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Betting meets automation
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Today we’ll discuss something we’re fairly certain our readers will love to read about, the act of applying automation to different betting market pursuits.
Before we begin, a side note:
As with all things automation you’ll always find a bunch of larps looking to automate everything despite having no idea regarding *what* they’d like to automate. They want to build betting bots, but have zero clue about what the bots are supposed to bet/trade. They’re currently scraping the whole web on sports data, but haven’t spent a single thought on how they’re going to use it. Don’t fall for this automation/coding psyop. Sounds smart, is completely deranged. You think you’re moving forward [ahhh I’m cooooding] but you’re literally just wasting precious time.
The real path is instead:
Spend some time in the betting markets.
Come up with an angle/idea.
Think everything through properly.
Define proper requirements [what you require from your program/what your program is supposed to do for you].
When you find yourself performing a repetitive, well-defined *money-making* pattern on an everyday basis, you automate. Not before.
Possible coding projects within the betting sphere
Now that we’ve warned you not to initialize time-consuming projects without a proper design of how they’re expected to evolve through time, let’s jump into the fun stuff & discuss a couple of plausible use-cases for code in betting.
News trading systems. Trainer just reported a change in horse equipment? Scratch in a race that changes the expected pace/tactics in the race and/or doesn’t affect rest of the field linearly? Player out in tonight’s NHL game & prop bets lagging for the one taking his place in the PP unit? Doesn’t require much thinking to get this right [of course even better if you manage to come up with a set of subtle second order effects] & there are tons of easy +EV-dollars to pick up. In particular a great complement to an existing operation.
There are people out there reading this thinking “what stops the bookie from reacting to the news flash before you get the chance to do so?”. If this is you, unsubscribe & enjoy your crickets.
Scrapers in general. An absolutely fundamental part of any serious betting endeavour. Data will be necessary. How do you get data? You scrape it. You’ll need odds, how do you get odds? You scrape it. News trading systems without scrapers? Lol!
Oddscheckers. Building bots to avoid spending hours each day scrolling through pages & pages of odds only to check whether they meet your criterias or not is most likely one of the most efficiency-generating upgrades you’ll ever do to your betting. Define a bunch of basic checks that will filter out plausible bets within a reasonable margin of error (no need to be perfect here since you’ll have a second look & place the bets manually anyway).
API’s for parimutuel providers/sportsbooks. Far from all gambling actors offer their customers Betting API’s & simple programmatic ways to enter their pools & books. If that’s the case and you nevertheless find yourself having a bunch of daily action [in particular if triggered by events you can integrate with your code] at such places it may make sense to construct a basic API for automation of the final step of the betting process, i.e. the actual wagering. No need to build something crazy, a browser automation session coupled with a small collection of elementary routines [create_order, send_order, generate_submission_file, log_order etc.] can take you far.
Exchange algos. Infinite number of angles at the exchanges for a programming wizard with an understanding of betting markets. Betfair offers an Exchange API [learn more here] that lets you enter the chaos in a straightforward manner. Zero constraints. Think, map your thoughts into code, put money behind it & let your creativity earn you money. Heaven on betting earth? Perhaps.
Don’t worry about the ‘exchange market efficiency’ crowd. Real ‘tists enjoy maximum freedom [for everyone]. & worst case you’ll obtain a lesson in adverse selection!
Fundamental systems. In our opinion the end game for any *serious* [if this isn’t your job, this doesn’t apply to you. Keep collecting your dollars & don’t worry about how you do it lol…] gambler. Steam chasing, news trading & the rest of that stuff does a *great* job at *accompanying* a more [mentally] rewarding project. As you go beyond your first steps on your path to the riches you’ll lose that intense feeling of ‘wow, I can actually make money by clicking buttons’ & will thirst for something more stimulating [as with all advice it’s possible that this only refers to the author’s personal experience/view, but whatever]. After all you’ll spend hours & hours each and every day on this. Move forward, build something cool.
*Not everything is numbers on a screen.*
Finally, harnessing [:D] the power of ML/stats/data analysis for something as beautiful as horse racing will deepen your understanding of statistical learning techniques & software development, which translates very well into several other fields/career paths. Moreover, such a project is guaranteed to yield tons of insights into the equine world… Might come in handy when you decide to launch your ‘Moneyball-style’ thoroughbred/standardbred breeding operation in 10 years!
Optimizations & similar engineering stuff pop up more or less everywhere no matter what you’re doing. Examples:
Your #1 bot has always managed to find a great amount of good opportunities each day but since approx. a month ago this number has decreased dramatically. After looking into it you find this new Degen Bot that somehow manages to get in front of 90 % of “your” trades & literally steals your EV right in front of your [your bot’s] nose. No way you’ll let that continue, right?
A steam chasing program seems to offer potential but since the current version of the code only lets you visit each market/selection once every 3 minutes your hypothesis is that you miss out on a bunch of short timeframe +EV bets! Time to upgrade the codebase.
This absolute Autist Play that on rare occasions puts in a ‘decent’ amount of late money into the parimutuel pools got you deeply rekt last time when only ~35 % of the supposed bets were entered successfully. Again a speed issue.
Easy to see that efficient, clever & optimized code might have a substantial effect on the P&L you end up with after it’s all said & done.
Having introduced & discussed a fair amount of plausible betting projects, let’s turn to what may turn out to be an interesting opportunity for some of our readers/subscribers out there.
We’re constantly working on stuff that’s heavily related to the bullet points above and it is very much possible that we’ll start outsourcing parts of it going forward.
Therefore, if you believe you’d find it stimulating to work on such projects, feel free to get in touch with us via Twitter DMs/Discord etc. with the following information:
A brief overview of your coding/programming/software development experience.
A list with a subset of the above use-cases which you’d guess would be most suitable for you to help work on.
Note that there is nothing [*zero*] available at this very moment, consider this an early hint about upcoming *future* projects.
How it will work:
Cartoon Horse will get in touch with you with a detailed set of instructions/design guidelines [could be for a smaller part of a larger project, could be for a full project].
Discussions back & forth to make sure the project is OK with you & that everything is clear.
You implement the requirements.
Computer coins switches owners.
Please spare us psyopping edge extractors [or well, we have a few dead end projects in store for you guys]. Also our bets are -EV anyway.
THE END. Yep, this is a short one today.
Until next time…
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Disclaimer: None of this is to be deemed legal or financial advice of any kind. These are *opinions* written by an anonymous group of mathematicians who moved into betting.