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  #1  
Old 27th November 2017, 01:58 PM
Snert Snert is offline
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Default Finding and Edge

On another great thread which again involves Useless Bettor, he noted ..... "Once you can find profitable edges (they are everywhere) then being profitable isn't the problem."

Firstly, from my experience, which is way narrower than some on here (way, way narrower!) I'm assuming that the "edge" comes in the form that the price available / $ result is substantially more than the chances of success.

As far as trying to pick a winner that fits into this scenario, an area where you may be able to find an edge may lie with the bookies who manage to "guide" punters on to good things. There are plenty of over-hyped horses, those that might be potentially backed off the map for a variety of reasons. My thinking is that these horses will be way under the odds, they're not good things and never were. They might have run a fantastic trial, back a couple of grades in class after a good run (only to discover it was a gut buster), the classic being 3rd up over say 1400m or 1600m after a couple of decent runs over shorter distances etc. A few weeks ago David Hayes had maybe a dozen horses entered at Flemington with only one that wasn't 3rd up, yes just one out of about a dozen. He didn't get a winner for the day. What does that tell you? A very good trainer with a plan has set a bunch of horses to peak on this particular day and in this case it hasn't eventuated. Through my study I believe that this type of form is overbet. Godolphin horses are short, Gay Waterhouse horses are short, yes I believe there are edges to be found but you need steer clear of the hype and to a certain degree "form".

Listening to some commentary about a horses chances sometimes includes an expert suggesting "this horse is way over the odds", on what basis one must ask? I would suggest the only way you can find out if a horse is way over the odds is by referring to previously similar races with horses possessing similar form and assessing whether the outcome is profitable. The more history you have the more confidence you should have that past results will, over the long term, be repeated.

I'm a strong believer that the market "knows" which horses are going to be favoured by punters and this very same market conspires against punters by sucking them in to this vortex, one of throwing money at "unders". I don't know whether it's a self inflicted injury by punters, or a subconscious collusion by the bookies, but one thing I do know is that "it" happens, and on a regular basis too. There is nothing unknown by the market, but like the stockmarket, it's not perfect ..... it's random and chaotic. I believe there are edges that can be exploited but you need to become quite the expert and more importantly understand WHY this is an edge. Why does this type of bet consistently produce a profit? The answer must be "because the market has got it wrong", there's no other explanation. Given that the market consistently produces favourites at 30% win strike rate I've no doubt that there are other such consistencies. As it's impossible for there to be the perfect market where each horses odds exactly represent their chance of winning, then there's an edge in every race. The trick is to find these edges that repeat over time for a profitable result.

Some areas that could be considered are; "Pulled hard mid race", in the case of younger horses this may be fixable by the trainer before it's next start. Punters seem to avoid horses with this form and the result may be that over the long term they're over the odds. Gear changes could give you an edge, again maybe looking at younger horses, look at the gear change and follow up what the trainer does in the ensuing weeks. Breeding (I'm jealous of those who are experts in this field). Certain International horses having their second preparation or who have aclimatised. Trainers who part own a horse know the horses ability, can set the horse and get it fit without it necessarily showing up in the form guide.

Then there's form that "on the surface" gives this horse little chance of winning this particular race, but unbeknowns to most punters, over a long period of time shows a profit. Experts at breeding would snag a winner or two where it's just not obvious to the rest of us.

There's got to be humungous areas where there are edges and my belief is that you've got to be an expert in one of these areas, understand WHY the edge exists, and WHY you can continually profit from it. Unless you can answer these questions you may think you've found and edge, but I reckon it wouldn't be sustainable. It would turn against you.
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  #2  
Old 27th November 2017, 04:15 PM
Snert Snert is offline
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I agree with other comments about targeting the more profitable areas of a system. If you've got a profitable system where most of your profits come from say a third of your selections, then during an inevitable downturn in the profitability or even small losses, it's more than likely that those losses will come from the "fringe" of your system, that is the other 67%.

So, why not ditch the 67% and bet more on the third that provides the most profit? Seems logical to me.

The only danger is that your systems profits might slowly move from the most profitable area towards those selections on the fringe.

No matter how you play it, you should have a concept that your system is based upon and you need to at least keep within those parameters even if it means moving from the sweet spot!
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  #3  
Old 27th November 2017, 06:57 PM
UselessBettor UselessBettor is offline
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I thought such a good post deserved a response

Quote:
Firstly, from my experience, which is way narrower than some on here (way, way narrower!) I'm assuming that the "edge" comes in the form that the price available / $ result is substantially more than the chances of success.


Yes you are right. Price is very important for any system to work long term otherwise subtle changes in the prices of selections could bring a system undone. This is what happens to most systems people create becasue the ignore the prices. If you were betting horses at an average of $3 and they win 50% of the time you are doing really well. If other people notice that sort of profit potential (and they do as they have databases) they will start backing the same selections and suddenly the prices drop to $1.90 on average. Your winning system is now a losing system. But backing the selections they still miss above $2.50 is probably still a viable strategy.


Quote:
As far as trying to pick a winner that fits into this scenario, an area where you may be able to find an edge may lie with the bookies who manage to "guide" punters on to good things. There are plenty of over-hyped horses, those that might be potentially backed off the map for a variety of reasons. My thinking is that these horses will be way under the odds, they're not good things and never were. They might have run a fantastic trial, back a couple of grades in class after a good run (only to discover it was a gut buster), the classic being 3rd up over say 1400m or 1600m after a couple of decent runs over shorter distances etc. A few weeks ago David Hayes had maybe a dozen horses entered at Flemington with only one that wasn't 3rd up, yes just one out of about a dozen. He didn't get a winner for the day. What does that tell you? A very good trainer with a plan has set a bunch of horses to peak on this particular day and in this case it hasn't eventuated. Through my study I believe that this type of form is overbet. Godolphin horses are short, Gay Waterhouse horses are short, yes I believe there are edges to be found but you need steer clear of the hype and to a certain degree "form".


Anything that is hyped is worth looking at for laying. You have already identified in that list a bunch of angles where you could find an edge. David Hayes for example is generally overbet especially on a Saturday. Gai's horses run really well on tracks with short straights because her horses tend to lead or be on the pace. The best thing to do is notice something then go research it.

Quote:
Listening to some commentary about a horses chances sometimes includes an expert suggesting "this horse is way over the odds", on what basis one must ask? I would suggest the only way you can find out if a horse is way over the odds is by referring to previously similar races with horses possessing similar form and assessing whether the outcome is profitable. The more history you have the more confidence you should have that past results will, over the long term, be repeated.


When they say "over the odds" they have decided on a percentage of winning in their own brain. For instance winx has almost a 95% chance of winning its next race. They then turn that chance into a price. The thing is who says their guesstimate is right ? More then likely commentators are far worse judges then the public as the crowd is a much better approximate of the true chance of a horse. Smart sets of ratings know this and understand the important of including the price in the rating for adjustments. If I rate a horse at $3 and it is showing a price of $15 who do you think is going to be right more often. I will guarantee you its the market so in this case you need to assess your ratings on this race and probably throw them away or adjust your $3 chance out to a $10-$13 chance. Heed the market as its usually a much better tipper then you.


Quote:
I'm a strong believer that the market "knows" which horses are going to be favoured by punters and this very same market conspires against punters by sucking them in to this vortex, one of throwing money at "unders". I don't know whether it's a self inflicted injury by punters, or a subconscious collusion by the bookies, but one thing I do know is that "it" happens, and on a regular basis too. There is nothing unknown by the market, but like the stockmarket, it's not perfect ..... it's random and chaotic. I believe there are edges that can be exploited but you need to become quite the expert and more importantly understand WHY this is an edge. Why does this type of bet consistently produce a profit? The answer must be "because the market has got it wrong", there's no other explanation.


The market can get a race wrong here and there but overall its going to be close to right. You should be able to take advantage of that information. You only need a small edge to exploit when it gets it wrong. Lets look at Barriers for an example. A horse which is in barrier 10 is going to be more disadvantaged then a horse in barrier 3. The market puts this in the price with horses in bad barriers generally being priced slightly higher then if they had been drawn closer in. But barrier 10 may or may not be a disadvantage. If the horse is one which likes to lead and their is speed on the inside of it then it is going to burn a lot of energy trying to cross the field. But if it generally slots in midfield or towards the back and runs on then the barrier isn't a problem unless the jockey tries to push it up and gets caught 3 wide.


Quote:
Given that the market consistently produces favourites at 30% win strike rate I've no doubt that there are other such consistencies. As it's impossible for there to be the perfect market where each horses odds exactly represent their chance of winning, then there's an edge in every race. The trick is to find these edges that repeat over time for a profitable result.


Exactly. There is too much randomness in a race for it to be perfectly priced. Jockeys make decisions which can impact the race, the bias of the track could impact the race, or even a duck running across a dog track can cause a random result (happened a few weeks ago).

Quote:
Some areas that could be considered are; "Pulled hard mid race", in the case of younger horses this may be fixable by the trainer before it's next start. Punters seem to avoid horses with this form and the result may be that over the long term they're over the odds. Gear changes could give you an edge, again maybe looking at younger horses, look at the gear change and follow up what the trainer does in the ensuing weeks. Breeding (I'm jealous of those who are experts in this field). Certain International horses having their second preparation or who have aclimatised. Trainers who part own a horse know the horses ability, can set the horse and get it fit without it necessarily showing up in the form guide.


All areas worth investigating.

Quote:
Then there's form that "on the surface" gives this horse little chance of winning this particular race, but unbeknowns to most punters, over a long period of time shows a profit. Experts at breeding would snag a winner or two where it's just not obvious to the rest of us.


All horses have a chance even those $100 chances. Its possible they just clicked on the day or the jockey made all the right choices.

Quote:
There's got to be humungous areas where there are edges and my belief is that you've got to be an expert in one of these areas, understand WHY the edge exists, and WHY you can continually profit from it. Unless you can answer these questions you may think you've found and edge, but I reckon it wouldn't be sustainable. It would turn against you.


Yep 100% correct in my opinion. WHY is extremely important.


Quote:
I agree with other comments about targeting the more profitable areas of a system. If you've got a profitable system where most of your profits come from say a third of your selections, then during an inevitable downturn in the profitability or even small losses, it's more than likely that those losses will come from the "fringe" of your system, that is the other 67%.

So, why not ditch the 67% and bet more on the third that provides the most profit? Seems logical to me.


If only it was that simple. Sometimes it is easy to identify what you need to add as an extra filter to a system, but sometimes its just impossible to track down that extra feature to eliminate the 67%.


Great post Snert ... hope some of my responses help. Most were generic (sorry) but punting for a profit is extremely hard until its not anymore. I can't explain how to make money on the punt except to say time teaches you what works and what doesn't.
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  #4  
Old 4th December 2017, 02:02 PM
Snert Snert is offline
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Can the market ever catch up to you and render what youíre doing as useless? If you do believe the market can catch up, as I do, then you either never had an edge or you werenít in a position to see the changes nor nimble enough to do anything about it.

I take my hat off to anyone who can see the nuances of the market changing and adapt and keep ahead of the game. I cannot do that, nor would it fit my psyche. I strongly believe once youíve found an edge itís too late. My strategy, as simple as it is, is that it has to be proven over decades and survived all the changes to racing and betting that have occurred over that period of time. My opinion only, maybe because of my strong belief on how the market is influenced and reacts to these influences.

Having said that Iím amazed at where Iíve focussed my energies over the last year. My concept has always been my driver and the market secondary, however putting the market first and my concept secondary has increased the number of bets Iím able to have, increased the strike rate with a subsequent and obvious decrease in POT. Am I tinkering? I donít believe so as my underlying concept hasnít changed and never will.

There's something in Swarm Intelligence and the accuracy of the market.
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  #5  
Old 4th December 2017, 02:09 PM
Snert Snert is offline
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Here's an edge, gear changes.

Maybe not first up with a gear change, but second up with certain gear changes. It's an edge and is it one that the market would catch up with to the extent where it's rendered useless? I don't think so!
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  #6  
Old 4th December 2017, 04:33 PM
Shaun Shaun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snert
Can the market ever catch up to you and render what youíre doing as useless? If you do believe the market can catch up, as I do, then you either never had an edge or you werenít in a position to see the changes nor nimble enough to do anything about it.

I take my hat off to anyone who can see the nuances of the market changing and adapt and keep ahead of the game. I cannot do that, nor would it fit my psyche. I strongly believe once youíve found an edge itís too late. My strategy, as simple as it is, is that it has to be proven over decades and survived all the changes to racing and betting that have occurred over that period of time. My opinion only, maybe because of my strong belief on how the market is influenced and reacts to these influences.


An edge may occur because of changes in the market itself or betting opportunities, if we look at betfair for instance it created a whole new betting and trading revolution then as they became more greedy things changed, yes it is still a huge player in the market but for some not as profitable because of change.

I personally believe you can never stop looking for the advantages even after you have found one you need to keep looking.

In some ways it is easier to find and edge now than it was 20 years back, but in the same way that edge can disappear just as quick.
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  #7  
Old 5th December 2017, 12:24 AM
Snert Snert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun
I personally believe you can never stop looking for the advantages even after you have found one you need to keep looking.


I couldn't agree anymore because the more you test, the more research you do, the more expert you become. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in any field. I'd agree there for an industry, let's say accounting, but horse racing and gambling is a universe that could quite easily be broken up into several hundred different fields, each one being the equivalent of a degree in accounting, training, breeding, swarm intelligence, the mathematics of gambling, making a book, ratings (surely that's 10 times harder than doing a degree), handicapping, ..... the list goes on and on. My point is that you should find an edge or area of interest and become an expert in that small part within the universe of horse racing and gambling industry, coz there's no way known you'll be able to cover the lot!

The more research you do, like anything in life, the more opportunities you see.
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  #8  
Old 5th December 2017, 12:45 AM
Snert Snert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun
In some ways it is easier to find and edge now than it was 20 years back, but in the same way that edge can disappear just as quick.


I'm interpreting your comment to say that all edges will disappear at some stage. I would agree that there would have been millions of gamblers who believe they've found an edge only to see the market catch up with it and render it unprofitable very quickly.

I don't agree that every potentially profitable area found will ultimately fail. After all under certain conditions there's no doubt history repeats ..... favourites have been winning at just over 30% for ever!, horses win in the order the market places them and has done so for ever, and ..... for example LSW show consistent results, there's countless others. The trick is to drill into the universe of data and find other elements that repeat time and time again, and if you believe that history does repeat as I've outlined then logic will tell you that there has to be other elements that repeat also, they're just not on the surface as are favourites winning consistently.
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