Friday, 30 March 2012

This one escaped me; but opportunity knocked for some!

An absolutely crazy Bundesliga game tonight between Dortmund and Stuttgart. Dortmund were strong odds-on pre-match favourites, and pre match I noted 0-0 in the 20's again and AU at 4.4 to lay. I duly laid Au and got out at the 30 minute mark, re-entering after Dortmund took the lead and greening after a few minutes. Satisfied with my profit I concentrated on other trades.

Some of the guys in the chatroom laid Dortmund at 2-0 at extremely low odds, and a couple laid U5.5 goals at again very low odds. Chuckaway trades if such things exist!

The picture below shows what happened!

The game ended up ticking just about every box I can think of in a football trading context! Fantastic!

I wish I had got involved and my hearty congratulations go out to Robbo and the boys some of whom turned considerable three figure greens from minuscule liabilities.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Market indecision

I don't know about you, gentle reader, but the markets for the Manchester Untied v Fulham tie earlier this evening looked all 'wrong' to me before kick off. I don't recall seeing 26 for 0-0 in an English Premier League match before tonight - correct me if I'm wrong! The Match Odds market at kick off had the sort of numbers I'd expect to see if United were already 1-0 up!

The standout figure that shows, for me at any rate, that people really didn't have much of a clue how the game would pan out was the Any Unquoted scoreline. With a minute or so to kick off over £400,000 had been traded on the Correct Score market. As you would expect there was a lot on 0-0 (had to have a piece of that for a few minutes really) and a fair chunk on 2-0. But over £100,000 of that money had been matched on AU! It was at 3.76 if memory serves, and I sat there thinking 'that looks like value as a lay'. Having identified the value I then proceeded to leave it alone, as the 'pick a winner' side to my trading couldn't come to terms with the possibility of a very early United goal, as suggested by the 0-0 price, could leave me in trouble at a fair liability!

As it happened the layers were spot on and it seems that the 50k matched backing that score (and remember the backers, or most of them, also presumably saw value in that price) were a mile off  the mark.

In retrospect my reading of the market was right - it heavily overstated the case for a convincing home win. If only I could have  trusted myself to follow my instincts which were (and this isn't after timing, I promise) to lay over 2.5 from the start.

I'm not a lover of United as you know by now, and agree with Lambretta that they are a lay still in the Premiership Winner 2012 market as the season's final act begins. Faced by a Fulham side who were almost exclusively negative they looked nervous and unsure to me, and I think had Fulham been more resolute and the ref less of a bottler that an upset might have been on the cards. The Prem winner's market would seem to agree as United moving a clear three points ahead had a very slight impact on their odds. Interesting times ahead I think.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Were this a proper P&L blog

This would be an 'L' post.

Friday was the worst night of trading SG's in France for many a long month and I'm not going to dissect it now. Suffice to say that my overall loss was only about £50 due to a successful lay of Over 2.5 at 1-0 in the Monaco game allowing me to cover several losses.

I'll let the results speak for themselves - it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that 2 x 0-0 and 2 x 0-3/3-0 from 9 matches doesn't leave much room for manouever when 1-1 followed by a late 1-2 or 2-1 is your ideal scenario!

The one match I would pick out as a real lost opportunity was the Reims v Metz encounter. With the home side at 3-0 before the half hour mark Any Unquoted was available to lay at 1.66. As the previous 30 minutes had seen that particular match suspended for long periods I felt unable to trust the market and so left it alone. When laying AU you really don't need your Geek's screen flickering like a badly set up traffic light - it's not conducive to sensible decision making.

Speaking of sensible decision making you might justifiably ask 'what's sensible about wanting to lay AU at 3-0 with an hour left to play?'

On the face of it, nothing. But I have lost count of the number of times I've watched one side race to a three goal lead and then do little or nothing thereafter. Sometimes it seems to me that both sides adopt a sort of 'job done' mentality and accept that that score will be the final result. Other times the losing team digs in and makes a fight of it. Occasionally you will lose the lay. But by staking within  your comfort zone, and taking full responsibility should it go tits up, often there are good profits to be had with this trade.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Look at these little beauties...

.. nine little Scatter Guns all in a row!

I'll trade each of these games as long as I get home in time. As an experiment I'll trade the top four in the normal whole match fashion, and the bottom five will be half time entries if any / all of them are 0-0 at that point.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The trouble with P&L blogging... that sometimes it doesn't tell the whole story.

Eddie (aka Soccerdude) wrote an interesting piece outlining the pro's and con's of blogs that consist of, or at least feature, the blogger's P&L. I know some people find these blogs incredibly boring, others find them fascinating. I fall into the camp of 'don't mind' on this subject - as long as the blog is interesting I'll happily read it, P&L or no.

The title of my piece is not referring to those bloggers who might suffer from what might euphemistically be termed 'memory lapses' (ie. they blog the 'P' but not the 'L' :-)) although I'm sure they exist.

I refer instead to the fact that a P&L doesn't always tell the whole story. By way of illustration here's my P&L from midnight last night:

Not tremendously impressive, is it? However the small profit shown masks a number of decisions that were made, and, without exception, were the wrong ones to have been made. Ignore the first one - that was a speculative lay made in the last minute or two to catch a late goal - they sometimes work and pay well - in this case it didn't. Move on.

The Fortaleza game, a Brazillian cup match, had the home team as heavy odds on favourites. I looked to get involved at half time with the match goalless, but the odds weren't good, and knowing nothing about either team I decided to leave it alone. On glancing at the match again at 60 minutes I was somewhat surprised to see that it was still 0-0. So I laid Under 2.5 goals at 1.2 for £100. Two quick goals at 66 and 70 minutes would have returned over £50 but, me being me, I held on, greening up for the £27 shown a couple of micro seconds before the third goal at 88 minutes. Doh!

I had a game plan for the Copa game between The Strongest (gotta love that name!) and Internacioanal. Along the lines of my previous post I'd managed to nick a green of £120 on 0-0 scalping one tick at time pre match, and set up a standard SG trade at the same time. A little trade I sometimes execute when I've got a risk free green on 0-0 is to lay U2.5 goals for the profit I've got on 0-0. When this trade comes off it really is a good payer! So, in this match at half time, with the score still 0-0 I had a hedged figure of £26 on the 0-0. Laying 2.5 at 1.26 for £100 would leave me with an overall loss of about £7 on the match as a whole if it had finished 0-0. The first goal went in during the first minute of the second half, whilst my hedge bet on the 0-0 was still waiting to be matched. Convinced there'd be more goals I let the 2.5 trade run. There was one more goal, an equaliser, in the 88th minute - landing the SG side of the trade - but too late to do anything serious about the 2.5.

So, there we have it. A profit of £12 on a total maximum liability of just over £70 (ignoring the pre match scalping stakes). This represents a return of 16% on stakes - a figure I think is perfectly acceptable. With better timing and decision making though, the profit would have been enhanced by over £120 to give a percentage profit on stakes of getting on for 100%.

Perhaps I shouldn't trade when tired?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The world's most expensive cuppa?

If you think paying £4 or £5 for the latest Colombian speciality at Starbucks is expensive you haven't experienced Gun's Cafe! A mug (a pertinent word, as will become plain!) of English tea, brewed to perfection and consumed with the aid of two sugars, a dash of unleaded milk with a side order of Benson & Hedges at Gun's Cafe, tonight, for one night only, cost £100!

An unmatched £100 at 8.6 on 0-0 in the Copa game between Emlec and Lanus  was somehow matched pre kick off and then lost 4 minutes in when Lanus scored.

Un-ber- lievable.

 When I eased myself out of my chair to go and make said cuppa 0-0 was trading quite happily at 8.2 with a minute on the tomer. So instead of canning the trade (I was only looking for 1 tick pre kick off ffs!) I let it go secure in the knowledge that it wouldn't get matched and would cancel at the suspension at kick off.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Leaving it later

Extending my last post a bit, I think I need to clarify a couple things a bit. I'm not talking about betting on outcomes later in a match to get better odds - I'm  talking about getting better odds to trade a market with. To illustrate my point the image below shows the three scores I trade in the Correct Score market at both kick off and at half time.

I know the exact odds will differ slightly, and so, therefore, will my staking game to game. However the above is broadly representative of a typically evenly matched game such as I like to trade. The % figures are taken from 250 Premier League matches ytd courtesy of football data. I'm too tired to do it tonight but will check the same stats for the French league at some point - and wouldn't be at all surprised to see even higher instances of 1-1.

Speaking of 1-1 the thing that strikes me from looking at the above is how close the % of matches finishing thus are from kick off and from a 0-0 at half time situation. The 1-1 scoreline, as I've said before, is the key to this trade.

Let's assume that the away team have taken the lead, and the home side equalise at about the 65 minute mark. It's realistic to say the 1-1 would then trade at approximately 3 to lay, with 1-2 and 2-1 trading at 8 and 7.4 ish respectively.

It's at this point that people's individual actions will differ according to their trading style. Fairly obviously if you choose to exit the trade completely at this point there are relatively great differences in total hedged profits available:

Almost certainly I would choose not to hedge completely, and in both circumstances would lay 1-1 for my original 1-1 stake as soon as the market had settled - effectively leaving a reduced profit on that score in the hope (yes - hope / expectation - i.e. a gamble) of there being a winning goal. Should it stay 1-1 until that scoreline is available at 1.3 to lay I would then hedge it completely. It is in these circumstances that a very late winner really pays nicely.

Unfortunately the players don't always read the scripts that I send them, so the above is an ideal scenario. However, my experience is that if the match is 0-0 at half time and does, at some point, hit the magical 1-1 then it tends to  do so later than the 65th minute, so you could find yourself laying at a much lower figure than the 3 mentioned above, without too much detriment to the other two scores.

Equally there are other matches that finish 2-1 or 1-2 without going through the 1-1 score. The way these pan out is of course pure, unadulterated luck but many's the time I've had a last minute goal land a nice result. Those that finish 0-0 1-0 2-0 etc are, of course, wipeouts unless you've taken precautions against it somehow in this or another market.

The figures used here are accurate enough to be used as a guide, and interested parties will need to work out their own ways of handling each situation as it arises, but hopefully some sense can now be made of my preference to enter some trades at half time if I believe the game, and the odds, to be right.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Value and prices

As usual an interesting piece by Cassini in response to a question asked by one Cloppa... here's the meat of the question and answer:

I wonder whether the point of Cloppa's question wasn't more about the pricing than the timing. We all know that statistically the first goal in a football match comes after the half hour mark on average. Using Cloppa's example of the U1.5 market, and assuming as Cassini says the bet, and therefore the price, was value pre kick off, what has changed at 20, 23 or even 29 minutes? The answer, of course, is the price on offer!

I am finding my return on trades entered after half time (if the match is 0-0 at half time) have a much better return than the return on trades entered at kick off. The strike rate suffers a bit, but my figures suggest that the better prices on offer more than offset the lower s/r.

The downside to this approach is that you inevitably miss out on qualifying trades so I'm not suggesting that I do it all the time. There are certain leagues (France, Italy, Argentina and Brazil spring to mind) where 0-0 between evenly matched sides at half time is more common than others and it is to these leagues that I would look for later entry possibilities.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Saved by the bell.... or so close and yet so far

The results:

and my results:
I think a return of over 11% from 8 trades is acceptable, but let's have a look at some of the facts (and opinion, to be strictly accurate) behind the figures.

Five from 8 games were drawn, but only 1 was the 0-0 that so many mistakenly think is common in this league! According to soccerstats only 6.82% of games this season (before tonight) have ended 2-2 and tonight we get more than a third! What is painfully evident from the shot of my results was that I only got on 2-2 at my desired odds in matches that signally failed to hit this scoreline, and the scores in those three games gave no opportunity to use any leverage from that scoreline anyway.

My plan was to exit the Nantes match at half time, as it was  1-2 at thirty minutes. This idea was somewhat scuppered by a 45th minute goal, so with my sensible hat on that was an unnecessary total loss. Sensible trading would have increased the return to a much more healthy looking 22%. But when was I ever a sensible trader?

In the three matches that ended 2-2 I had taken the 1-1 stake of £5 out of the profit on that score by about the 65th minute. The Sedan and Metz games had a third goal relatively early, leaving little option but to take the green on offer. That proved to be the right thing to do in both cases.

Clermont was a different kettle of fish as it stayed 1-1 until the 90th minute, by which time I had greened out of 1-1 completely. The Clermont goal then presented me with another problem so often encountered in these lower leagues, namely liquidity. There could only have been seconds left yet I had to take a totally unrealistic price to square my position as there was just so little money available. Fortunately this too paid off as Istres equalised! I've been doing this too long to let a winning position ride with seconds on the clock - take the green - every time - is my advice, even if you know you're paying too much for it (sorry, value seekers!). This match is what the post title refers to, as the 2-1 took the return from about £17 to just shy of £50 thus rescuing the night's endeavours.

In closing I can't avoid mentioning the ninth game played tonight between table toppers Bastia and basement team Amiens. Bastia were 1.33 in Match odds prior to the off and therefore the match was well outside my (admittedly) flexible odds range. I even toyed with the idea of laying them for the first few minutes as I wondered if they weren't a bit too cheap. And so it proved when Amiens went 0-1 after ten minutes.

Needless to say, despite the odds pointing to the contrary, the bloody game finished 2-1!

Half Time round up

For a league that is sometimes rumoured to have few goals they've been banging them in tonight! One of the eight, Guincamp, is dead already at 3-0. Two are nicely poised at 1-1, one is at 1-0 and three are still 0-0. The ninth game, Nantes v Boulogne, is 1-2 at the half hour mark. Assuming that stays that way until half time I'll probably get out for what I can then.

So the overall picture at the moment is ok bordering on the possibly brilliant, possibly calamitous. The experiment could go either way so hold the front page!

Home alone - let's have a bit of fun!

Mrs Gun's spending all my ill-gotten gains at the Ideal Home Exhibition and is then eating out in London with her friends. So what's a chap to do all on his own in a large (well, moderately large!) empty house? As I no longer know that many nubile young ladies other than my son's friends I think I'd better keep it simple and uncomplicated.

So I will Scatter Gun trade 8 out of the 9 Ligue 2 games tonight, leaving the encounter between Bastia and Amiens out of the mix as the odds are outwith my parameters. They will be straight trades with no scalping and the only non mechanical aspect will be that I will trade out when I choose if a winning score is reached. I'll let all trades run to 0-0 or whatever.

Total investment just under £85 as of now, but I will be jumping on 2-2's at about 25 if I can, so the total investment might climb to about £100 if they are all 0-0 at 20 -25 minutes.

I'm predicting a modest profit - time will tell.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Going full circle - the power of compounding

I was reading Steve's posts here and reading about his struggles with discipline, rash decisions, mindset and all the stuff most bloggers with this particular interest seem to struggle with. I've got to admire his stoical approach and belief that he will come good if he keeps at it and learns as he goes. This recent post caught my eye in particular as it echoes the way that I started this blog way back in the mists of 2010...

Lazy trader here, I haven't really push the boat out in terms of trying to make my bank any bigger, I reckon if I carried on at this rate I would probably hit the betfair upper premium charge ceiling of £250,000 in about five years worth of compounding, so it would be worth it in the end, but apart from that I'm doing OK and it allows me more time to get my college work done in the evening.
I think Steve is working to a compounding rate of 1% to come to that conclusion. For his benefit, and for a bit of fun, I need to tell him that if he were able to up his rate to 2.5% per day (and get all trades matched, take care of commission and not make any withdrawals) that he need only wait until 17th February 2013 before he starts paying the SPC he seems to have set as a target.

Here's the proof:

It doesn't look too hard if you glance at the top image, but how exactly you go about getting the 6.25 large you need on 17/2/13 might be a bit harder to compute....but fortunately I have a plan...

 You back 0-0 in a big prem game with an hour to go before kick off at 12 for £143506. Laying it off at 11.5 five minutes later would bag a green of £6239.39. So you just need one such game per day. And pray you get both the back and the lay matched and don't have to take it in play - that might be sweaty palm time.

Fortunately, 17th February 2013 falls on a Sunday so big liquidity matches should abound. But a cold, damp Monday night might only offer 3rd Division Argentinian fare with less than £6k matched. Hmmmm ... back to the drawing board then!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Sledgehammer to crack a nut

Whilst browsing the interwebs looking for some mathematical inspiration (more of which in a moment) I came across a link to an interesting website run by one Michel Wray. It's not that inspiring a website - and that's no sleight on Mr Wray's web authoring ability. You see, he has committed the cardinal sin of making the British Leagues 2011-12 fixture lists available in a downloadable spreadsheet format. How very dare he!? Toes have been trodden on, and in his own words

For now, the site's activities are suspended due to the notice below. After 14 years, it saddens me that a site that asks for and receives no money from users, regularly declines offers of advertising to keep the service clean, makes no claims to have "invented" the fixtures, denies no other party any revenue and provides a unique service can be pursued under a dubious point of law that has been perverted from its original intention by an insane level of corporate greed let loose on ordinary fans.

This is a crying shame - see the whole sorry story for yourself at
The reason I'm particularly peeved to be denied these spreadsheets is hidden within the 'Michael' page where it becomes apparent that Mr Wray's sheets are the electronic equivalent of the League Ladders given away pre-season with 'Shoot!' - causing a wave of nostalgia to wash over me.

I have unashamedly pinched the above image from google images - and that nostalgic wave has just washed over me again for shiver me timbers I do believe the Shoot! ladders are pictured on a Subbuteo pitch! Aah, 'Appy Days indeed!

For non British and younger readers of my witterings Shoot! was a weekly football magazine that no self respecting young football fan did without. Written in an accessible manner, and in PROPER ENGLISH (publishers of the 'footie' rag my teenage son 'reads' please take note!) they produced a cardboard League Table for each of the four divisions of the Football League and the Scots First and Second Divisions, complete with pre pressed cardboard 'T' cards for each club. The idea was that you could hang them on your bedroom wall and update them on a Saturday night as the results came out.

As a teenager in the seventies I'm sure the financial worries of the footballing world were hidden from my gaze, and not foremost in my thoughts. But I'm fairly sure that it's not nostalgic to suggest that the Corporate Greed referred to above is very much alive and kicking in all professional sport today.

Rant over... what was I looking for when I stumbled across Michael's site?

Until a recent PC change I had an Excel dutching spreadsheet with a tab for back dutching and a tab for lay dutching. I wrote it myself and it worked well, but seems to have got lost in the switchover.

On the Back Dutching tab I had worked in a way of allowing a percentage insurance to be factored into some outcomes - so if I wanted to dutch some correct score and was prepared to make a 50% loss if the match finished 0-0 I was able to so so.

In writing a replacement the actual dutching aspect works as it should. But I can neither remember, nor work out how to replicate, the insurance aspect!

Basically if I want to stake say £100 in total and am prepared to lose say £50 on 0-0 and £25 on 0-2 how can I work those stakes in amongst normal dutched bets on some other scores? If anyone can point me in the direction of a solution I'd be grateful.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Ultimately it's all about choices and living with them

Wow! What a game, and, to their credit, AC made life really difficult for the gooners in the second half and the great comeback wasn't to be.

The most accurate vision available to mankind, in my opinion, is 20/20 hindsight. The sensible thing to have done was to have greened up at 3-0 and to have left myself with options depending on events in the second half.  But I chose not to. I took my liability out of the game at half time, leaving a £40 odd profit on AC and £800 on Arsenal. As the half wore on the AC odds obviously started to come in, and I put small chunks of profit back on them.

Cut a frustrating story short and I still made a handsome three figure profit, and with the way the match panned out my initial modest outlay was never really in any real danger.

It's a shame Arsenal couldn't get the fourth, but I made my bed and have now got to lie in it. I'm pleased to a) have made the trade and b) to have played it in such a way that although the big one got away I had put myself in a position to still make a decent profit and three figure ROI.

Where's the next low liability lay coming from - bring it on - I can't wait.

Does this look like my smile?

Half time at the Emirates and the magical comeback is alive and kicking. Arsenal 3 AC 0 - the picture above is the chart for AC in the To Qualify market at half time.

Maybe a lop sided smile, but at half time the old fashioned punt is looking very attractive indeed. Rampant gooners, dodgy Italian defending and goalkeeping and my son's Man U scarf (well, it is red!) around my neck I am as of now the world's biggest part time Arsenal fan!

I am torn now - the trader in me is saying ... ' at the very least take the liability out' - the punter in me is saying 'let it run' and the man in the middle is saying 'AC aren't dead and an away goal changes everything so back them for your £1000 lay stake'.

What's a trader to do?

Monday, 5 March 2012

Forget trading -this is more of a good old fashioned punt..

I'll start by saying that I'm no gooner! However, after that magnificent win against Spurs, and with a season that looked dead and buried back on some kind of track I've a sneaking suspicion that Arsenal will prevail against Milan tomorrow night.

No side has ever overturned a four goal deficit previously at this stage of the Champions League before, and it's a tall order even with RVP in quite outstanding form. I'm not suggesting that they will actually manage it, but a quick look at the markets reveals that Milan can be laid at 1.04 at the time of writing in the 'To Qualify' market.

So with no regard to common sense, with no calculation as to whether or not such a move is a value bet I've laid them for £1000 with a £40 liability.

Before you send the men in white coats round to Gun Towers let me plead a case for the defence.

I've already stated that I don't believe that they will turn over that four goal deficit. But what if they get two very early goals and look as if they might manage it? Will TQ stay at 1.04? Will it 'eck as like!

If it's 0-0 at half time will that 1.04 have become 1.01? I doubt it - in fact I think the trade might well be 'scratchable' as long as Milan don't score for maybe 30 minutes with a small loss available at half time.

I love low liability lays such as this, and will trade a more conservative Scatter Gun during the match as it fits all my criteria. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if I'm able to turn a handsome profit from the TQ market.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Bet you're glad I saved you some money...

...but only if you took advantage of the extremely cheap pre-launch price I wrote about here. I'm glad I didn't wait. That £77 (remember it was that cheap so that you would give the author a glowing recommendation so he can sell it more easily at its true value.) was a snip!

In the intervening weeks the system has acquired a fancy name, it's own website, resplendent with images of the author and marketeer in front of swanky pools and palm trees, a guide to making  'no risk' capital to fund the adventure and, best of all, a modest 770% price increase!

You need have no fears, though. The good news is that the new price (£593 for those not too fleet of foot with the old calculator) represents a discount of £307 from the retail price. The catch? Unbelievably it seems there are still not enough  ringing endorsements, so you have to provide one. The real price, reflecting the system's true value, after the second run of cheap offers have been snapped up, will likely run into the £x,000's. Catch it while you can, lump on guys!

Now, where IS that debit card?