Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Much of the Same

Not had much time to add to the blog. Just to say that things are not too good in the Horse market as yet another mistake of trading when the race turns in play and then the price immediately dives out cost me £95 in one race. Perhaps I need to temporarily cut this market out as I have not had these sort of mistakes occur in the regularity that it has recently. At least I am still up!

I have had many requests for the spreadsheet but please allow me a few days to tidy it up and make it available for download.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Another Day, Another Dollar!

I  think I have got yesterdays performance out of my system and let's hope that I can move on with lessons learned.

I am still in profit and I know that £300 so far this month is a nice amount to some recreational traders but it is far short to where I want to be. £11 per day is hardly a tidy sum for all the time I have been using at evenings and on weekends! Maybe I should just stop and find something more useful to do. We'll see what happens over the next few weeks.

I forgot to mention previously that I traded out of the 'Most Seats' market on Friday as the polls were showing a Conservative revival following the second debate. This was reflected in the price as it was slowly coming in. I used the iPhone app iBetMate to close the trade at 1.27 for a very small profit but didn't work it out correctly so I had to tweak it with a lay bet of 1.28. My judgement was correct as the price has since fallen further and is now 1.23. I am aiming to get back in at some point.

Add caption

Whilst writing I put in a lay of Kibet in the mens Marathon. No need to trade out and a positive start to the day..

The final two tabs to my spreadsheet are shown below. If anyone is interested in it I can make it available to download and will provide instructions as to the handful of cut & pastes required daily and monthly.

Profit / Loss Horses Only
Analysis Table


Saturday, 24 April 2010

A Few Days To Forget

 It has been a bit of a stressful few days. It all started in the office on Thursday morning. As soon as my laptop reached  the desktop I was receiving fatal Windows errors all over the place. I rebooted a few times but it was still occuring. I know my way around computers but I cannot understand why this was happening. It wasn't as if I had installed new software or that I had a problem shutting down the night before.

It became apparant very quickly that this was a problem that could only be solved by reinstalling XP.  We don't have an exchange server or profiling so the restore of emails and documents depends on the regular backups that I store on a flash drive which thankfully I did the day before.

It has taken two full days (and late nights) of restoring and configuring to bring the machine back to the sort of level it was when it crashed. The most important thing is that my work  data has been fully recovered and now that the machine has had a good clean it is running much faster than I can ever remember.

With all this going on, trading was the last thing on my mind. I wasn't going to attempt anything until I was satisfied that my computer was stable.

So what of Geek and Bet Angel? The programs are stored on a completely separate flash drive so should be totally unaffected but my Geek ladder configuration must have been stored on the 'C' drive as they have been lost, so this morning I went about the boring and time consuming task of setting it up again.

...and as for todays horse trading? Absolutely shocking! It's as if the whole market is watching what I am doing. I could watch a situation for five minutes where not much is happening but as soon as I enter the market it all goes mad in the opposite direction. It's not as if I am piling in loads of cash! It happened time and time again! I was down loads on the 18.35 at Haydock and was so hacked off and frustrated I just let in run in play and it won. That made me very angry and I did the same thing the next race but at least I managed to get half of the previous race losses back. It is not the right thing to do. This blog is supposed to help. What a mug!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Quick Post

Continuing with my spreadsheet. I have two month tabs. One shows the general monthly performance and the other shows the monthly sport totals as a consolidation of the Daily Chart.

Didn't do too much today but still managed a respectable £40. Reaching £1000 by the end of April is a step too far but I am looking to get to £700. I still have my 'most seats' lay in potential profit. The price is currently 1.28 and I am hoping that it will move higher after tomorrows debate.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Never Trade When Tired

If ever there was an example of how situations can quickly and easily go against you then this was it. Over the course of 45 minutes and just 5 races  I had managed to lose £92.53. The reason? I was tired and not in the 'zone' thus making very bad decisions by guessing rather than reading the markets.

In the first race I lost £29.72. I was down £15 and decided to try to claw it back in running. This is never a good idea and there are countless warnings on many blogs to stay away. It is the correct advice but the temptation is very strong.  Anyway the market continued against me and I lost an additional £15. 

After this disappointment the natural desire is to get things on an even keel as quickly as possible. The best advice is to fight against this desire and either trade how you know you can or just switch off for the night! I know I shouldn't but the next couple of races I increased my stakes and dug an even deeper hole for myself. The one positive is that I didn't go in play but came away with losses of £14 and £20. I gained on the fourth race but that was obviously more luck than judgement. The last race went the same as the first. I was down, went in play and lost more!

Had another go at the snooker and managed to reduce the bad evening by 10%.

Having played this game for over 3 years I should know better. It is a concern that I still do it, even though it is to a lesser extent but writing this blog really is good therapy for me. During the losses I was thinking to myself of how embarrassing this is going to look on my page and that can only be a good thing.

Referring back to my spreadsheet. I have put up another two tabs. The first is my daily horse market and it keeps me up to date with my targets and projections the other is a bar chart. Please excuse the spelling in the yellow bubbles. I found out that they can't be amended once I have saved it. Stupid if you ask me!

There are four more tabs to show in due course.  The month summary, The month totals by sport, Horse Race line chart and the long term analysis.

Just the result

Not had time to post properly. Will do more next time. Had a go at Snooker on a frame by frame basis. Wouldn't recommend it as it is far too volitile.

Result of the days trading shown below and the total on the right has been updated.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Internet Explorer Users

I use Firefox as my preferred browser but I do check my page on IE now and again and I just noticed that my Blog list wasn't showing on it. My apologies for this. It should be working now that I have moved the Bet Angel Banner below it. However the titles are still grey rather than gold!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Sunday Best

It's been a good day on the horses and I don't think it's a coincidence that Sundays seem to be strong for me. Most of the big players take Sundays off and with them out of the way I definitely read the markets better. I am especially pleased of my  total as I made up some ground after my day off on Saturday.  I would have carried on through the evening but my iPhone decided to crash and lose all it's data while it was syncing and I spent the next three hours restoring it!

As mentioned before, I keep meticulous records of my trading with lots of calculation of stats and targets and I have started another spreadsheet based on the 3rd April start. I have uploaded a couple of the tabs with more tomorrow.

Most Seats Update - Conservatives up three ticks from last night. Now 1.31 with a potential profit of £45 no matter what the result.

Daily Sports Chart

P/L Line Graph

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Most Seats Are Green All Over

Just a quick post to say that I took the plunge and entered the 'Most Seats' market with a lay of the Conservatives at 1.24 at 12.30pm today. I decided on more or less the same liability that I would have received had I layed for £1000 at 1.19. This meant that I would stand to win £750.

Below is an image of the current situation and you can see that the march upward continues. I am hoping that in a weeks time we may see the price at 2 at which point I will trade out for a reasonable green book of £270.

Naturally I am kicking myself at not catching 1.19 but that is me all over. I am never quite decisive!

I have to mention that if you haven't been over to Cassini's blog 'Green All Over'  I recommend you pop over there (see my blog list) and take a read of his post entitled Eleven Silly Men. I found it very interesting.

I have been out for most of the day so I haven't traded. Hoping to catch some footie before the night is out to keep the total ticking over and then up early for the Grand Prix.

Brain Dead

Trading intensely for such a large period yesterday was very difficult and not something I will be doing on a regular basis.  It really was a long hard slog and my concentration and decison making was definately affected towards the end. The last races at Cheltenham and Dundalk saw me green by over £10 at one stage only for them to end up as losses by the start. I am sure I was on auto pillot at that point. Had I stayed green I would have reached my £100 target but instead had to settle for £78. If you put it in perspective that's only £10 per hour. There are plenty of jobs that pay more than that. 

I tried to reach £100 by laying 1-0 Huddersfield with about 3 minutes left but to no avail and another £4 lost.

My featured market has started to move. Conservatives are now 1.22 to win the most seats and yes you guessed it, I still haven't done anything about it! I find it strange hearing that if the Youguv poll is to be believed, Labour could have the lowest share of the vote but the largest amount of seats. The Lib Dems had a positively strong reaction to the first debate but are us voters really making a decision of who is best to govern the country on the basis of a 90 minute TV programme?

By the way, did you notice that the ties they wore matched the party colours.

Friday, 16 April 2010

It's Finally Arrived

The evening meetings have finally arrived and what a day we have in store with 48 back to back races.

I have another day off so I have decided to trade the marathon 7 hour session. There will be plenty of opportunity to push on ahead with my target and I am hoping to acheive a profit in excess of £100.

Yes, as you can see I am in a positive mood this morning. I decided that I was going to settle down and watch the first debate without too many distractions so I didn't get involved with the racing and I think that rest has refreshed me ready for todays onslaught! Having said that, I wanted to keep my total ticking over so I entered a couple of correct score football markets which didn't need any intervention as I laid unquoted on the Sandy game and 1-0 on Valencia. I was a few minutes from tweaking the spanish match as it was 1-0  up to about 60 minutes.

To be honest I found the debate a little boring. It took each of them about 20 minutes to banish the nerves and as soon as there was any hint of confrontation, Alistair would cut them off! Question Time was far more exciting!

I had the 'Most Seats' market up throughout the evening and was disappointed that there was no movement. I have not changed my opinion that 1.18 is a crazy price but I have not backed my judgement and entered the market yet. If I do I will lay to win £1,000.

So we are at the half way point in April. As you can see on the right my £1,000 target is racing away from me. £55 a day is unrealistic especially as I know that there are 3 or 4 days to come when I won't be trading. Nevertheless green is green!

Over the next few days I am going to start showing tabs of my trading spreadsheet. Keeping decent records is a must for any trader.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Back On Track

After last nights fiasco I made a good but inconsistent start by recovering 20% of yesterdays losses.

It was a trade of two halves! I felt very nervous when trading the first few races and I quickly built up a £30 loss. It took 30 minutes out to regain my composure and said to myself that it was not bad trading that got me in yesterdays mess and that I know that I can trade well fully focused.

When I restarted the session I put myself 'in the zone' and amazingly made profit on every race until I stopped at 7pm. This amounted to £65 which gave me a final total on the horses of £35. Added to this was one football game for a modest £15.

By the way, I made sure iBetMate was logged in and in the same race I was trading on.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Election - Am I Missing Something!

I was watching the news this morning. They were analysing the latest poll which showed a Conservative lead of just 3% and how that would affect the seat distribution. It showed that Labour would have the most seats. They went onto say that even a 6% Conservative lead could give Labour the most seats. I know that we shouldn't read too much from the polls but they are all showing a steady reduction in the gap between our top two parties and the average is 6%.

So the question is...... 
Why are the Conservatives currently 1.18 to win the most seats?

Surely a lay is a no brainer or am I missing something? The risk is low and I can only see the price rise as we draw closer to the big day. Perhaps punters are waiting to see the first debate tomorrow before entering the market. I am very tempted to get involved and I will be watching the market very carefully while the debate is on.

Following on from this mornings post I decided to trade the horses. I felt I was playing with no confidence and it was really slow progress as I reached a profit of £35 as of 7.00pm. Also made a little on the football but the day is not over and I will give a full report in my next post.

244 Reasons Not To Be Cheerful

As you can see, I have lost £243.94 last night. I am absolutely gutted, miserable and frustated. If I make crazy mistakes then I only have myself to blame and deserve what comes to me but being a victim of 'natural causes' after making such steady progress is like a stab to the heart!

Having just returned home from a very busy working day, I grabbed a glass of wine, sat down and caught the 17.55 at Limerick. I wish I hadn't. Just before the start of the race and at the moment when I decided to trade out of Slapper there was a power cut or rather a flicker. It was a case of off and on in a split second but that split second was enough to knock out the broadband. The race started immediately after and I was left with a large liability £185.

I am organised and do have a backup plan where I can place a bet to close a trade via a 3g connection but there was not enough time as it was a one mile race. Instead I was pinning my hopes on the router booting up in time. While all this was happening I was watching the race unfold hoping that the favourite Tsar Paul would save me and I really thought that I was going to have a lucky escape as it was leading close in only to be beaten by a head by Slapper as the line approached. As it passed the post the router came back on! What a 'slap' in the face!

I then went into 'foolish' mode and backed the hot favourite Rocky Elsom in the next and switched my machine off. Why did I back it?  Why didn't I lay it?  I can't answer that because I just wasn't thinking straight. I just wanted to get some of the losses back. When I checked back it had come second and I had added a further £60 to my losses. I traded the last couple of races and gained a little back but my heart wasn't really with it.

Now that I have slept on it, I am trying to put it out of my mind and think positive. It was just an unlucky situation that could happen to anybody at any time. One positive fact is that I am still in profit.

It is half term and my wife has to work today so I have the day off to look after the kids. I have not decided whether I will trade the horses today. I will make up my mind later. I might take the kids out for the afternoon to totally clear my head.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Recording Your Progress

It is important to keep good records of your results far longer than the 3 months that Betfair provide. I have got involved in a wide range of sports since I started trading back in early 2007 and keep all the P/L information on an Excel spreadsheet which has evolved into a nine tab monster. it gives a good insight into each sports performance, gives clear indications of where you are heading and shows you where you are against your targets. There are a couple of little things that need to be done each day and at the end of every month (apart from the obvious P/L entry) but other than that, all the tabs update automatically. I thought it would be a good idea that if it is of interest, I show examples over the next few days and perhaps make it available to download, once I work out how to do it!

I have noticed that if you are viewing this blog in Firefox, each post heading is displaying in gold  which is how it should be but in Internet Explorer the blog title is gold but the post title is grey! I suppose it must be because I have used the designer template which is still in test.

The golf result was not settled until the early hours of the morning so that was a good base for the rest of the day. I was itching to get involved in the horses after yesterdays solid display but that is not possible during the week unless there are evening meetings, however I did have a little go at the US races late in the evening without any success. St.Pauli did me proud as I layed the draw, although they did not start their scoring spree until 10 minutes into the second half which was a little close to my exit point.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Brief Post

As you can see, I have managed to centre the title. I have just found that there is a special section to enter all the extra tweaks. Just picked up £34.85 for the golf. I will add to this post later tonight.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Onwards and Upwards

I used the 'Blogger draft' designer template system to create my page and have now discovered that I cannot make any amendments to the HTML code in the layout tab as blogger throws an error each time I try to save. I had a delve into the forums and it looks like it is a global problem so be warned!

I suppose I can't complain as the designer is still in test but it looks like I will have to redesign so that I can do the simple things such as centre the blog title or introduce some shading.

Had a marvellous day with the horses. Confidence is everything in this game and it makes such a difference to get off to a good start. With so many races today I decided to use Bet Angel rather than Geek so I could take advantage of the Guardian facility. Guardian enables you to monitor multiple races simultaniously. It is a great tool if you have many open positions in different races. It has been a while since I used the BA ladder and it took a bit of getting used to. BA is very resource hungry and sometimes my low broadband speeds result in a stop start ladder performance but today it performed adequately and together with the charting netted me a satisfying £120.47.

I was also about £60 up on the football thanks to the Aberdeen and Cartagena games before I descended into the depths of the dreaded 0-0 scenario! I have never seen so many 0-0 scores in one day and unfortunately I was on a few of them.
Stoke v Wolves
Blackburn v Man.Utd
Dinamo Bucharest v Brasov
Cluj v Rapid Bucharest (finished 1-0 but was out before the 78 min goal).

Having said all that I was pleased that I managed to keep to my exit stategy on each occasion and there is no better feeling that after taking the loss the game ends 0-0.

I am currently trading the final round in the Masters so hope to have a good start to Mondays total.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Steady Progress

When I first started trawling the blogs I was always disappointed when there were large gaps between posts and here I am doing the same thing! I have been very busy at work and often working late so just haven't found the time to add to the blog. I am going to make a special effort to at least write a little something every day.

Apart from my little pickle with one of the IPL games where I lost £80, I have been making steady progress. Today and last nights horse meetings were particularly good and I seem to be reading the market movements successfully. However I made my usual stupid mistake of trading when the market went in play and it had to be one of the shortest races of the day!  Of course it went against me rapidly and I was lucky to get away with a £47.37 loss. This was the only time that I went in play today and I often wonder if the betting spirits are trying to teach me a lesson as each time it goes against me.

I am down £20 on the footie and I have been involved in 11 games since my last post and just seem to be running in circles at the moment. Most of the games I have been trading have been 0-0 at half time and that is the one score I don't want to see.

I have been following the Trading Tennis blog as this is the one market I really want to trade. There are some big results that are shown on there. What isn't clear is how big the stakes are and how many losses are there compared to the wins. I suppose the only way to find out is to get involved. If the strategy is sound then there is a solid base to work with.

Finally, I have put a link (below in orange) to a very interesting article on the Times website which explains how the betting exchanges are now being targeted by financial management funds as a good form of investment.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Missed Opportunity

I wasn't planning to watch the Grand Prix as I was looking forward to a lay in but I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep. I thought that Vettel's price of about 3.5 was generous and a good start would see the price come in nicely. However I decided to wait to see how the race unfolded. The rest is history as he had a fantastic start to lead on the first bend. The price dropped to about 1.6 and never looked back. I dabbled a little bit for a small profit.

I didn't get involved with the UK horses but traded a couple of States races just to top up my profit for the day. Unfortunately that was unsuccesful. Perhaps it goes to prove that having daily targets is the wrong strategy and that trading for the sake of it is never a good idea as the focus and concentration is not at it's best.

Successful Football trades ensured a decent profit for the day.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Journey Begins

I know what you are thinking. Another Sports Trading blog to add to the many that seem to be popping up all over the place.

For me writing a blog is important as it will help channel my thoughts and assist in controlling my discipline as I record my results for all to see. I started trading  occasionally three years ago and have been doing it more regularly this past year.

I seem to have a good solid run only to make stupid mistakes which wipe out a large chunk of the profits. It's a typical scenario but at least I am making more than I am losing. I just need to limit the losing trades to make this all worth while. I think that it's a fine line between success and failure but I know what I need to do to manage this into solid consistency.

I work full time so only trade in the evenings. (That is when I am not working late!) Football and Horse Racing are my main activities. Obviously I can only trade the horses in the evenings and weekends but with summer fast approaching there will be plenty of opportunities as the evening cards increase. I use a combination of the Geeks Toy and Bet Angel to scalp and swing the Horse Racing market. They are both excellent tools.

I also trade the domestic one day cricket market in the summer as there are quite a few evening games. I also want to get into the Tennis markets and will be taking steps to get to grips with it over the next few weeks.

Unfortunately I Iive in an area that has low broadband speeds and Saturdays has always been a struggle trading the horses particularly approaching the 3pm football kickoffs. I also have to compete for bandwidth with the kids on the PS3. However I find GT's ladder speed is not affected which is great news for me. In addition I also appreciate the flexibility that GT provides for such large customization and best of all it is free. The saying that if something is too good to be true it probably isn't doesn't apply to GT. However GT goes have an achilles heel. It's graphs are standard which makes the market prediction more difficult to judge and it does not have a stop loss function which should really be an essential for a disciplined trader..

My solution is to have Bet Angel open for their fabulous charts, great trading tools such as the stop loss and their Guardian (multi market) monitoring facility.  I make sure that the calls in both applications are no more than nine so that I am comfortably below the charging levels. I am happy continuing to pay the BA subscriptions as I feel that BA has absolutely everything a trader could want. It's just too resource hungry for the limited bandwidth that I have available.

My objective is to profit at £33 per day which does not seem much but it adds up to an additional tax free income of £1000 per month. I will not be trading every day as my life does not revolve around my computer but I feel that £230 per week is more than acheivable. I know that some traders can make my weekly target on one horse race but I am more than comfortable making small but steady progress. I am treating this as a fun project and the more that I throw money at it the more I could potentially lose and that's not what this is about. £12,000 a year will do nicely.

As you can see from the blog list on the right, I follow a considerable amount and draw much encouragement from them. At times this can be a lonely pastime and it's important to know there are others like me that are working the emotional rollercoaster trying to make it a success.

As you can see from today's screenshot, I have got off to a sound start. Let's hope that there are not too many negative days.