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Betfair trading – The Perfect Golf Trade!

I want to tell you a story about the perfect golf

Curiously, the first ever bet I placed on the Betfair exchange, was on Golf. Pretty much since that day Betfair trading Golf markets has been part of the mix of markets I’m active on.

Golf markets on Betfair are characterised by big fields and on the winner market, big markets. A lot of golf betting systems rely on picking individuals who stand to win the coveted green jacket at Augusta. In traditional betting markets picking somebody to finish in the top ten is also popular. But, of course, you have many Betfair trading strategies that you can deploy on a Golf tournament.

Now and again you can get a ‘perfect trade’ and this happened fairly recently. Let’s learn how this happened, so if it happens again you can hopefully catch it!

So you must have seen me discuss the US Masters many times across all my platforms. Whether it is these blog posts or my YouTube videos. The reason that I love this particular tournament is a simple reason: it’s played on the same course year after year.

This gives you a really good idea of how the course is likely to play, you know where those easy holes are and you know where the hard holes are. That obviously brings you huge advantages when trading, but it’s important to note that even though the holes stay the same, they can bring those advantages and challenge depending on the day.

Know when it happens, not just where it happens

With a four day tournament, the first two days are played in a sort of in random order and then the field is cut. They then change the playing order of the players on days three and four, over the weekend, because they want the tournament to end so that the winner is coming up the fairway very close to the end of the tournament.

This brings up opportunities on days one and two. Imagine there’s an early leader in the clubhouse with another good player coming round to an easier part making it likely that they will pick up shots. Then of course, if they pick up those shots, the price on the leader in the clubhouse is going to drift and vice versa. So this is one way to trade it.

However, when you’re at the weekend at a golf tournament, then all of the players are going out in reverse order. The worst players get out early in the morning, finishing the course early on. While, the best players finish last and come up to the 18th to collect their prize.

How did this perfect trade come about?

Before I explain, the first thing to note on all of these, is the gap between the leader and the peopel chasing, a fair indicator of who’s likely to be in contention.

If we look at the stats, 90% of winners are within five shots of the leader at Augusta. We can also see a similar number on day two, but obviously it compacts a little bit. Then when you get to day three, you’re really looking at sort of three or four shots from the lead and it gives you the opportunity to chase down and win the tournament.

Obviously, the higher up you are then that the better. So when there was no deficit, in other words, you were on the leader, about 55% of players go and win it on the last day when they are the leader. About 14% are within a shot of the leader and then it’s about 10% for two and three shots.

So the situation we had in Augusta in 2016 was that Danny Willett was three shots behind the leader which was Jordan Spieth. Spieth had a shot at winning it if he didn’t make too many mistakes, but as with all things, it’s actually quite difficult to be consistent, as any golfer will tell you.

As a consequence, you’re always in with a shot of winning if there’s a problem with whoever’s in the lead. Let’s say they make a couple of bad shots or they send the ball into the water. Suddenly there’s a whole bunch of people in contention!

If we look back to the tournament you can see that Danny Willett was out before Jordan Spieth. Spieth was basically in control of everything in terms of seeing all of the people going in front of him. He knew what he had to do in order to stay in contention for the green jacket at the end of the tournament along with a healthy $1.8 million dollars!

So the interesting thing about Willett is that he was playing very consistently all the way through, picking up shots here and there. By picking up the odd birdie throughout the tournament he actually ended up on the final day completing a round at five under, which is a pretty good round at Augusta.

His consistency meant he didn’t drop a shot at a single hole, was just playing percentage golf and doing what he could to put himself into contention.

On the other hand, Jordan Spieth was three shots in front where he could probably win the tournament with that. However he realised that he would require one or two shots extra to be able to definitively clinch the championship.

So Willett’s was off in front and Spieth was following. As Willett started to climb up the leaderboard there were other players like Lee Westwood who were creeping up to the top of the leaderboard as well.

This put a little bit of pressure on Jordan Spieth, but Spieth is a good player. In fact, as we came to the turn (‘the turn’ for non golfers is when you reach nine holes, you basically go out in nine and then back in nine, so they call that the turn) he picks up a shot on the second. This is not unusual at Augusta, because that is one of the easier holes where you would expect to pick up a shot.

The second hole at Augusta

He then he dropped on the fifth, but as he reached the six, he went, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie..

He got four birdies in a row, which was phenomenal! So he went through the turn with a birdie on the ninth, but at that particular point the ninth hole is the last hole that could be considered easy to reach a par.

When you get into the 10th, 11th and 12th, those are much harder holes, the hardest ones in the course. In fact, if you look at holes four to six, they’re also quite hard as well so he did pretty well to get through that and pick up a shot over those four.

After all we’re only human, mistakes happen…

Then he gets to the famous Amen corner at Augusta. If you know how the course plays, this corner is generally considered to be one of the harder parts of the course, arriving there five under. He then tees up his shot to then mess it all up by dropping a shot on the 11th.

Amen corner at Augusta

When he turns up at the 12th, he realises that Willett has gone through and is plain sailing. Spieth is still five under for the entire tournament, but people are getting a little bit closer to him.

Anybody who watches the Masters as a golfer knows what the 12th is like. It’s a par three and you have to tee off over a bit of water to land on a green that’s incredibly long and thin. If you’re short, you end up in the water, if you’re long you end up in a bunker.

So it’s a bit of a nightmare!

Unfortunately, Spieth teed off and sent his ball into the water. Immediately you’ve got a serious problem there because you’re going to have to place your ball and and play three off the tee.

So he did that and he was going to have to take a bogey or perhaps a double bogey. But on his second shot, he got underneath it and fell short ending up in the water again to gasps from the surrounding crowds.

By this particular point, all of a sudden he’s in real trouble and he needs to play the next shot reasonably well. So he plays the next shot and sends it long and into the bunker!

Now, prior to playing hole twelve, his price has basically moved to 1.09 and plenty of money matched at 1.10. After, it was somewhat higher!

How to trade this scenario?

A piece of advice that I often give, especially where you’ve got a player in front that has already completed those holes successfully. Is that if you have got a player coming behind him that has to go through that those difficult holes, is that sometimes it is worth a little lay on those guys. This is based on the idea that if they drop a shot then odds are going to spike up as the other player comes into play for a higher position in the tournament.

So naturally, with Spieth at 1.09, he’s five-under and still three shots in front of everybody else with six holes to play, that price was fairly reasonable for him at that particular point. The anticipation with this trade is that maybe he would bogey or perhaps double bogey hole which would send his price out a little bit.

However, in fact, he ended up carding a seven on the twelfth, which was a complete disaster because he went from five under to one over. Suddenly Willett, a few holes ahead, became the tournament leader!

Now realising this, you can could anticipate that if Danny Willett could just hold it together to win then Spieth would have to perform a miracle to change that.

Especially a tough venture even with the potential to drop a shot at the last three holes at Augusta, which he did do, dropping a shot on the seventeenth. It was a bit of a task for Speith to be able to turn things around in those final few holes.

Framing the trading opportunity

Firstly the set up was good…

The price on Spieth was very low and the opportunity to lay him came around to that cluster of holes where potentially he had the opportunity to drop a shot and if he would have dropped, you would have got a little bit of a gain out of that.

But in fact, on this particular occasion, everything lined up perfectly and he completely messed up, which is not unknown at Augusta. There have been these occasions before, especially when Nick Faldo won at Augusta, he was the benefactor of that sort of thing and we’ve seen this happen before throughout the years.

Spieth’s price started shooting out from 1.09 because he made such an unbelievable hash of it!

For anybody that was laying Spieth at 1.09, 1.10 or around that area, it just became a straight lay because the price moved so far that. even with hedging, you would have got the majority of your profit anyway.

Factors at play…

We had the order of the card and seeing Willett go through, as well being only three from the lead at any one particular point or another meant it only needed a little mistake from Spieth while playing through those harder holes to be able to bring that trade around.

If you look at the set up of it, although it is easy to look at things retrospectively, it was pretty much the perfect setup.

If you’re looking at holes 4 to 8 and then again, at holes 10 to 12, then 16 to 18. These are holes where traditionally players have drop shots repeatedly and there are areas in between those where they do or they are more likely to gain shots.

It’s around these periods that you want to get active and involved in the market. With players in front of him having already gone through that, it was a good opportunity to lay Spieth at very, very low odds.

What reveals itself from this? The perfect golf trade!

That’s, simply put, the almost the perfect trade that you could possibly do in golf. If you attempt to do this at other other times, you have to factor in what’s happening elsewhere on the golf course and who’s doing what and when.

But on this particular occasion, as he came around to the harder part of the course, getting in a low lay on Spieth was quite clearly an option.

Why?

Because there wouldn’t have had many downsides and if he did make a mistake, you would have huge upside. That is, in fact, what happened, much to the delight of Danny Willett, who became the first British player to win at Augusta for some time.

This example is a great way of illustrating this sort of activity that seems to only happen in a golf tournament. Using the knowledge we have learnt from this 2016 example allows us to see how we can use our knowledge of the course and how players react to certain holes to our advantage.

Golf tournaments can produce some wonderful opportunities and finger crossed that we see some more this year!

The post Betfair trading – The Perfect Golf Trade! appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

My TOP 5 betting & trading tips for the US Masters!

The US Masters has joined the long list of sporting events this year that have been postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but luckily for us, it has been moved to 12th November through to Sunday 15th November and looks to be equally as promising as usual.

If you want to do some Betfair trading or betting at this year’s US Masters, then this blog post is perfect for picking up tips and tricks to securing a successful trade in this high profile golf tournament. It’s bound to be even more high profile this year, given Tiger Woods win last year.

Golf is an unusual sport to trade because you have very large fields. You typically find that the US Masters has a field size of probably around 80 or so players, but when you get to the large golf tournaments, you could have 140 to 150 players in those particular tournaments.

Most of the major golf tournaments have a lot of matched betting turnover and liquidity on the Betfair exchange. You will find huge amounts of money waiting to be matched in the pre-off trading period of these types of Betfair markets. This is why I tend to trade majors, I can do something on a decent scale. That’s not possible on the smaller Golf tournaments.

When betting or trading on a Golf major it’s important to understand that on these betting exchange markets, you could probably be looking at markets that are going to turn over many millions before a golf ball has been struck. However, most of the activity is in play because the tournaments themselves can last over four days. So the total amount matched is HUGE!

“On March 13, we announced the postponement of the Masters Tournament…based upon the risks associated with the Coronavirus COVID-19… In collaboration with the leading organizations in golf, Augusta National Golf Club has identified November 9-15 as the intended dates to host the 2020 Masters.” –Statement from Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club : Source – www.masters.com

So what are my top five tips for trading golf?

Whatever Betfair trading strategies you favour, the huge amount of money being matched on a Golf Major will give you many chances to lock in a profit. It could be that you trade small profits and add to that during the tournament itself. But there is no reason why you couldn’t do a longer-term trade before the cut, or on the deciding two days when the price movement is at it’s most extreme in a closely fought contest.

There are many ways to participate in a major Golf tournament, but if you push me to give you some tips, here are my top five!

Par 5 – tip number 5!

A long par 5!

Making sure you take a very conscious decision about how long you’re going to hold your position for and how you are going to take that position, is very important. So before you attempt to do something in a golf tournament, make sure that you take that into account.

You also tend to find that the spread, the difference between the back and the lay prices on a golf tournament, will increase over a period of time. So if you’re going to take an active position within the market, do it just before the golf tournament is about to start to get this shorter spread and the best price on that particular tournament.

Inplay spreads can widen, so take care to keep an eye on the back and lay book percentage. When that’s low, you can get in and out of the market without losing too much to the other side of the book. The spreads can very large on large field sports.

Here’s your tricky par 4 – Tip number 4!

Don’t forget this or you’ll end up in the bunker!

In golf tournaments the field sizes can be absolutely huge! You’ll find at some tournaments, depending upon the setup of the tournament, that they are bigger than others, but typically the big majors will have 140 players plus in each of them.

So that makes picking a winner at a golf tournament incredibly hard… So why not pick more than one winner?

Golf tournaments can have up to 150 players! But don’t let that worry you… [x]

I know it may sound a bit crazy, but in fact, if fire up your Betfair trading software and use a method such as Dutching to capture value across a range of players, that gives you a much better chance of being able to pick one of the winners.

Another element to consider in golf is that you have a cut. In golf they cut these large fields down to a much smaller one at the weekends so the top players remain to play at the weekend. What you often find is if you Dutch a range of players you’ll very often find that the price will contract significantly if it looks like they’re going to make the cut and you can trade out at that point.

Here’s a short Par 3 – Tip number 3!

Might be a glorious day here, but that may not always be the case during a golf tournament!

When there are golf tournaments around, one of the things that I do is watch the weather because weather is critically important in a golf tournament. When you get a change of weather, and especially because they’ve played over such a long period of time, that can significantly affect the scoring chances of individual players.

So if you look at the tee times, you see when players are coming out and you look at the weather, that can tell you if some of the difficult holes are going to become impossible or some of the easier holes are going to become a little bit easier.

If you watch the weather it allows you to have a good indication of the potential for a player’s performance at different points throughout the day as well as the tournament.

Here is your birdie, a 2 on a Par 3 – Tip Number 2!

It’s always great to do better then expected, make sure you do your research!

So a key part to trading golf is to understand the actual golf course itself. As regular golfers will know, different courses have different characteristics. Some holes are easy to play, some holes are much harder. This concept is the same at all of these tournaments.

Getting an understanding of which of these holes, harder or easier, will allow you to calculate when a player is going in to a harder part of the course or is likely to pick up the odd birdie or two and see his price contract. So understanding the course will allow you to get a much better handle on where the likely odds movements are going to be.

The way to do that is to look at the course card because the stroke index will give you a clue as to which are the hardest and the easiest holes. Equally, there’s also tons of information available on the websites of these specific tournaments about how the course is going to play.

So do your research figure out where the hardest and easiest holes are and you can position yourself ahead of those particular points within the market.

And your hole in one tip is… Tip number 1!

Can you get that perfect golf trade?

So when we go into the last two days of the tournament, it will trade very differently from the first two days. In the first two days, all of the pairings are set up and the players play with a variety of different types of opponents.

But as we enter those last two days, then we end up in a situation where the players that are most likely to win the tournament will be playing last overall. Therefore, it’s quite competitive at that particular point in time.

So we can actually bring all of the characteristics we’ve talked about together to create the perfect golf trade. And in fact, I have done a video on this, so if you want to watch a fuller explanation of how this trade can occur click on the link at the end of the blog post!

As we head into that last day, you’re going to have two or three pairings that are all fighting for the title (hopefully) and if you get that situation that develops, then it’s quite possible that you can easily lay one of the leaders as they pass through some of the harder or easier parts of the course.

That will allow you to anticipate quite clearly what’s going to happen to the odds if they pick up or drop a shot at any one particular point, then you can back or lay appropriately.

A great trade from the 2016 US Masters

So in short, what are the best tips for trading tips for the US Master?

  • Think about the pairings that are set up
  • Think about the tee times
  • Think about trading or betting on more than one selection
  • Think about where the group is going around the course
  • Think about the basics- what is the weather doing that day?

This will help deliver you your perfect golf trade. I hope you find this useful and good luck in trading on the US master starting this weekend!

Interested in the perfect golf trade? Watch the video linked here:

The post My TOP 5 betting & trading tips for the US Masters! appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Changing column widths on Bet Angel

Bet Angel is highly customisable Betfair trading software. You can pretty much modify anything to suit your trading style and strategy.

There are many reasons why you may want to do this, but we have a good reason at the moment for sure. The huge volumes being matched on the next US president market!

With no ‘official’ end in sight to the election and Trump bunkered down in the white house till forcibly removed, the volumes are creeping up to astronomical levels on the market. This can cause a problem on your trading screen as your software may not be able to display them correctly.

We see this with the default settings on Bet Angel on the once click screen. You can see that the volume numbers are truncated on either side. This means you can’t accurately know how much has been traded on either candidate.

But help is at hand!

In case you were unaware, you can add new custom columns to Bet Angel on the one click screen that can do all sorts of clever things. But you can also add or remove columns at will and move them around the screen to create your perfect custom layout.

But you can also change their specific appearance. You can change the font size, the height of the cell and any gap between the cells and you can also resize them.

Resizing is switched off by default so you don’t accidentally re-size the grid layout and distrupt your trading screen. But to switch on the resizing simply go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Display’ and you find the options you require listed on that sections.

Once you have ticked ‘Allow column resizing’ you can then adjust any of the columns to your required size. Untick this setting again to ‘fix’ the column widths you have selected and they ‘save’ or ‘save as’ option to create and name these custom settings. Doing this will allow you to revert to standard settings or your new settings in a couple of clicks.

Changing the column size is helpful for a number of reasons, but on this occasion we can now see this market in its full glory!

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Political betting | Next US president | Trump vs Biden

The US presidential market is that is a market I’ve followed since 2004. Because I’ve got data going back since 2004, I’ve always taken an interest in it. But I’ve only been actively trading it in recent years.

2008 was the first market but my activity has grown as has the market! In 2016 the matched bet turnover was just short of an astonishing £200 million. That was a record individual market on the Betfair betting exchange.

That was until this year’s market. The 2020 market will comprehensively smashed that amount having exceeded the entire amount traded in 2016, even before election night.

Profiting from early market activity

The interesting thing about these markets is that initially there’s no model that you can particularly use to price it. People will try to form an opinion around how each candidate is polling, but you can’t specifically say, it’s going to be ‘this’ price as polls are typically unreliable.

While this quote was on market research, the same can applying to Political betting and research when polling. ‘people don’t think how they feel, they don’t say what they think, and they don’t do what they say’. Other than that, I believe all stuff read on polls.

Trading a political market early on in a politics market, it’s really just a case of trading news flow. As one piece of news comes out on one side, prices will go up and down in response. In 2016, when Trump was making all of these errors and interesting remarks about his relationship with women, there was plenty of opportunity.

Curiously was not to lay him because the price would react dramatically at that point and go flying out. I was actually backing him at these points, catching the best price. Because it was almost inevitable that some bad news about Clinton would follow. The price on Trump would come back in, at which point I’d reverse my position and just wait for the next news story.

So if you look at the chart from that election, the chart was going flying around all of the time and it provided the opportunity to trade in and out consistently. 

Media role in forming opinion

Modern media is such that they are always looking for ‘eyeballs’, so even the most modest of stories can get sensationalised.

It’s tough to find any truly objective view on an election and politics in general. All types of media exhibit some bias or another and some outlets are just plain biased. I’ve seen many Politcal pundits accidentally throw themselves under a bus with heavily skew appraisal of the markets and odds.

Just like when you are betting on football, you probably shouldn’t bet on your team. But in Politics, it takes a lot of effort to detached yourself from the arguments. But doing so, is very profitable.

As a story breaks and proliferates around social media the market will respond then eventually settle again as the story dissipates. You just have to jump in and out on on good and bad news.

Political betting on Election night

When we come to election night, you will be able to see some of the dialogue that going on in the early hours of the morning. You can also go back and look at previous elections for clues as to how the market will trade.

The interesting thing about the US election is that it’s held on a continent over four times zones. I went back and looked at how the votes came in state by state and how they were portioned to try and look for patterns. When the votes came in, as you go from east to West Coast, then there would be a certain pattern of activity that would tend to develop.

You tend to find in recent years that on the East Coast, there could be a number of different types of results coming in there. But as you move to the Midwest, it’s predominantly Republican. Then as we move to the West Coast, it’s predominantly Democrat.

You begin to get a feeling of where the activity was going to go and how things were going to pan out, just by looking at that and comparing against previous elections. Make sure you read up on the electoral college before making any assumptions. A popular vote does not a president make.

I’ve found this really useful spreadsheet for calculating the outcome of the overall market using data and assumptions from the electoral college, this should help you signficantly.

The best way to rationalise these markets is to imagine a football match and a team being up 1-0 with two states to go. Hopefully, that will give you a picture on how you would trade the night when results are declared.

In 2016 when Trump started to get some of those key states on the East Coast, you could tell that, in fact, there probably weren’t going to be enough left by the time it went through the Midwest and out to the West Coast for Clinton to win. That meant that you had had the opportunity to trade Trump on the basis he would almost certainly shorten or vice versa.

Watch the video on this blog post for more information as to how the night played out and how that affected the odds.

The big difference in 2020

There are a number of differences in 2020.

Incumbents have to defend a track record to get re-elected, which is slightly harder than attacking a sitting candidate. But covid-19 has thrown a spanner in the works meaning that many will be casting postal votes in advance of normal polling methods. It’s quite likely this will be somewhat contentious, as people who may not traditionally vote will vote. Their demographics are somewhat different which may influence the final outcome.

But also you shouldn’t forget the Floridian farce of the 2000 election. You can guess that if there are any close votes anywhere, things get very contentious. Ultimately it came down to 537 votes of six million cast in Florida and individual ballots were being scrutinised for errors and checked for validity. In the event of a close vote this year, things could get very messy.

Ultimately, it make take longer for the final vote to be counted and rubberstamped. So a twist in the tail of the election may be the big story this year. This could make it a monster market to trade.

Overall, I’ve noticed an inherent bias when it comes to voters declaring their support for right learning politicians. Social responsibility is a given in modern society I think (hope?), but voters also feel that people should take personal responsibility for their decisions. So that tends to skew polling to the left against the actual outcome.

With Biden polling well and at short odds, I’ll spend election night scanning to see if that is a valid view or not. Never underestimate how much personal freedom and liberaty are essential to the American way.

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