Monday, April 02, 2012

golf trading tips

Golf Trading

* thought I would post an article I wrote on OLBG a while back now about golf trading

Pre-Tournament >

Prices usually form around Monday...

Betfair prices aren't great on Monday (often have a lot of 200 prices that will start the tourney at 500 etc) but by Tuesday they have usually firmed up to the correct price

You may get some movement based on well-known tipsters or forums - their picks can affect the prices sometimes

Picking pre-event is up to your knowledge mainly

I use a ratings system which is fairly simple >

I take the player's ranking and then add my own ratings for current form, event form, stats, mental ability, X factor (my personal rating of that player) and then see how my rankings compare... I use a weighted points system to reflect the different criteria strength

the better the difference in my ranking to the official ranking is a good indicator for me of a 'value' bet.. not always someone who will win but one that has a better chance than the market will probably price him at

Then I look to see if the price is good for me... in a weak field it probably won't be as there will be a lot of players at lowish prices - in a strong field (tiger, micko, etc) you will get much higher prices on the majority of the field and that's where the value v price comes in and I select my picks

You can pick players to win or to trade > I do both but tend to run anyone I back at say 70.. there is a big payout if they win... I may Lay off but it's all about judgment and being flexible

Players at say 250 I will usually trade as a big win possibility is tempting but quite rare and I prefer to Lay off and get a green screen... in a good week I may pick 5 for trading and perhaps Lay off 4 early on and have a really good profit all-round..

I can then go back in on Saturday and back a few more who may win in the knowledge I'm playing with profit; then I can make even more... if it goes wrong early then you are only limited to your original stakes (I don't tend to Lay pre-tourney)

Tips >

Pick your own selections (devising your own ratings is a good idea, or at least having a list of in-form players, ones with good event or course form, etc)

Then maybe check others tips / comments etc to see if you have missed anything or agree with someone else's bet

Then pick your final selections after checking prices etc and check staking plan

Trading >

If your selection drops then you can always trade pre-event

If it drifts you can either Lay off for small loss (why?!) or back some more if you have the funds.. if it was good before its better now eh?!

In Running (IR) >

If the price drops > either Lay off for free bet or Lay off for a profit


* Player A is at 300 for 20pts = 5980.00 profit

> Price drops to 100 IR

* Lay for 20pts = 1980 liability

> you have a free bet on player A with potential profit of 3800pts (4000 less 5% comm)


* Lay for 60pts = 5940 liability

> you have a profit of 38pts on any outcome (5980-5940, less 5% commission)

 So, if you manage a few good trades like this you have a very nice profit all-round > of course you could run the price drop and see what's what.. if the price drops to say 30 from 300 then you have the lovely situation where you can Lay off some for profit and keep some for the big win


* 20pt back at 300 = 5980 profit

> Price drops to 30

* Lay 100pts at 30 = 2900 liability

This means you have a profit of 80pts on any other player (pre commission) and still have a 3080 profit bet on player A


Playoffs can be good for quick trading > the prices move rapidly however so there is a massive advantage to anyone with quick pictures; there are delays with most broadcasters so you will often see the market move before you see it with your own eyes - this means trouble, the only way around this really is to 'predict' the result of a shot, or to watch for 'over-reactions'


Obviously this is guesswork; however, by watching the play you can make reasoned judgements

is player A has holing everything - is he due to miss a putt perhaps?

What's he like on 5 footers under pressure?

Is it an uphill straight putt or a tricky downhiller with a break?

If bunkered, whats the lie like ? what's his scrambling ability? Etc

And so on, good judgement here can get the right result maybe 70% of the time in which case you are making a profit on level staking


The difference between the shots of two players can make a price drop instantly and by a lot..

ie player A is 25 feet away and player B hits it to 4 feet > the price on B will drop massively, then people will see a different camera angle perhaps or realise it's not such a cert and the price will increase a bit

so, if player B is 1.9 and hits it to 4 feet, the price may go to 1.2 then settle at 1.3 a few moments later

the trick is to Lay at 1.2 and then buy back in; he may well miss the putt anyway so the 1.2 could be a winning Lay but it's all down to managing your stake and your judgement

Equally, player A may be 1.9 and go to 3.3 when player B hits his approach close, then player A price may contract slightly as there are punters who will think he could make the 25 footer and they like the 3.3 price..

again, buy at 3.3 and Lay off at 3.2 perhaps; small margins but trading winners before the putts have been taken

example >

* player A price 1.9 > hits approach close

> Lay 1.2 for 250pts (liability 50pts)

* price settles back at 1.3 > buy 1.3 for 230.76pts (profit of 69.23)

if this works then you have a quick profit of 19.23 whatever

if the price only drifts to 1.25 then you back for 240 and have a guaranteed 10pts profit whatever

NB > you have to have your stakes worked out ready to go in these cases.. the downside is you don't get your back bet on and you lose your 50pt liability..

this example shows how you can make either 18.27 (19.23 less 5% comm so 18.27 actual return) on a price drift of 1.2 to 1.3 or 9.50 (10 less 5% comm) on a price drift of 1.2 to just 1.25

a profit of 36.5% or 19%

NB > if the price drops to 1.1 you can still back it for 250pts (your original stake) and halve your potential loss (50pt liability)

This basically means playing the price movement as opposed to following the market which is fairly predictable dependent on the shot 

Pre-Tourney Assessments

it's always worth checking any players form in previous events on a particular course... or in the event in previous years

make sure it's the same course as events are hosted on different courses sometimes..

some players really like certain courses - could be because it suits their game - some are short accurate hitters who like courses under 7,000 yards and play good target golf (ie short inland american courses) where you hit from A to B and rely on a hot putter

others like links courses where you often have to play the wind and shape shots - and quite often have to be a very good lag putter

some courses favour players who tend to draw the ball (augusta used to but has changed a fair bit in recent yrs) and others are set up more for faders of the ball

then you look at those who putt well on certain greens - there are plenty of variations in the speed let alone the type of grass - some players grow up on links courses so play well on those slick greens as opposed to watered inland courses

so the course itself will favour certain entrants more than others - hence some pros having terrific records in some tour events but not really showing up in others

living near the course is usually helpful too

so weigh up these factors too when trading... sometimes these factors will mean the price has been over-compensated for - and the actual golfer isnt in very good form - then he may become a good Lay bet as his price has dropped too low

i tend to include the event/course in my own rankings but weight the current form and X factor in too so there is a bias towards recent form more than course form - and then add in the usual stats form too... good indicators although not guaranteed

sometimes you get all factors pointing towards a very good bet risk - that's where you have to judge the price in your own eyes

eg you may really rate a player's form both current and in an event - you then look at competition and decide he should be a 10/1 shot - if his price is 17.0 he should be good value and worth backing - if he is 8/1 he may well win but is he value?

the trading trick is to assess and bet accordingly

you might back at 17.0 and have a Lay in place if it gets under 11.0 - or you may run it and go for full profit on a win

you may ignore the price if it's 8.0 and watch to see if it hits your asessment of 12.0 - or you may Lay it 8.0 thinking it's too low and then plan to back it at above 11.0 (your assessment)


Round 1 & 2 Trading

always watch the leaderboard - if good players go out early and make birdies you often get a drift on players who haven't started - the market tends to think they are less likely to make equivalent birdies and thus they drift - this is a good time to back

if they then start with birdies the price drops rapidly as the market assume they will go on and score really well.. so the first few holes are fairly important in a player's round

then > watch for streaky players..some players often shoot -5 in 6 holes... they hit a streak of hot putting... these players quite often rip a course up for a while..going -7 or 8 by 13 holes - then they fall back with a bogey or two as it's hard to maintain that form.. if you time it right you can back during the streak.. then Lay off when they stop getting birdies

also keep an eye on weather forecasts as there is a big difference on thurs/friday between starting at 7am or 3pm... if poor weather is forecast the prices on late starters can drift

tricky to get right but very pleasing when you do - just a matter of staying ahead of the game really and using all the info available

tips >

* check course and event form
* check recent form
* assess price
* watch weather
* check tee times
* check leaderboard pre starting

> if you want to trade a lot then dont get too greedy - decide where you want to get out if you plan to Lay after backing at higher price.... as jimmy mentioned above he settles for a small but regular profit

> if you get lucky and your player's price drops massively, then you have that lovely position of being able to Lay off some and still have a big profit on the original bet

Price differences

you can get some big differences in trading prices... sometimes you might see a back at 20.0 and Lay at 30.0

(this happens a lot at higher may have a 200 back and a 500 Lay)

nothing to stop you trying to get a match at 28.0 or so... then if you were the only back bet at that price, you may see the 30.0 Lay price drop to 22.0 as the market tightens up that player's price

eg 20.0 back, 30.0 Lay > you offer 28.0 and it gets taken... then the Lay drops from 30.0 to 22.0

(if the player plays a good shot it may well be a back bet of 16.0 and the Lay drops to 18.0)

you can then Lay at 22.0 for a quick small return or a free bet 

1 comment:

  1. * read part 2 as well for further tips on golf trading :-)