World Cup Day 11: Knockout Games, a new prognosticator and a Rocket Car

With South Korea’s defeat of Spain, Nate Silver moved up above $10M. That is the arbitrary round number I decided to use to determine whether or not he’s earned the first ever Rocket Car Award. For those of you unfamiliar with the reference:

Mind you, Lou is correct in suggesting most projections that substantially differ from the market prices are garbage. However, in Nate’s case he has regularly been putting out projections that have called for him to wager > 10% of his bankroll on a game. Normally, that would be ruinous. In this case, Nate has seen his bankroll grow an average of 4.83% per-game. That is over the course of 98 games. For those of you who prefer Z-scores, he’s run his up to 2.71. I never expected anyone to claim a Rocket Car Award, although some of the stuff  Ken Pomeroy’s work pulled off in the early years was even more impressive.

But enough preamble, let me introduce y’all to Christopher D. Long:

Christopher has been very good about keeping his code and his projections in the open, and requested I track him for the World Cup (his request was made after the tournament started, which is why he is only being introduced now). As such, I’ll give him the same $100,000 bankroll I gave Nate, and wish him the best of luck. Here are his knockout round projections:

Back to Nate. He currently has $10,173,170 to work with. Here is how he’ll invest it today:

Game 37: Germany vs. Sweden

Sweden to Advance, Risking 9.03%: $918,385 to win $4,004,160

Bold upsets are Nate’s bread and butter, but this one seems ill-fated.

Game 38: China vs. Cameroon

Cameroon to Advance, Risking 1.53%: $141,544 to win $240,624

This is a much closer matchup between a couple of tournament longshots.

Christopher is backing Sweden (4.85% of his bankroll) and China (3.04% of his bankroll).


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