Well that was quite a Sunday.
Investors awoke on Sunday morning with the weekend's profitability hinging on an improbable victory by the Dees against the Crows, which then had to be followed by an almost equally unlikely win by the Dockers against the Cats. In the end, Investors got both results, with a victory by the Dogs providing the proverbial marzipan on the sweet, baked, traditionally tea-accompanying confection.
Sunday's three wins more than offset the financial damage inflicted by Friday's and Saturday's two wins and two losses performance, leaving the Heuristic Fund up 11.75% on the weekend and up 7% on the season. That, in turn, left Investors with the Recommended Portfolio up 1.175% on the weekend and up 0.7% for the season, which means that Shadow has done enough to earn at least three more weeks in control of the Heuristic Fund.
Here are the details of the weekend's wagering:
Only four favourites won during the round, which had the unprecedented effect of driving BKB to third-bottom in our tipping race and delivering Follow The Streak and Easily Impressed I into outright leadership on 18 from 24. The strong tipping performance of these two heuristics has been mirrored in the profitability of their home-team only wagering performances, so much so that had Freo not claimed its dramatic victory over the Cats on Sunday evening, Follow The Streak would have had control of the Heuristic Fund for the next three weeks. (Since Follow The Streak and Easily Impressed I would have been equal on profitability the tie-breaking rule would have been invoked. This rule hands control to the tipster with the superior performance across season 2009. That rule puts Follow The Streak ahead of Easily Impressed I.)
So far this season we've not looked at MARS Ratings; it's about time we did.
St Kilda are rated a clear first at this stage of the season having increased their lead over the Cats with their 28-point victory over Collingwood this weekend. Sydney recorded the weekend's largest ladder climb, jumping three spots into sixth, overtaking the Blues, Hawks and Crows in doing so. Essendon registered the week's next-biggest jump, rising two places to eleventh.
Four teams' rankings dropped on the strength of their weekend performances: Adelaide dropped furthest, falling two places to ninth, while Carlton, Port and the Eagles each fell by just one spot.
Overall, that leaves nine teams rated 1,000 plus and Fremantle narrowly rated sub-1,000. Richmond appear to be making an early-season race for the bottom.
All margin predictors recorded solid performances over this round, reducing both their mean average prediction errors and their median average prediction errors so that now all but Chi have sub-30 mean APEs and all have median APEs of 27 or lower.
HAMP and LAMP remain stubbornly misordered in this table, with HAMP narrowly heading LAMP on mean APE, and LAMP heading HAMP on median APE. Chi is in the odd position of having the worst mean APE but the (equal) best median APE, while BKB's performance continues to demonstrate why bookmakers book holidays more often than they do losses.
In contrast to BKB, HELP turned in another uninspiring set of numbers this weekend, correctly tipping just four of eight line winners - a performance that's no better than chance - and registering probability scores less than those that a naive tipster would have produced.
Collingwood's appalling 4.17 on Friday night got me to wondering about recent kicking performances that had been as bad as or worse. Looking at the 20 seasons before this one I could find only one performance as bad as the Pies' and just four that were worse.
Actually, the overall kicking performance this weekend, which saw 190 goals and 228 behinds kicked - a percentage of just 45.5 - seemed remarkably poor. Indeed, a review of the aggregate kicking performances of all teams in home-and-away rounds since 1995 shows that this weekend was the second-worst in that period, surpassed only by the 45.2% performance recorded in Round 14 of 1997.
Just for the heck of it I then had a look at the worst kicking performances, combined for both teams in a single game, all-time and in the last 30 completed seasons.
That Geelong v Melbourne game must have tested the patience of even the hardiest supporter - twenty scoring shots and only one of them good enough to thread the big sticks. The lone six-pointer came in the second quarter, leaving spectators to find whatever joy they could in seeing Geelong kick six behinds to Melbourne's three in the second half. I do hope they took a good book with them.