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Charlie
07 Dec 16 18:48
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Date Joined: 01 Dec 01
| Topic/replies: 34,994 | Blogger: Charlie's blog
I keep hearing bots are ruining the exchange and that nobody can win. Why not? What do they do that is spoiling it for the humans? I don't believe it myself so would like to hear you opinions.

I hear things like queue jumping as in placing bets higher/lower than your good selves but I still don't get it.

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Replies: 105
By:
Barton Bank
When: 07 Dec 16 20:16
Some people find it mildly irritatng that they cannot leave a bet of any size in the system because people have programmed robots to jump in front of them.
By:
Charlie
When: 07 Dec 16 20:29
Obviously these people thought their offer was good for them but the bot doesn't. Anyone on other side shouldn't complain.
By:
Barton Bank
When: 07 Dec 16 20:37
They have effectively killed the pre-race markets because eveeryone just gives up.
By:
Charlie
When: 07 Dec 16 20:42
Interesting. So people put up bets with their perceived margin and bots spoil it? Is that right?
By:
Barton Bank
When: 07 Dec 16 20:55
People used to put up bets, the bots were programmed to jump in front of them and then the punters by and large deceided it wasn't worth bothering as you can't offer a price now. That's my take on it.
By:
Charlie
When: 07 Dec 16 21:05
And bots are always right? If I offered a price and a bot continually jumped in front of me then why not back the other side? Aren't bots just making a market? Isn't this just a way of sorting those who know a true price from those who don't?
By:
Charlie
When: 07 Dec 16 21:10
A true price being subjective of course as there's no such thing.
By:
zoom_top
When: 08 Dec 16 01:37
Bots cannot actually identify the winner (I believe) so their role must be in trading. I don't use them because of that. I find them very difficult to understand even after exploring different ones. They are not, I believe, a 'magic bullet' as they would have you believe. It is mathematically impossible for all punters involved in the outcome of a football match or a horse race, to win. I'm sure, Charlie, that you are trying to find out how these things work but it's posible that people either don't know or are not prepared to reveal. Intense scrutiny is not the hallmark of the betfair forum.
By:
trader pj
When: 08 Dec 16 08:44
bots can often distort markets. on the NZ cricket matches the price kept moving in to 1.5 and then back out to 1.6 for no reason whatsoever out of hours of play - all bot driven - in a funny way this creates opportunities for astute human beings :-)
By:
Coachbuster
When: 08 Dec 16 13:37
The problem with bots in the early markets is they don't offer value most of the time (this is where they come into their own -offering terrible value ) - only when you stick up a realistic price do the bots then jump in front of you .
If bots offered value the whole time then most wouldn't have a problem with them .
By:
Swedebank
When: 08 Dec 16 14:37
An algorithm never gives away value. Markets with bots tend to be very boring and i think that this fact plays a small role when it comes to the liquidity we see. Nothing unexpected happens unless there is a big backer comming in at a higher price in play and you can munch him up before the bots move up.I remember the first ones that appeared on the smaller basketball markets for 4-5 years ago, they annoyed the hell out of me. A market like total points in basketball is totally ruined by the bots and i never bother with looking at them any more
By:
Charlie
When: 08 Dec 16 16:32
Thanks for replies.
Hope I didn't mislead people with title of thread. Should have been something like: Why do people dislike bots?

If I've interpreted replies correctly it's because they put more accurate prices up, especially early ones, than people. E.g. if they think (not that bots think) a price is too high they put in a lower offer. So the person who put up the earlier price was trying to get matched by a non-savvy person and bots spoil this.

Is that a fair summary by me?
By:
Mr Magoo
When: 08 Dec 16 18:35
How can bots be both 'offering terrible value' and 'jumping in front of people's bets'?

If the bots are terrible value, then the 'real people' bets must be even worse value.
By:
Coachbuster
When: 08 Dec 16 19:22
Magoo- my assumption is -  The bots we are talking about (the 'rogue' bots ) are not used as a tool for making a profit by using betting skills or edges , they are simply used by someone with a lot of money  in order to cover all the games giving low value but only give better odds if pushed .

They don't serve a useful purpose to the buyer - if they weren't there the buyer would  place their bet at a bookies where they might get some value , or not back at all.

The manual layer of bets can't be everywhere at once, unless they have similar mountains of cash
By:
Charlie
When: 08 Dec 16 20:02
I think I've got my head around this now.

Starting from bookie prices and adjusting for over-round and long shot aversion bots are programmed to keep offering odds until the adjusted prices are met. As adjusted bookie prices form an efficient market (zero sum) this leaves no fat for anyone else.
By:
Charlie
When: 08 Dec 16 20:23
Presumably different algorithms are used to calculate what prices to offer which can result in mini bot wars. For quite a few sports well known in-play algorithms are used to calculate what constitutes a profitable offer.
By:
pxb
When: 09 Dec 16 01:45
Bots don't do anything humans can't. They just do it faster and with potentially many repetitions.

I have in the past kept going in front of a bot until it stopped going in front of me. Then, as that was the best price the bot would offer, I took it. Only works in illiquid markets, but I can have big positions in these markets and want to spread my risks.

Bots are a benefit to punters but not to traders. Which is where the whining comes from.
By:
trader pj
When: 09 Dec 16 09:55
I am 100% confident I could out-perform any bot via discretionary betting over a 5 day test match. The bot hasn't got a chance against nuanced judgements that the human mind can make
By:
trader pj
When: 09 Dec 16 09:59
in the early days of bots there was one that operated in the T20s - it was laughable and big bets. The forum boys all called it "Mr Lumpy". I assume that it was a bot, the only other alternative is somebody very rich and stoned
By:
Coachbuster
When: 09 Dec 16 10:13
Bots are a benefit to punters but not to traders
____________

They most certainly are a benefit -   but only if you know what you're buying ...otherwise they often  catch out the unwary by offering very poor prices
By:
TheBaron
When: 09 Dec 16 10:33
The assumption seems to be that bots are very clever and always know what they are doing.  I get the impression from horse racing that some are just running on a suck it and see basis ie somebody thinks I might make a profit work if  shove the price around in this manner.  I often see the same thing happening for a few days or weeks then it stops.  Obviously wasn't that profitable.
By:
lewisham ranger
When: 10 Dec 16 23:07
trader pj 09 Dec 16 09:55 Joined: 13 Nov 02 | Topic/replies: 6,423 | Blogger: trader pj's blog
I am 100% confident I could out-perform any bot via discretionary betting over a 5 day test match. The bot hasn't got a chance against nuanced judgements that the human mind can make


I'm sure that's right although once an exchange goes down the path of becoming automated it's hard to go backwards. I wouldn't be surprised if software were to emerge in the future which would out perform and have better judgement than any gambler, which would rather change the game somewhat as said software is likely to become widely available.
By:
fixed
When: 11 Dec 16 03:24
bots are machines and operate with ever increasing speed, but this has absolutely nothing (ZERO) to do with judgement

good excuse though for all the almost winners here: i am the greatest, it's the bots fault
By:
lewisham ranger
When: 11 Dec 16 10:12

fixed 11 Dec 16 03:24 Joined: 11 Apr 06 | Topic/replies: 244 | Blogger: fixed's blog
bots are machines and operate with ever increasing speed, but this has absolutely nothing (ZERO) to do with judgement

good excuse though for all the almost winners here: i am the greatest, it's the bots fault

You miss my point- that AI software can be developed in future that will outstrip gamblers when it comes to judgement
By:
Coachbuster
When: 11 Dec 16 10:27
if software were to emerge in the future which would out perform and have better judgement than any gambler
_____________

that would be impossible - Lewisham is very much correct there
By:
Coachbuster
When: 11 Dec 16 10:28
The bookies may well use an automated approach  but they allow built in margins to start with .

Even they have to ban proftable gamblers .
By:
Coachbuster
When: 11 Dec 16 10:30
sorry ,i meant pj was correct  .
By:
trader pj
When: 11 Dec 16 14:27

Dec 10, 2016 -- 11:07PM, lewisham ranger wrote:


trader pj 09 Dec 16 09:55 Joined: 13 Nov 02 | Topic/replies: 6,423 | Blogger: trader pj's blogI am 100% confident I could out-perform any bot via discretionary betting over a 5 day test match. The bot hasn't got a chance against nuanced judgements that the human mind can makeI'm sure that's right although once an exchange goes down the path of becoming automated it's hard to go backwards. I wouldn't be surprised if software were to emerge in the future which would out perform and have better judgement than any gambler, which would rather change the game somewhat as said software is likely to become widely available.


Deep Blue beat Kasparov after a number of years of research and work of brilliant minds - the bookies are 20 years behind that imo, plus I suspect that most of the better bots are run by enthusiastic amateurs rather that full scale pro- ops. Imight be wrong on the latter point

By:
lewisham ranger
When: 11 Dec 16 15:15
Coachbuster 11 Dec 16 10:27 Joined: 08 Apr 06 | Topic/replies: 35,352 | Blogger: Coachbuster's blog
if software were to emerge in the future which would out perform and have better judgement than any gambler
_____________

that would be impossible - Lewisham is very much correct there

Why is it impossible? Are you saying the development of AI is impossible?
By:
lewisham ranger
When: 11 Dec 16 15:18

trader pj 11 Dec 16 14:27 Joined: 13 Nov 02 | Topic/replies: 6,426 | Blogger: trader pj's blog
Dec 10, 2016 -- 11:07PM, lewisham ranger wrote:

trader pj 09 Dec 16 09:55 Joined: 13 Nov 02 | Topic/replies: 6,423 | Blogger: trader pj's blogI am 100% confident I could out-perform any bot via discretionary betting over a 5 day test match. The bot hasn't got a chance against nuanced judgements that the human mind can makeI'm sure that's right although once an exchange goes down the path of becoming automated it's hard to go backwards. I wouldn't be surprised if software were to emerge in the future which would out perform and have better judgement than any gambler, which would rather change the game somewhat as said software is likely to become widely available.

Deep Blue beat Kasparov after a number of years of research and work of brilliant minds - the bookies are 20 years behind that imo, plus I suspect that most of the better bots are run by enthusiastic amateurs rather that full scale pro- ops. Imight be wrong on the latter point


Yes but Deep Blue would be routinely crushed by the chess software around today. So that kind of artificial intelligence software would I imagine be quite widely available to people who trade on the stock exchange, and therefore it doesn't take a huge leap to think that punters/bookmakers might be privy to it

I have no idea what kind of software bookmakers are using, but I imagine they have quite sophisticated programs and algorithims which help them to calculate odds and so on. Surely it's naive to think they don't.
By:
Coachbuster
When: 11 Dec 16 17:22
Why is it impossible? Are you saying the development of AI is impossible?
_________________________________________

It's a long way away ,and it's  tipped to finish us all off one day .

But  in the short term  there will always be a handful of gamblers out there capable of reading the markets more accurately because of the emotions that play a part in results .

No one yet has completely cleaned the markets out  .
By:
The Edge
When: 11 Dec 16 18:33
"Presumably different algorithms are used to calculate what prices to offer which can result in mini bot wars. For quite a few sports well known in-play algorithms are used to calculate what constitutes a profitable offer."

What are these well known in-play algorithms? Are there any forum threads discussing them?
By:
Charlie
When: 11 Dec 16 19:00
Don't know any forum threads that discuss this.

Soccer has algorithms to calculate odds for number of goals, team to score next, which team will win (there are others) according to score and how many minutes have gone in game. These have been going for over 10 years. American football and baseball have similar ones with obvious differences. Both rugby codes also do. Cricket has D/L and variations on it.

All of these (apart from D/L?) start from a supremacy rating (or similar) for a team which is adjusted according to state of play.
By:
fixed
When: 11 Dec 16 20:21
there is no AI. there is human intelligence and there is the speed of the machines and those 2 can be combined to create impressive results...so impressive in fact that a lot of people get scared and use those vague weak undefined AI nonsense to declare the future will be run by bots


humans will always beat bots if intelligence and judgement is needed (and present, not a given if you go through all these posts here)
By:
pxb
When: 11 Dec 16 22:14
There is a lot of ignorant nonsense talked about AI and has been for a very long time.

Some sports can be reliably modelled, such as soccer. Others are more difficult to model such as cricket. To give one example well known to cricket punters, how the pitch will play. Highly paid, supposed experts consistently get this wrong. And this is a crucial factor in the outcome of matches, leaving plenty of room for individual judgement.

However, models will get better over time, leaving less room for individual judgement, but we are quite a way from that currently in some sports.

And there are behavioural factors. A different discussion.
By:
The Edge
When: 11 Dec 16 22:29
Charlie, I think I have seen a web page about a model you describe... However, don't those odds go out of the window when events such as penalties, corners and free kicks occur? How can the bots avoid these situations? Does Betfair's API provide data about these events, time since kick off, score etc...?
By:
pxb
When: 11 Dec 16 22:40
How can the bots avoid these situations?

Obviously, they can't. One approach is called a Monte Carlo Simulation, which basically runs a large number of simulations of the match, and then assigns probabilities of various outcomes. As the match progresses, goals are scored, etc, the simulations are rerun incorporating what has happened so far in the match.

There are other approaches to modelling sports, but MCS is popular.
By:
lewisham ranger
When: 11 Dec 16 22:59
humans will always beat bots if intelligence and judgement is needed

Just as it was claimed before that we'd always beat them at chess and shogi, two games which require intelligence and judgement.

Perhaps as you're so intelligence and I'm so dim you're be happy to point out the difference?
By:
lewisham ranger
When: 11 Dec 16 23:01
Intelligent even

Oh dear my poor I.Q. letting down my spelling again Cry
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