Holy Grail

# Holy Grail Q and A

A brilliant set of results mid-week with Wigan shocking Norwich away from home and our highest bet on Stoke landing pretty easily too. The profit was over the £500 mark and could have been much greater had Doncaster not conceded in the 94th minute thanks to injury-time specialist Jermaine Beckford.

This week’s Holy Grail selections have been sent to those who have expressed an interest. We have decided not to post on the blog this week but if you register your interest by emailing us and you will be sent the selections.

We have had a lot of interest in the Holy Grail on BettingTools.co.uk and due the volume of questions and comments we’ve had we created a Q and A a few weeks back that we sent to all those who contacted us. There are a few who we didn’t send this too and this is why we are posting the blog below.

‘How does the Holy Grail work?’

Without wanting to give too much away the Holy Grail software uses a combination of many factors to determine each side’s relative chances of winning a football match. If you are interested in or follow football as closely as we do you will know there are many factors that impact the result of any one game – the previous results of both sides, home and away form, the confidence of the players on each side, injuries, new managers, team reputations, red cards, etc … even good and bad luck, too. Based on these the software will calculate what it believes to be the relative chance of the game ending in a home win, an away win, and a draw (e.g. Newcastle: 40%, Liverpool 31%, Draw: 29%). The system would then compare these calculated changes against what the bookies give the relative chances of each result are (achieved by dividing by 1 the decimal odds offered, e.g. decimal odds of 2.5 mean a 40% chance of that result occurring as 1 / 2.5 = 0.4). Following this comparison it will choose the outcome with the biggest positive difference, i.e. the outcome where the difference is greatest between the chances given to the outcome by the Holy Grail software and the chances given to the outcome by the bookmaker. As an example, say the Holy Grail software calculated the home side to have a 45% chance of victory, the away side 25% and the draw 30%, while the bookmaker is offering us odds of 1.83 for the home side (so, 55%), 6.00 for the away side (16%) and 3.10 for the draw (32%). In this example the software would recommend to bet on the away side as this is the only outcome where the calculated chance of success is greater than that offered by the bookmaker (differences: home -10%, away +9%, draw -2%).

Can it be improved further still? We are confident it can and we are trying to find the time to do so.

‘Is the Holy Grail guaranteed to make money?’

No system is ever guaranteed to make money but the Holy Grail has already made us a decent amount of money and we believe it will continue to do so. It has been back tested against 11 seasons and has now been proofed for over half of this season. The Holy Grail system is a computerized system that relies on no human input and the solid data we have acquired ourselves and through the public Bet Monkey profile give us as much confidence as any system can possibly have in generating future profits.

‘What kind of selections does the Holy Grail system go for? How many does it place each week?’

The system will always either choose the home or away side to win the game – it has been configured to never select draw as this made the system more profitable. Although the system doesn’t explicitly preference one or the other a home win is selected around 37% of the time and an away win in 63% of bets. As explained in our opening post the system is currently set up to select only the most profitable bets – 26% of all games will be betted on, to be exact. This means on a full weekend of English fixtures we can be expected to place a bet on around 15 of the 58 matches taking place in the top 5 divisions. The stakes of the bets we are placing are increasing in time as we deliberately ramp up the system as the bank grows – last weekend, for example, the average bet was £102 but will be larger next weekend having since increased the ‘betting factor’, as we call it. The average odds of the selections the system recommends is about 4.10 – meaning, for full-fixture weekends, we’d only need to get a correct prediction from 3.73 of the 15 matches (25%) in order to break-even, on average – i.e. winning 3 bets would make a slight loss and 4 a slight profit. This season we have correctly predicted 149 of 444 matches (34%) – you can see that the system only relies on a small number of bets being correct and the fact we’re placing more losing bets than winning bets does not matter in terms of the profitability.

‘Do you always bet on whatever selections the HG recommends or are there sometimes tips you override?’

Good question! As it happens no, being football followers ourselves and having our own (human!) pre-conceived opinion on a team’s chances, we haven’t always followed the tips to the letter when betting on games this season. Having said that we have only (deliberately) deviated away from ONCE the whole season – and we were punished for doing so! As the bets are currently placed manually when it came to betting on his local team, and being a season-ticket follower of that team and seeing how poor the team had been playing of late, the bet placer decided to override the HG’s tip to bet on his side when playing away at their local rivals. When his team ultimately scored a last-minute winner he experienced a mixture of emotions – delight at the victory but regret at missing out on a £400 profit! This actually served as a harsh lesson for us – the automated software didn’t make its (simulated) profits by using human-like emotions but by using cold, hard mathematics / statistics. The key lesson is the tips should be followed even when they appear unlikely. If the creators of the HG were better tipsters than the HG itself there would’ve been no need to create the software in the first place!

‘Do you worry about having to stake such large stakes each week? It looks like you must have a fair amount of money in the first place in order to be able to make the bets’

As a group we have invested a total of £6,310 into the system and our balance currently stands at £10,834. The system will work just as well with lower or higher banks, as you might imagine. It certainly is a little scary when you add up the total amount staked on bets this season (currently £29,720!) but a few things make this figure more palatable. Firstly, all the system is doing turning over the bank over and over again, slowly building up a profit, in time. Secondly, due to the results of the simulation and actual results when placing bets this season we have faith that, if we follow the tips as provided by the system, we will get more than our stake back if we are patient enough.

‘Does the HG work for any other leagues / countries?’ and ‘Does the Holy Grail software work for the Spanish leagues?’

Yes – the system is also profitable in Germany (ROI 9.2%) over the previous 7 seasons but only breaks-even in Spain and France. These latter countries need some more thought and work – we’re hoping to focus on these divisions some more in 2015 but at the moment the English leagues are our focus.

‘Are we concerned that bookmakers will cut their odds when our selections are released?’

We have been monitoring bookies odds and so far there seems to have been very little or no effect when alerts for the Bet Monkey tips have been generated or the more recently published full selections have been revealed. Bookmakers are usually confident in their odds but they are affected by the stakes taken, so it is possible that odds could be cut in future and this will definitely be something we shall be continuing to monitor.

‘If odds are cut, how do we know that they’re still good enough to bet on?’

As above, we haven’t noticed any detrimental changes to the odds since our selections have been released and bet on by us so far and it has usually been possible to achieve the recommended price or very close to it. All the selections we advise and bet on will have a significant long-term edge and so the odds would have to move very drastically in most cases for the selection to no longer be value. That said, we are considering making available the odds that the system believes is the true price.

‘How can we apply your staking method to our own betting banks?’

As we have already confirmed, the HG system is profitable to level stakes and so you can stick to this, using absolutely no more than a maximum of 2% of your betting funds. If possible the percentage should be even lower to further reduce risk but any higher than 2% could see your bank fail to recover from a downturn in results. If you are looking to maximise your returns using our ad-hoc Kelly Staking then you can apply the percentage that we are betting of our funds to your own betting bank. We have already confirmed what our betting bank stands at and any future stakes will now have a percentage figure against it.

‘Are you going to continue sending round the tips for the rest of the season?’ and ‘Can you also let me know how much you are charging for subscription to this service?’

Yes! Anybody that has expressed their interest via email will be added to the list and receive the full HG selections completely free of charge until the end of the season. Bet Monkey will continue to post the best 5 of these most weeks too but the email with all selections will go out first. We are undecided about any future charges and want to wait until the season to assess performance and interest.

‘Has the system been released on any other sites to date?’

Until recently we hadn’t but we have now started sending our selections to the GreenAllOver tipster competition and some verification sites too (sports-tipsters.co.uk and The Secret Betting Club). Obviously the results of these trials/records will differ from that of our own complete records but we are confident in our edge and the performance of any decent-sized sample of the tips should show a positive yield.

‘Who created the HG?’

We would love to try to claim a team of dedicated, highly-paid mathematicians-come-engineers are responsible for the system that has been created. However, only one person is responsible for creating the software and we’ve vowed to keep their actual identity a secret. Before I’d met the creator of the Holy Grail system I can’t say I’d ever really met anyone I’d personally describe as a ‘genius’ but within only half-an-hour of talking to them it was soon clear just how intelligent a person they were. They won’t also mind me saying what the creator lacks in social skills they certainly make up for in ingenuity – it’s no surprise, if anyone was able to create an automated piece of software that consistently out-witted the bookmakers, it was him (there you go – it’s a ‘him’!).

‘Did you manage a celebratory drink at the weekend?’

Ha! Yes, as it happens we did raise a glass to the HG last weekend – it was the greatest weekend of profit to date, after all. However, without wishing to sound too boring or repetitive we do try to keep the results in perspective, reminding ourselves that long-term profits are what we should be focusing on.