General Betting

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12 Aug 17 10:21
Date Joined: 09 May 14
| Topic/replies: 12,591 | Blogger: TheFear's blog
I've heard this expression an edge in gambling never lasts (and if you have one make hay while the sun shines) However, the hooverers at horseracing tracks STILL seem to be making huge sums 15 years after Betfair started? Will it ever end?
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Report nathanrh August 13, 2017 1:26 AM BST
I don't have enough knowledge re: hoovering at horseracing to comment specifically, but I'm guessing you mean the people trackside hoovering up the spare change on fallers due to having quicker information than those watching streams (free money as long as one doesn't get back up - happened once I think). That seems to be a likely edge but not one that many people will have the pockets deep enough to exploit - I also don't think anyone on here would have any accurate data to say how much is getting matched per race on such a situation. Answer to your question then : will it ever end?, probably not ;-).

As for specific edges; the limited number of people I do know that are making profits on BF are using constantly evolving systems to maintain their edges or potentially derive new ones - professional odds compilers / market-makers (check stats if you don't believe me) constantly adjust their pricing models and thus eventually grind away every simplistic stats-based edge. Lest you also forget, finding an edge is only one part of the problem, finding one that you can consistently adjust and that can overcome the onerous commission rate is a whole new level of problem.

Good luck ;-).
Report aye robot August 14, 2017 6:51 PM BST
As for specific edges; the limited number of people I do know that are making profits on BF are using constantly evolving systems to maintain their edges or potentially derive new ones.

Spot on - for me anyway. That said, large parts of my models remain the same as they have always been so in a sense these indicators are permanent.

Often when people say "there was an edge on such and such but now there isn't" they're really just being fooled by randomness. Anything simple like "premier league home teams that aren't favourites" (or whatever) is likely to be in this category - especially when the sample is small. You always get clustering in data and it can be difficult to discriminate between a random cluster and a real underlying trend. If a phenomena seems to appear then fade away it's usually just a cluster.
Report pxb August 15, 2017 8:04 AM BST
Edges do last. What happens, is that over time, knowledge of any particular edge reaches more people. Thus, the profit made from that edge by any individual decreases over time.

The same edges I was using 10 years ago are still there, but the amount I make from them has decreased with more competition to exploit them.

And I've to a degree moved on to more complex approaches that require a bigger bank than most have. Thus limiting competition.

All very darwinian.
Report ZEALOT August 15, 2017 10:23 PM BST
There are some horses that will NEVER be overbet by the public due to the way they back and the criteria they use to arrive at their selections .

Some edges will never disappear . Do you really believe that layers would lower their prices on a horse that they thought wouldnt get backed by average Joe punter ?
Report roadrunner46 August 16, 2017 12:27 PM BST
suppose there are edges that people exploit, usually find creating edges the best way forward, never been one for looking at lots of data to give me an edge. really comes down to the individual and how they best exploit there
particular skills set.
Report nathanrh August 18, 2017 12:15 AM BST
aye robot & pxb have this spot on IMHO. (Hat tip also to the 'fooled by randomness' line; really great book by Nassim Taleb for anyone interested). An edge shared will always be an edge halved & most simplistic edges will be corrected / eroded by the market over time (you need to have identified the edge long before that point to exploit it or you adapt to survive, or like pxb you have a bank size that squeezes out the competition).

Starting out on BF is essentially like swimming with the sharks & piranhas, the sharks occasionally bite, but it's the piranhas that eventually kill you with small nibbles of commission. You can with enough skill and practice learn to live with the sharks, maybe even feed at the same table with them on occasion, but those piranhas always have the last bite.
Report pxb August 19, 2017 5:23 AM BST
Nice analogy, Nathan.

I was fortunate to start in the early days of bf Australia, when there were only a few small sharks. Would be tougher to start now.
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