There used to be certain events that, while not racing certainties, heavily favoured laying money on because they contained moments that were easy to predict or hedge: test match cricket involving Australia; the US Presidential Election; and any major international football tournament.

None of these are gimmees anymore (or maybe just for this year) but it is Euro 2008 that is especially upsetting (the others are merely intriguing). Don’t these Dutch, Turks and Portuguese understand that a fundamental precept to modern football hedging (or straight betting if you are a bit mad) is that 38% to 40% of all goals are scored in the first half?

Knocking in 10 or so in the last quarter of an hour makes a simple mockery of carefully planned hedges (and the target itself) in addition to bollocksing up tournament ratio totals. No longer are goals randomly falling over time in any given first or second half. Take your Poisson distributions and have a laugh instead.

Non-linearity in 2008, it seems, extends well past financial markets. Tough to hedge any of them.

NB: Photo credit, China Daily

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3 comments

  1. Anonymous // 6/19/2008 11:42:00 AM

    This might be related to the fact that, in 2004, the Greeks demonstrated that you could bring home the bacon without actually having to fire a shot - or even load your blunderbuss. It may take 90 minutes for the probablilities related to percentage possession to become actual stats.

    CB

  2. RJH Adams // 6/19/2008 05:45:00 PM

    No/low scoring actually helped one half of the hedge. It's that change of distribution plus high scoring that's killing. Terrible.

  3. Anonymous // 6/21/2008 11:20:00 AM

    I guess Turkey/Croatia didn't help the cause much...

    CB

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