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.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A little vid I made of a mixed evening's trading a couple of weeks ago. My first attempt at a 'videslfie' - my PC nearly found itself in the Thames a number of times during the 'editing' phase - so please forgive the rather rambling commentary, especially at the end where the motion stopped before my mouth did.

Friday, 13 June 2014

More than a little disappointed...

..by the officiating in the WC opener. I thought it was really poor and sincerely hope no precedent has been set. In most other first class matches, in most other places, Neymar would surely have been sent off for the elbow in the first half, and there is no way Fred should have got a penalty in the second. I thought Croatia gave a very good account of themselves, should have had at least a point from the game and that Brazil looked far from comfortable favourites for the competition itself. Of course my opinion is ever so slightly slanted by the fact that I stood to gain a lot more from 2-2 than I did 3-1!

I'll wait and see what odds Brazil attract after Round 1 - they're currently hovering around the 4 mark - anything under mid threes will see me laying them.

Speaking of laying... does Martin Kaymer really have a 16% chance of winning the US Open? He's had an excellent opening round and is three clear. Three clear of some excellent golfers, some of whom don't tend to come good until the latter stages of the tournament. I don't believe he does have a 16% chance, so he's a lay for me at 6.4, but the high odds require a bit of circumspection with staking as far as I'm concerned!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Still alive, and kicking, just about!

Nearly half of 2014 has flown past since I wished everyone a Happy New Year in my last post. I'm pleased to say that whatever the effects of the 'downturn' might have been in other areas of the economy they seem to have a minimal effect on prestige car sales! I've been flat out! That, together with a huge dose of writer's cramp and ennui has meant I've neglected my little blog.

Not only that, but I 'retired' from Cassini's FTL - and I owe him a sincere apology, as he kindly allowed me to enter (against his better judgement, I suspect!) despite my approach being totally at odds with what he and all the rest of the competitors were up to. I have been following sporadically, and tip my hat to those who finished, and tip it once more to those who finished in the green - no mean feat.

For my own trading efforts I've found myself more and more tending to trade the lower liquidity markets you find from early evening onward. As the dark evenings of winter started to give way to the spring and early summer, my return home from work seems to be getting later and later.

A by-product of this is that increasingly I've found myself getting involved in matches in the second half in-play, and I've got to say it's been a revelation. My strike rates and profitability have been much enhanced. I've also found myself tending to lay much more than I back these days, and have come up with a very effective second half approach to that end involving two markets in-play.

The end of the Premier League season once again proved both interesting and profitable. Once again I've one team to thank for a large portion of green - this time the mighty Reds :) No need to go looking for value backs all the time the Scousers are there to lay at far too cheap a price! I also laid Palace in the relegation market in the winter gloom at 1.2 something... my best individual long term win ever in terms of ROI if not hard cash.

I must say my flabber has not been entirely ghasted by the recent Sunday Times exposé of alleged dodgy dealings in FIFA. I'm sure I was far from being  alone in raising a wry smile when the biggest sports tournament in the world was awarded to a tiny state with no real presence on the footballing stage and where there would be very real practical problems with staging the competition. Let's hope that as part of the fallout from this that a) the tournament ends up somewhere more appropriate and b) that FIFA as an organisation pulls out all the stops to root out the corruption and nepotism that seems to plague it. Some hope the latter, methinks.

All of which, somewhat circuitously, brings me the summer of sport that is just round corner (tennis traders will have to forgive me ... I know their summer is in full swing but the sport doesn't interest me and I always lose money when I dabble!).

This Thursday sees the start of two sporting classics. Brazil and Croatia get the World Cup underway and Justin Rose starts his defence of the US Open. Here's looking forward to trading the both!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

(Almost a very...) Happy New Year... and a request for some help!

Happy New Year everyone, and I hope your heads are fully recovered from whatever revelry you partook of and that you are ready to face 2014 in both a personal and a trading sense.

The 'Almost a very..' qualifier in the title refers to my recent performance in Cassini's Friendly Tipster League. I've been languishing near the foundation of said league for a while now, and whilst I knew hitting correct scores sufficiently frequently to challenge for the cash was unlikely, I am, in truth, more than a bit disappointed by my dismal showing! But I came soooo close to a massive reversal of fortunes on New Year's Day when late goals robbed me of no fewer that four winners, although a VERY late equaliser turned a loser into a winner. So a net three decent profits gone in the dying embers of ten games. I suppose the moral of the story (for this is far from an isolated occurrence although it was the most costly thus far) is to lay the current score in evenly matched games in the last five minutes of the 90 wherever you can!

I wait with baited breath for the next update to the league to see if I've managed to do a Fulham and claw myself out of the relegation dogfight!

My cry for help is for some computing advice...

I'm in the process of putting together a piece of software using SQL Express and I would like to be able to record the Home and Away teams for each trade. Once I've sufficient data I hope to be able to draw some pointers from it for the future.

It seems to me pretty daft to have two separate tables with the same teams in them so I'd like ideally to reference the same table for two teams but there is no direct relationship between them other than that they are both soccer teams! I've looked in the usual places but am a little confused as how best to accomplish this, my goal is to have a trade table looking something like this:

The front end will be written in Vb hence the choice of SQL over Access. Any advice gladly received even if it's 'give it up, Gun, and stick to Excel!'. Thanks in advance.