Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tiredness, a late call and a loss

Daily Result: £28.95

I enjoy trading tennis but just sometimes it can really frustrate and today was most definitely a case in hand. A few hours looking in and out of the ATP Paris Masters left me around £150 up and looking at calling it a day. At which point I promptly blew the green in around 15 minutes finishing with a £30 loss on the day. Not the smartest move I'll ever make!

Everything started ok with a nice profit on the Chela v Srichaphan game. Could have been a lot more with Srichaphan's retirement but I chose to play it safe. Made a bit on the Benneteau v Santoro match too but stopped trading it half way through. I'm not one who subscribes to the constant "fix" theories on the Betfair Tennis Forum and don't believe this match was at all. But anyone who traded it will know what I mean when I say it was just a very odd game. So I decided to just green out and leave it.

Ended up doing my money on the Safin v Soderling match. All started going wrong when I thought Safin had won a point to leave a couple of break points. I submitted a back at 1.43 just in time to hear a rather late "Out" call. So I waited the dreaded 5 seconds to see if I'd been matched and I had. A split second before the price shot out to 1.62! Safin then lost the game - and was 0-40 in the next which all left me in a position of being £115 red the pair.

Managed to work that down to £70 the pair before Safin went a break down in the second set. A couple of poor trades left me around £180 red the pair. At which point I realised I was tired and not making the best trading decisions. So I decided to just leave it. Accept the £30 loss on the day. And switch the computer off. Sure, I could have continued trading. Reduced the loss or even turned a profit. But having made two or three trades in a row which I'd had to bail out on for a loss I realised I could also lose a lot more.

Annoying as it is I don't mind losing the £30. It's a lot better than losing £300. Might seem a bit of a negative attitude but sometimes when you're getting tired and your concentration isn't quite what it should be it's just best to call it a day.

I guess you could say minds just aren't as sharp!

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Profit making trading tip

Daily Result: £129.86

With no cricket today I looked in on some matches from the ATP Paris Masters and managed to keep the wedding funds ticking over. It's not that I want to discuss today though - but rather an example of how you can make money from other people who simply don't know the rules of what they bet on.

You see it all the time on Betfair. People asking around 10 minutes before the end of a close cricket match what happens if it's a tie? Or in tennis they ask what happens if a player retires injured? And all this despite some very clear market rules right next to the event they've been been betting on. Following such events there's then often a string of particularly irritating threads on the Betfair forums moaning about how everything is so unfair. I don't have any sympathy for these people. To be honest it amazes me that they bet, often large sums, without having the slightest idea of the rules covering the bets they're making.

Today provided a classic example. I couldn't believe the level of stupidity I was seeing! And more importantly what I saw is something that you and I - and other people who bother to read the market rules - can use to our collective advantage to make a profit with next time it happens.

The market that caught my attention was the outright winner market on the ATP Masters tour event from Paris. And in particular the price of the Fedex himself Roger Federer. Naturally, being so bloody good, Federer has had more than a bit of a busy season. He's tired. He's played over 90 matches this season, has just won the Madrid and Basel events, and has to prepare for the season closer from Shanghai starting on November 13th. So it's no surprise their were rumours doing the rounds that he would withdraw from this week's ATP Paris Masters citing exhaustion.

So how to profit from this?

Simple really. Betfair has no rule 4 on tennis betting. So if Federer, who was a 1.4x shot to win Paris, withdraws that makes all the 20.0 and 30.0 odds on some of the other players likely to win in his abscence rather tasty. The obvious thing to do is back them at high odds and lay them much lower as the news that he might retire spreads.

But, of course, making bets on players in this way runs the risk that either Federer will announce he's playing before you can lay. Still not a bad strategy. But there is a better one.

Because as news that Federer might retire spreads "shrewdies" who hear the news all start laying Federer. They push his price out and no doubt think they're being all sneaky and taking mug money as his price drifts to 1.5, 1.6 and out to above evens as it did today. (Some numpty even layed him at 3.2!).

But the opposite is true. It's the layers who are the mugs. Why? Because of the rules. Which clearly state, in bright red bold letters right next to the market:

If a player failes to start this tournament all bets on that player will be void.

So as all the "shrewd" Federer layers rush to lay him it's the backers who are getting the best deal. They can't lose! It's as near to a free trade as you can get. If Federer does retire you get your stake back. If he plays your back of 1.9 - or whatever it was you got - can suddenly be layed at the proper price of 1.4x again. Or maybe a touch higher if there is an injury concern.

That's a risk-free 40-50 tick profit! Which you could use to go all green if you wished. Simple. And all because you bothered to read the rules.

As it is unfortunately Federer did retire and my green disappeared with him. But the same principle can be applied to many sporting events where a similar situation occurs. It's a profitable risk-free play and is well worth keeping your eyes out for similar positions.

To summarize:

1) Find an event where there are rumours a player may withdraw before it starts. The favourite is best. Phil Taylor in darts would be another fantastic example.

2) Check the market rules. If they clearly state all bets on a player will be void if he withdraws before the event starts watch that player's price.

3) If there is no rule 4 to be applied on the market there is an option of backing other likely winners at high odds. (Obviously the shorter price the fave the bigger the odds you will get)

4) More important than 3) though watch for a drift in the price of the player who may withdraw. This is generally caused by people who haven't read the rules thinking they're laying a great price. (It may also be proper shrewdies playing the market in the opposite direction but this is riskier.)

5) Back at a higher price than you would normally be able to.

6) If the player withdraws you get your stake back. If they don't their price will contract again giving you a nice risk-free profit on your trade.

I guess there's one more thing as well - if you spot any opportunities like this leave a comment on the blog so I can take advantage too!

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Cricket: England beat Windies

Daily Result: £3.87

Decided I'd have a break from trading and would only get involved in one of this weekend's ICC Champions Trophy matches. And as I'm due out for a late one with Emma tonight today's England v West Indies game instead of tomorrow's India v Australia clash seemed the obvious choice.

Except in the end through a combination of phone calls and friends visiting I didn't really get to trade that much anyway. In fact missed most the first innings and was patchy on the second though got to enjoy Pietersen knocking the winning runs in style.

Actually fancied England to win this one. Sure, the West Indies could influence who they met in the semi finals with a win but their recent record in "dead rubbers" isn't exactly great. Anyway, before I get accused of aftertiming I should also mention that by the time the Windies had knocked up 272 in their innings I didn't think England had a cat in hell's chance of winning. So perhaps not being able to get involved too much was a blessing in disguise!

The England innings got off to a flyer and there were huge price changes. The Windies were 1.46 in the innings break. Within 7 overs England were 1.63. And in between all that I'd layed the Windies at 1.67, and then layed England two overs later at 1.8. Like I said - big swings!

Unfortunately it was a similar swing that accounted for most my profit nearer the end of the game. Although I'd not been able to catch it all it was pretty apparent after a while that the match was really all about the Pietersen and whether he could get England across the line. I was unsure and with the run rate still rising I made a quick back of the Windies at 1.41 looking to nick a couple of ticks. Disaster! There were only 11 or so overs to go so market movements were always going to be volatile but within 3 balls the price was evens the pair!! I was caught desperately chasing the market out and I had struggled to dump my back at 1.51, 1.66 and finally at 2.14 a few balls later. Amazing how costly a few boundaries can be!

So in the end I made around £10 on the Match Odds market, lost a bit on the Tied Match market (I'd taken out insurance when £100+ green the pair) and ended up kind of wishing I hadn't bothered getting invloved at all. Still, it was great to see KP play another sensible innings at last and hopefully the win will help build morale in the England camp before they head off to Australia to try to retain the Ashes.

Anyway, have my best man coming round for dinner soon, and then off out for drinks with friends. Lots of great events to trade tomorrow - India v Australia and the snooker and darts finals - but I'll be having a rest from it all. Best of luck if you get involved and I'll probably be back trading the ATP Paris Masters on Monday.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

No such thing as free money

Daily Result £101.08

If anyone is still harbouring any doubts as to why cricket can be such a great game to trade today's ICC Champions Trophy match between Pakistan and South Africa should surely remove them once and for all. It was a trader's dream.

It really couldn't have started much worse for South Africa who chose to bat first and found themselves two wickets down in the first 4 balls. And it was nearly 3 wickets down by the end of the first over with only a great umpiring decision preventing it. By the time they were 42-5 the usual "Free Money" merchants were waffling away on the Betfair cricket forum mocking those without the good sense and foresight to put their entire betting bank on Pakistan at 1.2x. (Before wishing in hindsight they hadn't no doubt!)

Anyway, a truly brilliant 5th wicket partnership of 131 between Boucher and Kemp added an air of respectability to the score and the Saffers' final 50 over score of 213 gave them something to bowl at.

Of course, the big question all along had been how the South African seamers would find the track. I've said it before and I'll say it again - be wary about judging an innings' total until both teams have had a bit of a knock. I can't remember who first told me that years ago but it's sound advice. And paid off today. Because the Saffers' seam attack can be more than a little bit tasty on its day. And in the end it only took the use of just 4 bowlers to skittle through Pakistan in just 25 overs - dismissing them for an embarrassing 89 runs.

Free money my arse.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

West Indies silence the Indians

Daily Result: £160.41

Wow. What a great finish to a cricket match. Cracking stuff. With small fortunes no doubt won and lost even on the last four balls as the price yoyoed from 1.29 out to 1.75 and back into 1.01. Not for the faint hearted! But great to watch. After a poor start this ICC Champions Trophy is really throwing up some fantastic games now.

As you might expect when India play in India the crowd at Ahmedabad was more than a little up for game! Don't think I've ever heard such a loud cheer for a wide when, with Sehwag facing the first ball of the match, it sailed down the leg side to get the scoreboard ticking over. But the West Indies managed to quell the crowd, and then silent it completely as they followed up their recent surprise win over world champions Australia with another victory over India. Proof again that it can be costly to underestimate the Windies in the one day form of the game.

India started the match well with a good first few overs but those who argued their price was too short before the game were soon looking right as early wickets fell. Tendulkar was also lucky to survive an LBW shout on 14 - which was clearly out - before going on to make 29.

From early on I decided laying India was the way forward but again my timing was wrong. For example, I laid at 1.87 and had to back it again at 1.54 when a stop loss on the trade was reached. Only for a wicket to fall a few overs later. The thinking behind the original lay was if another wicket fell at the times I decided to lay there would be a huge swing in prices. Whereas if no wicket fell there would be a slowish shortening of the India price. Right idea. Wrong timing.

Anyway, the Indians made their way to 223 in their 50 overs. Strange innings. Especially from Dhoni who probably left it too late to start the end of innings hit out. The crowd were certainly impatient as he dabbed the ball for dots and ones when boundaries were desperately needed.

The Windies innings made for great trading though for parts of it I was levelled out green and getting on with other stuff. The key was a match-winning 4th wicket partnership between Sarwan and Morton which left 7 wickets in hand to knock of the required runs at the end. Though the Windies nearly blew it by letting the run rate creep up to over a run a ball before losing 3 wickets in quick succession.

Towards the end I was laying the Windies at 1.0x (and taking out tie insurance!) as they were making hard work of the last 20 runs or so. Unfortunately I was not letting the lays run long enough as, by the start of the last over for example, with the Windies needing 5 runs, their price was fluctuating between 1.29 and 1.35. I thought the latter was a huge price - until the first ball produced a wicket and it flew out to 1.54. A dot ball followed and the price was 1.7x! Lots of money to be made for those with balls of steel but by then I'd settled for my final position and was just enjoying the game. And a fantastic finish it was too with a single and a four wrapping up the Windies victory with two balls to spare!

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Impressive NZ beat Pakistan

Daily result: £213.86

I guess at the start of the game I'd have settled for £200+ profit on today's ICC Champions Trophy match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. But as I was in the position to be £215 green either side at the innings break the final profit was a little disappointing. Still, all helps with the wedding funds and a green is always better than a red!

Got to say I've been impressed with New Zealand so far in the tournament. They might not have all the big names other teams have but they are a team. By that I mean they play as a team, and work hard for each other. Sure they rely on certain players to fill roles but there just seems to be a healthy team spirit. And it's causing them to achieve results that are raising at least a few eyebrows.

The Black Caps batted first and got off to a poorish start but a great 4th innings partnership set it up nicely for an end of innings slog with wickets in hand which saw 99 smashed off the last 10 overs for an above par 274 from their 50 overs.

At the change of innings New Zealand were 1.55. I thought the price about fair, fancied them to win and left my book £415 NZ and (109) Pakistan. Figured a quick wicket would send the NZ price south quickly. And decided to bail at around 1.7 for equal green if Pakistan got off to a flyer.

Unfortunately Pakistan did get off to a good start so I levelled out for around £140 green either way. Shame as a wicket came two overs later but I wasn't to know and wanted to protect at least a 3-figure green. Then it became a case of just waiting until I thought one team was getting ahead. Had several false starts on NZ, where I backed them, and then as the Pakistan score increased - even though the run rate was rising fast - I had to lay them, thus reducing my green. Was killing me to do it as I still fancied NZ but wasn't willing to risk losing all my green. Basically just mistimed the trades and had to get out at a stoploss point each time rather than having the balls to see it out. Still, when Pakistan went into the 1.7x range for a while I was pleased I had!

Anyway, the wickets gradually fell, the rate continued to rise and I finally got it right on my New Zealand plunge managing to pick up a decent, if a little disappointing, profit.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cricket: South Africa v Sri Lanka

Daily Result: £105.34

Bit of a strange game this one in as much as the wicket looked good, everyone thought it would produce runs but both sides struggled on it. South Africa batted first and grinded their way to 219-9 from their 50 overs - with 32 of those coming from a last two over slog. Chaminder Vaas produced some stunning figures of 10 overs, 3 maidens and two wickets for 16 runs and at the change of innings I honestly thought Sri Lanka would wrap the match up no problems. The Lankans currently have 4 of the top 5 rated ODI batsmen, they're in form and we've seen them play good attacking cricket in run chases during the ICC Champions Trophy when the team that has batted first struggled.

Consequently I was happy to keep my Lankan green, and Saffers red, at the change of innings and see what happened. I was expecting a good Lankan start, a quick drop in their price and a nice profit on the day. Unfortunately the run chase set off at a snail pace and when the first wicket fell I decided the win wasn't a formality and got out for around £100 red each team. The Lankan price had blown following the wicket and my plan was just to watch for a while and see what happened. I figured that with the odds near evens the pair it should still be pretty straight forward to run out with a profit.

And it should have been really as the Sri Lankan top order all but capitulated. But I ended up mistiming a few trades that eventaully cost me. The worst was probably laying South Africa when it looked like Jayawardene had settled at the crease and the Lankans at last looked like they were capable of making the chase. However, I hadn't counted on his suicidal run out and after that point in the game I was all red till the end.

Hat tip to Shaun Pollock, whose 10 overs for 2 wickets and 21 runs, though not quite as good as Vaas's figures, was still a great spell and good enough, in conjunciton with his 21 not out with the bat, to earn him the man of the match award.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

zzzsnooker trading and darts loss

Daily Result: £62.21

Busy with work day today but had a 40 minute break or so while waiting for someone who knows more about the database sat on my server than I do to tweak whatever needed tweaking to make it work. Spent the time dipping into the snooker on BBCi but had the misfortune to catch the Doherty v Robertson game. Watched the same frame for the whole time I was waiting with a run of safety exchanges that left me positive they'd eventually go for a rerack. Pretty dull stuff from a trading perspective but it occasionally happens in snooker. Still, managed to nick a few ticks towards the end once the balls were finally opened up again.

Screwed up in the evening on the darts. Only traded the first of the 6 or so short games there were. The Battle of the Jenkins. Andy v Terry. Terry won and I lost. Was trading small stakes again as not traded darts for a while and was just getting used to the markets again. Always lots of snooker and darts on over the festive period so like to keep my hand in.

Had a small green on each player which I switched to a larger green Andy J and smallish red Terry J as Andy looked like walking the final leg for the match. In fact he had two shots at a double but missed. Terry ended up getting 1 dart at a double and hit it. Somewhere in the middle before Andy went for his double I had a chance to level out for slightly more green but didn't like the odds I would have to lay him at. Couple that with my belief he'd hit D16 for the match and I let the bet ride. I'll often take poor value to get out of a position if I think the circumstances are right but this time I didn't, got it wrong and dropped nearly £70. A nice reminder as I get back into darts to seriously considering greening out when I can.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Trading tennis and snooker

Daily Result: £28.10

I say trading tennis and snooker but it was more like a quick dip into both. Was out last night for beers and curry and even after a monster lie in was still a bit knackered. Still, once up and fortified with coffee I had a few looks into the Hantuchova v Sharapova final from Zurich. Wasn't really worth the effort. Was trading to small stakes, built a minor green and then gave most of it away trying to nick a few ticks again towards the end of the match. Made a few quid though and headed off into town with Emma to do some window shopping for new furniture.

Spent an hour or so looking at the snooker in the early evening before settling down infront of the fire and tv for a relaxing night. Snooker interests me as a trading opportunity. Similar to darts in its potential though obviously slower. And I like the reduced in running delay too. Makes my trading software even more useful. I've traded snooker in the past but not for a while so was messing around with blocks of just £50. The basic principles of cricket and tennis trading - and I guess most sports to a lesser extent - can be applied to snooker and as I used to enjoy playing I quite enjoy watching it. Need to watch the in running market more but there's plenty of potential to identify situations where there is very limited downside with large potential upside. And aside from the basics of buy low sell high they're the kind of opportunities I'm always on the look out for.

Liquidity wasn't a good as I remembered but I guess the Royal London Watches Grand Prix from Aberdeen isn't the biggest tournament either. Though it is on BBC i, as well as Eurosport. Will probably have another dabble or two at it over the next few days. Will stick to very small stakes. Just want to keep my eye in on the sport even if the next big event, barring Sky's Premier League Snooker, isn't until December.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Cricket: Another England collapse

Daily Result: £199.46

There was a great buzz about today's Australia v England match. Apart form being the big curtain-raiser to the imminent Ashes series both teams also needed the win to have any chance of progressing in the Champions Trophy. It was also the perfect opportunity for each team to gain a pyschological edge and win the first early skirmish for the Ashes. Even the Sky commentators seemed excited! So what did England do? They went from an impressive 83-0 to all out for 169. Which the Aussies knocked off at stroll in 37 overs. Sigh.

I actually didn't get to see all the match. At around 10 overs into it we had a "surprise" visit from some relatives so I levelled out at around £50 green the pair, took over tea-making duties and caught up on the latest family gossip. Was killing me not to know what was going on after such a good start by England! But on the plus side we had to get out all the wedding brochures we've been looking at so I got all excited about that again. Anyway, by the time I got back to the game the traditional England collapse was well underway - being helped along at pace by yet more bizarre shot selection.

By the change of innings the Aussie price was obviously very low and I just felt there was more value in spending some time doing the WTA semi-finals from Zurich rather than messing around for a tick or two on the cricket. So that's what I did, trading to reduced stakes and picking up around £90 across to the two games. I was keeping an eye on the cricket odds however and after two quick Aussie wickets I changed back to it and got involved again just before the fall of the third. Had no doubt Australia would win so the bigger odds just made the game more attractive. Managed to make a bit more on the match and then got on with other stuff for the afternoon while the Aussies knocked off the required total with ease.

There's no cricket tomorrow and Federer is obviously a very short price in the ATP final from Milan. Probably give the game a miss (and my so far unsuccessful ideas on stopping the Fed Express in its tracks - more to come on that another day) and have a dip into the WTA final from Zurich instead before heading into town for a shopping trip. Good luck if you get involved :-)

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Cricket: Kiwis v Lankans

Daily Result: £149.32

Bit of an up and down day today. Won around £250 across a couple of markets on the New Zealand v Sri Lanka Champions Trophy match and then lost the £100 I'd put aside trying an experiment on the Federer tennis match from Milan. The idea behind the Federer loss has been interesting me for a while so will probably do a separate write up on that another day and see if any of you tennis traders out there have any opinions.

The cricket was a strange one. Far too many extras from the Lankans early doors but the dross was detracting from all the early lbw shouts and times the ball was beating the outside edge and pushing their price too far out. So I took a position on Lanka and never really looked back after the first wicket fell. New Zealand were really struggling - so much so that if you took away all the extras from the first 10 overs so they were going along at less than 1 run an over!

Murali once again showed what a genuis he can be taking just four balls to clean bowl Oram when he came on for a spell. Oram just didn't seem to have a clue where the ball was going and the slow mo replays of his wicket showed him trying to play the ball a good foot away from where the Doosra actually went - which was middle stump!

Only a last wicket partnership of 47 from Vettori and Patel stopped the Kiwi's from slumping to an embarrassing score which was not so much to do with a poor wicket but simply good bowling and poor shot selection. A score under 200 also made me a quick £50 on the innings run market which I'm increasingly starting to look at in games like this.

New Zealand struggled on to 165 but it was never going to be enough. Lanka were 1.3x during the innings break. Clearly with a good start without a wicket or two they were going to be around the 1.1x within 4 or 5 overs and that's what happened. I greened out perhaps a little early but wanted to get on with some other stuff and was happy with the end result of around £250 on the match. That said I did notice a 1000 lay and 1.01 back lost in the tennis so perhaps my time would have been better spent there!

Anyway, getting excited about tomorrow. Australia take on England in a curtain-raiser to the Ashes in the ICC Champions Trophy. And if that isn't a juicy enough prospect after losing their opening games in the tournament both teams are desperate for the win to progress to the semi finals. Hope it's a good one!

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tennis trading return

Daily Result: £215.37

With no cricket from the Champions Trophy today I turned my attention to the ATP Masters event from Madrid. With the poor matches earlier in the cricket tournament I'd nearly abandoned it a few days ago in favour of the tennis. And after netting a nice profit today it's tempting to do it again tomorrow instead of the New Zealand v Sri Lanka game.

The Madrid Maters is being shown on Sky and, inbetween getting some work and writing done, I dipped in and out of 6 matches throughout the day - some for as little as a game or two, others for longer. Despite the encouraging daily profit it nearly all went pear-shaped before things really got started.

Roddick v Berdych was where I nearly came undone. And, as is often the case in potential tennis losses, it was due to a player injury. As you might expect from the two big servers both players had held their serves in the first set and Berdych had taken it on the tie break. Sometimes with the powerful servers the best strategy is simply to trade the serve and that's what I continued to to into the second set.

So at the end of a Berdych service game I layed him at 1.7 leaving me with over £200 red on him. Then I noticed his price drop a tick, and then another, and another. There was nothing showing on Sky pics but the commentary picked up on a possible Roddick injury which the footage then confirmed. Of course Berdych's price went into freefall, especially as the injury looked a bad one to the ankle, and I was left in an awful position as I chased the market down trying to reduce my £200 red on Berdych.

There's always a danger of overracting to these injuries incase they're not too bad but the market was jumping all over the place enough to make quick trades between the 1.4x and 1.1x points to reduce the red nicely while trying to listen to what Roddick was saying to medical staff. The key was he mentioned he'd carry on but if he was still feeling it he'd retire. Berdych's price plummeted again.

So the match continued but it was obvious Roddick was wasn't fit enough to play properly and a few more trades in the 1.3x range meant I was able to shift my red from Berdych to Roddick. At which point Roddick called for a match official. He clearly didn't want to play on but a bizarre conversation followed in which it appeared he had to or risk a $40k fine. Well I know the guy's loaded but he decided to carry on. Fair play, he didn't give up in an obvious manner but it was clear he wasn't properly fit and wasn't going to win. Even so, when the price on Berdych hit 1.01 I layed it a little to leave a small green on Roddick too just incase he managed to play through the injury and recover. Unlikely I know but for a few £ reduction in profit on a Berdych win I has happy to green out. Especially as I'd been looking at a potential £200 loss 10 minutes before.

Had a look into some other games after that. The one I was really interested in was the Djokovic v Murray match in the evening. Regular readers will know I like trading the Scottish Sulker's games and they have a tendancy to be profitable with nice market swings. Fact is though I was a bit knackered so only did part of the game before leaving myself with a small green either result. Shame really as seeing the result after the game it looks like it would have been another cracking match to trade with Murray losing after going into the 1.0x range!

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cricket: Aussies lose to Windies

Daily Result: £39.77

Wow! What a game. Fantastic viewing. Following on from yesterday's match this tournament has truly come alive now the pitches are half decent. And today's unexpected Windies victory over the World Champions by 10 runs has added some interest to the big game on Saturday between Australia and England. Bring it on!!

On the down side I lost around £40. But funnily enough I'm well pleased with that. Believe me, it was looking a lot worse at one stage - over £350 red the pair. Thankfully there were enough subsequent price swings to help save me. In the last couple of overs I could have even taken a smallish profit on the Windes but with still a sizable red on Australia I decided to reduce that instead. Just in case. Couple of boundaries and the chance would have gone. Anyway, if I'd been offered a £40 loss 40 minutes earlier I'd have taken it with a big smile. So happy to settle for it rather than risk a far heavier potential loss of several hundred pounds.

Not going to run through the game today save to say the Aussies price was pretty much too small throughout the match. 1.23 before a ball was bowled was crazy. And there were plenty of people on the Betfair Cricket forum offering the view. Both at the start and during the game. I managed to build my red through a couple of poorly timed trades. Particularly backing the Aussies just before each of their first two wickets fell. (In fact the ball before Ponting was out).

Looking back the game was a trader's dream and I'm positive small fortunes were won and lost during it. For a long time Australia traded in the 1.1x range. Whenever a team that's been that short loses there's always going to be big winners as well as those nursing charred fingers.

Anyway, the key point for me from today's game was how I managed to reduce my red. And the answer is it was largely down to the Betfair trading software I was using. (I used both Racing Traders and Bet Angel during the game). Within a 10 minute spell or so the Windies fell from 4ish to 1.4ish. I was only playing with small stakes by that time because if a larger trade had gone against me I would have lost more than the maximum loss of £500 I allow myself on any event.

By the time the Windies had gone odds on the market was all over the place. I guess noone really knew the true price so the general panic, combined with the volatility being provided by the match events, made it a trader's dream. And that's where the Betfair approved software comes into its own. There's no need to constantly hit the refresh button as you do with the traditional Betfair interface. The prices are automatically updated around 5 times a second. Watch them fluctuate on a ladder format like city traders use, combine it with one click trading, take away the need to have to change the odds you want, and it puts a completely different perspective on how the market is operating. Basically, you get a much better view. And with it, of course, the chance to take advantage financially. Which is effectively what I was able to do to reduce my red. I know some bulk at the cost of the software (though Racing Traders has a free trial and Bet Angel has a free package with less functionality) but today showed that it really can pay for itself in less than 30 minutes. In one trade even.

Anyway, had a bit of a lucky escape today. There's no cricket tomorrow so I'll be having a look in at the ATP tennis from Madrid at some point. Looking forward to it.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cricket: Pakistan v Sri Lanka

Daily Result: £133.24

At last! A decent competitive game of cricket. Bit of a thriller even. Just what the Champions Trophy needed to kick it into life.

I discussed yesterday how I thought the first innings total could be higher than the low average the competition has seen so far and thankfully it was. A combination of a better pitch, though there was still uneven bounce, a weakened Pakistan bowling attack and a good aggressive attitude from some inform Sri Lankan batsmen meant a total of 253 was reached. And Sri Lanka would probably have been disappointed with that. If it wasn't for a mini mid order collapse 300 wouldn't have been unrealistic.

With a quick start from Lanka, and no early wickets the market moved nicely for the early overs before settling into a narrowish band from the 20 over mark or so as wickets started to fall and the run rate levelled off. By the change of innings I'd built up around £100 green the pair.

Pakistan came out in a positive mood and got off to a flyer in their innings. Cracking stuff to watch and the market started moving fast. As the scoreboard ticked over boundaries and wickets had a big effect on the market. In fact it became very volatile with several flip flops. A great opportunity to make a lot of cash for traders. But to be honest I didn't have a clue which way the game was going to go. So rather than risk my hard-earned green in a very volatile market I ended up leaving it mostly alone, taking out some insurance on the tie, and enjoying the match as I got on with some writing work.

Guess you could say I bottled it as braver traders than me could, and no doubt did, make big profits from the constant huge swings. I didn't want to lose all the green I'd built up though over a few hours in the space of 5-10 minutes. I did get involved occaisionally. 30 balls to go for example. I layed Pakistan at 1.51 for small stakes. Next ball they were 1.33. With swings like that on each ball it was possible to make big profits - but also lose all the green built up earlier in no time at all.

Pakistan eventually won the game - a great team effort considering all the circumstances. And it was a great game too that went pretty much to the wire. Enjoyable to watch and fantastic to trade. Here's hoping the other matches in the tournament are as good.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

ICC cricket: Big potential wins

Daily Result: £158.46

Just didn't get it right for most of today. Missed the early news about Asif and Akhtar being withdrawn from the ICC Champions Trophy for failing drugs tests so didn't manage to make a penny on the subsequent market swings. Then traded badly and missed out on some nice potential profits. Started out on the New Zealand v South Africa match but it just seemed everytime I opened a position I got it wrong to start with - which ultimately led to me missing out on a big profit as I was unable to take real advantage of some crazy odds during the South Africa run chase. And to top that I then managed to turn a £40 green on Martina Hingis when she was 1.01 into a £25 loss! (I said it was bad!) Finally got my head back together for a quick dip into the Henman game in the evening.

Won't run through each event in detail. But the cricket is worth a mention. I made just under £130 on it which on the face of it is great. But it should have been a lot more. Apart from anything else I was £160 red the pair at the change of innings.

What makes the cricket worth discussing is the potential profits to be made at the moment. Something very odd is happening over in India in this ICC Champions Trophy tournament. Bascially the run totals have so far been very low. Mainly due to poor pitches (and occasional suicidal shot selection). Throughout the qualifiers and real matches to date only 2 of the 6 teams that have batted first have managed to last 50 overs (3 out of 8 games). Zimbabwe were skittled in 30.1 overs, West Indies in 30.4, England in 37, New Zealand in 45.4 and Bangladesh in 46.3. The average first innings score has been just 183. Zimbabwe have been dismissed for 86. The West Indies for just 80!

Anyway, of course the point is if the team batting first is finding it hard going then invariably the team batting second will. But the market doesn't always seem to have always caught up with this fact yet and is favouring too strongly the team that has fielded first.

Yesterday's New Zealand v South Africa match is a case in hand. For large parts of the South African run chase the odds were simply wrong. It was as if despite the fact that the South Africa batsmen were struggling the market simply didn't believe New Zealand's 195 was enough. (In fact they won by a massive 87 runs!) It was a crazy situation. Like people who weren't aware of the pitch conditions were joining the match, making a quick assessment and piling into what would normally be a great value bet on the team chasing. Except in these conditions it isn't.

It was well worth making a point of watching some of thee qualifier games to get a general idea of conditions as it's undoubtedly saved me a few quid. Unfortunately I keep getting myself into poor situations in these games and haven't yet picked up a decent win. Maybe tomorrow in the Sri Lanka v Pakistan game!

Sri Lanka are actually one of the teams that has adapted to the conditions the best (and it's probably no coincidence that the other team, Bangladesh, is also Asian). This is making some of the outright prices on Asian sides pretty attractive. And means tomorrow we might actually see a decent first innings total. Especially if Sri Lanka bat first given that Pakistan's new ball attack has been sent home.

Despite that it's worth bearing in mind in future games that the pitches so far are making batting difficult, innings totals are lower than what would normally be expected and the market isn't always taking this into account. Good luck if you get involved! And feel free to leave comments on any post :-)

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

ICC Champions Trophy

Daily Result: £30.66

So after a series of almost circus-like one sided qualifying matches the tournament proper finally got going today with the much anticipated India v England game. Which immediately turned into another one sided encounter through a combination of poor England batting, preparation and dubious umpiring. While questions have to be asked about whether the type of pitch provided is really what is required for an international One Dayer with both teams struggling more than a little on it.

Excuses aside though England were woeful. Abject. Sure, England's record in ODI's isn't great while India's recent home record of 13 wins from 17 is impressive. And with a combined cap total of 476 for England compared to India's 1454 it's pretty obvious where the real experience lies.

But 125 all out in 37 overs?! Even on a tough pitch where 200 would have been truly competitive it's poor. And not simply because there were sections of play reading 14 balls, 1 run, 2 wickets. But because wickets were thrown away once the team was in trouble through suicidal shot selection. India struggled on the pitch too. A little more thought, an extra 50-60 runs and strange as it sounds England could have won.

And that's despite the appalling opening over from Steve Harmison. Who kept the scorers busy by conceding 20 runs from 9 balls. In fact, after 3.2 overs India had 45 runs and it all seemed over. Eventually they passed England's total for the loss of 6 wickets in the 29th over - showing that once England's bowling improved it was a tough pitch to make runs on. And with a little more thought and a few more runs England could have made a game of it.

Anyway, for the second day in a row my opening trade of the match went against me. Not as drastic today as yesterday's but after the second England wicket fell I changed my position in the same way, increasing my position on India as more wickets fell. The rest of the game was just a watching brief then just to make sure India won.

So a bit of another wasted opportunity but at least it's some profit. Getting a little frustrated with the one-sided nature of these matches at the moment. Hoping the tournament picks up in terms of competitiveness. There's a lot of day time tennis on this week (starts at 10am, same as the cricket tomorrow) and at this rate my time will simply be better spent doing the tennis. So here's hoping the South Africa and New Zealand game tomorrow is a good one.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

The value of a stop loss

Daily Result: £104.79

After yesterday's blog entry I received an email asking me why I traded out of a position for a guaranteed loss in the circumstances that I did. In the blog entry I'd said if Bangladesh had lost each of their first two wickets an over or two earlier I'd have been fine and would have made a nice profit. As it is I got out at a preplanned point and just accepted the loss. Why hadn't I just waited for the wickets to fall and then traded out for a guaranteed profit I was asked?

While I'm not going to go into a full on explanation of why I use a stop loss today's final ICC Champions Trophy Qualifier between Sri Lanka and the West Indies is a good example of why I traded out for that guaranteed loss. Basically the answer is I didn't know those wickets were going to fall. And if they hadn't I would have suffered a greater loss. And as part of my bankroll management - which has the simple aim of making sure I save enough to pay for my wedding over the course of 15 months or so - I have a limit to what I am willing to lose on any one event.

So, today's game. And why a stop loss can be so valuable. Well, given that West Indies were bowled out for an embarrassing 80 I guess I look more than a bit of a mug for backing them pre-match at 2.24 for £500! Obviously I wasn't expecting a circus performance, thought they may post a decent total and enable me to get out for a nice profit.

Even before a ball had been bowled though around £45k had appeared in the market opposing the Windies. The money was pretty insistent they weren't going to win and managed to push the price out to 2.4x.

No worries I thought. Gayle and Chanderpaul will get the Windies off to a good start and that'll be my opportunity to get it. Except it didn't work out like that. At all. Gayle was out in the first over, Vaas was moving the ball all over the place and the Windies price shot out to 3.3x. Which left me with a £500 red on a short-priced Sri Lanka. Now, at that stage, another Windies wicket and my position would have been unrecoverable. I'd could have been looking at a guaranteed loss within minutes of the game starting. As the ball continued to swing I decided I'd rather have that £500 red on the Windies and layed them at 3.25. So my position is now level Sri Lanka, £505 red the West Indies.

So I had a crap position by anyone's standards. But the point is my position was now recoverable. Even if the Windies won the game the match had only just started and I had plenty of time to sort my position on them out. If I'd hung on to my original trade hoping for a Windies price recovery I may well have got lucky and ended up level again. But another wicket and I would have been screwed.

And, of course, another wicket is what happened. Pushing the Windies price out to around 5.0. Followed by 8 more in pretty rapid succession. In fact the 80 scored beat their lowest ever previous score against of 147 comfortably! And that was with the benefit of a some dodgy LBWs decisions in their favour - and a wicket that wasn't given as it came from a no ball.

Anyway, as the game progressed and it became obvious what the result was going to be I backed Sri Lanka and it's that position that resulted in today's win. Small in comparision to what many would have made on such a one-sided game. But, nevertheless, a profit is a profit. And it was possible because I was willing to accept I'd got my first trade wrong and got out of my position before it became unrecoverable.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Cricket trading loss review

Daily Result: £184.28

I learned a long time ago that you can't win every on every event you trade on and begrudgingly accept the occasional loss as an occupational hazard. But some losses are far more annoying than others and today's was a case in hand. I'd already mentioned earlier in the week that despite Zimbabwe's recent ODI series win over Bangadesh I thought Bangladesh would win today's ICC Champions Trophy qualifier. And they did. Comfortably. But that just makes today's loss even more frustrating!

In fact the whole game was a little frustrating. Bangladesh batted first and proceeded to score for most of the innings at a rate slower than some teams manage in test matches. It was pretty dull stuff to watch. But rather than go through the whole game in detail I'll take a closer look at the 11 overs that effectively led to me losing money as it's probably the bit that'll interest most people.

Perhaps the reason for the slow start was given the pitch and conditions Bangladesh were never going to need a big score to win this game. Nevertheless an impressive 123 not out from Nafees saw Bangladesh reach a respectable 231. At the change of innings I was green Bangladesh and red Zimbabwe. There wasn't a lot of profit in it (the odds hadn't moved that much during the innings) but I was in a postion where I could go all green. Unless a match is seemingly completely over at the change of innings I'll often level out, or at least reduce any red I have. The old adage that you should never judge a total until both teams have had a bat is a good one to bear in mind. And if the team batting second don't lose early wickets, especially with a relatively low required run rate, their price moves in quickly.

The problem was the price on Bangladesh was 1.42 to lay. Which I thought was far too high. Put simply I wasn't willing to lay at that kind of price. 1.3 maybe. But 1.4x just seemed plain wrong. So I decided to leave it. And that's where the problems started. As it was the first 11 overs of the Zimbabwean innings that resulted in my loss.

The trouble was although they were eventually skittled out for 130 Zimbabwe didn't lose a wicket early enough for me. And as they were only just behind the run rate to start with their price started coming in rapidly. Which, of course, meant the Bangladesh price started drifting. I'd set a point in mind where I was going to bail out of my Bangla back hoping I wouldn't have to make the trade. But I did and ended up laying them in the 1.7x range. Which killed me. It was gutting to have to do it. I was still pretty sure they'd win but there comes a time when you have to cut your losses. I set a loss limit on each event I trade and do my best to get nowhere near that. Another 20 runs on the board without the loss of another wicket at the time I bailed and I'd have been looking a big loss in the face. Perhaps I should have been more patient. But the problem is patience can cost you money sometimes!

Anyway, then, to compound an already bad situation I laid Bangladesh again as the runs were flowing with the aim of nicking a quick few ticks in between balls and overs. Not a smart move as I failed to get out and another wicket fell almost immediately. The Bangla price moved back into the 1.4x range. And I was left with an even bigger potential loss.

At that point I simply levelled out the red and accepted I was going to lose on the match. In the space of 11 overs I'd turned a winning position into a guaranteed loss. Mainly because I thought the price between innings was wrong and wasn't willing to take it. But I was a little unlucky with the timing of the wickets. (If the first two had each fallen an over or two earlier I'd have been fine.)

Anyway, when it became clearer that Bangladesh had the game in the bag a little later I reduced my red on them and shifted as much over to Zimbabwe as I could. But that still left me looking at a loss of around £185. Of course, at that point I could have deposited another £1k into my Betfair account and "bought my way out of trouble". And if I had I would have made a small 3-figure profit. But at the same time strange things can happen in betting markets. I
start each day with a set a bank and have a rule that I don't deposit more money if I'm losing on an event. Sure, sometimes you can prevent a loss but sooner or later chasing like that will lead to a very big loss. So I've just taken the loss on the chin, put it down to experience and have reviewed my trading to see if there's anything I can learn from it.

Like I said - you can't win every time you trade. But my aim is to make a profit the vast majority of times - and hopefully I can return to winning ways in tomorrow's match between Sri Lanka and the West Indies! Both teams have already qualified the for Champions Trophy proper but the game should still be competitive as the losers will have to join the group with Australia, India and England already in it!

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bangladesh v West Indies

Daily Result: £47.62

Spent an hour or so at the wedding venue this morning chatting through the main arrangements and starting to plan how the day will run. Still a long way off but the venue seems very organised and requested we went to see them this early to start preparations so that everything is ready in plenty of time. All a bit exciting really to talk it all through. And made us realise there's still a lot to sort.

Dipped briefly into the Bangladesh v West Indies game when I got back as I mentioned I probably would earlier. Bit of a shame really. I suggested it could be a good game to trade if Bangladesh batted first and got off to a good start and that's exactly what happened. Turns out they'd made it to 95-1 and the West Indies price had drifted from 1.12 to 1.35 while I was out. Unfortunately, from such a good position Bangladesh somehow managed to collapse to 107-5 before I got back home again and by the time I got my computer on I was left picking up scraps at 1.0x on the Windies as Bangladesh struggled to 161 all out.

Even despite their recent spectacular collapses not even the Windies could mess up such a small chase at a required rate of just 3.24 an over. In fact both Gayle and Chanderpaul looked more than comfortable as they cruised to a 10 wicket drubbing with more than 13 overs to spare adding another £50 or so to the wedding funds in the process.

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A short trading break

So I've had a few days away from trading since the Bangladesh v Sri Lanka loss. Couple of reasons really. The first is my fiancee Emma has a week off inbetween jobs so we've been getting out and about and catching up with some DIY around the house. Also been taking another look at the wedding plans and budget. In fact, we're off out soon to the reception venue to have a chat about all that and start sorting some of the details.

The other reason is the cricket odds have been so 1-sided pre match in these qualifiers for the ICC Champions Trophy that it wasn't really worth getting involved unless you were looking for a drift in price as I was in the Sri Lanka game. Yesterday's match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe saw Sri Lanka at 1.02 before the toss for example.

Things should be better trading wise from now on though. Despite West Indies being 1.12 in today's match with Bangladesh the game has good potential for some profit, especially if Bangladesh bat first and post a decent total. Hoping they do so that when I get back from the reception venue visit it might well be worth getting involved.

The other two qualifiers will probably also be worth a look. I'm sure an argument could be made to say Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are as bad as each other so Friday's game could be competitive (though in reality I think Bangladesh have just about pulled themselves out of the lowest rung of international cricket now and should win comfortably). While the final qualifier between Sri Lanka and the West Indies on Saturday could be a cracker. Certainly worth trading anyway.

And after that we're into the competition proper. 15 matches in 21 days with the curtain raiser being India v England this Sunday. Drop in a little tennis on the non-cricket days and there's a good, and hopefully profitable, month's trading ahead!

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka cricket

Daily Result: £71.92

Yes, yes, I know. How could I possibly lose money on a cricket match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka? Surely everyone knew Sri Lanka would win. And just incase they didn't know the pre match odds of 1.06 might have been a clue!

But, of course, things are never quite that simple. First up Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka in the last ODI between the two. And then there was the question of the toss. And it's there that I went wrong. Basically I gambled there was around a 50% chance Bangladesh would bat first leading to a small drift in the Lankan price. And with anything like an average score posted by Bangladesh Sri Lanka would trade a lot higher than 1.06. At the very least 1.40 I would have thought. Which would have been a great return for an even money(ish) shot!

Things didn't quite work out that way though. Bangladesh won the toss and I was all smiles. Until they elected to field first - much to the surprise of most observers. Including the Sri Lankan team who made it quite clear they wanted to bat first. End result is Sri Lanka posted a good score of 302 in their 50 overs and never traded above my original 1.06 lay price.

To be fair I can see the argument for fielding first - even if it meant batting under lights. The pitch was green and there was movement. A few close LBW decisions went Sri Lanka's way, balls beating the outside edge resulted in nothing and leading edges just dropped short of fielders. Bangladesh were a little unlucky and Sri Lanka would have struggled if some earlier wickets had been taken. However, although I can see the argument it doesn't mean I agree and for me it was a straight forward decision to bat first, see off the early overs, post a total and watch the opposition struggle under lights - which is exactly what Sri Lanka did.

The annoying thing was Bangladesh's total of 256 would have been great for me if they had batted first. Would have meant a nice drift in the Sri Lankan price for a good profit on the day. Still I knew it was a gamble and for a small downside was willing to take it for a much bigger potential upside. Ended up losing £60 on the outright market.

Dropped the other £20 or so on the Sri Lankan innings run market by laying under 300 runs. Got out earlier in the innings for a loss if they got over and break even if they didn't when it looked like they'd walk it. But Bangladesh contained them well and, irony of ironies, it was none other than Muralitharan's 11 off 4 balls (for a strike rate of 275!!) which set it up for a final over that saw Sri Lanka scrape past 300 on the last ball of the innings!

Bit of an odd one really. Heavily fancied Sri Lanka to win but just thought the value was to be had opposing them pre-toss and hoping Bangladesh batted first. Would have netted a nice profit from that situation but I guess you can't win them all.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Porsche Grand Prix tennis

Daily Result: £90.51

Got involved for small stakes in 3 quarter final WTA matches today from the Porsche Grand Prix. Won on two today and had to go out during the third. Had a green on the most likely winner in the last game but a larger red on the other player so rather than risk the larger red I simply levelled out for a loss whatever the result. Some may have taken the risk but there's no such thing as a "sure thing" in WTA!

First match up was Krajicek v Golovin. It was the first head to head for the teenagers and Golovin bossed the first set blasting into a 5-0 lead before taking it 6-1. The second set wasn't much harder as she took it 6-2 for a pretty convincing win which netted me around £50. quite happy really. Still getting back into the tennis trading and using low stakes so not a bad return.

Next up was the Jankovic v Kusnetsova quarter final. Eurosport somehow managed to surpass even it's own usual poor standards by losing the pictures and just providing sound for 15 minutes or so before the match. Eventually the pics turned up again just before the game. There were big question marks over Jankovic's physical condition after she was on court very late last night and in the end Kusnetsova was able to take advantage. Sadly I wasn't really. The Eurosport pics kept disappearing - often at crucial points - and with the internet scoreboard miles behind even EuroSport, let alone the live action, I ended up giving up and not trading the whole game. Managed to make a quick £80 or so but still annoyed as it was a good game to trade but too risky with the pictures disappearing at frequent intervals.

Final game of the day was Hantuchova v Petrova. And we almost saw a "Golden set" - whereby a player wins the set without dropping a point on their own serve. Petrova walked the set winning 16 out of 17 of her service points. Shame really as the point she lost was a double fault when she was 15-0 up while serving for the first set. Anyway, managed to get on the wrong side of a trade or two at the start of the second set which left me red hantuchova and green Petrova.

Unfortunately at that point I had to unexpectedly go out, just as Hantuchova was getting back into the game, which left me with a classic decision. Win a smallish green if Petrova wins. Lose a larger red if Hantuchova wins. Or level out for a small red either way. What to do? Well, it's all very boring but as ever in these situations I took the safe option, levelled out and red and settled for a winning day. Turns out Petrova won and I would have won around double what I finally did but also could have made nothing if she lost. Would make the same decision time after time given the match situation. I'm happy with the idea of small, consistent as possible, wins.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cricket, tennis and Hugh

Daily Result: £41.62

Hmmm. He doesn't know it yet but my new next door neighbour Hugh and I haven't got off to the best starts. He's a pleasant enough chap, friendly and with the good grace to call round, say hello and introduce himself. In fact we had a nice chat. I even complimented him on his new green front door paint job. However, what Hugh doesn't realise is that it's our little chat that caused today's loss and I'm holding him personally responsible! Even if it was really my own fault!! Let me explain...

The day didn't really get off to the best of starts. Was involved in the India Blue v India Red Indian Challenger Final. Didn't have the greatest of positions but was still on course to make a profit when the rain arrived and eventually caused the game to be abandoned. Still managed to lose £28.20 on the game though. Calculated risk. I knew others would have the advantage on the weather situation but after one Sky update, and taking the amount of time left into consideration, I laid No completed match for the liability at 1.14. Just thought there was still plenty of time to get a completed match in. To be fair I could have taken a small profit but just left it and by the time I realised the match was off those people with the advantage were busy snapping up the 1.01. Probably a lesson to be learned there but I just thought 1.14 was too short at that stage.

Anyway, the lack of cricket action left me at a bit of a loose end so I finally turned my attention back to the tennis and traded my first match since August 30 while watching some "live" coverage of Porsche Grand Prix on Eurosport. Now the televised tennis is picking up again I intend to start trading it again but after any break like that I always start at very low stakes just to regain the feel of the markets and today was no exception.

Which was just as well really! I picked up a quick £32.44 and was was given a fantastic reminder just how volatile tennis, and in particular, WTA, matches can be. I tuned into the Dementieva v Srebotni match just as Demetieva complete a 1-4 comeback to win the 2nd set and level it at 1 set a piece. Srebotni was in tears at letting the match escape her and her coach was on court comforting her. Well, if ever there was a time to back Dementieva!

And sure enough, Srebotni came out to serve the opening game of the third and was broken. And then the time-honoured WTA rollercoaster really picked up speed. Dementieva was then broken. Couple of games with serve. Then Srebotni was broken again. Which meant Dementieva was serving for the game. And winning the service game. Until she cramped! A full medical timeout was granted and she drifted from 1.18 to 1.5x. During which time my computer also took a time out and crashed. Back up again the Eurosport pictures freeze and we get an apology. And then finally Dementieva loses the service game and it's 5-5 in the final set. At which point I settle for my green and wonder if tennis is really game I want to get back into trading!!

Anyway, Dementieva finally won and I moved onto the Jankovic v Pierce game, joining midway through the first set. Again, playing for small stakes I made the odd error or two but was building some small green nicely.

And that's when Hugh enters the story with a loud knock on the door. I had a quick check of my position and went to answer. He introduced himself and we had a chat for about 10 minutes. Now obviously I was keen to get back to the match but the guy is my new neighbour, I've a good position in the game so let's be friendly I thought. Exchange some gossip and check he hasn't got a dog that insists on barking everytime it breathes. Things like that.

Pleasantries out the way I returned to my den to be greeted with a miserable sight. I was £90 red on Jancovic who was 1.1x. WTF? Turns out in my haste to answer the door I'd left a bet in the system that someone later helped themselves too, no doubt thanking whichever mug left the juicy price there for them to pick off. Yep, well, I was the mug so enjoy the money but be warned - I'm coming back for it!

Anyway, without wishing to leave a huge red on Pierce for very long for the sake of making a few £ on Jancovic I simply traded the rest of the game to reduce the overall red position and ended up losing £45.86 on the game. Which left me down on the day. Great.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Indian Challenger: Red v Green

Daily Result: £47.98

Caught out again. After the colour confusion of the other day both India Red and India Green wore red today. Leading me to believe that for tomorrow's final everyone will be caught by totally by surprise when India Blue actually play in blue, and India Red in, well, red. Stranger things have happened!

Again didn't really trade today's game very much but rather had it on in the background as a bit of reccy for the forthcoming Champions Trophy. Traded a bit at the start and end of the 1st innings and a little from around half way through the second but for small stakes with small interest.

Reckon tomorrow's final between between India Blue and Red will be a good game though. Effectively India v India A. The A team (pity the fool and all that) won the first game of the series so the India Blue will be up for a bit of revenge and to restore some pride. (ok then, save themselves some red faces).

The toss could be crucial. Batting under the lights doesn't seem to be impacting as much as say in England in September but I'm still pretty sure both teams will want a knock first tomorrow. 1st innings run totals have been good this series. The scores caught a few firms out early doors and I'm sure the high scoring trend will continue into the Champions Trophy itself. Which should hopefully make for some cracking viewing as well as trading.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

September 2006 trading roundup

Monthly Result: £926.11

Well, not the most profitable of months since I started the blog. But there again I only traded 11 out of 30 days - and some of that was just dipping in and out of events. September is always a bit of a quiet one for tennis and cricket trading after the highlights of US Open and the end of the cricket season. Not a bad time to get away, use up some of those Betfair Points holidays and catch up with a few bits and bobs.

While the trading may have been on the quiet side the month on the blog has been quite interesting anyway. The biggest win was £339.93 , the biggest loss an absolute nightmare that ended up in a £259.24 red. (Let's just say I lost the sky pics, internet connection and finally my entire power supply!)

In addition Racing Post columnist Net Prophet had a good word or two to say about the blog. Something Blogger seemed to disagree with as they contrived to delete the whole thing for a few days causing the blog to disappear leaving me more than a little stressed!

What else? Well, a post about how different trading styles can impact on profit resulted in my getting sent quite a few emails while a story about a bet that looked too good to be true reminded us all that when something looks too good to be true it's generally because it is!

I've continued using this betfair trading software but have also been using Bet Angel which I've been meaning to review. The lack of events for me to trade has meant I haven't got round to using all the functionality on it yet but I should get something up in the next few days hopefully.

Anyway, October should be a lot busier on the trading front with around 20 ODIs in the cricket alone from the ICC Champions Trophy. As well as some European ATP tennis action from Madrid and Paris which will mean some good tennis trading at a reasonable hour.

Which should all give me ample opportunity, with a little luck, to raise some more funds to help pay for the big day!

Popular links: Betfair trading software .....Bet Angel.....Learn to trade

Indian Challenger: Blue v Green

Daily Result: £51.54

Another quick look at the Challenger series today to check out some form and get a feel for the day / night game in India in the warm up to the ICC Champions Trophy. Traded a bit during the first innings and then a little more in the first few overs of the second innings but mainly just had it on in the background.

Anyway, India Blue took on India Green (who were wearing red just to confuse everyone as we collected red and green positions) and made an impressive 381 from 50 overs with Tendulkar showing his form yet again with a stunning 139 from 100 balls and Dhoni racking up an unbeaten 79 from just 59 balls.

All in vain really as India Green had faces as red as their red shirts after collapsing to 113 all out in just 26.4 overs for a 268 run drubbing.

Anyway, India Red will be taking on India Green tomorrow (who will no doubt be wearing blue) to see who playes India Blue in the final on Wednesday. (Who will of course revert to wearing blue themselves, leaving India Green in red or India Red, strangely enough, in red.)

Confusing business this cricket trading lark. :-)

Popular links: Betfair trading software .....Bet Angel.....Learn to trade