.62
Lay price 1.92 Races won 5082 Races lost 3728 Number of races 8810 PnL = -947.44
Lay price 1.93 Races won 5082 Races lost 3732 Number of races 8814 PnL = -994.26
Lay price 1.94 Races won 5082 Races lost 3739 Number of races 8821 PnL = -1038.08
Lay price 1.95 Races won 5083 Races lost 3751 Number of races 8834 PnL = -1077.85
Lay price 1.96 Races won 5083 Races lost 3762 Number of races 8845 PnL = -1117.68
Lay price 1.97 Races won 5083 Races lost 3788 Number of races 8871 PnL = -1142.51
Lay price 1.98 Races won 5083 Races lost 3797 Number of races 8880 PnL = -1184.34
Lay price 1.99 Races won 5083 Races lost 3807 Number of races 8890 PnL = -1225.17
Lay price 2 Races won 5084 Races lost 4538 Number of races 9622 PnL = -546.00
Report The Magician (6) June 10, 2009 9:09 PM BST
FANTASTIC WORK GUYS.....

lets get to the bottom of these edges - and who is ripping the money out of the pool


Betfair shoudl be doing this work - it is criminal they are not,

thier apparent lack of understanding or concern baffles me....

and one day when they wake up with no IR product but several former customer sitting on million dollar sailing yatches in the med... they might finally ask what the **** happened...

to late then...
Report The Magician (6) June 10, 2009 9:10 PM BST
they shoudl also have to supply this pnl split to everyone

http://betfairdata.googlepages.com/home
Report Sandown June 11, 2009 7:37 AM BST
Baby Jesus


Thank you very much for sharing that information. It again proves that there are people out there prepared to help the rest to understand what is going on.

The fact that your in-depth figures support my general conclusions shows that it is possible to form a hypothesis from a small sample. Your figures, given the sample size, are significant and certainly dont disprove my view which is that the bigger the price the greater the loss for the layer, but below 1.06 there is a tiny l edge in favour of the layer.

Perhaps my figures for prices up to 3.0 may be over-stated but I think that even with small sample they may be significant.

So, what are we to make of it.

In theory, it seems that an IR layer at 1.99/1.99/2.0 would have paid out on 15,250 winners and earned on 12,142 losers for a level stakes loss of 2955 points for a loss of 10.8% on stakes.

If Im right, this loss will increase as the price increases.

As for 1.01.1.02 it doesnt look like much of a profit opportunity for layers but at least the price of hedging looks at worst as no cost.

Unless you are hedging at 2.0 and above, when a 11% plus cost might be acceptable especially if you are sitting on a big price, it doesnt look to me that pure laying pays at all at those prices, unless of course, you are an absolutely great race reader and knows when something isnt going to win and you have the technical edge to beat the others to the money thats there.

I'd be interestedto hear from the big IR players like Koo on what they think of this.
Report Koo... June 11, 2009 7:48 AM BST
The figures look wrong is my offer.
Report Sandown June 11, 2009 7:53 AM BST
Koo

I know from reading your thread that you both back and lay. Do you have any P&L split showing any differenace?

What would you have expected the figures to show? What do you think is wrong with them? The sample size is huge and the results are statistically significant I would guess. So, what's up Doc?
Report gus June 11, 2009 7:54 AM BST
the figures are are interesting, so thanks to baby J for posting them, but they're irrelevant to any sane real world inRunning layer's strategy is my offer
Report Sandown June 11, 2009 8:05 AM BST
gus

On my figures, from a sample of races I looked at, backing at last prices/sp on BF the loss would be 2.9% on stakes. That's the edge against (not too different from roulette). Depending on the average spread, the layers loss might be comparable.This loss is much the same across all prices.

This doesn't appear to be the same for IR where there is an increasing edge against for layers as the price increases.

Whilst it dosen't stop layers from winning, or affect your strategy in the real world, its interesting to find out the whats, whys and wherefores.
Report Sandown June 11, 2009 8:06 AM BST
NB That 2.9% loss is before commission & PC
Report zeeny June 11, 2009 9:15 AM BST
Because the dynamics of an in running market make it significantly more difficult to correctly price up the event?
Report zooot June 11, 2009 9:36 AM BST
In running is very volatile. Volatility leads to bigger errors in pricing.

The value has to be higher if you know what you are doing and can pick the big over reactions and get matched.

I seen the 100 / 1 become 1.2 then win in a matter of 5 seconds - someone cleaned up on those and got massive value.

Value for some but not for me - no piccies and slow connection - = doom for IR. I've done it blind for fun a few times but it is like running into the traffic blind folded hoping to not get hit ... I've been hit and it hurt
Report Fred! June 11, 2009 10:05 AM BST
Under conditions x y z if I place a bet it will be matched by the magicians bot. Long term it is impossible to win if my bets are matched by the magicians bot. Should betfair reveal conditions x y and z to everybody so that they can avoid the situation?
Report cdh June 11, 2009 10:24 AM BST
these figures show the prices for all runners! surely you have to look at it differently?
what percentage of favs hit certain figures in running etc.
Report Muqbil June 11, 2009 10:43 AM BST
I used to have the same argument fred!, but it is fundamentally flawed.

Magicians (and others) bots are operating in the same time frame as all other users. The stay at home IR players are betting on events that happened up to 4 or 5 seconds ago whilst others have placed bets on the events as they happened (less IR delay).
Report Fred! June 11, 2009 11:35 AM BST
Thanks muqbil, yes you're right, I still felt like saying it though.
Report Sandown June 11, 2009 11:46 AM BST
After some thought, I realise that the apparent edge in favour of backers IR must be illusionary. In theory, it should be the same for both sides. So how is this squared with the figures?

What I believe we are seeing is the effect of a larger, increasing spread which operates in the IR market.

The pre-market is volatile but nothing like that of the IR market, so the spread is fairly narrow. The increments (ticks) start at 0.1 and increase as the prices increase, not on a fixed % basis but on some kind of squared/log basis. Eg 0.01 on 1.01 is 1% increment, 1.0 on 20.0 is 5%.

On my figures, from a small study which I completed, a backer at BF SP/latest prices on all runners staking as per odds % would show an APPARENT loss of some 2.9%. This does not mean that layers are making a profit of 2.9% because they are laying on the other side at the spread odds. In fact, they too could be expected to make a similar APPARENT loss on stakes if a calculation is made on all the last lay prices.

In practice, they must both break-even before commission kicks in.

So how is this explained? Surely if a backer takes1.98 about an even chance then the layer must win. Thats true, but if we assume that half the time the backer bets first and takes the price of 1.98 and half the time the layer bets first and lays the price of 2.02, then they will both bet advantageously half the time and disadvanteously for the other half of the time. So net net, they breakeven.

What we looking at with Baby Js figures is the price layed for all runners, not backed. If we were to look at the backed prices, a similar loss would show.

But in reality neither is making a loss or profit as Ive explained.

The increasing apparent loss is demonstrating the much wider spread involved in IR prices than that in pre- markets, a fact which is perfectly understandable given the much greater volatility of IR.

So, whilst BJs figs might be taken as proof that some people are taking advantage, I dont think that is the case.

What remains true is that if you have an edge, the greater volatility provides opportunities for much greater value to be had and opportunities to trade out. But, of course, the risks are much greater.

I still believe that if you dont have an edge then dont play IR because you will lose your money much faster than in the pre-market.

I need to undertake a much bigger study to work out the cost of hedging at bigger price levels but I cant see me doing that sometime soon. Anybody done that?

Perhaps I am talking utter bolax so any views people?
Report Avon Barksdale June 11, 2009 12:36 PM BST
In my opinion IR backers are the ones getting the bad value. The perceived wisdom on here used to be to load up at 1.01 and when you backed one with best price execution you would get the best price available. So if it was 5 on the screen you bet at 1.01 and might get 4.2 eg. Now if you load up at 1.01 you invariably get matched at very much lower odds. Due to poor liquidity or bf bet matching?
Report Sandown June 11, 2009 12:45 PM BST
Avon B

Probably both plus the likelihood that more people are playing IR having heard about the big profits. That makes it more competitive which in turn drives down averages.
Report Sandown June 11, 2009 12:48 PM BST
Hang on. More people should equal better liquidity. Is it possible to have both at the same time like stagflation - no growth but inflationary prices? An apparent contradiction.
Report Avon Barksdale June 11, 2009 12:52 PM BST
The people who think there are big profits available are all waiting util the end of the race and trying to bet 1.1 or less on a 'certainty' thats virtually over the line. Presumably a big % of them come unstuck because there are other people with faster pics/at the track/or experts whove been doing it for years who beat them to it anyway.
Report Sandown June 11, 2009 1:14 PM BST
The strategy of taking 1.01 too far out when you think you are on the winner is what gives what edge there is to laying at that price because in their greed to take as much as possible they, the backers, invariably will back the 1.02 and 1.01 losers.
Report Muqbil June 11, 2009 1:22 PM BST
I have often wondered at what point in the day people start thier 1.01 laying bots and the m.o. Persumably they are left running at the approximate time next day markets are opened to ensure being front of the queue.
Report Avon Barksdale June 11, 2009 1:25 PM BST
Platinum members first in.
Report Muqbil June 11, 2009 1:31 PM BST
One wonders if Betfair have actually considered being 'first dibs' laying the 1.01's. In theory no-one would be any the wiser.
Report Avon Barksdale June 11, 2009 1:35 PM BST
You certainly wouldnt put it past them im afraid.
Report pumpkinslayerII June 11, 2009 8:09 PM BST
When I used to run my in-running bot it made steady profits laying. When I tried to run a completly symmetrical bot that backed I found it lost money hand over fist. This supports the view that the layers are the fast pic guys while the backers are the ordinary punters with slow pics.
Report CLYDEBANK29 June 11, 2009 8:52 PM BST
Excellent work Sandown and Baby Jesus. It really does show the folly of offering prices in running on horse racing
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 10:00 AM BST
pumpkinslayerII 11 Jun 21:09

"When I used to run my in-running bot it made steady profits laying. When I tried to run a completly symmetrical bot that backed I found it lost money hand over fist. This supports the view that the layers are the fast pic guys while the backers are the ordinary punters with slow pics."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is fascinating because we have some contrary evidence now.

My findings suggested that layers might win at below 1.06 and increasingly lose at prices beyond that.

BJs figures were on a much larger sample and seemed to support that theory.

I then questioned whether this was really showing us a bias against laying, because theoretically, without any factors distorting the market (not true it seems) the situation should be the same for both layers and backers. They cant both make losses.

I reasoned this out as being the likelihood of BJs figures showing us the existence of a much wider spread between backers and layers prices as the prices increase reflecting the much greater volatility in the market where the time frame is tight, mistakes are easily made, panic hedging against loss is greater and scope for rational evaluation of the odds is miniscule. The IR market is much more open to the intuitive player who plays from gut feel than it is to the cool, calculating type of personality.

Now, pumpkinplayer is providing evidence that laying bots win and reciprocal backing bots lose.

I wonder if the laying bots profits were all down to the low odds layed (1.1)? Conversely, how did the backing bot do on high prices (100.0)?

Is it true that the fast pics players are mostly layers? Is this the experience of people like Koo and others who do this for a living?

Are slow pics players mostly backers? Is the reverse true? Are backers mostly slow pics users?

Its very clear that this market is wide open to distortion from players with a technical edge or from
Report Roger OASIS June 12, 2009 10:01 AM BST
Muqbil 11 Jun 14:31

One wonders if Betfair have actually considered being 'first dibs' laying the 1.01's. In theory no-one would be any the wiser.


Or possibly their Swedish market-making associate? I noticed one day, when checking for tomorrow's markets and I was switching between Betfair and Gruss at the time, that when the race-cards did appear the laying of 1.01's had already been entered. The longest they could have been up was 2 minutes without me spotting them - and I don't believe that anybody would sit there clicking 'refresh' and 'refresh' until they appear to ensure being first in the queue!
Somebody has cornered the market anyway.

I notice that all the 8 players in the WTA quarter-finals today have also got a minimum of £ 17,704 waiting at 1.01. Odd amount. Presume this brings the best returns?

Sandown, incidentally after I stated the other day there had been no 1.01's matched (and then lost) on the horses for 22 (?) meetings, say 140/150 races, there were 3 that day! Beverley, Fairyhouse and Kempton.
Report lippy June 12, 2009 10:10 AM BST
I think the same would apply on many other sports inplay too.
The only lay money left up is money which is too slow to get out of the way and his hoovered by people who know they onto a winner.

Moral of the story is dont lay unless you have very uptodate info
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 10:11 AM BST
Roger O

I'm sure you are spot on about the 1.01 bots operating full-time. It surely is a straight insurance/actuarial business for those with big banks. Perfect for staedy returns over the LT.Why wouldn't BF be involved?
Report CLYDEBANK29 June 12, 2009 10:12 AM BST
I'm not a horse racing punter per se and just have the occasional punt on them now but on a separate issue at the last Breeders Cup meeting I noticed a few of the winners were backed nowhere near (and I mean nowhere near) 1.01 in running. Everybody betting including Betfair seemed to be relying on the same pictures and what a difference it made to the prices matched. It highlighted to me the huge time disadvantage some foolish punters are willing to bet against.
Report slayerofthe'kins June 12, 2009 10:24 AM BST
Sandown, the bot layed and backed within the range 1.4 - 3.95 only
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 10:36 AM BST
pumpkin/slayer

Seems to support the theory that many backers want to back what looks like the winner& are prepared to put in very low prices to ensure acceptance and consequently prices drop too rapidly and are way out of line with real chances. Misjudgement/greed as well as pic speed?
Report Koo... June 12, 2009 10:56 AM BST
the mentally of most normal players is one of backing as thats is what they have always known from other betting companys and betting shops.

I do both as you never want to only beliove value lies in one sector.

Liquiidty might be seen as good by some, but i dont mind a drop in liquiidty as i can offer a 5/1 shot now at 3.5/1 instead of 4/1 and still get takers as no one is in front of me in the bet queue.


Were the figures right before, as i read them they looked very ambiguous. was that the price requested, the price matched or what ?
Report Baby Jesus June 12, 2009 11:00 AM BST
Sandown if I get time I'll dig out the database and run it up to 1000 for you but as far as I remember the figures just got worse for the layers.

Remember the data I used was betfairs data showing matched bets only so whilst people may kick back bets into the market they'd be more likely to go unmatched if they then went onto to win.

I auto downloaded the data to see if there was any edge in firing off the 1.01's etc into the market. And whilst it showed me, as expected, there was a slight edge at the bottom of market due to people overreacting to profit from that edge is another thing. I set up a program to lay at 1.03 and whilst it had some success it really wasn't worth the effort as the market is usually filled with those prices as soon as they're put on the site and I was checking new markets and firing the bets probably every 20 seconds or so.
Report Baby Jesus June 12, 2009 11:03 AM BST
Koo, the figures are just the prices matched nothing to do with prices requested so a backer may have got higher odds than he requested just the same as a layer may have got lower odds
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 11:04 AM BST
Koo

My figures were based on lowest price matched IR as were BJ's I would guess. Ideally, would like to see BJ's figures for reasonable sums matched say £500, £1000. Would it change things though?
Report Koo... June 12, 2009 11:05 AM BST
did that mean then that backers at those matched prices won overall and layers lost ?

before comission obviously.
Report Baby Jesus June 12, 2009 11:15 AM BST
Yep just meant that overall any one taking those prices would win whereas laying would lose except for the lower odds of 1.05, but the amounts at those prices were very low and only the quickest into the market would profit 1.05 and lower.
Report Koo... June 12, 2009 11:19 AM BST
its a funny one as i never knew it was lowest oriced natched, im terribke klazy reading everything as=bnd a bad typist ion r=the sare aotop.


I'll read again when at work
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 11:22 AM BST
Koo

The breakeven point seems to be around 1.06. Below that its in layers favour, bigger than that its in backers favour.

But, as I've said earlier, I think that this reflects the spreads in as much as they are much wider than in the pre-market. Only if a backer/'layer is taking the wrong end of the spread 100% of the time will these findings hold.

Assuming that the average player gets the best end of the spread 50% of the time and wrong 50% of the time then there would be no difference between backing/laying with the possible exception of the 1.01 and 1.02 prices.
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 11:28 AM BST
BJ

It would be interesting to see higher figs. No need to run the lot. Just pick out key price intervals. What's your take on the interpretation? Taken literally, BF's IR winners would be all backers but you only have to listen to Koo to see that can't be right? What do you think about my possible spread explanation?
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 11:31 AM BST
BJ

And how do you explain pumpkin's bots?
Report Koo... June 12, 2009 11:35 AM BST
if these are lowest priced matches then all the backers above 1.01 or almost lose as zeee horse lost innit
Report Koo... June 12, 2009 11:39 AM BST
u would need to work out a new table to give the backers side backing at certain odd and take off the losers

but then u run into liquiidty issues again as youd have to accept that they get full matched at al one price they asked for.


its getting the right stats to see where and why things happen
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 11:45 AM BST
Koo

At the risk of teaching an expert on IR how to suck eggs....

Obviously all winners touch all prices on their way down from there sp and many will touch bigger prices IR.

So, at any price level across a sample of races you can expect to see a number of losers reaching any price point as being a straight reflection of that price.

At 1.01 you would expect 100 losers for every winner.

At 2.0 you would expect to see 1 loser for every 2.0 that goes on to win.

And so on.
Report Stevie Gerrard June 12, 2009 11:50 AM BST
what the figures show is if you put in keep lays at say 1.2 for every horse in every race you will make a loss overall as they'll only get taken when their chance is better than that.
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 11:54 AM BST
Stevie G

That's true but below 1.06 BJ's figs show keep layers would make a profit pre commission
Report heynoodles June 12, 2009 12:00 PM BST
Whats all this go to do with the folly of playing in running please
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 12:00 PM BST
Koo... 12 Jun 12:39
u would need to work out a new table to give the backers side backing at certain odd and take off the losers

but then u run into liquiidty issues again as youd have to accept that they get full matched at al one price they asked for.


its getting the right stats to see where and why things happen
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thereciprical of BJ's table should be true for backers. But it can't be so I think that it reflects the spread as I have said.

Liquidity is an issue but even £2 matched at 2.0 reflects the view that 1 person thinks its worth backing and the other thinks its worth laying. Once you introduce liquidity into it then you have to make judgements about the minimum level traded. With the on-course market sp settlers work to the concept of "to good money"
Report Stevie Gerrard June 12, 2009 12:01 PM BST
yes only if they get matched though, i'd imagine those at 1.01 where you'll be in a queue wouldn't always get matched when they get beat. Interesting to see the difference between 1.99 and 2.
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 12:02 PM BST
heynoodles

If you don't know what your doing then you are going to lose your money faster than in any other market. If you do know what you are doing then I guess you will make money faster.
Report Stevie Gerrard June 12, 2009 12:03 PM BST
the folly is people blindly laying bets off in-running. It's not really evidence to say you can't win with normal pics though
Report Baby Jesus June 12, 2009 12:06 PM BST
Sandown, I've no explanation for pumpkins bot, it may have been well programmed to fire a certain points/races or been first in the queue at the lower odds.

All I took from the stats were that the in running players had a major edge that meant there was no point in me blindly backing or laying into the in running markets at any price point as overall my winning backs wouldn't be matched whereas my losing lays would be. If you also think of the usual spreads (%'s books) in running that's quite an edge to overcome.

I think they just confirm what you'd expect anyway that there aren't an easy shortcuts to winning on here despite the numerous 1.01 losing threads.

In running is never going to be a level playing field as people are reacting to things happening at the time obviously the quicker/good players are better at cancelling their losing backs and taking any winning available odds which doesn't take a genius to work out. Whether you want to attribute the bias to in running players being more able to read the market more efficiently or having faster feeds is up to you .
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 12:15 PM BST
Stevie G

The laying off blindly bit is what interests me.Its what it costs me that I want to know.

Take the 1.98 to 2.0 figs which show a 10.8%loss for the layer.

Say I back at 10.0 and put up a keep lay of 2.0 with the intention of greening up equally. To a £10 stake I would get back £50 for a profit of £40 win or lose.

The 10.8% loss means that I am effectively greening up at 2.216 which means that I will get back LT £45.12. So the cost of hedging is £5 less change or 10% of my profit.

That might be acceptable to me.Or it might not. Depends on my attitude to risk.
Report Muqbil June 12, 2009 12:17 PM BST
Guys one to throw into the mix, have you tried running the analysis by picture provider? It would be interesting to see the effect of atr/ ruk / terestrial broadcasts have on the figures, if any.
Report Baby Jesus June 12, 2009 12:23 PM BST
I had considered that muqbil but thats more one for magician to get his teeth into :) I couldn't be bothered to go through the hassle of findng out which courses are which.

One of the problems is betfairs data is limited but for your purposes Sandown it does show the BSP which you can use as a rough guide as to the price you took then see if there's any edge in laying off at lower prices. I did run a few queries on that to see if there was an point and as you'd expect there isn't unless you want to throw away money
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 12:30 PM BST
BJ

It may be throwing away money to blindly layoff but it can be important to reduce the variance. What I'd like to know is how much greater the loss becomes. My figs suggest that it gets a lot more costly. When you have the opportunity I'd love to see your figures for 3.0, 4.0,5.0....10.0.
Report Cider June 12, 2009 12:33 PM BST
If you're laying in running at a certain price (say a keep lay) imo what you are doing is passing the risk on to somebody else. On occaision I am willing to pay a small price for this. Also, at times it can be justified as value play dependent on the variables in individual cases. Try the test on Towcester and Fontwell bumpers.

Obviously you wouldn't expect a flat-rate keep lay to show a profit over the long term apart from at the minimal money buyer prices. That is intuitive, imo. There is commission to be factored into the maths, too.
Report Muqbil June 12, 2009 12:37 PM BST
There is a counter argument to the 'laying off inrunning is bad for one's wealth' statement. If you can identify horses that travel well but never win, lead but never win, there is money to be made, although it's getting tougher.
Report Stevie Gerrard June 12, 2009 12:43 PM BST
most of those figures show around a 10% loss so of course if you a put a bit thought into the ones you want to lay off then no doubt you could make it profitable.

Personally i think even with a level playing field those figures would probably be quite similar if a little less
Report Cider June 12, 2009 12:48 PM BST
Yes the feed speed is a completely different argument. An analysis would need to be conducted with the same player with and without the advantage over a period of time.
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 12:57 PM BST
Stevie Gerrard 12 Jun 13:43
most of those figures show around a 10% loss so of course if you a put a bit thought into the ones you want to lay off then no doubt you could make it profitable.

Personally i think even with a level playing field those figures would probably be quite similar if a little less
------------------------------------------------------------------------

With respect, I don't think that's true. They show a progressive loss expressed a s % of total staked by races run at LS

1.01 +0.6%
1.05 0
1.10 -1.5%
1.25 -2.2%
1.5 -4.5%
1.75 -5.8%
1.98to 2.0 -10.8%
Report Stevie Gerrard June 12, 2009 1:03 PM BST
I was looking at BJ's figure for 1.2 and bigger Sandown, seemed between the 8 and 13% mark
Report Cider June 12, 2009 1:09 PM BST
It wouldn't take much skill to be able to turn those numbers into your favour. A strong race reader would comfortably make a profit setting keep-lays imo.
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 1:26 PM BST
Stevie

I think iIunderstand what is happening. I'm looking at amount STAKED and your looking at amount RISKED which matters with odds on chances. On amounts staked the loss is progressive. On amounts risked it seems flat. Even more important to find out what is happening at higher price breaks.
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 1:30 PM BST
BJ

I've only just realised that your figures are expressed as RACES rather than RUNNERS. Do you mean RACES for totals? Not certain that can right, can it?
Report Feck N. Eejit June 12, 2009 1:37 PM BST
Good thread Sandown. All**of course as betfair have research that proves you'll lose your money just as fast using a pin and betting in the pre-race market compared to doing the same on the ir market. This evidence was compiled by betfair experts and was accepted by the GC so it must be true. Anyone who says otherwise is just doing so to selfishly protect their own integrity imo.
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 1:47 PM BST
Feck

I recently read "YOU BET" the BF story. Quite interesting. Not a gambler amongst them apart from Bert from beginning to now. All trading or ITor financial backgrounds.

If I play roulette then it matters whether there are 1 or 2 zeros.I will lose my money faster with the latter.

If I play with £100 bank at £10 a throw on a single number as against evens/odds I expect to have a shorter stay unless of course I strike lucky for the obvious reasons of losing runs and variance.

It seems reasobable to conclude that IR markets have a higher negative edge and a lot more volatility/variance than pre-race markets.

So, BF's evidence is based on what exactly?
Report baconandeggs June 12, 2009 1:58 PM BST
Can't believe I bothered with this but didn't take me too long in the end anyway.

Here are the IR figures for 2009 so far, looks like most are overreacting, figs seem ok to me

Hopefully this table formats ok

[pre]
Price Bets Winners Losers ExpectedWin% ActualWin%
1.05 4656 4419 237 95.24 94.91
1.1 4835 4439 396 90.91 91.81
1.2 5270 4450 820 83.33 84.44
1.3 5761 4460 1301 76.92 77.42
1.5 6607 4461 2146 66.67 67.52
2 8452 4318 4134 50 51.09
2.5 9932 3971 5961 40 39.98
3 12245 4018 8227 33.33 32.81
3.5 11539 3192 8347 28.57 27.66
4 15399 3709 11690 25 24.09
5 17478 3371 14107 20 19.29
6 19086 3057 16029 16.67 16.02
10 22743 2146 20597 10 9.44
20 24656 1156 23500 5 4.69
[/pre]
Report Avon Barksdale June 12, 2009 2:01 PM BST
Good work, bacon. Those figures wont be well recieved by the lets-destroy-ir regulars.
Report Feck N. Eejit June 12, 2009 2:07 PM BST
Sandown, not only did their research "show" that pre-race was as unfair as ir it also "showed" that there were more people betting pre-race unaware they were betting against people who might have studied form harder than they had than people betting ir who were unaware the speed of light was not infinite.
Report baconandeggs June 12, 2009 2:21 PM BST
As by way of a comparison let's have a look at the pre-off market for 2009

Not much different I would say...

[pre]
Price Bets Winners Losers ExpectedWin% ActualWin%
1.3 87 63 24 76.92 72.41
1.5 246 169 77 66.67 68.7
2 863 413 450 50 47.86
2.5 1406 528 878 40 37.55
3 2423 788 1635 33.33 32.52
3.5 3245 893 2352 28.57 27.52
4 4402 1066 3336 25 24.22
5 6069 1126 4943 20 18.55
6 7778 1218 6560 16.67 15.66
10 11471 1087 10384 10 9.48
20 11920 587 11333 5 4.92
[/pre]
Report CLYDEBANK29 June 12, 2009 2:53 PM BST
There were horses winning in the Breeders Cup that never even touched odds on let alone 1.01. That tells me all I need to know about the huge disadvantage ordinary punters without fast pictures face in horse racing. Sure I don't see anyway the playing field can be levelled but making people aware of the disadvantages they face is a good thing.
Report Avon Barksdale June 12, 2009 2:55 PM BST
aye, nowt to do with their rules on disqualifying pmsl
Report Feck N. Eejit June 12, 2009 2:57 PM BST
Betfair say there's no need for that Clydebank. They are thinking about adding a "you may be betting against people who have indulged in form analysis" warning to the pre-race markets though.

P.S. I am not joking.
Report Jack Bauer '24' June 12, 2009 3:10 PM BST
Betfair were suspending the markets a few yards before the finishing line on RUK at the last Breeders Cup meeting. Flash steaming will provide as near a level playing field as possible if Betfair could stream the live track feed.
Report Sandown June 12, 2009 3:31 PM BST
baconandeggs

Thanks for those figures. I have re-interpreted your figures to aid comparison. From a LAYERS standpoint and expressed as a % of level stakes the IR results show that there is not a straight line progression. As you didnt include under 1.05 I cant be too sure that would show a profit for the lower but I would guess that they might given that there is 0.3% plus at 1.05. Thereafter, there is a slight increasing loss albeit of a smaller magnitude, up to 2.0. So, I suppose we can say that they are in line with BJs figs . After that, instead of the %loss increasing, it seems to steadily show an increasing profit % for the layer! At 20.0 layers make 6.2% profit!

Price stakes%
1.05 0.3
1.10 (1.0)
1.20 (1.3)
1.30 (0.6)
1.50 (1.3)
2.00 (2.2)
2.50 0.0
3.00 1.6
3.50 3.2
4.00 3.7
5.00 3.6
6.00 3.9
10.00 5.6
20.00 6.2

Looking at the pre-race (PR) market, it would seem that apart from the price of 1.5, layers have an edge at all prices. Is the 1.5 result a fluke? On this evidence I couldn,t say that there is evidence of a larger spread on IR. All in all, Im now left slightly confused. These figures certainly reassure me that my hedging bets in IR at any price dont appear to give away too much value.


IR PR
Price stakes% stakes%
1.30 (0.6) 5.9
1.50 (1.3) (3.0)
2.00 (2.2) 4.3
2.50 0.0 6.1
3.00 1.6 2.4
3.50 3.2 3.7
4.00 3.7 3.1
5.00 3.6 7.2
6.00 3.9 6.0
10.00 5.6 5.2
20.00 6.2 1.5
Report Sandown June 13, 2009 11:50 AM BST
For those who are interested in these things, and to round off the analysis so far, the results provided by baconand eggs show

a) the pre-race market bias is not significant at either 99% or 95% confidence levels

b) the in-running market results show that a bias does exist at 3.5 and above at 95% confidence level but not at 99% confidence.

Better statisticians than me are welcome to disagree or not.Make of it what you will.
Report Sandown June 13, 2009 12:07 PM BST
Another conclusion regarding price sensitivity. If layers can beat those prices by just 2%, then there is a clear and progressive profit for the IR layers up to 8%ros at 20.0 and for layers in the pre-race market the average profit is 5.8% (av 3.5% ros in IR)

Just goes to show why traders who manage to beat the prices by just very small amounts can show a profit.

Don't know the reason for it, but for backers to show a positive return at all bands they need to beat the price by up to 7% in both markets.
Report Sandown June 13, 2009 12:11 PM BST
For traders = backers or layers. Didn't mean to imply that backing and laying necessary per se.
Report The Visionary January 13, 2010 4:59 PM GMT
ttt as I want to re-read this
Report Deltâ April 25, 2019 3:44 PM BST
Sandown new
Report Sandown July 22, 2019 1:37 PM BST
Delta

Thanks for bringing this back. 10 years ? I must admit that I very rarely look at the GF these days so was taken a little by surprise.
Report Do wah Diddy July 23, 2019 5:21 AM BST
Very interesting reading it reminds me of when i read Alfie
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