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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Suspension suspense - The necessary evil that is Betfair

We've all had bad experiences with businesses that provide desperately poor service and, for the most part, it comes from businesses that become too big even for themselves. Betfair is the latest addition to this list.
The business is built on the idea of being able to electronically transact with another user, from which they make ridiculously large sums of money and yet, despite all that is essential to making such a model work and having more money than God, they still fail to have their systems working correctly on a Saturday afternoon. Not only this, they have nothing that resembles a competent Plan B.
Something like 75% of games on yesterday's In-Play coupon were "suspended" throughout the second half of the 2pm, 2.30pm and 3pm kick offs, meaning traders were unable to close positions and had massive exposure. Any changes in a game and there was no way of reducing losses or taking profits. I personally had a massive exposure on the Kalmar game. Thankfully, they held on for 1-0 win but I was certainly one of the fortunate ones.
The In-Play coupon on Betfair is said to be "managed", in essence, this means a Betfair employee will press a button to suspend all In-Play markets when a goal is scored, a red card is shown or a penalty is given. However, Betfair also offer an Unmanaged In-Play Coupon, which is the same as the above without the Betfair monkey pressing the button, plus the games are different to those on the managed In-Play Coupon. So, why on Earth would they suspend all markets when there is an issue, leaving traders with big liabilities hanging, rather than just transferring them to Unmanaged In-Play markets?
As is always the case, these issues will escalate until one bright spark in the board room suggests what their customers have actually been asking for. I hope by that time Betdaq or A N Other has come up with a viable alternative to the necessary evil that is Betfair.

Despite the technical hiccups, as said earlier, the Kalmar game finished nicely in profit.
Today's picks are Helsingborg v Mjallby and Tromso v Stromgodset. I'm interested in the Malmo game but the draw seems very high based on recent form, I may take it on In-Play, if Betfair is working!
NB - Stoke are unbeaten this season, in all comps. I fancy them for at least a point at Sunderland.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

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