Friday, June 30, 2006

Fat fingered trading

Daily Result: £67.5

Bit of a lucky escape in the tennis today and made the princely sum of 90 pence on the Mirnyi v Blake game. Would have been a little more but for the second time in the day I got all fat fingered and accidentally submitted two bets near the end. Still, given the mess that the first time I'd done it left me in I was pretty pleased to get out with any green at all. Was all looking rather nasty at one point. This one click trading software I use through the Betfair API might be a godsend enabling me to snap up prices. Pays for itself in that so often you see money arrive at a price after you've just taken it. But the flip side is if you make a click by mistake in running you're left waiting for those 5 dreaded seconds knowing you're going to get a crap price and there's nothing you can do about it except sit and pray! Must be more carefull next time I crank it up for a spot of trading!! :-)

Had a quick dip into the 20/20 in the evening but the liquidity wasn't great (Can't think why. What with it being a sunny Friday evening and the World Cup on!!) so I didn't bother finishing the game but made a quick £67.50. Keeps the old wedding funds ticking over anyway and brings another successful month to an end.

Guilty as charged!

I've been rumbled!! Pilfering the crack cocaine phrase about 20/20 below from the Betfair forums for my own unseemly gain. I don't know, if you can't trust a filthy trader who used to be a tabloid hack who can you trust these days?!

Anyway, the point is I borrowed the phrase from the esteemed Betfair forumite Innocent Bystander. Which got me thinking. Lots of people email me asking me for betting advice but I'm always stumped as to what to say as I'm not really the right person to ask. Innocent Bystander has been a regular on the Betfair cricket forum for a fair few years though and I suspect he does rather well for himself out of it. Which reminded me of this article where IB and some other Betfair regulars discuss their thoughts and strategies on cricket betting. Thought some of you may find it useful so enjoy!

And while we're on the subject of Betfair forumites something very strange is happening! Regular readers may remember I've mentioned Big Joe before who is, shall we say, enthusisatic in his support for Asian cricket. So much so that this spoof book review made it onto Amazon - and I believe he's the only Betfair forumite to have his own entry in the Urban Dictionary.

Anyway, hold the front page shocker! Despite being thrashed 4-0 to date by Sri Lanka Big Joe is tipping England to beat them in the last ODI at Headingley tomorrow!! The Famous Grouse quaffing welching turban eater (it's a long story) admits it's only the third time he's backed England in years. You can read about the how, why's and wtf's on the Betfair cricket forum.

Popular links: Betfair trading software ....Bet £10 for a £25 free bet. Today only

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Trading a great day of sport

Daily Result: £358.22

What an absolutely fantastic day of sport. Managed to catch two cracking events in between dipping in and out of others. Can honestly say I haven't said "wow" so much in long time. Top class stuff, very enjoyable - and made for great trading too! :-)

So where to start? The Kendrick v Nadal match at Wimbledon that saw a qualifier ranked 237 lead the power hitting number 2 seed 2-0 in sets? The game had everything - even down to an umpire overrule on match point - before Nadal pulled it back to win. Or the 20/20 game between Leicestershire and Lancashire? Which once again showed why 20/20 is the crack cocaine of cricket trading when Lancashire got a 4 off the very last ball to win. Took a braver man than me to still be involved at that stage I tell you!

Actually started the day trying to nick a few quid on the outside courts at Wimbledon before the show courts got underway at which point I started doing the Agassi match. Felt like a bit of a vulture really. He was evidently injured last time out and in between usual trading I was waiting for signs that he was still carrying it for the opportunity to crack out a nice lay. But he seemed to be moving well and I actually started hoping he'd win to prolong his last Wimbledon run. But as the odds got lower the price movements reduced and, with some green built up, I started looking for another match. And that's when I saw Nadal in trouble at 1-0, and a break down in the second. Dropped the Agassi game pretty sharpish to switch!

Think it's fair to say a fair few fortunes were won and lost on the Nadal match. There was nearly £11 million matched on the game and fair play to anyone that was trading it from the off and managed to lay him at 1.0x. I won't run through all the ups and downs of the match here - and believe me there were loads even from when I started watching. It was awesome stuff. Suffice to say Kendrick was a revelation. Never seen him play before but he had a classic grass court serve volley game and played the match of his life. Simply an awesome display of positional serving against the best returner in the world. But when Nadal took the third set you kind of sensed his fitness and 5-set experience would win through and ultimately they did. You have to credit Nadal for sticking to it and both players well deserved the standing ovation they got. You do have to wonder what Agassi (who plays him next) and Federer made of it all though. If Nadal makes it to the final (and that's a BIG if) Fed must have it in mind that revenge for the French Open final defeat will be short and sweet!

Needed a break after that and then had the choice between the Scottish sulker Murray in the tennis or the 20/20 match. Went for the 20/20 as it was fantastic stuff last year and I wasn't disappointed!

It may be stating the obvious but this is break neck speed cricket and the market behaves accordingly. Not for the faint hearted! After the first few overs I kept my green very level througout on this one and my exposure to the market to an absolute minimum. Superb stuff from start to finish, with Lancashire, having already flip flopped as favourites, ending up at 1.1x at one stage to make the chase. Before that is they let the run rate slip and needed 28 off the last two overs to wrap it up. Which left Leicestershire at 1.1x. Which was suddenly evens the pair with one over to go before the Lancashire price yoyoed again in the last. Great opportunity for profit but by that stage it was a pure gamble and I was leaving the market well alone and just enjoying the match. Lancs needed 10 off the last over and wrapped it up with a boundary off the last ball. Awesome viewing.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough, so just a quick congratulations to The Sportsman for making it to its 100th issue today.

Popular links: Betfair trading software ....Bet £10 for a £25 free bet. Today only

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cricket Trading: 4th ODI

Daily Result: £401.04

Decided to give the tennis a miss today and concentrate on the 4th ODI between England and Sri Lanka. And, if truth be told, I'm rather pleased I did! £401.04 is the biggest win I've had on a single event since I started the blog. And, equally pleasing after some recent errors and losses, I traded the match well. As well as enjoying a bit of banter on the Betfair cricket forum.

Was a little annoyed to have missed the early team news about Pietersen and Collingwood. Sri Lanka were yet again odds against (What, you wonder, do they have to do to start favourites in this series?!) but as news spread about the team changes, and then Sri Lanka won the toss, the price got as low as 1.7 before a ball had been bowled. Had some green before it started but missed out on the overnight and early morning movement.

Once again there was serious money opposing the Lankans from the off but as the scoreboard starting spinning the price collapsed again with a brief respite after a rain break. 50 odds runs from the last 5 overs saw the Lankans reach 318 and a probable 4-0 series lead.

England actually made a pretty good effort at the total for a while and there were some spikes in the Lankan price but ultimately the run rate got away as progress inevitably slowed after wickets. But the spikes made for great trading and I simply joined many others following the market up and down collecting green as I went. A most pleasing day. :-)

Popular links: Betfair trading software .....Smiling Assassin .....£25 free bet

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Learning from trading mistakes

Daily Result: £182.61

Hmmmm. It's nothing personal but Timid Tim is starting to annoy. That's three out of the last four Henman games that I've traded and lost. Now considering I traded 44 events last month and lost three of them you can see why this is starting to irratate!

Of course, frustrating as it is it's my fault. Had built up a small green on both him and Soderling and left the match as the Agassi one was looking better. But when that went through a quiet patch I switched back to Henman at the start of the last set. Having been destroyed by Soderling in the 4th set I laid Henman on Soderling's serve at the start of the 5th - and you can guess the rest. Was desperately trying to dump the position but the market was volatile, because it was the 5th, and the price was running away from me. In the end the price was so poor I hung on hoping Soderling would hold. He didn't. Which left me a loss.

My consistency this month has been down on last month. Looking through markets where I've lost I've noticed a few similarities. The most obvious and important is where I lose on an event like the Henman game from a position where I was nicely green until very near the end of the event.

It's a timely reminder that volatility nearer the end of closer tennis matches (or any sporting event) can be greatly increased as each significant point is finished as it obviously has a greater impact on the match result than something earlier in the game.

And, following on, obviously one bad trade near the end of a match that leaves you with a loss is always going to be harder to turn round than one at the start of a five set match where you have a couple of hours to try and sort your position.

It's not rocket science. All pretty straight forward and obvious really. But a lesson I need to pay more attention to as merely paying it lip service has cost me a fair few hundred pounds this month.

Of course I know the solution. It's a straight forward principle that I've used for years. It's the problem I need to address. And ultimately I think that can be put down to greed. Trying to make just that little bit more on each event than I should be.

Anyway, I'm glad I've picked up the trend. When you're trading virtually every day it's easy sometimes to concentrate too much on each event and lose sight of your overall performance. Sure, I'm still making a healthy profit this month to date. But really, instead of around £1.4k to date, it should be nearer 1.8k. That's a big leak for a few simple mistakes.

Just goes to show that it pays to sometimes take a step back, analyse results properly, run through the basics of what you should be doing and check you are really doing it. I know what I should be doing, know what I want to do, but despite that can see I started slipping occasionally into a bad habbit that has cost me.

So going forward I'll be paying particular attention to potentially volatile end of event trades. And who knows - I might even return a green on a Henman match!

Popular links: Betfair trading software .....Smiling Assassin .....£25 free bet

Monday, June 26, 2006

A cricket gamble

Daily Result: £64.55

So, perhaps predictably, the first day of Wimbledon saw some good old British rain so I decided to skip the tennis and have a dip into the cricket in the afternoon. I'd have preferred hanging on for the tennis but the fear of the perma-tanned Sir Cliff making an appearance convinced me to switch sides and leave the tv zapper well alone.

I'd messed around on the West Indies v India 3rd test market for a few minutes a couple of days ago and had the princely sum of £3 green whatever the result. Not satisfied with the pint it would buy at the wedding I managed to turn this into a £64.55 loss.

Only got involved shortly before lunch and did build up some moderate two-figure green across the board. Managed to lose most of that when Sehwag appeared to still be finishing his lunch and was LBW 1st ball when play resumed. For me he was the key really and I'd just put a £200 red against the draw. Sigh.

Anyway, got it back to all green and when Dhoni came in at the fall of the next wicket and promptly dispatched the ball for six over the bowlers head I decided to have a bit of a punt. For a relatively small red on the draw I'd could have a nice 4-figure green on India. So I went for it. Not my normal style at all. A very rare move and a result to remind me why! I genuinely thought the Indians would have a fair crack at it though. Even if they got close I'd have been able to trade out for a nice three figure green.

To cut a long story short, despite keeping the run rate manageable when Dhoni was out the Indians shut up shop and played for the draw. I stupidly missed his wicket with an open position (Doh!) and by the time I was back there was little point in backing the draw price. So I left the position and just hoped there would be a last 10/12 over onslaught. There wasn't, negativity ruled the day and the game was played out to a bore draw - though by then I was watching an even more boring game of football between Switzerland and Ukraine having accepted the loss.

So a £64.55 loss for leaving my general trading principles and having a bit of a longer term punt. Annoyed with the loss but it was one of those situations where having evaluated it I considered it worth it for a smallish loss. I very rarely take such positions (sometimes wiping some green against a 1.0x favourite in women's tennis to build large green on the other player is one example) I guess the key to taking such positions is value. I thought it a value position to take. And if I hadn't have stupidly missed Dhoni's wicket the loss would have been that much smaller too.

Anyway, weather permitting, I'll be taking a look at Wimbledon tomorrow and back to trading in a more usual manner.

Popular links: Betfair trading software .....Smiling Assassin .....£25 free bet

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Cricket, Ascot, beers and football

Daily Result: £154.28

Bit of a lazy day today really. Skipped the tennis like I mentioned I probably would and had a dip into the 3rd ODI between England and Sri Lanka instead.

Given their once again generous odds I was hoping Sri Lanka would bat first for some quick market movement but England won the toss and padded up. Which meant although there was some money to be made I guessing most people were really just waiting for the Lankans to have a knock in the hope their price would start to collapse.

Made some ok green in the England innings into between catching some rays in the garden and updating my betting spreadsheets but given the way today's match was playing out the real action was always going to be at the start of the Lankan innings.

And indeed it was. In less than 15 overs they were 1.1x, I'd traded out for a nice profit and was heading out for some beers and to watch the football at a mates. You've got to give credit to the Sri Lankan batting making the England total look very pedestrian at that point but the England bowling was also woeful from the 15 overs or so I saw. In fact, abject wouldn't be an exaggeration.

Anyway, Emma (my fiancee) was off at Ascot on yet another work freebie. I got some tips from John's blog and got a very excited phone call when she landed the winner of the first to give her free bets for the afternoon. So nice one to whoever it was on Betfair who supplied the tips!

Anyway, the sun is still out, the beers are chilled and I guess it would be rude not to sink a few in the garden before watching this Argentina match with a mate and heading out for a curry when Emma gets back. See you again tomorrow.

Popular links: Betfair trading software .....Smiling Assassin .....£25 free bet

Friday, June 23, 2006

Back to tennis trading

Daily Result: £53.45

After a break from trading yesterday it was back to the tennis today with mixed results. Looked in on three matches, lost on one, won on two.

Lost on the Henin Clijsters match from Hastings. Honestly, the only thing worse than my trading on this was some of the tennis itself. And believe me that's beating myself up. Some of the tennis was simply an embarrassment. And embarrassed is how I'd feel if someone analysed my trades for this match!

On the face of it it was a great game to trade. Started at evens the pair and there were some nice service breaks. I did build up some early green but ended up £140 red the pair early doors. Worked this back to £40 green the pair and then reduced it to £25 the pair. At this point it was 10 minutes until coverage from Nottingham started and I was saying to myself "Just leave it and settle for the profit". Naturally I didn't and tried to nick a few quid following a line call. But that was overruled and I was left waiting 5 seconds, unable to cancel my back, knowing I was going to get a crap price. (Don't you just hate it when that happens? So frustrating and nothing you can do!) Next point saw a ridiculous net cord that effectively saved the break go against me. I still hadn't got out and I was left looking at a loss again with too short a price on Henin to effectively level it out.

The bad luck on the net cord and overrule didn't help but the reality is I just had a shocker on this one. Had already been lucky to turn it around once and should have just left it. Sometimes feel I get too blase about profits. Have to remind myself that £30 is £30. Average even that a day and that's £900 a month. Do that until the wedding and it would make an enormous contribution to the costs.

Anyway, took a short break, suitably took the piss out of myself for throwing away a winning position and then moved on to the Nottingham games. Made around £80 on the Gasquet v Soderling game and £40 on the Bjorkman v Seppi match to finish the day just over £50 up.

Probably give the tennis a miss tomorrow in favour of the 3rd ODI between England and Sri Lanka. I know Lanka are without Murali this time round but the prices still look interesting.

Popular links: Betfair trading software .....Smiling Assassin .....£25 free bet

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Trading and money management

Been a busy day today with no chance to trade so thought I'd answer some questions again. Firstly though it's great to know so many people are reading the blog, leaving comments and emailing me about it. Please do keep asking, sending good luck messages and letting me know what you think!

To answer the most common questions, yes I have a set bank and money management system, yes I use some one click trading software that enables me to trade quickly through the betfair api (Read more about it here - I honestly don't think I could do what I do without it. There's a free trial so why not see for yourself?) and yes I will explain the basics of what I do.

I'll explain how I manage my bank today and deal with the other questions over the next day or two. Please do bare in mind though that there are many people who are far more knowledgable than me on these topics and make far more on Betfair than I ever will. I don't even do this full time.

Money Management

I guess it's my fault that I hid basic details on the bottom of this page so not many people find it.

Basically I started with a £1k bank at the start of May 2006. My first trade was on May 8 and everything I make and mention here will go towards paying for my wedding which is in August 2007. To date the bank stands at £3,508.5 - roughly a £2.5k profit.

At the end of each day I either withdraw any profit made on that day from Betfair or add the amount I lost to my Betfair account. That means at the start of each day I have 1k in my Betfair account. Withdrawing winnings is just incase I have a rush of blood and exceed my set exposure limits in a crazy effort to chase losses. I think I've learned that's not a smart thing to do and it's far better to be disciplined and take a loss on the chin. But at least this way if I totally lost the plot the most I can lose is £1k and not all the profit I've made to date. (Unless I go completely insane and start depositing more of course!)

Anyway, on top of that I opened a specific account for this so all the transactions don't show up on my regular bank statement. And I'm also getting over 4% interest on the money in the account while it's there. Far better than leaving it doing nothing in my Betfair account and it all helps pay for the big day. :-)

Trading: amounts

I started with the 1k and obviously didn't want to lose a large part of that straight away. Combining that with the fact I had had a break from trading because of my mum's illness my initial trades were in blocks of £250. In other words I would back and lay the same result for £250. Once I was back into the swing of things I increased this to blocks of £500. (Naturally suffering a loss the first time i did it!)

Blocks of £500 is mainly still what I'm trading in. I do go up to £1000 occasionally (Again, losing the first time I did it!) and explain this below. Once I have (hopefully) built up some more profit I'll increase the standard trading amount again, maybe to £750, before ultimately using the full £1k.

Trading: Exposure and liability

While I accept losing as part of the game I don't like it! My biggest loss to date was £361.42 on a tennis match between Roddick and Baghdatis. It was my first loss once I'd started the blog. I had a long look at why I lost so much on that match and worked it out. And although I was pissed off about it I was ultimately pleased that I didn't blow a lot more and kept the loss managable.

So like I said I trade in £500 blocks. I almost always trade the favourite. So if I back the favourite my liability on the other runner is £500. If I lay the favourite my liability will always be less than £500. So as a general rule my largest exposure is £500. And that is the absolute limit I'm currently prepared to lose at this stage on a single event. Though in reality when things go wrong I tend to limit the loss to around the £250 mark as a maximum where possible.

I do sometimes trade in blocks of greater than £500. Even up to £1000. And although this isn't yet my normal stake level I'm prepared to do it where there are very short odds and there is no immediate danger of any real volatility. ie, The market may move against me but it will only be a few ticks and I will have plenty of time to bail. So although I may have a 1k red against a runner I would never anticipate losing anywhere near that amount on the event.

Anyway, apologies for rambling on a bit there (it looks bloody long from here!) but hope that answers some of the questions you've been asking. Please do feel free to leave comments / questions and I'll get round to answering them when I can.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nottingham and Ordina tennis

Daily Result: £261.50

Another good day results wise. Traded two matches from Nottingham on Sky and one from Ordina on EuroSport. Those Ancic games in Holland are throwing up some great trading opportunities!

First match up was the Paraguay shirt wearing sulk fest that is Andy Murray. Regular readers will know trading Murray games recently has been most profitable and today was no exception. And fair play to him really. Went a break down early in the first but managed to pull things together today, dealt with Mirnyi's serve and the awful conditions well and deserved the win. Even if he is Scottish. ;-)

The only disappointment with the game was after building up £80 green on the pair I managed to reduce it to £30 in about 2 points through nothing more than a complete lack of concentration. Having just got off the phone I'd failed to realise Mirnyi was serving to save the match and opened a shocker of a positon that I had to bail from.

Next up was Gasquet v Bracciali. Pretty unnoteworthy really bar Bracciali's insistence on blaming the court virtually every time he lost a point. And again I managed to wipe out an early £80 green on Gasquet through opening a poor position.

Then moved onto the Ancic v Sluiter game from Ordina. Yet another cracking match with Ancic again proving his tenacity and fighting spirit after going a set down. This was a fantastic game to trade.

When Ancic lost the first set the players were virtually evens the pair. But the prices were very volatile and the market was unsure where to settle. Which meant there were wrong prices all over the place to be snapped up for those quick enough. It's games like that where the
one click trading software I use pays for itself. As the prices were so volatile I was simply playing with the green I'd accumulated in the first set, rather than risking a large red, but even at much reduced stakes still managed to build my positions before going back to normal trading at the start of the third set. Ended up making £145 and enjoying a great game of tennis.

You did have to feel sorry for Sluiter. The home crowd were right behind him but started leaving in droves before the end of the match to watch the Holland v Argentina game. That extra support and atmosphere might have made the difference.

Anyway, if you haven't checked out his results recently
this guy is having a good World Cup betting wise so why not have a gander at his blog too?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Cricket trading: 2nd ODI

Daily Result: 285.80

Up early to get some work out the way and then had an enjoyable day watching and trading on the ODI before supping some beers during the England match.

Obviously pleased with the day's trading profit - it's my best sports trading result yet since starting the blog. Good to get back on track recently after a few poor results earlier in the month. And once again the one click api betfair trading software I use enabled me to get some prices I'd have missed otherwise.

The game itself was most interesting with some crazy captaincy, play and prices. At the start it was almost as if the market, or a big player or two, simply refused to believe Sri Lanka could repeat their victory in the 1st ODI. Silly odds available in the first 10 overs or so despite a promising start. Took what I could but wouldn't allow myself to pass a maximum liability point so am left thinking what could have been. (But also comfortable in the knowledge I did the right thing to maintain discipline.)

Fair enough, Harmison was bowling like a demon in his first spell (6 overs, 2 maidens, 9 runs, 1 wicket). But every bowler needs support and he didn't simply didn't have it. Mahmood was going for over 10 an over in his first spell. Which made Strauss's decision to put him back on at the start of the third power play with two batsmen well set and scoring fast utterly incomprehensible. And the market thought so too. As soon as the ball was thrown to Mahmood again Sri Lanka's price plunged! With England's next most inexperienced bowler completing the buffet at the other end Sri Lanka averaged 9.8 runs an over in the 3rd PP and effectively set themselves up for victory.

Anyway, will probably do the 3rd ODI on Saturday but the Sky cameras turn up at the grass courts of Nottingham tomorrow so will be switching to tennis for a few days. And talking of tennis it seems betting blogger
The Smiling Assassin has been learning the ropes recently!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ordina Open tennis trading

Daily Result: £66.03

So it turns out I was wrong earlier and I'm simply incapable of reading a tv guide as Eurosport were showing some of the games from the Ordina Open live. Well, I say live - there was just about enough time to cancel bets before they were picked off by Dutch terrestrial viewers and those at the event. Evidence enough anyway to once again prove we don't need an 8-second in running delay in tennis as some are campaigning for on the Betfair tennis forum. Heaven help us all if their bleating gets listened too. Liquidity would disappear. Effectively we would be trading games and not points.

Anyway, made just under £20 on the Sluiter v Vik game. Nothing spectacular really. With either the match or the trading.

But the following game, Ancic v Qureshi, was an absolute cracker. Don't mind admitting I'd never heard of Qureshi before. Ranked 400 and something or other he's from Pakistan and wouldn't you know it - had a great old fashioned grass court game. It may have gone out of fashion but it was a timely reminder how difficult a powerful serve and volley game can be to beat. He won and lost a tie break and lost the match on a service break while trying to hold to make it 6-6 in the third.

Great game to watch and you have to take your hat off to Ancic too. I've mentioned before how impressive his tenacity is when he's up against it and there's several tour players you could think of who would have just folded against the persistent Qureshi.

Anyway, made just under £50 on that. To be honest a braver trader than me - or one less risk averse - could have make an absolute killing on that game. 1.02 nearly turned over. And I'm sure there were some serious brown trouser moments for those who'd lumped on Ancic at both the start and after he'd won the first set without laying off.

Going to switch to the cricket tomorrow. 2nd ODI between England and Sri Lanka and looking forward to it.

Why not check out this World Cup Betting Centre, or see how the Smiling Assassin's World Cup is going?

Wedding Cars

Something rather strange is happening. It seems my humble blog is attracting attention from two kinds of readers. There's guys who want to chat and read about betting, trading techniques, API software and all things Betfair. And there's women who couldn't care less about all that boring stuff and want to read all about the wedding plans!

Well, this week's televised tennis tournament is another grass court Wimbledon warm up from Nottingham. But Sky don't start showing until Wednesday. And although I'd love to have a punt on Tursunov to beat Murray tomorrow I'll steer clear. Which leaves me with no trading for today. I'll do the 2nd ODI between England and Sri Lanka tomorrow but in the mean time here's some of the wedding stuff for those more interested in that!

The most recent thing we've booked is a couple of wedding cars (it's amazing how early these things have to be booked in advance!) The cars, pictured below, are Bentleys. Or Bentley S1s from the late 1950s for those who know about these things. And very pleased we are with them too!

Other things we've booked so far are the church, bell ringers and choir (£40 for a choir is a bargain!) reception venue, photographer, wedding dress and hair and make up bod. Emma has so far bought two pairs of wedding shoes (I'm confused too!) and is busy sorting bridesmaid stuff and stationary. I'm guessing we should really get some wedding insurance pretty sharpish and I should take a look at kitting myself, best man and usher types out.

So basically I guess we've booked the main things and can relax for a several months now before getting all detailed about the planning.

Anyway, hope that satisfies on the wedding side of stuff. As there's no betting updates today those more into that may want to check out Phil's blog over at Smiling Assassin whose back to winning ways after a couple of losing weeks.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Stella Artois final

Daily Result: £102.8

So after the early scare where it looked like the final wasn't going to be on tv at all because of a delayed Moto GP common sense prevailed, the warm up was extended and the whole match was shown live on the BBC. Even if I did miss the start flicking channels trying to find anyone else showing it!

Pleased with the result though would have preferred a third set to try and increase the green. Was a lot of debate about the odds pre match with Blake being fave. Must admit I was surprised they weren't nearer evens the pair but also didn't see yesterday's semi-finals so wasn't in the best place to comment.

Was looking forward a lot to the Stella Artois. Didn't actually go to Queens to see any of the matches this year but grass is my favourite trading surface. So although I ended up with a small 3 figure green on the whole tournament it was actually a lot lower than I had hoped for. Basically just had a bad run, got on the wrong side of some trades and lost on more games than I'd have expected to.

Well, either that it was the Queens Club finally getting its revenge on me! I was once escorted out by security a few years ago (the day Henman got engaged to Lucy) after blagging my way in. I was a tabloid reporter at the time and was after an interview with Tim. I managed to find an old lady to escort on my arm and got her up the stairs in the club house whereupon some jobsworth had the temerity to enquire who I was and what I was doing. I brazened it out and told said jobsworth I was there to interview Tim. At which point I was led to a room and offered a seat to await his arrival. Alas, as I knew full well, Tim had already made a statement to the press and was doing no interviews. And instead of him arriving to greet me some overly officious security bod appeared and walked me to the club gate before suggesting rather firmly that I didn't return.

Not very English of him at all really. :-)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

ODI cricket win

Daily Result: £211.12

At last! Patience pays off and not a bad day's effort. Should have really been far more - and the % return compared to turnover is a little laughable compared to usual - but I can't argue with the bottom line.

Skipped the tennis today in favour of the England v Sri Lanka ODI. Didn't watch the whole match but caught large parts of it inbetween catching some rays in the garden and feeding my Twister addiction. (the icecreams not the game). Built up some nice early green and was over £150 each at the lunch break despite having to bail from a few trades, but then got on the wrong side of a couple of early trades at the start of the England innings and found myself with £30 each way. Wasn't best pleased.

But the England innings provided plenty of good situations to get involved in to rebuild it and ended up just enjoying the end of the match knowing I had a good win on it.

Anyway, Emma will be back in a bit so going to get all domestic, do some tidying and take her our for drinks and dinner.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A dip in results

Daily Result: £12.23

Well I said the Henman v Tursunov game would be interesting and it was - but not in the way I thought. If I'd had to bet on it outright I'd have taken Tursunov at odds against at the start. 3-0 up in head to heads, I'd seen him destroy Henman at the French with an awesome power hitting display, he's in the top 10 ace servers on the ATP tour and his first serve % is only just lower than Henman's.

That said though when you back Tursunov you always wonder what Tursunov will turn up on the day. And today if was the "Well I'm here but I couldn't really give a fuck" Tursunov. Some awesome winners yes. But some utter crap too. Missed smashes at break point etc - and the utterly bizarre decision to not even bother finishing a point to save set point. Just walked off the court mid rally much to everyone's amazement.

Anyway, I dropped just under £160 on the match. Just a strange game really. 12 breaks of serve in the first 18 games!! On grass. With Tursunov's serve. Looking back through my trades I actually opened 7 positions in a row that I had to close out for a loss. That's virtually unheard of! And accounts for the red. :-(

Moved onto the other two televised quarters after and made most the money back from the Henman game. Just over £65 on the Nadal v Hewitt game and just over £80 on the Gonzalez Roddick match. (At last I won on a Roddick game! Though that is now 3 losses on the trot with Henman)

Going through a bad patch at the moment. Certainly the worst since I started the blog, but also the worst in terms of % win to turnover since a spell in August last year. Pleased to have reduced today's loss but I'm being too inconsistent at the moment. I've had some poor luck but have also made some poor trading decisions too and combined it now means I'm between £15 and £20 up for the entire Stella Artois to date!! Not the kind of return I'd been hoping for! On the plus side though I'm still well over £500 up on the month and have kept control over the recent spate of losses and for that I'm pleased.

Think I'll take a break from the tennis tomorrow for the 1st ODI between England and Sri Lanka. Probably going to miss the start which will be a lost opportunity but should be plenty of time to settle into it.

Car key hassles

So I missed the England game yesterday and had to make do with the car radio as I made my way back home along the motorway. Bit knackered when I got home so didn't trade the 20/20 either though watched it with Emma.

So why no England match? Quite funny really. One of the guys I was playing golf with lost his car keys before we started. Thought he locked them in the car. So I ended up taking him and another home, before taking him back to the course to wait for the AA because he couldn't find his spare set. Guess the punchline is when the AA broke into his car the keys weren't there. They'd just disappeared?! He had them to open the boot. Closed it a couple of minutes later and they were gone. All a bit weird really.

Anyway, off out now quickly but should be back later for these four matches from the Stella Artois. Tursunov v Henman looks particularly interesting. Though I lost money last time they played at the start of the month.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Double your winnings

Off out today for a long-planned round of golf but will be back in time for the England match at 5pm. Depending on how much beer I get through during that I may have a crack at the England v Sri Lanka 20/20 match this evening. Good to have a break after yesterday's loss anyway. Done poorly recently.

Anyway - double your winnings. I know there's loads of free bets around at the moment but this is another great offer. Basically, have a bet with BetFred
of £10 or more and if your first bet wins the UK-licensed bookmaker will double your winnings. The maximum extra payout appears to be £100. Bargain. :-) Click below if interested.

Click here for up to £100 bonus with Betfred

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Smashed by Roddick (again!!)

Daily Result: £210.07

First losing day for a while. And got to go out for the rest of the day too so no chance to reduce the loss. Shame as Henman is up next at Queen's.

Bit annoyed with today really. Assumed the Murray game would resume early but when I checked the tv schedules there was nothing there until 12.30. It started at 11.30 and was televised so missed a great opportunity to add some green there. Loving Murray games at the moment. Great for trading. He's like a spoilt teenager (Kevin from Harry Enfield!) and seems more interested in trying to look sulky and cool on court rather than actually playing the tennis he has the potential to. Due to the tv confusion only ended up making just over £30 on it.

Then disaster on the Roddick game. Been going so well recently and because he was short odds I decided to trade in £1k blocks for the first time since I started the blog. Of course, that meant I quickly found myself in a hole! Quite amusing really - the first time I moved up from £250 to £500 I lost too. (And that was a Roddick game too!)The end result was my biggest loss of the month with £242.19 passed on to a fellow Betfarian. Enjoy!

Anyway, got on the wrong side of two earlyish breaks of serve. And although I never really doubted Roddick would win (just a little at one point!) I wasn't willing to risk running a 1k red against Dancevic when he was winning so levelled out red and started reducing it as usual. Despite the fact it cost me money I'm pleased I had the control to accept the loss rather than let it run and potentially get very ugly.

Not had a good run on Roddick recently. My biggest loss to date was also on a match involving him, and he was also involved in a retirement that cost me money. Bit annoying as he's been one of the more profitable players for me in the past.

Anyway, the irony is after bleating on about how grass is my favourite surface for trading I've had a bit of a mare in the last few days and have so far won the princely sum of £29.72 on the Stella Artois to date!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Rain and Irish cricket

Daily Result: £29.18

Bit of a wash out on the trading front today. Made a bit on the Blake v Gimelstob match from Queens but was more interested in the matches to follow including Murray whose recent games have been tradefests!

So made some quick profit on Blake and was doing ok in the Murray game but it seemed Betfair had a problem. I couldn't access it at least, either through the API or the website. Came back up but the site was sticky so decided to leave the game for while. Returned about 30 minutes later and all was fine - but then the players went off for rain and that was that for the day. Still, means I start tomorrow with some green already!

Spent some time waiting for the rain to stop. Even took a quick look at the Ireland v England ODI and made a few quid there. They may wear green but just in case anyone was in any doubt it quickly became apparent the Irish are no Pakistan!!

Did the same with the West Indies v India test. That was rain delayed too so started messing round with some small stakes for a tiny all round green but when it became obvious Murray wasn't going to be back on quickly I left it for the day and got on with some other stuff. Oh, alright then, I went to the driving range with Emma!

Free beer for the World Cup!!

I've already mentioned some free world cup bets but this one made me smile so thought I'd quickly mention it.

It seems UK bookie Sporting Odds is not content with giving new users a £10 free bet. They're going straight for the jugular and appealing to every football fans gut instincts by giving away 6 free beers too! Can't argue with that. :-) My beer voucher should be winging its way to me as we speak!!

Anyway, off to trade the tennis. Let you know how I get on later.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Good result, bad trading

Daily Result: £220.25

Was looking forward to today. Start of the grass court season, blazing sun at Queens and a return to getting scores announced in English - by umpires with ever such slight "plummy" English accents. And on the face of things it was a good days trading but the reality is today my trading was shite.

For starters I lost on two of the four games I traded. Doesn't happen very often. And to rub salt into the wounds on both the games I lost on I was comfortably up at one stage. Thought about blaming it on the prescription pain killers I'm quaffing at the moment which are leaving me more than a little spaced out but the truth is I just had a shocker.

Anyway, suffered my biggest loss of the month to date on the first match of the day involving Lopez v Bracciali. Dropped £241.62 through nothing more than poor trading. At the end I increased the red on Bracciali for the tiebreaker on a calculated risk. If he lost the tiebreak I'd be all green. If he lost I suffered a bigger loss. Don't often take such a position but the circumstances were right to have a go. Anyway, I lost.

Made some money back on the Henman v Agassi game. Was pleased I just accepted the loss from earlier and went back to the basics with no chasing. Then pocketed £448.74 on the Rusedski game. Just went like a dream for me and was my biggest win to date since starting the blog. Rusedski's retirement helped increase the size of the green but if he'd retired when he should have I'd have made a couple of hundred more. Nice to have a retirement go my way at last anyway. Had two go against me since I started the blog.

Final match of the day was Monfils v Melzer. I started trading for fun stakes and was comfortably up before making a betting error. Let it run and ended up having a break go against me within about a minute. Levelled out red while calling myself some choice names for both mistakes and then worked at reducing the red till the end of the game.

Suppose I should be happy with the daily result. All helps build the pot for the wedding but the daily result hides some pretty dumb trading and a betting mistake on my part. Still, tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Poor finish to Roland Garros

Daily Result: £3.80

:-) Don't take the piss!

After skipping yesterday's women's final to watch the England game (who the hell scheduled them both for 2pm?!!) I've got to say £3.80 is more than a little disappointing. But hey, green is better than red, it takes me over the £500 profit mark for the month and I didn't exactly get a fair crack at the whip. Let me explain....

Was never going to be able to trade the whole men's final anyway as my future sister in law and her new boyfriend were visiting. So my plan was to build up some green and then just spread it across Federer and Nadal and leave it.

Great plan. Poor exectution. Before I knew it the figures next to the players were red not green. No worries. Early in the game and plenty of time to turn around. Stick to the basics and all would be well. Which it was. The reds were reducing nicely and turned to green but then our visitors arrived early. Had little choice but to take what I considered a poor price (Nadal was a break up in the second but it was still early) and green out.

Anyway, got back to the match near the end. Built up some more green quickly and then took a risk in that Ilumped on Nadal when he was serving for the match. (I'd worked out what his price would be if he didn't serve it out and only lumped on what I could so that I could still get out small green if he didn't serve it out.) Of course, he didn't serve it out, I bailed for small allround green and then he won the tie break - leaving me with £3.80!

Don't normally take a risk like that but knew by doing it the way I did I couldn't lose money on the game and fancied him to serve it out. Federer had only been winning a point a game against Nadal's serve until then in the final set.

Anyway, so a bit of a wasted weekend trading wise but the good news is we're moving onto the grass at Queen's tomorrow. The grass courts are my favourite part of the season so looking forward to the next couple of months.

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup Free Bets

Something for the World Cup...

As a trader I may be reliant on Betfair but I can see the value in the odd free bet as much as the next man!!


Bookies are falling over themselves in a World Cup frenzy to dish them out at the moment so why not take advantage?!! The biggest free bet I've found is one for £60 with VC Bet (the new name for Victor Chandler). Just bet between £10 and £60 and you get a free bet for the same amount. Stan James are doing a bet £25 get a £25 free bet offer too.

Anyway, can't be arsed to list them all and Big Brother is about to start (Yes, yes, it's sad I know) but there's plenty of others available at Free Bet Central and Bookmaker Free Bets if you fancy a free punt on something. Well worth a quick look!!

Tennis and the World Cup

Daily Result: £179.69

After missing out on yesterday's tennis I was looking forward to the Federer v Nalbandian semi-final from Roland Garros today.

And a cracking trading match it was too. Had a bit of everything really - breaks, a partial derailment of the Federer Express, the shot of the tournament, flip-flopping favourites, a doctor on court and a retirement. Plenty of opportunity for everyone to make some money!

Took me a while to get back on track after an early break of Federer but don't mind going red early doors, especially in 5 setters where there's plenty of time to turn it round. Couldn't believe what I was seeing with Fed a set and 3-0 down in the second. That seemed to be the watershed moment though as suddenly his game just clicked. Shame Nalbandian had to retire later really but something was obviously up.

Did little more than mess around for a few minutes on the Nadal match. Now we have the final everyone wanted and I'm sure the final will be another great trading event. Just not sure yet if I'll do it.

Anyway, the big wait is over and the World Cup has started. The Germany game was a fantastic start to the tournament. Only thing that could have topped it would have been Costa Rica sneaking a last minute equalizer! ;-)

For anyone into such things Blue Square is offering a £25 free bet on the World Cup to all new users.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Foiled by a phone call

Was looking forward to the ladies semis from Roland Garros today. Got up early, took care of everything that needed taking care of and settled down for an afternoon's trading. Thought the Vaidisova v Kuznetsova match in particular would be a cracker to get involved with.

Just towards the end of the warm up though I got a call which threw a right spanner in the works. Ended up having to head out for the afternoon and will be out most tomorrow morning too. Still, hoping to get back in time for the men's games. And I'm sure they'll be worth watching. First time in decades the top four seeds have made it to the semis at the French Open.

So a bit disappointing on the saving for the wedding front today but there's more to life than trading and the bankroll lives to trade another day.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hard work today

Daily Result: £62.66

Skipped the Nadal match but was raring to go for the Benneteau v Ljubicic game. Mentioned before I usually enjoy trading Ljubicic so was a bit surprised today. Not the usual type of game you expect the Croatian to be involved in. Not sure how anyone else got on but I found it tough going.

Guess there were just too many breaks of serve. First four games were all breaks. In fact Benneteau didn't hold a game until his second service game in the second set! Was kind of hoping he could pick himself up and take the second set to prolong the game and enable me to make a little more. But I'm not convinced he was totally fit and I think the occasion just got to him. Had a bit of a mare really.

Though fair play to him getting that far. Suspect even he would have questioned your sanity if you'd told him at the start of the tournament he'd be the last French player, man or women, left in the singles.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Trading software

Going to be pretty busy today and not going to get the chance to trade so thought I'd quickly take the time to answer a few questions.

Most emails I've been receiving ask me either how I trade, what trading software I use, or both.

I'll look at the how I trade question another time but of course there are others out there who obviously use bigger banks, make more than me and no doubt trade far more efficiently than me so I wouldn't pay too much attention to me on that!

As for the trading software I use it's BetTrader Pro, the Racing Traders product. I've actually used just about all the official Betfair partner products, past and present, as well as an unofficial one but have always returned to BetTrader Pro as I just prefer the interface. It's clean, not overly complicated but still has the functionality that enables me to do what I need to.

Basically the software has real time updated prices (it refreshes far quicker than once a second) can work on a ladder interface so visually it's easy to see just how far prices are moving, and has a one click trading option - essential in fast moving markets like the tennis and cricket ones I trade. There's stacks of other features too including a hedge button to leave equal green (or red!), live trading graphs showing the volumes of trades, total matched info, live probability of winning display and, of course, access to all the Betfair markets.

To be honest it's the ladder format, refresh rate and one click trading that sells it to me though. The software is just the most suited to my style of trading. I know some people make good money trading through the original Betfair interface, perhaps with a faster market refresh rate installed, but I simply couldn't do what I do on the original interface. Just couldn't enter all the info and hit submit in time. One click just makes everything so much easier.

One other advantage is the software works through the Betfair API meaning, if you have a normal web connection open too, you have two ways to access Betfair to cancel trades incase either the API or Website go down.

Anyway, I'm starting to sound like a salesman so I'll leave it there. I get the impression most people who use it tend to trade racing but I obvioulsy don't. For those who want to, or want to find out more about it, there is a new forum where users of the software get together to chat so you may find that useful if you have any questions.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Murali the great

Daily Result: £107.62

Had my eye on the Ljubicic match today. Like trading his games and got off to a great start until I had to cut losses on a losing trade. I knew broadcasters would switch to the day's big match - Hewit v Nadal - as soon as they got on court and unfortunately the match before them was cut short due to injury. As I didn't want to trade the Ljubicic game on the back of the scoreboard I ended up having to leave it when the coverage switched.

I considered a lay of Nadal but my thinking was coloured more by how to get involved in the match rather than whether I should. Never a good idea. Anyway, I prefered the look of the 4th day of the England v Sri Lanka test so tuned into that.

And what an afternoon it was! I caught most of the session between lunch and tea where England didn't so much collapse as disintegrate. Awesome stuff from Muralitharan who, though he finished with 8-70, actually took 8-28 in one period!!! Outstanding performance. And a fitting way for the great man to bow out on his last test match in England.

Made around £80 on the game. Not bad for a few hours but could have been so much more. Truth is the wickets were falling so quickly it was getting hard to keep up!! Must have been some burnt fingers among England backers today.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Into profit for June

Daily Result: £222.53

Had a great night out last night and after crawling into bed at 5.30 this morning I'm pretty pleased with today's effort. Both Em and I were more than a little under the weather when we surfaced so I didn't get round to trading until late afternoon after I'd done the blog entry for yesterday.

Got involved in the Mauresmo v Vaidisova game first up. Great game to watch and even better to trade. Vaidisova's power hitting was awesome and you've got to hand it to her - she deserved to win. Especially after losing the first set on a tie-break. Anyway, made £206.24 on the game.

Moved onto the Henin v Myskina match. Only traded the first 10 minutes or so. Henin was walking it and her price just crashed. Was still feeling a bit rough and there didn't look to be much opportunity for more green so just left it. Noticed Myskina finally turned up near the end of the second set but it was too late and Henin is through to the quarter finals.

Anyway, after the Henman loss at the start of the month I'm into profit for June. Just got to stay there now :-)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Robotics and wedding dresses

Daily Result: £31.64

I had a plan today. Emma was out doing wedding dress stuff (which I can dip out of on the grounds I'm not supposed to see it!) so I had the house to myself and a few hours of uninterrupted tennis trading lined up.

But of course plans are there to be broken and when a mate called and suggested watching the England game at mine it seemed like a great idea to me. Cracking match it was too. With lots of opportunity to watch THAT Crouch goal celebration again!

Spent the evening round a friend's with Emma for a Barbecue so ended up trading for less than an hour in the end today. Still, it's not the be all and end all and picked up some nice green to keep the wedding funds ticking over.

Anyway, today was a big day in that Emma actually picked her wedding dress!! She's been looking for months, pouring over pictures, going to fashion shows and fittings and had narrowed it down to a few. And then today, just like that, saw a new design that was "just perfect" and ordered it!! She's well happy and I'm more than a bit chuffed too. :-)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Return to profit with tennis

Daily Result: £42.83

Didn't actually trade that much today. Got involved in the Venus Williams V Sprem match and it quickly reminded me why I don't trade Women's matches that often - especially on clay. Didn't get to trade it for too long though as there was a fire next door. The stoned students who rent it had managed to set fire to their living room. I've got nothing against students - hey, i was one myself once - but I always thought once you'd rolled a joint the idea was to smoke it rather than pass out and leave it burning your furniture. Lightweights!

Wasn't a serious fire but had a couple of engines out to deal with it. Once everything had died down I got back to the tennis. The Nalbandian v Tursunov game on Eurosport looked a cracker for trading with Tursunov with a healthy lead. Got involved just in time for the channel to leave the match to show the Federer game - that was also being shown on BBCI.

Not going to have another Eurosport rant as I had one recently. But it was a joke 30 minutes later for them to announce that editorial decisions are difficult but as Nalbandian was no longer "struggling" they felt it right to show the Federer game. What?! He might not have been struggling then but when the channel quit the match he was in grave danger of going out.

Of course, I'm really just pissed off about it because what's the point in trying to trade a Federer game that is 1.02-1.03 when you get to it? The Nalbandian game was a far better prospect but I'm not trading it on the back of a scoreboard as discussed already.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tough start to June

Daily Result: £149.25

As mentioned below I had a poor position on the Henman v Tursunov game following a bad early trade. Had a lot to do today and couldn't trade apart from keeing my eye out for the restart of the Henman match so I could try and turn it around.

Did ok and got the red down to £60 each when Henman picked up the first set after the restart. But made a spectacularly stupid error near the end of the day's second set that cost me! Real schoolboy stuff. Basically I wasn't concentrating properly, thought the score was different to what it was and ended up opening a new position and having to bail rather than risk a bigger loss. Muppet!

Still, it's a timely reminder at the start of a new month that trading isn't a simple path to easy money. Apart form everything else concentration is also required! As mentioned below I thought I would lose on this match. I have. But a stupid mistake for which there's no excuse means that loss was far larger than it should have been.

Thanks to everyone who has left comments on the various posts. For those asking how to contact me I've added a contact me link at the bottom of the right hand menu.

The end of the first month

Monthly Result for May: £1052.8

Not a bad month really. Pretty pleased. Especially considering I didn't start until May 8th because of my mum's illness - and then started trading to small stakes as I eased myself back into it.

As I said in the What's it all about section the wedding is on August 18, 2007 so if I can achieve this type of result each month my initial £1k starting bank will more or less cover the wedding costs which would be fantastic! Though I'm not naive enough to think this is a walk in the park it would be a huge bonus to cover even half the outright cost.

There's been some disappointing results this month but the worst was the loss on the first England v Sri Lanka test. Wasn't my biggest loss (that was on a Roddick game) - I just traded it like a muppet. Got what I deserved really. Double slap in face really as Emma, my fiancee, had a box at Lords for the first day and I had to make do with Sky Sports!

Been some pleasing results too. But rather than pick out an individual event the thing I'm most pleased about is the consistency. I've traded 44 events this month. That's not to say I watched and traded 44 whole events. I've traded a few in full and just dipped in and out of the others. Of the 44 events I've made a profit on 41. Lost on 3. If I can keep that kind of consistency up I'd be a happy man!!

Looking foward into June I'll continue to still only trade with a small part of the initial £1k. (The biggest chunks I'm currently trading in are £500 but I often drop it down to £250 still). If I'm fortunate enough to keep building the profit I'll look at slowly increasing the trading sum until eventually I can start using 1k chunks. Will take a while to reach that stage yet but as long as the green keeps ticking over and this blog doesn't get in the way of other business I'm happy to continue as I am.

Since starting the blog I noticed my trading style has got even more cautious. I guess that's down to my wanting to make it a success and not wanting a bad start. But I don't mind cautious as long as the results are consistent. It's a long-term game and I'm in no rush to chase big profits. Undoubtedly I could have made more on certain events by taking bigger risks but that's not what the blog is about.

Anyway, a quick thankyou to Phil over at Smiling Assassin and Damian at D is for Discipline who were the first two people to link to me! Best of luck with your bets guys.