Monday, 27 January 2014

The Overrule from February


The Overrule is a tennis betting service that is tailored to the needs of individual subscribers covering professional tennis at ATP, WTA, Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Grand Slam level.

The aim of The Overrule is to provide subscribers value in tennis betting where it concerns pre-match match betting and outright/specials markets as well as input into opportunities that might exist through in-play betting.

New subscribers can join The Overrule beginning February 10th for the remainder of the season which ends in late November. Further opportunities to join The Overrule (subject to the subscription limit) will be available in mid-March, April, May and lastly in June. 

HOW MUCH DOES THE SERVICE COST?

The service costs £180 ($305 US/$335 CAN/225 EUR/$350 AUS) for the remainder of the season from February 10th onward, spanning 9 months and working out to £20 a month for a season subscription.

WHAT IS THE METHOD OF PAYMENT AND WHEN WILL PAYMENTS BE ACCEPTED UNTIL?

The payment method is via Pay Pal only. Once the potential subscriber and I have agreed that the service is suitable for them, a place is reserved for them and payment details will be exchanged. Payments will be accepted from January 28th until February 9th.

HOW HAS THE OVERRULE FARED IN THE PAST?

Last season The Overrule returned a profit of 34.56 units/points from 129 bets, staking 331.50 units/points with a return of investment (ROI) of 10.43%. For a subscriber who bets £100 per point, this meant a total profit of £3456.

The service is aimed at subscribers who bet at least £50 a point.
    Over the four years of the service a £100 per point bettor has profited to the tune of £18,856 from The Overrule’s selections.

    The Overrule in 2014 thus far.


    WHAT IS THE STAKING PLAN?

    The Overrule has always staked on the basis of 0.25 to a max 5 unit/points stake. Last season the average stake on a selection was 2.57 units/points (for a £100 a unit/point bettor that would be £257), The Overrule takes the responsibility of advising selections very seriously and the staking plan and its limitations factor this in.

    I'M RESTRICTED AT MOST BOOKMAKERS FOR PAST SUCCESS, CAN YOU STILL CATER SELECTIONS FOR ME?

    Yes. The Overrule advises best price selections for those able to take advantage of a variety of bookmakers as well as for those who have limitations through Pinnacle selections. A tissue price is sent out with every selection to deem minimum value.

    HOW DO I RECEIVE THE ADVISED SELECTIONS?

    All selections are sent out via e-mail. There will be a daily e-mail sent either to advise selections or to state there are no selections for that day but may include information on in-play opportunities to look out for on certain matches or markets.

    WILL I RECEIVE A NOTIFICATION AS TO WHEN TO EXPECT THE DAILY E-MAIL RELEASES?

    Yes. A release warning e-mail will be sent out 15 minutes before selections are sent. This release warning will also be posted on The Overrule’s Twitter account.

    WILL THERE BE A REGULAR SCHEDULE FOR THE DAILY E-MAILS EACH WEEK?

    Yes. Once The Overrule is able to factor in the release of the next day’s order of play and when prices are available with bookmakers a regular structure within a reasonable time frame will become apparent during the week and subscribers will be notified of this.

    DO YOU OFFER ANY MONEY BACK GUARANTEES?

    Yes. Subscriber satisfaction along with returning a healthy profit are the most important elements of The Overrule’s service. With that in mind The Overrule is happy to offer a pro-rated money back guarantee after the first three months of your service up until the last three months of the service.
      If for any reason you wish to end your subscription you may do so between May and August and receive the remaining balance of your subscription back through Pay Pal. Simply contact The Overrule before the first of the month to request cancellation and your payment pro-rated will be returned on the 15th of that month.

      Request by May 1st, payment returned May 15th for £120.
      Request by June 1st, payment returned June 15th for £100.
      Request by July 1st, payment returned July 15th for £80.
      Request by August 1st, payment returned August 15th for £60.

      I BELIEVE THIS IS THE SERVICE FOR ME, WHAT'S THE NEXT STEP?

      Contact The Overrule at  theoverrule@gmail.com  so we can discuss your betting outs (available bookmakers) and determine if the service is suitable for you and to reserve your spot on the subscription list. If there are any further queries or questions regarding the service, please let me know.

      The Overrule is available on Twitter as well as Facebook

      Friday, 24 January 2014

      Australian Open Overview


      The Australian Open is in the books for The Overrule for 2014 and here is how we fared against general best price at the time of advised selections as well as against Pinnacle.

      Against general best price.



      Australian Open performance - Stake: 29.00 Profit/Loss: +1.76 ROI: 6.07%

      Season performance - Stake: 29.00 Profit/Loss: +1.76 ROI: 6.07%

      Against Pinnacle.



      Australian Open performance - Stake: 24.50 Profit/Loss: +2.95 ROI: 12.04%

      Season performance - Stake: 24.50 Profit/Loss: +2.95 ROI: 12.04%

      The Overrule will be moving on to WTA Paris and Pattaya next week as well as Davis Cup action.

      Tuesday, 21 January 2014

      Grand Slamming the Media


      I really like tennis, so it stands to reason that I would really like Grand Slam tennis. I don't like the media, that's not to say everyone in the media, but we'd surely all agree the media has a few too many people involved in it who are more intent on stirring up trouble or acting inappropriately than being accurate. Have you ever read Grand Slam interview transcripts? At this Australian Open, I've read them all. All of them.

      And here's what I found...

      This reporter seemingly wants to ensure Serena Williams isn't suffering from long term memory loss.


      Randomly this reporter informs Novak Djokovic he has more female fans than male although I'm not sure the reporter in question performed a scientific poll to reach this conclusion.


      Tennis reporters really enjoy letting players know they've had a bad day, it's not as if the players would be aware of such circumstances on their own accord. This is how Petra Kvitova's press conference began after a first round loss, she was asked to detail her despair, as if it shouldn't already be obvious to all.


      Sticking with Kvitova this reporter would like to know if she ever seeks out her boyfriend and fellow tennis player Radek Stepanek for advice. Once Kvitova responds that she doesn't, it is then suggested she might want to change her current coach, presumably for Stepanek. David Kotyza must be delighted to know this.


      Luksika KumKhum has just pulled off the biggest upset of her career in defeating Kvitova, so naturally her press conference resulted in her having to play the role of a geography teacher.


      Sticking with Kumkhum (yes, I know how that sounds) it appears this reporter hasn't heard of the official WTA Tour site, on there you can go and check Kumkhum's results history, you could even have checked it before her match, during her match, after her match or directly before the interview. I believe they do have internet access in Melbourne.


      Maybe this reporter wants Laura Robson's actual address?


      Remember how reporters like to inform players of disappointment they're already aware of? This was the first question posed to Jarmila Gajdosova.


      Marinko Matosevic has lost 12 Grand Slam matches in a row, in fact he's never won one at all. He knows this. His press conference opened with a very disapproving "So 12."


      This reporter wants Stanislas Wawrinka to know that if he wins the tournament he can go skydiving. Wawrinka wants the reporter to know he can go skydiving whenever he feels like it, whether he wins the tournament or not.


      Li Na knows how awful the media can be, she has experienced it in China.


      This reporter wants Li to expand on that, no doubt because the media couldn't possibly believe anyone in their industry would do such a thing, it's not like tennis reporters are guilty of doing it on Twitter all the time.

      At the end of the press conference a stunning revelation from one reporter.


      Sloane Stephens didn't know who she would play in the next round, so of course, why not ask her who she might play in the round after the round she doesn't know who she will be playing.


      Victoria Azarenka was talking about her grandmother so one reporter obviously decided to run with this by gathering material for an article on tennis grandmothers...


      ...then Casey Dellacqua's grandmother...


      ...then Maria Sharapova's grandmother. We're all looking forward to the article on grandmothers. And never wishing to let an opportunity pass to fan the flames, Sharapova is asked if she'd go on a double grandmother date with Azarenka, between whom we all know the relationship is frosty to say the least. For the sake of accuracy, Azarenka made it quite clear in her press conference that her grandmother had not gone to Disneyland.


      This is less about the reporter and more about me finding Tomas Berdych's take on Wimbledon for their dress code policy amusing. "They are very sad."


      This reporter wants Angelique Kerber to know that the only thing she has in common with the great Rafael Nadal is that they are left handed players who sign autographs right handed.


      Sections of the tennis media, mostly of the US variety, can't seem to get over the fact Azarenka used a sanctioned medical time-out at last year's Australian Open. You'd think medical time-outs weren't common place the way they cry about it or that they were illegal. However, never willing to do anything other than try to stir trouble with Azarenka their quest continues.


      There was a time when Richard Gasquet would be referred to as 'Baby-Fed' and since he arrived on the scene that name has been passed on to Grigor Dimitrov. Only Dimitrov wants to get away from a nickname he never had any part in encouraging but this reporter won't let him.


      No reporter at fault here but interestingly enough you may be unaware that Stephane Robert was actually quite content to face Andy Murray, it's Feliciano Lopez he didn't want to play.


      We're back to Stephens, this time she knows who she is playing, she's facing Azarenka. The tennis media are under the impression that if you live in the same city and have the same agent you must therefore be best friends. And if not, controversy? You sad, sad people.


      Tennis players who are in relationships with other tennis players surely only ever talk about tennis together, right?


      This reporter wants to know if Berdych has any problems, since he doesn't, it may well be time for the reporter to start creating some for him. After all, what else would the media do?


      For this reporter there's always something with you in Melbourne, isn't there, Serena? Well, sure. As long as you discount all the times she came to Melbourne and won the title.


      The reporter who is looking to stir trouble for Berdych has his or her eyes on Flavia Pennetta also.


       Exactly, Roger. I couldn't have said it better myself.


      The opening question of Robert's last press conference in Melbourne was essentially, do you have a gambling problem?


      Most fans of tennis will know that Simona Halep had breast reduction surgery a few years ago. In fact even some people outside of tennis know this because at the time the story broke it attracted the attention of non-tennis websites and magazines. Is it relevant to ask how that surgery has benefited her tennis career? Sure.

      Is it appropriate or anyone's business how this has affected her personal life outside of tennis? No. No, no, no. What on earth was this reporter thinking? What response was he (it has been confirmed since it was a male reporter) hoping to illicit? And even if Simona had chosen to answer such a ridiculous question, what would have been its use? The fact that in all likelihood none of the other reporters in the press conference questioned their colleague on the validity of such a question once the conference was over also tells me something. Which is that the media often fail to critique their colleagues into setting higher standards.


      Stephens again, this time she's putting the fire out on a story the media were happy to run with based on an assumption, something they would never ordinarily do. Has Sloane's response received as much attention in the media as their original assumptions? I don't think you need me to answer that.


      This reporter wants Jelena Jankovic to know she can only beat Japanese players.


      This reporter wants Berdych to know his coach isn't as famous as the other top player's coaches. In fact, this reporter wants Berdych to know his coach isn't that famous at all. Maybe this is the reporter who wanted Berdych to have a problem or two? Well now you have a big problem, Tomas! You don't have a famous coach! How on earth will you move on with your life?


      Either the reporter called Justin Bieber a %$*& or the reporter called Bieber a £$/&*. Either way as much as many may agree with the sentiment, I'm not sure it's appropriate for a Grand Slam post-match press conference and clearly Genie Bouchard agrees with me.


      While the tennis media will over analyse and attempt to read something into nothing of every defeat a player suffers at a Grand Slam in terms of their performance, perhaps it's long over due that the media critiqued their own Grand Slam performances? Here's a hint, you're not doing very well and you haven't for a very long time.

      Saturday, 18 January 2014

      Trading Places: Don't believe the hype


      Over the past few weeks and months there has been an ever increasing focus on sport and gambling with various stories of scandal and corruption breaking in sports such as cricket and football among others. The latest of these stories centers around tennis, which is a sport that is immensely popular with the sports betting community at large, particularly in Europe.

      Unfortunately amid all of the reporting have come a substantial amount of inaccuracies and falsehoods that do plenty of damage, paint darkened pictures and misinform the public at large. Perception is reality when it comes to the masses, but now it's time to give reality an opportunity to set the record straight.

      With that in mind this article hopes to convey the ins and outs of the processes by which a bookmaker trades a tennis match. Much is written about how bookmakers work but often by people who have never been on the inside which creates confusion and allows myths to develop and grow.

      Traders

      The first thing we'll do is explain the difference in the term "trader" as it relates to sports betting. There are two types of trader, the professional trader who makes their income from trading their own matches on exchanges, and the book trader who is trading matches on behalf of a betting company for the company.

      Professional traders can usually be found in one place - Betfair.

      Betfair is a betting exchange that allows customers the opportunity to create their own prices and bet for or against something. It is where you can often receive the best price on a selection with the percentage of the book far closer to or at 100% than you will find with a bookmaker who have built in margins (or juice) that for a tennis match may range anywhere from 103-112%.

      These traders will back and lay through a match constantly managing their positions in the market. It's the stock market for sports, buying low and selling high is the ideal. A trader may take a position before the match or find an entry point during the match and in all likelihood will at some point oppose that selection to ensure a profit no matter which player wins if the opportunity arises later in the match.



      A book trader is employed by a betting company to manage their in-play markets. You'll see a cross section of some of the better known bookmakers in the odds list below and they will have anywhere from 30-100 traders working on a number of sports, some of them specialist in particular sports and others roaming between different sports trading departments.


      Book traders will create the pricing for the in-play matches (matches which are traded live in-running as they happen), manage those prices during the entire course of the match from the first point to the last, manage the liabilities that the company is building up through the match and monitor the bets that are being placed on the match to look out for any possible irregular activity.

      Concentration is a key ingredient for a book trader as he (trading departments are predominantly male) must be on top of things at all times in the market, while a professional trader may wish to be done with a match once they have positioned themselves with a green market (meaning a profit no matter who wins the match).

      Set-up



      Above you'll find the general set-up for most traders at nearly all betting companies. As you'll notice it comprises of a four screen layout and access to two PCs.

      In the bottom left hand screen you will find the trading application and to the right of that application in the same screen is the Enetpulse feed which we'll expand on shortly.

      In the top left hand screen you'll find windows open to both the company website and that of other companies who were trading the same match. In addition the monitor in that same screen where you can see the little red and green dashes is what is used to monitor all bets that are taken on that particular match for £10 or more.

      In the top right hand screen you'll find my Twitter feed and IPTV which has access to streams and stadium feeds for various sports all over the world that are often anywhere from 5-60 seconds faster than you will find on live TV.

      On this particular occasion there was no use for the bottom right hand screen to trade and thus you see a commercial being played. It was probably on Sky Sports News with Natalie Sawyer presenting.

      To see or not to see...

      There is a huge demand from betting companies to trade as many events/matches as possible. Why? More matches, more turnover, more profit. Most bettors are not good ones. It's widely estimated that around 95-98% of the regular betting public are long term losing bettors with only a very select few skilled enough and disciplined enough to make a living out of such a profession. Don't let anyone tell you it's easy to make money from sports betting, it isn't. If it was you'd all be doing it.

      Given that need it is with an ever increasing regularity that matches are traded without pictures, meaning without any live TV or streamed action through an external source. The matches are essentially traded blind. The key ingredient is a scout client feed, such as Enetpulse, to be able to transmit the current score of the match to the trading application, at which point the application will change the pricing based on the model being ran, but the trader must ensure the pricing is what he is comfortable with sending out, and if not, to tweak and adjust. Over the course a match there will be countless amounts of tweaking and adjusting to be done, although less during a match in which you don't have access to pictures as opposed to one you do.

      Why? During a match where you have pictures you have the ability to impart your own influence on the prices as you can clearly see how the match is unfolding. You may wish to make a player a bigger or shorter price based on what you're seeing and adjust your pricing accordingly. There are limitations to how far you can go with this, for example you cannot offer a bigger price on a selection that exceeds the lay price on Betfair, as you'll be opening an 'arb'. An arb is when different companies are offering prices on opposing sides of a market at a percentage book less than 100%.

      If you can back player A at one company at a price of 6/5 and back player B at a different company at 11/10 you will, if you stake correctly, ensure a guaranteed profit regardless of who wins the match. Bookmakers don't want such situations created as it puts them in a no win situation long term, even if the selection taken with them happens to lose during that one instance.

      It's important to note, which some bettors seem to forget at times, that bookmakers are there to make money and it's the job of traders to protect as well as increase profits. Arbing is a sure fire way to soon having your account restricted or closed once it becomes clear through monitoring that you may be such a customer. So if you see an arb and you're not a professional arber - they exist - ask yourself whether attempting to take advantage of one you find is going to be worth it in the long run by your account being restricted. You may get away with it a few times but the more you do it the more likely your account will see some changes.

      Scout clients

      We've touched on Enetpulse, who are they and what do they provide exactly? They are the exclusive worldwide distributor of official live scoring tennis data for the ATP and WTA. That data comes directly from the umpire's chair through to the client feed which bookmakers have linked up to their trading applications.

      How does the umpire send this data?


      If you've ever wondered exactly what the umpire is pressing on his pad, well now you know. He's sending relevant information from the score to whether an ace, net or fault has been hit in a match and that is relayed straight to the client feed and on to in-play traders at bookmakers. The key aspect is its speed as the data is delivered within two seconds unless the umpire is sleeping on the job, which can happen from time to time, as Venus Williams and Karolina Sprem will recall at Wimbledon once.

      On the subject of speed and its necessity and the battle between bookmaker and bettor to receive the fastest information possible, I refer you to Ian Dorward's recent and informed article on the courtsiding story that broke during the Australian Open.

      To be clear, courtsiding has absolutely nothing to do with match fixing. Nothing at all. It has as much to do with match fixing as washing my hair later has to do with match fixing. Nothing.

      You'll note Enetpulse don't cover ITF tournaments such as Grand Slams, Davis Cup and Fed Cup. This is an immense pain for a book trader as it means they must add points manually themselves which requires an upturn in concentration. Given I traded the Gilles Simon/Gael Monfils match during the 2013 Australian Open you can imagine how fun that was to be focused on waiting 71 shots just for one point to be completed.



      Trading application



      Above is an illustration of what a book trader sees on their trading application and the functions by which they manipulate to adjust and change the pricing of a match. The key aspect is the serve hold percentage function which derives the price at which a player is likely to hold their service game. Through these inputs the match betting price is created and all derivative markets related to the core match betting price are aligned from that such as handicap games betting. The other key aspect is the expectancy for the total games in the match which can be manipulated to be increased or decreased and also determines pricing for various derivative markets relating to the games in a particular set.

      There is also the option to take specific control of upcoming sets if a trader needs to markedly change the pricing of an upcoming set because a player may be tanking the set being played to conserve energy for the latter stages should they be a long way behind. This is very important as if you don't pay attention well enough or indeed don't have pictures to begin with, there could be some value offered to bettors in your pricing for the following set.

      Limits

      Recently I read on Twitter from someone who is involved in anti-corruption of the sports variety that a £50,000 bet is nothing for a professional bettor. This is utter nonsense. There are a number of problems with such a claim. To begin with a professional bettor would never be able to get almost any bookmaker (possibly bar Pinnacle who claim to never turn away professional bettors, although they have limits to their markets like any company) in the regulated betting world to to take a £50,000 bet, even if the price was very short. It just wouldn't happen.

      Every market has a max bet limit, a max win limit and a max liability limit. When you open an account with a bookmaker, unless you are in a part of the world such as Eastern Europe whose accounts are usually restricted to begin with until further monitored, you will usually be a stake factor 1.0/2.0. This means you can bet 1x the max bet limit for that selection, which may be from anywhere from £25 to a few thousand, it would depend on the sport and market involved.

      For example you can place far bigger bets on the Premier League than you can on the swimming world championships. That's because the Premier League market is flooded with turnover and uneducated money whereas a sport such as swimming doesn't attract many bettors and the ones who are usually betting on it are quite well versed in that sport, often to a far higher degree than the bookmaker involved. Football is very popular in the betting world and swimming is very niche. The more niche a sport the less the limits available will be.

      As an example, a £50 bet at 22/1 on Federica Pellegrini at the European Championships was rejected by this particular bookmaker, who was only willing to take on £10 at 22/1.


      While a £50 bet at 22/1 on a Premier League market you'll find will be accepted without much or any fuss provided the customer isn't already on a restricted account.

      When you read about massive sums of money being bet on sports events with bookmakers be assured that the customer is most likely a losing long term customer who is more than welcome to place his bets with that bookmaker. I have taken a few bets of over £50,000 during my trading days (maybe around 20 in a near 4 year span that covered over 3000 traded events in football and tennis), the most was £140,000 on Ana Ivanovic to beat Vavara Lepchenko at 10/11 in-play in Beijing in 2012 during the second set. Ivanovic would go on to win in three after saving a match point or two if memory serves me well.

      The reason this bet was allowed was because the customer in question had a stake factor of 50.0. Meaning he would be allowed as much as up to 50 times the max bet allowed on that selection. Why would he be allowed such a huge bet? He was a long term losing customer who the company knew would eventually be beat in the long run on the basis of his betting patterns and his lack of price sensitivity. He won that day, but he lost on others, you win some, you lose some.

      So next time you hear someone had a huge amount of money on a qualifying match at a Grand Slam with a bookmaker don't be alarmed. It's likely not part of a match fix but simply someone with more money than sense.

      If you've reached the end of this article, my congratulations. Thanks for reading and don't believe the hype (unless it's coming from me of course!).

      Sunday, 12 January 2014

      Seven predictions we know won't go wrong


      Now for the next two weeks, we’ll be snuggled in our sofas, watching the stars take a few swings at the Australian Open. But before they do, here are 7 predictions we absolutely know won’t go wrong (cough, cough) this season. 

      1. The media will take no responsibility or accountability for the things they write about players no matter how damning or unjust. 

      You may not know this but anyone who works in the tennis media in any form has a right to say whatever they like about players, even if it's factually incorrect, and will bear no responsibility for the things they say. This is their God given right and you should not expect them to be accountable or further address the accusations they may make. In fact, how dare you even think to question the things the tennis media may write? Don't you know they have laptops and stuff?

      2. The media won't play favorites and villains. 

      The media, particularly the US tennis based media, don't have favorites. Believe me, ask Ben Rothenberg. Actually, don't ask him. Well, ask him, but only ask him if you are giving the distinct impression that you agree with him. You'd be silly to ask him a question that may counter his statement, particularly if you provide evidence to back up your claim, that just wouldn't make any sense. Either agree or say nothing. The media are never wrong. And they certainly aren't transparent.

      And villains? Are you crazy? The media would never pick on a player, that would just be bullying. The media treat all players the same. Always. No matter what. 

      3. The media will cure your aches and pains.

      If you were under the impression that the tennis media merely consists of a bunch of people praying for hits and clicks with inflammatory articles and trolling that would belong on the worst of tennis message boards, you were wrong. So wrong. 

      When you receive a press pass to cover a tournament that press pass entitles you to a fountain of medical knowledge and expertise. Don't be too concerned with whether a player is telling you they are injured or feeling discomfort. The media will tell you what the real truth is and you shouldn't doubt them. After all you don't have the magic press pass that qualifies you to make those decisions. 

      4. The media will decide who can take a medical time-out and when. 

      Following on from the previous point, it's important to understand that just because a medical time-out has been allowed on court, it doesn't mean it should be allowed. The media will tell you when medical time-outs were legitimate or not. And they will not, under any circumstances, base their views on their personal likes or dislikes. Remember, the media don't play favorites or villains. Everyone is treated equally which is why we can trust them implicitly to give us the truth of every situation. 

      5. The media will decide who is number one. 

      Rankings? Rankings are just an objective points based system designed to favor players who gain more points than others. And we all agree that's just ridiculous. Why have an objective points based system when you can just have the subjective based opinions of the media to tell who is number one and who should be ranked here or there? I'm sure you agree. 

      6. The media will complain about grunting.

      Not all grunting, obviously. Just when the women do it. After all this is a subject that so seldom has light shed on it. Thankfully the media will bring it up at the start of every Grand Slam. It's not because some of the people in question don't have the creativity or talent to shed light on other issues in the game, or the willingness to, it's just so important. 

      7. The media will not ask inane questions to players at press conferences.

      This never happens. Every question a media member asks has been carefully thought out and should always be met by a lengthy and considered response. The idea that a player should have the right to be as snarky with the media as the media might often be with them is absurd. The media are angels. They would never twist the words of a player for the sake of re-tweets on Twitter. Re-tweets aren't the be all and end all, well...