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Conquering Risk: Attacking Vegas and Wall Street Paperback – August 16, 2010
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The rest of this review is mostly negative. It is intended for people who have already read the book, to point out a few areas in which I disagree. I like 95% of this book, for the reasons given in the first paragraph. This covers the remaining 5%.
While I appreciate the reasons for keeping the mathematical level low, the trend among professional sports bettors has been to use far more rigorous and sophisticated methods than the ad-hoc-plus-regression-and-backtesting described here. In particular, signal processing and natural language processing techniques have revolutionized the field. For all the additional equations and computer power, it's not clear that the new methods outperform the simpler ones. Their huge advantage is they can be applied to far more markets with far less human intervention. Thus they are more suitable to someone who wants to build a business than someone who wants to work for himself and make a living. It would be nice to have a chapter on this, at least to point out the competition. This could have replaced the staggeringly dull and useless blow-by-blow account of one author's experience in fantasy fencing.
One specific problem is the discussion of Poisson models.Read more ›
The sports betting sections in Conquering Risk are nice additions to any sports bettor's library. There are few books on the subject and even fewer quality ones. While some handicappers may not entirely agree with all of Feustel's methods, it should be interesting to any handicapper to read Feustel's thoughts and how he goes about attacking a problem. He lays out his thoughts clearly and thoroughly, with a bunch of numbers; he's not hiding behind anything. Using math, logic and the combination of theory and betting in the real world, Feustel has presented some interesting work. I have bookmarked a few chapters that I know I want to read through a bit more thoroughly as I know I can learn from them, and if you are a thinking sports bettor, you can too. This is not a read-and-put-on-the-bookshelf book. There are chapters that will take some time to digest, pick out the parts one can use (that will different for everyone) and force the reader to think. That is a very good thing.
I recommend Conquering Risk for any thinking sports bettor.
I personally consider this book to be the third book in the series of legitimate sportsbetting books available in the current market, meaning that there were only two books prior to Conquering Risk that I feel can be considered legitimate: Stanford Wong's Sharp Sportsbetting, and King Yao's Weighing the odds. (Much like Super System and Theory of poker were considered the legitimate poker bibles that started it all)
In Wong's book, the ideas of advantage play and teasers and poisson props that can be used to beat the book were introduced. In Yao's book, the ideas of relative values and Derivatives bets that can be used to beat the book were introduced. Similarly, in Conquering Risks, the aurthors introduced the idea of mathematical modeling and regression testing, which again is an effective tool to beat the books.
In fact, the books/lines are getting so much tighter now that previous +ev opportunties such as buying on/off 3, teasers, quarter, half bets are pretty much obsolete (or at least severely toned down at the books that actually accept a bet or two.); being able to model and set a more accurate line than the books might be one of the only effective advantages the players have left.
In Conquering Risk, the author introduces several sportsbetting models on such sports as MLB, WNBA, and NFL. Database stats (caution readers following along need both a reliable database as well some database querying skills) are used as inputs, and the results were checked against historical game outcomes and spreads in a form called regression testing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To really advance beyond the basic multi-v regressions I feel the author could have explored the impact of Bayesian Method, Markov chain, Chapman-Kolmogorov equations...etc. Read morePublished on October 2, 2013 by Nicholas
This is a good book if you understand Algebra. Do not buy if you dislike math. There were too many equations in this book for me.Published on March 18, 2013 by nick decas
This book is required for professional gambler. Strongly recommend for reading. The bbok was written by professional gambler in cooperation with Professor of Psychology.Published on December 17, 2012 by Alexander
This book is garbage the author is a fraud in the world of professional sports betting all of what he teaches in this book has been stolen from men with far superior knowledge.Published on October 25, 2011 by Tomgato22
Would you accept gambling advice from someone who is an employee of a company whose primary source of revenue is commission on player losses at sportsbooks? Me neither. Read morePublished on July 26, 2011 by Ryan H.
Feustel recommends a scam sportsbook. The chapter on teasers is data mined and inconsistent. (Why would you place a bet at -241 instead of -225? Insanity. Read morePublished on July 18, 2011 by Garrett
Simply put, the best sports gambling book there is. The author takes a quantitative approach to modeling each sport, but does so in a very easy-to-follow way. Read morePublished on May 25, 2011 by AmazonUser
I really enjoyed this book. It made me reevaluate the financial risks I take gambling both in the Vegas sense and in the markets. Read morePublished on February 14, 2011 by Scott E. Kwilinski