Author Archive: Peter Webb

Loved sports and statistics all my life and eventually found a way to make a living from it.

On this blog I chat about my experiance in the market and my opinions.

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Binary thinking

Binary thinking

Imagine you are a caveman meandering through a landscape, you hear a rustle in the bush. “What’s that…?”

Your brain kicks into action and provokes a flight or fight response. It could be lunch, or it could kill you! Your primitive brain makes a really simple judgement and decides that the payoff here for ‘kill you’ is pretty bad, -100% in fact. The pay off for food is there as well, but it can’t offset the negative. So you walk …

16/12/2017 | By | Reply More
Finding value in malevolent markets

Finding value in malevolent markets

You will be forgiven for thinking that humanity is an outdated concept that should be replaced.  But they do say, to err is human. But to completely screw up, you need a computer!

Flash crashes

The stock market was set up to allow companies to raise investment capital from investors. A simple and effective concept that works. But modern financial markets are more like a giant casino. You can still raise funds, but the aftermarket dominates the central purpose. The …

08/12/2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Hennessy Gold Cup – One of my favourite races

Hennessy Gold Cup – One of my favourite races

I have fond memories of the Hennessy Gold Cup. I’ve traditionally done well at this race and it’s the race I traded live at the IX Investor show for Betfair in 2006. I know I’ve posted this summary, or something similar, before. But it’s definitely one of the highlights of my trading career so far so it’s worth a reprise for those that haven’t seen it before.

Betfair at a financial market expo

Seeing a betting company at a financial

30/11/2017 | By | Reply More
Predicting goals – Part one

Predicting goals – Part one

To get some context into this post read the goal ratings thread…

When you’re looking at a football match, goals are obviously of great importance. Every strategy you deploy on a football match is reliant to some extent on whether a goal is scored or not.

Starting point

The first place to start when you trading in football is to work out if you think there will be a goal, obviously.

Low scoring rates

High quality matches between even teams,

18/11/2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Why does a strategy fail the moment you use it?

Why does a strategy fail the moment you use it?

You know the feeling, you work hard to research and establish a new idea or strategy. You put it to use and it works, so you raise your stakes and booooooooom, it instantly reverses and losses you a shed load of money. It can sometimes feel like the market has got it in for you or like somebody is watching you.

You don’t deploy a strategy to lose money

When you set out to deploy a strategy you don’t expect …

11/11/2017 | By | 4 Replies More
Melbourne cup – The race that stops a nation and wakes me up!

Melbourne cup – The race that stops a nation and wakes me up!

The Melbourne and I cup go back a few years now. Many moons ago, in the early days of my trading career, I got interested in the ‘race that stops a nation’ and learned that it really did stop the nation;  they have a national holiday today in Victoria.

The start, Intrigue and disappointment

In the early part of my career, I completely ignored Australian racing. In fact, I pretty much ignored all overseas racing. So the early part of …

06/11/2017 | By | 2 Replies More
New version of Bet Angel released

New version of Bet Angel released

We are delighted to announce a new version of Bet Angel and it contains a completely new feature you have never seen before.

Free upgrade

The upgrade to the new version, version 1.49, is available for free for existing trialists and existing subscribers. You can download and update it here: –

https://www.betangel.com/download/?product=BetAngelPro

If you haven’t used Bet Angel for some time, you may still qualify for a free trial. When you register you will be updated on your status. …

03/11/2017 | By | Reply More
Why we choke and how you can profit from it

Why we choke and how you can profit from it

I’ve just finished reading a very good summary of the core reasons why we choke. The article is a nice clean summary and is worth a read.

Basically it comments on how information is stored in the brain and transferred from a semi autonomous region to a more thoughtful process. The semi autonomous region falls apart when it is forced to transfer back to the other part of brain. Your brain can be in the zone, then forced out of …

28/10/2017 | By | Reply More
A day of racing you shouldn’t miss

A day of racing you shouldn’t miss

Tomorrow we have the finale to the flat turf season and a curtain raiser to the flat turf season. How can you have both? Let me explain.

Ascot champions day

First, we have ‘Champions day’ at Ascot and it promises to be a real feast of racing.

Champions day only came into being in 2011 so it’s relatively new in the scheme of things but it’s a weekend I wouldn’t miss for anything now. It’s the last shot at a …

20/10/2017 | By | Reply More
Being lucky…

Being lucky…

I’m often told that I’m lucky. You are lucky that you can do this, you are lucky that you have that, it’s lucky that this happened and so on.

But the fact is, underlying all elements of luck are two important characteristics, belief and perseverance.

Belief

Some people are given a good start in life, some are not. I wasn’t given the best start in life, but certainly not the worse. I found myself as a teenager a bit …

14/10/2017 | By | Reply More
How bookmakers make money

How bookmakers make money

Back when, ‘I was but lad’, I stumbled into the world of bookmakers.

I arrived there via the football pools and thought I’d apply similar techniques at the bookmakers. But I soon realised there were a few problems doing this.

Problems

The first problem I had was getting the bet on, I couldn’t really bet in the size I wanted without being limited. Secondly, I could only do plain old vanilla betting. If I tried something more complex I’d often …

08/10/2017 | By | Reply More
Seasonality in Horse Racing

Seasonality in Horse Racing

Still, plenty of racing to look forward to and the champions meeting still to come followed by the restart of Cheltenham, but what happens as we move into the winter?

There are plenty of highlights around at this time and more as we head into the full on jumps season. For some reason, I know it’s named after a horse, the Tingle Creek meeting at Sandown sounds Christmassy to me, but for sure is an early high point in December. …

05/10/2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Traders of the Prix De L’Arc

Traders of the Prix De L’Arc

At least once a year I will taste some French racing like a connoisseur tastes French wine, with a sense of appreciation but with the gusto of a true enthusiast. It’s the time of year that I turn my attention to a few overseas Racing markets.

Overseas racing

On Friday, I traded the ‘evening’ racing at Moonee Valley in Australia and returned in the early hours of this morning to have a look at some of the other group racing …

30/09/2017 | By | Reply More
Calamity Cambridgeshire

Calamity Cambridgeshire

I’ve picked off a few good results from the Cambridgeshire in the past and hope to this weekend.

The race

The Cambridgeshire is a very competitive large field handicap run at Newmarket each year. It’s focal point at this time of year and followed by the Cesarewitch. As with all big, competitive, quality races; fill rate will be at the top of my mind. I’m not expecting a gamble to explode out of nowhere, but you never know nowadays.

The …

29/09/2017 | By | Reply More
Who scores first?

Who scores first?

I’m just watching the Man City vs West Ham match and West Ham have taken a ‘shock’ lead according to most sources, but how often does the away team score first?

Goals

Football is a generally low scoring contest, but not only that you can have a lot of shots and still not score. The chance of a goal from a statistical perspective is interesting because goals are ‘rare’. This lends itself to seeing away teams taking a ‘shock’ lead

23/09/2017 | By | Reply More
Most and least volatile racecourses to trade

Most and least volatile racecourses to trade

I did a tweet recently that stated a little trading fact, that Chelmsford City was the most volatile course. I had a fairly immediate retort, that stated it wasn’t a fact but was ‘just’ an opinion. It was actually a carefully researched fact.

Volatility

I’ve collected data on volatility right from day one of my trading journey and have built up a massive database of data. One of the things I study is how volatile the market is.

I measure …

16/09/2017 | By | 2 Replies More
St Leger meeting

St Leger meeting

The oldest classic horse race in the world is almost upon us again and while it marks the closing of the flat turf season, tradition dictates that it also marks an upturn in financial markets if folklore is to be believed. “Sell in May and go away, don’t come back till St Leger day”

Come back on St Leger day

There is a general ‘theory’ that during the summer stocks languish and only when everybody is back to their desk

13/09/2017 | By | Reply More
High probability Betfair trading strategies

High probability Betfair trading strategies

Sounds nice doesn’t it, winning positions regularly topping up your account? Please send your $37 to…….

New strategy

With the start of the jumps season just around the corner, I’m going to be pursuing a new, automated, in-play strategy. I did all the hard work last year qualifying what I wanted to do and test the assumptions, which are often wrong. So now it’s time to put it into practice.

It will lose money and on a frequent basis and …

10/09/2017 | By | 1 Reply More
September Salisbury and it’s importance

September Salisbury and it’s importance

Today we have a meeting at Salisbury, that’s not unusual at this time of year. But this meeting has some significance for all traders.

Why it’s an important race

Way back in 2003 Betfair published information on a specific race. Betfair went full disclosure on the race. It listed all the market participants what they did, how much they did, how many accounts were active overall and similar information.

On seeing this publication I just realised that it gave me …

07/09/2017 | By | 2 Replies More
Little and often – On Greyhounds

Little and often – On Greyhounds

Greyhounds markets are another good example of little and often. The average Greyhound race only turns over £15k or so per race so it’s really not a very liquid market. Even then, the money arrives really late. but there are very large amounts of greyhound races.

I recently revisited the Greyhounds markets after a seven-year absence.  If you want some background as to why, have a read of this blog post: –

Going Grey

Since revisiting the markets I’ve now …

01/09/2017 | By | 4 Replies More
Psychology in sport – Tennis

Psychology in sport – Tennis

I started writing a broad piece on Psychology but it got too big, so I’ve broken off chunks and will list them on the blog for your interest.

Psychology everywhere

Psychology isn’t something that is limited to the minds of traders, it’s out there on the sports field and in the associated markets as well. I’ve observed all sorts of strange biases that just don’t have any place in a rational world, but feature heavily and persistently in the markets …

29/08/2017 | By | 2 Replies More
Marmite Monday

Marmite Monday

It’s that day of the year that you either love or hate. The August bank holiday in the UK brings a whole bunch of racing, all on the same day.

There will be lots of meetings on Monday and about a billion races. This may seem like heaven for some, but it’s a nightmare for others. Quite a few races will attract little liquidity, a lot isn’t of quality and many races will clash meaning that you can’t do much

27/08/2017 | By | Reply More
Ebor or Ebore?

Ebor or Ebore?

Summer racing isn’t over quite yet and today kicks of the Ebor meeting at York. I’ve traditionally done OK at this festival each year so I am looking for something above average this week.

The Ebor meeting can yield some good results, but nothing is ever guaranteed and this meeting can be a bit random at times so it’s probably not going to be all plain sailing. It should be better than what we have been seeing recently though.

Traditionally, …

22/08/2017 | By | Reply More
Unbelievable Jeff – Trading comebacks in football

Unbelievable Jeff – Trading comebacks in football

I think it’s safe to say we all had fun watching some of the opening premier league fixtures last weekend.

While it would be nice to think the whole season will be packed full of action of this kind, with remarkable comebacks and sterling fightbacks,  it’s unlikely.

Trading opportunities

Obviously, a notable match was the champions, Chelsea, losing at home to Burnley who struggled to muster any decent away form last year. I and a number of people picked up …

19/08/2017 | By | Reply More
How to win the Premier League

How to win the Premier League

As the new season is upon us all football fans up and down the country will no doubt have fresh hopes about what the season will bring. Transfers have been done and hopes raised. But what is it that makes a team successful? What is the most defining characteristic?

The defining characteristic

As is well known, a lot of club revenue gets spent on wages to attract top players. This is in the hope that buying talent buys performances. Quite

11/08/2017 | By | Reply More
More Moore at Goodwood

More Moore at Goodwood

Goodwood should have been renamed Greywood at the start of the festival, such was the miserable weather that accompanied what should have been a glorious week on the Sussex downs. But it was notable for one particular day.

The weather had a huge impact on the meeting last week and produced a below par performance from me and from the markets. I’d imagine most attendees on course last week, spent most of their time hiding from the incessant rain and …

10/08/2017 | By | Reply More
Had a good week last week? Here’s why…

Had a good week last week? Here’s why…

You may have seen me post up results or information along the lines of ‘If you did this with £100 you would have managed to achieve this’.

I collect and analyse a lot of data and it’s all with the aim of identifying biases and the structural nature of a market. You would be surprised how many markets exhibit biases. Some have exhibited a structural bias for my entire trading career. I’ve casually dropped hints now and again and it’s …

03/08/2017 | By | Reply More
Trading ‘Good-way’

Trading ‘Good-way’

No that’s not a typo! There are two meetings that should get your attention this week.

From a trading perspective, I like multi day high-quality meetings. They usually throw up some good opportunities and are a welcome addition to any month.

Goodwood

As you may know, these higher quality meetings produce extra volume and that can change the characteristics significantly. But don’t let Goodwood fool you into thinking it’s the same as a Royal Ascot or Cheltenham, it behaves very …

30/07/2017 | By | Reply More
Where Angels fear to tread

Where Angels fear to tread

One thing I’ve learnt over time is that whether it’s short term trading on Betfair or long term investing in financial markets being a contrarian seems to be a very, very effective strategy.

Why does contrarian behaviour work?

Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time looking at psychology and its impact on decision-making and it’s proved a fascinating subject. I’ve immersed myself in as much material as I can find, all in the quest of really trying to …

23/07/2017 | By | Reply More
Trading the Open Golf

Trading the Open Golf

The British Open is different from other majors in that it is played on rotation schedule across a number of ‘links’ courses in the UK. Links courses are traditionally near the sea, are near or on dunes, have an uneven surface and a sandy soil. This is in stark contrast to a lot of ‘modern’ courses which are often set in parkland or woods and carefully manicured.

How ‘links’ golf differs

Links golf is very different from traditional golf in

19/07/2017 | By | Reply More
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