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birchy

Betfair Elite

Posts: 593 Member Since: May 11, 2008

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June 13, 2013 18:08:39

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Soooo, have any of you adopted the JSON API yet? I played around with some code when the API was being Beta tested, but I believe it is now open to the public? Is it usable for production bots yet or do you still have to login via API6 and then use the session token in JSON?

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birchy

Betfair Elite

Posts: 593 Member Since:May 11, 2008

#2 [url]

June 14, 2013 00:34:59



Good find. Shame betfair can't even configure a basic web page, though. If you click the link at the bottom where it says "For API-NG documentation please click here", it returns as "Page not found". Great, I hope their API is better!

Funny you mention the lack of motivation. My bots have also declined since around January of this year. Still making a profit but it's less than half what they were doing in 2011 and 2012.

I have no plans to adopt the JSON API while it is Beta as, knowing betfair, it will be very flakey. I doubt I'll even release an API library as it will be so simple that there will be plenty of others doing so. Or at least I hope so.


www.bespokebots.com

"This time next year Rodney, we'll be millionaires!"

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fred77

Botting Guru

Posts: 199 Member Since:May 14, 2008

#3 [url]

June 16, 2013 08:13:46


Ideally we should all be actively involved, testing away, bug reporting, making suggestions and so on. 

Motivation is low. My interest / skill / profits have all dwindled. I pay £200 month API fees for fuck all service. My premium charge threshold is now 40%

I'll switch when it is in my financial interests to do so, but who knows... betfair might exclude bots with prohibitive new charges before then ...

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birchy

Betfair Elite

Posts: 593 Member Since:May 11, 2008

#4 [url]

June 16, 2013 11:30:46



Cheer up, Fred! You bought yourself a house on the strength of betfair winnings, so you've already done better than most. Do you really need an API subscription? How did you end up on 40% P.C?

But YES, as you say, us regular botters should be Beta testing betfair's API for them but we have better things to do. I haven't bothered as there are already enough know-it-alls on the BDP forum. 

www.bespokebots.com

"This time next year Rodney, we'll be millionaires!"

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fred77

Botting Guru

Posts: 199 Member Since:May 14, 2008

#5 [url]

June 17, 2013 07:50:16


Sorry, looks like I got out of the wrong side of bed yesterday. What I meant to say was, betfair are the best thing since sliced bread... nah, just doesn't hold true anymore. I was just thinking of reasons not to bother with investing effort into their new API. However, no doubt whether they charge me 40% or 80% I'll still become intrigued at some point and start playing with it.

I pay 40% minimum of my profits as I've had the audacity to win over £250k lifetime or whatever arbitrary goalposts they have at the moment. I still pay for API because of the high peak rate in number of bets I place and price refreshes I request. Even though I have 10 accounts, to keep within free limits I would need to synchronise multiple bots running on multiple servers. As time goes on there will be a point when I've retired enough bots and servers that going back to free API is desirable. I haven't seen what pricing structure the new API will have, that could be a big influence on things and cause a bot overhaul / total rethink.

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birchy

Betfair Elite

Posts: 593 Member Since:May 11, 2008

#6 [url]

June 18, 2013 21:39:32

Bloody hell Fred, 250K lifetime is a pretty sweet career in botting. I've been sat on 35K for a few months now and thought that was a decent profit, despite the fact my strategies are on the go-slow! I'm still using the free API as I don't have any speed reliant strategies.

I'm in a similar boat to you regarding the new API. I'm a firm believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", so have no need to adopt the new API. Plus, knowing betfair, the new API will be pretty buggy for a year or two. Having said that, there will come a time when API6 gets retired and we will HAVE to re-write our bots. And then there's the risk element that the "new" strategy may not be a clone of the original one because of differences in the API. Luckily for us, we only have simple strategies. God help those that have thousands of lines of code.

I've done nothing with Betdaq yet. I started coding an API library, found it all a bit weird in comparison to Betfair and can't be arsed to start learning how to use it. Should really pull my finger out because I believe my strategies will work on there, too. But their decline on Betfair has done little for my enthusiasm!

Are you still botting on Betdaq? Assuming that you use the same strategies, have you found they are generally better or worse than on Betfair?

www.bespokebots.com

"This time next year Rodney, we'll be millionaires!"

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factotum

rookie botter

Posts: 18 Member Since:April 21, 2013

#7 [url]

June 19, 2013 06:55:42

Hi Birchy, sorry haven't been vocal for a while, have been busy with the sudden death of my main production PC, real earning work, family, etc. So, no time for hobbies but somehow could make time to periodically lose on the GGs :)
As you know I am completely new to Python and API programming so I am totally ignorant of the apparent additional charges that Betfair levy on botters.
I gawped at Fred's post when I saw it - I never realised that Betfair could take any more from your winnings than the current 5% maximum.
Is this lifetime winnings applicable for all botters? even those that don't use the API for trading, i.e. the free API like yourself... Suppose you won £250k over 10 or more years would their punitive extra charges still be applicable?

On another topic, how about you starting a very basic tutorial thread similar in approach to Mumbles on the BF Forum for VB.
Nothing fancy, just login, logout, keep alive, get all markets, get specific markets (horse racing, soccer, etc.), get prices at specific times, place bets, get results, get balance and anything else that is necessary to create a basic python bot using your library.
What do you think?

Cheers,

Paul

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fred77

Botting Guru

Posts: 199 Member Since:May 14, 2008

#8 [url]

June 19, 2013 10:14:52


birchy, yes I still dabble on betdaq, I am currently mucking around with what hopefully will become my next main generation of bots (how many times have I thought that....) and have had to try comprehend bedaq's API. As you've seen, betdaq's API is quite different to betfair's, but once you get a grip on it I think it's quite good, especially the call limits and its cost (free) - I regret not fully implementing solutions for it years ago.

On betdaq I have previously tried several strategies that work (or rather, used to work) on betfair. I tried using both betfair and betdaq prices as inputs, but no luck, just the usual negatively biased random walks. As you rightly say though, those were simple strategies.

factotum, betfair charges aren't specific to botters, regardless of other circumstances they apply to all users who qualify. Have a quick (lol) read http://www.betfair.com/aboutUs/Betfair.Charges/ 

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factotum

rookie botter

Posts: 18 Member Since:April 21, 2013

#9 [url]

June 19, 2013 13:41:28

I have to say that is (the bf link) extremely convoluted in its explanation, and I can now see that not satisfied with taking 5% on one side of every transaction (back or lay) they greedily want to filch more of your winnings if you eventually manage to be consistently successful, let alone Fred's 250k issue.
Their estimate of the percentage affected would suggest that they are either lying (else why bother for such a poultry figure) or prepared to be totally disloyal to it's subscribers as they feel smug about their position as the market leader and they can therefore do as they like.
If the government no longer taxes gambling earnings what gives Betfair the right?
What is needed is a number of strong exchange alternatives and for Betdaq to stand up and challenge Betfair on this issue in their marketing activities.
I suppose it is possibly their way of penalising bookmakers, but without their liquidity would the exchange be as attractive?
Have I got the wrong end of the stick here?

Paul

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birchy

Betfair Elite

Posts: 593 Member Since:May 11, 2008

#10 [url]

June 20, 2013 23:12:17

Factotum:
I have no plans to write an "idiot's guide" to writing a bot. I believe I am already giving away much more than most botters do. Contrary to popular belief the Donate button on my website has only been used 4 or 5 times in a few years, total of which is less than £150. So there's nothing to inspire me to give potential competitors a copy and paste solution. Having said that, anyone reasonably comfortable with Python should be able to take my code and do their own thing as it's already a complete bot. All that is required is a decent betting strategy...

Regarding the Premium Charges, they were introduced specifically to target winning punters. Betfair say that winning punters take money away from the eco system, therefore causing losing players to reduce their stakes or close their accounts. In reality, betfair want everyone to "break even" so that the massive pool of cash gets filtered away to commission over time. Incidentally, I wonder if they still use that patronising "winners welcome" advertising slogan?

Fred:
So are/were your winning Betfair strategies also winning on Betdaq? Or did you have to tweak them to suit the lower liquidity, etc? I now have a nasty feeling that one day, I will also regret not doing anything with Betdaq. Actually, I might post my code and hope someone finishes it off for me. lol

www.bespokebots.com

"This time next year Rodney, we'll be millionaires!"

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factotum

rookie botter

Posts: 18 Member Since:April 21, 2013

#11 [url]

June 21, 2013 08:37:44

OK Birchy, it was worth a try, no need to call me an idiot though :)

In respect of premium charges, surely a way to minimise the effect of this (for want of a better word) tax, would be to have several accounts and spread your activity evenly. Of course this assumes that you ever become as successful as Fred...

BTW - Sorry about taking the thread off-topic briefly!

The new API - Can it be used to officially place bets yet?

Paul

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birchy

Betfair Elite

Posts: 593 Member Since:May 11, 2008

#12 [url]

June 21, 2013 17:28:40

I'm afraid they got wise to the multiple accounts, so link them all together when calculating "lifetime winnings" and Premium Charges. Even if you cleared 250K profit and then closed the account, that profit would still be tagged to ALL new accounts opened in the future. Because it's not possible to give fake details (due to the verification processes), the ONLY way to have multiple accounts is to use friends or relatives accounts.

www.bespokebots.com

"This time next year Rodney, we'll be millionaires!"

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chumby

rookie botter

Posts: 10 Member Since:June 15, 2013

#13 [url]

June 21, 2013 23:36:01

Geez whiz Birchy.... can't believe your Donate button hasn't been used more.  It's just the right thing to do....

Fred... looks like you are at the other side of the scale to me... I'm just starting out.  Getting the impression though a lot of hard work in front of me to get betting strategies working out all ok...

Thanks for your input/thoughts.

Cheers
Chumby

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birchy

Betfair Elite

Posts: 593 Member Since:May 11, 2008

#14 [url]

June 23, 2013 18:51:28

Chumby: not everyone is as grateful as you. Although my API and bot source code has been downloaded thousands of times, I think the majority of users are none-programmers who are looking for an easy copy and paste solution. They try to get by, find it all too complicated and then move on to a commercial bot of some description.

There was a time, a few years ago, when I was offering a service to program "bespoke bots" for punters but it was more trouble than it was worth. The vast majority of betfair punters think that bot = profit and that I would simply sell them a bot with one of my own winning strategies. Common sense should tell them that a bot capable of winning anything greater than £10 a week is not going to be on sale for £25 a copy...yet they somehow become blinkered by the word "bot". Without these Mug Punters, the commercial bot industry would be dead.

www.bespokebots.com

"This time next year Rodney, we'll be millionaires!"

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birchy

Betfair Elite

Posts: 593 Member Since:May 11, 2008

#16 [url]

June 25, 2013 00:35:41

Factotum: that wasn't aimed at you...it was just a generalisation based on my experiences over the years. The very fact you joined this forum and are willing to learn puts you beyond the average punter. 

If you're struggling with Python, may I suggest that you put the bot to one side for a while and work through THESE tutorials? You have to walk before you can run. And learning Python now will serve you well in your future projects.

www.bespokebots.com

"This time next year Rodney, we'll be millionaires!"

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fred77

Botting Guru

Posts: 199 Member Since:May 14, 2008

#17 [url]

June 25, 2013 08:42:34


Birchy, re: betdaq strats, none of my bf strats worked on betdaq, can't say I've tried them recently but I did spend more than enough money becoming absolutely sure they didn't work (as is or modified) to not bother again ! Some did look promising at first but I think because the markets are so thin it is easy for the other player(s) to see and adapt to your activity.

factotum, re: minimising PC charges with multiple accounts, yes spreading bets between accounts could reduce liklihood of PC by increasing the commission / implied commission that you generate. Normally you pay commission on your net winnings from a market but if you have bets on multiple selections in the same market on different accounts (or open trades on one account then close them on another) then losses won't offset wins and you'll pay more. Basically you become more inefficient. It's rather counterintuitive stuff that could easily destroy a small edge. However you wriggle it's all win win for bf...

chumby, there's not necessarily lots of hard work ahead of you. A working solution can take lots of planning and months worth of effort to implement (possibly after spending years accumulating data and analysing it), or you can just randomly chuck things together in hours/minutes and strike it lucky. Many of my bots fell into the latter category, and most of my code looks similar now to how it did when I first chucked it together over 5 years ago. Come to think of it - the bots that have taken me longest to program haven't won me anything - and my working bots are just rehashes of old bots !

This new APING should make it easier to chuck bots together, looking at BDP forum it is coming along nicely, I'm almost tempted to have a go.

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factotum

rookie botter

Posts: 18 Member Since:April 21, 2013

#18 [url]

June 25, 2013 11:58:12

Thanks Birchy and Fred for the replies.

Birchy, I am on idiots guide video 3 and already confused ???
            Bucky explains the use of the input function, e.g.  g=input("Enter number here: ")
            he enters say 43 at the prompt and in his world g contains the number 43
            in my world g contains the string '43'
            Help...
          

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chumby

rookie botter

Posts: 10 Member Since:June 15, 2013

#19 [url]

June 25, 2013 12:58:41

Birchy: Yea... I reckon that is what must happen to people that download your bots. Just give up.  I'm going to give it a go and try and learn python properly and write some bots of some kind.  Your input is invaluable.

Since when I started this a few weeks ago... been looking at pyqt and cx-freeze to see if I can get some gui action happening.  Not so much to help me with bots, but more to see if I can start integrating gui in to python code.  I will look at those tuts as well... start cranky up on the code.  Bots hopefully will then come...

Fred: Thats for the heads up there.  Yea.. lots of strategies going around in the head... perhaps the KISS formula may be the best one to follow.  Would like to try and get some buy on the high/sell on the the short strategy happening... but this does seem to good to be true... I suppose determining whether a horse will shorten or blow is the silver bullet question.. ;)

Cheers
Chumby

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factotum

rookie botter

Posts: 18 Member Since:April 21, 2013

#20 [url]

June 25, 2013 17:14:12

Is it because his version is much earlier than my v3.3?

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