I have always enjoyed figuring out odds on events that are not easily quantifiable. When I played poker full time I had an opportunity to make various off the wall wagers with other players and had a knack for getting substantial overlays:)
That is what betting is all about. Rarely do you get a 100% wager:) Its all about getting a positive expected value. If you wager for a while with a negative EV it is going to cost you. If your wagers are mostly positive EV then, in the long run, you will make money. It’s that simple, except it is not. There is what is call variance. In simple terms, it’s the probability curve. The more wagers you make the more your outcome is going to reflect your EV. But in the short run, you could have a positive EV and have some pretty painful negative runs.
This is where most bettors go astray. They do not consider Variance. Poker players are the same way. I have seen the best players in the world go broke and remain broke. Variance in common sense everyday terms means you wager an amount that you can afford. There are many tools you can use, once you decide on your bet size and bankroll, and edge. But, in simpler terms, a rule of thumb is to not wager more than 2% of your bankroll on any one wager. And your bankroll should be a size that if you were to lose it all, you could laugh it off.
In all of wagering the above paragraph is the most important. As even if you have an edge, if you do not respect variance you are going to run into trouble. That is a RickJ given:)
So with that in mind lets look at some new political odds:
I finally opened up an account on http://Predictit.org. Even if you do not wager it a good site to stay abreast of the issues and odds. There is active discussion under each wager and the site has come a long way since it first started. The volume on many wagers is significant enough where the spreads are reasonable.
The reason I opened the account was I saw several wagers that I thought had substantial value. Not just 2 to 5 % like you get in sports betting but upwards to 30 to 40%:) Netanyahu was getting something like 3 to 1 that he would not be Prime Minister on 11/30. My estimation was it was 3 to 1 in the other direction, at least. Israeli elections are a bit different than in the US. The sides have to be able to form a coalition. Until they do the existing PM stays in office.
Now, essentially my wager is that a coalition is not going to be formed by 11/30.
I also made essentially the same wager ending 12/31. The further out you go the dicier it gets. But knowing how Israel politics works it would not surprise me to see the 3rd election. Netanyahu has not been PM because he is a novice at politics. The left is closing in on him with the help of Obama’s team. But unlike in the US, most Israelis do not welcome outside help. So I expect at the very least another drawn-out process.
Is it a cinch? Remember, nothing is 100%. If my thinking is off then I might lose the wager. And if my thinking is correct, I could still lose. But, it’s a nice positive EV value.
What is interesting about predict it is you get a nice cross-section of bettors. There are some pretty sharp political bettors there, but for the most part, you get what you see at the poker tables. People that bet their hearts rather than their minds. They look at the media, form an opinion and wager. Now, I would be remiss if I did not take advantage of this opportunity:)
I am going to start posting more often here as we approach 2020. I want to make this a regular post, similar to what I had done for 15 years in sports betting. So, expect daily or semi-daily discussions on new odds that come up.
Let’s take a look at two more that are of interest to many.
The odds right now that Trump will be impeached his first term are roughly 6 to 4 in favor of impeachment. Not conviction but impeachment.
I had said long ago in a previous post I thought it was likely the House would impeach. The drumbeat gets louder and louder now and the momentum is toward impeachment. The Democrats have boxed themselves into this as the public is against it and it will most likely cause them problems keeping the House in 2020 if they go down that road.
So the question is, is there value on either side of the 60/40? Remember the question is not what you feel or what you would like to see. It is simply an objective determination if there is value on either side of the wager. I think they have it priced correctly. At least close enough where I would not take either side of the wager. They already have voted, and they do not have the votes. Do not believe what you read in the media. They do not have the votes yet. There are enough moderate Democrats in states that Trump carried that know they are history if they go down that road.
Of course, self-destruction has always been a popular human characteristic, so you have to factor in they will bend to the mob and give up their careers:) But again considering everything 60/40 seems about right.
Now the next is more interesting.
The odds right now of Trump completing his first term is just under 3 to 1 in favor. Remember they have to get a 2/3 vote in the Senate for conviction and that the Senate is held by a Republican Majority. Another important variable is the Republican base is an astonishing 94% in support of Trump.
There is no question the Republican establishment would love to see Trump gone. He has made governing difficult for them. He has exposed the corruption in DC. And many are getting nervous, make no mistake corruption is not dependent on what political party you are in. But, the overriding consideration for politicians is survival. The best example is Graham. He has transformed into virtually a never Trumper, to Trump’s best friend:) And guess what, 2020 is approaching. Funny how that goes. But, Graham is a good bellwether of how things are going for Trump. I assure you if Trump falters Graham will turn on him in a heartbeat.
He is already wavering just a little bit over this Ukraine hoax.
But let’s get back to the 3 to 1. The Mueller report, irrespective of how the media spin it, take Russia and Obstruction off the table. The Ukraine issue is a setup. The MO is very similar to the Russia hoax, and the Kavanaugh hoax. The game plan is almost identical. Already holes are being made into the Ukraine setup.
Without getting into the details, as there are many, I put the odds of Trump being removed from office by the end of his term by impeachment and then conviction in the Senate at 10 to 1 or higher.
That is a significant overlay in my judgment worth wagering on. The problem is you post the money and it stays posted until after the elections in 2020, over a year away. If I were to make a wager like that it would be with another poker player where we just pay up after the wager is completed. That is my preference. But 3 to1? I look at that and wish I could find a poker player or gambler I knew was good for the money to wager a substantial amount with. The last wager I saw this good was when I gave 10 to 1 that Jerry Brown would be elected Governor of Ca. I had that handicapped at about as close to 100% as you could get. And I only had to lay 10 to 1:)
So, you get the idea of how I analyze these. And I am wrong from time to time:) I always say I do not need the best of it to wager, I just need to think I have the best of it.
Hope you enjoyed this, as there will be more posts coming now that we are into the political season.
RickJ’s Handicapping Picks