So this week a bit of my internet history came back to haunt me. This happens sometimes. Someone stumbles across a piece I wrote and subsequently likes/hates it enough to share it, normally via social media. This then leads to more people liking or then hating it and invariably statements about the quality/veracity of what the piece contained. Every time I have put out an article or a podcast I have yearned to receive constructive feedback and if possible to expand my knowledge as someone kindly fills in some of the blanks or corrects some of the errors from the piece. People rarely do. At best I am met with vehement statements of fact why invariably something I wrote is wrong or seems very unlikely. It is rarer still for people to qualify these statements with facts or real life accounts. I am left smouldering at comment sections at the end of blogs or tweeted replies which I dare not engage with less I lose my mind.
The most recent article to resurface was one tweeted by the tipster verification platform Pyckio. They found a link to an article posted by the value betting software provider Trademate Sports who in turn had taken the article from the Daily25 blog (who they credited along with myself) which I had originally written two articles for. The articles were originally written in 2015 and re-posted in 2017. Reading through them has been interesting for a variety of reasons. Firstly it is interesting to see just how angry I was then, knowing as I do the emotions that must have been behind certain phrasing. Secondly of course there are some things that have subsequently proven to be only mostly accurate or even a small few that I now know not to be accurate at all. Strangely the things I now know to be wrong are very rarely highlighted by people as the things that are in fact wrong.
I re-posted this article on my LinkedIn page and tried to stress that the article posted by Pyckio, while in my opinion worthy at the time, will become dated. I found out that LinkedIn actually has a word count limit for posts so was not able to go in to great detail on the article. So I find myself coming back to Medium to write my first piece for several years. I intend to look at some of the things I said in that article and comment on how they have changed or possibly have been further reinforced. I came off Twitter and I can honestly say it has been one of the most plus EV decisions I have ever made. This is not to say that Twitter has no value, far from it. It just had a damaging effect on me (as it does probably on others) as I became obsessive and consequently it became a huge time sink. The tragic thing of course being now I am going to write this piece and have no obvious distribution channel other than the few people who follow me on Medium. If you end up reading this and liking it then feel free to share it with gambling Twitter so it can supply the reasoned and carefully considered critique it requires. So let’s take a look at what Matthew Trenhaile was thinking in 2015.
For those who wish to read the original article you can find it here: https://www.daily25.com/former-odds-compiler-series-part-1-odds-compiling/ and posted in full at the end of this entry.
“First I will look at odds compiling and how it has changed over the past fifteen years and also try to tackle the subject of bookmakers copying prices off each other, which seems to be a hot topic.”
Hard to believe this was ever even a topic to be honest let alone a hot one. I would say that aggregated market feeds it transpires had actually been going on a bit longer even than I thought. I had not even realized at that point point that Betgenius was founded as far back as 2000. The idea that there are very few price originators in the industry and the majority of operators take a B2B feed is common practice and knowledge even among some very recreational bettors.
“My perspective on odds compiling comes from spread betting and this is important because the spread betting industry is responsible for every significant change in odds creation of the last 25 years.”
I must have been seething to write this statement not to mentioned filled with hubris. At the very least “every” should be replaced with “many”.
“It was also IG Index who first invented the dreaded close out button on the doomed to failure fixed odds betting product Extrabet”
By close out I of course mean cash out. I still stand by this and have no evidence of a cash out button for a bookmaker prior to Extrabet. It made perfect sense for a financial company to offer a way for a customer to close out a bet in an advantageous position much like a financial trade. IG first had BinaryBet which framed spread betting like an option price 0–100 for fixed odds outcomes for both sports and financials. The cash out button was a logical next step. It was calculated very fairly compared to the more modern iterations I might add and enabled for all sports and markets at all times.
“It is with good reason that many fixed odds bettors take a look at the spread betting firms prices as a secondary check before placing their bets.”
This was probably still just about true in 2015. Nowadays there is a brain drain on all areas of the industry as smart people go where the best salaries are and they are assuredly not in the betting industry. There are good people working in spread betting still but ultimately quality is built on competition not just with the punters but with your rivals. The drop in price originators mean odds compilers have less people to benchmark themselves against and the B2B odds industry no longer incentivizes progressive trading careers. I would be hesitant now to encourage any punter to defer to any one given source in the market nowadays. The are areas of strength and weakness everywhere.
“Odds compilers were initially split on the prospects of Betfair and certainly on its uses with regards to compiling prices.”
It is easy to look at this statement and scoff at it but it is true. Not only that but the doubt was probably correct in the very early days. I have subsequently picked up numerous stories of people who lost bundles of money in the early Betfair days laying things at massive odds just because they thought there was no way they could win or laying things too big at short odds because they thought they were “short enough”. A market made up of such people would not be great to copy and would be great to make money off and so the syndicates closed in, cleaned up and got us to the exchange prices of today.
“These odds were generated for our clients but also so that we could provide liquidity to the betting exchanges which enabled us to generate a significant secondary revenue stream.”
Had the company spun out a division that solely focused on market making on the exchanges I would have worked hard to still be there now. Who knows we might have become like Magnus buying up Pinnacles and the like all over the place.
“Two football teams, count how often the home team won at home in the last 20 games, how often the away team lost away in the last 20 games etc”
This was never meant to be taken literally. 6 games, 10 games head to heads no head to heads this was only ever meant to be an example of the type of thought process back then.
“Odds compiling was more about knowing the punters and their habits than the actual percentage probability of outcomes.”
Bizarrely now you can make money by knowing the habits of the current crop of popular and successful betting models. Look for where the data thins and inevitably models can develop “habits” about how they deal with such scenarios. It does of course require you to remain up to date with modelling developments.
“Most sports betting models are easily found online and have been around for a while but with many tweaks and refinements over the years and ever improving levels of data.”
Still true as ever this. White papers galore telling you all you need to know if only you can be bothered.
“Even if you did the odds in house just how good do they need to be to beat the average punter and can good (using sharp bettors positively) risk management hide a multitude of sins simply by letting your good punters move the prices in to shape for you? Sadly few bookmakers allow for that style of risk management or for the investment in better pricing.”
Naive little romantic I was then clearly. Having seen the accounts and trading back ends of countless bookmakers now it has become quite clear to me that doing anything other than closing winning accounts is a massive waste of time for almost all bookmakers. We all love the idea of “lay a bet move the price, that’s the way bookmaking should be!”. The reality is that when you have bookmakers operating under varying levels of legislation, KYC, taxation, banking costs, data costs, marketing budgets, licensing requirements it simply too impractical to run a new bookmaker now under some “principled” model of all players welcome. Pinnacle withdrew from some jurisdictions as the costs made it impossible, Mustardbet created by my former employers made money from a client base that was mostly sharp punters and still decided there were better ways to spend the money that would be required to move it to the next level.
“Odds compilers are finding out that one pound spent on promotions and marketing can generate a greater increase in profit than one pound spent on their trader salaries or in software development.”
“Bookmakers want to spend just enough to beat the 98% of punters they need to with the minimum number of staff.”
Never been more true.
“Analysing in greater detail actually shows them that paying for decent profiling software and young no experience employees to operate it is even more cost effective than training or acquiring odds compilers of almost any skill level.”
Or just outsource the lot and go to lunch.
“Their product is entertainment and not the selling of an intellectual contest between punter and bookmaker.”
I was on a roll at this point.
“Now for the obligatory Pinnacle paragraph. Why can’t all bookmakers be like Pinnacle?”
I was frustrated by people gnawing on this bone then and I am still am now.
“ The answer to this simple and it is that there can only be one Pinnacle business model at a time. Others can take bits of it here and there but the exact Pinnacle model can’t be easily duplicated. Pinnacle’s tag line is that they welcome winners and simply put that is because they want to beat all the square books with the greatest sports proprietary trading scheme in the world. By employing the best odds compilers, betting to tiny margins, allowing all arbitrage and sharp bettors and moving your odds in accordance with how sharp they are your odds become the truest representation of the probability of sporting outcomes. You start limits low at your most vulnerable and increase them as your price improves. You spend nothing on marketing but allow absolutely anyone to use affiliate banners and give your API out to anyone you can especially arbitrage and odds comparison services. Your low margins mean you are the other side of arbitrage trades all day and all night and the square book your price is against is so bad at pricing you must be getting the value side of the arbitrage trade. In fact you are getting it over and over again but always moving your price to capture that small bit of value every time. You become the single largest punter that Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill etc has and all without opening a single account. Your risk management must be largely automated and you must have the servers of an investment bank. Anyone else trying to setup this model and succeed must do so with smaller margins and better risk management and not to mention a lot of capital.”
Still pretty happy with this bit even now. I do wonder how the rise in value betting over pure arbitrage has effected Pinnacle. We can see how a war against a Pinnacle type bookmaker would play out right now. Smarkets and Matchbook have tried to challenge Betfair. Smarkets have Hanson their in house trading arms trying to poach all the matched betting arb money that the Betfair syndicates were hoovering up. They did this by low commission rates. Notable that matched betting software Odds Monkey has the 0% offer for Smarkets (No danger to offering that to a load of chiselling angle grinders eh Smarkets?). Betfair recently gone to 2% as an option for commission though … almost like they are aware of what is going on … Matchbook meanwhile have assorted large professional market makers but they still need to get the punters in the door to feed the sharks. How much money are either operation actually making after costs, I honestly don’t know. Remember not everything appears on a balance sheet. It is quite possible that long term Betfair is all we get. Oh and Betdaq as they seem impossible to kill. Smarkets and Matchbook are bookmakers and Betfair is home for several very clever bookmakers effectively. Pinnacle by contrast actually behaves more like an exchange in terms of odds movements.
At this point someone normally dredges up BetCris or Top Sport in Australia or some Asian bookmaker and says “but they take winners”. They all have an angle that allows them to take some sharp punters and feel like they are optimizing their business by doing so and they may be right is some cases. What they all are not doing is employing the Pinnacle model in so much as this is a model of doing business. If I am Top Sport in Australia I might think there is room among the corporate oligopoly for a bookmaker to take some of the 2% margin high stakes punters that have been squeezed out by the other operators. Should those operators do more to accommodate those types of punter? Maybe. Extra work for ultimately high variance smallish relative gain. Unless you went out to get all of them in Australia. Thus all the corporate bookmakers made the right choice ditching them and Top Sport makes the right call by trying to get all of them. If I am Top Sport I still wish I am Bet365 but you build the business you think you can achieve. If I am some random Asian bookmaker having to deal with agents I may just have to deal with sharp business even if I don’t want to due to anonymity. I don’t want the stuff but I am stuck. The rise of direct depositing and the squeezing of agents may mean Asian bookmakers will not look so kindly on some of this business. They have certainly made their limits more recreational and less agent sized that's for sure. And then you have BetCris doing a bit of all sorts. KYC in the offshore world is a bag of bollocks so maybe they would rather know the names and faces of those they are going to lose money to regardless so they can at least be managed. Like having trusted agents in Asia. They also probably don’t mind the high stakes low margin stuff as they don’t have to pay much to acquire customers when you have a wealthy country on your doorstep actively hunting you down in the hope you will be open to some grey market business. There are other elements at play here as well such as levels of regulation, taxation etc. Once again if you offered BetCris the chance to be Bet365 they are not hesitating to slip in to Denise’s high heels.
“The only one I see really trying this is Marathon and they have not got to the point where they will not close accounts, in fact far from it.”
Looking back this one just seems bizarre. Marathon trying to be Pinnacle? I have to say I was fairly obsessed with Marathon back then. They were offering margins below Pinnacle’s and this was when Pinnacle’s margins were even lower than they are now! You could look on Oddsportal and see matches with 200+ odds changes pre-match. I swore at the time it must be a machine trading it. Liability driven odds using a machine seemed in my mind like someone trying something different like Pinnacle. Yes we were all getting our accounts closed by Marathon but still maybe they were giving it a go? They were considered a joke then and still are now. Never mind they are the largest online bookmaker in Russia one of the largest betting markets on the planet. I was fascinated by their Tennis in particular. OnCourt the long standing piece of tennis software recorded Pinnacle and Marathons odds in the software. I thought it was just because OnCourt was Russian but maybe there was more to it I thought. I had also worked recently with some exceptional Russian developers in the finance industry and Russia produced some good arb software so I thought maybe Marathon was automating stuff. I will probably never know about the level of automation. What I do now know is a bit more about the nature of the Russian market. They like their big pre-match singles, larger average stakes then central Europe. They love Tennis, I mean there is a Russian bookmaker called Tennisi. Fonbet the original state bookmaker had (still does) the retail market sewn up but online was a battlefield. Russian punters were/are price conscious and margin conscious so that is where war was waged. Working with a Russian operator recently their favourite promo was to run high profile matches at 100%. I was ignorant about that part of the market and drew some probably incorrect assumptions at the time. Like I say nothing I write can be truly timeless I don’t think.
“What about all those Asian bookmakers accepting winners? Well they are happy to take them on events where they see a huge volume of square money, which are of course all football matches and some US sports and maybe decent level tennis matches”
Yeah this was wrong. They never wanted it they just had no choice. Agents could filter sharp stuff in and use the knowledge themselves to punt themselves. The bookmakers at the top of the pyramid just had to swallow it. Less so if the agent network continues to decline. “all football” is also a bit of a stretch.
“So why do they put arbitrage opportunities up all the time even in liquid markets I hear you cry. The answer is we are still in a period of transition in the industry and some are still coming to terms with the idea of a market price that should just move on weight of money and not a trader’s opinion.”
Everyone has come to terms with this but reducing the latency across the whole industry across multiple feed providers is difficult. Being slow is where arbs arise not from any bullish point of view.
The whole last paragraph of the piece is a bit garbled and I am not of a mind to pick it apart really. Ultimately I think it stands up OK as a whole.
Below is the original as found on my PC:
“My name is Matthew Trenhaile and I worked as an odds compiler for six years at the UK Sport Spread Betting division of IG Index. Steve has very kindly allowed me to use his blog to showcase some of my writing and I hope to do that in a series of articles from the perspective of someone who has worked in the betting industry. Firstly I would like to go over some of the phrases I will use in my articles as the names for various things change from country to country and era to era. When referring to a favourite I will use the word “Jolly” and “Rag” for underdog, these are very much UK phrases to my mind. To describe smart punters I use “Sharp” and “Square” for losing punters. These are very much Vegas words and will also be used to describe bookmakers which I may abbreviate to “Books” on occasion. For accounts in another name used for putting on bets I rather like the term “Bowler” I assume this is an Australian phrase and I rather like it. When describing odds I will use decimal odds and when talking money it will be in UK pounds and pence just for my own ease. I am seeing more and more articles by industry insiders not mention television documentaries and they all seem to generate a lot of heated debate. I am all for this if it is good natured but do please remember these are just my opinions and I happily respect those belonging to other people.
In each of the following articles I hope to tackle the subjects from a past, present and future perspective. First I will look at odds compiling and how it has changed over the past fifteen years and also try to tackle the subject of bookmakers copying prices off each other, which seems to be a hot topic. My perspective on odds compiling comes from spread betting and this is important because the spread betting industry is responsible for every significant change in odds creation of the last 25 years. For those of you unfamiliar with spread betting please got to Sporting Index’s website and go to their training section to get an idea of what is involved. You could oppose an outcome in sports spread betting before you could lay on Betfair and you could bet in-running online on the spreads before any of the fixed odds bookmakers. It was also IG Index who first invented the dreaded close out button on the doomed to failure fixed odds betting product Extrabet. While none of this makes me particularly good at odds compiling compared to another it does mean I was constantly at the forefront of technological advancements in the industry. This was true then and the sports spread betting industry still leads the way now either through employees who have gone on to devise the models of other bookmakers or through companies such as Sporting Solutions a spin off from Sporting Index where they sell in-running prices to other bookmakers. It is with good reason that many fixed odds bettors take a look at the spread betting firms prices as a secondary check before placing their bets.
Odds compiling has steadily become more and more about databases, statistics and mathematical models and less about personal experience, intuition and feel. I was fortunate enough to work with men who had watched thousands of hours of racing and could pick out the smallest of nuances about how a horse was ridden or the strategy of a given trainer however, I was also fortunate enough to work with people who were able to break down sports in to their fundamental inputs and turn those inputs in to probabilities both before and during events. Odds compilers were initially split on the prospects of Betfair and certainly on its uses with regards to compiling prices. I started working at a time when Betfair had just reached significant liquidity levels and could not possibly be ignored if only because of the ever increasing numbers of arbitrage bettors. Within 6 years we used our Betfair API to price up all our horse racing products with a human simply to oversee the process. Contrast this to when I started and we had a trader for each horse racing meeting and a room of 40 traders in a time when the number of sporting events priced was less than a tenth of the number now. The luxury of being a subsidiary of a large financial firm was that we were better paid than the rest of the industry and had greater resources at our disposal whether it be staff or IT support. All resources were increasingly ploughed in to trading more events in-running and developing more and more complex models for generating odds in-running. These odds were generated for our clients but also so that we could provide liquidity to the betting exchanges which enabled us to generate a significant secondary revenue stream.
Most statistical odds compiling originated with a simple counting of how often an event happened. Two football teams, count how often the home team won at home in the last 20 games, how often the away team lost away in the last 20 games etc. This was well before my time of course and what gave bookmakers an edge back then was studying the sports more than the punter and comparative odds knowledge. What I mean by that is if a bookmaker calculated a team should win 50% of its home games in football and last time these two teams played you put up 1.83 odds and the punters backed it like crazy the bookmaker then records or remembers this and puts out at 1.75 next time and when the punters come back it again and the bookmaker has extracted extra value from his margin simply by knowing what the punters did and what they were willing to pay for it before. Odds compiling was more about knowing the punters and their habits than the actual percentage probability of outcomes. Even now this particular area is the difference between bookmaking and punting. Bookmakers have to anticipate money flow whereas the punter has to determine the probability of outcomes and find value. In an online world the odds have come to reflect real probabilities more and more and less public opinion or the narrative of the event. The emergence of in-running betting is what really drove odds compilation to mathematical modelling, it became too hard for a human to quote prices in multiple markets for multiple events in-running all with pen and paper. Bookmakers needed automation, which meant models.
Most sports betting models are easily found online and have been around for a while but with many tweaks and refinements over the years and ever improving levels of data. Poisson distribution won out as the way of modelling football not only because with some refinements it can be very accurate but also because it was easy to add time decay to the inputs. You have goal inputs for each team and as the match progresses those goals input in to the model slowly decrease meaning as the simulation is recalculated each second it produces a slightly different set of odds. This went from Poisson distribution to custom distributions per league and we went from working out goals for and against to shots for and against and then turning those in to goals. Now compilers are measuring the quality of the shots and the impact of individual players on the shots to create advanced player based shots models. Or are they? All sports have their equivalent mathematical model and all can be tweaked further as more data is recorded and made available. The question for bookmakers is how far do they go down that route? Do you pay to have people maintain huge databases? Do you pay someone else to provide prices? There are already several firms using the same prices from the same company for in-running football for example. Even if you did the odds in house just how good do they need to be to beat the average punter and can good (using sharp bettors positively) risk management hide a multitude of sins simply by letting your good punters move the prices in to shape for you? Sadly few bookmakers allow for that style of risk management or for the investment in better pricing. Odds compilers are finding out that one pound spent on promotions and marketing can generate a greater increase in profit than one pound spent on their salaries or in software development. Bookmakers want to spend just enough to beat the 98% of punters they need to with the minimum number of staff. Analysing in greater detail actually shows them that paying for decent profiling software and young no experience employees to operate it is even more cost effective than training or acquiring odds compilers of almost any skill level.
Maybe you are thinking that surely odds are a bookmaker’s product and surely they would be better served by developing that in the long run. This is an incorrect assumption for modern bookmaking. You do not choose which hotel to stay in by comparing the cost of a beer in the minibar. And bookmakers see the odds as about as important as the price of that beer. Their product is entertainment and not the selling of an intellectual contest between punter and bookmaker. It is foolish to think this has ever been the product that bookmakers have sold. They sell an adrenaline rush and anyone who thinks great characters pitting themselves against the punters and taking anyone on in horse racing betting rings is what betting used to be about is kidding himself or herself. Everyone has a story of how great bookmaking used to be. The people I speak to remember betting tax in the UK, huge margins, little choice between bookmakers to use, being refused payment and in fact being threatened with violence when trying to get paid out. I have no idea where this image of the gentlemen bookmaker comes from. Throughout time some bookmakers take your bets and some don’t and some allow you big bets and some don’t and some go bankrupt on you and some don’t. This has been true for both sharp and square punters. All bookmakers expect to win almost regardless of the quality of their odds (not a view held by their compilers necessarily) and better to channel their efforts in to getting punters through the door than lowering the price of the beer in the minibar. I do not like this model but I do not see this model going away.
Now for the obligatory Pinnacle paragraph. Why can’t all bookmakers be like Pinnacle? The answer to this simple and it is that there can only be one Pinnacle business model at a time. Others can take bits of it here and there but the exact Pinnacle model can’t be easily duplicated. Pinnacle’s tag line is that they welcome winners and simply put that is because they want to beat all the square books with the greatest sports proprietary trading scheme in the world. By employing the best odds compilers, betting to tiny margins, allowing all arbitrage and sharp bettors and moving your odds in accordance with how sharp they are your odds become the truest representation of the probability of sporting outcomes. You start limits low at your most vulnerable and increase them as your price improves. You spend nothing on marketing but allow absolutely anyone to use affiliate banners and give your API out to anyone you can especially arbitrage and odds comparison services. Your low margins mean you are the other side of arbitrage trades all day and all night and the square book your price is against is so bad at pricing you must be getting the value side of the arbitrage trade. In fact you are getting it over and over again but always moving your price to capture that small bit of value every time. You become the single largest punter that Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill etc has and all without opening a single account. Your risk management must be largely automated and you must have the servers of an investment bank. Anyone else trying to setup this model and succeed must do so with smaller margins and better risk management and not to mention a lot of capital. The only one I see really trying this is Marathon and they have not got to the point where they will not close accounts, in fact far from it. What about all those Asian bookmakers accepting winners? Well they are happy to take them on events where they see a huge volume of square money, which are of course all football matches and some US sports and maybe decent level tennis matches. The Asian Handicap model is designed to be low margin, fast moving and high volume and the sharpness of the money once close to the off is almost an irrelevance in some cases and early on limits are low like Pinnacle while the market forms so the risk is low. They are not however running a Pinnacle model but simply have got a large enough square volume to adopt certain aspects of it and are more comfortable to have loss making areas as long as the book as a whole is profitable.
So where do I see the future of odds compiling? Ultimately I believe that odds compilation will become an entirely outsourced function for bookmakers (are they still bookmakers if they don’t make the book?). There will be specialised companies whose primary function is providing odds both pre-match and in-running. There are already several companies that do this and there have long been companies who made it their business to provide liquidity to betting exchanges. You are going to see even more homogenised pricing than you do now. The reason that you see so much “copying” of prices is that the liquidity is such now in certain sports betting markets that there is now what can be deemed a market price much like in the financial markets. In top-level football there is very little incentive for bookmakers to deviate heavily from each other. Believe me when I say that extensive studies have been done that show trading against the market in liquid sports is a loss making proposition in the long term as bookmaker, not necessarily as a punter but when you have to provide thousands of prices across so many events you are better served by following the market. There are increasingly companies that will look at the market and say that a combined price from Pinnacle, IBC, SBO, Betfair (when liquid) and Bet365 for football for example can easily be concocted from API and will be more than solid enough. These operations aren’t going anywhere and see a staggering amount of bets, which keep the prices true. So why do they put arbitrage opportunities up all the time even in liquid markets I hear you cry. The answer is we are still in a period of transition in the industry and some are still coming to terms with the idea of a market price that should just move on weight of money and not a trader’s opinion.
I actually envisage growing confidence from bookmakers in these consolidated feeds. They eliminate arbitrage or at least with any sharp sources and they are cheap to use. I think they will also outsource all risk management as well. There will always be exotic markets attached to the core liquid ones and if bookmakers have any sense they will raise limits on the core and reduce the limits on exotic stuff to 100 pound take out which is fine for the average “amusement” bettor. As for horse racing I have no idea where that will end up, SP only maybe? I actually think that pari-mutuel betting with very low margins would be the way forward, a sort of universal Betfair SP. In Asia this kind of pool betting has not deterred punters of either the recreational or professional type. The problem with the UK is the amount of terrible racing that is on but who knows if every bookmaker pooled tickets, and Betfair and the Tote and shared the profits then maybe something of worth could emerge and it would also put pay to some of the rancid SP rigging that goes on. Punting will become about beating the market as a whole and not picking off the sick and the weak prices from bad books. This will require punters and tipsters to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the markets they tip in as much as the sports themselves. I have no doubt that Sportpunter can make money even at the AFL closing line and a recent study from the Secret Betting Club showed and eye opening result when looking at football tipster profits when using closing prices and yet few tipsters would want you to take the closing price because they do not understand how prices behave for the type of bets they suggest. Ultimately do not concern yourself with how the price is made or whether all bookmakers are showing the same price, only concern yourself with beating it, as there will always be flaws and edges to be found even if they become smaller and harder to spot. Next I will take a look at risk profiling and tipsters and what the new odds compiling landscape means for both.”