Archive for February 29th, 2024

Adventures In Betting: Further revision to the greyhound selection criteria

It would be fair to say that last week’s revision to the selection criteria for the greyhounds in the LayPro88 staking system didn’t quite go according to plan. The third favourites improved quite a bit and were roughly breaking even throughout the week, ending very slightly down. Good news but still room for improvement. The fourth favourites though started off badly (as seen in my day trip to Goulburn) and stayed there, sitting roughly level most days but with a downward trend overall.

Graph of greyhound results

Breaking it down into odds ranges tells a bit of a story
Greyhound results by odds range
(HTML table formatting is a pain, it’s much easier to just take a screenshot out of Excel rather than paste the data in and fix up the HTML formatting, especially on a table this size).

It is notable that the strike rate on the higher odds for the fourth favourites dropped off by about 5-10 percentage points. This explains most of the trouble. With five bets in the recovery cycle following a loss, it is not possible to fully recoup a loss on anything paying over $8 without more winning bets after the recovery cycle. As such, the higher the odds, the higher the required strike rate, but at the same time the higher odds tend to improve the strike rate and the systems don’t turn a profit without something in the higher odds ranges. The dropoff in strike rate at the top end of the odds was costly. There will always be some variability in strike rate in any form of racing and it’s possible this was just a bad week, but it’s important to be able to handle a bad week and the performance in this week was worse than I would like to see from a bad week. Eliminating losses entirely isn’t possible, however reducing the damage they do is the aim so that the profitable days can far outweigh the bad ones should be achievable.

Based on this data, I have reduced the top end of the odds range from $15 to $13 for both the third and fourth favourites. The fourth favourites have a decent chunk of activity in that range, and losses are very costly up there. When the strike rate drops at that end, it is virtually impossible for the rest of the system to compensate.

I have made the same change on the third favourites. While the losses at that end of the third favourites remain rare, they are still costly. If things go well I might reconsider allowing the third favourites up to $14, but I’m not sure that the greatly increased strike rate up there is worth the risk of losses.

On the low end of the scale, the third favourites remain at a $6 odds minimum. This end continues to perform well despite a lower than desired strike rate as a five bet recovery cycle recoups more than the lost amount. The strike rate for the fourth favourites below $7 was poor when it was in use previously, and the handful of bets which got placed at the lower odds due to market flucturations at bet placement time remained at about the same strike rate, so the $7 minimum seems to be fine there.

So, starting today the new odds ranges have been set as:
3rd favourites: $6-$13
4th favourites: $7-$13

And another week begins…

Incidentally, I’m running LayGreyBot in a virtual machine along with a few other bots. While the bots themselves don’t use much memory, their memory usage does increase over time but tends to level off after a few days. Windows 10, even with as much of the unnecessary preinstalled bloatware disabled as possible, tends to take up a bit of memory and doesn’t always handle that expansion of memory usage from the bots very well. The host machine for the virtual machine is used for other purposes intermittently and doesn’t have a huge amount of RAM to begin with, so I originally only assigned 2GB of RAM to the Windows VM, which was fine with one bot when I started out, but with multiple bots running it started to cause unexpected application crashes and the odd full Windows reboot. 3GB was better but not great, I’ve found 4GB is fine for running multiple bots. My advice for Windows 10 is allocate 1GB for Windows and 500MB per bot, then allocate an extra 1GB if running more than one bot. I haven’t tested Windows 11 but wouldn’t expect it to be any more efficient.

At some stage I’ll probably look at moving the bots onto another machine with more resources. Whether that’s the existing VM moved on to more generous hardware, or whether I build a new environment as either a physical standalone machine or a new VM, I haven’t decided yet.


Add comment February 29th, 2024 at 02:02pm

ASIO’s annual statement is an ongoing source of hilarity

It really is hard to take ASIO’s annual threat assessment statements seriously. Each year they seem to become more detached from reality and read more like one of my dreams than anything which could actually have happened or be a plausible concern about something which might happen.

This year’s statement made me laugh hysterically for a few minutes. In it, there are details of a supposed foreign group of spies who were apparently doing exactly what you would expect them to do: posing as legitimate business-people, bureaucrats, diplomats etc, trying to connect with people who are in some way connected to government or politics and offering them seemingly real consulting roles so that they can then be subtly probed for more sensitive information. Nothing remarkable in this. It’s exactly what you would expect foreign spies to do, and exactly what I expect our own spies at ASIS are doing overseas.

The real laugh came in the form of how they thwarted the threat from a group ASIO laughably dubbed “The A-Team”

We confronted the A-team directly. Late last year, the team leader thought he was grooming another Australian online. Little did he know he was actually speaking with an ASIO officer – the spy was being spied on, the player was being played. You can imagine his horror when my officer revealed himself and declared, “we know who you are. We know what you are doing. Stop it or there will be further consequences.”

An utterly terrifying digital finger-wagging in an online chat. “Stop being naughty or we’ll do something about it!”. ASIO expect the public to take this nonsense seriously?

ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess goes on…

Like other public servants, spies are required to tell their security teams about suspicious approaches so I sure hope the team leader lodged a contact report!

That’s quite an assumption to make. Assuming that policies and procedures for foreign government workers are the same as for Australian government employees. Naive would be an understatement. I’m sure that the foreign spy, receiving such an empty threat, laughed as much as I did when I read it.

The media is reporting it as “job done, threat averted” but Mr. Burgess continues and confirms that, actually, they didn’t stop much of anything.

We decided to confront the A-team and then speak about it publicly as part of a real-world, real-time disruption. We want the A-team to know its cover is blown. We want the A-team’s bosses to know its cover is blown. If the team leader failed to report our conversation to his spymasters, he will now have to explain why he didn’t, along with how ASIO knows so much about his team’s operations and identities.

I want the A-team and its masters to understand if they target Australia, ASIO will target them; we will make their jobs as difficult, costly and painful as possible.

In other words, “we don’t think they stopped when we wagged our finger at them, and we want them to know that if we catch them doing it again, we will wag our finger at them again”.

To be fair, earlier in the story Mr. Burgess did mention that they stopped a handful of Australians from communicating with the foreign spies, although it’s notable that some of those people apparently knew they were dealing with foreign spies and were happy to provide them with information, so I’m sure those people will be able to recommence communications through other means. About the only thing which can really be done is to remove their access to secret information, but given that in one of those cases the information was about the internal machinations of a political party and not secret government information, it’s hard to see how it is any of ASIO’s business, and is in fact quite an overreach on ASIO’s behalf. There is really no difference between that type of information being given to and reported on by the media and read by foreign governments, and just being given directly to foreign governments. It is not a state secret and none of ASIO’s business who knows it. That this is apparently their crowning achievement for the year makes one wonder about the half a billion dollars or more of taxpayer funds that ASIO receives every year, and what other more useful things it could be spent on.

Quite frankly the whole thing is either absurd because it has been made up as security theatre propaganda, or absurd because all they have done is prove ASIO has no real ability to stop foreign spying and are in fact spying on Australians themselves more than the foreign spies are.

The whole thing is laughable.


Add comment February 29th, 2024 at 07:28am


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