Friday, 13 November 2009

The flaw

The flaw is that the historical results have the benefit of being able to look into the future; a powerful tool if you are trying to predict horse races!

That's why the system is at its best when the day is higher than the month. On 12th January 2009, the program looks for each horse's previous runs in races before 12/01/2009, but it receives their runs prior to 01/12/2009, including the races on 12th January!.

I've been very lucky for two reasons. I made nearly £1000 on an unprofitable system over 6 weeks with more than 1000 bets. I was also lucky to have spotted the bug on one of the days where it had any effect.

So I've gone back to the drawing board, and I think the basis of my system is still good, but nowhere near as profitable as I had previously led myself to believe.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The analysis

I've now had a chance to analyse the effect of the bug.

Firstly, in deciding whether or not a horse is a selection, the program looks at all of the previous races relating to that horse. The bug is due to the default method that dates are handled. I ask it for all of the races before 07/11/2009, and instead of giving me the races before 7th November, it gives me the races before 11th July. It expects the American date format. However, it handles most dates correctly. It knows that 23/09/2009 has to be 23rd September, because there isn't a 23rd month.

The bug only effects 11 days every month; the days before the 13th, but not the day that is equal to the month. From the 13th onwards, the system is a loss maker. For those 11 days each month, the system (with the bug) is hugely profitable. Then I noticed something even more exciting; there is a large number of selections that are made by the system WITH the bug as well as the system WITHOUT the bug. By removing the bugless selections, the system is even more profitable.

That's not all though, I discovered that if I removed the selections that are made on days where the month is higher than the day, the system becomes even more profitable, because the others make a loss. So it makes big profits on 12th January, and big losses on 1st December.

I had discovered, by pure chance, the perfect system. I'd only have to place bets on about 70 days a year, and have fewer selections to lay on those days. I'd also be fantastically rich, and that would be useful as I would spend the second half of every month in a different sunny country, where I'd have my own apartment.

Then I spotted a flaw in my plan. Maybe you have too?

Monday, 9 November 2009

Oh dear!

The system is now on hold, and may even be finished.

I spotted that the selections made from historical data were not exactly the same as those being selected each day. It turns out that there was a bug in the program that makes the selections from historical data. I've fixed the bug, and it now shows the system to be a loss maker.

This is very disappointing, as well as embarrassing! All may not be lost though. I need to compare the selections from the buggy code with the selections from the debugged code, and try to work out how different they are. It sounds daft, but it's possible that I may end up adding the bug to the code that makes the daily selections.

Still, I've made almost £1000 in six weeks, so it's not all bad.

Will post again once I've analysed the data. Hopefully I'll be able to salvage something from it.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Day 42

Win Lay System - Day 42
Today's starting bank: 3382.28
Today's profit: -418.47
Profit since 28/09/2009: 963.81
New bank: 2963.81
New stake liability: 74.10

The target graph now incorporates Maria's Laying System results in yellow. My lay results in blue and target in red.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Day 41

Win Lay System - Day 41
Today's starting bank: 3849.15
Today's profit: -466.87 (corrected)
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1382.28
New bank: 3382.28
New stake liability: 84.56

Another worst day!

I suppose if the system is going to behave the way that the historical records suggest, then I should be having worst and best days regularly. Worst days are harder to take though because, while I'm living it, those days make me doubt if it is really going to work at all.

I take some comfort in having reduced my liability level to 2.5% of bank.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Saturday preview

Of today's 638 declared runners, I'll be laying 410.

At least they can't all win!

Day 40

Win Lay System - Day 40
Today's starting bank: 3108.38
Today's profit: 740.77
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1849.15
New bank: 3849.15
New stake liability: 96.23

I had my worst day earlier this week, and now my best. :0

Despite today's most welcome profits, I'm dropping the daily liability to 2.5% of bank. I feel I need to reduce the risk of going bust because a lot can happen in a day. When I automate the bet placement, I'll try to recalculate my bank and stake liability before each race.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Day 39

Win Lay System - Day 39
Today's starting bank: 3030.04
Today's profit: 78.34
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1108.38
New bank: 3108.38
New stake liability: 93.25

And here's what you would have won...

Here's the adventures of my £2000 bank had I used the system, as it is now, from the beginning on 28th September 2009.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Day 38

Win Lay System - Day 38
Today's starting bank: 3204.41
Today's profit: -174.37
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1030.04
New bank: 3030.04
New stake liability: 90.90

The vastly increased number of selections (there were around 220 today) means that it would take too much time to produce strike rate and projection figures. I may be able to do this programatically in the future.

I've had another look at the historical data in relation to my current set of selections (set A) and the new set (B) that I identified recently. As well as that I've analysed those horses that are included in both sets (the intersection of A and B) as well as the combined set of horses (the union of A and B).

Here's how they performed in the 684 days from December 2007 with a fixed liability of £100 on each selection and commission decucted:

Set A
Average price: 12.05
Strike rate: 108745 wins from 117501 selections = 92.55%
Profit: £105,213 (£153.82 per day)
Winning days: 391 (57.16%)
Highest daily win: £2243
Highest daily loss: £940

Set B
Average price: 11.72
Strike rate: 111682 wins from 121035 selections = 92.27%
Profit: £105,522 (£154.27 per day)
Winning days: 395 (57.75%)
Highest daily win: £2867
Highest daily loss: £870

Intersection of A and B
Average price: 12.78
Strike rate: 61470 wins from 65849 selections = 93.35%
Profit: £84,268 (£123.20 per day)
Winning days: 402 (58.77%)
Highest daily win: £1705
Highest daily loss: £800

Union of A and B
Average price: 11.56
Strike rate: 158957 wins from 172687 selections = 92.05%
Profit: £132,749 (£194.08 per day)
Winning days: 400 (58.48%)
Highest daily win: £2703
Highest daily loss: £1025

As you might expect, the quality selections are in the intersection, but quality seems to be far less important than quantity, and the union comes out tops on profit. It's likely that I'll now start laying horses from both A and B. That could be an average of 230 per day, in which case I really need to start work on automating the bet placements.

These figures look extremely impressive; in fact they seem almost too good to be true. I plan to put some checks in place that will help to highlight any errors I'm making in producing these figures.

The figures produced by using 3% of bank rather than a fixed liability of £100 are astronomical and would be impossible to achieve in real life.

It appears I increased the number of selections a few days too late, as I just missed out on a day where I would have made about £700.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Day 37

Win Lay System - Day 37
Today's starting bank: 3558.28
Today's profit: -353.87
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1204.41
New bank: 3204.41
New stake liability: 96.13

Today's strike rate: 68 wins from 78 selections = 87.18%
Strike rate since start: 840 wins from 906 selections = 92.72%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 8965 wins from 9707 selections = 92.36%
Profit: £41,380.89

My worst day so far. I estimate that it would have been a small profit with the system as it was before yesterday's change. I did think it would be more risky, but the upside is that it should be more profitable in the long run.

Monday, 2 November 2009

A sets maniac

You see what I did there?

In yesterday's post I said something that at best was very ambiguous, and at worst, complete nonsense. To paraphrase, I said that all of the horses I'm laying are underpriced. On my way to expressing my thoughts on where I might be going with my systems, I wish to clarify on two matters.

Firstly, when I say "horses", what I mean is an "entry"; a particular horse entered in a particular race, eg Red Rum in today's 2:30 at Plumpton might fit the requirements for my system, but Red Rum in tomorrow's 3:50 at Kempton could possibly not. So when I refer to a "horse", please replace it with "entry".

Secondly, when I say that they are all underpriced, what I mean is that they all belong to a set of horses with a common characteristic. I believe I've identified that laying every horse in that set (I'll call it set A) produces a profit. However, that is not to say that each individual horse in set A is underpriced.

A couple of nights ago, I identified another set (B), with different characteristics to A, which also appear to be worth laying. This has got me thinking. I've still to check, but I expect there will be horses that are included in both A and B, as well as horses that are included in neither A nor B. I could create a number of sets of horses, and categorise each set as underpriced, overpriced or correctly priced, based on past results.

A set of horses could be, for example:
Templegate's tips
Winners last time out
Horses beaten by less than half a length last time out
Winners at course and distance
Horses that have previously worn some sort of face furniture
The daily newspaper nap selections
Horses stepping up in distance for the first time

If a horse fits into only underpriced category sets, then would that suggest that the horse is actually underpriced? Probably not, but I would expect those horses that fit several underpriced categories to be very profitable to lay. Likewise, those horses in several overpriced sets should be very profitable to back. In addition, it may be worth considering increasing or decreasing stakes depending on the number and categories of sets a horses appears in.

Juat a thought.

Day 36

Win Lay System - Day 36
Today's starting bank: 3748.80
Today's profit: -190.52
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1558.28
New bank: 3558.28
New stake liability: To be confirmed! (112.46 today)

Today's strike rate: 65 wins from 74 selections = 87.84%
Strike rate since start: 840 wins from 906 selections = 92.72%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 8512 wins from 9186 selections = 92.66%
Profit: £372,028.49

I've made radical changes to the system. Firstly I've made a change that should greatly increase the number of selections. This is in the belief that all of these selections are underpriced. Historical data suggests that they are. Secondly, I've reduced the liability from 4% of bank to 3% of bank. This is for two reasons; the increased number of selections adds a lot of risk to the profits for each race, and I also think 4% was too high in the first place.

These changes should increase overall profit as well as reduce risk of busting my bank. Well, at least that's the theory. Again, with more selections, I should earn a lot more Betfair points to help reduce my commission rate.

I'm going to have a think about whether or not to reduce the daily liability figure after a loss.

Today showed a bad loss, but I'm comforted by the fact that I would have lost a lot more had I not made these changes today.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Day 35

Win Lay System - Day 35
Today's starting bank: 3698.79
Today's profit: 50.01
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1748.80
New bank: 3748.80
New stake liability: 153.72 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 16 wins from 17 selections = 94.12%
Strike rate since start: 775 wins from 832 selections = 93.15%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 8079 wins from 8677 selections = 93.11%
Profit: £998,322.37

Place Lay System - Day 15
Today's starting bank: 1351.03
Today's profit: -65.38
Profit since 18/10/2009: -214.35
New bank: 1285.65
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Maria's Laying System after 5 weeks
Strike rate: 306 wins from 365 selections = 83.84%
Profit: £648.21

I've decided to give the Place Lay System a break until around January. It's not performing as I'd hoped, and the stats show that November and December are poor months for the system.

The Win Lay System is still going strong though, and here's the profits v. target graph.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Day 34

Win Lay System - Day 34
Today's starting bank: 3843.01
Today's profit: -144.22
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1698.79
New bank: 3698.79
New stake liability: 153.72 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 41 wins from 45 selections = 91.11%
Strike rate since start: 759 wins from 815 selections = 93.13%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 8145 wins from 8749 selections = 93.1%
Profit: £912,376.81

A few weks ago, I was amazed when I layed the winner of three consecutive races. I thought that that was highly unlikely to happen again for years. It happened again today. The day started very well, and I thought I was heading for millions again.

Place Lay System - Day 14
Today's starting bank: 1326.47
Today's profit: 24.56
Profit since 18/10/2009: -148.97
New bank: 1351.03
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Friday, 30 October 2009

Day 33

Win Lay System - Day 33
Today's starting bank: 3640.87
Today's profit: 202.14
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1843.01
New bank: 3843.01
New stake liability: 153.72

Today's strike rate: 34 wins from 34 selections = 100%
Strike rate since start: 718 wins from 770 selections = 93.25%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 7942 wins from 8517 selections = 93.25%
Profit: £1,655,398.95

Place Lay System - Day 13
Today's starting bank: 1234.75
Today's profit: 91.72
Profit since 18/10/2009: -173.53
New bank: 1326.47
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Day 32

Win Lay System - Day 32
Today's starting bank: 3354.07
Today's profit: 286.80
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1640.87
New bank: 3640.87
New stake liability: 146.09 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 29 wins from 30 selections = 96.67%
Strike rate since start: 684 wins from 736 selections = 92.93%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 7797 wins from 8395 selections = 92.88%
Profit: £1,083,961.69

Place Lay System - Day 12
Today's starting bank: 1196.83
Today's profit: 37.92
Profit since 18/10/2009: -265.25
New bank: 1234.75
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Day 31

Win Lay System - Day 31
Today's starting bank: 3124.77
Today's profit: 229.30
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1354.07
New bank: 3354.07
New stake liability: 146.09 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 32 wins from 33 selections = 96.97%
Strike rate since start: 655 wins from 706 selections = 92.78%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 7714 wins from 8313 selections = 92.79%
Profit: £816,600.60

Place Lay System - Day 11
Today's starting bank: 1189.31
Today's profit: 7.52
Profit since 18/10/2009: -303.17
New bank: 1196.83
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Day 30

Win Lay System - Day 30
Today's starting bank: 3363.72
Today's profit: -238.95
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1124.77
New bank: 3124.77
New stake liability: 146.09 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 22 wins from 25 selections = 88%
Strike rate since start: 623 wins from 673 selections = 92.57%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 7577 wins from 8188 selections = 92.74%
Profit: £433,099.72

Place Lay System - Day 10
Today's starting bank: 1324.57
Today's profit: -135.26
Profit since 18/10/2009: -310.69
New bank: 1189.31
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

A poor ending to my first month.

Patience and discipline, Allan. Patience and discipline.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Day 29

Win Lay System - Day 29
Today's starting bank: 3539.38
Today's profit: -175.66
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1363.72
New bank: 3363.72
New stake liability: 146.09 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 35 wins from 38 selections = 92.11%
Strike rate since start: 601 wins from 648 selections = 92.75%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 7564 wins from 8156 selections = 92.74%
Profit: £1,334,354.48

Place Lay System - Day 9
Today's starting bank: 1324.42
Today's profit: 0.15
Profit since 18/10/2009: -175.43
New bank: 1324.57
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Weekly targets

For my amusement, I'll post graphs comparing my actual profit/loss with a target that's based on historical records. The win lay system target is 2% of bank per day. The blue line is my actual profit/loss since the beginning, and the red line is the target extended for another week.

For the place lay system, the target is 2.7% of bank per day.

Day 28

Win Lay System - Day 28
Today's starting bank: 3638.63
Today's profit: -99.25
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1539.38
New bank: 3539.38
New stake liability: 146.09 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 30 wins from 34 selections = 88.24%
Strike rate since start: 566 wins from 610 selections = 92.79%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 7378 wins from 7952 selections = 92.78%
Profit: £2,419,315.19

Place Lay System - Day 8
Today's starting bank: 1391.34
Today's profit: -66.92
Profit since 18/10/2009: -175.58
New bank: 1324.42
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Maria's System after 4 weeks
Strike rate: 237 wins from 290 selections = 81.72%
Profit: 756.36

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Day 27

Win Lay System - Day 27
Today's starting bank: 3652.37
Today's profit: -13.74
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1638.63
New bank: 3638.63
New stake liability: 146.09 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 39 wins from 42 selections = 92.86%
Strike rate since start: 536 wins from 576 selections = 93.06%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 7241 wins from 7787 selections = 92.99%
Profit: £4,698,244.43

Place Lay System - Day 7
Today's starting bank: 1191.87
Today's profit: 199.47
Profit since 18/10/2009: -108.66
New bank: 1391.34
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Friday, 23 October 2009

Day 26

Win Lay System - Day 26
Today's starting bank: 3532.62
Today's profit: 119.75
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1652.37
New bank: 3652.37
New stake liability: 146.09

Today's strike rate: 43 wins from 46 selections = 93.48%
Strike rate since start: 497 wins from 534 selections = 93.07%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 6977 wins from 7497 selections = 93.06%
Profit: £6,604,663.06

Place Lay System - Day 6
Today's starting bank: 1223.45
Today's profit: -99.83
Profit since 18/10/2009: -308.13
New bank: 1191.87
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

So far, the win lay system is increasing its bank by more than a compounding 2% per day. There's not many banks that offer an interest rate like that!

The place lay system is going through a bad period, but I still think it will pull through in the end, even if it does need a reduction in stakes.

Day 25

Win Lay System - Day 25
Today's starting bank: 3442.00
Today's profit: 90.62
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1532.62
New bank: 3532.62
New stake liability: 141.30

Today's strike rate: 38 wins from 40 selections = 95%
Strike rate since start: 454 wins from 488 selections = 93.03%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 6623 wins from 7125 selections = 92.95%
Profit: £6,192,116.72

Place Lay System - Day 5
Today's starting bank: 1223.45
Today's profit: 68.25
Profit since 18/10/2009: -208.30
New bank: 1291.70
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Thursday, 22 October 2009


I posted some stats about the historical data for the place lay system recently. Here's the same info on the win lay system.

For the 669 days since December 2007, there were 420 (63%) winning days. The highest win on a day was £795. The biggest losing day was £741. That's to a fixed liablility of £100 per selection with commission deducted. There was a sequence of 8 losing days in a row, and 11 winning days in a row.

Here's a graph showing the average profit per race (in £s) for each calander month. As you can see, only August shows a loss. Hopefully I'll have already made my millions before August! :)

I suppose I could turn it into a backing system in August?

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Day 24

Win Lay System - Day 24
Today's starting bank: 3511.99
Today's profit: -69.99
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1442.00
New bank: 3442.00
New stake liability: 140.48 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 41 wins from 44 selections = 93.18%
Strike rate since start: 416 wins from 448 selections = 92.86%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 6323 wins from 6813 selections = 92.81%
Profit: £5,928,170.56

Place Lay System - Day 4
Today's starting bank: 1263.40
Today's profit: -39.95
Profit since 18/10/2009: -276.55
New bank: 1223.45
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 77 wins from 95 selections = 81.05%
Strike rate since start: 270 wins from 357 selections = 75.63%
Winning days: 0
Losing days: 4

I had a closer look at the data and discovered that the bad period was from mid November to just before Christmas, so I decided to continue with the system. My decision was rewarded with my fourth consecutive daily loss. I still don't know what it's like to have a winning day with this system!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

System abandoned

I've decided to abandon my Place Laying System. Further analysis of historical data shows that the system doesn't work at this time of year. This graph shows the average profit (in £s) per race for each calander month. November is the only unprofitable month of the year and December is barely profitable. October does okay, but we're at the end of it and I think the bad times may have begun.

I've lost £200, but I think it's been worth the lesson that I need to check if a system is seasonal. There's probably more that I can learn from this.

Is it just the cold weather?
Is it the change of going?
Is this system mainly for flat and all weather racing?
Is it certain racecources?

Anyways, it looks like a system that should do well from March to October.

I also need to get more data from before Sept 2008 to help provide a clearer picture.

Day 23 results

Win Lay System - Day 23
Today's starting bank: 3381.47
Today's profit: 130.52
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1511.99
New bank: 3511.99
New stake liability: 140.48

Today's strike rate: 18 wins from 18 selections = 100%
Strike rate since start: 375 wins from 404 selections = 92.82%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 5948 wins from 6411 selections = 92.78%
Profit: £11,335,901.50

Place Lay System - Day 3
Today's starting bank: 1300.52
Today's profit: -37.12
Profit since 18/10/2009: -236.60
New bank: 1263.40
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 43 wins from 58 selections = 74.14%
Strike rate since start: 193 wins from 262 selections = 73.66%

Losing runs

I've used many systems in the past that have begun very well. Then I'd increase my stakes, and immediately the system would start to lose, and I'd give up on them. These were systems for which I didn't have historical data, because there wasn't any. They were different types of systems to these.

My new place laying system has started badly with two consecutive losing days. In the past that would have freaked me out, and I might have given up on it, or given it just one more day. Although I'm disappointed, I'm not about to pack it in, because according to the historical results, it should recover the losses and go on to become profitable. Here's the graph that represents the profit growth of the system since September 2008. This is to a fixed liability of £15 on each selection. Commission has been deducted.

The perfect system for me would be one that shows a graph with a straight diagonal upwards line. Until I find it, I will have to make do with what I've got; a system that has winning and losing days. Of those 406 days, 176 (43%) produced losses. There were 6 consecutive losing days, but there were also 13 consecutive winning days. One day it would have lost £232, but there was also a day where it would have made £598.

So unless I get results that are worse than these, I won't be packing it in.

PS It's hard to tell from the graph, but it also started badly, and was losing £127 after the first two days.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Day 22 results

Win Lay System - Day 22
Today's starting bank: 3243.39
Today's profit: 138.08
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1381.47
New bank: 3381.47
New stake liability: 135.26

Today's strike rate: 20 wins from 21 selections = 95.24%
Strike rate since start: 357 wins from 386 selections = 92.49%

Projections for 27/09/2010 - Corrected.
Strike rate: 5941 wins from 6404 selections = 92.77%
Profit: £11,113,705.11

Place Lay System - Day 2
Today's starting bank: 1404.37
Today's profit: -103.85
Profit since 18/10/2009: -199.48
New bank: 1300.52
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 57 wins from 82 selections = 69.51%
Strike rate since start: 150 wins from 204 selections = 73.53%

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The place laying system results

The win laying system results are in the previous post. This post is about my new place laying system.

Today's starting bank: 1500.00
Today's profit: -95.63
Profit since 18/10/2009: -95.63
New bank: 1404.37
New stake liability: 15.00 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 93 wins from 122 selections = 76.23%

As with the win laying system, the historical data shows good profits for this system over a period of more than a year. I'm starting with a £1500 bank, and the stake liability is 1% of my current bank. As before, I won't reduce my liability as my bank decreases, unless it reaches a particular level. In this case it will be £1000, or close to it. If the bank increases, then the liability will drop when it reaches 65% of the highest level.

Unfortunately I chose the wrong day to begin, and yesterday would have been a bad day too, so I need a good day soon.

Day 21 results

Today's starting bank: 2955.65
Today's profit: 287.74
Profit since 28/09/2009: 1243.39
New bank: 3243.39
New stake liability: 129.74

Today's strike rate: 37 wins from 37 selections = 100%
Strike rate since start: 337 wins from 365 selections = 92.33%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 5610 wins from 6049 selections = 92.74%
Profit: £8,827,996.83

Three weeks into system, and it's going better than I could have dreamed, but it's early days, and I won't be placing my order for a Porche just yet!

I've now analysed the place data, and today I began using my place laying system. I'll hopefully be back later tonight to post the results.

I've had a couple of comments recently about me not posting the names of my selections or the criteria for selecting them. I'll respond to them here in the hope that others will see it.

I said at the start that I wouldn't be posting those details, and there is a very good reason for it. Maria posted her selections for a year but then stopped because she was finding it increasingly difficult to get her bets matched at reasonable prices. She used other systems as well which she didn't post the selections for, and she didn't have the same problem betting those. Maria never gave away the criteria for selecting her lays, obviously because it would render the system useless. She posted her selections for a year because she was confident that there was no way that readers could work out how she was arriving at them. Unfortunately that doesn't apply to my selections. I think someone could quite easily see a pattern to my selections. I intend to investigate more systems over time, and if I think that one of them couldn't be worked out from the selections, I'll post them; at least for a while. I'm sorry if that is disappointing.

Listen to me talking as though I've found the goose that lays the golden eggs. It's still very early days. I'd be delighted if I could just get back all the money I've lost at Betfair. At least I'm slowing down my losses!

I started comparing my system with Maria's after every 100 selections, but since I've increased my number of selections, I think that would be too often, and it wouldn't be a sensible comparison either. So I've decided to do it once a week. Here's where Maria was at after three weeks:

Maria's Laying System after three weeks.
Strike rate: 174 wins from 213 selections = 81.69%
Profit: £407.41

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Day 20 results

Today's starting bank: 2718.76
Today's profit: 236.89
Profit since 28/09/2009: 955.65
New bank: 2955.65
New stake liability: 118.23

Today's strike rate: 44 wins from 47 selections = 93.62%
Strike rate since start: 300 wins from 328 selections = 91.46%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 5217 wins from 5676 selections = 91.91%
Profit: £2,357,442.34

Friday, 16 October 2009

Day 19 results

Today's starting bank: 2474.39
Today's profit: 244.37
Profit since 28/09/2009: 718.76
New bank: 2718.76
New stake liability: 109.00 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 43 wins from 44 selections = 97.73%
Strike rate since start: 256 wins from 281 selections = 91.1%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 4650 wins from 5072 selections = 91.68%
Profit: £1,266,256.28

I made a change to the system today that increases the number of selections. I've removed the filter on prices because the historical data shows that it should increase profits overall. It should also help maintain a low commission rate, and it will mean there will be more races in which I have more than one runner. This will mean I will gain a commission benefit where I've layed the winner as well as a loser or two.

I'm still looking for other ways to improve profitability, and I still plan to analyse the place market data.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Day 18 results

Today's starting bank: 2448.56
Today's profit: 25.83
Profit since 28/09/2009: 474.39
New bank: 2474.39
New stake liability: 109.00 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 15 wins from 17 selections = 88.24%
Strike rate since start: 213 wins from 237 selections = 89.87%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 4320 wins from 4806 selections = 89.89%
Profit: £154,092.29

All the shorties I've layed recently have been winning with monotonous regularity. That's frustrating because it would make a huge difference to my profits if I could get my fair share of losing shorties. I finally got one beat late on today.

This graph represents the system's profit growth since the introduction of the BSP in December 2007. This is to level liability bets of £100 with commission deducted.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Day 17 results

Today's starting bank: 2725.06
Today's profit: -276.50
Profit since 28/09/2009: 448.56
New bank: 2448.56
New stake liability: 109.00 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 6 wins from 9 selections = 66.67%
Strike rate since start: 198 wins from 220 selections = 90%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 4252 wins from 4724 selections = 90.01%
Profit: £158,795.57

I'm making a slight change to the system which is not due to today's poor results, but analysis of historical results show that it's best not to lay my selections in races where there is a small number of runners.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Day 16 - Another profitable day

Today's starting bank: 2724.57
Today's profit: 0.49
Profit since 28/09/2009: 725.06
New bank: 2725.06
New stake liability: 109.00

Today's strike rate: 6 wins from 7 selections = 85.71%
Strike rate since start: 192 wins from 211 selections = 91%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 4379 wins from 4813 selections = 90.98%
Profit: £1,881,759.29

Number crunching

By converting the odds of my 204 selections to their implied probability of winning; taking an average of those probabilities, and converting that average probability (12.35%) back into betting odds, I calculate that my average odds are 8.10. I'm doing slightly better than BSP which is 8.24.

The biggest factor in producing my current profit is that the horses I'm selecting lose more often than their prices suggest they should; 91.18% compared with 87.65%. That means seven horses have lost that could reasonably have been expected to win. So although I'm delighted to be ahead, these are relatively small numbers that I'm dealing with. If those seven horses win today, I'll be in the red.

The 91.18% strike rate is much higher than I had expected, and the £3.2 million question is WHY? Most likely it is down to the fact that 204 selections is too small a sample, and that the strike rate will gradually decrease. However there is another factor which has provided a higher strike rate compared with what the historical data led me to expect. When looking at the historical data, I only considered horses up to a maximum BSP of 16.0, which is my cut off point. My 204 selections include 45 with a BSP higher than 16.0, of which only 3 have won. Those 45 provide a strike rate of 93.33%.

I'm a bit wary of today's selections as they include two or three short priced ones, and I'm now expecting the high SR to be corrected. I'm also starting to think that my stakes liability is probably a bit too high at 4% of my bank. I'll leave it for now though.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Day 15 results

Today's starting bank: 2561.36
Today's profit: 163.21
Profit since 28/09/2009: 724.57
New bank: 2724.57
New stake liability: 108.98

Today's strike rate: 14 wins from 14 selections = 100%
Strike rate since start: 186 wins from 204 selections = 91.18%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 4526 wins from 4964 selections = 91.18%
Profit: £3,238,807.63

That's a relief; after yesterday I was worried that I wasn't going to make my million. :)

Over 200 selections layed now, so time to compare with Maria's system at the same stage.

Maria's strike rate: 174 wins from 213 selections = 81.69%
Maria's profit: £407.41

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Day 14 results

Today's starting bank: 2539.84
Today's profit: 21.52
Profit since 28/09/2009: 561.36
New bank: 2561.36
New stake liability: 102.45

Today's strike rate: 12 wins from 13 selections = 92.31%
Strike rate since start: 172 wins from 190 selections = 90.53%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 4484 wins from 4954 selections = 90.51%
Profit: £948,038.95

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Day 13 results - This time next year, I'll be a millionaire!

Wouldn't that be nice. :)

Today's starting bank: 2434.69
Today's profit: 105.15
Profit since 28/09/2009: 539.84
New bank: 2539.84
New stake liability: 101.59

Today's strike rate: 20 wins from 22 selections = 90.91%
Strike rate since start: 160 wins from 177 selections = 90.4%

Projections for 27/09/2010
Strike rate: 4492 wins from 4970 selections = 90.38%
Profit: £1,181,821.53

Friday, 9 October 2009

Day 12 results

Today's starting bank: 2332.93
Today's profit: 101.76
Profit since 28/09/2009: 434.69
New bank: 2434.69
New stake liability: 97.53 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 18 wins from 19 selections = 94.74%
Strike rate since start: 140 wins from 155 selections = 90.32%

Projected strike rate at 27/09/2010: 4259 wins from 4715 selections: 90.33%
Projected profit at 27/09/2010: £595,062.80

I'd settle for that too, but it would require me to lay horses for as much as £23,000 each.

Is this complete nonsense or is there a measure of reality to it, I wonder?

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Thursday's results

Today's starting bank: 2438.17
Today's profit: -105.24
Profit since 28/09/2009: 332.93
New bank: 2332.93
New stake liability: 97.53 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 17 wins from 20 selections = 85%
Strike rate since start: 122 wins from 136 selections = 89.71%

As a bit of fun, I plan to add a new item to my daily report; a figure representing the projected year's profit. This will be calculated from the results and prices of bets placed to date, but repeated to simulate 365 days. In the early days, this will be very inaccurate as a prediction, but it will gain accuracy over time as the proportion that is factual increases.

Projected strike rate at 27/09/2010: 4049 wins from 4513 selections: 89.72%
Projected profit at 27/09/2010: £229,648.80

I'd settle for that!!!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Wednesday's results

Today's starting bank: 2269.54
Today's profit: 168.63
Profit since 28/09/2009: 438.17
New bank: 2438.17
New stake liability: 97.53

Today's strike rate: 20 wins from 21 selections = 95.24%
Strike rate since start: 105 wins from 116 selections = 90.52%

Now that I've layed over 100 horses, I thought I'd compare my results with Maria's at the same stage. At this point, Maria's strike rate was 81.65%, and she was £207.21 in profit. We'll see how we compare after 200...

I should mention though that Maria deducted 5% commission from her wins, while I am deducting my true commission rate which is a bit lower. Also she layed to a maximum price of 11 (10/1), so naturally her strike rate should be lower than mine.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Tuesday's results

Today's starting bank: 2177.42
Today's profit: 92.12
Profit since 28/09/2009: 269.54
New bank: 2269.54
New stake liability: 94.22 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 9 wins from 9 selections = 100%
Strike rate since start: 85 wins from 95 selections = 89.47%

Monday, 5 October 2009

Monday's results

Today's starting bank: 2165.07
Today's profit: 12.35
Profit since 28/09/2009: 177.42
New bank: 2177.42
New stake liability: 94.22 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 9 wins from 10 selections = 90%
Strike rate since start: 76 wins from 86 selections = 88.37%

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Sunday's results

Still problems with the trading software. Very disappointing! I work in IT, and if a major system was down for almost a week, heads would roll.

Here's today's results on my laying system

Today's starting bank: 2355.51
Today's profit: -190.44
Profit since 28/09/2009: 165.07
New bank: 2165.07
New stake liability: 94.22 (unchanged)

Today's strike rate: 11 wins from 15 selections = 73.33%
Strike rate since start: 67 wins from 76 selections = 88.16%

A bad day, but I'm sure there will be worse to come.

I'm holding fire on place laying just now. I plan to get more data to analyse this.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Saturday's results

I had been looking forward to some trading this weekend, indeed I was hoping for the same on Tuesday and Wednesday because I'd taken time off work for that purpose. Unfortunately, the software I use, Bettrader, has been having problems that have kicked that plan into touch.

I'm still continuing with my laying system though, and here's today's results.

Today's starting bank: 2120.26
Today's profit: 235.25
Profit since 28/09/2009: 355.51
New bank: 2355.51
New stake liability: 94.22

Today's strike rate: 24 wins from 26 selections = 92.31%
Strike rate since start: 56 wins from 61 selections = 91.8%

I have very significantly increased the number of horses to lay without (hopefully) reducing the profitability of the system.

There were a few successful short priced lays today, and today's two winners both won by just a head. I know it's early days, but I think this could go very well. However, there will be losing days and maybe even the odd losing month ahead!

I did some more analysis of place laying these horses and am still unsure about the best way forward.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Friday's results

Today's starting bank: 2076.67
Today's profit: 43.59
Profit since 28/09/2009: 120.26
New bank: 2120.26
New stake liability: 84.81

Today's strike rate: 5 wins from 5 selections = 100%
Strike rate since start: 32 wins from 35 selections = 91.43%

Other factors that would help towards a profitable laying system are:

Maximise the number of horses to lay
Maria's system produced 4131 selections in that year. At the moment, mine produces roughly half that amount. I would be delighted to be able to increase my number of lays, obviously without introducing so may winners to make the system less profitable. I'm going to have a look.

Avoid backfitting
It is possible to add to your historical strike rate by using filters. That's all well and good if the reasons for those filters aren't just random. They have to be logical. For example, if I exclude horses with names beginning with the letter 'A', the strike rate may increase, but unless I can see why there is good reason for it, it's unlikely to increase my profits. Although it might reduce my losses!

Puzzled by the maths

I've been looking over my figures, and I'm wondering if they do in fact give me an edge at all!

I said that there's an 87% strike rate with these horses, and that the average price is 8.63, and that winners' prices average 6.42. By my arithmetic, that means that the losers' average price is 8.96.

If I lay 100 horses each to a liability of £100, I expect 87 to lose. I calculate this to provide profit of (100 / (8.96 - 1)) x 87 = 1092.96 less commission, say £1038.32. The 13 winners would cost me £1300. That's a net loss of £261.68. Not much of an edge?!

So why did I think it was? Need to check all my figures again, or maybe I'm missing something.

On a possibly more positive note, I checked back the last five years data, and the strike rate is consistently between 87% and 90%. I used an Industry SP of 12.0 (11/1) as the maximum price, because that was roughly what the average 16.0 BSP equates to.

Also, and this will need checking too, it's possible that these horses are worth laying to place as well. By adding a second laying system, it would help with another area that would increase my edge (if there is one).

Have a low commission rate
The profits I quoted for Maria's Laying System are probably underestimated by a fair bit. She deducted 5% from her profits even though she was probably on a rate of 2% commission. The difference could turn a losing system into a profitable one.

I've sussed why the figures don't tally. Average prices can't be used in that way.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Thursday's results

Thurday 1 October
Starting bank: 2072.63
Today's profit: 4.04
Profit since 28/09/2009: 76.67
New bank: 2076.67

Today's strike rate: 8 wins from 9 selections = 88.89%
Strike rate since start: 27 wins from 30 selections = 90%

The system was inspired by Maria's Laying System.

Maria began with a £3000 bank, and in a year turned it into more than £100,000. Along similar lines, I'd like to increase my bank from £2000 significantly.

To do this, I need to be successful in a number of areas

Have an edge
I have to select horses that on average, win fewer races than their prices reflect they should. I am using a predetermined formula for this. Data I've collected suggests that the formula would have had an edge over the past 13 months. I used Betfair's SP in the calculations. I lay at a maximum BSP of 16.0 (15/1). The strike rate for those horses was 87%. The average BSP was 8.63. For the winners, the average was 6.42. I realise though that past performance is no guarantee of future profits.

Have a good staking plan
Since day 2, I've risked a liability of 4% of my current bank on each horse. Today that was £82.91. Tomorrow it increases to £83.07. However, after a losing day, I won't be decreasing the liability. Similar to Maria's staking plan, I will adjust my stakes downwards if my bank falls 25% below it's highest level, or reconsider whether it's worth continuing with. Using this method of staking against last year's data provided optimum profitability.

Lay at good prices
Ideally I'd like to lay below BSP. That's not going to be easy for me since I'm working all day. However, I can make use of Betfair's options for handling unmatched bets at the off. I'm a programmer, so I could also create a bot to place the bets if I feel that would be beneficial. It looks like it will, even if just to save time calculating the stakes and placing the bets.

Avoid mistakes
On Monday, there was a horse that fitted the system requirements, but its odds were too high, so I left it out. It was only after the race that I noticed that its price had dropped well below the limit.

Be patient and disciplined
That's not going to be easy for me either! Lets see how it goes.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Allan the Gambler!

After saying that this blog is for my trading only, I've decided that since my horse trading opportunities have dried up, I'm going to post the daily results of my brand new horse laying system. Again, this should help me be more disciplined and hopefully prevent me from making bets just for the sake of it.

I'll explain a bit more about the system later (not the selection process or the selections), but tonight I'll just bring my blog up to date with the results since I began using the system a couple of days ago.

Profits shown are net of commission.

Monday 28 September
Starting bank: 2000.00
Today's profit: -50.40
New bank: 1949.60

Today's strike rate: 0 wins from 1 selection = 0%

(Following the first day, I changed the system slightly)

Tuesday 29 September
Starting bank: 1949.60
Today's profit: 58.26
Profit since start: 7.86
New bank: 2007.86

Today's strike rate: 6 wins from 6 selections = 100%
Strike rate since start: 6 wins from 7 selections = 85.71%

Wednesday 30 September
Starting bank: 2007.86
Today's profit: 64.77
Profit since start: 72.63
New bank: 2072.63

Today's strike rate: 13 wins from 14 selections = 92.86%
Strike rate since start: 19 wins from 21 selections = 90.48%

Monday, 28 September 2009

Some more profit on my day off

Having a bet on Man City tonight. Hope they can score 4.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Saturday's result

Just this once, I've left my football gambling result in for those who asked. But this blog is about my trading.

Saturday, 12 September 2009


Monday, 31 August 2009

A quick profit

Trading time is now diminishing. I'll need to make the best of what's left.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Not bad

No system bets again.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Fair day

No system bets today.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Back in the swing

The system bet was placed with a bookie today and was 2nd again.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Trading profit and gambling loss.

It looks like a loss, but it's actually a £7.67 trading profit. The screenshot includes two £50 win bets on horses, both of which finished 2nd! I intend to do more of these bets which follow a system. I could have done them on my Betdaq account, but my Betfair account has a more favourable commission rate. So although it messes up my trading figures, it makes financial sense to do it this way.

I'm also considering trading football matches pre play. When that happens, I'll include the profit and loss figures here.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Maybe not!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Of course I can trade, what are you talking about, Allan?

Want to know a secret?

I just read an excellent post on "The Scalper" blog about Adam Heathcote's involvement in "Exchange Secrets". It pretty much sums up my view on the subject.

I consider Adam to be a bit of a hero and an inspiration to all traders. Who wouldn't want to be making the money he makes trading? There are many people who are in complete denial about his profits who say that he is just pretending, but that's just negativity. "If I can't do it, then it can't be done!".

Although he is earning far more than he otherwise would, Adam does miss out on having a "normal" career. It's possible that Adam sees Exchange Secrets as a step towards "normality". However, I think he has been ill advised, and that it harms his reputation, and it is a venture which is based almost entirely on that reputation.

My understanding was that Adam does what I do, making split second decisions based on price movements, not on what we think twenty minutes before the race begins. At that time we are making decisions on the race before the previous one.

Having said that, if any of my readers would like to send me £55 every month, I'd be happy to send them my vague, ambiguous guess as to where the prices are likely to be just before the off.
In fact, I'll do it for £50.

Starting to doubt if I can trade at all.

I won't know for sure unless I stop myself going in play. Luck is playing too big a factor in my results. I could have been £3000 down or £3000 up last night. I've been lucky in the past with horses that would have cost me dearly trading at 1.01, but losing. Last night some went below 1.10 that I could have greened up on, but they lost.

If this was my only source of income, I couldn't allow it to happen. I need to have a serious word with myself.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Sunday, 16 August 2009

It had to happen...

Big loss today. Will I learn from it, I wonder?

In answer to a comment, I blank out my non trading activities. I might begin an "Allan the Exchange Gambler" blog later, but I doubt it. :)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Friday, 14 August 2009

Thursday, 13 August 2009

A satisfying evening

I jokingly compared my result last night with those of Adam Heathcote, who along with Peter Webb, Adam Todd and other unsung profesional traders who make extraordinary profits, has to be an inspiration to all of us wannabee pros. Of course, the difference between me and them is that they can do this just about every day. With me, it's an occasional event, and as leonthefixer rightly said, I could hit trouble any time due to the fact that I have problems taking my reds on the chin.

Thanks to those followers who have congratulated me on last night's profit. In answer to a question I was asked, I have changed my style to a degree. I did significantly increase my stakes. This has caused me to be more cautious pre play, and so far it is working. I'm still going in play a few times, but not as often as before. The big difference, although it has happened before, is that I enter markets strongly believing that I am going to profit. That's not intended to sound arrogant. I just think it demonstrates that I'm in the groove. I'm not normally a confident person, but there's a chance that could change if I started making as much as Adam on a regular

Sorry to hear about the death of horse Something Inside tonight. Subconsciously I had been singing the Labi Siffre song all evening having seen the name, It is sad that this happens to racehorses.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Monday, 10 August 2009

A multitude of sins

That's what this daily total hides. I'm thinking of doubling my stakes in the hope that it will stop me going in play.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

My first loss

I lost £13.03 yesterday, but that doesn't even begin to describe how badly I traded. It was so bad that I'm too embarrassed to post my P+L listing. The only positive thing I can take from it was that I took a £10.69 loss in a race before it went in play. I need to do that every time in that situation.

As suggested to me, I'm going to forget about targets. I'm looking forward to being "in the zone" for tonight's racing, and taking my reds like a man (not that I'll have any!) :)

Saturday, 8 August 2009

That's more like it!

A great day, not only for my confidence, but also financially. There was a wobbly period though, and I lost a lot through going in play without closing off my bets. I've often thought that part of the reason I let bets go in play is because I think I gain from it. Often I turn reds into greens, and it feels good to do that obviously. Today I'm pretty sure I lost because of it. I managed to turn tiny reds into very big reds. I'm sure it's partly down to stupid pride.

Someone commented on this subject and advised me to reduce my stakes as a solution to going in play. I'm grateful for any advice, but I actually think that would have the opposite effect on me. It would just reduce the worst risk, so I'd just let it go because the risk is lower. My stakes are relatively low compared with many traders who make as much as me. The reason I don't increase them is because I fear the outcome of me letting them go in play. That is why I think I really need to red up every time, because if I'm to improve, then I need to increase my stakes. Although I know that I should avoid big losses by redding up, when it comes time to do it, I can't. It defies all logic.

On a more positive note, I'm ahead of target. However, maybe Saturdays should count as two days?

Friday, 7 August 2009

Not the start I was looking for.

Mixed feelings about my first blog result. It's positive in that I made a profit, but I can't be too pleased by the way it was achieved. It was a night to knock my confidence. I struggled to get any sort of direction in the prices at all, and ended up going in play far too many times. After a very good start, it all began to go wrong. Many of the markets suffered from poor liquidity too. It's not often you get four evening meetings.

So I'm behind on target already, but should hopefully make that up tomorrow. I'm hoping for some smooth trading tomorrow to help me regain my confidence.

Day one - 7th August 2009

It's a special day to start a blog; the 7th of the 8th of the 9th.

I plan to publish my Profit and Loss listing from Betfair each day. This will hopefully encourage me to do well in my trading. That seems an odd thing to say because you would think that the financial rewards of doing well would be sufficient encouragement, but somehow it doesn't quite work that way with me. I've come to trading fairly recently having spent many years gambling, and like many traders who began as gamblers, I have a problem with discipline.

At the moment I trade on horses pre race, but I hope to move into other sports sometime. I have a 9 to 5 job, so that means that I can only trade evenings, weekends and days off work.

I feel that I should be setting myself a target from the beginning, but I'm not sure what that would be. One thing for sure, I don't want many losing days. 6th August was a bad losing day, hence the creation of this blog. Surprisingly I've noticed that some traders use a target as a ceiling for their earnings. They reach their target for the day, or a race and so they stop trading. I don't see the point of that. If you are a profitable trader, why stop? Not only are they limiting their earnings, they are limiting the amount of experience they gain, and therefore their improvement is hindered. Being part time, I try to get as much experience as possible.

The target I'm going to set is £200 as a daily average for those days that I trade. I' d like to see that figure grow too as time goes on. So lets see what happens...