Wednesday, 22 June 2011

I hate IBM

Well, I've had an absolute nightmare the first 3 days of Wimbledon. I'm a couple of hundred down and just cannot seem to get going. The most disconcerting thing is that I still seem unable to get properly focused and it's driving me mad. I think it's a combination of rain delays and that pathetic new IBM Pointstream, the new official Wimbledon website scoreboard. I'm sure you will already be aware of the furore this is causing for tennis traders this week. Basically, IBM used to have their own 'Slamtracker', which gave updates of all matches on one handy pop-out screen, during Grand Slams. It worked well and although the point updates were never quite as quick as the usual Livescore updates for standard tournaments, they were a million times better than what we have now. It's virtually useless for trading with, as not only is it 2 or 3 points behind the live action, it often updates 2 or 3 points at a time. And that's when it's working! Sometimes it can be a whole game behind, or even more from what I've been reading form the complaints on the Betfair forum. It's all a complete shambles and I don't understand why they've ditched what was an excellent facility for one that, whilst it looks flashy and has all the bells and whistles stats-wise, simply doesn't work as smoothly.

Of course, I'm sure the average user of the Pointstream probably doesn't care if it's a minute or two behind the live action but for us traders, it effectively ends any chance of trading on games which aren't on TV. Whether they have done this as a cost cutting excercise (Pointstream was there previously but they have jazzed it up and ditched Slamtracker) or whether they actually think we care about all the mountain of useless new stats (who on earth decides what these 'key to the matches' are? What a ridiculous idea!), it reeks of style over substance. I urge all you traders out there to email a complaint on the Wimbledon website and hopefully get Slamtracker back for the US Open.

Better still, contact IBM directly on this page:

Pointstream has eliminated the majority of the matches available at any one time for me to trade. If all 18 courts are in-play, then only 5 or 6 with TV coverage are available and with half of these having massive favourites at sub-1.10 prices, it leaves you with very little choice. Together with the rain delays, which have meant even more tradeable games rendered unplayable as the schedule becomes bunched together, it has left me struggling to get wins on the board. As a result, I've made a few errors out of sheer frustration, trying to force things to make up for lost time. I only have myself to blame for that of course but the whole week has been a real downer at a time when I really felt I was going to push forward. Instead I've taken several steps backwards.

There have been times over these 3 days where I started to feel as exasperated, angry and helpless as I did back in The Dark Ages - feelings I thought I'd left behind forever. The difference is, as I type this, I know that when I wake up and start Thursday's session, I will not start randomly chasing and making daft bets and I will probably get back to how I should be trading. I actually still made a profit on Monday, so that helped cushion the blow. But it's not the amount I've lost that irritates me, it's the way I've traded. I wanted to be patient and trade one game at a time and not rush around like a bull in a china shop like I did at the start of Roland Garros, where I was too eager. I actually didn't do that but the lack of opportunities eventually strained my patience and I made a few poor errors out of desperation. Anyway, onwards and upwards.........cheers IBM, keep up the good work.


  1. let's all channel the frustration to the feedback form they have provided; I sent mine under the topic - Tracking Scores on the Website;

  2. Thanks Bernard, I'll add the link to my post.

  3. Hi Sultan,

    Great post, I was going to do the same and post about IBM scoreboard, Pointstream or whatever it's called. Totally useless and it's a reason why I trade ONLY matches I am able to watch live.

    Wish you good luck !

  4. Hi Rockaren, I've added a link to contact IBM directly too - let's pile on the pressure!

  5. Hey, I'm not in a trade business and found IBM pointstream fantastic. Why don't you use the scores page at ?

  6. Hi Silva, the scores page updates at the same speed as Pointstream, so it's useless for traders. Slamtracker had every game on one small pop up screen and the points updated individually and quickly.


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