I personally think that the Oscars are fake news and should be banned every year that there is not a Transformers movie. They are honestly more unwatchable than baseball and if I were elected to Congress the first bill I would introduce would be to require Hollywood to host them on the same night as the State of the Union, because ever since Trump got elected, both events have been so bad that I have started to wonder if that was part of the joke.
Anyway, since I am not really the alpha in charge of all of that, I am starting a new awards show instead. That awards show is called The Golden Modelos, which is Star Spangled Gamblers‘ awards for the best, worst, and the most hilarious moments in political gambling during the past year. As you will soon see, it is a star-studded event that has taken months to produce. It is also one of the genius ideas that I got from you animals. I honestly am not that creative of a person but I am extremely easy to manipulate as long as you come correct with the right combination of Nate Silver tweets, beers, and Adderral. That is my way of saying that I owe trader OutsideContextProblem for this idea. So, without further ado, I present to you:
THE GOLDEN MODELOS
An Awards Show for Excellence in Political Gambling
Here’s where it all began:
And here is where this is going—
For this year’s Golden Modelos, I’ll be introducing the awards. But presenting them will be real-life traders telling their stories about how they made a fortune, or lost horribly, in the amazing (and sometimes underwhelming) markets brought to us by PredictIt
STARTING OFF –THE BEST DAY OF TRADING
The award goes to the infamous day when Sen. Mike Braun read the wrong vote count for a cloture motion to end the January government shutdown over President Trump’s border wall. January 24, 2019 — a day that will love in infamy — where shares moved from 1 cent to 99 cents and back down again… in the course of minutes. It all happened in this now defunct market:
Presenting this award are traders on both sides of a massive cluster-f*ck of misinformation, chaos, and rapidly rising and falling fortunes. They are CalcRisk 79, and Slade366:
My craziest day of trading came early in the year. On January 24th, the Senate voted on several bills to re-open the federal government after it was shut down over wall funding. Everyone knew the votes that day would fail, this was simply a demonstration in dysfunction but PredictIt was kind enough to let us predict the vote totals anyway.
The subject of this market was the Republican-backed bill to end the Border Wall shutdown and provide the billions needed to construct a Big Beautiful Wall until Mexico paid us back. With 53 Republican Senators, betting No on 50-52 was free money, right? Wrong! Always check for potential absences or defections, cuck! Fortunately, I did, and I knew Rand Paul would be out while getting ass replacement surgery after his neighbor gave him the Rock Bottom. That still left a comfortable margin and after Joe Manchin announced he would support the Republican bill I maxed No on 50 at .99 cents. That’s right, I risked $850 dollars to win $8. An Alpha move.
Fast forward a few hours and I’m sweating balls watching the vote results. Mike Lee and Tom Cotton have both voted No and it looks like the vote is about to close at 50-47. Jim Risch has still not voted, he could still save me! The gavel strikes with 50-47 on the screen. My stomach drops. I’m such a dumb idiot beta cuck!
But wait……Senator Mike Braun reads the vote count as 51-47! Hell yes! I’m Alpha again! Did Risch get his vote in at the last second!? Even though I think I’ve escaped…something doesn’t feel right and I sell my .99 cent shares for……. .99 cents. Rainbow starts posting that the vote count was read incorrectly. Twitter confirms this. The price goes from .99 to .01 in 5 minutes. Thank you, Mike Braun you beautiful idiot. I played this market dumb but I learnt my lesson….
On January 24th, 2019 the Senate was holding votes on both a Republican and Democrat deal to end the ongoing Government Shutdown. Like most Senate votes, it was thought of going to be mainly a partisan split. I remember 53 Republican votes was obviously trading the highest representing a pure party split, with 54-56 also being fairly high with theories that moderates like Manchin would also vote in favor, as well as plenty of action for 60+ (as 60 votes was needed to pass). However, my thought process was, with the 50 Kavanaugh vote in mind (where one Republican missed it for being at a wedding as well as some defections) that some senators might easily miss the vote for personal reasons if their vote wasn’t important for something that wasn’t going to pass anyway. I put in my 9,999 1¢ order for 50 and 51 brackets, and as the weeks went by every here and there I would get filled for a few or on occasion 858 at once when some brave sole loaded up on the NO side. By the time of the vote, I had gotten around 3,300 or so for 50 and maybe 1,300 for 51. I thought my plan was great and couldn’t even comprehend how so many people had spent 99c predicting the same vote couldn’t happen that had already happened once before — during Kavanaugh.
However, by the day of the vote Republican morale was high and I remember feeling bad that I was wasting that $50, and extremely nervous about my big NO positions in 54-60 because there was some confidence it might actually pass. The worst part is my girlfriend wanted to do something together at the time but I was feeling so down worried about my positions, which were down a few hundred at the time, that I resolved to watch the entire vote to try to take advantage of the vote-swings.
The announcement of the vote finally began and Mike Braun was reading off the names of the Senators in alphabetical order and how they had voted. He was mentioning the name of the senator but not their party affiliations, so it seemed no one on PredictIt was really prepared for soaking in how each vote announcement would change the final outcome. Manchin voted yes but huge swings occurred when it was unexpectedly announced Republicans Tom Cotton and Mike Lee had voted no, and I remember 51-53 fluctuating with 51 and 52 each being about 30 cents after this point. These were huge surprises as the main focus as well as unique markets on PredictIt were for the Republicans who had switched over in the past like Romney and Murkowski.
At the end of the senator by senator votes, there was a slight pause and then Mike Braun readout that the resolution had gotten 51 YES votes. Darn I thought, I was only going to make $1000 instead of $3000. 50 suddenly spiked back to down to 1¢ from about 15c¢ and 51 was at maybe 97¢. Being fond of always eeking out the slightest of value, I put in my sell order for all of my 50 shares at cost. Slowly, my orders got filled but I thought nothing of it because on PredictIt you almost always can get action on dead brackets at 1¢/99¢. I had sold them all and the price still stayed at 1 cent for a few more minutes before comments started to stream in about how websites were all reporting 50. The price went up to 30¢ for a few minutes, then 75¢, and then stayed at 90¢ for about an hour as I desperately tried to tell myself it was all a particularly successful pump. Unfortunately, my original theory was right in the end, as along with the two unexpected Republican no votes, two Republicans missed both votes for no particular reason, highlighting the tricky nature of congress vote markets.
Additionally, as soon as this vote was over, there was another market for the next vote for the Democrat plan where I lost another $850 on some guys likewise pump that the stated vote total announced by Braun was wrong again, citing a mismatch vote total posted on the New York Times. However, this time Braun was correct and the New York Times vote count was wrong. I had bought $850 ($1700) worth of shares at 29¢ on both sides as soon as I read the comments about this mismatch. I’m pretty sure hardly anyone but me fell for it and the commenter himself was on the other side of that trade. Despite this horrible mistake and at least the 6+ times I’ve lost $850 on markets, I want to make it clear I am somehow a very profitable trader on PredictIt over the last year just by trying to be as smart as I can be and reading this blog as well as comments below markets. Somehow I haven’t even ever scored a huge win but slowly and steadily make good trades over time.
Moral of the story is you should have more faith in your initial positions and not to get too caught up about the constant swings up and down.
Editor’s note: At the time of writing, Slade was the #46 trader on PredictIt. Not bad.
The awards for BEST MARKET OF 2019 go to the insanely liquid ATM of “Who Will be the 2020 Democratic Nomination” where millions of shares are constantly moving and a patient or visionary trader can flip a profit on almost any candidate at any time. Tied is the Will Donald Trump be impeached in 2019 market, which I will present.
Market – 2020 Democratic Nomination aka “DNOM”
It’s 5 months before the Iowa caucuses and Elizabeth Warren has gone from 6 percent in the national polls to now, for the first time (and for one day only) leading in them. Is she worth 54c to be the Democratic nominee? Well that’s what the lovable hivemind of village idiots in DNOM thought! And, yes, if you didn’t sell her at 50c five months out you dun goofed my friend. DNOM is the main event. Biggest volume, dumbest comment wars. Free neg risk, free money in market-making and flips. A land where any betting strategy and any candidate is theoretically viable. Hillary saw 15c. Yang saw 18c. Frickin Beto opened at like 24c. I’m pretty sure even Marianne Williamson hit 4c at one point, although maybe I hallucinated that. If there’s a big tent market where every kind of trader spends time, it’s DNOM. And if you’re not in yet somehow, pull up a chair and at least pick up your free $50 neg risking. Or YOLO it all on Bernie. I won’t judge.
Editor’s note: at the time Pipkin wrote this, Bernie was at 13 cents.
TIED WITH — Will Donald Trump be Impeached in 2019?
Rarely in political gambling do we get a market this liquid with a result so obvious (Dems had been promising to impeach Trump for three years) and with bullheaded partisans propping the odds up so favorably for people who are living in reality. MAGA money held the odds of Trump being impeached down to 50/50 as late as early December. Two weeks later, when Speaker Pelosi finally pulled the trigger on impeachment, this market paid-out like a broken slot to those who weren’t swayed by fake news. It was a Christmas bonus for some of us, and an epically boneheaded loss for the rest. KEENDAWG.
I actually don’t have a video for this one. Deal with it. The winner was never in doubt though. The greatest PredictIt message board trash talk has always come from ZOLTAR. He wins in a walk, every time. No pumps, just “truth bombs.” Here to give him his prize is longtime rival, iSavage.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Making lots of money gambling on politics is great, but what would be REALLY great is to engage in a year-long online feud with a perfect stranger who can really go over the top sometimes.” Me neither. But somehow, despite my jovial nature and ability to get along with anyone in the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the PredictIt comments section, me and Zoltar developed bad blood. Our beef is a lot like GDs and BDs of Chicago: Nobody knows how it started but it ran deep and resulted in widespread misery (for Zoltar). Our multiple negative exchanges basically went like this: Zoltar: My position is a lock and is the easiest money on PredictIt right now
Me: Eh, probably. But maybe not.
Zoltar: SO YOU’RE MAXED? IF NOT YOU ARE A CUCK!
Me: Ok, here are some things that could go wrong in detail with sources and some decent analysis
Zoltar: (milkshake gif)
Me: (makes a tacit joke that doesn’t denote a strong position one way or another in a market)
Zoltar: What an idiot! You’re going to lose, see everyone except iSavage in the Winner’s Circle!
Me: Dude, that was a shitpost. I don’t really know how this is going to go
Zoltar: Typical iSavage, backtracking from his weak bet
Me: (takes huge position out of spite and hope I’m right)
Betting against Zoltar while beefing with him is risky because he can be a tad…obsessive. He made a YouTube video about me. He besmirched my good name in a lengthy column on this site. He taunted me on Twitter. He also has a good track record and does his research, so there’s a chance that after publicly humiliating you he will also take your money (not that I would know what this feels like, but I imagine it sucks).
Not unlike a WWF bad guy, Zoltar is a master of bombast who you love to hate. He’s entertaining. He brings out the worst in you. When he shows up in the comments it’s like hearing The Undertaker’s entrance music because you know it’s about to get good. Also not unlike a WWF villain, he sometimes catches a well-deserved People’s Elbow (which I was happy to supply more than once this year). If comic books have taught us anything, it’s that teaming up with your sworn enemy is sometimes necessary. Professor X and Magneto knew when they had join forces against someone who threatened both of them. In that spirit, me and Zoltar ended the year in truce mode due to our recently acquired expertise and scholarly understanding of the complex Israeli legal system and cleaned up in the Netanyahu indictment market (from what I can tell, he more than I). But if hero/villain team-ups have taught us anything else, the good guy eventually gets double-crossed. I’m watching you, Zoltar.
BEST TRADE OF 2019
THE WINNER: AG123’s once-in-a-lifetime discovery that Rick Scott would show up to the Senate a few days late, miss the swearing-in, and cause the PredictIt market for “How many GOP Senators will be elected in 2018?” to resolve YES for 52, despite the fact that 53 GOP Senators won in November. It was one of the all-time great Rules Cucks— but many, including myself, shared in AG’s gains.
I asked AG for comment and he respectfully declined.
I get it. It’s pretty competitive to stay on top of your game on PredictIt, especially with the tight caps on wagers.
If you ask traders around PredictIt, they’ll tell you folk tales about AG’s wager. That it took days or weeks for him to build his position– that he had some web of complicated hedges in place in case PredictIt ruled against him. Some people will tell you that he made 40k on this trade. Others will tell you 50 or 70. But my favorite part about it is this fact — that he knew the best way to make his case: make your findings public and let greedy dopes like me rush in to try and take some free money alongside his score. Once he highlighted these rules:
“At the beginning of the 116th Congress, the number of U.S. Senators who were elected with a ballot-listed or otherwise identifiable affiliation with, or who have publicly stated an intention to caucus with the Republican Party shall be the number or range identified in the question.”
Hundreds of traders immediately amplified his message so that they could join AG in snatching the wallets right out of the pants of traders who had correctly predicted the election’s results — 53 GOP Senators, but gotten absolutely nuked by a rule that required Rick Scott to be in the Capitol on the day the 116th Congress began. Scott was in Florida, finishing his term as governor.
Not throwing shade tho. I was in on the crime:
Thanks for the free money.
Speaking of which. It’s time for …
WORST RULES CUCK OF 2019
Click below to hear Zoltar and me shoot the shit over one of our biggest losses of the year.
BEST/WORST PUMP OF 2020
We are handing out two awards. One for the BEST and one for the WORST pump of the year.
To be as short as possible, we view a GOOD pump as one where anyone with a brain stands to win money in the long-run. A BAD pump is one that is more short-lived than Nick Lachey’s solo career and turns into an absolute bonfire of lost cash. AKA, a bad pump loses money over time and a good pump gains.
The Award for BEST PUMP goes to the market — “Will Hillary Clinton Run for President in 2020?” There are no indications that Democrats want Hillary Clinton to run for office, and there are no indications that she herself is going to run. No staff. No fundraisers. Just a few appearances on daytime TV where she looks relieved to be out of the game — but very happy to gloat at the weakness of the Dem field without her. Presenting this award is:
Sort of. I couldn’t get the crusty old pro to speak on the record, but IMO Domer is one of the only master gamblers who never pumps. He’s a private fella, but when you see him post information on Twitter or on the PredictIt discussion boards, you can take it as true and overwhelmingly likely to be an accurate and profitable prediction.
For months, he’s been posting about HRC’s likelihood to run for President:
Trader Mahnamahna (@Spinons) has also been trolling me about HRC running in a joyful and tender way. BTW, I’ve never seen @spinons ranked lower than 4th on PredictIt’s leaderboard. He’s an absolute savage and I would pay $100 million just to drink a pint of his blood.
Lesson for the boys: when these dogs bark, you run towards the sound. Hillary Clinton isn’t running for president. This market is a gift that keeps on giving.
The winner is: KAMALA HARRIS to be the DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE.
Kamala Harris turned in a savage debate performance in June, slicing at Joe Biden’s jugular on his record on race. Her PredictIt valuations went to the moon until… Americans realized that she was mostly fake news.
In July, Harris was at the top of the Democratic field. By the fall, she had dropped out of the race. While pols like Tulsi Gabbard and Amy Klobuchar have survived into 2020, the Junior Senator from California, who once raised $400,000 in one day for a Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, is done.
Here to present the award is
PRATIK CHOUGULE, author of How to Make Money from Political Predictions:
I felt particularly confident in my Kamala Harris No bets when I saw Newt Gingrich refer to her on Fox as the “most dangerous of the Democrats.” I figured her price was being inflated by Republicans who (1) convinced themselves that the Democratic Party rank-and-file is “woke” and (2) were wishing for an all our culture war to save Trump’s re-election bid. Race relations aren’t great but I don’t think 70s style busing is about to make a comeback.
Well, not the longest response but excellent insights into bias inflating prices on PredictIt. Congrats on your big short, Pratik.
MOST TRUSTWORTHY TRADER
Tbh, I don’t feel comfortable giving out this award yet. Congrats to DeadMoney, Jipkin, and Rainbow for all getting nominations. You can split a twelver of Golden Modelos this year. We’ll have a more robust nomination and voting process next time.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
I will admit that I have definitely tipped my hand on this but there is honestly zero argument over who deserves the award. Watch the video for the answer.
PredictIt’s rookie of the year is Mahnahmana (@spinons) who regularly challenges for the first place in all trader standings. Trader J Mark, himself one of the top movers in the game, nominated him with the following soliloquy:
I asked the boy wonder if he’d like to comment on the huge honor Star Spangled Gamblers was about to condone on him. His response was:
I couldn’t have said it better myself.