August 27, 2010
Welcome to our newest team members Scott, Chris and Daniel.
Chris recently graduated with a economics degree from Durham University and has joined us to experience life in a betting exchange start-up. He also moonlights as the Smarkets Tipster, with dubious success!
Scott is leading our business development and marketing. Previously he worked in at UBS and the BVCA in research and strategy.
Welcome to the team chaps!
August 24, 2010
August is a great month for sports betting, the football season has just kicked off across Europe and we have just launched hundreds of new football markets to guarantee we have your favourite team covered (hopefully!). Next month is political conference season and all the parties will be revving their spin-machines this month. As we already run the widest range of political markets in the UK we’ll be keeping an eye on the action and providing you with unique markets to bet on.
We’re jam-packed full of betting opportunities in August. Here’s a few more highlights:
New Football Markets
We have added lots of new football markets including the Carling Cup, Europa League, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Turkish & Greek leagues. We’re also working on more betting opportunities such as total goals, first goalscorer and half time score in the near future.
We will be rolling out a view of market depth very soon and have a couple of big offers in the pipeline to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. Watch this space!
And Finally… win a £50 bonus
Just a bit of fun this, but guess the time of the first goal for the Blackburn v Arsenal game for a tidy £50!* All you need to do is place a £5 bet on any football match before midnight on Sunday August 29th and email the minute you think the first Blackburn v Arsenal goal will be scored to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* If there is more than one winner, the prize will be split evenly amongst winners. The £50 will be in the form of a risk-free bonus. Standard Smarkets promotion terms apply.
August 24, 2010
We’ve now launched Moneybookers as a new way for you to deposit into your Smarkets account.
Moneybookers is a payment wallet. You can deposit funds into a Moneybookers account (using credit/debit cards or bank transfer) and then use those funds to shop with millions of websites worldwide.
You can make a Moneybookers deposit from the normal deposit page. There’s almost zero processing time from our perspective so (once Moneybookers tell us your transaction is legit) we automatically credit your account. In most cases this is within a few seconds.
Let us know what you think, we’re happy to introduce new payment providers as our members need them.
August 23, 2010
Well it was one of the most memorable Premiership weekends I can remember, and with Man City v Liverpool sure to top it off nicely! Wigan received a spanking from Chelsea who have scored 6 goals in the last two games, Arsenal brought Blackpool back down to Earth with the second 6 – 0 victory of the weekend, and as if we hadn’t had enough goals, Newcastle added another 6 to the tally with an emphatic win at St James Park. Man Utd received a taste of their own medicine conceding a 90th minute goal, and with Chelsea in rampant form they will need to pull their socks up for the coming games if they want to keep up.
|Arsenal v Blackpool||+0.51||+0.34||+0.17||-1||-1|
|Birmingham v Blackburn||+2.6||+1.3||-1|
|Everton v Wolves||-2||-1||-4||+3.2|
|Stoke v Spurs||-1||+2.56||+1.28||+3.84||-1||6.4|
|West Brom v Sunderland||+3.08||+1.54||1H||-1|
|West Ham v Bolton||+25.6||-1||-1||+2.56||-1|
|Wigan v Chelsea||+0.28||+0.84||+0.28||-1||-1|
|Newcastle v Villa||+2.26||-1||-4||-1||-5|
|Fulham v Man Utd||-10||-4||-4||+3.2|
Overall even with a couple of unexpected results the Smarkets team did reasonable well. Only three members lost any money, Jason falling falling prey of placing all his eggs in the Man Utd basket. Daniel nearly broke even betting on a Draw in each game and could turn a profit if tonight’s game ends a draw, and Jamie came a cropper when neither his long shots or his safe bets came in.
Brad, Russ and Scott turned a small profit, with the Everton result and Aston Villa loss pulling profits down. I managed a reasonable +2.4 units considering a 4 unit loss on the Villa game, and hope the Reds can earn me a few more this evening.
However the winner by a far is Alex with his emotional hedge unfortunately coming off against the Hammers. His team may have lost, but at least he has undisputed bragging rights.
So in conclusion either bet against your team, or bet against West Ham!
I also wanted to mention something I observed watching one of the markets for these game. When the prices for this competition were taken on Friday morning Newcastle were at 3.26. At kick off they were around 2.5, which is quite an extreme swing. Punters gave Newcastle a 30% chance of winning on Friday, yet by Sunday they were seen as 40% likely to win. The crowd moved for Newcastle, and they were right! Wisdom of crowds can be a very powerful prediction tool, especially when there are large swings towards an outcome in a short space of time.
The first thing I check when I notice a price swing like this is whether a piece of previously unknown information has now been factored into the new price, for example an injury. Though sometimes it can just be the increase volume of bettors placing bets before the game moving the price. They don’t necessarily know something no one else does, but just want to bet on their team or the favourite!
You can profit from these movements through a risk free trade (if you buy and sell at the correct points), or just get better value by timing the placement of your bet. Patterns can often be seen from 3 days before a game to kickoff, with one of the most commonly occurring the favourite shortening. This makes sense, as the event nears and more bets are placed they are generally placed on the favourite pushing prices down. So you often get the best price for a favourite on a Friday before the weekend. Though this can also be explained by the fact there is more time for something unexpected to happen the further you are from the game, so it is harder to accurately predict what will happen. So you are at risk if you place an early bet on say Man Utd, and Wayne Rooney catches the Flu last minute!
Whereas profiting from these movements is very difficult using a bookmaker, with betting exchanges you can, using techniques ranging from simple to very complex. This is one of so many advantages of a betting exchange!
August 20, 2010
It’s already the second week of the 2010/2011 Premiership and after an array of wild predictions at Smarkets Towers last weekend, the team have tried their hand at tipping this week for undisputed bragging rights.
Each of the team were given 10 units, and assigned them to any Premiership game they wanted. The return is then calculated based on the current odds (we’re showing it in decimal here)
|Arsenal v Blackpool||3H||2H||1H||1A||1D|
|Brum v Blackburn||2H||1H||1D|
|Everton v Wolves||2H||1H||4H||1D|
|Stoke v Spurs||1H||2A||1A||3A||1D||5A|
|West Brom v Sunderland||2H||1H||1H||1D|
|West Ham v Bolton||10A||1H||1A||1D|
|Wigan v Chelsea||1A||3A||1A||1H||1D|
|Newcastle v Villa||1A||1A||4A||1D||5A|
|Fulham v Man Utd||10A||1A||4A||1D|
|Man City v Liverpool||1H||2A||1D|
Jason and Scott have gone for a straightforward approach, with Jason risking his entire bankroll on the Man Utd game, which is fairly safe but will only earn him 6.61 units profit. Scott decided to hedge his risk between Spurs and Aston Villa, for a greater return than Jason of 13.7 units.
Alex went for the emotional hedge against the Hammers, with bragging rights a consolation prize if West Ham lose.
Myself, Brad and Hunter have gone for a few teams to try and spread the risk. Brad has gone for the safer picks hence the lowest potential return of any of the team. Hunter has some controversial picks, with Newcastle and Stoke going against the majority of the team.
I went for where I feel there is value, even at a greater risk. Both Spurs and Aston Villa had superb opening games, and even though Tottenham had a bit of hiccup midweek in the Champions League I feel both teams have a good chance. West Ham were thrashed last week, so I’m hoping Bolton can nick a win while moral is down. Finally I went for Liverpool, as I wasn’t that impressed with City last week and I feel on our day Liverpool can have ‘em!
Russ decided to spread his units across all the favourites, which will earn him a idy 9.86 units if they all come in.
Jamie went for an interesting strategy of 2 of his units on long-shots to look for that big win, but covered him self with 8 of his units on sure bets.
We’ll see who arrives at work victorious on Monday…
August 18, 2010
We asked a bunch of existing Smarkets members to complete a short feedback survey on how we’ve been doing. The results were really interesting. On the whole we’re going in the right direction and most of you are pleased with what we are doing. Many of you like our leaderboard and social features, but you also told us that we need to be spending time on our core product. We hear you.
We’re now focussing on market depth (we’ve sent some concepts to members to see what they think about what we’re planning) and we’re about to massively expand the number of events we cover and the number of markets within each event.
Our new bonus and refer-a-friend schemes have gone down well but we’re going to continue to experiment with the best scheme to attract members who actually want to bet rather than people who are only in it for the bonus!
Feedback is really important (I know every company says that, but we mean it!) so we’ll be running more surveys, emailing members with concepts and thoughts and conducting tests of new functionality. Please get in touch with us and let us know what we could be doing better.
And the lucky fellow to be picked out of the hat to win a £100 risk free bonus was Robert W. from London. Congratulations!
August 14, 2010
We’ve added the ‘tweet this’ button to every market (right next to the Facebook one) so you can easily share which markets you’re interested in.
We’ve also added a twitter invite button to the refer a friend page so you can tweet all your admirers with your referral code. Your follower will get a £5 risk-free bet when they make their first deposit, and you’ll get a tidy fiver for yourself. You’ll be the most popular tweeter in town.
While we’re on the subject of Twitter, you should follow @smarketsdaily if you want to be notified when we open brand new markets. Our main account (@smarkets) is for all our news, random musings and announcements. Follow both! Spoil yourself.
August 10, 2010
We’ve simplified our bonus and refer-a-friend schemes to make it both easier to understand and easier to automate.
The new bonus scheme is a £10 risk-free bonus with your first deposit. This means you can lose up to £10 of stake and we refund you your loss. If you win then the spoils are yours of course. For more information check out our FAQs for the bonus scheme.
The new referral scheme is a £5 risk-free bonus for you and a £5 risk-free bonus for your friend. This is credited to both your accounts as soon as your friend makes their first deposit. This should be much easier to see a quick bonus for both of you rather than the old commission sharing scheme.
Let us know what you think about the new schemes, we’re a small company and we’ll continue to experiment to work out what works best.