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18 Jun 12 20:12
Date Joined: 11 Nov 11
| Topic/replies: 767 | Blogger: catflappo's blog
Well done to whoever has been tucking my bot up recently on the correct score 2 markets.

Just goes to show that the sharp minds are still out there.
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Report TheInvestor2 June 18, 2012 8:38 PM BST
What did it cost you?
Report catflappo June 18, 2012 9:03 PM BST
At least 7k.  Was it you? Tongue Out
Report gus June 19, 2012 10:01 AM BST
Darwinism in it's purest form.
Evolve catflaqpo, evolve Happy
Report catflappo June 19, 2012 11:38 AM BST
Agreed, I have applied the required genetic engineering.
Report gus June 19, 2012 12:18 PM BST
you'll thank me for my advice when you re-emerge as tigerflaqpo
Report slartibartfast June 19, 2012 1:49 PM BST
My dear old daddy, god rest his soul, used to say "there is always someone smarter than you think you are, further down the road". Love
Report catflappo June 19, 2012 2:08 PM BST
The tigerflappo days are over, Gus, my niche is now saturated.  I'm more like ****flappo now but that surely wouldn't get past the moderators? Whoops
Report catflappo June 19, 2012 2:09 PM BST
Report Dr Syns Bed Chamber June 19, 2012 3:35 PM BST
Wasn't me, but I have layed correct scores in the main market and done very well, as well as time of first goal. Think the limited information teams is meaning bigger errors in the odds if you have a sharp eye.
Report TheInvestor2 June 19, 2012 6:02 PM BST
No cat, don't do much in CS2, especially lately.

Were you blindly putting small bets in front of large chunks without knowing price and being manipulated? I would guess if you know price, you can't lose like that?
Report catflappo June 19, 2012 7:08 PM BST
No, it's been wildly laying at very high odds for £2 on runners that would have been trading odd on.  And people say there's no value here!

It's a bug in the code, what I'm not sure about is whether someone has figured out how to trigger it or it just happens unprovoked.
Report subversion June 19, 2012 9:55 PM BST
and to think people believe bots are a license to print money

if you are a non-expert coder, building your own bot can be an excellent way of p!ssing your money away in a very efficient and automated fashion
Report BJT June 20, 2012 4:15 AM BST
Well if you are just letting your bot blindly jump in front of what is on offer, then of course somebody will tempt it to see how high it goes so they can take it.  Not sure why they would bother for 2 bucks, but if it is a loop code, then I guess 1000 clicks and the get 2000 matched at juice...

Sharp minds?  Please..
Report catflappo June 20, 2012 6:12 AM BST
If you can tempt a bot to lay £2 at 1000 it's very worthwhile bothering :p
Report gus June 20, 2012 1:10 PM BST
i suppose it depends on what your Bot is attempting to achieve, but the first thing i ever do in a Bot that Lays is put in a maxLiability per Bet routine (and usually a maxLayPrice as well).

of course that might not fit everyone's strategy, but i wouldn't like to leave a bot running that didn't have one or the other, and preferably, both!
Report catflappo June 20, 2012 4:41 PM BST
It has a max liability but for some reason ignores it occasionally.  I don't set a maximin price because I'm happy to lay all the way up to 1000
Report gus June 20, 2012 5:30 PM BST
Report henok June 20, 2012 6:28 PM BST
It has a max liability but for some reason ignores it occasionall
are u sure it is a bot?
Report catflappo June 20, 2012 6:39 PM BST
Perhaps it is a botette?
Report Mr Magoo June 20, 2012 10:20 PM BST
I wish Betfair had a max loss limit per-market. This would stop broken bots, fat fingers (accidentally typed an extra digit in your stake?) or dumb mistakes (lay instead of back?)

Of course, they don't care.
Report subversion June 20, 2012 11:29 PM BST
all software has bugs

you either build your bot with that in mind, or suffer the consequences
Report Cooee June 21, 2012 12:48 AM BST
Magoo, can't you solve the fat fingers problem simply by moving a large part of your money to the Australian wallet? It's still available within seconds, if you need it, but it prevents you from being able to add an extra zero by mistake.

And laying instead of backing you can usually reverse almost immediately (for a small loss). Sometimes you have to act quickly, but there's no excuse for not double and triple-checking your bets just after you've placed them.
Report Trevh June 21, 2012 1:23 AM BST
I rely on the 'max liability per click' function of Gruss quite often. How some of you that just use the website manage to survive let alone make money I'll never know.
Report Mr Magoo June 21, 2012 10:28 AM BST
Well, the shuffling money between UK/AUS wallets does prevent this but it's really cumbersome and slow, I can't imagine that being practical for many people.

As for "there's no excuse for not double and triple-checking your bets", that's just another way of saying "don't make mistakes, idiot!" We all make mistakes, and you can see from crazy prices being matched daily on Betfair that mistaken bets happen all the time. Betfair would be doing something useful for their customers if they added some (optional) ways to protect against dumb errors.
Report catflappo June 21, 2012 12:34 PM BST
Yes people do make mistakes and it does nt make them idiots.  Betfair provide the api which means anyone can have an interface built that has as many checks as they want.
Report Cooee June 21, 2012 12:50 PM BST
But I never said 'don't make mistakes'. I understand that we sometimes make mistakes when we're under pressure and chasing down a certain price. However, most of us will be able to find a few seconds after we've placed the bet, and we can then calmly go through a quick checklist and make sure we've got the right selection, that we've backed when we intended to back, that we've put the right amount on etc...   Most us will only occasionally make a mistake when we place the bet, so it only needs one more thorough set of checks (albeit one that's only going to take 15, 20, 30 seconds) at the other end to pretty much eliminate the chance of human error.

And, as Trev rightly points out, there are already effective ways of cutting your maximum liability, which would eliminate a number of these problems. If the Betfair interface doesn't offer these facilities as standard, then that's just good news for those who go that bit extra to ensure they have the best interface, the best safeguards etc.
Report Mr Magoo June 22, 2012 11:15 AM BST
"Don't make mistakes" is a great summary of your first paragraph, actually!

Yes, everyone can do better checks, but wouldn't it be nice if the website had options to do extra checks for you as well? If these protections were on by default, many mistakes would be saved and people wouldn't be out of pocket. What's more, mistakes are most likely to be made by newcomers to Betfair, these are potential long-term customers who are going to be massively p*ssed off with the site if they accidentally back something at 1.01 by mistake or bet ten times what they meant to.

Naturally, it's great news for app developers if Betfair's site lacks features, but that's not a good reason for Betfair to avoid helping their customers.
Report Cooee June 22, 2012 12:35 PM BST
"Don't make mistakes" is a great summary of your first paragraph, actually!

Erm, no it isn't...  A 'great summary' of my first paragraph would be to have a second set of procedures that you follow after the bet has been placed, so that you can pick up on and correct any mistakes you made while placing the bet. That's certainly not the same as saying 'don't make mistakes'. In fact, I'd say it pretty much acknowledges that we do make mistakes, but that we need to have some system in place to catch those mistakes when they happen!

A lot of newbie mistakes couldn't possibly be corrected by Betfair - there's no way that they can determine that you backed the wrong horse, for instance, which is certainly the big mistake I made twice. (Although one of those times worked out rather well!)  The only way Betfair can help users not to 'back at 1.01' is to have a warning pop up that tells you when you're betting under a certain price (1.20, 1.10 etc). However, I suspect most users would switch such a feature off very quickly - just as soon as the extra prompt delayed them and caused them to perhaps miss a better price.  Laying is turned off for newbies as default, and if they want to switch on the lay markets as well, they owe it to themselves to be very careful about what markets they're dabbling in. Again, any 'helpful prompts' from Betfair might well be switched off for being intrusive.

The only way that Betfair could correct a number of these problems is to allow you to set a maximum liability on your bets. However, that could easily be used as a means of adding extra discipline and making it easier to control chasing. As long as, with one simple click, you can bet ten times your usual amount on a horse in order to 'win it all back', the chasing bug is going to be hard for many to rid themselves of. And Betfair don't want to discourage chasing, since that's how the majority of small-time punters hand their money over to the whales.
Report Mr Magoo June 22, 2012 2:31 PM BST
I had assumed you were speaking of these checks as if you went through them before confirming the bet. If you have such a checklist of procedures to follow and did so religiously, then it would make sense to do them before confirming the bet and not after! But once more, it all summarises down to doing your best not to make mistakes, and the evidence is there that lots of people make mistakes on Betfair. Many of these mistakes could be caught with very simple automatic checks that wouldn't be hard for Betfair to implement.

I'm not saying that all mistakes could be caught by Betfair, but that's no reason to avoid trying to catch *any* mistakes, like you seem to suggest.

The 1.01 comment is a bit of a digression on my part, but there was talk a while ago on here about how you could prevent dumb errors like that here, e.g. pre-race on Betfair, if someone enters in a bet that would be matched some distance away from current/most recent prices, then the website could flag this up and double check with the user that that's what they really want to do. e.g. if a horse is trading around 7.0 and a user whacks in a large bet at 4.0, a lot of it is likely to be matched at low odds if the market liquidity is low. Every day, you can see crazy low spikes on the traded prices graphs were people were taking terrible odds on horses. An optional check by Betfair could point punters away from such mistakes. This is entirely separate from max liability checks.

Once again, these checks, these per-market liability limits would all be *optional* so anyone who didn't want them could turn them off. Chasing doesn't come into it. Punters would always be able to do everything they can now, but would have some automatic sanity checking that might save their wallets. Who wouldn't want that?
Report Coachbuster June 22, 2012 3:12 PM BST
Mr Magoo     21 Jun 12 10:28 
Well, the shuffling money between UK/AUS wallets does prevent this but it's really cumbersome and slow

why go to that trouble ? ,just stick your bank meantime on a dead market as liability - simples
Report Cooee June 22, 2012 6:10 PM BST
Well it does make sense to go through the procedures before you place the bet, except that time is quite precious and many of us (I suspect) are scampering to get the best price or trying to stick money on before the event goes off. I will, as a matter of course, keep glancing at my screen as I'm putting in the bet, and I'll hopefully see most errors before I make them - only last week I added an extra zero by mistake, but luckily saw this and took it out before hitting the button.   However, once you've placed the bet, there's little harm in taking out a few extra non-pressurised seconds to go through a pre-written checklist.  I spend about 20 seconds doing this and, generally, when I've made a mistake, I've got time left to fix it.

Having said that, I am/was a proof-reader/copy editor by trade, so I'm probably a little more anal about those things than your typical Betfair punter.
Report TheVis June 22, 2012 6:35 PM BST
20 secs to check you placed the right bet?  Must be one hell of a checklist Silly
Report gus June 22, 2012 8:47 PM BST
11 secs per furlong over 5f ... they'd be passing the post before  i'd put my glasses on and found my checklist down the back of the sofa ... onions, washing up liquid, DON'T FORGET LIGHT BULBS!!! ... oh hell Sad
Report catflappo February 3, 2013 10:49 AM GMT
Update: after wracking my brains trying to figure out how ive been outwitted, I found a really,  really stupid bug at the root of it all.
So fair play to those who've benefitted from my occasional gift but the game's up now.
I might just for a laugh (not mine!) work out how much it's cost me....
Report Contrarian3 February 3, 2013 11:15 AM GMT

What language do you develop in?
Report catflappo February 3, 2013 11:21 AM GMT
Report Andriy February 3, 2013 11:42 AM GMT
Was this the one that kept laying 6-0 before the Arsenal Liverpool game last midweek to a very significant liability?
Report catflappo February 3, 2013 11:46 AM GMT
No, mine was laying £2 at 940 on an outcome so probable that all the 1.01 had gone.
Report aye robot February 3, 2013 2:49 PM GMT
Occasional c0ck ups are a cost of doing business, we all get them. I got caught out a few times betting into french races when BF forgot to append "FRA" to the market name, that and PA races. In the beginning I didn't have safeguards against late withdrawals that don't get taken out before the race goes in running, that cost me too. I've got code to prevent that kind of thing now but something new happens every once in a while and you get stung, it's bound to happen.

Someone will have won a bit of money as the result of my mistakes but they just got lucky, I don't think anyone's ever been able to exploit them deliberately. Chances are it's the same for Catflappo. I've though about how to do that a lot and I have dabbled in it a little because the idea of ripping off other people's bots is very appealing. However the reality is that whilst it's possible to trick people's bots into making poor value bets actually matching those bets yourself and making enough to cover the cost of the "spoof" is another matter. 

A few people will write really stupid bots that can easily be spoofed but there's never going to be much money in that because those people don't have much money and because even stupid people switch off bots that lose. Anyone with the brains to make a decent amount of money here will have the sense to keep the vast bulk of it safe.
Report manxy February 5, 2013 7:47 AM GMT
aye ya got a few k in account, keep 10 percent or whatever you need liquid, tie the rest up on a market like the prem, ask for 1000 [999/1] on united to win the league, for as much as you want, no-one will take the bet, and you can release the money with on click of cancel should you need it whilst working/betting, and theres always the chance that some mug like catflappos bot will match a portion to be traded back for a large percentage  profit.

some bots have always been easy to exploit, especially the one/s that leap-frog infront, ya just marched it out to its price limit on a runner, to a point where it stopped leaping infront, take it for 20/30/40 pounds worth of 2 and 3  pound bets, then march it in, in price, and trade out, ofcourse now they have time belays to make it a labourious process taking them for a few quid, but 6 or 7 years ago you could make 25/30 quid an hour out of them.
Report catflappo February 6, 2013 9:16 PM GMT
£13,146 this bug has cost me.  I'm slightly surprised it is such a low figure, the bug must basically have remained dormant for about 6 years.  It reminds me of something an ex-colleague said once, "even bug-free code has bugs in it".
Report Gin February 7, 2013 9:12 AM GMT
From what you have described cat', it seems you were pretty lucky! It must be all that good karma you have built up! Wink
Report catflappo February 7, 2013 10:28 AM GMT
Ha ha, I doubt it but it would be nice to think the beneficiaries were worthy.
Report scaredmoney February 7, 2013 1:32 PM GMT
Taking the Mrs to Paris for a long weekend

Report lanza February 7, 2013 3:37 PM GMT
im Spartacus.  Cool
Report hello :-) February 28, 2013 2:11 PM GMT
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