His opinion is worthless?

Well guys, I feel like the defendant here.

And rightly so looking at the opinion I’m against in the likes of Graeme Dand and Roberto Cassini. Well, that brings me nicely to my contention that value is a myth. Because value is all about your personal opinion.

This is the only point I’ll address today because I ain’t the fastest typist! I’ll nail my colours to the mast here. Based on my few years of experience as a bookmaker at the South East England Point to Points – don’t laugh now – where Dave and I had the number 1 pitch together I stand by my opinion. I am not for turning.

Dave would be first up with the prices for virtually every race. He always had an opinion. His tissue would reflect value for him. Sometimes he got it right. Often he got it wrong. All the other “bookmakers” would do is go a little bit bigger than us. Did they offer value? No. You couldn’t get any more than a tenner on. We’d take the lot until we were filled up. We never knocked anybody back any amount if the price was still on the board.

So did we offer value for the punter? Not in Dave’s opinion, no. But we’d stand up in a field when it’s snowing and take a good few quid. So what was happening? Well, there were loads of mug punters there who just wanted to get on. But there were also a fair few professionals that only bet with us whose knowledge of horse racing may have been better than Dave’s and was certainly far superior to mine. They weren’t mugs. So why did they lump a grand or two on the favourite at a price that, in Dave’s opinion, wasn’t value? Why?

My contention is and no doubt they would agree they felt they were getting value. Two people. Both very knowledgable. The same access to the same of everything. Differing opinions. And at the end of the day that’s why I’m writing this. It’s all about opinions. I wrote earlier that “If I go against the momentum simply because of my opinion of value then I will not be comfortable. No matter how much I value my opinion.” I stand by that statement. I’m interested that you see it as utter rubbish Graeme.

There’s another post on that topic for Monday. For me to do it now would simply take too long. It’s the first night of my partner being away in Germany so you know the old saying? Sorry Graeme, no doubt your head is in bits by now. If your wife needs a cleaner to mop up the mess I know a very good one in Brighton as I see you’re in the UK. Please let me know and I’ll despatch her immediately. My expense mate. LOL.

‘Ere Cassini, leave my mate Brian alone. LOL. Catch you later. And good luck to you all as always. And BTW if any of you fancy coming on the radio show in January please let me know. A three way debate would be interesting. I think I’d lose with you lot having double the airtime than me. But I’d be up for it and it could be fun. What do you think?

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  1. The Gambler. says

    I have always felt there was no value in value. A complete load of tosh IMHO. Get out and Green Up. Go back in later if you feel the need, and do the same again. If you think value is 1.04 and you can only lay off at 1.05, how much is it going to cost? A decent meal and a bottle of vino. Good excuse for putting computer away and getting out more often.

    The Gambler.

  2. Man of Mystery says

    Good old John. At the last furlong rattles in with support for MOM. Cheers mate. To show my appreciation I’ve changed you from a grey man next to your name to a nice lilac symbol. Lee doesn’t like them so he keeps turning them off. Talk about blog battles – now I’ve got a local avatar war! You could, of course, also show what you want… steady… if you got your own Gravatar account for use on most blogs.

    And this must be a record blog response – only 2 minutes. I was sitting here just waiting for support. I’ve been waiting all night. Now where’s my 1962 Francis Darroze Bas Armagnac Domaine De Peyrouet? It was around here somewhere! A great year. 🙂

    I’ll ring you next week if that’s ok?

  3. Cassini says

    “So why did they lump a grand or two on the favourite at a price that, in Dave’s opinion, wasn’t value? Why?”

    Because, by their calculations, the price Dave was offering WAS value. Sports are not like roulette – we know the true odds on a single number are 1/37, so anything paying 37-1 or greater is value. Long term you will win. Value still exists in sports, it’s just that no one knows for sure what the true probability of an outcome is. It’s impossible to know. One bad decision, one misstep, one fluke and the game goes the other way. It is what makes sports so fascinating. BUT – if we as punters do not regularly find value, then we are ulimately going to be losers. To win long-term, you must be getting value more often than not. Get out and Green-Up says John, and yes, this will work often for little. But it is not a long-term strategy, because as I wrote on my blog today, it means you are exiting your position for no good reason. Value exists, even if we can’t determine it precisely.

  4. Richard says

    hey MoM,

    Good discussion as usual. Some random points from me on the subject on that elusive beast called value (note: I only trade on sports so no flaming pls if the below doesn’t apply to animals/financials):

    – “Value is a myth”.
    In principle, I agree. The main problem is, it is absolutely impossible for anybody to accurately assess the chances of a team/competitor to win an event as there are too many intangibles. Take a soccer game: somebody in the team got a bad nights’ sleep – referee had an argument with the missus that morning – coach is feeling creative – groundsman is looking for a new job and couldn’t care less what the pitch plays like… the list is endless. So you have a thousand factors that would reduce a team’s chances from say 52% to 50% which you cannot possibly know about, and that’s your precious value gone.

    – Market movers & shakers
    “What’s the price on the jolly in the next race?” “Ok, I’ll back it for £££. What’s the name of the horse?” I heard this from 3/4-figure punters during my time in betdaq few times a week. Although the sample size is probably too small (worked there 9 months), the rule of thumb seemed to be that if the prize was below evens, they laid. And these are the people who’s money you’re watching – and basing your opinion on! The only sport I bet on privately is NBA basketball, and the price on betfair/pinnacle is the last thing I look at. To be a winning punter, you have to be able to make your own book which you then compare to the market.

    -“If I go against the momentum…”
    Same here. If I come up with a price that is miles off the market, it’s a small/no bet. Simple answer: I obviously missed something, the linemakers do know a thing or two as well 🙂

    – a question for the pro’s:
    If you have access to a successful prediction software (as I do), you will see “value” all day (see www. bettingpromotion. com for details). So, for example, I happen to know that the 2-2 on the Manchesters playing on Sunday should be 15.5, not 16.5. Where does that leave me? I bet a little (using Kelly & my non-professional bankroll) so that a win doesn’t really make a difference? Or I bet a lot and pray it’s not one of the 95 out of a 100 days where I lose? My point here is that finding value isn’t necessarily the solution to our gambling problems.


  5. Man of Mystery says

    Thanks for your considered opinion guys. I’m guessing you’re two people. It’s too late for me to comment much further – I’ve had a glass of wine or three.

    But are you the Richard I know? You live in Sliema and I was at your party not so long ago. If you’re not but you know him say hi because I’m pretty sure he works for Betting Promotion in Msida.

    Either way let me know. No more Betfair horse markets for you lot though, eh? LOL. And I’ve still got a couple of books by Sklansky and Harrington that are long overdue to be returned!

    And sorry Roberto but I didn’t notice your comment earlier which was a bit remiss of me. My excuse is it got lost in the deluge of competition comments we had today. Sorry. More tomorrow. TTFN.

  6. […] of every horse in every UK horse race race and compares with the value in the betting markets. Value in Horse Racing is very important for some people!. It also lays out the form in a display I like and will also, of […]

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