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Winners don't share. Discuss.

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Replies: 219
By:
TOTGA
When: 30 Jun 10 10:09
This has been a really interesting thread - I considered not starting it for fear it would turn into another fishing expedition for some, but I think it's turned into something quite interesting.

What's emerged from it for me so far, is that it's clear everybody seems to have different trading strategies, and several people are claiming profit using different strategies. It's not as if there is only one strategy that can work. I'm surprised actually how many rely on in-play markets - something I've found to be particularly perilous.

The one thing that seems to be unifying what has been shared is the fact those individuals stress discipline and actually looking at the numbers and working out if you're just having a run of luck or not. I think analysis, humility and discipline are key, either way - and that's something we can all definitely share. Happy

Discipline for me, is paramount. The reason I walked away from here for a few years is because I was following a strategy daily in up to 10 races a day (over the course of many, many months) that one day turned bad on me, and I started to chase my losses. After a few days of chasing I realised I simply didn't have the discipline to be here profitably - losses should just be written off and accepted, never chased. Back then I was in my early 20s, and I think now (nearly a decade on), I've got more patience, more humility and more discipline.

In the last month I've come back to test a few simple strategies, and am planning to do some stats analysis over the coming weeks. I'm holding my own, but ONLY because I'm looking for small returns, and avoiding punting like I used to. I only trade a few markets a day to avoid getting bored (where I might "decide" to "have a go at something"), but the way I see it is if my bank grows just a little each day, eventually the miracle of compounding will kick in, and that's fine with me. Grin
By:
Lori
When: 30 Jun 10 11:20
As long as you're betting in a neutral period in a match (between games in tennis, between deliveries in cricket) so you have the same information as everyone else 99.9% of the time, then in play is going to be a better option than pre-match.

One "given" in american sports, and likely in other sports these days is that the Closing line (probably called starting price here) is the most efficient time for the markets. A decent way of testing your pre-match betting is to see how you do compared to the closing line.

(There, i shared a winning player's strategy without giving anything away that will harm me)

Those markets will have 24 hours to converge to that line, and often a week in the case of the NFL. If you're betting in-running, they don't have that time to hone in on the "true" price, so you have more chance to find an inefficiency.

That being said, a lot of Betfair users have very strong in-running strategies and it's getting harder to beat over time.
By:
sevey
When: 30 Jun 10 12:09
Some people may think that this process of backing and laying is a lot of effort for ?
In some respects this is true but thinking as a market trader is to make low risk trades like this frequently and often by taking this approach profits can quickly add up
By:
beetle
When: 30 Jun 10 14:07
really good thread, I would just like to confirm that a full appreciation of 'confirmation bias' is the keystone and to add that an understanding of what Immanuel Kant described as 'empirical intuition' is a bonus.  There are really no answers because the whole situation is fluid and therefore flows but is flows in different directions all the time.
By:
Samanth4
When: 30 Jun 10 14:44
Where did you get the '3% of accounts in profit' statistic?
By:
page-413
When: 30 Jun 10 19:28
If you are winning you dont tell fact .
If you have a half baked idea you rope in koks to feed your habit with a system [ there are plenty looking for a secret  ]

Betfair markets are efficent markets only the strong will survive .

Create your own systems I have 2 now which have delivered over 3% per day for 4 months , they will be useless in a week or so !!
By:
DFCIRONMAN
When: 30 Jun 10 19:39
Beefie -  you say -

The market works out what you are doing.  On here that can happen fairly quickly.  You might be surprised (although being a software engineer it's unlikely) at the sophisticated tools aimed at the exchange.  I myself use a number of AI products.  These can identify new entrants and strategies being executed in particular markets fairly quickly.  You also have the Chaos effect.  Someone executing a new strategy with just £2 bets has a significantly greater impact than the butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon.
===================================================================================

I've suspected that for some time on here....so deliberately put on extra bets to try to "confuse" whoever is trying to work-out a strstegy being applied to a race.DevilLaugh
By:
DFCIRONMAN
When: 30 Jun 10 19:41
For those who did not know what "confirmation bias" is.....this might help -
=========================================================================
confirmation bias
"It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives." --Francis Bacon
Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one's beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one's beliefs. For example, if you believe that during a full moon there is an increase in admissions to the emergency room where you work, you will take notice of admissions during a full moon, but be inattentive to the moon when admissions occur during other nights of the month. A tendency to do this over time unjustifiably strengthens your belief in the relationship between the full moon and accidents and other lunar effects.

This tendency to give more attention and weight to data that support our beliefs than we do to contrary data is especially pernicious when our beliefs are little more than prejudices. If our beliefs are firmly established on solid evidence and valid confirmatory experiments, the tendency to give more attention and weight to data that fit with our beliefs should not lead us astray as a rule. Of course, if we become blinded to evidence truly refuting a favored hypothesis, we have crossed the line from reasonableness to closed-mindedness.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that people generally give an excessive amount of value to confirmatory information, that is, to positive or supportive data. The "most likely reason for the excessive influence of confirmatory information is that it is easier to deal with cognitively" (Gilovich 1993). It is much easier to see how a piece of data supports a position than it is to see how it might count against the position. Consider a typical ESP experiment or a seemingly clairvoyant dream: Successes are often unambiguous or data are easily massaged to count as successes, while negative instances require intellectual effort to even see them as negative or to consider them as significant. The tendency to give more attention and weight to the positive and the confirmatory has been shown to influence memory. When digging into our memories for data relevant to a position, we are more likely to recall data that confirms the position (ibid.).

Researchers are sometimes guilty of confirmation bias by setting up experiments or framing their data in ways that will tend to confirm their hypotheses. They compound the problem by proceeding in ways that avoid dealing with data that would contradict their hypotheses. For example, some parapsychologists used to engage in optional starting and stopping in their ESP research. Experimenters might avoid or reduce confirmation bias by collaborating in experimental design with colleagues who hold contrary hypotheses, as Richard Wiseman (skeptic) and Marilyn Schlitz (proponent) have done.* Individuals have to constantly remind themselves of this tendency and actively seek out data contrary to their beliefs. Since this is unnatural, it appears that the ordinary person is doomed to bias.
By:
DaveEdwards
When: 30 Jun 10 19:44
TOTGA, if you feel you have an issue with discipline then go to amazon and take a look at some books on there about the pyschology of trading. Written with the stock market in mind, but I'm sure you'll find some of the ideas applicable to what you do here.

I actually own some, but haven't had time to read them as yet so can't offer an opinion.

Might be helpful research for you.
By:
brendanuk1
When: 30 Jun 10 20:26
Best way to improve discipline is to do it and learn. Everyone is different and will lose discipline in different ways. You have to understand yourself and why you behave in certain ways under certain conditions
By:
Beefie
When: 01 Jul 10 12:13
beetle

Thanks for the pointer to "Empirical Intuition" - very interesting.

DCFIRONMAN

I find your deliberate extra "confusing" bets fascinating.  I'm having great difficulty, though, trying to work out if that strategy would work.  On the one hand, on the assumption (that I hope is correct!) it is not possible to attribute all bets that an individual makes back to that individual, would not the "confusing" bets just add to the general chaos of the market?  Having said that, creating greater chaos would make picking out particular strategies more difficult.

If my assumption is incorrect, and someone is able to mimic everything you individually do, would they not just mimic your "confusing" bets as well as your strategic bets, and still end up with the same net result as yourself?

Have you been able to establish whether or not it works? - I imagine not easy to do empirically.
By:
getintheir
When: 01 Jul 10 12:35
best thing to do is get everything you own and put it on a short price cert and dont bet ever again. stop wasting your facking time..
By:
REM
When: 01 Jul 10 15:16
Or do something original...

I just layed 9 horses to place in a 13 runner race!

Shocked

coz my spreadsheet said just do it.

Laugh
By:
rod hull
When: 01 Jul 10 18:16
you have a talking spreadsheet from Nike? I want one.
By:
sticky butt
When: 01 Jul 10 18:33
you can see my thread on this section"ive turned £350 into £1500" it took me 6 months to reach my 1st target, biggest advice i would give is dont bet more thsan 3% of your bank, simples [;)]
By:
sticky butt
When: 01 Jul 10 18:36
* up to 5% , i mean
By:
Grok
When: 02 Jul 10 13:46
Bang goes the thread! [smiley:crazy]
By:
clacherholiday2
When: 02 Jul 10 14:33
ive posted a few times why the bookies make the cash and how we can replicate it.

its not that the winners dont share, its that the losers dont know how to listen, it took me 5 years to figure it out and ive no doubt others are using the same approach, nobody wants to hear it.
By:
REM
When: 02 Jul 10 15:31
My spreadsheet was spot on yesterday.

Today it expects me to lay 8 horses to place in a 10 runner hcap.

Laugh

Something don't compute, but the system works!
By:
REM
When: 02 Jul 10 15:45
Ducked that one and missed out on 2.68 pt profit as 6 of 8 horses didn't place.

Shocked

(I've created a monster that I can't control.)
By:
starship
When: 02 Jul 10 21:08
i know a guy
no systems
all he does is puts the work in
has people in the shops
bets on here
and he and his putters oners all get a good living.
i know him well. but i am juust too big headed to listen to him
i will one day.
one of the best judges in the greyhound game
By:
The Betfairy
When: 02 Jul 10 21:35
One other contrary point I realised is that bookmaker's adopt a "betting strategy" of laying over-round, which seems to have stood up to a few hundred years of hammering... why does that strategy survive being in the open, and others do not?

High street bookmaking is less about bookmaking than it is about marketing, imho - hence the reason for the PP Cashback adverts.  The game for them is attracting as many mug punters as possible, then taking advantage of the prices they themselves set.

On Betfair such a method is impossible since there is no one bookmaker.  To take advantage on an open system such as this one has to find advantage across multiple markets, not just one.
By:
clacherholiday2
When: 03 Jul 10 00:29
One other contrary point I realised is that bookmaker's adopt a "betting strategy" of laying over-round, which seems to have stood up to a few hundred years of hammering... why does that strategy survive being in the open, and others do not?


One of the biggest myths surrounding traditional bookmakers is that they try to manipulate prices to green up, they arent traders ffs, on almost every single market bookmakers carry a red and often its a big red on the fav.

Posted the numbers on here for two weekends in a row, the stakes placed with a high street bookamkers on a weekends round of premiership games (used to odds compile). 

Liverpool were priced at 1.33 to beat Birmingham at home, they took over 95% of the markets money (almost all teams with odds below 4/6 will take about 90% of a games cash), if the books were looking to create a market based on the cash they were taking and thus create and all green book, then Birmingham and the Draw would both have been high double figure prices and Liverpool wouldve come right in, none of the prices drifted at all.

How do we replicate the books on here to achieve their gains?  Well it IS the case that virtually every single fav is a red for the bookmakers but of course simply laying them all is an utter lottery, the winner for the books is the fact that the liabilities on each vary randomly.  Manchester United @1/3 wont necessarily take more money than Leeds United @1/3, they make their money by gambling that punters will simply get it wrong in the long run, the overall opinion of punters is reflected in the stakes they will place on a game.

In our terms as betfair punters.. their market reds are our stakes, they're simply varying their liabilities in the same way a good punter would vary the size of their bets based on the value that odds available offer.  For the bookmakers, the more punters think an outcome will happen the greater the value lay it is for them, theres no reason we cant do the same on here.  The more people think an event will happen the greater value it is to say it wont, its important that the weight of money in a market doesnt mean a thing ON BETFAIR (hence why I mentioned Man Utd and Leeds Utd above, obviously there will be more money floating around in the Premiership market by a hell of alot of people who arent gamblers).. getting that 'data' isnt easy, but isnt impossible, you just need to become a good judge of punters opinions rather than a good judge of sporting events.

Theory applies to any market on here, in the long run people get it wrong, its just taking advantage of them which is the problem for anybody looking to replicate their profits.  From my numbers football punters are the worst (and the sport itself offers the greatest potential for random outcomes, coupled with liquidity, its a good opportunity), so I concentrate on football, bookmakers however will take bets on anything.
By:
DaveEdwards
When: 03 Jul 10 07:49
What makes betfair such a beautiful thing is that the markets are full of inefficiencies. Perfect knowledge simply does not exist unless you already know the outcome of an event. Most people find it impossible to correctly deal with the contextual data that surrounds an event like a football match.

Nobody can know everything that will influence the outcome of an event, but you can at least learn from things that do happen and apply them the next time you see a similar situation.

Last nights Uruguay v Ghana was a true masterclass in sports betting for more than one reason. I posted a thread in the football forum saying this. Nil replies. People more interested in talking about cheating etc.

The football markets will always be riddled with inefficiencies because an awful lot of people just don't know what they are doing. And long may it continue.
By:
askari1
When: 03 Jul 10 10:19
Imv some winners share but very few give w/ an open hand. And if someone has a hundreds of thousands turnover strategy yielding 0.8% negatively correlated w/ yr main strategy yielding slightly more, then you might well be tempted to swap.

On the Investor's point, to the contrary I think it very probable that a long-term skill-based winning punter will be able to show statistically that it is highly unlikely he is up through luck. The p-value (chance of achieving the same result randomly) on his series of bets will be v. small. This is the kind of strategy that is typically not shared.
By:
Trevh
When: 03 Jul 10 12:36
clacherholiday2  03 Jul 10 00:29   

One of the biggest myths surrounding traditional bookmakers is that they try to manipulate prices to green up, they arent traders ffs, on almost every single market bookmakers carry a red and often its a big red on the fav.


I am one of those myth believers, I cannot believe bookmakers carry a large red on favourites, that would be gambling and bookmakers don't need to gamble, if they have a large red favourite they will shorten the price even more and back some back at a larger price on BF - who wouldn't?

Whill is currently offering 1.14 Serena Williams / BF 1.21

Whill Nadal 1.3 / BF 1.37

A license to print.
By:
Matthew Webb
When: 03 Jul 10 12:58
They do gamble because if the prices are consistently so much lower than reality there is no need to create a level book and it's also impossible if everyone wants to bet on the favourite.

I like Clacherholiday2's point and I think it's true but then you look at the 42 games in the prem that were priced 1.25 and under and only 3 of them didn't win...
By:
rod hull
When: 03 Jul 10 13:02
clacherholiday2 is right imo. I remember a week a couple of seasons ago when champions league football was on. I think it was all 14 favourites won over the two days and the bookies were complaining about having to pay out around £20m to punters.

they had a big red of the favs that day!
By:
rod hull
When: 03 Jul 10 13:03
*on the favs.
By:
clacherholiday2
When: 03 Jul 10 13:34
Yeah rod they do get days like that.

Trev- The %'s I posted above for the Liverpool v Birmingham game were 100% accurate because I was looking at the Billy Mountains data first hand, 95% of the millions they took on that game went on Liverpool yet the price stayed at 1.33.  Almost every premiership game that had a side below 4/6 takes almost 90% of the markets cash and often foreign/lower league/Scottish games will take that % on the favorite for any odds on team.

They don't make their huge profits (the % of profits they pay towards overheads, licensing and tax make their profits even more staggering) because they green out, they make their profits by letting punters decide the value of each 'bet' they place and letting them run.  The fact they offer rubbish odds is almost negligible, they could probably offer higher prices and still show massive returns, which has been staring all of us and the rest of the world in the face since for decades.

Heres a snippet into my world of % punting, taking into account that I love to lay punters opinions.  I know that around 35% of all the money spent on yesterdays afternoon game first goalscorer market was on Arjen Robben @7.8, punters are thick and love a big name, they wouldve had him ahead of Robinho and Fabiano in the market, so I turn that into a bet like this...

35% of the cash went on Robben, so in a true 100% market the punters think he should be 2.86 and not 7.8.. to work out how much I should lay him for I do =sum(1/punters opinion)*market price)  so (1/2.86)*7.8 = 2.73... so the punters have decided that I should place 2.73*my stake on that lay.

In the Brazil game, about 55% of the cash in the market went on them, Brazil were 2.1 when I put my money down, punters thought they should be 1.82.

(1/1.82)*2.1 = 1.16  so that tells me they think Brazils chances are only slightly out from the odds available.  I then multiply my stake in that market by 1.16 for a lay. 

How I gather my data, how much I stake in each market (a hell of alot more in the 90mins than first goal) and legwork I put in is my edge (and thus a sworn secret), me telling you how bookmakers make their money is irrelevant, its there for everybody to see.  The fact is that nobody can predict the future and form/stats can only tell you what happened in the past, we cant bet on that, so the more people think an event will occur in the future the more me and the thousands of bookmakers out there are willing to say it wont.

Theres no way for me to prove it, it should just be accepted as a fact that all the books carry negatives on every market for that very reason.

As for those Tennis prices, I really dont see where the books lose on these games tbh, theyve probably made about 10x the liabilities they will carry on those two players on Murray and Fed being knocked out.
By:
clacherholiday2
When: 03 Jul 10 13:44
DaveEdwards-  Unless you adopt a betting strategy like mine for football, theres no way to win in the long run, the game is far too random.

It's the only gambling sport in the world where one individual bad ref call or piece of brilliance can change the result of a game, regular events that cannot be predicted.

In Tennis, Nadal might play one amazing sweeping cross court shot out of nowhere that creeps inside the line that leaves everybody gasping, his reward is just 1 of the 72 points minimum he needs to win a grand slam match, if on the same point the judge calls it out then he has only lost 1 of the 72 point min, neither his brilliance or the judges error have impacted directly on the final result.. each individual point is almost irrelevant.

In this afternoons football, Messi might skin 10 players and nutmeg the goalie in the 1st minute, similar to Nadal he will have produced an outstanding piece of individual skill, yet his 1 goal will be enough to win the game.  Much like a referee can, a Ref could get one call wrong and disallow a goal or award of penalty in error, these factors change a games result in football as in no other sport, teams only need 1 goal to win a game, these random events cannot be predicted through reading form.

There must be markets out there, probably with the spreads, where punters opinions can be truly tested, but the 90 mins, correct score, ht/ft etc are mine fields for punters and dreams for layers of punters opinions.  Which piece of form leading upto the Ghana v Uruguay game said that just before half time Ghana would shoot form 40 yards and score?  OR that in ET Suarez would handball on the line and Ghana would then miss a pen?  All pretty random events that changed the outcome of the game, in no other sport can one individual error/piece of skill, change the outcome directly.
By:
Matthew Webb
When: 03 Jul 10 14:49
You make somre very good point clacher and long trm you are right.

The world cup however has been pretty predictable overall. Have you had many bets on that? I can only really think of the Spain game and Italy games that have gone masisvely against opinion...
By:
Trevh
When: 03 Jul 10 14:53
Nice replies Clacher, I like your way of thinking, but I still don't believe bookies would consistently leave themselves open to large losses (even though they always lay at very good value) as the likes of Federer would have cost them millions over the years, they wouldn't want to risk paying out on every Wimbledon for say 6 years when they could hedge and have a profit every year, IMO.
By:
REM
When: 03 Jul 10 15:40
Must agree that football is a bookies dream. A low scoring game that is wonderfully consistent long term, but wildly unpredictable short term. Mistakes are few and far between. There are a couple that they repeat and this WC has seen plenty.
By:
askari1
When: 03 Jul 10 16:01
clacher, even if you have info. from one bookmaker on %age of punters' money staked on a particular outcome, it seems perilous to me to assume that the fraction of punters' opinions you observe represents punters' views in their entirety.

You seem to be discounting the non-recreational money that will be attracted to your firm when they go a standout price.

Do you think that anyone who consistently takes such prices does not get on, or only gets on in insignificant amounts, so are not worth thinking about, or do you bet exclusively in markets where the exchange price almost always beats bm s? e.g. scorecast, goalscorers?
By:
The Investor
When: 03 Jul 10 16:22
askari1 Joined: 29 Nov 01
[...]

On the Investor's point, to the contrary I think it very probable that a long-term skill-based winning punter will be able to show statistically that it is highly unlikely he is up through luck. The p-value (chance of achieving the same result randomly) on his series of bets will be v. small. This is the kind of strategy that is typically not shared.


I agree with that, but that's not proof. I can say that if you have little volatility in your PnL, it will be easier to show with a high degree of certainty that it is due to skill. If volatility is very high and your perceived edge is small, this could be close to impossible even over thousands of bets.
By:
Matthew Webb
When: 03 Jul 10 16:27
Clacher, what do you think about the Spain game later? Over 90% of cash has gone on Spain and the odds are 1.48 thus suggesting they should be a 1.1 shot (think that's right). Surely you're not laying Spain tho tonight are you? ;)
By:
Trevh
When: 03 Jul 10 17:06
Why are you assuming that backers money is more important than layers money though? If 90% went on a fave of say odds 3.0, 66% of the matched money would be laying.

Reference predictable WC matches, laying every fave (odds
By:
Trevh
When: 03 Jul 10 17:10
... (odds 2.4 or less at ko) would have paid 8 points profit so far, so not that predictable.
By:
Matthew Webb
When: 03 Jul 10 17:24
Yes, sorry I think I was speaking from a personal point of view in it being predictable not from backing favs viewpoint.
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