who paid for his wedding and is now trying to turn £1k into £101k
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Waiting for Henman
Daily Result: £7.45
With BBCI in on the tv action I knew the Henman game from Roland Garros would be shown in full so decided to wait for it. Had a lot to do today and was pleased rain held up the games so I could get other stuff out the way.
Too much rain though so ended up having a very quick dip into the Nalbandian v Gasquet game while waiting for Henman - hence the £7.45. Hey, I said it was a quick!!
"Tiger" finally made it onto the court and it was a disaster. Ended up bailing out of my too long-held position for red shortly after game 2 when he was broken and with Tursunov on fire. Henman didn't actually play too badly but the game just wasn't a contest with the Russian's power hitting. Awesome stuff.
Worked on reducing the red sensibly rather than just lumping on Tursonov. But at 2-0 as bad light stopped pay it's looking bleak. The risk-averse way I'm reducing the red means realistically I need Henman to equal the match to get back to a decent all green position. Either that or have some lumpy bets (which would leave Henman large red with a small Trusonov green) but that isn't what this is about. I've a set bank and would rather take a managable loss than lump everything on the Russian and hope he wins. Because although I'm sure he will there will come a time when he obviously won't. And that would wipe out a large part of my profit to date. Long term success at this game is largely about control. This is a time to bite the bullet and exercise it.
Had my eye on the Murray v Monfils match today as I knew Eurosport would finally show a whole match without interruption. And barring the fact that some ad breaks were obviously more important than the tennis they did. So was able to trade my first match from Roland Garros properly.
Match itself was amazing. 3rd set was just a shocker. Murray, virtually unable to run, average 1st serve speed under 60mph and with a doctor on court took it 6-1. Monfils just fell apart. Couldn't hit the ball in. Would have been funny if it hadn't been so embarrassing.
Happy with the day's profit. Still only using a small part of the challenge bankroll but today was my best day since I started the blog, and with £180.36 the Murray game was also my best event result to date on this blog. But if Murray had just quit when injured would have been looking at an extra £600. Will get a retirement go my way soon!!
Dipped into the Safin v Gonzalez game too. Entertaining to watch and another opportunity for those who still haven't seen it to watch Safin lose it and work his way through some more tennis rackets with his alternative smash technique.
It seems he still hadn't cooled down after the game either prefering to pay a fine rather than attend the post match press conference. Handbags.
Not so much a reflection of a poor day's trading but rather a day of not trading.
Just decided to give it a break for the day after seeing the kind of "coverage" Eurosport were providing. Shocking, yet again. For god sake, it's the French Open. What is the point of flicking from game to game to game to game ad nauseam. Just pick a fucking match and show it. Or how about some interactive coverage? When you consider the costs of the rights to screen this event the coverage being served up by British Eurosport is nothing short of Grade A bollocks. Right, rant over. Sorry!
I realise many on Betfair trade on the scoreboards and I have found this profitable in the past. But this is a dying art as technology improves and is utilised by more and more. The result is I tend not to get involved now.
However, I see an interesting thread about scoreboard operators deliberately delaying or putting up false scores to cash in. Whether this goes on or not I simply don't know. But it is just one of several possible ways I could think of of using an unfair technological edge. What I do know without doubt is there are people court side trading in serious volumes. This is a without doubt, gold plated, sing it from the rooftops cast-iron 100% FACT. These people will beat delayed tv pics and the sometimes smaller delayed scoreboards and do pick off those with slow fingers. It really isn't rocket science. What it is is profitable for those willing to do the research and work out how best to maximise the potential.
The whole situation brings to mind the book Bringing Down The House about one of the many MIT Blackjack teams. (A cracking read for anyone looking for a book btw) An individual can trade courtside and make a profit of course, just as any cardcounter at Blackjack can. But for those with the intelligence, time, resources and organisational skills a team of tennis punters, just like a team of card counters, can rake it in. And I'm sure they are. And best of luck to them I say.
If I was younger and in a position to do so I would do some serious research on this with a view to doing it myself. It's like arbing. So many people say on Betfair it isn't possible to make decent money from arbing. In fact they deride those who claim they do. It's laughable. The fact is it is possible. The reality is not everyone has the resources and aptitude to do it. I've made some serious money arbing in the past. It isn't easy, but it is possible.
Anyway, as it is it's also still possible to make good money trading on tv pics. And seeing as I might not have a wedding to save for if I disappear to the follow the tour I think I'll stick to them!!
Quickly turned around that red on England in the test with Sri Lanka this morning. Got out at the first opportunity of an all round green and then headed out with Emma for the day.
Traded around 25 overs of the India run chase against the West Indies in the evening before stopping for dinner and Big Brother. Would have been a great match to continue trading as the market was all over the place but happy with the profit made for the time put in and stakes used.
Looked in for less than two sets across two games today before getting on with other stuff. Good to keep the green ticking over.
Got involved in the England v Sri Lanka test match in the early evening when I was testing a new version of the trading software I use. Just checking it was as quick etc on a live market and the test match seemed as good as any for the trial. Didn't intend to trade but the application was open and England got a wicket. So I backed them looking for a few easy ticks and some easy green. Great. Except it wasn't a wicket. The "edge" I heard was the bat hitting the pad. So I stupidly have a red against England. Still, will hopefully turn it round quickly tomorrow before heading out.
Anyway, off out to take Emma for drinks and dinner.
Killer hangover this morning. Not had one like that for a long time. Didn't do much except groan and watch the cricket for a couple of hours. After freshening up I started to trade the tennis for small stakes but the old brain couldn't have been working too well as the first tennis trade of the day I placed was an accidental back of the wrong player. Nice instant red to start the day with. There's a lesson to be learned there somewhere!
Anyway, turned it round and inbetween some work and calls made a nice profit on the tennis. Gonzalez v Ljubicic was an awesome game to watch. Cracking stuff.
We decided to stay in for the evening so I traded 20 overs or so of the West Indies v India game just after the start of the Windies run chase. Thought the Windies were cracking value. Built up some nice green on them but as it hit 8.30 I stopped to watch Big Brother and the 1st eviction of the new series. (Sad I know but I've explained this strange compulsion elsewhere!)
Could have made more on the Windies if I'd carried on trading but was feeling tired and rough so just greened up and left it for a cosy night on the sofa.
Dipped in and out of some of the World Team Cup games today from Dusseldorf. The rain breaks were annoying but not half as much as the German crowd.
I think today was my breaking point after trading Hamburg last week as well. It's just that perpetual slow hand clapping the moment there's a micro-second break in the action. Starting to do my head in. What the hell is point?
But that's minor compared to the brain damage those bloody pre-pubescent squeals of "Let's go - insert suitably Germanic sounding name - Let's go" chants all the time. Starting to bug me as much as those fucking Crazy Frog ads were last summer. And that's saying something!
Anyway, the chill remedy is a night in a relaxing country pub with Emma and some mates so I'm off out. Bah Humbug!! :-)
Don't laugh. I can explain! And hey, at least the number is in green!!
Truth is I should have made a small killing today. With the server troubles I had (see post below) it meant I couldn't do anything approaching normal work so had a good few hours to trade. Perfect! Or it would have been if it hadn't been for injuries.
After the disaster of the last time I got involved in a Roddick game I was determined to show a good profit on today's game. And indeed I was. Roddick had his serve broken early and I had a back on Massu. Big green and smiles all round. And then Roddick goes and gets injured. No worries I'm telling myself. Just finish the set. But no, he was unable to and all that green just disappeared. Betfair rules. Which state quite clearly in Big red letters:
If the first set is not completed all bets on this market will be void
So quite what all those numpties were doing continuing to trade after he'd retired thinking they were making easy money I don't know. No doubt the same jokers who regularly clog up the Betfair forums bleating about how unfair it is they're not getting paid out on winning bets. Must just be too dumb to read the rules before betting.
Anyway, moved onto the Capdeville v Ginepri match. Despite his win earlier in the week Ginepri is having an awful time of it at the moment. Quite funny really as the early start obviously caught Stan James out who were still 6/5 about Capdeville after he'd broken Ginepri's serve early doors. (Another opportunity for the numpties above to take the price and then moan endlessly about a palpable error ruling)
Built up some nice green on Capdeville and then he got injured in his service shoulder. Fucking fantastic. The first set was already over and Ginepri's price crashed as the trainer appeared to set up a massage business court side. Fearing another retirement I took a shitty price on Ginepri to get out all green while I still could.
Of course, Capdeville recovered and went on to win. The reality is I could have built the green up again but why take the risk? I could back him again and his shoulder could go properly with the risk that I'm left big red on Ginepri who would win by default. With an obvious injury it was just safer to not get involved any further and settle for the measly green I still had. Sigh.
Believe me I'm having a few pints tonight when I get out. Had one hell of a day. Trading turned out to be a complete waste of time (see post above) but worst was my server, which has sat quietly on it's own in Germany without incident for years, deciding it was time to demand some tlc. It literally just turned itself off and stubbornly resisted all attempts to turn it back on. Which meant all my websites disappeared. And with them my "proper" income. But the biggest worry was it looked for a while like my brand spanking new database, sat on the server, had wandered off into cyberspace never to be seen again too. And me being a fool hadn't backed it up for two weeks. ie, Before I'd put most the data in. Doh!
Anyway, thank fuck everything was recovered a short while ago and all is well again. The irony is I spent the morning setting up a monster new server to transfer everything to in a couple of weeks. Just in time by the looks of it. This German job appears to be on its last legs.
Spent several hours on the phone today sorting out stuff that, well, needed sorting, but managed a very quick dip into the tennis between it all and made a small profit.
Emma was out after work tonight so I had my eye on the West Indies v India ODI for a spot of evening trading. Got involved with the West Indies into their innings and with what looked a pretty straightforward run chase on.
There were some nice market swings but the event was ruined from a trading perspective when the one click trading tool I use to trade through the API decided to log me out and not recognise me when I tried to log back in again.
Very frustrating but not a lot I could do. I don't like trading sports like one day cricket and tennis through the original Betfair interface as the markets can move too quickly to trade efficiently. (I know many manage it but I'm just too used to the trading software. Everything is just too slow and clunky without out and I don't feel as in control)
So I simply levelled out for an equal green at an opportune time and had to leave it. Bit of a pisser because as the run chase progressed the market was typically volatile - in short a trader's paradise. Felt I missed out on some pretty straightforward green really. Still, there's always another game and hopefully the login issue will be resolved by tomorrow.
As for Big Brother. Well I see Shahbaz has quit already! And a quick look at the prices and price history should be enough to persuade anyone why the show is a goldmine!!
Hey, don't knock it - that's nearly enough to buy a jug of Pimms at the wedding!!
And considering I was around £170 down after trading the first of two tennis matches today I'll settle for any green today.
Annoyed to have lost on the first match. Wasn't even going to get involved today but Ginepri v Karlovic just seemed a no-brainer. Ginepri with little decent form of late and a loss of confidence. Karlovic nicely rested up with his service arm fresh to smash a succession of aces. So what happens? Karlovic gets broken early, and seemed so disinterested he may as well have not turned up. Even with the opportunity to level at one set all he lost a service game to love. Anyway, I was left with a hefty red early doors and worked it down to a more manageable figure. Took a risk at the end and increased my Ginepri red laying at 1.04 hoping for a couple of tiebreaker points for Karlovic and the chance to end all green but it just cost me more. Sigh. Still, the important thing was I kept the red manageable and didn't chase.
Made the money back on the next match - doubles between USA and Croatia - which again involved Karlovic. OK, the Bryan brothers are the bollocks when it comes to doubles at the moment but 1.12? Against Ljubicic and karlovic. With their serves? Couldn't be anything but a lay really. And although I had the twins green for their break in the second a £192.56 profit on the game was more than satisfactory.
Anyway, a big thankyou to Phil over at Smiling Assassin for being the first person to link to my blog!
And a big WTF to Sky Sports. Who spent all week bragging about their live and interactive tennis service on the Hamburg Open. And then failed to show the final live yesterday. Preferring instead to screen recorded boxing, recorded cricket and rain interrupted golf. Nice one.
Had a quick go at the Acasuso Stepanek semi today before heading out for a round of golf. Had my parents coming round for dinner in the early evening too so had to get some cleaning and foody stuff done with Emma.
Tennis matches where the underdog gets an early break (like Stepanek today) are usually great for trading. The in-game swings on the original underdog's service games are larger than usual. But I've noticed since I started keeping this blog my trading style has become a little more cautious and I've not been capitalising so much on them. I think it's partly to do with my starting bank and what I'm saving towards.
Still, a profit is a profit and I guess there's no harm in being more risk averse. Just not as profitable either. I've always taken the view that small steady profits are the best way forward so I guess I've shifted a little closer to smaller steadier profits!! Well, here's hoping anyway. It can, of course, all still go more than a little bit wrong.
A nice return for a few hours trading but should have been nearer the £200 mark. I messed up on the last match i did turning around £70 each result when the odds were evens to £20. You can't knock that Ancic - the bloke just never gives up. Cracking week for him so far and he could make the top 10 for the first time.
I know, I know, it's sad as fuck but the fact is I love Big Brother. Or rather I love trading on it. It's gets derided on the Betfair forums but the truth is it's one of the top trading events of the year. In fact when Nadia won Big Brother 4 and Jason came second to clinch the top man spot I pocketed my biggest ever win on a single event. I won't go into detailed figures on that but it was a five figure sum.
So you can see how I'm kind of excited about the opening show tonight. To be honest I won't be putting in the kind of time needed for that kind of return this year. Too many other things on this summer to justify the time and I don't want to tie much money up on it. And the edges I used to have are slowly being eroded and it's getting harder to find new ones. I won't be touching it with the account I'm using for this blog but I will be dipping in and out of it and am looking forward to it immensely.
Anyway, another dip into the tennis yielded close to £30 today. Can't complain. And it all adds up for the big day next year.
Another day of dipping in and out of matches at opportune times. Got a bit of work on at the moment so happy to keep the green ticking over at this kind of rate while spending some time looking after the taxman.
Couldn't believe Arsenal's reaction to the Champions League result. No humility what so ever. All the referee's fault apparently. Nothing to do with a cheating goalkeeper at all. I actually started out as a neutral but kind of hoping they would win. After the foul, disallowed goal, sending off and the dive that led to the freekick that enabled Arsenal to take the lead I switched allegiances. Justice was done.
Got a fair amount to do this week but will be dipping into the tennis tournament in Hamburg. Clay is the surface I like least with my style of tennis trading but it should still help save a few pennies so will be dipping into the best looking matches. Got involved in a few today for varying amounts of time and turned a reasonable profit.
The Good? Well, for those that have been following my mum's out of hospital early. Doesn't need surgery and her condition can be treated with drugs. An enormous relief. :-)
The Bad? My trading on England v Sri Lanka test match. Simply amateurish. How anyone lost on this match is a mystery. Even leaving aside the fact that my connection froze when Hoggard got the penultimate wicket and I could have backed Sri Lankans at 1.2 for a hefty all round green having laid them at 1.04. (By the time I'd rebooted the light had been offered and the price was back in.)
The Ugly? The result of both the match for England and my final position. I lost £154.58. I had some misfortune in the match but I deserved to lose trading the way I did.
Thankfully I pulled back some of the loss on some tennis later in the afternoon. Should have really stuck to it instead of doing a 5 day test but I just had to watch this one.
Why so? It's the first test match of the English summer! And though I'm greener than a particularly envious green thing because Emma (my fiancee for anyone who hasn't read the What's it all about section) has blagged a box at Lords through work at least I got to watch the whole thing on tv.
Pretty lucky really. Emma likes her cricket as much as me and she managed to get some Ashes tickets through work for last summer. We even made it to a Sri Lanka v Bangladesh test in Columbo last year. Anyway, the point is I get to watch and trade on lots of cricket with few complaints!
That all said I just got too eager today. Tried backing Sri Lanka hoping for early wickets to get some early green and they didn't come. Rudi Koertzen had another of his "special" days behind the stumps and forgot about the lbw law. Still, should be plenty of time to turn my position around.
It's kind of sacrilege really. Test cricket is great but I actually prefer one dayers because the trading is quicker. Depending on the match situation there can be hours of very little market movement in tests. I knew that by ignoring the tennis today it would be less profitable but I just had to have the test match on in the background this time.
Finally got round to putting in some proper time today and traded a few matches. Would have been better off staying in bed!
Two games of note really. Guess I should cover my first loss to start. Dropped £361.42 on the Roddick / Bagdhatis match. Ouch. :-( Of course you can't win all the time. And the first loss was always round the corner. But I'd kind of hoped it was a bit further into the future and not quite so heavy!
Have looked through my trades. Was all going great with a moderate green on each until the second set. Trouble came when Bagdhatis took a rest in the second, forgot how to serve and started conserving that extra body weight by standing still for a few games. (Ok, the guy has an awesome return of serve but doesn't he always look just a little bit, well, jowly?!)
Ended up placing 4 trades that went against me from then till the match end. Still, it's all about discipline. Could easily have maxed out on one with a smallish green on the other and hope for the "right" result. But that's not what this is about. Especially when working with a fixed bank and a clear goal. So took a deep breath, levelled to more or less equal red and back to the basics of reducing it. A bit of a disaster none the less and my biggest tennis loss for a long time. The annoying thing is I'd upped my stakes to £500 for this one hence the size of the loss compared to previous wins on this blog. Guess many would have taken the risk and stuck it out for a win. I'm glad I didn't as my green was on Bagdhatis and he lost. So, something to smile about anyway!!
The other match I'll mention involved the newly crowned British no. 1. Our Greg. Sky did their usual and screened on the non-interactive channel so I traded it. Should have stuck with my head and gone with the Nalbandian match. There was much better liquidity.
But that's the issue here. Always torn between trading the higher liquidity games or the lower ones. My thinking is this. On the Rusedski game today there were a few bigger players in the market. But there was a lot of dead money too. It was easy to pick off bad prices and get some true value trades in. All was going great. The flip side is if you get on the wrong side of a trade you can't always get out. And that's what happened. I was offering what I considered screaming value to try and ditch a back but it didn't get taken before the next point. Tried again on the next with the same outcome. The break happens, prices move and a 3 figure green all round drops to miserable 2 figure green. Ironically liquidity did pick up later in the game but too late for me.
Absolutely convinced in a more liquid market I'd have closed the initial trade at a small loss. Though that said I wouldn't have built the green so quickly either.
Decided to try and put aside some proper time to this today but still didn't really get round to it.
Happy with the days profit though especially as I had a bit of a mare from the start in the Henman game. Luckily I'd decided to only trade with £250 again as per yesterday. And lucky it was too as got on the wrong side of a 1st game break and then ended up laying Henman twice at near his high point. OK, I admit I meant to do it once (!) but the second was an accidental click on the one click software I use immediately after the first. Not done that for a while and felt a right muppet. More importantly, after a Henman resurgence it left me looking at an equal red of around £340 if I levelled it.
Still, it was pretty early in the match. Always best to stay calm in these circumstances and stick to the basics. And by the time they were 4-4 in the second I was showing a small green on both - and a much larger smile! Decided to leave and get involved again if it went to a 3rd but Henman wrapped it up in the tiebreak.
Moved onto the Nalbandian Vincente game. Got some green pretty quick but liquidity wasn't great and obviously the prices on Nalbandian were short so I levelled up and left it. Shame really as Vincente took the second and it became very tradeable.
Best result of the day was following Roddick against Hanescu from the off. Hanescu just didn't turn up. Shocking display. Think he took a game as Roddick destroyed him in well under an hour.
After a shopping trip and hospital visit I dipped into the Murray game. Can't understand why he thinks clay is his best surface. Volandri's serve is a shocker and he appears to only approach the net to shake hands at the end but he comfortably outplayed Murray in the rallies. Thought 6-4 6-4 did Murray a favour to be honest. Clocked just over £50 on the game.
So I finally got round to a little trading after a week or so and made the princely sum of £18.10! Still, looking on the bright side a profit is a profit. And I just paid for nearly a whole bottle of wine at the wedding!
Truth is I hardly traded. Was pretty busy until mid afternoon but had the Hrbaty v Ljubicic match on in the background. Got involved at the start of the second set. But as I'd not traded for a while, and actually felt a little nervous (guess I wanted a winning start?!!) I decided to play with only £250 just to ease myself back in.
First trade matched. Within 5 seconds the phone was going. After an expensive lesson in the past I usually ignore the phone completely when trading but given the situation with my mum (who looks like she'll be suffering hospital food for at least another two weeks) I thought I should answer as they have my number to call now in case of emergencies.
So I closed the trade out immediatley for a meagre 1 tick profit and that was it till near the end of the set. Got in and out quickly again but caught on the phone again for before the tiebreak so just greened out and left it. For anyone watching the match I think Hrbaty deserved the win in the end.
Federer was up next and something like 1.06 at the off. Always tempted to lay him looking to trade out for a profit later but decided not to get involved at the price with this 1st round opponent.
Hardly an inspiring start then but green is always better than red and we're just at the start of a very busy 8 weeks in the tennis calendar.
Bit of a Betfair joke this one but worth sharing all the same - it made me smile anyway :-)
Recently the cricket forum over at Betfair has been the favoured posting ground of the nothing if not enthusiastic Big Joe. And a most suitable spot it is as Big Joe likes his cricket. In fact, I dare say he loves it, which has lead to this sticky state of affairs.
Big Joe supports India. OK then, he worships India. To the point where objective betting analysis is replaced by unswerving belief that India will pull off a win in even the most hopeless of situations.
So cue some wag submitting a fake book review at Amazon about Sachin Tendulkar in Big Joe's name a couple of weeks back. Unfortunately the jobsworths at Amazon spotted the wind up and declined the review.
But it seems perserverance pays off as this review of Sachin, The World's Greatest Batsman by Gulu Ezekiel appeared today. Enjoy :-)
As some killjoy will no doubt have the review pulled soon here's what it says for posterity:
"For me, the title says it all. Sachin is simply the world's greatest batsman, and a personal hero for me and many hundreds of millions of fellow Indian cricket fans. As a cricketer he has no equal, but just as attractive for me is the shy demeanour, boyish smile, and small but perfectly formed athletes body. I would gladly sacrifice all of my wordly possessions for a chance to meet him in the flesh, but until then I will just have to make do with this wonderful book and its full colour photos. Luckily for me it isn't too heavy to hold with just one hand. "
Fuck me. What a week. I nearly became a one post wonder there. One of those people who starts a blog with great enthusiasm, makes a post and then disappears.
That's not the case though - just had some bad news a couple of hours after my first entry. My mum was rushed to hospital with chest pains / dizziness and is still being kept in for observations and tests.
She seems ok thankfully. Didn't have a heart attack or anything - it was something related to an existing illness. But with all the worry, visiting, making sure dad is ok and phoning round relatives etc I've not really had much time to trade at all this week. Let alone feel like it.
Anyway, fingers crossed the panic seems to be over. She has to stay in a while now but is at least in the best place while the tests are run.
Funny. When something like that happens trading, which is a big part of my life, kind of pales into insignificance. Thankfully I'm not in a position where I have to trade everyday because I need the income so was able to just leave it for the more important stuff.
Should be in a position to start again soon though and start saving some pennies for the big day.
December Profit / Loss to date: £5170.27 Total profit since wedding: £21,942.42 Total that was saved for wedding: £33,275.41 Total Profit since blog started: £55,217.83 Previous months: November: £4313.05 October: £4641.39 September: £7817.71 August: £715.56 (Married at last!) July: £4567.18 June: £4113.44 May: £4802.19 April: £5465.97 March: £2034.69 February: £1116.5 January: £530.17 December: £1212.12 November 2006: £39.91 October 2006: £1359.32 September 2006: £926.11 August 2006: £2360.94 July 2006: £735.48 June 2006: £2243.03 May 2006: £1052.8
This is where I'll be posting the results of my trading and keeping a running tally of how much I've saved towards my wedding.
Above is the total amount saved. Below are monthly screen shots from Betfair showing my progress. Just click each image for a larger picture. I started in May 2006 with £1,000. Details of my money management are here.
Boring git that I am I've been writing this blog since May 2006. It all started shortly after I got engaged and I decided to see if I could pay for my wedding by trading sports on Betfair and saving any profits. There were some highs and lows but from an initial £1,000 I eventually managed to shock myself and save over £33k for the wedding in August 2007. Which was more than enough for a fantastic day and honeymoon! :-)
Since the wedding I have decided to try and turn that initial £1,000 into £101,000. Again through trading sports on the Betfair betting exchange.
* Fuller details of the £1k to £101k challenge and my bankroll management * Below is some more about me and what I initially wrote about the wedding challenge. About me and the Wedding Challenge Well, I'm the guy that's trying to pay for my wedding through trading on Betfair. So I guess that makes me not quite your average bloke. In most ways I fit the bill but it's always the "what do you do for a living" question that stumps people. It's my job, or lack of, as they see it, that seems to interest people. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me explain...
I guess my last proper job ended on March 15, 2002 when I was made redundant by a mate at the dot com company we were busting our balls to keep afloat. For you shrewdies out there you'll notice the date was kind of ironic - the Ides of March - but as ever these things worked out for the best. I've been pretty stress-free since and the company now prospers without my expenses bill. :-)
Being made redundant isn't a great experience though so I decided it wouldn't happen again. And what better way to ensure that than to become your own boss? So after a bit of thought I stumbled into the gambling industry.
I say stumbled but the reality was it was a bit of a no-brainer. I was already a regular on Betfair, had been spread betting for years before the exchanges appeared, had more than a few bookmaker accounts and could spot the bloke who'd smell of piss the moment I walked into a bookies.
Cap that with having some friends in the industry and a chat with an unnervingly sharp online gaming analyst bod from Merrill Lynch who explained how it was going to be a massive growth area and I'd found my new income source.
So how to cash in? Well, even now I'm not a professional gambler. By that I mean I make a useful income from my betting activity but it is not my sole income. Exciting as it would be to go for it I decided to keep the bank manager and tax man on board.
After all, I figured it was much better to have a provable income and accounts when you're doing the boring stuff like applying for a mortgage rather than casually informing the mortgage company: "Oh, I'm a professional gambler. But don't worry. I'm up again this year."
So the provable income meant falling back on my journalism background to write some gaming related stuff for whoever I could tart myself too when I felt like it and becoming an affiliate to various bookmakers, casinos and poker rooms. It also took the stress off the betting side of things.
So here I am now, over 4 years later and still enjoying my "work" from home. I mainly trade cricket and tennis and get to watch an awful lot of it which is great!
But I wouldn't call myself "full time" in the way many obsess over on the Betfair forums. Instead I keep my writing and affiliate income ticking over while always keeping an eye on the sporting calendar for good trading events.
On January 10th 2006 the gorgeous Emma said Yes and we got engaged. :-) We are getting married on August 18, 2007. Now, as any of you who have done the deed recently know getting married ain't cheap!
So to help cover the costs I'm running a separate Betfair account from May 1, 2006. I have a £1,000 bank. At the end of each day / event I will either withdraw the balance above £1,000, or add the difference. Meaning at the start of each event I will always have a £1k balance.
I don't expect to cover the entire cost of the wedding with the sums involved but a hefty contribution would be most welcome! The key thing is any profit from this account goes directly to the savings for the wedding. Any losses come out of my pocket. (My trading funds are separated from our day to day accounts).