Around two weeks ago I put on a bet that I was fairly sure would win; however I didn't do what I would usually do for such a juicy bet. I didn't mail out to my inner circle of Betfair Trading Tips subscribers; the BTT Family. I didn't put it on the BTT Facebook page, and I didn't do a #BTTLive tweet.
Yesterday the bet won, and I was left slightly regretting not putting a bit more on when the odds went shooting up, shortly after I placed the initial trade. You have probably guessed by now, that the bet I won was for Donald J Trump to become the 45th President of the United States of America.
The reason I didn't tell anyone, was because of the echo chamber effect, this phenomena has just begun to be noticed in general society; however it has been some time in the making.
Most of us spend a discernible portion of our lives on social media, and in particular Facebook. The problem with Facebook, is because the business model is based around showing you what you like, so that the company can sell those metrics to advertisers, you end up only seeing content that you agree with.
That is not so bad when it comes to entertainment; why waste time looking at content you don't find entertaining? However the Facebook algorithm also covers political sensibilities, add to that that a former Facebook employee admitted fiddling with their algorithm so that pro Trump stories and anti Clinton ones were kept from people's timelines.
Sp what does that have to do with me not telling you; my loyal subscribers, about a high value bet?
The problem is that the US general election whipped up so much emotion, and this emotion was amplified in whatever echo chamber you spent your online time in, and the thing is about echo chambers, if people don't hear their own voices back, they tend to get angry. This meant that telling a Trump-hating, Clinton supporter that I had placed a bet for him to win, could and would be construed as me supporting him.
In real life I would be able to explain that the bet had nothing to do with political allegiance, and more to do with reading the signs, and trying to profit from high market value. Not only am I not a US citizen and therefore not able to vote in the election, the bet would be no reflection of my vote or non vote either way.
Online however, I was taking the risk that some of you would see that bet suggestion as an endorsement of Trump and unsubscribe. Of course I realised that it would probably not be that many, however I love my BTT Family and don't want to lose any of you!
Stepping Out Of The Echo Chamber
If the Trump result has taught us anything, is that the wisdom of the crowd, is not always that wise, especially if that crowd has been selected.
Therefore we need to learn how to step outside of echo chambers that reflect our own thoughts and feelings back to us. When we're betting on Betfair, one way our echo chambers can be represented; is by the odds on any one event or market.
The odds are driven by the amount of people betting one way or another, so if lots of people are betting on a particular result, then the odds for that result come crashing down, and the opposite scenario's odds go shooting up.
Last season in the UK, we saw this echo chamber effect Jose Mourinho's Chelsea; even though they were clearly struggling. Despite all empirical evidence to the contrary, week after week, Chelsea were being priced as favourites to win their games.
It seemed that the echo chamber consensus was that they were a sleeping giant, and that they were poised to go on a long winning streak.
This flew in the face of what was plain to see by anyone who watched the matches, the players seemed distant and no longer loyal to the manager. Mourinho was becoming more and more erratic in his language towards his players; often talking of "betrayal". These were not the signs of a harmonious club, ready to go off on a hot streak.
In Mourinho's last game in charge at Chelsea, in their game against Leicester, they had won just once in their previous six outings, picking up 4 points out of a possible 18.
It was clear that the manager's job was on the line and that the Chelsea chairman, Roman Abramovich had lost patience with the once "Special One". Yet Leicester were over 2/1 for that game, the same Leicester who were flying, and went on to eventually win the league!
The key to profiting from Chelsea's demise last season, was to see beyond the headlines and the odds, and simply view the statistics with a calm and enquiring mind. At which point you would have plainly seen that the Blues stats were looking like they belonged to a mid-table team.
How To Recognise What Chamber You're In And How To Escape It
Market Chamber - We have already looked at the market chamber above, it is whereby the odds reflect the populist view, even though the evidence doesn't support it.
The best way to step out of this chamber, is to ignore the odds, have a fixed amount in your mind you are willing to risk on a particular market, and then place that bet no matter what the odds are.
Self Made Chamber - This is whereby we make an echo chamber by either consciously or subconsciously, editing out news we don't want to hear. So for instance, I believe that Arsenal have their best chance in years of winning the English Premier League, and are way better than the odds of 8.0 that you can currently back them on Betfair suggest.
However I realise that I am a fan (don't hold it against me!), and therefore may have unwittingly edited out some negative information about Arsenal. I am too close to them to know if I'm making an informed judgement or not.
The best way to step out of this chamber, is not to bet on your own team, or even any sports person that you are emotionally invested in. I'm not saying you should never do it, I have a friend who is terrible at assessing his team when casually watching the game. But when it comes to betting on them, he suddenly has a much more discerning eye, however for the rest of us mere mortals, it's best to stay away.
Single Source Media Chamber - If you use a single source of media to research a particular team or sport, then you are potentially entering an arena where there is a main point of view that is being subtly pushed on you.
This is somewhat minimised if the source has a wide variety of writers and contributors that you subscribe to. However it may still be apparent, for instance you may come across a site that appears to be neutral, and gives good analysis and advice, but they never say anything bad about Manchester United. This could be potentially damaging to your Betfair profits as time goes on.
The best way to step out of this chamber, is to establish a few sites that you trust and as far as can be possible, have opposing ideas and agendas, allowing you to obtain a balanced view.
The History Chamber - This one is whereby the historical performance of a team effects how people see the game. Especially if one team are better than their opponents, so for instance you might hear someone say; "You'd expect Barcelona to beat Leicester". Which perhaps you would, however; often when we're in this chamber, we forget about context.
This for me is the most damaging chamber to be in, because we can miss some real high value trades and bets.
The best way to step out of this chamber, is to recognise when a top level sporting team or individual, doesn't actually need to win their match. For instance qualifying early for the knockout stages of a major tournament, especially in-season tournaments like The Champion's League.
Good To Be Back
So that's it; I hope you enjoyed the first article I've written here for sometime now; I will be mailing my BTT Subscribers with a tip that will take advantage of the History Chamber and the Market Chamber combined!
I'll be sending that out later today, anybody who subscribes to Betfair Trading Tips today, before 5 pm will get the tip, so SUBSCRIBE HERE.
Also don't forget to follow Betfair Trading Tips on Twitter, for those BTTLive moments.
Till next time,
Take care and happy trading
The Zen Trader