A lot of Sports Trading Life readers and Ultimate Football Trading members have mentioned using a software called CGM Bet recently to me. Some literally swear by it when it comes to getting an edge in the football markets.
So with all these recommendations and with many asking me to review the software for myself I decided to do the next best thing and contact the owner and learn more about it straight from the source!
This was a very interesting talk and slightly different from the norm that we have on here which is always good too.
Grab a cup of tea, coffee or a nice cold beer and lets get into it!
Hey Mihai! Many thanks for sitting down for this interview for the Sports Trading Life readers.
So you are the person behind CGM Bet which is some very powerful software for those who want to research the football markets.
We will get into that in a moment but lets talk about your background before you came into being involved with CGM Bet?
Thanks. So my name is Mihai and I live and work in Romania. I graduated from a technical university in the field of industrial robotics.
However, almost a year after graduation I had still only ever seen robots in Sci-Fi movies!
So I decided to change tracks to computers and computer networks, where the demand was huge (I had already studied computers during university).
From there it was just a small step to software, because I quickly realised it’s almost impossible for a computer engineer to reach a high level without knowledge of at least 2 or 3 programming languages.
Now I’m working for a government institution as an IT engineer, and spend my free time on my favourite project, CGM BET!
Very interesting to hear this is just a fun project for you. So do you have much of a background with betting on football?
I’ve been interested in football as far back as I can remember.
I vaguely remember trying to catch my dad’s attention while he was watching the World Cup of 1974 in Germany. I didn’t really understand what he was looking at, and after several attempts I finally got his attention, but only for a few seconds: just long enough to scold me. This made me even more interested in this thing I had been punished for and I tried to never miss a game, especially international ones and world championships.
As a side note, at one point in my childhood I joined the junior team of a local football club, but at that time you had to choose between studying or playing professionally. My parents decided I must focus on my studies and I regretted their decision ever since haha!
But since I was so attracted to football, as soon as the first bookmakers appeared I was there.
Of course, as any self-respecting novice I began with at least 15 bets a ticket or what they call in the UK as an ”accumulator”.
But to answer your question, I can sincerely say I haven’t made any serious money through bets, at least not my own.
After many years of doing it as a hobby, I realised I was much more interested in mathematics, statistics, computers and programming.
Probably, my biggest strength was in accepting the fact that if I’m not a great painter and will never be a grand master, why not make the best brushes for those who can and will be?
And it was from this idea that CGMBet was born.
Interesting!, so tell me about CGM Bet.
Many years ago, when I was betting I was using a similar app created by a Frenchman, I think. But I felt lost when suddenly I saw that he had given up overnight and the application wasn’t updating anymore.
I had been using the Frenchman’s application for a couple of years and I was dependent on it. It was also a software on rankings and various statistics.
After a couple of months of struggle, around the beginning of 2010, I thought I could write a similar application myself. So I wrote a simple one, in 2-3 months, in my mother tongue of course. Being an active member on a betting forum, also in Romanian, I shared it there and to my surprise it had great success. With the help of other members who came up with many interesting ideas, I developed it even more. From here it was only a small step to sharing it on an international forum, where it was also successful and I had to rewrite it in English.
I see, how did you manage to spread the word about it?
This is an interesting story. I did not know much about marketing and so with good intentions and not knowing at the time what spam was, in my naivety I presented the application on a large English forum, under the username ”cgmbet”. I should mention the app was completely free at this point.
But in a few minutes I was banned for life for spamming (more than fair, given the application had the same name). After private discussions with one of the moderators, I managed to integrate myself back on to the forum and slowly became good friends with him. I ask him for advice to this day, and sometimes I like to remind him how he tried to ”take me down”.
But it was from this that the following began to grow and in 2012 I rewrote it from scratch to give it a more modern look. Afterwards, slowly, it became well known and used, and today I have users from all over the world.
First version of the software in English, in 2012.
So there are lots of different functions in CGM Bet. It can look overwhelming. Tell me some things that CGM Bet can do that value bettors might like?
As I mentioned earlier, in the early years, my friends on the forums were a great help with developing the application: with advice, ideas, testing, etc.
I’ve been keeping this habit – to be very attentive of the wishes of those who use it – and a big part of it is written with the user’s needs/requests in mind. This is the reason why it has so many modules, procedures, possibilities; and I’ll admit that at first glance it can look like a wall that can topple on you at any moment.
Imagine a child who enters a shop full of toys and his father tells him to pick only 3 or 4, whichever he wants, since he can’t play with all at the same time anyway. That child will be momentarily paralysed by the choice and it will seem impossible to make.
The idea is to make up your mind and choose what fits best with your strategy. I completely understand those who say the app is a bit overwhelming, but I also advise them to look into only what they’re actually interested in, according to their personal strategy.
”Value” theory in betting and related topics are very well known and I won’t go over it again. There are professionals who can explain it much better than I ever could.
The main strength of the software is that it helps you customise your own strategy and then allows you to modify it easily and quickly. Almost certainly there are no two people applying the same strategy, given the multitude of options the software offers.
Another very appreciated feature is that the database is available to the users. If you believe the app doesn’t offer you enough, you can use it to build your strategy up to a point, then export the file in Excel and continue your work until you create your own masterpiece.
I think it would take me a couple of days to go over everything. I’ll simply invite your readers to try the application. It is absolutely free for 7 days with no limitations, except exporting the database.
Many read this blog as they trade the football in-play. Can you mention some features that you know football traders have found useful
Like I said, the app wasn’t built specifically for traders, but even so, many use the software.
Most users, including traders, use the software to downscale the number of ”interesting” games they will further explore.
I’m not a trader and I don’t want to get into topics that are beyond me, but I keep in touch with traders and they’re telling me they successfully use the software to prepare for sessions.
If next weekend around 500 games take place, in a few minutes you can find 10-20 games that fit your personal strategy, for example only games in which the home team scored first in at least 80% of the home games against teams similar to the visiting one, who in turn conceded the first goal in more than 50% of their away games. This is a relatively simple example. More complex filters can be applied.
Then, using the Advanced Goals module, you can set up different scenarios for every one of the games selected in the previous step
For example: the hosts have scored first but there was an equaliser in the 15th minute. It is now 20 minutes. What happened until minute 45 in the other similar games in the database? What happened up to minute 90? For each game you can set up a few scenarios, the most likely ones, so that you can react as quickly and as correctly as possible if they actually occur.
You can then form a trading plan before the match based on this.
Module: Advanced Goals Stats
What is your view on value in relation to historical stats?
First I should mention I’m a follower of the ”value” theory in betting.
On the other hand, no one, at any time, will know for certain if he made a valuable bet on a football game because no one can calculate exactly, in football, the probability of a certain event or result happening.
If someone tell you they can calculate the true probability of Barcelona beating Leganes (for example), they are lying. They can at most approximate it, most likely with a large margin of error.
Because this is not throwing the dice, where we know the exact probabilities, we need to start from something we know for certain. Most convenient are the historical results, so we can have an idea on what happened in the games between teams of similar value.
As a side note, almost every day I hear people say old results are useless and they never used them. I ask them what is the basis of their belief that Barcelona, on its home field, will defeat Leganes, and that they can bet on Barcelona at 1.3 odds. Why? If it goes down to 1.23 would they still take that bet? Why?
If you found an approximate value, you can be certain that many others have already reached that same conclusion, and that you have to do something more: you have to finely tune the probabilities on the basis of the latest available information. If you’re well informed and know the state of every player: who is doing well, who is doing more poorly etc.
In time you learn to quantify every bit of information and transform it into numbers, and that will be a great advantage to you.
So, to conclude, you can’t win long term if you don’t correctly combine old results/ priors with the latest information.
Historical information/ Priors can bring you, more or less, in the general area of correct probabilities, and the latest information helps you tune your result so that you can get as close as possible to the true probability.
You mentioned Backgammon to me earlier which pricked my ears up. I have never played this myself. How is Backgammon similar to betting and maybe in-play trading?
Backgammon is a game based on the random numbers of a pair of dice. Most people, when they hear the word ”dice”, they’re instantly thinking of luck and never of the science of the game. This is the first similarity to betting: those who lose (long term) think they had bad luck and don’t think for a moment that they haven’t made the best choice, that they haven’t maximised the outcome of a given situation.
What is more difficult to see is that after every dice you throw you also need to make the best possible decision, considering both your current position and any future ones. I’m trying to say that for a beginner any move is acceptable/good, while a professional will choose the best possible move out of the available ones. Here is the second similarity: a future champion, both in betting and Backgammon, never regrets losing and will continue playing as long as he took the correct decision at every bet and move.
If you’re given 2.50 odds when tossing a coin, you can’t say no even if you already lost the first 100 throws. You’ve made the correct decision every time and, at some point, you will certainly be rewarded for it.
Sounds like a game I might have enjoyed, maybe I missed something there.
Anyway, through running CGMBet you will have seen many sports investors come and go. Why do you think many end up failing?
My opinion is that the biggest mistake beginners make, even if most of them won’t believe it, is that they confuse a ”correct bet” with guessing the right result. They think that if, after ”complex analysis”, they find that the host team has the biggest chance of winning, then betting on the host team is the best option, without taking into account the cost/odds. Most often they buy expensively and sell cheaply, exactly the reverse of what they should be doing.
Second of all, like I mentioned earlier, they don’t understand or trust Mathematics and Statistics, and everything for them is luck, misfortune, or ”feeling”.
So these days you don’t bet so much as you have your hands full working and running CGMBET but what are some highlights from your betting days that you remember?
Several years ago, I was writing on a Romanian forum about the next games in Premier League. At the time I knew absolutely everything there was to know about Premier; I was reading every day, at home and at work, at least 5 or 7 sport news sites, newspapers etc. so I would keep informed.
I can still remember the weekend when I was right 10/10, and not only game results, but in most cases also details of the gameplay. It was a big day for me, especially because I also bet on the predictions I wrote. My only regret: that I didn’t do a combo. It would have a been a huge win if that came in.
I’ve kept up the column for a while, with good results, but I’ve never achieved the same performance.
Dozens of messages, congratulations and collaboration proposals followed, but since I’ve never been someone to pursue fame, I didn’t accept.
Of course, I’ve made many mistakes, but I can’t remember a uniquely big one that scarred me. My typical mistakes were having too many bets in one accumulator but that was in my early days.
10 out of 10 could have been a 5 or 6 figure accumulator win, I think even with a small stake. Anyway, what are some possible future additions to CGM Bet that you will be adding?
First of all, I want to more extensively develop the modules that help football traders. Both on the game preparation side and on the actual trading side.
The Advanced Goals module is already very useful and it will be further developed to allow for more and more complex scenarios, including in real time.
As a side note to this – I have often been asked for live stats (free kicks, corners, fouls, penalties). My honest opinions is that those would more often than not hinder a trader. Trust me, I’ve tried, but I’ve noticed in the recent years enormous differences in data quality between providers, both the renowned and pretty good ones. Not to mention the delays in procuring the data. For this reason, I don’t think I will add this live data option, and I suggest players just watch live games whenever they get the chance.
I’m thinking of adding a module with stats relating to players. It is known that there are players who get along very well, while others not so much. It would be very interesting to see the results of some teams in the games where certain groups of players where together on the field. I’ll think more on this and maybe, as always, I’ll receive some support and input from the users.
A big drawback of the software is the lack of a manual. Users are asking for new features and modules daily, and the app is constantly expanding. It hasn’t made much sense to write a manual which would become obsolete next month. On the other hand, I understand this is a big issue I will fix and it will make it easier for the newbies.
Last but not least, I’m going to launch versions of the software in languages other than English.
Thanks, please tell the Sports Trading Life readers of the current special offer for CGM Bet?
My offer for your followers is really special. Everyone who will access the link below and use the voucher code CGM20STL50 will receive a BIG discount from the price on the site for the FULL package.
It’s worth mentioning that the license will be guaranteed for the full lifetime of the software, including support and any future updates for all existing modules .
Very kind of you and an absolute bargain!
Have you tried CGMBET? How has it helped you? Share your experiences and any tips below.
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