Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Hello again, blogosphere

Long time no speak!

After a long period of apathy with respect to my blog, I thought I'd resurrect the old thing for a while. I've not stopped trading, rather I just ran out of ideas to write about, and my real life world has become more and more hectic in a bullish market meaning that I am tired and not minded to write as I used to.

The topic I'd like to address today is one that fascinates me.. namely the forthcoming EU Referendum. Betfair markets are usually uncannily accurate with political trades - until, that is, the British General Election last year. I made good money laying 'No overall majority' - but failed to maximise the win by exiting as soon as the Exit Polls started to suggest an upset was in the offing. That market was, of course, a three way market - Labour / Conservative / No overall majority. The EU Referendum market is a a two runner market:

As can be seen, the market strongly suggests we'll be voting to remain in the EEC - at the time of writing 'In' can (and in my mind, should!) be laid at 1.48 ~ in fact you'd probably get 1.47 if patient. I

I'm sure we've all got our own views on this subject, but a straw poll among people I know suggests to me that the 'In' price is on the low side. The opinion polls (official ones!) put the figures at closer to 50/50 and whilst I don't necessarily think it's that close I suspect there's a value lay to be had at the range trading at the moment.

As the date for the referendum has yet to be announced I think it's fair to assume there will be a period of stagnation in this market, so, apart from tying some money up, I don't see a massive downside to a lay at this time. In my opinion it's one of those markets where there's a lot more room above the price than there is below it.

Let's see if a profit can be generated.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

If it isn't broken, don't f**k about fixing it!

Some might have noticed that I don't write much these days, but this latest brainwave from Betfair caused me to bash the keyboard once again.

I'm talking about 'Correct Score New' - they're in the process of doing away with my beloved Any Unquoted! They are replacing that one scoreline with, wait for it, three alternatives - 'Any other - Home', 'Any other - Away' and 'Any other draw'. Wow!

Apparently, we, the betting / trading public have been asking for these 'improvements' and it is justified by saying that AU is likely to be the favourite score at the outset of, say, Barca v Elche, and that therefore a back for AU is effectively a bet that Barca will win and score a hatful of goals in doing so. No shit, Sherlock!

I personally use AU in all kinds of ways, both backing and laying it as I see fit.. the appeal of that as a trading move will be severely limited now. My activity around that scoreline is far from limited to the kind of game they use in their justification - it's an essential part of the CS trader's armoury in my opinion.

As a result, my little bit of liquidity will be missing from that market. Times me by a few hundred / thousand others and how does that help either customers or Betfair themselves? Beats me!

If anyone can enlighten me, help me see the light or otherwise put any remotely positive slant on this appalling decision please do.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Has the fat lady sung already?

I see that in a rather opportunistic manner that the Betfair Sportsbook has already settled the 'No' bets in the Scottish Independence Referendum 'Majority' market. As over £10M has been matched on this market on the Exchange I doubt that too many people took whatever their Sportsbook offering was and to me it's little more than a cheap publicity stunt.

I have no strong feelings one way or the other as to whether our friends north of Hadrian's Wall wish to still be part of the Union or not, but I do find this kind of thing irksome and,for want of a better word, 'unfair'.

The Exchange has historically proven to be a more accurate political barometer than opinion polls. The last US Presidential market,for example, called the race much more accurately than the 'too close to call' reports we read about in the press and saw on the TV. This might well prove to be the case with the Referendum as well, but to trivialise something which so many people are quite clearly passionate about by calling it a done deal is, in my opinion, beneath the standards to which a company such as Betfair should be operating to.

I've been dabbling in the market for ages, even putting a post up on the forum at Geek's Toy about it way back in April. When the recent 'shock' poll put the 'Yes' campaign slightly ahead I was able to remove all my liability and leave a nice profit on 'Yes'. Since then we have witnessed a fantastic coming together of the British establishment, not to mention multi-nationals, central banks and others with forebodings of woe should the Jocks say 'Yes' tomorrow. I wonder whether this very negative campaigning might not cause the odd dour Scot to stick two proverbial fingers up at Westminster and say 'Aye'.

Any profit I might yet make on this market now lies, I feel, in the hours after the polls close at 10pm tomorrow night. I await the exit polls with a sense of anticipation, but with no loss should the status quo prevail.

I'm sure books have paid out on 'racing certainties' in between, but the last instance I can actually remember was in 2008. Stoke City had just been promoted to the Prem and had a fairly turgid time of it at the start of the season. At least one sportsbook paid out on 'Stoke to be relegated' very early on in the season. They finished twelfth.