Tag Archives: Charts

June ’17

The big event of June was the release of a beta streaming version of Gruss. As it is in development, the Gruss guys requested feedback and there were a number of bugs highlighted by users. We are now on the sixth release, which is good to know the program is being worked on and improved. The bug that I found related to moving on from suspended markets but after I fed back via the forum, a fix was quickly released. It took a little time for me to grasp the full effects of streaming. At first I thought the refresh was poor as updates were very random. The stream only updates when there is something to update, ie market activity, and doesn’t waste bandwidth by refreshing the same data repeatedly, as before streaming. This gives a refresh chart that can have quite large gaps between updates, especially on markets with some time to go before off. Now, with only a few minutes to off, the refreshes come in more than every 200ms. As there are no requests for price data, there’s no added delay. To note, the charts on the VPS are showing lower times than those at home. The request delay will still be relevant when placing orders in the market but no data is available on what it is.

Another major event, for me, was the changes to the Aus turnover eligibility. I posted about this here. I’m on with the coding around this. I have a section of code that only runs once when a market is selected and then isn’t run every refresh. I’m adding the NSW code there, which was straight forward for checking against the list of courses but tracking the traded back bets over a week is a little more complicated.

The UK dogs have done good this month. I’m considering adjusting the stake range to allow higher bets. I want to trial it on specific markets first. I’m thinking of those that are televised and tend to have much higher activity.

chart_ukdogs170630

An improved chart from the Aus horses compared to recent months. It’s nice to see a good return as I was beginning to lose patience with it and was considering stopping this bot. It’s been a long time since I ran Oscar on the UK horses as there was no value in it for me and I was thinking the Aus horses were going the same way. They still might, to be fair. But for now, with this, it will continue.

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US horses – better result than not trading them at all. There are some really well funded races that I’m missing, purely down to start times been well off. I’ll continue moaning about this point until I finally get a solution in place (I’ve had some good suggestions from you but the code don’t write itself, I should get on with it).

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Definitely lower activity on the dish-lickers. An unfortunate loss keeping the return in the negative. Not much harm in continuing for now, I consider this my experimental contribution (why not?)

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May ’17 – and the art of separation.

Work on the VB bot was frustrating me so I decided to pause it and have a play with Oscar, my VBA bot. I’ve nearly always run one instance of Oscar, navigating between different markets and sports based on some preset criteria. I decided to split the sports, running an instance for UK dogs and one for Aus horsies. This has the benefit of not missing conflicting events across the two sports. The reason Oscar didn’t do this originally is because back in the day, Betfair charged for making excessive calls above a relatively low amount. This changed some time back but I hadn’t.

This new set-up runs well and so I added Aus dogs, also running in its own instance. And why not US horses? OK, they are now covered in another instance. (Previous attempts at US horses had not seen many trades but most races were missed in favour of the other markets.)

I’ve monitored some cross-over times on the VPS and I haven’t seen any drop in performance. At some points in the morning, three of the bots are running at 0.2s refresh rate but I’m still getting a delay of less than 20ms on each.

I did notice the other day that the US horses were buggered by some error in the stated off time. For one venue the times were in the quick pick list but when the markets were selected, the off time was around an hour and a half out. This may have been an API issue but if I see it again I’ll look at coding to handle the mismatch between the two.

Next, Chris commented on Speedy data 2  –

Very interesting articles about bot speeds. I have been looking into the same. I have looked at my algorithms and have improved them. They now return values within 3-4 ms. However the main bottle neck is the price refreshes. Without streaming they currently have a price refresh at 200ms, my prices can be 180 ms out of date. If I was able to implement streaming I could improve my robots speed by a huge amount (probably 100ms), dwarfing any gains that could be made over optimising my robots. So I would suggest that the bottleneck is in your price refreshing and you could see a large improvement with your bots if you were able to stream prices.

Thanks for the comment. 3-4ms is fast and I haven’t seen those speeds from my bots yet. How are you timing the code? And what language are you coding in? The arrival of streaming made me less eager to push on with the VB bot as I don’t want to put all the time in to get the code perfect just to see it become old-hat overnight. Gruss, the software I use for my VBA bots, are releasing a beta streaming version soon. When I’ve had a go with that, I’ll look at how to stream with VB. There’s no point at all in not streaming if it’s faster and as reliable (collective eye roll) as the API-NG.

And now, some charts.

UK dogs have done ok, nice steady performance.

chart_ukdogs170531

Aus horses continue to throw some bad results. The three sharp drops in this chart have different causes. The first is actually 3 losing markets together, so no problem there. The second was an error, a problem I haven’t seen for a while where an extra lay is submitted for some reason. I’ve previously thought this is down to timing and the bot missing signals at specific points, eg when greening occurs and a bet is taken at the same time as a CANCEL-ALL command is triggered. The third was just a bad run of multiple bets being placed within the stoploss window, all eventually losing trades. When I’ve attempted to overcome this particular event in the past, the number of trades significantly reduced. I may look at this again, specifically in the Aus horse markets, but with a more complex solution.

chart_aus_horse170531

NEW – Aus dogs, although not many markets, has a good looking chart, certainly one to watch. Stakes are still hovering around £2 for now.

chart_aus_dogs170531

NEW – US horses, only 3 days here so wait and see what happens in June. Interesting to see average bets per market at 9.9, with other sports being

UK dogs = 5.6

Aus horses = 6.1

Aus dogs = 2.9

chart_ushorse170531

You can find all of Oscar’s UK dogs charts on a single page now – see here.

 

April ’17, with charts. And some charts for March.

Charts are back. First up are the charts for the period 13th to 31st March. The figures won’t match with the March post for obvious reasons but will follow on from the last P&L charts.

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On to April. The dogs had an ok month overall but the profit mainly came in the first half and then not much after. No changes were made so not sure why it happened. Maybe the strategy is losing its edge.

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The Aus horses have not done well. I stopped trading on the 29th with a view to resetting some limits. It took me 5 days to actually sit down and do something. Minor changes made to the limits and the stake was reduced by 75%ish. Up to yesterday not much has improved.

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I haven’t done as much programming as I’d like recently but the garden is coming on and I’ve done a few guvvy jobs to help pay for it, so not much spare time. I’ve had a few comments on here and Twitter about speed which I will put into a separate post when I get time. The latest one from n00bmind was detailed and worth a read itself.

In the meantime I’ve added an Oscar clone to the VPS to have a go at Aus dogs. No idea what liquidity is like but we will see.

A chart, I see

I’ll return to the speed question soon (as I have an idea for a testing bot, just needs writing), the results of the little testing I’ve done are not really good, as in they don’t really move me forward. Development of the VB bot is still progressing though, well my programming ability is, with the more I learn I add/change what I want to do but it’s all good. I’ve been playing with what data to collect/monitor and how to handle it (to avoid unnecessary bloating of the bot). As I like to visualise things, I’ve been presenting data in different ways. Below is one of the charts I created, just with excel, to show matched volumes. It covers the second favourite for the final two minutes before the off in a middle-of-the-road greyhounds race. The data is at 1 second intervals with a 4% decay added to project but not obscure the matching. The price can be seen to rise as it approaches off time (front of image) with last-price-traded at 4.0. It isn’t much use on its own but I like how it looks. Adding another parameter, or two, gives more meaning.

match_vol_dec_chart

Weeks ending 12-03-17

Well nobody spotted last weeks howler – I only titled it “Weeks ending 06-03-17”. I guess you did see it but found more amusement in keeping quiet. You are fun.

algotradingforfun added this comment-

Great 2nd week there. Need to think about handling the bf crash scenario when in autopilot. I don’t think it would be a disaster if not about but does create some extra risk.

Thanks. For me the crashes can be a bit annoying. Oscar backs first so the greatest loss is the stake, assuming a clean cut crash. If you’re laying first the exposed risk between entry and exit is far greater, add multi-runner trading and that increases, something to consider when setting up a bot.

 

Mike also commented-

The regular Betfair crash is a royal pain. Your take of their response is amusing and spot on. There is an API status page (not widely publicized) which is a little more real time than the “help” desk. Don’t know if you can link your bot to the status but might be an option. http://status.developer.betfair.com/

Thanks, again. A pain, agreed. I saw this status link on Twitter for the first time after this last crash and it does provide some confirmation but did seem a bit delayed. After I’d first seen the tweets I looked at the status and only one request was showing problems (/listmarketcatalogue maybe?) so trial and error would see if it could provide any bot use. But it was certainly ahead of the Saturday boy and his well thumbed guide.

 

One week on these charts. Interesting profile on the dogs, start flat, end flat, with sharp rise Friday/Saturday. All figures are in line with previous period which is good.

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Another milestone was passed with these results, I became eligible to pay premium charge as my lifetime percentage dropped just below 20 to 19.92%. I’d already used some of my allowance which I think was linked to data charges that are no longer used. So this week saw £1.98 taken off my allowance; at that rate it’ll be 9 years before I actually pay anything. Unfortunately, if my total charges percent continues to fall, the weekly PC will rise. A drop to 19.72% would have seen a PC of £5.50. This is the price of (small) success. On a positive note this does put me in a bracket with 0.5% of customers which, if Wikipedia can be believed, is either 20,000 or 5,500 people. What joy.

Weeks ending 06-03-17

Two weeks this period, starting from 20:30 on the 19th (see last update). A good return from both the dogs and horses but the first week ended barely up. The second week was one of the most profitable I’ve had.

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Saturday 4th March saw another big Betfair crash* with the exchange offline for nearly an hour and betting disabled for some time after that. As I was at the computer when it happened, I took the opportunity to run updates on the VPS OS. I have it set up to tell me when updates are available but I choose when to install them. I’d advise any botter to do this, as the last thing you want is the computer restarting mid-trade after auto-updating. I also decided to add a bit of code to change how and when the bot saves it’s log sheet. A simple enough task as I’d already written the code for another, now retired, bot. Copy, paste, change sheet references and save location, job done, what could possibly go wrong? Not testing with live updating and thinking I know best and the bot locking up at 2am trying to repeatedly save a file that at the second attempt already exists, is what can go wrong. I’ve said it myself before now – always check, check again and test live. And check again. No harm done but missed most Aus horses on Sunday. Added to the missed Saturday dogs, the results are even better.

* All major exchange crashes seem to follow a similar pattern. Some people start reporting blips, pauses in the refresh rate. Betfair Customer Service (a questionable department title if ever there was) denies all knowledge with the stock phrase “It’s all good here”. Then comes total blackout. Many an unrepeatable turn of phrase screamed by the loyal customer base and the Betfair bods half acknowledge with the second phrase of the Betfair How to Keep Customers in Suspense Guide – “We’re looking into it”. Third line, after some threats of violence, use of very specific graphic language and calls for a mass exodus to Betdaq, is- “Apologies for this guys, our techs are on it”. Following a period of silence from the exchange masters, allowing for a build up of calls for refunds and shared stories of thousands lost, comes the market controlling monopoly confirming legal statement – “Refer to our Ts&Cs”. The first few markets after reboot are played cautiously before all but the over-exposed carry on as usual, allowing said monopoly off the recently polished hook.

Weeks ending 19-02-17 (8:30pm)

As previously mentioned I’ve been using my time to code my own trading bot, so this catch-up covers seven weeks by my reckoning. On the dogs the return has been ok at 0.055%. I’m still running on stakes that are not linked to balance but vary within a small  amount. All the dog’s weeks ended positive, just.

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The Aus horses performed better for the period, at 0.084%, but as can be seen from the chart, there was a negative run. This stretched over approximately 10 days. Combined with a low profit for a week from the dogs, this saw the first overall weekly loss for quite some time, ending -£2.62. It does have an emotional impact, even though a small loss, after such a long time seeing the bank’s increased at the end of each Sunday. I did feel like I wanted to change something in the code but I held tight and the P&L returned to a more usual level. This is why I couldn’t trade manually – I’d drift away from the plan after each loss in an endless battle against the now.

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