Skip to main content

Laying a book in a tennis tournament

originally published at betting.betfair.com

Scott Ferguson talks us through the golden rules of laying an ante-post book on a tennis tournament

Tennis punters aren't treated to many chances in long-term antepost markets. Racing fans get their big races up to 12 months in advance and a swarm of other races in a shorter time-frame, while football and golf punters can have weeks or months to get involved in their big events.

There is an art to laying a book in any market - it comes down to timing, margin and anticipating what the market will do between now and the end of the event. There was an excellent thread recently highlighted in our InPlay newsletter discussing laying every player in a major golf tournament, read it here.

Tennis, as you'll soon notice, is quite different. Having a draw full of knockout matches means the overall champion needs to defeat only seven opponents rather than the entire field. One player, such as Roger Federer, can dominate the market meaning you have to be careful about withdrawals and how to price up players based on which side of the draw they may be. With the advent of Winner with Federer markets, this adds a large safety net for layers - no longer can you get skinned when the 1.6 shot pulls out unexpectedly due to injury or fatigue.

When laying a book, the aim to is lay as many selections as possible at as low a price as possible. The longer the period before the event, the more margin you need to build in, to allow for various events - some players will run hot, others may have injury scares. When the players concerned at well down the market, then prices are independent of each other but if Djokovic or Nadal succumbed to an injury a few weeks before a Grand Slam event, the price of players around them in the rankings would shorten.

The first thing you need to be aware of is that bookmakers don't get green books very often. Before an event (race, match, tournament), they'd be in profit for every selection maybe once in every 1000 markets, unless they were laying off along the way. Bookies can't tell a punter that he can only have £23.17 on a selection so they could have a perfectly-framed book, nor can they tell someone to double their bet to smooth out their risk. Betfair traders have options - you set the risk you're prepared to take and which selections you are prepared to lay.

For the full article, click here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term 'Ponzi scheme' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up.

So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done.

The…

damage control when trading goals

When trades go bad, some people will say cut your losses immediately, others will recommend having a bit of patience as events tend to level out (i.e. games with two goals in the first 10 mins never end up with 18 goals in 90 minutes). This is something I like to do on certain matches.

Background:
1. You've backed Under 2.5 goals, trying to nick a few ticks at a time as the clock ticks.
2. You've been caught out by a goal.
3. The market has gone sharply against you.

On this particular match from a couple of weeks ago, there was an early goal (sixth minute) before I got involved. The period immediately after an early goal regularly shows a sharp drop in the Under price, so I was trying to capitalise on that. But Watford then scored again after 14 minutes. The Back price I took (3.95) was now out to 12 - I could close out for a big loss (not my style) or wait and wait for the price to come back to somewhere I could close out for minimal damage. But at 2-0 after 15 minutes, it w…