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.

It was the same period in which 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 was running to buy the pocket calendar on the newsstands to simulate the match results on paper and pen for observing the possible final rankings.

My thirst for numbers was also satisfied thanks to the stats on Panini stickers Album and Football Almanac.

Buy low and Sell high

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

I had found a way to practice 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. The same was with the players, buying them below the fair value and 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 Texas Hold’em boom.

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

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

During the same period, I also attended online poker communities to read and discuss the mathematical implications of the hands played. Within a section of a poker community forum dedicated to advise on math books, 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 movie.

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

From Sabermetrics to Soccermetrics the step was short. I swam far and wide in Soccermetrics communities, discovering many innovative applications and enlightening books like Numbers Game and Soccermatics.

These insights helped me in the analysis of football matches I did for Fantasy Football.

Buy and Hold

Furthermore, I realized that the metrics applied to rate 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. A successful investment approach practised by masters such as Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Seth Klarman, Walter Schloss.

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

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