Monday, 15 March 2010

Staking Systems & Week 3

Spread Betting - NBA/NCAA
Stake: 1 or 2% of bank
Session P&L: £12.30
Current Bank %: 144.32%

It has been a bit of an up and down week. I had my best ever sequence of results followed by my worst ever sequence, with the net result being a slight profit. And as you have probably noticed I have started to apply the same statistical approach to the NCAA basketball, with mixed results so far, 3 wins and 3 loses.

I also spent some time looking at applying a more rewarding staking system, as upto now I have mainly been using a fixed profits approach with a slight Kelly criterion twist either at 1 or 2%. I have then explored higher risk/reward alternatives such as the pyramind and martingale systems. Although I'm still changing things and wll most probably switch it up again, I'm going to try a semi-martingale approach in addition to the methods I mentioned above. So 1, 2 or 3% will be the initial stake, if this loses I then split the losses between the next 2 bets which also have a profit target of the same percentage, again if one of these bets loses I will split it again into two further bets. For this to work I would need 2 out of 3 bets to win (66.7%) or ideally 3 out of 4 (75%). At the moment I am on a 70% average following my recent worst run of results, and for most of the time I was sitting on 80%+, so in theory I should clear my liability with this system. But to be even safer I have added a 1% reduction in profit after each loss, so for example on a 2% bet that loses, instead of going for the full 2% on each of the following 2 bets, I will go for 2%*0.99 plus half the liability of the previous stake. This effectively reduces the rate at which the stake increases and prevents it from increasing indefinitely, as this reduction eventually causes a biting point where the liability increase and profit decrease cancel eachother out, effectively causing a level stake system. This occurs at approximately double the initial stake, so effectively what I am doing is implementing a stake system that goes from level stakes of 2% to 4% through a sequence of a few semi martingale recovery stages. Worst comes to worst I'll be level staking at 4%, and if that happens then my strike rate must be quite poor. Any staking system, even level stakes with such a poor strike rate would marginally profitable at best or unprofitable anyway. I would see reaching this stage as a sign to review the system.

I started this on the day I had my worst sequence of results, out of 8 bets 6 were losers, so this has now left me with 10 follow up bets (having won 2 follow up bets already). Worst timing ever I suppose but it has given me a good sequence to test if this really works. Before that I had 15 winners out of 16, so another run like that and all the liability loops will be easily covered. Sequences of 3, 4 or 5 winners in a row have been quite frequent throughout, so let's see how it goes. What I like the most is that the limiter of profit per bet prevents the martingale approach from escalating the stakes indefinitely and limits me to about double my initial stake at its highest. I've also introduced a 3% bet, but have not used it yet, it is for when I find an 80% probability bet in the spread, as you can imagine this is very rare, particularly at an average price of 1.9. However when going over my data I have seen it crop up once or twice so it is there for those rare occasions. With this in mind almost all my initial bets will be split between 1 or 2% initially, with a rare 3% if that opportunity arises.

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