Not everything that can be counted counts

More than 30 years have passed since I was a child who made freaky calculations with the car numbers plates; maybe in search of some revealing pattern.

In the same period, Football became my passion, with which I was able to combine my enthusiasm for numbers in a very unusual way.

I remember that I simulated Italian Serie A before it began, just after the release of the new season calendar.

I used to buy the pocket calendar at the newsstands to simulate the match results with paper and pen for observing the possible final rankings.

I was like a Monte Carlo Human Simulator.

My thirst for numbers was also satisfied when I checked the players’ stats on the Panini stickers Album and the Football Almanac.

Buy low and Sell high

More than 20 years have passed since I discovered Football Manager, a soccer management game I played for about a decade.

I had found a way to try my interest in the transfer market: negotiations, agreements and transfer fees captured my attention. The goal was to bring low level or underrated teams from the stables to the stars and buy players below the fair value for selling them above.

My enthusiasm for Value Investing was growing silently.

In the same years, I got confirmation by playing at Fantasy Football with my friends. During the draft and the players trading, I always tried to buy players below the fair price.

Poker and Probability

More than 10 years have passed since I lost interest in football during the online boom of Texas Hold’em.

I remember taht, as a teenager, the opportunities to play cards with my family were quite frequent and I could continue to sharpen up my memory and my calculation skills.

Thus, thanks to the online poker, I started from where I left off and I was able to play millions of hands, both in Sit and Go and Cash Game mode. The main focus was on positive expected value, the best bankroll management strategy and embracing variance with a stronger mindset over time.

During the same period, I also was a frequent visitor of online poker communities to read and discuss the mathematical implications of the hands played. Within one of those communities, discovering the brilliant works of Nassim N. Taleb was wonderful.

Thanks to him, I also became aware of a Fractal view of financial markets proposed by Benoit B. Mandelbrot.

What an aha moment it was!

Back to the Football

More than 5 years have passed since I saw “Moneyball”, a Baseball movie about a revolutionary approach to scouting and analyzing players.

It brought me again close to the football for looking at with new eyes.

From Sabermetrics to Soccer metrics the step was short.

I swam far and wide in Soccer metrics communities, discovering many innovative applications and enlightening books like “Numbers Game” and “Soccermatics”.

Their insights helped me in the analysis of football matches I did for online Fantasy Football contests.

Buy and Hold

Furthermore, I realized that the metrics I used to pick players for my Fantasy Football teams were also useful for the odds compiling of matches.

So, the next stop was Football Betting.

Value Betting to be precise.

The key principle of this profitable strategy is very similar to that of Value Investing, the successful investment approach of Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Seth Klarman, Walter Schloss, Joel Greenblatt.

Trying to stand on the shoulders of these giants, I took inspiration from their methods to develop Value Betting strategies on Football Draws.