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By:
DFCIRONMAN
When: 13 Jul 19 14:05
For example ----say top 5 in the RATINGS are horse numbers :-

4
8
7
11
1

and it is a 9 runner race.

If the odds for the top 5 rated are say -

3.5sp
8 sp
33 sp
66 sp
11-8 sp

then clearly the top 2 in ratings are VALUE and the FAV , being 5th top rated is NOT VALUE.
By:
DFCIRONMAN
When: 13 Jul 19 14:14
The FAV is a VALUE LAY though!DevilGrin
By:
Dr Crippen
When: 13 Jul 19 14:15
"the best form" (whatever you may mean by that)

Excellent Latalomme.
That is at the crux of the matter.

Unfortunately this hurdle is the first and most difficult to cross for the vast majority.
And there are many more to cross as well.
So I feel any talk of seeking value is premature when even the first obstacle hasn't been overcome.

Yet people come on here talking about backing winners at the right price, as if finding them is he easiest part of the operation.

When you can consistently find winners, that's the time to start worrying about value.
Then you'll find the value will look after itself.
By:
DFCIRONMAN
When: 13 Jul 19 14:30
EXAMPLE 2 :- Top 5 rated horse numbers are :-

2
5
9
4
1


in a 9 runner race.

The odds are :-

4.5 SP
12 SP
16 SP
4 SP JF
33 SP

Clearly the top rated and the 4th top rated are VALUE BACKS based on RANK position.

The other JT FAV was bottom rated of the 9 runners ...would be a VALUE LAY.

DR C -
Trust the above 2 EXAMPLES indicate how VALUE can be determined when looking at the top 5 FAVOURITES in a race!
By:
ericster
When: 13 Jul 19 15:22
FWIW, I'm with Crippen on this but does it really matter?
By:
DFCIRONMAN
When: 13 Jul 19 15:33
EXAMPLE 1...
The top rated came in 3rd at 7-2 SP
The 2nd top rated won at 8 SP

EXAMPLE 2...

The top rated was unplaced at 4.5 SP
The 4th top rated won at 4 sp JF

VALUE is extremely important and having a method to identify VALUE, using a RATING SYSTEM does matter !
By:
The Management
When: 13 Jul 19 15:35
Eric - I will bite (again!) i think it's my turn on the rota!

If I can get 70 on BF about something my abacus tells me should be trading at 34. Should I:

Not back it because I don't fancy it?
Not back it because it doesn't have the best form?
Not back it because it must be a non-trier?
Not back it because even though my balance says to trust my abacus - 34 races is too long to wait for a winner even at odds of 70?
Back the Even money fav instead because it has the best form and my abacus shows it will win 50% of the time?

If you are with Crippen - you are essentially saying that nobody can win because every price offered at every given moment in time is 100% correct. i.e. BF markets are ALWAYS 100% efficient.
How likely is that given that prices can fluctuate quite wildly pre-event - and then very wildly in-running?

If I can do ok with my abacus (it's not far off what I actually use) mostly pre-event - I'm guessing cleverer people like Aye Robot can turn a small profit in-running where mistakes are surely much more common and pronounced!
By:
Dr Crippen
When: 13 Jul 19 16:13
If you are with Crippen - you are essentially saying that nobody can win because every price offered at every given moment in time is 100% correct. i.e. BF markets are ALWAYS 100% efficient.

Can't see where I came even remotely close to saying any of that.
By:
The Management
When: 13 Jul 19 16:35
Sorry if I have misunderstood you Dr Cripps - I do my best to keep up!

So you are conceding that some of the prices on here might sometimes out of line with the probability?
By:
Dr Crippen
When: 13 Jul 19 17:12
I'm sure they're out of line all the time The Management

The prices reflect the amount of money being staked by punters drawing their own conclusions on what they think will win.
I suppose a lot of people will back the favourite simply because it's favourite and for no other reason.
Which is not a bad strategy if you know which races are likely to go to the favourite, and I don't mean races for the novices. 
Of course you'll need to sort the wheat from the chaff through study in order to eliminate the poorer bets.
But it's one way to stay in front.
By:
The Management
When: 13 Jul 19 17:32
The Management    13 Jul 19 16:35 
So you are conceding that some of the prices on here might sometimes out of line with the probability?


Dr Crippen    13 Jul 19 17:12 
I'm sure they're out of line all the time The Management


If I weren't so bust just trying to find the winners - maybe I could look into ways to just exploit the out of line prices!

You've now got me thinking - there might even be a way to win money without caring what wins. Mischief
By:
aye robot
When: 13 Jul 19 18:15
One other thing. How do you choose the one with the best form?

How do you work out which one has the best form. What do you base it on?


I don't - that's not my bag. Like I said I'm an IR specialist. Most of what I do is really about understanding the market, identifying when it's out of true and pushing it back towards something more sensible. Predominantly that means analysing market activity - but I'm also modelling some simple things like how long I expect a race to take to run.

As far as making up a market so that it's 100% and accounts for all runners, there are two 'correct' ways of doing it that I know of. The first method uses calculus and it's quite complicated. My grasp of calculus is pretty week so I hired someone to write that code for me, I can make sense of what he did but I'm not up to explaining it. The second method uses Monte Carlo simulations. Both approaches require a lot of computation and are slow to execute so I only use them for analysis and even then I don't use them much. For live use I employ 'quick and dirty' methods that don't give me a mathematically correct solution but do the job well enough and execute quickly - essentially they're adequate estimates rather than proper calculations. That sort of method is specific to an application - I couldn't take that maths and use it to make up a book based on form (for example).

That said - for most people there's no reason to make a book from scratch. It's far easier to take the market prices as a starting point and work from there. All you need to know is whether a market price is on the short side or on the long side - thereafter it's all about executing bets in a way that maximises the opportunity. I find that to be a far more complex challenge and much more of my time is spent on that than on determining value, which I find quite easy.

Of the people I've come across who actually know about Horses and use that knowledge to win; all have been involved in the racing industry and had inside information of one kind or another. Some of them work together with people like me, others don't. I've also met football experts - but again they've always had specialist information that's not available to Joe Public. Naturally there are also football equivalents to my racing operation (and for all sports I presume) and there are computational players who model Horse Races using form and other publicly available data. What they do is essentially what a 'normal' punter tries to do except that they're way smarter than the average bear and they use computers. I know of successful in-running picture players who are not industry insiders, they're just very good at knowing when a horse looks good, but I also know that these people are very few in number. I've yet to meet a regular person who just knows about a sport and uses that to make substantial amounts of money. I've met a few who claimed to be such but I didn't find them credible. I've never heard of any second hand either. There may be some but there definitely aren't many. 

Every approach to every sport has a handful of real specialists who dominate and then a legion of losers who range from cheerful recreational players to deluded wannabees and genuinely tragic cases. The important thing is to know which you are.
By:
Dr Crippen
When: 13 Jul 19 19:27
specialist information that's not available to Joe Public.

What specialist information would that be?
When a top stable like the Aidan O'Brien outfit can't choose the right horse to put their best jockey on, I'd take all information from any source with a pinch of salt.   

So until God starts giving out tips, I'll leave the information alone.
By:
aye robot
When: 13 Jul 19 20:25
I honestly don't know how a regular punter could estimate value, I can't think of any simple and very accessible way. I'd struggle to do it myself with a pencil and paper - I would always reach for a computer.

I've explained value on here many times but my purpose is more to inform people about why they're losing and will continue to lose than to arouse any false hope that they might win.

I suppose the essence of DFC's approach seems pretty reasonable. Asking 'is the horse I think is best the favourite in the market' is a sensible enough place to start.

There is a more fundamental problem though:
You can't just ignore the market prices. We know that for the most part market prices are very good so if you come to a different conclusion than the market then you'd better be able to say why you think you know better. Without some compelling answer to that question you should discount your calculations of value in some way that accounts for the likelihood that you are wrong and the market is right (which should be the base assumption).

A good record of winning is a nice way to validate your assessment of value. Everyone seems happy enough to rank horses based on their form but it's rare that anyone applies the same logic to their own 'form' as a bettor. To the contrary; some see a history of losing as 'learning' rather than evidence of inability. If a horse lost and lost you wouldn't see that as learning - you would just say it was slow. Returning to what I said earlier in this thread the truth is that very few people turn their gambling around. Winners win from the start and losers lose 'till the end. It's not what people want to hear but that's how it is.
By:
ericster
When: 14 Jul 19 11:39

Jul 13, 2019 -- 3:35PM, The Management wrote:


Eric - I will bite (again!) i think it's my turn on the rota!If I can get 70 on BF about something my abacus tells me should be trading at 34. Should I:Not back it because I don't fancy it?Not back it because it doesn't have the best form?Not back it because it must be a non-trier?Not back it because even though my balance says to trust my abacus - 34 races is too long to wait for a winner even at odds of 70?Back the Even money fav instead because it has the best form and my abacus shows it will win 50% of the time?If you are with Crippen - you are essentially saying that nobody can win because every price offered at every given moment in time is 100% correct. i.e. BF markets are ALWAYS 100% efficient.How likely is that given that prices can fluctuate quite wildly pre-event - and then very wildly in-running? If I can do ok with my abacus (it's not far off what I actually use) mostly pre-event - I'm guessing cleverer people like Aye Robot can turn a small profit in-running where mistakes are surely much more common and pronounced!


TM I'm going to put my head in a noose here but wth.
First let me say that I trade inplay football, not very successfully, you'll be surprised to know.

But:
Why would you back the 69/1 shot if you don't fancy it? Maybe you've spotted something in it's race-history, a form-line maybe, and because of all those noughts, for what ever reason, people choose to over-look it? MIGHT it just have a squeak? Your decision.
The best form? Now isn't that always a matter of conjecture and there is always that joker "potential".
Why must a 69/1 shot be a non-trier?
34 races is a long time TM.
Getting even money winners 50% of the time isn't profitable is it, even if it was tax-free.

Maybe I DO have some, as someone has suggested,  innate sense of value in so far as there are prices that I won't take. Also, I try pick up on the mood of the mkt inplay.

I have no desire to fire insults at anyone because really, what do I know? I'm just happy to discuss.
What I'm really saying I suppose is, maybe I AM talking absolute tosh but I'm contributing to someones winnings sometimes without getting hammered and so I can dream.Okay?

By:
Dr Crippen
When: 14 Jul 19 13:07
The whole idea of value revolves around the idea that random results will even themselves out in the long term.
So if you always take a better  price than the number of likely results in the event, then you have to come out on top when results have evened themselves out.
That is a theory not a fact.

In practice if you reduce a race to say three probables and the one you fancy is bigger than 2/1 at 5/2 then that is value.
Does anyone disagree with that?

Of course it does have some small merit, but you have to guarantee that one of the three probables always wins.
And if you could do that regularly you've found the holy grail. All you have to do is simply back all three to show a profit when it is there.
By:
Latalomne
When: 14 Jul 19 13:38
"In practice if you reduce a race to say three probables and the one you fancy is bigger than 2/1 at 5/2 then that is value.
Does anyone disagree with that?"


It's impossible to say whether it's value or not without knowing how good you are at finding winners within your shortlists.  Even though you might fancy the 5/2 shot the most, it could still not be the one that represents the best value from within your shortlist.  What if the other two are 10/1 and 14/1?  Personally speaking, they would be the two that would make most appeal to me.
By:
The Management
When: 14 Jul 19 13:52
Hi Eric,

If you are looking to make it pay - surely what you fancy - is a thought that you have to put completely out of your mind - because it's irrelevant (except to degenerate gamblers). For example I might fancy the fav in most maiden races (obviously so does everybody else! - and this is why it is the fav) but that is quite different from having a strong opinion about what price it should be or what price it will go off at (or even what journey it's price will take IR). Sure it's the most likely winner in everybody's mind but should it be 2/1, 4/7 or 1/8? If you don't have a good method for deriving your own prices to compare with the prices available - how can you enter a market at a price that you think will give you a positive expectation or a likelihood of a positive exit point?

Thinking they will win (fancying them) is easy (every degenerate gambler can do it), knowing what price they should be isn't that much harder even to a novice these days (because there are professional odds compilers, oddschecker and obviously BF to guide you) but are they always right?

I'd say they are pretty damn good - but there is no way they are always right - but when they are "wrong" the "market" (made up of all sorts of people - idiots, insiders, shrewdies, etc - wisdom of crowds if you like) will correct them. So imo every pre-event starting price is probably about "right" come the off time - but the SP is just the end of a long journey (years in some markets)! Prior to it being the SP it has usually been both bigger and smaller at some point on it's journey - sometimes not by much but sometimes very considerably! So if you accept that SP's are generally close to being correct at the end of their journey, then surely the ones that have been on the most significant journey (if you can identify them pre the journey) represent an opportunity?   

There are many ways to skin a cat - backing selections you believe to be 34.0 at 70.0 was just the example I used. Obviously being able to bet huge sums at 3.0 on selections that I think are 2.0 (on my tissue) would be ideal  - but that doesn't happen.

Back in the early days pre-event horse racing was like finding money in the street - you could lay 26.0's at 11.0 (on my tissue) for worthwhile amounts.

I'm still confident I can sometimes back 34.0's at 70.0, I can lay 110.0's at 50.0, I can back 1.33'at 1.60's but compared to 15-20 years ago I can only do it for a fraction of the amounts formerly available and far less often. The level of competition today versus say 2002 has forced me to change the way I operate many, many times.

But one constant is that betting things you fancy (regardless of price) is a route to the poorhouse) betting prices you fancy will always have potential.

I can't remember the last time I bet on something I "fancied" but if Mandy Minella's price is incorrectly huge (imo) at some point in the future, that would be a happy coincidence!. (google her Love).
By:
aye robot
When: 14 Jul 19 14:01
Eric; In response to your question on Management's example (I hope he won't mind):

Why would you back any Horse? If a horse is trading at 12 it would be silly to say that you think it's going to win however much you 'fancy' it, but you might well think that its chances of winning are better than 1/12 - that's why you would back it. You might be wrong  but weighing up that calculation is assessing value.

Now - say that horse you backed at 12 lost by a nose in a photo - what would you say about your bet? You'd probably say it was a great bet. You picked out a horse that performed far better than the market expected. Just because a bet loses that doesn't make it a bad bet and just because a bet wins that doesn't make it a good one.

So - how can you tell a good bet from a bad one? You can't - it's impossible. You can only tell a good set of bets from a bad one and that's easy. Once you've got an aggregate result for a set of bets it makes sense to say that all bets in that set had that value. That's the best you can do. In a sense there are no 'good' or 'bad' bets - it's you that's good or bad.

DC asks above whether value gamblers cheerfully back losers - the answer is 'Yes'. I don't mind bets losing one little bit and I don't get particularly excited about them winning because both of those things are inevitable. Congratulating yourself for the odd winning bet is like trying to take the credit when the sun shines - it will happen whatever you do. It's a hallmark of poor gamblers that they focus on individual bets, of course we all have occasional fun ones but they're not what pays the bills.

You say of Management's example that 36 races is a long time to wait but is it? There are 37 races in the UK and Ireland tomorrow and in the course of a year there are 12,500. That's plenty of time for the value to shake out. It's unlikely that you'd have to wait 36 races for a 36/1 shot to come in but that's another story. How long you have to wait is a function of how much value you're finding, the odds of your bets and how many bets you're placing.
By:
The Management
When: 14 Jul 19 14:10
Hi aye robot ^ I don't mind and obviously agree with all you have written.

I do mind that i think you are eating the steak I once enjoyed and I am now on sausages!Blush

I blame Darwin!
By:
Do wah Diddy
When: 14 Jul 19 14:14
There's some very good points on this thread
By:
aye robot
When: 14 Jul 19 14:40
I do agree with you Management and I agree with almost all what you said in response to Erik - except for your scepticism about value being available pre-off. I know that there is value available pre-off because I know some of the people who find it.

What follows is tangentially related and I think it's interesting but it's not for the 'I will never believe in value' type people - please don't bother, I shan't be responding to your outrage.

Here goes:

There is a curious phenomena that allows a market to appear fully efficient whilst still having value available. Picture the classic 'toy' example - coin flipping. 50% will come up heads, 50% tails, heads is always priced at 2 and the market appears totally efficient. Now - imagine that instead of flipping the coin randomly it's simply turned over every time so Heads is always followed by Tails and vice versa, if the market still prices Heads at 2 then the market will still appear fully efficient because heads will still come up 50% of the time. However, if you're the only person who's cottoned on to what's happening you could win every time - pricing heads at 1 or 0. The problem you would have is that your bets would move the market and before long you'd wipe the market out, so what you would need is an equivalent player who has the formula completely wrong - he believes that the coin will always come up the same as the last flip and therefore always loses. Add him in and there you have it - a market that appears fully efficient and yet offers value. Obviously this is highly simplified but it is the essence of how winning is possible on Betfair even though the markets appear fully efficient.

It is indeed the case that 50% of all bets matched here at 2 win, 10% of those matched at 10 and so on - and yet there are winners. Thats's only possible because there are counter-balancing 'anti-winners' - people who play so badly that they are WORSE than picking at random. What's more the winners need enough margin to cover charges so the anti-winners have to be even worse than that. That's quite something - once you take out the tiny sliver of players who win the remainder are significantly worse at gambling than monkeys.
By:
aye robot
When: 14 Jul 19 14:47
I do mind that i think you are eating the steak I once enjoyed and I am now on sausages!

Could be worse... think some on here are dependent on the food bank. Anyone for Lentils?
By:
The Management
When: 14 Jul 19 15:24
aye robot    14 Jul 19 14:40 
I do agree with you Management and I agree with almost all what you said in response to Erik - except for your scepticism about value being available pre-off. I know that there is value available pre-off because I know some of the people who find it.


I think you have misread me - I'm not sceptical about value being available pre-off. The point I was trying to make (obviously I must have made it badly) to Eric was that value is absolutely available pre-off. I am admitting that my ability to find it (especially in volume) has diminished (relative to how easily I could find it 15 years ago in Horse Racing) - but I suspect/know  that is because there are now people "better" at finding it than me (for various reasons that I won't outline here). But it's still there and I still get some of it.
By:
aye robot
When: 14 Jul 19 15:33
I think you have misread me ...oh yes, sorry.
By:
The Management
When: 14 Jul 19 15:39
No worries - but I think to compensate you should respond to the next couple of "questions" from Dr Crippen!
By:
aye robot
When: 14 Jul 19 15:43
Ok - I'll do it in advance:

You're wrong.

That's not how it works.

Believe it or not there are people who can work out things that are beyond you.

Suffice?
By:
DenzilPenberthy
When: 14 Jul 19 15:43
Has G Hall turned pro yet?
By:
The Management
When: 14 Jul 19 15:45
AR - I guess that covers it pretty comprehensively.
By:
DenzilPenberthy
When: 14 Jul 19 15:54
That's all great lads lads but the burning question is has Genius Hall turned pro yet?
By:
The Management
When: 14 Jul 19 16:05
Denzil - my theory is that he has been a pro for many years and these threads are a wind up! Mischief

I am expecting his next thread to be titled either:

"Has anyone else made money using this system on roulette?"  or "If I had a bigger bank, could I turn pro?"
By:
The Management
When: 14 Jul 19 16:09
G Hall    12 Jul 19 10:13 
This may be a stupid question but let's take a football match.
The odds of over 0.5 goals is say 1.02 pre match but after 15 minutes is say 1.04/1.05 is that then a value bet at the latter odds.


This was a giveaway imo Mischief
By:
DenzilPenberthy
When: 14 Jul 19 17:40
You're likely right TM.
By:
askari1
When: 14 Jul 19 21:00
This is a thread from the old days--even with a possibly wind-up original question.

Well, you will win if you find value and stake rationally according to your bank.

How do you know whether you have found value within small sample sizes? How do you aggregate individual bets into sets you can evaluate as either +ve or -ve expectation based on results? This is much harder. All the bets could be struck using the same selection method. You would think then that results would over time tell you whether you were on to something. But some of your aggregated set could be good bets and some bad for a reason you haven't considered--such that you couldn't know whether the method will in future throw up good or bad plays. It may be better to assess whether bets chosen for specific reasons--say, the reading of form for a particular race--seem in retrospect to have been value or not.
By:
askari1
When: 14 Jul 19 21:28
Starship is right. The ricks are in the early prices and you must find a way of getting on in Mountains, Power and Baldy shops. There are about 100 Power shops in London; I would estimate I've been in 70-80 of them. Look to go back to shops where you've built up losing runs and act like a loser--scream and shout at the TV, tear up apparent losing slips angrily, run to the counter and put on large sums after losses or wins (on +ve expectation bets, of course). I also change my haircut and headgear regularly and adjust my persona to how smart or well-informed the shop manager is about racing.
By:
takethestand
When: 15 Jul 19 18:36
Value is not that important as long as your not backing way out of wack.   The odds are opinions, guesses, based on only what is known.  They don't represent real probabilities or include real life circumstances that affect the performances of competitors.

Obsessing over price is making things over complicated.   Winners count more, again as long as the price is reasonable.

I'm unlikely to argue with anybody about this so dont bother.  I wish everybody good luck for their endevours going forward.
By:
Dr Crippen
When: 15 Jul 19 21:25
Takethestand talks sense.
It's winners that are required, not inflated prices of which drifters supply a constant stream but oddly are excluded from the procedure.

We've all intended to back a horse and found it is friendless in the market, but surely that adds to its value? Not according to the value merchants, but don't despair I'm sure a smooth talking value merchant will be able to explain that away.
By:
Dr Crippen
When: 15 Jul 19 21:38
Believe it or not there are people who can work out things that are beyond you.

Fair enough aye robot, but please go on and have a go at explaining it, (how they calculate value in a horse race.)
And we'll do our best to keep up.
By:
DFCIRONMAN
When: 16 Jul 19 10:26
So Dr C.....you want to know how to arrive at the holy grail DevilGrin...and that's all!

Keep working on it ! Might take years before you see the light though, as your life circumstances may prevent you from achieving it.

GL with your search...............though the odds on you finding it are very high indeed.....Not a value bet thoughWink
By:
The Management
When: 16 Jul 19 11:11
Dr Crippen has already found the Holy Grail DFC - he is gonna lay all the drifters.

Luckily he can even wait do this just before the off when they are most easily identified as drifters - because he doesn't believe in value or worry about prices and surely it won't matter what price they drift out to if they hardly ever win Cry

What could possibly go wrong?
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