Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014

When All Is Not What It Seems

General Betfair ArticlesOne of the things that many punters fail to take into account when they are active on “in running” betting exchange markets on live televised events is that the pictures that they are seeing are behind what is actually happening. These differences vary in length but in certain sports this delay can be crucial.

Now that sites like Betfair are truly international, this fact increases in importance tremendously. Imagine for an instance that you are betting or intending to bet in running on the US Grand Prix. You are using your televised pictures from ITV but many of your competitors may be based over in the states where the feed that they will be receiving will be faster than yours.

This was not terribly significant several years ago but the percentage of overseas customers using the UK betting exchanges is rapidly growing week by week. On top of this is the fact that you will also be at a disadvantage to all of the punters who will be present at the event and are in fact seeing it live and telephoning their bets in.

When I was in my early trading days, I quickly deduced just what a potential problem this could be. I don’t know about you but I just hate the thought of someone knowing more than me or having access to information that I don’t and especially when I am about to wager significant amounts of money.

I plotted my way around these potential handicaps by only trading on events where the time delay was not critical. For instance in horse racing, being two seconds behind other punters is an absolute eternity and especially in National Hunt races. The situation changes in the blink of an eye during these events and Formula one is exactly the same. Another sport where a time delay is crucial is Football where just one event (scoring of a goal, penalty, red card etc ) would have a dramatic effect on the price.

At the outset of my trading career, I only traded on slow moving events like Cricket and Golf where the effect of the time delay was diminished. When Tiger Woods hits his drive to the middle of the fairway, then it is not critical that you are two seconds behind other punters when he is in the process of walking down the fairway. He will be several minutes away from having to play his next shot.

It is the same with sports like Cricket and Tennis. As a pace bowler turns to walk back to begin his run up, this takes about thirty seconds until he delivers the next ball. A change of ends in Tennis also affords you breathing space as well. These may seem like small trivial things but trust me when I say that they could be the difference between life and death on the betting exchanges.