Captain's log 2016

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Arbusers
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Captain's log 2016
« on: December 27, 2016, 04:06:57 PM »

I meant to do this since years ago but various factors were stopping me each year. The use of the word Captain has no intention to imply that I m the chief or the leading character of this community that expands beyond this forum. I hope I will be able to post a similar review each year so we can all have a time lapse of the smart gambling scene. Also, I encourage all of our members to post their opinion and thus contribute to my effort.

Now allow me to expand a little bit in the main forms of arbitrage and smart gambling and see how they performed during the year.
- We have seen the death rattle of pre game arbitrage. The vast majority of the bookmakers will limit/ban players that will dare to have arbitrage action with them. We came to a point where the allowance of such action from a bookmaker rises reliability questions. Additionally, several bookmakers are adopting aggressive payment policies against such players, delaying or even canceling payments. These policies are based on the hypothesis, that the average punter will not pay a 400 £/hr lawyer in order to get his/her money back and will opt for a complete surrender. A number of punters that took legal help had their money back before going to a UK or a Maltese court. This fact shows the extremely poor business ethics dominating the industry.
- Because of the hostile environment around pre-game arbing, a number of people moved to live arbitrage that proves to be more resilient. This move took place gradually and it became the dominant trend from 2009 until 2016. Live arbitrage guarantees that bookmaker’s accounts will last more and will offer a better profit/hour outcome than pre-game arbing. On the other hand, it has some very harsh characteristics such us extremely work stress and void bets. Successful live arbitrage players, had to do their very first steps on pre-game arbitrage in order to understand the mechanisms and make their brains spin around this concept. It seems that bookmakers are starting to realise that they are losing money from live arbing and they already took some first steps to cease or limit this kind of action. I expect bookmakers to adopt more hostile action against this kind of players, but the overall situation shows that live arbitrage has  more way to go and more profits to give.
- 2016 was the year that made value betting the new accelerating trend. A brooklet that became a stream, soon to become a river. Clever software providers understood this trend and they now offer new products in the market, unimaginable 2-3 years ago. Alert services also understood that there is something new in the market and they already react accordingly. We now see bots that compare prices according to their criteria and they place their bets in already limited bookmaker’s account with good success. The key is the right selection of criteria and  bookmakers. Bookmakers understood that bots are now working against them and they counterattack by changing their terms & conditions, ordering new softwares to their software providers and adopting aggressive payment policies. We are only in the beginning of the trip of value betting and the inventiveness of smart players already thrives. I expect bookmakers and exchanges to bleed before they come up with good ideas on how to stop this kind of action.
- The crown of all smart gambling action remains the arbitrage among sharp books only with the use of bots. This extremely limited number of people operating in this field, are staying in the shadow enjoying the fruits of their ingeniousness, strolling with their dogs at the forests at the very moment when all the others are heart beating in front of their pc.
- Casino advantage gamblers are also facing challenges, as bonuses are getting lower and several casinos are not offering the complete range of services to e-wallets depositors.

I mentioned before the extremely poor business ethics in the industry. A well known exchange, constantly demonstrating its (hypothetical) potential to remove betfair from the top, decided to stop cooperation with several affiliates, cutting several trees that were generating profits for all parties (the exchange, affiliates, players). Another exchange focusing on American markets is also removing players from affiliate trees, or altering the nature of any cooperation with poor or no justification. I am now in position to say, that all exchanges with no exception are looking for ‘’happy losers’’. This is a phrase used by their top managers and strategists. Arbitrage action is indeed providing a lot of revenue for them, but they are looking for ways to make more money by transforming arbers and smart gamblers to long term losers. Mathematics are not on their side and my estimation is that in the end all parties will lose from this.

Another fact is that arbitrage and smart gambling volumes are now taking a bigger part of the pie and this trend is accelerating. As a result bookmakers and agents that used to welcome sharp action are now reducing their risks and subsequently the offered wager limits to sharp players.

The (de)regulation of the markets continues and will continue. During 2016 the Romanian market was vanished in the same way and speed that we have seen in other markets these last years. Some Romanian players are still in the game, but their number is not comparable with what we have seen in the good old years.

E-wallets are becoming more expensive and they will continue in this way for as long as there is no competition. Cash will become even more scarce and expensive. This lack of competition is touching everyone, bookmakers, players and the e-wallets. I hope that everyone wakes up before banks or a Hawala system take all the volumes from the table. These dangers are real and present.

Thankfully, we didn't monitor any major collapse of a bookmaker, the same way we did for GoBetGo during 2014-15.

The best arbing events of the year were the US elections, the EU referendum in the UK and the Eurovision song contest (in this order).

Thankfully, the UK voted for Brexit creating good perspectives for gambling in general. Lets hope that it will remain an oasis outside Europe. The UK will have to enforce policies that will help business while the European straightjacket will continue (de)regulating markets in a Soviet style. Speaking of the UK, there is a big expectation that Pinnacle will get back soon.

Governments, bookmakers, exchanges and e-wallets become more and more greedy, (de)regulating markets and implementing policies and tactics against all players successful or not, disguising their insatiable thirst for taxes and profits behind the moral curtains of responsible gambling, tax evasion/avoidance and money laundering. There is no doubt that this phenomena are present in the gambling world, but putting everyone in the meat grinder is unfair, undermining genuine successful long term actions.

We all know that it is very difficult for a newbie to get in the game and remain in green ground. I mentioned the problems that bookmakers are creating, but additionally, it is the older guys not allowing anyone else to breathe. The older guys, being well positioned, having the weight of money on their side, are taking a bigger part of the pie before anyone else. Thus, newbies will have to try even harder in order to keep their nose above the water. The environment is getting hostile for the older guys also, as this year many reported that they didn't have a personal best. It seems that 2015 was the best year for them. Some kept this momentum until the summer of 2016, with the World Cup and the Olympic games.

The situation is deteriorating by the attack of locusts. These are a group of players under the guidance of 2-3 bigger guys that kill the cow who feeds us all. These groups are attacking to any possible source of profit in order to suck as more capital as they can in very short time. As a result, many sources of profit are already dried up when they had an excellent potential to feed a lot of people very generously for a longer time period. This is a very disappointing phenomenon and a major threat for the arbitrage and smart gambling world. It shows that the younger generation of smart gambling lacks of the noble characteristics that we have seen previously.

2016 was another difficult year added in the chain.

I wrote this annual review in good will, hoping that it will contribute to the understanding of this very particular field of arbitrage and smart gambling.

Thank you for reading.
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ilovethisforum
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2016, 04:50:17 PM »

Very nice summary of the year Arbusers,thanks for sharing with us! I am wondering why noone is trying to create a new e-wallet business to attack Skrill and Neteller? They don't have the funds,the people,the time? I will definitely do that,if i a had the funds to start.The only thing that is expensive is the licence. Also i believe that live arbing has more time to go,because many mugs play this way and there is huge volume for the softs. Also value betting is excellent weapon to have with us. Although the times becoming harder and harder i cannot believe that a day will come that we will not profit from sport betting.There are too many mugs out there that can feed us all. I wish everyone a happy and profitable new year!
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barbero
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2016, 05:12:12 PM »

Nice one Nikos. Thanks a lot for sharing these insights.

We have all seen these things happening, in some way or another, except for the last paragraph, that part comes to me as a novelty the most. Could you (or someone else) develop a bit more? If that is OK.

You've pointed out many negative aspects which I have to agree with, that's the way it is. But I also have to say that I agree with ilovethisforum in that there are still many ways for us to keep making profit and I hope we all can manage to get there! Good luck :)
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dealer wins
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2016, 08:35:27 PM »

What a fantastic post, and spot on the money!
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Mark_Waugh
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2016, 04:04:11 AM »

Interesting post. Bit pessimistic though.. i dont think things r too bad.
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Arbusers
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2016, 10:26:49 AM »

bbc_standard_quote">I am wondering why noone is trying to create a new e-wallet business to attack Skrill and Neteller? They don't have the funds,the people,the time?

Paysafe has a dominant position in this market and they are watching carefully if new players are willing to enter. Their biggest weapon right now is that they can afford a price war reducing the cost for all parties to a point when competition has no meaning. This is what their potential competitors see and makes them reluctant to start this kind of war. I insist that the biggest danger is banks and a Hawala system.

bbc_standard_quote">We have all seen these things happening, in some way or another, except for the last paragraph, that part comes to me as a novelty the most.

You see it happening every day in front of your eyes, but you don't realise it. That last paragraph was written after a discussion with a number of the old timers. I m quoting from an older post of mine:
these people do exist and they are slaughtering the cow that would feed us all for years. If you ever find any of the old timers, these people that started in the golden years of 2001-2004, you will see that they never slaughter the cow. Their level of greed is perfectly calculated. The overall mentality is ''better make 100 euros in 10 years, than 20 euros in 1''.

bbc_standard_quote">Interesting post. Bit pessimistic though.. i dont think things r too bad.

I suggest you read carefully my previous post because it pinpoints several fields where money could be made. It seems that you subconsciously highlighted the pessimistic points, neglecting the optimistic. Best thing you could do is find the optimistic points and see how you could fit in, in order to remain effective and combatant.
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ilovethisforum
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2016, 11:48:15 AM »

Quote
bbc_standard_quote">
these people do exist and they are slaughtering the cow that would feed us all for years. If you ever find any of the old timers, these people that started in the golden years of 2001-2004, you will see that they never slaughter the cow. Their level of greed is perfectly calculated. The overall mentality is ''better make 100 euros in 10 years, than 20 euros in 1''.


It is a shame that these people exist and will always exist.They think that a discrepancy will cease to exist one day or an other.So they go all-in to take what ever they can before it stops to exist.The problem is that they are the ones that stop this discrepancy to exist because their high volume attracts faster action from the ones that lose from this discrepancy.So they put their hands and take out their eyes(and ours).So they are something like stupid-bandits as the book of "the basic laws of human stupidity" describes them.
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Arbusers
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 03:56:03 PM »

Subscribe to our youtube channel.

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Skaggerak
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2017, 04:25:51 PM »

What a depressing message to that lively musical backdrop ;D

Aren't the EU "regulating" gambling as opposed to "deregulating"? Deregulating is the removal of rules.

I'm the head above water guy anyway. Barely in on live-arbing and have made no great headway with value-betting yet.

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Skaggerak
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 04:36:56 PM »

Just thinking, although a lot of conventional things around the EU are looking bleak at this time, what are the chances that Trump will open the doors to massive deregulation in the US?

Imagine him giving the go ahead for new and existing US sportsbooks to start operating on a national level there, the potential of such an action would be unmeasurable. If there was ever a time for it to happen it would be now.
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yorkjoss
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 09:18:49 PM »

bbc_standard_quote"> what are the chances that Trump will open the doors to massive deregulation in the US?

zero....the states that have internet gambling are worried he will ban internet gambling in every state,
the best they are hoping for is that things stay the same.
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arbasian
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2017, 01:52:34 PM »

bbc_standard_quote">
bbc_alternate_quote"> what are the chances that Trump will open the doors to massive deregulation in the US?

zero....the states that have internet gambling are worried he will ban internet gambling in every state,
the best they are hoping for is that things stay the same.

He owns land based casinos, so my guess is that he won't push for online gaming much.
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Kokos, CFA
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Re: Captain's log 2016
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2017, 11:27:14 AM »

bbc_standard_quote">
That's no argument against his success. "If you inherited the money he did and invested it all into REIT Index for the time period" you'd be the most successful investor ever without compare.

Actually it is. Unless you consider success to be born into money. It's called a benchmark. :) As an example, earning 10% pa in stock market if SPX is making 30% annually is not a success.
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