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Archive for July, 2011

Talk amongst yourselves for a bit

July 29, 2011 4 comments

There are quite a few of you reading this blog on a regular basis now and I thank each and everyone one of you for that. I wasn’t sure my random ramblings would appeal to too many people so I am pleasantly surprised to see so many of you popping by on a regular basis. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really have a plan for this blog and tend to just burble on about whatever I feel like at the time. I toyed with the idea of working to a regular schedule, maybe one or two posts a week, but that’s not me. Sometimes I will have a lot to say for myself and at other times I can be lost for words. I don’t want to force a post where I have nothing of interest to say and in doing so compromise the overall quality of the blog.

I try to keep my postings reasonably relevant to gambling and try to look beyond the daily P&L aspects of gambling for a living and bring you something… more. It’s hard to put my finger on but I suppose I am trying to give you something you can use. If I tell you I made 25pts profit yesterday what good does it do you? None. If I share with you my thoughts on a tipster service, such as The Football Analyst, then you have some information you can use. You can see what I think of it and use some of my facts and figures to help guide your own analysis. Any independent review of a tipster is worth something, and my reviews are always fully independent.

Nothing I have to say on here really generates much in the way of discussion though. I had hoped the blog would be a bit more interactive and that I’d get some feedback on certain subjects. Not the sort of feedback that just says “Thanks for that, very interesting” or whatever. I’m thinking more about debate, discussion, arguments even. Maybe I’ll write about dropping a service because I can’t get it to work for me. I figured I might get a few other views on the tipster from you lot. Am I only one it’s bombing for? Maybe you have found a way to get the best from it? They’re just examples, of course, but you get the idea.

I don’t want you to feel you have to join in though. If you have something to add then by all means chip in but if you’re happy to sit back and have me preach to you then that’s cool also. I like the sound of my own, err, typing and I often have a lot to say for myself so I don’t mind. Actually, maybe that’s the problem – that I have a lot to say for myself. Verbosity can be a problem. As I said above, I don’t plan this blog, it just flows from the fingertips. If I outlined each post in advance I could then work out which bits could be cut to limit the post to a readable length but that’s not how I work. This might put some of you off; maybe you’ve landed here by following a link from another blog and thought “Bloody hell, I’m not reading all that crap!” – an understandable point of view. If I made posts shorter and more accessible it just wouldn’t be me though.

Perhaps you’re not joining in because you’re taking the ‘secret’ part of this blog’s title literally. Maybe you want to hide in the shadows and not admit to anyone that you’re interested in gambling for a living. Again, understandable given the looks I get and the stupid questions I have to answer when I tell people what I do for a living. All part of the cross I have to bear although I’m not sure I’d readily give it all up no matter how daft the question.

So whatever your reasons for looking in and whatever your level of interaction, I thank you. While you’re here have a little look around you – is there anyone else about? With so many readers and only so many hours in the day you’re almost certainly not alone. You may not know the others in here with you but you do at least have something in common. You share an interest in gambling (or perhaps in me, which is a little worrying) so that’s an icebreaker if nothing else. Because for the next few weeks you’re going to have to talk amongst yourselves as I won’t be around to lead the discussions. I go into hospital on Sunday for major surgery that will keep me out of action and away from my PC for…I don’t really know how long. I expect it to be a few weeks but it all depends on how the op goes initially and then how fast I recover from that. But I will be back as soon as I can and who knows, I may even deliver that post on leveraging.

Categories: General

The Football Analyst analysed

July 27, 2011 6 comments

The Football Analyst is a system-based football betting advisory service run by a fella called Graeme Dand. Graeme contacted me through my Soccer Systems blog partway through last season and initially there was a bit of a personality clash and we perhaps got off on the wrong foot. Since then, and especially in the last few weeks, Graeme and I have had some good challenging discussions on the SBC forum and via email and I think we both now have a much better understanding of where the other is coming from. Most of the discussions we have had concern The Football Analyst so I figured it was about time I had a look at the service in more detail.

Overview
The Football Analyst uses a system-based approach, which makes sense when you understand Graeme’s fondness for data, spreadsheets and analysis techniques. Over the last couple of years Graeme has developed a number of betting systems, many of which underwent a live trial on his blog last season resulting in what have come to be known as the established systems. There are also several new systems being trialled over the coming season but as these have yet to have any live testing I will limit my analysis to the established systems only, a total of 11 systems.

It’s not my place to discuss how the systems were developed but I think a few explanatory words concerning the names are required. The various systems on offer have very simple names: System 6, System 21 etc. It’s refreshing to see a nice, simplistic approach to naming rather than trying too hard to come up with grandiose sounding titles. The naming convention also allows the user some insight into the system development methods. The 11 established systems are split into five ‘single-number’ systems and six ‘combo’ systems. The former are individual ideas worked up into systems so System 6 presumably looks to exploit a different angle to System 8 and so on. The combo systems are the common selections from the constituent systems, e.g. System 6-21 is the overlap between System 6 and System 21 so selections in System 6-21 are those that appear on both System 6 and System 21. Not everyone would think to develop new systems from the intersection of others so full credit to Graeme for thinking outside the box here.

Data
In order to analyse any system I need data. Graeme was kind enough to send me data for all of his systems covering backtesting and live trial data where available. He also sent me performance summaries for the established systems, showing the number of bets, winners, SR, profit and ROI for each system broken down by season, division and so on. But not being one to take too much on trust when it comes to gambling I wanted to verify these findings for myself.

Unfortunately, I can’t completely verify Graeme’s figures as the team names have been removed from his data. Bets are identified by date and division and include the predicted result, actual result and the odds. Normally I wouldn’t take the match result and odds from a tipster’s record but would extract them from my own database but that’s not possible here as I require the team names to uniquely identify the matches. I can recalculate whether each bet was a winner or a loser and the profit/loss of each bet so I can at least double-check some of Graeme’s workings but I have to take the rest on trust, which doesn’t sit too comfortably with me. That said, I don’t think Graeme is trying to screw me (or anyone else). He told me that he doesn’t keep the team names in his analysis sheets which is a little unfortunate as it means I can’t verify as much of the data as I would have liked so I will just have to make do really. It puts a slight caveat on my findings but as I said I don’t think Graeme is deliberate obscuring data to make verification impossible, it’s just how he chooses to work with his data.

Analysis
As the service on offer includes a number of systems it may be tempting to ask the service operator for some advice on how to get the best from what is on offer. Graeme will be the first to admit he doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to the best way to use his systems so I will perform some analysis of my own. It’s a matter of personal preference anyway when it comes to balancing risk and reward and volumes of bets so I would always prefer to do my own analysis rather than rely on someone else’s opinion.

I have split the data from Graeme into the individual systems, recalculated some aspects of it and also analysed the results in terms of seasonal returns, performance by division and so on. Where possible I have verified my figures against the summary data I was sent so I have confirmation that my figures and Graeme’s match. Let’s take a look at each system individually.

Over the past five seasons System 6 has seen in excess of 3000 bets with a strike rate of just over 45% generating 468.85pts in profit at a ROI of 15.06%. On the face of it these are attractive figures but it is worth noting that there has been a year-on-year decrease in profit and ROI with last season returning less than 25pts profit at a ROI of less than 5% (24.68pts at 4.31% to be exact). This is significantly down on the first season performance which saw a profit of 169.07pts with a ROI of 22.66%. The SR is also much lower for last season than for any of the previous seasons. Only 41.71% of bets last season were winners, a few percent lower than average and nearly 2.5% lower than the previous worst (44.10% in 07-08). There is not too much of significance in the performance breakdown by division. The system is profitable across all divisions although not so much in the Championship. One can’t expect any system to be equally effective across all leagues though; there will be some natural variance and I think that’s all we’re seeing here. The same is true of the monthly split so no need to look any deeper at that.

The breakeven SR, based on average win odds of 2.55, comes out at 39.27% which is quite a bit lower than the average SR for the past five years suggesting there is an edge to this system but last season’s results show a much reduced edge with the lower SR. The longest losing run (LLR) saw 13 consecutive losers, which is perfectly in line with the calculated expected longest losing run (ELLR) of 14. In other words, things have already gone about as badly as we could reasonably expect them to go on at least one occasion and the system has survived. The profit peaked at 471.64pts and reached a low of -6.99pts but those figures assume each bet runs consecutively rather than some running concurrently so they are a little misleading but useful nevertheless. Based on the ELLR and previous drawdowns one could probably get away with a bank of around 30pts for this system but a larger sum would obviously provide more security.

System 7 shows a number of similar characteristics to System 6 as it happens. It’s not as busy as the previous system with 1516 bets of which 729 (48.09%) were winners generating a profit of 258.20pts (17.03%) but the SR and ROI are slightly higher. The same trend across the seasons can be observed too with the SR for the 10-11 season much lower than previous seasons (43.34% against a previous low of 46.25% in 07-08) and nearly 5% down on the five-year average. Unsurprisingly the relatively low SR results in a smaller profit too, just 16.19pts last season at a rate of 5.52%. In fact the year-on-year drop in ROI is evident once more with the latest season’s ROI not much more than one-fifth of the 06-07 figure (25.26%). The divisional breakdown doesn’t show anything of great concern. The relatively poor Championship performance is evident once more but I don’t think it’s worth worrying about. Incidentally the strike rate for the SPL is under 42% but the bets in that division show an above-average return of 19.23% demonstrating that strike rate isn’t everything. Presumably there has been some value opposing the Old Firm over the years. The monthly splits show losses in February and April over the years but I don’t feel it is anything significant.

With average win odds of 2.43 resulting in a breakeven SR of 41.09% it looks like there is a decent edge here again but once more the most recent SR indicates a much smaller edge. System 7 has yet to experience the worst of it, based on the LLR and ELLR of 8 and 12 respectively. In other words there has been at least one losing run of 8 bets but given the sample size and strike rate one could reasonably expect to have seen a run of 12 consecutive losers. The total profit peaked at 272.57pts, over 14pts higher than the end of season total which suggests there was a rough little spell towards the end there. Indeed, a quick check shows that April ’11 saw a loss of nearly 15pts which pretty much explains that one. Despite that, a bank of 25 to 30pts ought to be sufficient I’d say.

Another continuing trend is that of a decreasing total number of bets – System 8 has far fewer than System 7 which was well down on System 6. Over the past five seasons there have been 830 bets on System 8 of which 417 were winners for a strike rate of 50.24%, the highest of the systems I have looked at so far. The ROI is also the highest of the three systems analysed, registering 23.24% with a total profit of 192.93pts. However, the familiar trend of a below average season in 10-11 is evident once more. The SR drops of to 44.38% for last season with 14.34pts profit coming at a return on investment of 8.96%. Admittedly that rate of return is better than for the previous systems in the same season but it is still below average. The Championship performance is weaker than the other divisions once more with the SPL not too far behind but this time there are no concerns over the monthly figures.

An overall strike rate of 50.24% suggests a significant edge when one considers the average winning odds are 2.45 giving a breakeven SR of 40.77%. It’s true once more that this edge was much smaller last season with the lower SR but even last season’s figure of 44.38% allows plenty of wiggle room. The recorded LLR is 11 consecutive losing bets which is actually slightly longer than the ELLR of 10 so followers of this system have already had a taste of how bad things can get and should be prepared. There was a peak in the total profit at 202.84pts which occurred back in mid-March so the system had a bit of a rocky end to the season. As with System 7 it was a tricky April that did the damage. Given the greater SR and the impact that has on the ELLR a bank of perhaps just 20pts would suffice but personally I would look to go with at least 25pts if not 30pts.

Attention now shifts to System 21, a much busier system than the previous one with a total of 2455 bets, 1148 winners (46.76%) and a profit of 477.68pts (19.46%). This system fits right into the same pattern we have seen previously though and it should come as no surprise that the figures from the early seasons are much better than those for last season. In the last campaign the SR was down over 6% on the average at 40.70% with the ROI right down at 4.69% with a total profit of only 22.92pts. The SR, profit and ROI have decreased with every passing season and one must wonder if this trend will continue. Interestingly though none of the individual divisions stand out on the figures particularly. There is some variation in performance level across the leagues, obviously, but none of this seems significant. The same can be said for the monthly figures with no time of the year outshining any other.

The average odds of the winners on System 8 are 2.55 so with a 39.15% breakeven SR there is the usual edge we have already seen with the other systems although this time that edge is pretty slim for the 10-11 season. And the figures suggest there are worse times ahead. To date there have been losing runs no longer than 10 consecutive bets but the expected longest losing run comes out at 13. This, combined with the poor performance last season (January, February and April were all losing months), is a bit of a concern. Indeed, the profit peaked in early January (at 491.02pts) and has slipped back around 14pts since. That’s perhaps not that worrying but who knows if the previous trends will continue and next season will be even worse? Based on the ELLR a bank of 30pts could be enough but given what we have seen here I would be tempted to revise that figure upwards.

The last of the single-number systems to come under scrutiny is System 22 which has seen 1219 bets over the past five years of which 586 have been winners (48.07%) resulting in a total profit of 323.57pts which came at a rate of 26.54%. Once again though last season was poor in comparison to what had gone before. The first couple of seasons saw ROIs up around 40% but this was probably unsustainable anyway. Last season’s ROI was 8.89%, which in isolation would be respectable but is poor compared to the five-year average and previous seasons, and the strike rate was way down at just 40.82%. There are no divisional concerns at all this time and the profits are pretty evenly spread throughout the season but that tendency for the latest season to be the worst of the bunch is a little off-putting.

I have no problems with the edge this system seems to have with a breakeven SR of 37.99% due to average win odds of 2.63 but obviously the edge is reduced in the latest season with the SR so low. Followers of this one have experienced the worst of it too as the LLR and ELLR both come out as 11 losers on the spin which would suggest a bank in the region of 25 to 30pts. The total profit reaches a high of 339.70pts in mid-January of this year but it’s pretty much all downhill from there. In fact last season was very much a season of two halves, more so than I have observed for any of the other systems. It was profits all the way until mid-Jan, up 37.91pts at one stage but the rest of the season saw a loss of 16.13pts with losses recorded in January, February, March and April.

Let’s now have a look and see if this idea of using the crossover between individual systems works, starting with the first of the combo systems, System 6-21. Given that both constituent systems struggled in the most recent campaign compared to previous years it is only reasonable to expect the same from this system and it doesn’t disappoint. The five-year figures show 1546 bets of which 737 were winners – a strike rate of 47.67% – generating a total of 365.51pts of profit at a rate of 23.64% but last season that SR was down as low as 41.61% with a ROI of 9.08%. Once again these figures could be acceptable had previous years not set the bar so high. There are double-figure ROIs in each of the divisions covered so this combo effort has addressed the potential Championship defect seen System 6. With the exception of below-average figures for October – where the ROI drops off to under 5% – the profits are spread right throughout the season.

The decent overall SR allows a good margin over the breakeven SR which is 38.56% thanks to average odds on the winning bets of 2.59. Results to date have been relatively blessed though as the longest losing run has only reached nine in a row whereas the sums reckon on an expected longest losing run of 12 bets. The advised bank figure, based on that ELLR, is right in line with the other systems coming out at around 25 to 30pts. The peak in the total profit came at 370.81pts back in January of this year and things have been a bit flat since then. There were three losing months in the second half of the season but fortunately they were all small losses (-1.21pts in January, -4.35pts in February and -2.10pts in April).

Next under the microscope is System 6-22, the overlap between System 6 and System 22, fairly obviously. The intersection between these two systems is smaller than we saw previously with 944 bets in the past five seasons. In that lot there were 457 winners for a strike rate of 48.41% and a profit of 283.93pts at a healthy rate of 30.08%. The decreasing SR and ROI is evident once more but I am inclined to more or less forgive that given last season’s profit of 25.26pts at a return on investment of 13.66%. Even a further dip next season would probably still result in a nice profit. That’s not to say it’s not a worrying trend, of course, just that it is slightly less concerning than for previous systems. Once again the Championship difficulty seems to have been addressed as the profits are fairly evenly spread across the divisions and throughout the year.

The edge is slightly bigger for this system than for the previous system with a breakeven SR of just 37.22%, the lowest of any of the systems analysed so far. In terms of losing runs things could get a little worse as the ELLR comes out at 11, one greater than the longest losing run experienced to date but the figures are pretty similar so the data should give a reasonable idea of what lies ahead. As with previous systems the peak profits came midway through January, reaching 296.57pts, and things dipped in the second-half of last season.

The spotlight shines on System 7-21 now, a system that picked out 958 bets of which 483 were winners for a strike rate of 50.42% and a total profit of 244.45pts at a rate of 25.52%. And finally the spell is broken – the 2010-11 figures are right up there with previous years. OK, so the first season was a stormer with a ROI of 38.11% but since then things have calmed down a little and last year’s 19.39% ROI is almost identical to the figures from 07-08 and 09-10. The strike rate from last year is down a little on previous years at 46.28% but it’s not a world away from 07-08’s 47.03%. When the figures are viewed by division rather than by season a slight question mark appears over the SPL. There are far fewer bets in that division than in the other leagues, the strike rate is significantly lower and the bets seem less profitable with a ROI of just 6.44%. It may be nothing to worry about, the effects of a relatively small sample, but I felt it worth noting all the same. In terms of monthly profits, across the years February and April exhibit a dip in performance but again I don’t think it need overly concern us at this stage.

Once again the system seems to enjoy a sizeable edge, the overall SR being well in excess of the 40.17% breakeven SR dictated by the average winning odds of 2.49. There are longer losing runs on the horizon though as the longest to date has been seven but the figures suggest an expected longest losing run of 10 in a row. Given those figures one could reasonably employ a bank of around 25pts I’d say. For this system the profit peak, 250.77pts, is only a few points above the current figure and occurred in mid-March, a couple of months after most previous systems peaked. That suggests the second half of the season wasn’t so bad for Systems 7-21 and a look at the profits by month backs up that view. Losses were recorded in February and April but the magnitude of each was no worse than a typical winning month so in effect they both just cancelled out a winning month.

System 7-22 is one of the quieter systems on offer providing 667 bets over the past five seasons. Of those bets the system picked the winner on 336 occasions for a strike rate of 50.37% and made a profit of 224.14pts for a 33.60% return on investment. Unfortunately the all-too-familiar trend of the seasonal ROI dropping on a year-on-year basis is back again but despite that last season’s profit of 32.65pts was generated at a rate 24.92%. This may be nearly 20% down on the 2005-06 figure but it’s still bloody good. The SR is low again for the 10-11 season, the 45.80% recorded being the worst seasonal performance of the seasons I have data for, and it’s around 5% down on the overall average but that seems to be the way of things. When viewed by division it becomes apparent that profits are spread very equally throughout the leagues and the story is similar for the year-round split although February raises a very slight cause for concern.

The winners have come at average odds of 2.65 for a breakeven SR of 37.70%, a long way short of the overall system SR indicating a solid advantage here. Once again the expected longest losing run is a couple of notches higher of the worst run experienced to date. The ELLR comes out at 10 but we are yet to see a run longer than eight losers in a row on this one. Once again though a bank of somewhere around 25pts would seem sensible based on these figures. The total profit reaches a maximum of 234.43pts in mid-March, again suggesting a calmer second half of the season compared to the earlier systems. In fact System 7-22 underwent a similar season to System 7-21 in that respect.

We’re coming towards the end of what’s on offer now and second-to-last we have System 8-21. The past five seasons have seen a total of 325 winners from 636 bets for a strike rate of 51.10% and 168.42pts coming at a return on investment of 26.48%. The seasonal strike rate for 2010-11 is again well down on the average at 46.09% but isn’t a million miles away from the previous worst figure of 47.92% in 2007-08. It’s still the worst of the bunch though so it’s not all good news. The ROI for last season is also significantly lower than in previous years at 15.91% but the previous trend of an annual drop-off is not apparent here with a more random variation in the rates of return. As we have seen with some of the previous systems a question mark hangs over the SPL figures which actually show a slight loss but I have no real concerns other than that as the profits seem pretty well spread throughout the campaign.

The difference between the actual strike rate of 51.10% and the breakeven SR is around 10% again as it has been for previous systems I have analysed. The average winning odds are 2.48 resulting in a breakeven SR of 40.40%. Unlike the last few systems I have looked at though this one has seen the worst run out already. There has been a run of 10 losing bets in a row and that’s exactly what the ELLR predicts should happen. The peak profit is around 10pts higher than the current figure at 178.67pts, a value that was recorded in January but was almost equalled again in March so it seems again that we have another relatively stable second-half to the season for one of the systems. A closer look at the figures shows February was not as bad for this system as for some of the others but April was worse with a loss of more than 12pts from just 20 bets. Swings and roundabouts though I guess.

Finally we come to System 8-22 which has seen the fewest bets over the years of all the systems, just 457 of which 237 (51.86%) were winners creating a profit of 160.47pts at 35.11% return on investment. Like the previous system the seasonal strike rate was lowest of all in the most recent season, as was the ROI, but the variation in those figures shows no clear pattern and is more random than we have seen before. Also in line with the previous system the divisional performance figures are excellent for all divisions other than the SPL which does little better than breakeven really. A similar question mark can be placed over the figures for April as the bets in that month show a loss across the years, albeit only a slight one (-1.92pts, -3.92%).

The average winning odds for System 8-22 are a touch higher than for System 8-21 at 2.61 which gives a lower breakeven strike rate of 38.38%. This compares very favourably to the overall SR and one can expect to see a solid advantage from this system. The longest losing run to date has been eight which is one notch lower than the ELLR figure of nine. Similarly to previous analyses the peak profit is around 10pts above the current figure, standing at 171.22pts which was achieved in January and all but equalled in March. In fact this system seems to have operated almost in parallel with System 8-21. As with that one February was a steady losing month while April was a proper stinker, a loss of all but one of the 14 bets struck for a loss of 12.30pts.

Conclusions
With 11 established systems to analyse there is a lot to take in. Fortunately there is a general template that nearly all those 11 systems seem to follow and that’s one that includes a relatively poor season (in comparison with what has gone before) when the system is opened up to live trialling. We’ve seen that year on year decrease in the ROI and SR in the majority of the systems analysed and one can’t help but wonder what the cause of that is and whether it is set to continue. Why should there be such a drop-off in strike rate? Was last season an odd season results-wise (other analysis I have done on football data suggests otherwise)? Perhaps the systems aren’t able to live up to the billing afforded them by the backtested results. Maybe there is some other reason but in all likelihood we’ll never really know.

It’s an important point to raise because at this point we don’t know if this trend is an ongoing one. Are last season’s results typical of a live season for these systems and thus next season we should expect more of the same? Or next season could we expect a further drop away in performance? If so, it raises doubts about whether one should be following some of these systems. On the other hand though, despite the annual drop-off in performance, several of these systems have shown excellent profits in their live trials and that has to be respected. And of course if performance were to return to previous levels the profits would be incredible. Future performance can never be known in advance and ultimately there isn’t enough live trial data to go on at this stage to determine how these systems are likely to perform in coming years.

Graeme had mentioned previously that last season was one of two distinct halves that my analysis agrees with that finding. Lumping all the systems together we see a very profitable run covering September through to the end of the year, the ROI of which was running close to 25%. January is a transition month with only a small profit and then the rains came. A loss of over 60pts in February was cancelled out by March but there wasn’t enough action in May to rub out the 90pts-plus loss registered in April. One wonders what caused these poor months and the same questions around results etc arise again. If we look at SRs over this period the winners were coming along at an average rate (48.01%) until the turn of the year and it was the second half of the season that suppressed the seasonal strike rate.

On that basis, rather than worrying about last season’s figures as a whole I probably need only concern myself with wondering why the second half of the season was poor. As mentioned above, I don’t expect to find an explanation easily but what these figures tell me is that problems with these systems are either something that has only kicked in recently or are temporary. Until I have more live trial data to go on I won’t know for sure but unless the system rules have been changed mid-season (and Graeme assures me they weren’t) then I have to assume the downturn is a temporary one. Overall though the performance figures all include bad runs such as the one observed last season, in which case if I am happy with the numbers – which include 20%+ ROIs don’t forget – then the bad runs shouldn’t unduly worry me.

Given last season was the live test I have to give the figures from that year more weight than those from previous years. On that basis I am happy to rule out System 6, System 7 and System 21 due to the low ROI figures recorded in the 2010-11 season. The returns are better for System 8 and System 22 but are they good enough? I am happy with a reasonably heavy workload when it comes to football betting as I want the volume, or churn as it seems to be termed these days, but I can still afford to pick and choose the systems I follow. The six combo systems give better returns than their constituent parts and would give me around 1000 bets a season, which is plenty, so System 8 and System 22 also slip by the wayside.

Do I want to follow all six combo systems though? Looking at it again the discrepancy between the 2010-11 figures for System 6-21 and previous seasons is pretty large which puts me on the back foot. But the returns from that relatively poor season are still pretty good so I am tempted once more. The drop-off for System 6-22 and System 8-21 is less pronounced so I am happy enough with those I think. System 7-21, System 7-22 and System 8-22 don’t exhibit this same drop-off tendency and offer excellent returns so all make the grade. It then seems a little daft not to take on System 6-21 but to follow all the other combo systems. After all, System 6-21 still made a nice profit last year and more of that this coming season would be perfectly acceptable.

So there we have it, more or less. From the 11 established systems available I plan to follow the six combo systems with each tracked separately in my spreadsheet and each utilising a separate bank of around 30pts (exact figures to be confirmed). I will be on at low stakes as I look to build up more live test data before perhaps eliminating the weakest of the systems for 2012-13 and perhaps replacing them with other systems that are due to be trialled this season. I am going to keep it simple and stick to level stakes throughout with equal sums going on the home and away selections with no draw cover. That’s the staking I used when analysing the data and that’s what these findings are all based around so it seems only right that I stick with that staking. I saw recently that Graeme is using a different staking strategy but I won’t be following suit even if he is the expert on these systems. It’s my bankroll and I’ll play by my risk management rules. I also can’t verify the odds for any of these bets to date so the profits have to be taken on trust somewhat and that’s another reason for me to keep the stakes down.

In short (ha!): there’s a lot to like about what’s on offer and I have cherry-picked what I feel are the best systems but as independent verification of the odds and profits is not possible I will only be on to low stakes.

Categories: Football, Reviews

More portfolio changes

July 24, 2011 2 comments

Ever since Adrian Massey retired from the ratings game earlier this season there has been a big hole in my betting portfolio. Massey’s ratings powered many of the lay systems I was following at the time and without the ratings the systems simply collapsed. I have tried to rebuild my portfolio in the meantime but with few decent lay tipsters out there (I don’t really know of any, as it happens) I have had to switch some of my focus to backing horses rather than laying them. By adding some new horse racing tipsters to the mix I have probably improved the overall quality of my portfolio although quality is difficult to measure really. But I haven’t been able to fill that gap left by the Massey-powered lay systems…until now.

OK, I probably haven’t completely filled the gap but I have added a couple of new lay systems – Blinkered and Blinkered AW – to my portfolio and already instinct and gut feeling tells me the balance of my portfolio is better. I talk about the balance of my portfolio a lot and it’s another concept that’s almost impossible to measure and quantify. And when I do talk about balance it is usually to say I am happy with it and then not long afterwards I change the composition of my portfolio thus changing the balance. But because it can’t really be quantified I have to rely on instinct to measure how pleased I am with the balance and after adding in a couple of new lay systems I feel happier with the make-up of my portfolio.

The new systems came pretty much straight out of the latest SBC newsletter/magazine. No point denying it as other SBC members would probably spot it at a distance. But then surely that’s the point of the strategy articles in the magazine, so that readers can take these profitable angles and use them to make money. This time though I have been back over the angle identified and done some verification of the data to satisfy my own curiosity and as a result I have put my own little twist on the system identified in the article and split it into separate turf and AW systems. I’m not sure it will work so well on the all-weather courses but I am really after a year-round profit so I have decided to track turf and AW separately so that if it doesn’t work so well on the dirt I can easily drop it and just stick with the turf racing.

It feels slightly odd adding these systems straight into the mix like this. I don’t normally start following a system/service without really proving to myself that it will work and deliver the sort of performance I expect but I have jumped right in with these systems as the stats shown in the SBC newsletter really stood out and I have since been able to verify the angle they highlighted. That said, I will be keeping stakes small while these systems bed in and if it looks like they don’t work for whatever reason I will be swift to remove them but I feel they deserve a chance. And it gives me more lays, which is something I have been craving for a while.

In other news, I have been looking at whether it is possible to expand the Simplex method to other divisions. I have added one new division in each of the past couple of seasons and considered doing the same this year. I have crunched the numbers but I haven’t really found another division where I can balance risk and returns in the same way as I have been able to for the Premiership, SPL and Serie A

Serie B was a possibility but I can’t quite make my mind up on that one. I fear the Italian second division may be relatively tricky to follow in terms of getting hold of accurate fixtures and the bookies may not stand any sort of decent bet on these matches. That’s all speculation of course but if I have doubts I usually don’t proceed and it is unlikely I will extend the Simplex coverage to Serie B I’d say. I trust my gut, as you have no doubt picked up on by now, and this one just doesn’t feel right.

Bundesliga One was another possibility but there have been several losing runs of 20+ in the last few years and while they don’t happen that often they happen often enough to have a major influence on the staking. Most bets are a few points and in a typical season the stakes on most teams won’t even get into triple figures so it’s tempting to raise the value of each point to maximise returns but every now and then the stakes get up around 8000pts which means one needs to keep the point value low in order to control risk. In cases like this it’s hard to strike the right balance so its best left alone I feel. Bundesliga Two looks a happier hunting ground than the top division but I don’t like to include lower divisions unless I also have the top flight in action. I can’t really put my finger on why but it just doesn’t feel right to me so I won’t be expanding into Germany either.

Overall I have now looked at 16 different divisions across Europe and it seems I have already identified the ones where the method seems to work best so I am happy to sit back and let the systems do their work now. Further to my last post on Simplex though I have decided to keep the Prem Simplex stakes the same for this season. The game of football will still be around for many years to come as will betting so there is no point taking undue risks so I will use this season to build up more funds and data ready for larger stakes at some point in the future.

Categories: Football, Horse Racing

Another look at the Simplex systems

July 21, 2011 1 comment

Introduction
This weekend sees the start of the Scottish Premier League and it’s still only July. Madness! Everyone knows the football season starts in August and ends in May. OK, there may be exceptional circumstances that necessitate a slightly early finish, towards the end of April in a World Cup year maybe, but a July start? I presume it’s to try and get as much play as possible in before the bad weather hits in December and January but it still seems odd to me, not least because I don’t really get back into the football vibe until August most years. I’ve known for weeks that the SPL starts this coming weekend but it’s only now, with a couple of days to go, that I have got my arse into gear to ensure I am ready to go come Saturday afternoon.

Admittedly I don’t have a lot to prepare for a new SPL season as the only betting interest I have is my SPL Simplex system but if I am prepping that for the coming season then I might as well go the whole hog and sort out the rest of the Simplex systems in my portfolio at the same time. That means making sure I have the right spreadsheets in place to make it easy to identify the bets as they occur and also to keep track of stakes throughout the season. And talking of stakes, I need to confirm I have the appropriate staking levels set as I can’t really change the value of each point during the season due to the way the staking plan works. I need to set that before the season starts and stick with it throughout the campaign.

I have a staking progression plan in mind with each of the Simplex systems taking another step up the staking ladder each season, the value of each point increasing each time. This allows me to build confidence in the systems while the stakes are low so by the time the stakes get serious I have experienced the highs and lows the system has to offer and am more prepared. This method also takes advantage of the organic growth that I am so fond of. Right now I want to check that each system has a suitable bank for the next staking level without the need for further leveraging (there is more on leveraging to come, I wrote up more of my thoughts on it recently but I am aware that I have owed you this post for some time now and worry that it may be overhyped) and also what sort of maximum stake I could be opening myself up for.

Last season things got scary on the Prem Simplex system. Wolves went on an extended run that saw the stakes on them reach nearly 5000pts. I don’t care what value you assign to a point, when the stakes get up that high things get worrying. Fortunately stakes that high are not the norm but they still occur every few years it seems. With that in mind I am cautious about stepping the value of one point up too high. While most stakes will be nowhere near those levels, in the tens or perhaps hundreds of points at most, I could do without the stress that would inevitably come with stakes like I had on Wolves.

When Wolves were on that scary run I looked at some of the maths involved. I have since thought more about the maths behind such runs and have some new figures to bring to the party. What I really needed to know then was how long I could expect a losing run to go on for as that will tell me how high the stakes are likely to get. Fortunately it’s a relatively easy calculation so I will be looking at that for all three systems.

While I have the systems up on the ramps, as it were, I will also be giving them a quick once-over to ensure that the variables they use are all correctly optimised. This is all ‘under the hood’ stuff really but it’s worthwhile giving it a quick check to make sure it’s not likely to blow up a few months down the line.

Losing Runs
I’m not going to discuss the calculation used here in any detail. There’s no need, all that matters is the result really. I will give the equation used but I won’t be going into how it is derived or why it is as it is. The equation is:

expected longest losing run = ln(num matches) / -ln(1 – strike rate)

That ln() business is the natural logarithm of the quantity in brackets. You don’t need to understand it to use it as most scientific calculators can work it out for you as can programs like Excel but in case you do want to know more you should probably read this. When using that formula above you want your strike rate as a decimal value rather than a percentage, so 0.5 instead of 50% and so on. Note also that the result won’t necessarily be an integer value so you may wish to round it. After all, a losing run of 13.46 bets is pretty nonsensical isn’t it? How can 0.46 of a bet be a loser? Personally I always round up, so 13.46 would become 14, rather than using the traditional rounding methods but you can do whatever suits you.

There are two important parameters used in the losing runs calculation: the number of matches played and the strike rate, i.e. the number of matches that ended with the desired result. There are several ways in which one can obtain the number of matches and strike rate depending on what data sample one uses. For example, should I use the data from my own betting records? That will give me a larger sample for the Premiership than for the SPL and Serie A as I have been betting on that division longer. I only have one season’s worth of Serie A data so calculations based on that sample may not be terribly accurate. Should I therefore use the full set of matches from the last few seasons? If so, how many seasons? It would be interesting to see how the expected longest losing run varies in length depending on the number of seasons included in the calculation. With all that in mind I have decided to examine my own records along with full records from the last 10 seasons, 5 seasons, 3 seasons and last season plus limited data sets including only those matches that meet my Simplex criteria for the same timeframes.

Premiership
I had wanted to display a table of values here showing the sample sizes and strike rates used in the calculations but I tend to have a few problems with tables in my blogs so after playing around a bit with the HTML for tables I have given up and gone for plain text instead. It’s not as clear but it serves a purpose.

My record contains just under 500 bets with a strike rate of 27.91% (0.2791) resulting in an expected longest losing run (ELLR) of 19. The figures for the  full 10 season sample produce an ELLR of 28 and from there the value decreases as the size of the sample also decreases. The calculation gives an ELLR of 25 for the past five seasons, 23 for the last three seasons and 18 for last season only. The values are identical when the data set is limited to the Simplex matches only, with the exception of last season’s value which comes out at 16.

These values fit pretty well with my previous analysis which indicated a run of 19 games without a draw is possible but that it is unlikely to go much higher. Sure, the ELLRs from the multi-season samples are higher, being in the twenties, but note also the trend for the ELLR to decrease as only more recent seasons are included. The number of draws seems to be increasing with each season which in turn brings down the size of the expected longest losing run (run without a draw). Including only those matches that meet the Simplex criteria doesn’t change things much. Based on last season I could expect a losing run of 16 and no longer but this is somewhat optimistic as I have already seen longer losing runs than that. I think working on a figure of 19 to 20 seems like the most sensible approach.

SPL
Using my own record of nearly 200 bets and a strike rate of 25.39% I get an expected longest losing run of 18, one less than the Premiership equivalent. Substituting in the figures for the past 10 seasons produces an expected longest losing run of 30 while the figure is 26 for the past five years and 23 for both the last three years and last season on its own. Limiting the data sample to the Simplex matches only leaves the 10-year value unchanged by increases the remainder by two.

I’ll be honest, these figures are bigger than I expected. There was a run of 25 matches without the desired result for one team back in 2003-04 and a couple of years before that one side went on a run of 22 games without one ending all-square but looking at the data these seem like aberrations rather than the norm. However, the sums say I should be prepared for a  possible repeat performance so something in the 20-22 range is probably a sensible figure to take forward.

Serie A
I only have one season’s worth of Serie A bets in my spreadsheets but despite that the sample size is almost the same as the SPL sample despite the latter covering two seasons. Funny how these things happen at times isn’t it? Anyway, that sample gives an ELLR value of 18 which, as with previous divisions, is lower than the values calculated from larger samples. For the samples including all matches the 10-year figure comes out at 25, the five- and three-year figures are both 24 while last season produces an ELLR of 21. Unfortunately my Simplex spreadsheets don’t go back far enough to allow a 10-year Simplex-only calculation but the five-year ELLR is 23, it’s 25 for the last three seasons and 19 for last season. Note that in this last case the general trend of decreasing ELLR figures as fewer seasons are used is bucked. The three-year Simplex-only ELLR figure is greater than the five-year equivalent due to a dip in the number of draws in recent seasons. It remains to be seen whether this trend continues long-term but last season was right back on track so it may have been a temporary blip.

My spreadsheets for this system don’t go back as far as the Premiership and SPL versions but they are still very useful. They show that in 2005-06 there was a run of 20 games without the desired result so, bearing that in mind along with the calculated values above it seems an ELLR of 20 to 22 is appropriate here too.

Staking
What does any of this mean? Why do I need to know the length of the likely longest losing run? The reason is the staking behind these Simplex-style systems. There is an element of loss-chasing although I should emphasise that it is controlled and not the terrible idea that most seem to think it is. Well, it works well under these conditions but that’s not to say I would consider loss-chasing staking plans for other systems. But because of the way the staking works I need some idea of how long the losing runs can get as that determines how high the stakes can get and with that information I can sensibly decide whether or not each system can take the next step up the staking ladder. Obviously the more I stake the greater the potential returns (all else being equal) so while I am keen to maximise my returns I need to balance this against the risk of overstaking.

The figures I calculated above are very useful when it comes to sorting out my staking but they are all estimates really. The calculations assume that all teams are equally likely to draw and while this is not a strictly valid assumption one has to make a few simplifications when modelling real world situations. They also don’t tell me how often I could expect a losing run of this magnitude but do allow me to ensure my staking doesn’t get out of hand by indicating what sort of max stakes I could reasonably expect to have to put into action. And that’s how I plan to use these figures.

While I haven’t shown any of my workings here I have also given each system an MOT. I have taken each of them apart, checked all the main variables, polished them and put it all back together again. In doing so I was able to use the key variables to calculate the largest stake I should expect for each system based on the ELLRs above. It transpires that I should allow for stakes to reach around 8000pts for the Prem Simplex system, something close to 1200pts for the SPL and when betting on Serie A matches I should be prepared for my stakes to reach figures of around 3500pts.

They are all non-trivial sums whatever value I set for each point but at least I know now what to expect if (when) the worst-case scenarios come into play. The question now then is knowing those figures am I prepared to increase the stakes on each system?

The Prem Simplex system is the oldest of the three I currently run and each year I have increased the stakes. Previously I have done so without first calculating how bad things could get but I wasn’t going to make that mistake again after Wolves’ efforts last season. And it’s only that run that’s really got me thinking here. Without that I’d be upping stakes like a shot as the system is showing a ROI in excess of 50% according to my records and is simple to follow. I think making the increase is the right move but I am going to think it over a little more before I decide for certain. After all I have a few weeks until the Premiership starts so for this system there is no real rush.

The same is not true of the SPL system of course. I need to get the stakes for that one nailed in the next day or so. Looking over the various spreadsheets it seems like a safe move to take the next step up the ladder, especially given the expected longest losing run would only require a max stake of 1200pts or thereabouts. I can handle that, yeah. I could be tempted to jump a rung on that staking ladder given the way this system has gone in recent seasons but that may be pushing it. The longer losing runs came a few years back now which could mean that draws are getting more common so losing runs are naturally shorter or it could mean the stage is set for another big losing run. I just don’t know which it is so I’ll play it safe and just take one step up the ladder.

I only have one season of Serie A Simplex under my belt but it was a promising start and I feel that more success is on the cards. Given that this is the youngest of the systems it has the smallest stakes having started last season at on the bottom rung of my staking ladder but this season it looks well set to step up. In the worst case scenario the stakes will be great but still not as scary as last season’s Premiership so I am sure I can cope.

Categories: Football, Reviews

I sometimes wonder why I bother making plans

July 19, 2011 Leave a comment

The last week or so has seen a slight change of plan. Despite what I said I was going to do I haven’t been going all out developing football betting systems. The tool I wrote recently (which still doesn’t have a name) is excellent and I am still very pleased with it but it turns out that using it isn’t as much fun as developing it was. I could go on developing it, sure, as it is by no means a complete and finished product but to what end? It won’t make a commercial offering without a change of platform and a bit of tightening up so it’s only for personal use. So if I am not going to be using the tool on a regular basis should I continue to develop it? It already includes a lot of functionality, enough to set me well down the road of developing robust football systems so in that respect there is no need to develop the tool further. It’s an excellent little tool but it was the programming and development of the tool that really got me excited, not its use.

Y’see, I’ve not really got my system development mojo working at the minute. I can’t seem to find the right mindset as often as I need to and I am wary of trying to force matters. This time last year I was up to my nuts in spreadsheets and was working up several distinct ideas. OK, ultimately that led to a few duff systems but the important thing is that I was right there in the thick of it, getting my hands dirty. This year I just don’t have that same enthusiasm and I worry that trying to press ahead regardless with betting system development is going to lead to a load of old crap. Without the right mindset in place I fear I will make the same sort of mistakes as last year and turn out more pap.

What’s more time is now a major consideration. There are less than four weeks until the start of the Premiership football season while the Football League kicks off a week earlier. That’s all pretty scary! While three or four weeks may sound like a long time I don’t think it is. Not if I am to do a proper job here. In terms of actual effort, building a successful football betting system isn’t that hard but I like to spread the development out over a reasonable period so as to give my brain time to mull things over and make sure I have identified all the possible pitfalls and so on. And then there’s the ‘going forward’ aspect of the system – how am I going to obtain the qualifiers each week and what spreadsheets etc do I need to support that? In short, if I haven’t made serious inroads into the data by now then it’s unlikely I will have much to offer come the start of the season. Needless to say I haven’t made any great progress yet so don’t expect too much from me in August. I have a couple of ideas at present and I will look to work those up in the next couple of weeks but I am not confident they will lead to much. It might be enough to keep the Soccer Systems blog up and running but not much more. It will certainly be a drastically reduced offering compared to last season.

Last summer, for me, was all about spreadsheets and football system development but this summer the focus is changing to bring in more long-term projects. These are ideas that have little or no short-term pay-off but have potentially excellent long-term prospects, and I feel it is important I at least investigate some of this potential. With these projects taking up a lot of my time I don’t have the time to really worry about my own betting systems so I am turning back to tipsters to fill a gap. I’d rather pay someone else to come up with the selections rather  spend my time doing so as I honestly feel there are better uses on my time, at least in terms of long-term prospects. It may not work out entirely as I plan (what does?) but I trust my instincts and they tell me that this is the right path to follow at this time.

In addition to all that the start of the 2011/12 season is going to be a tough one for me. I’m due to go back into hospital mid-August for surgery and to be quite frank that is my major focus rather than anything to do with football really. It does mean that I am unlikely to have many of my own systems running this coming season as I simply can’t focus on their development when I have major surgery on the horizon but that’s understandable isn’t it? Anyway, so what if I miss (or more or less miss) a season. There are still plenty more to come and perhaps having less on the go this time round will allow me to come back with a stronger offering for 2012/13.

Categories: Football

Now the real work can begin

July 11, 2011 1 comment

I think I have finally got to the point where the football system development software I have been writing includes all the main features and functions it needs to be of any real use. In other words I am just about at the point where development of the tool can stop and I can actually start to use it in anger. I’m not quite at that stage just yet as there are one or two minor workflow issues to resolve, such as disabling certain features/buttons until the previous steps of the workflow have been executed to provide the necessary data but these are minor finishing touches really.

I must admit that I am pretty pleased with what I have done. It’s not rocket science and certainly isn’t the most advanced piece of software I have ever written but it looks like it will serve exactly the purpose for which it is intended, namely the development of ratings-based football betting systems. To simplify things at this stage I have chosen to only allow systems to be developed around Rateform ratings but I plan to extend this in the future. For those of you not familiar with the Rateform rating method it’s one that takes into account the strength of the opposition faced so teams are rewarded more heavily for getting results against higher-ranked teams than against more lowly opposition. There is a decent summary of the Rateform ratings here if you want to know a bit more. The authors of that article rightly identify the home and away contributions to the kitty as variables meaning one could change the ratings by fiddling with those percentages. I have gone on to identify further variables for the actual ratings method plus a significant number of further variables related to testing said ratings so even though the Rateform ratings are fairly basic and have been around so long as to have most of the value sucked out of them I can use them in a number of more complex ways to construct profitable betting systems.

As I said above I am quite pleased with how this software has turned out. I’d be very pleased if only I could think of a suitable title/name for it so it doesn’t need to go under its nondescript working title any longer. And I’d be utterly delighted if I could simply port what I have done out of Excel and into a standalone application that I could then use to form the basis of a commercial offering but I think that’s perhaps taking it a bit far at this stage. Still, it seems as though this software will suit my own needs quite nicely. I can generate and test ratings in several different ways just by clicking a couple of buttons and as a result I get a wealth of stats I can examine. I love numbers, me. That’s why I added a couple of new statistical routines at the back end of last week so that for each potential system I can look at the key stats such as number of bets, strike rate, profit, ROI etc but at a glance I can also see things like longest losing/winning runs, expected longest losing/winning runs (based on the number of bets and strike rate), profit high/lows and so on. As well as the raw figures I automatically get graphical representations of what these numbers mean. I also get full breakdowns of the various stats so I can look at ways in which the system can be tweaked to provide a better return (with the lessons from last season constantly ringing in my ears to stop me backfitting the data).

I think I have everything I need at this stage to give me a real leg up in my system development. That’s not to say the software is perfect (how can anything without a proper name be perfect?) and I have identified a number of future enhancements but I think the time is right to draw a line under the development of this version and to actually put the tool to proper use. It’s time to start playing about with some numbers and investigating a few ideas I have had over the past few weeks to see what comes out of it all.

Categories: Football

Work, work, work

July 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Things have been quiet around here as I have been working hard for the past week and a bit on a few football system development projects, or at least I have been doing a fair amount of prep work for a serious assault on that front over the next few weeks. Last season I made a few fundamental system development mistakes and I am obviously keen to avoid making the same mistakes this year. To that end I am trying to put a proper structure in place to guide this latest round of development so I can’t make the same mistakes as previously. Part of that has involved me writing some software to help me along the way. I have decided, initially at least, to focus on ratings-based systems this time round so I have been writing some software that will generate and test ratings.

I am currently playing with pretty simple ratings but even so I have identified dozens of variables that go to make up the rating generation and testing. I figured software would help  me control those variables so I can work through them methodically investigating the effects of changing each of them individually. A computer program requires strict rules so by writing some suitable software I can implement a rigid structure that will hopefully prevent me from repeating previous mistakes during the system development phase.

The software I am working on at present is being written in VBA for Excel and one day I will stop using Excel as the default basis for any new tools I want to write. It feels like I should be writing standalone applications not ones contained within a file for another application. But Excel gives you so much IO for free that it’s always tempting to use it. The spreadsheet layout is a godsend for taking data in and displaying data to the user. Writing Excel-based applications kinda feels like riding a bike with stabilisers on but why go through the hassle of writing all the IO routines, which wouldn’t look as nice as Excel IO does,  when I can just use Excel? It’s for my own personal use anyway so who cares whether I have ‘cheated’ and used Excel to help with data display? There is that part of my brain though that accuses me of wimping out by relying on Excel’s IO, the part of my brain that is goading me to take the stabilisers off to see what happens. The thing is I know what will happen – I’ll pootle along very slowly at first, getting frustrated, so I will attempt to speed up and come flying off this metaphorical bike causing myself painful metaphorical injuries. Then that part of my brain that goaded me into it will go “ah, so that’s what happens. Right.” And that’s why I’ll stick with Excel-based software for now.

While we’re on the subject of my mental faculties, this software is taking longer to develop than ‘normal’ because of the way my brain works, or rather doesn’t. I can’t seem to penetrate a sort of fog that would allow me to plan ahead and structure code accordingly. Instead I have been developing incrementally, iteratively. Each little new feature I add unlocks a bit more of my thinking and I can project slightly forward to see how that helps and how more functionality can be built on that to improve the final product. Inevitably that means rewriting some of the code I have just written – if only I could project my thinking far enough forward so that I could plan out all the potential functionality and could then code everything once rather than writing and rewriting several times in order to support all the functions. But that’s not how my brain works. It’s been like this for ages though so it’s not something new. Perhaps this is why I moved from software development to software testing. It’s also a good job I am not working to a deadline.

But once this software (it really needs a name but I just haven’t come up with a suitable title yet)  is up and running  I hope it will allow me to develop a few decent football systems that I can add to my portfolio as I could do with more football systems in there. At the minute I only have four football systems in there and three of those are Simplex systems that don’t run for the full season. That leaves me quite light on the football front compared to other sports such as horse racing. I’m not sure yet whether any systems I add to my portfolio will also run on the Soccer Systems blog or not; I may opt to trial other systems that way but we’ll see how it goes in the coming weeks before I make any decisions on that front. I need to complete this software first anyway.

All of this means teaching myself various web development skills has had to be put on hold. I started to teach myself some web basics – some of which was really just a refresher – but I got distracted after deciding to take a quick look at some football data to get some rough ideas of what avenues I wanted to explore for the coming season. One thing led to another and I haven’t been back to the web development books yet. I will go back though, definitely, it just might not be for another week or two.

In other news, not much really. It’s a few days late for various reasons but this morning I completed by monthly review for June. In the end, even though I finished well short of my target profit yet again I feel I dodged a bit of a bullet as I did at least manage to record a profit, something that looked nigh on impossible after Black Saturday. My little whinge can’t have affected results in any way but it made me feel a bit better and have a positive attitude certainly helps in this game.

Categories: Daily Chatter, Football