Saturday, July 17, 2010

Funny: I bust a gut every day to get my picks posted before game time, then InvestaPick comes along with 11 weeks of retroactive picks and scores!

(No picks for Monday, July 19, but please scroll down for a few more thoughts!)

I guess it's up to potential InvestaPick subscribers to determine whether or not results made public long after the finals were in have any real credibility.

I am, however, amazed that an investment firm that presumably lives or dies by its reputation would pull a stunt like this.

In the end, all I was interested in when IP suddenly showed a pulse after two and a half months in a cryogenic freeze was how their results compared with what woulda been achieved with target betting rather than a Martingale.

First off, all three "funds" made money while we weren't looking, for a combined added total of $1,607, reduced to $1,157 by commission fees.

That's a whole lot better than the 5x or 50x 7-dog trials, which of course did not have the advantage of posting selections after the finals were known.

The super-wide spread model, however, was $42,000 ahead after five right picks out of seven on IP's last day, April 27, and has won an additional $35,700 since then.

InvestaPick's bet value methodology remains a bit of a mystery to me, but in essence it's a Martingale that is still handicapped by a failure to recover all prior losses before reverting to a minimum bet.

This might help smarter folk than I am make heads or tails of IP's "C" results since April 27, 2010:

On April 27, the target betting win to date (since January 1, 2009) was $6,141 and that number would have increased during IP's long nap to +$6,991, or +14%.

IP's "E" fund stood at +$996 on April 27, and was at +$1,619 on July 15. The matching numbers for target betting on the same selections are $7,681 and $8,708.

The gross win for IP "W" was +$3,319 on April 27 and $3,680 right now, vs. $7,403 and $8,177 for target betting.

This is all anecdotal data, blah blah blah, but it does indicate that in spite of its flaws (and assuming complete honesty), InvestaPick's methods are successful, and could do even better with target betting in play!

I admit that when I see that more than 90% of all IP's winning picks paid less than even money, my confidence in my policy of making +100 the worst odds I will accept wavers a little!

IP's win rate from January 1 last year to July 15 was a hair less than 50% (448/898) and if I had achieved that in my 7-dog trial, I would be delirious, and richer to boot.

The target betting adaptation for the IP experiment requires that any prior losses outstanding after a win must be "mopped up" before the bet falls back to the minimum, and that accounts for most of the difference between IP's overall win to date ($8,105 before fees) and mine ($23,876).

It also accounts for the fact that target betting required more action ($152,000 overall vs. $70,535), a higher maximum bet ($3,200 vs. $1,040) and greater exposure ($1,707 vs. $297) - but, hell, isn't a 145% return on an investment better than 68% (IP's percentage, in case there's any confusion!)?

Time is running out for today, so here are my 7DT picks for today, Saturday, July 17. (Please note, InvestaPick, that none of the games has started yet!).

1605 905 Houston Astros +105 8
1610 909 Colorado Rockies +105 8.5
1805 915 NY Mets +135 7
1605 920 Baltimore Orioles +120 9
1605 922 Cleveland Indians +105 9.5
1610 924 KC Royals +105 8.5
1610 928 Boston Red Sox +135 9

Sunday, July 18 at 11:35am

Slim pickings today, and getting selections posted in time for those early starts is harder some Sundays than others!

Things have been going so badly lately that I am glad of another short break.

I peaked on July 2 and have lost more than $6,000 since then, only rarely doing better than two right picks out of seven on any given day.

At that level of performance, I'd be much better off reversing my choices and backing favorites, off-setting short odds with five right picks in seven day after day!

My old pal Peter Punter resurfaced last week with a new sports book betting method that is proprietary so cannot be detailed here.

The gist of it is separating selections into four classes, betting different percentages of the available bankroll in each class, and focusing on the ability of favorites to beat the runline.

Since bets get smaller when a losing streak eats into the bankroll, I am dubious about the concept in theory, but have to bow to data that claims great success for the 2009 and 2010 (to date) MLB seasons.

Naurally, I accept that the season summaries are totally honest!

My weakness is certainly the selections I make because that is the one part of the strategy that is subjective.

Underdogs have not been doing well in major league baseball lately, but my DWR has been consistently below the overall percentage day after day.

I know the numbers will bounce back eventually, but just lately, waiting has become an expensive game!

Looking at Pete's figures, I guess there's come consolation in the fact that 2010 has been a tough season for his new method, too.

By June 1 last year, two months in, he was up $8,850 on a $2,000 investment.

This year's STLY number is +$1,316 or 15% of 2009's profits. I know the feeling...

Monday, July 19 at 4:45pm

Today's MLB lineup didn't generate enough steam for me, so I decided to sit out for another day.

That gave me a chance to take a closer look at the method Peter Punter has been trying for a while now.

Me, I've had a lot more misses than hits just lately, so I am not about to criticize anyone else for falling foul of a losing streak - the best sports bettor in the world (and I don't know who or where he is, unfortunately) has to suffer a little bad luck now and then.

All I can say at this stage is that the ongoing 7-dog trial has taught me that too many bets a day are a major pain in the underpants, and this new method sometimes calls for not just seven but as many as 14 bets from one schedule.

It takes a miracle to make a profit from that many bets, and I am not about to endorse a strategy that spreads me that thin.

Not until a very dramatic change in its performance proves me wrong, at least!

I confess I love the idea of backing the favorite at odds that pay better than even money, and the best way to do that is to bet the runline, meaning that the favorite doesn't just have to win the game but must beat the other guys by at least two runs.

There are some great odds to be had, for sure, which is precisely why the proposition is a tough one to turn a profit on (and to hell with misplaced prepositions!).

You know when you place a bet at +165 (or even +100!) that the bookie counts your hard-earned money as a boost for his coffers before the game is even played, so chasing long odds on bet after bet is a sure path to heartache.

Believe me, I want to be wrong about this, but so far Pete's new cappers don't seem to be any better at finding winners than I am.

Oh, well...

An important reminder: The only person likely to make money out of this blog is you, Dear Reader. There's nothing to buy, ever, and your soul is safe (from me, at least). Test my ideas and use them or don't. It's up to you. One more piece of friendly advice: If you are inclined to use target betting with real money against online "casinos" such as Bodog, spend a few minutes and save a lot of money by reading this._