Friday, 12 December 2014

Tipstrr Is Now 650% Faster

Today's post comes straight from the development team at Tipstrr HQ. We have been busy pulling apart our inner workings and tweaking them to get the fastest handicapping product on the market.

One of the main points Tipstrr's contact us about is the time it takes for their results to update on the site. This can be really important, especially when you have just won that all important Tipstrr Verified accumulator. Another reason we have been working on optimising the Tipstrr results algorithms is that we are getting a massive number of tips being entered into the system thanks to the awesome growing demand on handicappers wanting a Tipstrr site.

So what are the problems? Can't you just buy faster hardware? Crank it up to 11? Whilst we could just throw hardware at the problem, in the long run it's not a scalable solution and would jeopardise our ability to provide completely free handicapping sites on Tipstrr. Rest assured, this won't ever change.

So the development team here at Tipstrr HQ set off with a task to make results calculations run faster than Mr. Bolt himself. There are three main angles we looked at when targeting these performance improvements and that was Tipstrr's who have a large quantity of tips (more than 2000 tips placed), Tipster sites that contain many categories and Tipstrr sites that house lots of different Tipster's under one roof. We also threw in a mixture of sites that post a varied number of picks per day, anywhere between 1 and 30.

With all of the above in our test data set we started digging into our database internals. At the time of writing we use a customised MySQL 5.6 installation and learned quickly that SHOW PROCESSLIST is your friend when it comes to capturing really long running and intensive operations. Once we had narrowed it down to our suspect stored procedures we took a good hard look at what they were actually doing. MySQL EXPLAIN SELECT is another great tool here which can help identify why the database takes a while querying certain tables.

From our tests we saw that Profit/Loss and Result grouping was being recalculated several times in some complex joined queries. The solution here was to use a Resolution design pattern and start aggressively caching these lookup records in temporary tables. This sounds easier than it was. In reality this took a large amount of investigation making sure our results calculations were correct pre and post change. We also had to get clever with some of our queries so that using multiple temporary tables in single query blocks didn't cause us problems.

All in all, quite a heavy session of optimising based on our initial diagnosis. But what about the results? In short we were elated by how this affected overall performance. In some of our test cases we found it increased result calculation speed by 1700%, whilst the minimum we was able to achieve was a 650% increase. We would go as far as saying this was a success.

But what does this mean for your Tipstrr site? Is anything going to change? Yes and no. Whilst you won't be seeing any fancy new options to enable (sadly) this does mean that your results will update faster and there will be less stress on our hosting environment, thus making your site run faster. Sometimes these behind the scenes changes go unheard of, but they go a long way in making Tipstrr the best sports handicapping solution for all. Rest assured you are in safe hands and lets look forward to all the great new ideas coming to Tipstrr in 2015.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Version 1.14 - Larry Fitzgerald Released

We are happy to release version 1.14 of Tipstrr Engine, the aptly named "Larry Fitzgerald" Sticky Fingers. With this release comes some changes to tighten up validation and entry on the site. Tip scheduling is back after a bug fix and a fix for whole line numbers not showing odds for asian handicap and under/over is out.

You will now also see tip count per category in the drop down menu, this means you can quickly see which categories have active tips as shown in the image below.

For a complete breakdown of the release notes see our support article

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tipster of The Month - November 2014

And we are back with our second 'Tipstrr of the Month' awards. After last month's success we are going to be bringing you the best tipsters in the business month on month.


Another busy month on the Tipstrr platform saw thousands of tips placed on our automated and verified platform for tipsters. Hard work from dozens of tipsters has seen the win rate improve across the board, something we're very happy with here at Tipstrr HQ. As we mentioned last month, the 4 awards are open to all tipsters and handicappers that use our platform, all you need to do to qualify is place 20 or more picks in a calendar month. If you can think of any other awards that could be good to give out, let us know, we'd love to hear your suggestions.

Be sure to check out the guys who will proudly be showing off their awards on their home pages for the next month before we crown new winners for December.

Tipstrr of the Month Award

Brazilian Football Tips

After a few months out, Brazilian Football Tips (BFT) returned this month, placing a total of 28 tips, with a very solid 17.2% Return on Investment. What makes this more impressive was the way he ground out the results the site needed to get back in the black. He knows his Brazilian (and European) football, so now he's back it could be a good time to check him out.

We have to point out a few notable mentions from a few few guys who performed very well in November:

Best Win Percentage Tipstrr Award

JC La Liga Football Tips

Last month's tipstrr of the month JC was still up there with the best and this time he notched the best win percentage award. Throughout November, JC managed a 7.5% Return on Investment from 34 tips, with a 59% win rate. Not quite as impressive as last month, but he continues to grow the bank balances of his members by providing well thought out (and ultimately, profitable) tips. Check him out if you fancy some great La Liga insight and analysis.

Five Star Football Tips (60%), and DDimitrov76 (67%) both performed well this month but didn't qualify due to selected too few picks, maybe next month they'll hit the minimum 20 required and put themselves in contention

Most Active Tipstrr Award

Bet MD Sports Picks

BetMD has proven himself over the past 6 months as a very profitable tipster, providing regular winning tips on a regular basis. This month he was just behind the top guys in terms of ROI, but covering so many sports means he has taken the Most Active Tipstrr Award for November. Since starting in May, BetMD has clocked up $20,000 profit based on predominantly $100-$400 bets, a real top performing tipster on a regular basis, with far more winning weeks than losing weeks, we can see why he is really increasing in popularity with Tipstrr users.

Indy Sports Picks and Kiitos Tips both came close to netting the award, but BetMD pipped them to the post.

Biggest Longshot Tipstrr Award

Kiitos Tips

Mentioned above as being in contention for the Most Active Award, Kiitos Tips have won the longshot award with the highest priced winner of the month. With 3 tipsters on the site, as well as a 'best bets' section, they are always active. Their winner was an Over 2.5 Goals Treble that included the games Hartlepool v Wycombe, Barnsley v Scunthorpe and MK Dons v Colchester. This bet was priced at an impressive 5.67 with Bwin.

The second biggest winner was at 5.29 from All The Best Tips, whilst a notable mentioned for Agent Tipster who had 7 of the top 10 priced winners in November.