That was an awesome post.
Originally Posted by LFC81Eoin
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. No statue has ever been erected to a critic."
I think these are valid points, how do you measure value? How does the market determine what the price should be? I think the asians and exchanges are quite efficient but they must get it wrong sometimes. The only way I know is through experience, it seems the more and more I do this the more I realise I'm consistently beating books and building up balances. I can't prove this and I don't always know that I'm taking value odds but mugging every bet is starting to make more and more sense to me. Sure I may take a few poor value bets along the way without knowing but I really think long term the vast majority of bets will be value.
I'm absolutely no expert in any of this but I think you're right not to believe that the Asians reflect true probability - afaics Dulence is simply suggesting the Asians are a 'good estimate' of probability. Just how good an estimate is open to debate I would say but I think it is a fair assessment to say it is often about as good an estimate the average punter is going to see in reality.
Originally Posted by Landprofits
With 'unbiased' coin tossing, you can base your evaluation of what is 'value' by ascertaining whether your payout pays out more than probability would suggest it should when you hit your selection. Even if data suggested some players had been taking 2.15 on heads and still came out a loser after 500 tosses, it wouldn't break down the theory that you should take 2.15 on heads if given the chance.
Here, we're struggling a bit because there's no concrete acceptance of how value can be measured mainly because there's no concrete acceptance of whether odds anywhere actually reflect probability very well. So why not think about this in the framework of a theoretical example which assumes that true probability on a football game can be achieved? Sticking with Asians v UK books, let's also assume this true probability is reflected in the imaginary scenario of no-juice originating lines all the Asians put up on the Germany v England football game.
With no news to effect true probability, imagine all the Asians who can take huge stakes per customer (for our example) simultaneously receive 999 small bets on one side and 1 massive bet on the other side - to make the point, let's say that the 1 bet is from a complete mug. If the originating line reflected exact probability and no news has come in to change those probabilities, will the line move? Well, if it does it will be money that moved the line, right? So when it moves, is it going to reflect the opinion of the vast majority (the 999 punters) or the opinion of the huge mug punter?
Let's say the odds shorten at the Asians where the big bet has gone. The UK books which have seen no money on the selection could well appear 'value' if they are longer than the Asian. But if only the originating line = true probability and that probability has not changed (the line has only moved due to weight of money), then where is the value in betting the UK line? It's the best price you can get AND above the Asians but how is it value?
It would be like taking 1.85 on heads just because the place where someone just put a huge bet on heads @ 2 (true probability) is now only offering 1.75. Unless that UK line represents an overly favourable price in comparison with the originating Asian line (true probability) then you have no value, right? And if you think that it matters in relation to 'true value' how you think a game will go when looking at those odds which are above the Asians then how are you determining that? If the real probability of heads is 2, the Asian goes to 1.75 because of weight of money and you can get 1.85 at the UK book, regardless of you thinking heads will win, isn't the value all in your head?
If the line moves to reflect the 999 punters and their selection shortens then again, if the UK book line is simply above this new Asian line but not above the originating line, then do you have value? No. But whichever way it moves, it is opinion and money moving it and no matter what any of the 1000 punters think, that probability remained static in our example. Of course there are various things in this example (like the number of bettors, the weight of money going to each sideetc) so I'm not saying such an example proves this is what we experience in every game but it is only to show an example in an extreme.
As Eoin mentions, just why were Germany at such seemingly favourable odds at Asians/Exchanges/Bookmakers? Because that was close to the true probability of them winning? Isn't it that the money followed England and no matter the overall volume of betting, the majority make-up of it was driving England way too short? (On a slightly different point, if you have a very England-centric client base and you know money will come in no matter how bad they are, you can really take the p*** on your pricing!)
Personally, I just accept there's only so much I can determine which is in part because I'm not mathematical and my data was never set out to test any particular theory (therefore I find it hard to imagine I can extrapalate good conclusions from it) and partly because I've not read conclusive evidence one way or another myself which again comes down to far too many variables within the data we can present and the fact we never set out to test the theory.
I bet Germany dnb v England because it was value to me - I have no way of knowing if true probability existed on the game, what it was and just how much value in reality I was getting. But I know I really like hearing all these views and that regardless of whether anything can ever be proven one way or another by evidence taking a theory to task, this kind of thinking can be beneficial to your overall AP attitude by taking you out of any box you might be in and considering the box the other fella is in for a moment.
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Seem to remember discussing this before but last time I had my records which stretched back 3 or 4 years they showed betfair in the red to over 100k so clearly would have been better not laying them.
The issue comes in bankroll and state of mind. My bankroll would probably have gone much earlier and I doubt I could have been philisophical enough to endure a week of being 30k or more down without losing the plot so I always lay off (though only for the stake).
I'm also of the opinion that the market i.e betfair is always the truest reflection of odds at any given point as it consists of tens of thousands of users whose collective opinion is reflected in the odds. Of course they 1.01s lose but that does not mean the odds were wrong. There is no way of divining what the actual "mathematical" odds are of course as no such formula exists.
There are major problems with the practice of mugging snr freebets. As the stake is not returned you would still need to be betting high odds of say 9/1 and over to achieve a return equal to or better than the traditional method of matching off the snrs at high odds. Finding "value" at these prices is generally considered to be far harder than in the 1.3 to 3.0 price bracket. For instance if I was a decent value finder and bet 100 x £10 snr bets over a few months on 3/1 shots, each of which actually has a true probabllity of 27% (rather than the 25% the price suggests), I would still be worse off than the guy who matches off his 100 snr freebies at 10/10.5 (equivalent 9/10.5 cos of snr).
And of course the variance of backing high odds prices is going to be huge, with long, long losing streaks leading to demotivation and a stagnant or falling bank.
My feeling is actually the opposite to what the natural expectation for this idea of mugging may be, and that is that the best method may be to mug the qualifiers and match off the freebies. The qualifiers are at normally low odds so the variance on these will be low, and the exchange commission (or margin at other book, if dutching) will be saved.
Some interesting food for thought in the above posts, thanks.
Eddie and Musicbox I feel are on the money. Not gonna give it all again but the biggest question is how to determine value - Mugging Vs Matching is only a debate once you've crossed that first hurdle.
Anyone watch Derren Brown predict the lottery? OR more accurately, his explanation of how he did it? The bit with the fair punters guessing the weight of the cow - this is how I view Betfair/the exchanges. The collective wisdom of the masses should give a reasonable overall picture of probabilities of occurance. BUT - going back to Musicbox's post; the masses with their tenners will be far outweighed by the big punter (or indeed some bugger with a huge inside edge!!!) who whops down an enourmous sum of money. That's before we even get onto market ramping and traders spoofing.
Most of the time, yes. That's my opinion. My experience in the gambling world is somewhat lacking though!
Originally Posted by musicbox
Hi, my first post here.
There was a discussion on mse about this subject not so long ago. A fair few of the lets say "legends" of the forum insisted that it was more profitable to mug everything. However when I challenged them and basically asked, do you have the courage of your convictions? not one of them came back and said yes they will/do mug.
My belief is this.
Yes it may be more profitable in the long run, but the old friend varience pops it's head up. What happens if you hit a losing streak, before your have built up a good bank? Could that be the end for some people? Will they continue or say bugger it and stop betting in all it guises.
Nobody can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it is more profitable to mug. One persons records/experience is totally different to somebody else.
Untill somebody can prove that in the long run you will finacially gain from mugging as opposed to matching then personnaly I will always match out.
And lets be honest, nobody is going to be able to prove that you are better mugging.
I prefer the certanty of cold hard cash, over maybe winning more, but also maybe winning a lot less.
What I would say is that there are three common situations going on being 1) arbing and 2) doing an SNR and 3) a US facing upfront bonus.
The answers to the question really can be found in the Kelly Criterion. Unless you have a really whopping bankroll then arbing is going to be problematical under Kelly and you will subject yourself to a very high SD and variance unless you are only doing Asian style bets. But if you are only doing Asians then it may be worth looking at. However even then you may be better off partially laying off and boosting your odds.
The SNR situation was dealt with very well above.
Where I think mugging is preferable is with an upfront US facing bonus. I say this not because of value/non value but because of leverage. If you have a $500/$250 bonus why not try and flip it up to $3K before matching to make WR? I know you guys will be saying try and bust out but those times you have to make WR can be time consuming and expensive. As long as you are taking true odds then the value/non value argument is not important. Anytime you are getting a lot of money down with OPM at true odds you are in a good situation. I would go for any bet that is closest to the BF or dutch odds which is usually a low odds selection in which case you may have to bet more than once.
I can't answer the value/non value debate but from playing casinos I do know that if you get money upfront you are better off going for high targets and avoiding WR as much as possible. But I appreciate the busting out method is a valid one and easier in some ways.
I put this idea into practise on the DSI/BetCanadian/Bookmaker bonuses but lost a succession of big 1.50 bets which was painful. Painful as in really painful if you know what I mean. Had I gone for the busting out/matching way I would have been quids in. I lost something like 7/9.
I still think it was the right way to go but the crucial thing is your starting deposit has to be a correct proportion of your bankroll. In other words you have to live to fight another day.
Also not to be ignored is it can put you on an emotional rollercoaster. Remember when Sir Alex spoke of Barcelona as putting you on a passing carousel? Well mug betting can feel just like that.
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