You’re the owner of CapperTek, the self proclaimed “largest and most trustworthy sports handicapping service directory on the web”. Someone reports a pick that’s not actually allowed and another that’s at best, dubious. What do you do? DELETE THE PERSON WHO REPORTED THE PICKS, OBVIOUSLY!
That’s what happened to me… I reported a couple of picks to CapperTek admin, one was placed at odds I don’t believe ever existed (online at least), the other was a parlay that you aren’t allowed to do because the bets are interlinked. I tried explaining this to CapperTek but was ignored and fobbed off and told they were accepting the pick. I pressed the matter, said I was not happy for them to accept the pick and that if (at the very least) the fake parlay wasn’t voided, I would make the rest of the MMA handicapper community aware of what was going on because it’s not fair to those of us who work hard to put in legitimate picks. When I woke up the next day, my two CapperTek accounts (one for my personal tips and one for the wisdom of crowds tips), were both gone.
I was delighted when I found CapperTek because the concept is fatanstic. Everyone tracks their picks, nobody can make shit up (or so I thought) and the best tipsters will rightfully be promoted as such (or so I thought). When I started writing this blog, I thought I was just deleted because the owner didn’t like having his authority questioned but the more digging you do on CapperTek and the more the situation has unfolded, the more murky it becomes.
Had the shady picks been voided, I would have gone on with my life, quite happy and none the wiser. However, when I got deleted, I decided to go digging.
This blog will detail the investigative process. We’ll start by looking at the picks I reported and end with video proof of accounts on CapperTek removing losing picks from their MMA record to inflate profits.
Analysing the bets
So, the bets in question, which I was deleted for reporting, made by Betlock.cappertek.com
To view betlock’s picks before an event, you need to pay $5. So these picks were only visible to me after the event. ALL “winning” picks were for the maximum allowed 11 units.
Or a link here to a copy of the page, which I made in case CapperTek try and hide it.
+110 for Cormier I didn’t report this pick. Whether you think this bet is a problem or not depends on your stance on updating odds. Odds were around -110 or -105 on Cormier at the time pick was first made yet the odds were updated to +110. That’s a 15.5 to 21% increase in ROI %. It’s a discussion I would genuinely like to have another day but I don’t want to get off topic. Personally I think it’s OK as long as you update ALL your picks to the latest odds, not pick and choose which odds you want to update, so your unit profit / loss is displaying a snapshot in time. Anyway, back to the proper shadiness.
-110 for over 2.5 rounds is a problem for a couple of reasons. The line opened at -117 and went out to an average of -162, with an absolute best odds of -145 when the lines closed. I’ve annotated the graph with the approx odds at certain stages.
Graph is from here.
The graph displays average odds. However, when lines open in MMA it’s basically 5 Dimes/SportBet (same company) that does all the prop stuff ahead of everyone else. The other bookmakers come in several days later. So you can state with a high degree of certainty that the odds were never better than -117 online, at least at any of the bookmakers displayed on best fight odds. Check out any of the future events on best fight odds to see that prop process in action.
BetLock’s pick states “CRIS 24101 A. Johnson @ 24102 D. Cormier 05/23/15 09:05pm Totals 05/17/15 06:45:32am”.
If I’m reading that right, they’re saying -110 was available OFFLINE in Vegas on the 17th May, yet was logged ONLINE on the 22nd May, when the odds had changed massively. Anyone paying to tail those bets ($5 daily pass) would be getting SIGNIFICANTLY worse odds than the unit profit suggested.
As we’ve already noted, they must have updated fight odds just before the fight, to get the best odds possible on Cormier. The best odds on over 2.5 rounds at that time was -145. The difference between -145 and -110, is a very significant 31.8% increase in ROI.
Betlock have a HUGE unit profit of (at the time of writing) 1162.55 units. However, they have a very marginal ROI of 3.04% over the last year (over a massive 5825 bets). At very best, offering odds not available online is extremely misleading to anyone buying tips from what is, an online service. Claiming a massively inflated unit profit on a bet, based on a line that hasn’t been available on or offline for nearly a week is totally and utterly against the CapperTek terms of service.
Now, they’re not always going to get away with putting on massively inflated (31.8%) odds, so let’s just have a look what happens if they’d inflated their odds, on average, 10% AKA the difference between -110 and -121, between +200 and +220 or -400 and -440… Stuff that doesn’t really get noticed.
For Betlock, that would be the difference between +1162 units profit and -2419 units loss. A difference of 3582 units.
Again though, this is small potatoes compared to the main problem.
Parlaying the two together. You aren’t allowed to parlay those two bets together. Anywhere. Go to any bookmakers now, online or in the real world and ask to parlay the winner of a fight (at the standard win odds), with that fight going over 2.5 rounds. You won’t get it because it’s essentially parlaying the same value twice, as both parts of it are interlinked.
Betting on Cormier at +110 ALREADY INCLUDES a percentage of the value for over 2.5 rounds, within that +110. Likewise, over 2.5 rounds includes a % of that Cormier overall win value. This is the case for every fight. It’s more pronounced in this fight than most, because if the fight went over 2.5 rounds, chances are, Cormier would win. So of the -110 or -145 or whatever odds you got on “fight goes over 2.5 rounds”, the majority of that odds calculation is based on Cormier winning late on or by decision, not on Johnson winning late on or by decision.
When you think of it in terms “odds” it’s a bit abstract and possibly a little harder to understand. When you realise that odds are essentially just a conversion of the probability of something happening, it becomes a lot easier to understand. We’ll do that in a minute.
Just a quick general point first… To make a parlay, you OBVIOUSLY have to get both parts of the parlay from the same bookmaker at the same time. +110 on Cormier was only available right before the fight. -110 on over 2.5 rounds, if it ever was available at all, was only available when the lines very first opened.
From betlock’s own pick notes, you can see the two bets were nearly a week apart and using different lines (LVH and CRIS respectively).
The response from CapperTek to a detailed message explaining all this? “We are allowing the pick.”
Online, the best parlay odds you could get around the time of the fight, when they last updated their odds to get Cormier at +110 as an individual pick (with the bookies listed on best fight odds), was +105 Cormier and -145 on over 2.5 rounds, with SBG Global.
If you were actually allowed to parlay the two things together, the difference between those two sets of odds is +246 and +301, AKA 22.13% extra ROI.
SO, back to working out the proper probability of this happening and consequently the approximate odds.
There are 13 possible outcomes in an MMA title fight, in terms of time / winner.
Fighter A wins in R1,R2,R3,R4,R5 or by decision, then the same for Fighter B and the final option being a draw/NC. The following image shows the best odds you could get online for those outcomes, when the lines closed. You could get as good as +108 on Cormier but not from a bookies that breaks down odds by round, so this is the closest match we have to illustrate the logic.
If you want to work out any probabilities yourself, this is a good site.
In terms of parlaying Cormier SU and over 2.5 rounds, you are giving yourself +301 (a 24.9% chance of happening) for Cormier winning either by decision or in round 5 or round 4 or in round 3 after the half way mark.
You get Cormier wins by decision for +251 (28% chance of happening). It’s therefore pretty obvious to anyone reading this blog that “Cormier wins by decision or in R5, or in R4, or in half of R3″ isn’t going to be +301.
So, what should the odds have been for that pick?
Cormier wins by decision: +251 (28.5% chance of happening).
Cormier wins R5: +2825 (3.4% chance of happening).
Cormier wins R4: +2025 (4.7% chance of happening).
Cormier wins R3: +1425 (6.6% chance of happening).
So to find closest approximation, you have to do 28.5% + 3.4% + 4.7% + (6.6% / 2) = 39.9%.
A 39.9% chance of this happening, equal to odds of +151, not a 24.9% chance of it happening at +301. AKA a 99.3% increase in ROI.
There’s a quick caveat to add here. Bookies add their bookmaker stake to every bet, so really you would get slightly better odds than this, because adding all these odds together, you’re adding up several bookmaker stakes. You would have to ring up and ask them to give you the bet properly but my estimate would be around +175 for this bet. Fundamentally though, it’s not a bet that any bookmaker offers, certainly not online, so even if you did use the right odds, you can’t include it in your picks.
A quick look at Betlock’s account
Betlock had only placed a couple of straight up MMA bets before this event, so my initial assumption was that this was an oversight and a lack of understanding about what you can parlay in MMA. Either that or maybe they were trying to pull a fast one but once they’d been flagged, they’d fall back into line.
All I wanted was for them to go “oh yeah, my bad”, CapperTek void the parlay and we all move on happily with our lives.
However, I point it out, CapperTek refuse to void the pick, then when I say I’m not going to let it slide, they delete my account. Anyone with half a brain can see this account was being dodgy as hell, so why would CapperTek do that?
The more I thought about it, the more suspicious it became. Betlock, with that many picks, would be a seasoned gambler. Whether they know MMA or not, they know full well you cannot parlay odds from different bookmakers at different times. That’s not the action of a reputable tipster.
Additionally, after I gave betlock the right of reply and allowed “him” to read the initial draft of this blog before posting it, instead of replying, they followed then blocked me on twitter. Then unfollowed and followed me for several days afterwards. Not exactly the behaviour of someone making an innocent mistake.
Buying betlock’s picks.
Not long after I reported their picks, In an astonishing display of arrogance, despite knowing they’re being watched closely, betlock apparently placed 3x 11 unit last minute bets on MMA winners! Woooooow!!! Amaaaaazing!!!
Not that anyone should need any more proof to see exactly what they are up to but I decided to get some hard and fast proof. I asked a couple of users from MMA Tycoon to help me sign up to CapperTek as a customer (on a different IP, in case they had mine logged). We then bought betlock’s picks for UFC Fight Night – Boetsch vs. Henderson.
They placed 3 bets, all for 1.1 units, on the day of the event.
Tim Boetsch straight up
Matt Mitrione straight up
Parlay of Boetsch and Mitrione
You can view video proof of that below.
1.1 units look a lot like 11 units if you’re not paying attention, so my expectation was that those 1.1 units would miraculously change to 11 units, if those two fighters won. Unfortunately both fighters lost, which was irritating.
Still, they deleted two of those three losing picks, as you can see from their profile now. Hardly surprising. Their only losing bets on MMA are listed as 1 and 1.1 units, whereas wow, amazing, all their winning bets are 11 unit bets.
Oh and not that it really matters but buying a 24 hour pass didn’t get us anywhere near 24 hours. We were locked out of betlock’s picks before I woke up the next day, despite us buying picks about 4pm the day before.
Summary & a note to my fellow MMA handicappers.
Apparently 95% of major sport handicapping is a sham; I didn’t know that until I started researching this issue.
By contrast, nearly all MMA handicappers are legit, so I’m hoping that as a sector of the industry we can try and stand out as a group that can be trusted!
It is really important for handicappers to be tracked independently, to stop fraudsters and to stop everyone claiming they’re #1 when really they just shout the loudest. However, that has to be done on a site everyone can trust.
This sucks. So, what now?
If nobody else is gunna do it, I will. It won’t help me independently verify my own picks BUT, I am in the process of adding a handicappers directory to this site, just for MMA. It’s all automated, including prop bets, so it will be minimum work for you guys. I’ll be doing basically what CapperTek should have done and promoting those of you who do well and we’ll set up a facility for people to buy your picks etc.
Anyone reading this blog is more than welcome to sign up to our site as a handicapper.
I want this to be as clearly legit as possible. If it doesn’t make any money, too bad…. It’s only taken a month or so to program. I just wanna give it a go and see if this can be run as a legitimate concept.
Either way, whatever comes of this, I’m just glad everyone gets to hear the truth. I want to push for integrity in the industry because if we don’t have that, how can we possibly complain when people assume our picks are bullshit? The more people hold that assumption, the fewer will be willing to pay for ANYONE’s predictions.
Many thanks again for reading and good luck with your picks!