The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

I normally like to post each days report at the end of the day. Unfortunately, yesterday's events meant I had quite a late finish and knowing that the post was likely to be a long one, I decided to put it off until now...

The Good:

My greyhound trading was the most pleasing aspect of yesterdays events. I traded the first hour up to the start of the horse racing, making almost £10 in the process which I was more than happy with. Indeed, the dog markets were really good yesterday and the temptation to carry on with them was strong. However, I had promised myself to carry on with trying to learn the horse win markets so I stopped.

I rejoined the fray later on in the afternoon where again, I found the markets much to my liking. In the end, I amassed a very healthy £36.87 - one of my best performances for some time.

The Bad:

Once the horse racing started, I switched to Bet Trader Pro and continued with my trial of the software, while trying to learn the win markets.

Right away, I was in difficulties. My bets were taking upwards of 3 secs to appear in Bet Trader Pro making it virtually impossible to trade. My misreading of the markets was helping either. After 3-4 races I decided to quite BT Pro and switch to BinarySoft.

This did the trick. My bets were being submitted as soon as I clicked the mouse. It's a pity my trading was still terrible.

It is curious as to why BT Pro has showing delays yet BinarySoft wasn't. I know there has been lots of talk recently with some users of both Bet Trader Pro and Bet Angel Pro seeing delays. With BinarySoft being fine, and the necessity for me to run Windows based software in a virtual box, I do not know if those delays I was seeing is related to my setup. However, the fact that other users are seeing delays tends to imply that it isn't.

Come 3 o'clock, I was down £18 and I decided to stop and go back to the dogs.

In between dog races, I paid the occasional visit to the place markets as I chatted with someone in the chat room. I ultimately lost another £2 but those visits reminded me of why I liked those markets so much and I really must get back to them sometime. That may come sooner rather than later of course if my exploits in the win markets do not go well.

Irrespective of the bet submission issues, I found the win markets very difficult today and losing £20 in the horse markets was a very poor showing.

The Ugly:

Having just released the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet after testing it for the past few weeks, last night was my first time using it with sensible stakes, as Bet365 were covering the Sky televised dog races.

Things seemed to conspire against me right from the off. The spreadsheet is configured so that you can specify which exchange to use for the lays. I use Betdaq for this purpose as I'd rather give them as much of my business as possible, rather than Betfair. So why did I do the first matched bet on Betfair?

As luck would have it, with a few minutes left to go, I noticed that the odds on my pick had drifted on Betfair so that I could green up with a guaranteed profit of £7. Great, I thought, I'll do that then do the lay side of the matched bet on Betdaq. The trouble was, I did things back to front. I sorted out Betdaq first then came back to Betfair only to find that the odds had come in again and I only got 63 pence. Doh!

The Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet can be configured in a number of ways. I prefer to set it up so that I earn 2%-3% on each losing bet. However, the best returns are when I get a winner. Although this will put me in a losing position initially, I get a free bet which makes me a tidy profit when it loses, and no further loses if it wins again - I get another free bet to boot!

The second race last night saw my pick winning, which of course is what I was looking for, but it gave me a problem.

It is important when doing these bets that you try to obtain as small a spread as possible between the back odds and the lay odds. In the third race, the spreads were quite wide and, if I had lost the previous race, I'd have ignored this race altogether. However, I had a free bet that had to be used on this race. As a result, I backed at 5.5 but was forced to take 7.0 for my lay, a spread which automatically put me in a less favourable position. As is the way of things, as soon as my lay was matched, the odds came steaming in and I could have had 5.6 a minute later.

Worse was to follow.

In the third last race of the evening, my pick won. Again, the ideal scenario as I will pick up a bonus on the next losing race I have. It wasn't until I started to look at the next race and prepare for my free bet that I realised that the race had been declared a dead heat.

That threw everything into complete confusion for two reasons.

Firstly, my spreadsheet cannot handle such situations. To be honest, in all my years of trading/gambling, I have never had a pick involved in a dead heat. Consequently, I hadn't considered it, neither had I appreciated the implications of such an eventuality with regard to how Bet365 handle things.

Secondly, I had always assumed that in the event of a dead heat, one's stake is divided by the number of dead heat participants and then multiplied by one's bet odds to give the return. Consequently, and admittedly somewhat naively, I assumed that, having backed at odds of 4.00 (min requirement being 3.00), I'd get a free bet of £25 rather than £50. This apparently is not the case.

It essentially appeared that Bet365 divide the ODDS by the number of dead heat participants. This is of course, rather convenient for them as it means they can avoid giving out a free bet to yours truly. Interestingly, the other pick involved in the dead heat had an SP of 8.00. So whoever backed that, would still get their free bet, but muggings here doesn't. That seems somewhat unjust.

I queried this with Bet365 and they sent the following reply:

I can advise that in a dead heat situation the odds are not affected. The stake is split proportionally according to the number of relevant Dead Heated participants. In this case a bet on a selection at 4.0 would only return your money at a rate of 2.0. What is important is not the odds of the selection but the rate of return. Your bet returns must be at least 3 times the amount of the original stake after any dead heat adjustments for the bet to return 2/1.

To me, the second and third sentences contradict each other, but that's by-the-by. They've clarified the position for me and I'll have to take that into account in the future.

The upshot of all this was that I finished the matched betting some £22 down. Rest assured though, that I'll be releasing an updated spreadsheet to take this issue into account - which of course will never happen again!

And finally...

Salt was rubbed into the wound by Stoke not beating Derby last night, losing me a further £5. So despite some excellent trading on the dogs yesterday, I finished the day £11 down. Just a small hiccup in the grand scheme of things and an important lesson learned.


leonthefixer said...

One day you and I for that matter may get a lesson for free or even paid for by someone else - though I'm not holding my breath, it always seems you have to pay for lessons.

Chin up - you will have it back in no time!

Alistair said...

If only Leon. I'm afraid I'm cynical enough to believe there's no such thing as a free lesson.