Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year

Well, that's it for me this year. Am off today on a short break with Emma and won't be back until 2007. So whatever you get up to this new year I hope you have a good one and it doesn't get too messy. :-)

I won't be trading or updating the blog while I'm away (A week without turning on the computer - bliss!) but there's plenty of other blogs listed down the right hand side which make a good read if you want to follow the betting lives of others. I particularly enjoy The Gambler, The Sports Trader, (Hope Leo gets well soon) Smiling Assassin and Feyang (though he's away at the moment too.)

I've had the blog going for nearly 8 months now. I've made a profit each month and am now nearly £10k up. Sure, small fry compared to many many others on Betfair but I'm pleased with it. And why not? I've turned £1k into nearly £11k through a part-time lowish risk approach. I've got to be happy with that!! When I started the blog I had a set goal of paying for as much of my wedding as I could by the time it comes round and, fingers crossed, I'm now hoping to cover the entire bash.

Hopefully in the new year I'll pass through the £10k mark and will no doubt do a little write up looking at some of the stats involved. Total amount traded (A scarily high figure!), commission paid, number of events traded etc etc.

In the meantime have a happy new year, good luck with your betting and I'll see you in 2007!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Handbags at Purfleet

Daily Result: £32.26

Sod the day's trading. Today's darts news was all about the Chris Mason v Phil Taylor spat which eventually saw The Power beat Mason 4-0 before threatening to quit the game for good - at which point Mason invited him outside into the Purfleet car park to discuss their differences.

Mason, who proudly claims he used to make bog chains for a living, raised the pre-match temperature by calling Taylor arrogant, patronising and materialistic and generally letting loose in an interview which smacked of sour grapes at the sporting and financial success of the 13 times World Champion.

Taylor replied by easily whitewashing Mason, who, after showing he can be a bit handy when tooled up in a brawl, has served time at Her Majesty's pleasure. In the post match interview Taylor then stunned Sky Sports by threatening to quit the game for good rather than take the kind of verbal abuse Mason was dishing out to him and the crowd both during and after the match. He followed that up by inviting the Sky cameras to follow him upstairs so he could confront Mason on live tv about what he'd said.

Unfortunately Sky declined so Taylor went off on his todd to discuss it with Mason, who promptly tried to check back in to her Majesty's Hotel by asking him outside for a fight in the belief that Taylor tried to "mug him off" with a limp-wristed handshake.

Handbags! And all a bit embarrassing. For the players and the sport. Though love him or loathe him you have to say Taylor had a point on this one with Mason coming out of it all looking a little bit silly. Anyway, if you're interested here's the original Mason interview pre match, here's Taylor threatening to quit the game and here's Mason inviting him into the car park.

After which the days trading was all a bit dull. Considering it's a holiday period I don't seem to have too much spare time for it at the moment but did manage to have another look in on the PDC darts today.

The match I got involved with was the Scholten v Osborne game. Traded it quite cautiously keeping my green pretty well balanced throughout and didn't touch the last set of the match at all. Sure there's many who made a lot more on this game but my aim today, which is my last trading day of the month, was simply to make a small profit, ensure I finished more than £1k up for December (I have a £45 green any result on the South Africa v India 2nd test to see me through that barrier) and not do my nuts in making a stupid loss!

I enjoy watching darts a lot but can't honestly say it's a sport I have the greatest knowledge of. That said I've been impressed by Osborne. Seems to have virtually come from nowhere in the last couple of years and now he's broken the top 32 it wouldn't surprise me to see him go much higher. Would certainly have made an easier job of beating Scholten if he could improve on his doubles.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Darts trading profit

Daily Result: £57.82

So I hope you all had a good Christmas and Santa saw fit to deliver whatever it was you wanted! We had a good time here and when you combine the food drink and visiting that was going on I didn't really have a chance to get involved with anything trading wise until today. Which meant I missed out on a lot of overnight action on Christmas day and Boxing day but hey, trading isn't everything.

Finally got round to having a look at a few markets today. First up I caught around 20 minutes of the South Africa v India 2nd test. It was getting very dark, I could see play finished early the previous day so when the umpires got together I backed the draw. They were off for bad light withing 15 minutes and I've got around a £45 green any result. I know I layed that back off too early and could have held on for more but I also know I won't be around for the restart, and am going away for a week, so my main aim is not to leave any liabilities that I won't be able to keep an eye on. And, £45 is £45. Not bad for 20 minutes of watching cricket anyway.

The £57 profit logged for today came from the darts. Caught a little of the Wade v Ladley game near the end and made a tenner. The rest came from the Priestley v Laursen match. I got in a good lay of Priestley early on when it was clear he hadn't arrived with his A game and never really looked back.

Built my market position to £120 green the pair and then it all went a little wrong. Bascially I increased my green on Laursen at the expense of a Priestley red but the Dane missed 8 darts to win the match. (Yes, 8 fecking darts!) Which left me running for cover bailing Laursen green as I went, and only making around £50. After that little episode I simply left the match. Laursen is obviously very capable but was having some bottle problems. Priestley is class as we know. But the reality is the match could still go either way. And with the game so near the end the market was always going to be very volatile so I just left it and settled for the reduced profit. No point in risking the green in such a volatile market.

Anyway, it all means that as long as I don't lose anything tomorrow the result should be a profit of more than £1k this month which, considering I've not had much to trade, I'm more than happy with. Certainly more than I'd envisaged at the start of the month. And, of course, it keeps the wedding funds ticking over nicely. :-)

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Christmas

Well that's it till after Christmas. Nothing for me to trade so I thought I'd say Happy Christmas and have a good one to everyone. Hope the big bearded chap brings you all lots of winners!

I'd also like to say a big thanks to everyone who checks in from time to time to read the blog, leaves comments and emails me. Nice to know you guys think it's worth the effort to read and I appreciate the advice so many of you have given me. Been great to swap ideas and discuss trading ideas and strategies too. So thanks to everyone who has taken the time. Got some ideas for the blog for the new year so hope you all carry on checking in!

Just a quick reminder too that if you haven't already put your name down to win a year's free access to Bet Angel, some of the leading Betfair trading software, you can do so here. It'll take you 10 seconds to enter the competition and you could win the software - which is worth £438. The closing date to enter the competition is the end of the month.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Quick look at the darts

Daily Result: £7.65 (plus the £90.64 from the cricket below)

So after this morning's Twenty20 cricket I did manage to get around to having a look at the darts. Didn't make much but a profit is a profit. And in truth it would have been more if I'd been paying a little more attention. I accidentally left an ask for a £50 back up in one market which was way up the ladder and as the price moved down I simply didn't see it and forgot to cancel it. Of course, I remembered it was there when the market concerned suddenly went into the red when the bet got taken. Not the smartest of ways to lose £50!

The darts itself was great fun to trade. Got involved in the Lewis v Jones match and Lewis showed he can justify all the hype with an awesome first set. He took it in just 4 minutes 55 seconds with 11, 14 and 12 dart finishes. His scores included 180s, a 177 and he averaged an incredible 121.86! Outstanding stuff - even if he obviously couldn't keep that kind of level up.

Also had a look in on the Jenkins v Beaton match which made up for the silly £50 loss and left me in profit for the darts on the day so I left it at that.

No more darts now until Boxing Day. In fact, just about no more anything I trade now until Boxing Day so will be having a few days off and getting ready for and enjoying Christmas.

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Twenty20 cricket trading

Daily Result: £90.64

Had a go at this morning's Twenty20 between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Cracking stuff even if the much threatened rain eventually turned up handing Sri Lanka victory on a Duckworth Lewis calculation.

New Zealand won the toss and batted first, promoting McCullum up the order to join Fleming. It was spectacular stuff to watch as the two cut loose from the first delivery smashing the ball to all corners of the ground.

In domestic English Twenty20 the holy grail for many batting sides is to make 60 off the first 6 overs. Fleming had McCullum had 49 from 4 and 66 from 6 - without the loss a wicket. Naturally their price plunged from around 1.9 to a low of around 1.3ish before wickets started to fall. I followed the price down but was only trading in half stakes today.

Wickets obviously slowed the run rate, rain didn't help but it was really the spinners and poor shot selection that then did for New Zealand. And although a score of 162 was just above what the commentators believed the Kiwi's would be happy with at the start of the innings, given they had such a great start it was a little disappointing.

Especially as Sri Lanka got their innings off to a cracking start too. Runs flowed quickly too and a couple of dropped catches meant Sri Lanka were ahead on the Duckworth Lewis calculations once they'd reached the 5 overs that constituted a match. Shortly after the rain got so heavy the players left the pitch never to return. The result? A recalculated Sri Lankan win by 18 runs.

I'd been taking a pretty low risk approach to the match keeping the stakes low and my green pretty level. The early finish deprived us off some good trading opportunities as the Lankans made good progress but £90 is £90 and I'd have settled for that when I switched the tv on at 6am this morning.

Anyway, great to get another fix of Twenty20 but that's it until the New Year now. There's some overnight test match action after Christmas but for the time being I'll probably settle for the darts. Hope to have a look in later today at some point. Certainly want to try and catch the Colin Lloyd v Raymond Barneveld match even if it's just to watch. Should be a cracker but reckon Barney will pull through. At least hoping he will. Would love to see a Barney v Taylor final. That would be some match!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Darts trading profit

Daily Result: £62.23

All a bit hectic at the moment with work and getting things ready for Christmas but had a chance to look in on the PDC darts yesterday and rack up some more savings for the wedding.

Made just over £60 that I was more than happy with. Love watching darts, even still play it from time to time, but I'm still pretty new to trading it. Have done it in the past but only a few times recently and as a result I'm treating it like the snooker and playing with small stakes until I'm more comfortable with it.

Unlike the snooker I'm not bothering with the leg betting though. There's more than enough movement in the outright market and it certainly moves a bit quicker than the snooker outrights!

Had hoped to get another look in today but didn't get the chance. The tournament final is on January 1st though with full coverage on Sky Sports so there should be plenty of time over the festive period to dip back into it.

In the meantime I may get the chance to do some tomorrow evening but the next event I'll definitely be doing is the Twenty20 game between New Zealand and Sri Lanka on Friday morning. Last cricket match before Christmas and the last fix of Twenty 20 action of the year.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Quick catch up

Daily Result: £102.25

Firstly apologies for the lack of updates for a few days. I was able to log in to my Blogger account but was having problems actually posting. All seems sorted now though. Just means I'm writing this and the previous entry a little later than usual.

Didn't actually trade today so most pleasing to make £100! The money was just the result of the all green positions I had on the 3rd Ashes test and the first test between South Africa and India. Didn't really have the opportunity to trade either properly but had the odd hour here and there so just built small positions and added to them as and when I could. As both matches finished today I got the money! :-)

Missed the snooker final yesterday. Spent the morning finding and cutting up firewood (I ache!) and the afternoon Christmas shopping. Was hoping to do the darts today but didn't quite get round to it. There's a feast of Arrers over the next few weeks though so I'm sure I'll get to have a look in sooner or later.

On the wedding side of things we chose and ordered the bridesmaid dresses at the weekend. Taken ages to find ones that look good and fit but it's finally sorted so we can relax now on the preparation side of things. Off to the venue again in January and I suppose I should start looking for the blokes' outfits sometime after that.

Anyway, good to be back up and running again. Busy week for me but hopefully get a chance to do some darts. Good luck with your own betting and trading in the meantime.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Lack of concentration leads to loss

Daily Result: £90.52

Made a classic mistake today. And one that's all the more funny because I mentioned how silly a mistake it was to make on the Betfair snooker forum the other day. So I'm feeling pretty stupid right now! But can see the funny side of it and at least the mistake didn't cost me too much money.

Made the error in the Hendry v Dott semi-final. Was tired but had small green positions on the outright and 4th frame markets. Had made some money in each of the other frames earlier in the day and was going to quit at the first session interval around £45 up. I knew I was tired and not really concentrating properly so went to make a cuppa and came back to simply watch the end of the frame and close down.

And that's when it all went a little wrong. Dott was lining up a pink and Dennis Taylor, who was commentating, said he needed the pink to win the frame. Dott took the shot softly, missed and left it set up. I'd rushed in and bet £50 on Hendry to win the frame. Of course, as soon as I got matched at 34 I knew something was wrong. As was confirmed by the scores. Dott didn't need the pink. And I'd just thrown away my profit for the match. Still, the green I had next to Hendry's name looked pretty! (Just click to enlarge the image)

The really annoying thing is Taylor had done a similar thing the other day when commentating. Worse in fact. He'd been something like 12 points out when he'd called the frame for someone. And at the time I'd said anyone not double checking before betting £600 (as was the case that time) needed their head examining. Well, that mug guy today was me. Enjoy my cash whoever got it. Just pleased I only did £50. If I wasn't still messing around with smaller amounts and learning the markets it could have been a lot uglier!

So, I got a good reminder about the importance of concentrating when trading and why it's not the smartest of moves to jump back into a market without checking everything first, despite what a commentator says. And it was confirmed that Taylor needs a fecking maths lesson!

And that should have been that. But I was annoyed. And so despite being tired I continued. And managed a small loss on another frame. And to screw up my outright market book. Realising too late that I just needed to leave it I did. The outright red would have been easy to turn round if I was in for the evening session but as I was off out for dinner with Emma and friends I simply just levelled it out, had a quiet word with myself and turned the computers off. The Frame 4 mistake was dumb. The losses after were dumber. Not rocket science. And I hope I don't do it again.

Earlier in the day I'd made a little on the final ODI between Pakistan and the West Indies. I didn't bother getting up early for it as knew all the liquidity would be on the Ashes test from Perth. Unfortunately the Betfair site and API went down during the key part of the game I didn't really bother getting involved once everything was back up. For starters I tend to leave it a while incase it goes down again. But also the Pakistan price had shortened quickly and there was little point in continuing with it.

As ever it's so annoying when the Betfair site goes down. I was lucky. I had an ask in the system which wasn't matched. It's worth knowing that when these outages occur unmatched bets in in-running markets are cancelled before the markets are reopened. Still worrying though until you see it has been cancelled. And of course, that doesn't help those who are matched and are desperate to get out. Who are left running to other exchagnes (though there was, understandably, next to no liquidity over at the purple place on this market) or trying to level their positions with traditional bookmakers.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rocket Ronnie melts down

Daily Result: £248.73

I guess Rocket Ronnie and fireworks have long gone hand in hand but even by his own increasingly bizarre standards O'Sullivan's walk out today was pretty incendiary stuff. Just upped and left mid match muttering something about having had enough. Amazing Scenes as some on Betfair might say. :-)

Ronnie was 4-1 down and on a break when he missed a red that he was frankly taking the piss by taking on after running out of position the previous shot. He then walked over to Hendry, shook his hand, shook that of match referee Jan Verhaas, and walked out. In doing so he conceded the match - which wasn't even half way through.

Hendry later revealed that after missing the pot O' Sullivan had said to him:"I've had enough" before going on to say of O' Sullivan's behaviour: "It's just bizarre".

All of which naturally caused carnage on Betfair as the markets tried to make sense of what was going on. I was playing the outright and frame market at the time. Had a small all green position on the outright but was green Ronnie and red Hendry on the frame market when it all kicked off.

At first it was unclear what had happened. But with trading software I was using refreshing the prices several times a second I could see the market was yoyoing all over the place. A great opportunity to get involved so I placed a back of Hendry in both markets. One got matched, I layed some of it off at a lower price and after more confusion from the commentators it was announced the match was over.

The whole episode reminded me of the market uncertainty surrounding the Oval test between England and Pakistan earlier in the year. I'm sure people made a lot of money out of this too. And no doubt others got badly stung. And for those people Ronnie's apology will ring pretty hollow. It was a pretty harsh way to lose money.

Fortunately I came out on top of the situation and made £180 on the frame. I realised there was an opportunity to trade a very volatile market, even if I wasn't sure what was going on, and the software made it possible to get into the market fast enough. 3 clicks and I'd placed two bets and switched market views in around a second. Wouldn't have had a chance to do that using the traditional interface and the software once again paid for itself many times over.

Anyway, guess that was just a bonus. I've come out badly in similar situations before. This time I was one of those who got to benefit. And grateful I am. The rest of today's profit came earlier in the game. Again, like yesterday, I was playing for small stakes and continuing to learn about the markets. Was around £60 up before Ronnie's walkout having made a small profit in each of the previous 5 frames. So progress on that front is good and hopefully I can keep the consistency up long enough to start increasing my stakes on these snooker events.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Learning to trade snooker

Daily Result: £35.09 (plus the £212.41 in the post below)

Got a bit trigger happy with today's blog entry below and decided to do some snooker later on after putting the earlier post up. Was just messing around with small stakes really and caught the first session of the Junhui v Ebdon game.

Junhui was having a bit of a shocker and it wasn't the best of viewing. But I managed to get a small all green on the outright market which I left before going out for the evening. The other profit came from dipping in and out of the in running frame betting. Again for small stakes. Not the most liquid of markets and I'm still pretty new to them. Happy to make a profit in 7 out of 7 though even if it was just a few quid a go. Wasn't really about the money but more about continuing the learning process on the snooker markets. When (if) I'm more confident and am happy I can return a consistent profit I'll up the stakes. Anyway, £30 is £30. Guess it'll buy a bottle of wine or two at the wedding and it all counts. :-)

Just a quick reminder too for anyone who hasn't entered yet that you can win free Betfair trading software for a year if you've ever wanted to try some out but been put off by the price.

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Cricket trading profit

Daily Result: £212.41

Good to get back to a bit of trading today after a few days off. Felt fresh and on the ball and with a little better luck would have made a good deal more. Still, can't argue with the £200.

Made the money on this mornings's 4th ODI between Pakistan and the West Indies. Early starts aren't my forte though and by the time I'd powered up the computers, and tuned into ARY Digital, Boom Boom Alfridi was already walking off the park, Pakistan were 1 for 4 and the Windies were favourites.

Pakistan were without their usual stable middle order and after a couple of early wickets a steady flow of more kept them from really building a decent score and 209 all out was never likely to be enough.

At the innings break I had a good green on the Windies and as Gayle smacked a couple of early fours the price plummeted from 1.4ish to 1.28ish and I backed some more. Only to see 2 wickets in two balls and price shoot out to 1.7x. At which point I reduced my red on Pakistan - just in time to see Samuels and Chanderpaul put on 141 for the next wicket and the price to enter the 1.0x range! I followed the momentum down and finished with a nice profit but without the two quick wickets it obviously would have been more.

Just wish one day the Windies will finally do something nice and straightforward with no unpleasant surprises on route!

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Cricket: Pakistan beat West Indies

Daily Result: £100.36

After a late night out, and
screwing up on the last ODI between these two teams, I didn't bother getting up for the start of this match. Instead I caught up on some (much needed) beauty sleep and joined the match just in time to see the West Indies lose their 4th wicket with the score on 133. Again I thought the Pakistan price was a little low at 1.31 but decided to catch up with the game and watch a little before getting involved.

Which proved sensible as it quickly became clear there was a problem with the stadium lights, or rather, lack of, and the playing conditions were more than a little dark. So much so that the Windies were offered the light soon after but refused it having once again two set batsmen. They didn't the next time it was offered though, with 3 more wickets down and the quicks back on, so we had the strange situation of a day / night ODI being stopped because of poor light. Another in the recent line of embarrassments for the Pakistan Cricket Board as it turned out neither the primary power supply to the floodlights, or the backup generator, were working. Might be worth checking before the next match chaps.

The delay went on for ages and eventually, with the lights finally flickering into life, it was announced the West Indies' innings was over and Pakistan would be chasing 191 from 35 overs following a Duckworth Lewis calculation. A pretty stiff ask of 5.45 runs an over all things considered.

Pakistan got off to a good start before the rate started rising. But the Windies failed to capitalise on chances, dropping two early catches and missing a simple run out in what can only be described as a village display. And that would offend some village cricket teams! The result was they failed to exert any early pressure on Pakistan who, despite some better fielding later in the innings, were eventually able to make the total with 7 wickets and 8 balls in hand.

Shame really as the game could have been a cracker if the early chances had been taken. But it adds another £100 to the savings for the wedding and ultimately that's what it's all about.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka

Daily result: £34.88

Bit surprised to see the 1st test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka is already over in just 3 days! Haven't been involved since the first few hours of the first day so thought I'd get up to speed only to realise New Zealand had already wrapped up a five wicket victory.

Not the end of the world I guess. And it does add another £35 or so to the wedding funds. Though it does make me wish I'd just let my initial lay of the draw run. Still, I've already mentioned I didn't want to leave any over night liabilities up on the first night and was then out for the following two nights.

Apart from the fact it was such a low scoring test (649 runs from four innings), and the crowds were small to non-existant, the main point of interest appears to be the run out of Sri Lankan bowling legend Muttiah Muralitharan. In at number 11 and compiling a careful 8 runs so that batting partner Sangakkara could reach his century the spin maestro managed to survive until the 100 was reached. At which point he walked down the pitch to congratulate him - only to be run out.

Obviously Murali was not trying to run and after taking a single, making his ground and tapping his bat in the crease he simply walked towards Sangakkara, who had his arms in the air in mid celebration, to congratulate him. But the ball wasn't yet dead and Brendon McCullum whipped the bails off leaving the square leg umpire little choice but to give him out.

A bizarre run out. And correct to the letter of the law. You do have to wonder what on earth someone with Murali's experience was doing. But also not exactly sporting from the Kiwis either. Everyone knew what was happening, and how hard Sagakkara had just worked with the last of the tail as support to make the 100. And, let's face it, Murali's isn't the hardest wicket in world cricket to get.

So a poor, even embarrassing, piece of sportsmanship from the Kiwis. And one for which they will undoubtedly pay a similar price in the future. And have no grounds of complaint over.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cricket trading loss

Daily Result: £305.19

Although I've dated it for Thursday I'm writing the entry Friday afternoon but as the loss was for yesterday thought I'd keep everything in order for the records. Ended up going out with my Best Man and some friends for quiet drink last night that turned into a late one and I'm a little delicate today. An insight into what's to come i guess!

Had a total nightmare on the Pakistan v West Indies 2nd ODI. I just got it plain wrong. I fancied the Windies, and although they nearly pulled off an unlikely win, as far as the market was concerned they were never really in it.

Felt like a bit of a mug. Up at 5.45 to watch the game and within a couple of minutes of it starting I was never in a position to make a profit on the match. Pakistan won the toss and elected to field. I waited for their price to drop and when I thought it had bottomed out I laid them. Popped off to make some tea before the game started, came back and a wicket was already down. With it came a big market reaction (1.6x to low 1.4x). And then, as I sat there contemplating taking an early all red position, another wicket fell. Normally I wouldn't hesitate on the decision but liquidity was pretty thin (guess people have better things to do at that time in the morning - like sleep!) and I just didn't want to take the poor prices on offer.

So I was in a hole I'd dug for myself before I started really. Really should have given Pakistan more credit for choosing to field and waited to watch a few overs as I usually do. Early starts never have been my thing though. Anyway, the Windies proceeded at snail pace before making 151 in their innings - the lowest ever ODI score at Faisalabad. As a result the price, which had settled at around 1.2 after the 3rd wicket didn't really move much for the rest of the innings. So I was left in my hole and getting on with other stuff with it on in the background.

Pakistan so nearly messed the chase up before scraping home. I'd been tempted to buy my way out of trouble by using some funds from my Australian wallet. I fancied them to make the chase. Sense prevailed anyway and I just accepted the loss and stuck to my money management rules. Still, my red was very much bigger on the Windies than Pakistan so I had to watch the game and shepherd the red home as it were as depiste the low total I didn't trust Pakistan to make it. So I ended up keeping the match on in the background and managed to add a little red in trying to reduce it. (Some days you should just leave it!!)

Despite the slow scoring and low totals the match was actually pretty good. Pretty tense and tight at the end. Prefer run fests though. Especially from a trading perspective.

Didn't get a chance to look in on the second day of the New Zealand v Sri Lanka test as was obvioulsy out for the night. Won't be able to Friday night either as am off out for dinner with Emma to one of our favourite restaurants. Probably get to take a look over the weekend though - and am aiming to do the 3rd Pakistan v West Indies ODI on Sunday too.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Quick round up

Nothing to really trade today that I fancied, or at least nothing that was completed, so no shift in the wedding funds. Still, gives me a chance to have a quick catch up on other stuff.

Firstly, since today's Betfair upgrade, I guess a lot of people have noticed that Betfair is linking to my blog. Despite the emails no, it doesn't mean I work for Betfair!! Or get paid by them in anyway. They just asked if they could use some of the stuff I write so I said fine but please link to me.

It doesn't mean I'm having to ok everything I write with a white wig wearing omnipresent Betfair censor! I'll still write what I like and I guess Betfair will use the content it likes. Which suits me fine as it just means hopefully more people will get to read my ramblings. Anyway, Sharper Minds probably noticed Betfair has been linking to the blog for over a month now. It's just that since the upgrade the links are now more prominent. To be honest it's nice to know someone at Betfair Towers thinks my daily drivel is worth reading!

With all the commotion over the Ashes I didn't get to blog about the overturn of the drugs ban on Pakistani cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif. I made some comments about strict liability and the contradictions in the Pakistani Cricket Board's positions throughout the affair on the Betfair cricket forum. But rather than go into great detail I really can't say what I have to say about the absurd decision much better than this Pakistani cricket fan who I reckon has it more or less spot on. And has also done a good follow up piece.

Finally, I did manage to get some trading in today. A couple of hours in the 1st test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Thought the draw was way too short through the day and for once managed to catch the low when I layed at 2.2. So have tied in a little profit against my better judgement as I just don't want to leave any liabilities up overnight. Probably have another look for an hour or two tomorrow, as well as doing the 2nd ODI between Pakistan and the West Indies.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

England melt in Ashes heat

Daily Result: £269.31

Oh dear. A sad day for English cricket. Crashed and burned as the Aussies turned up the heat. And unlikely to make a phoenix like revival from the flames this series no matter how much the old heart wishes they could. At times like this the head takes over. England were simply outthought and outplayed today and the result was a disaster. The player's must be feeling gutted, the press is bound to turn against the team and the target of everyone's anger will surely be Duncan Fletcher himself, whose stubborness about team selection and tactics in his immediate post-match interview was simply cringeworthy. So much so that I had to Sky+ it just to check I'd heard him right. :-(

As for today's profit I made around £180 on the game. Decided at the start of the series that I had too much on to stay up all night for the tests so had only been watching the first hour or so of each day's play and hadn't really been involved. But when I got up for today's 1st ODI between Pakistan and West Indies it was, as expected, abandoned. Which meant I could watch the last few hours of the 2nd Test. Great for trading if painful to watch. Followed that up with a quick £90 or so having a look at the second innings in the Zimbabwe v Bangladesh ODI.

Not really a day to focus on the trading though. I love my cricket and stupid as it sounds the result from Australia hurts. Cliched yes, but it's like I've been walking around with a dark cloud over my head all day. I'm not going to go into massive detail about how it all went wrong. That is painfully obvious and the stats speak for themselves. England simply got it wrong tactically on the 5th day and were too negative. Here's some pretty stark numbers that illustrates it all.

For starters England managed to knock up a world record. Their 551 declared is the highest 1st innings score by a losing side in over 130 years of test match history. Yesterday's first session saw England score 30 runs in 28 overs. That's not a typo. They really did average just 1.07 runs an over. In the 54 overs they faced in total yesterday they socred 70 runs - at 1.29 runs an over. And in the process of bogging themselves down they managed to lose 9 wickets for 60 runs. Which left Australia needing 168 runs from 36 overs. They managed it in 32.5 overs. And ok, yes, they were chasing not defending. But that was still at 5.16 an over. Put it this way - they scored 168 runs in considerably less time than it took England to score 30.

Ok. Enough doom and gloom. Let's look to the future. Well, unfortunately things don't get much brighter. No team has ever gone 2-0 down in a test series in Australia and won the series. But, I guess England "only" need a draw to retain the Ashes. So let's take it match by match and just look at the next test in Perth. Well, I'm afraid again the omens aren't great. Of the last 10 tests England have played there they've won 1, lost 6 and drawn 3. And I doubt they were ever as psychologically damaged as they are now having just snatched a defeat from the jaws of a draw.

Which brings me back to Duncan Fletcher. I'm not the type to call for heads to roll and I won't here. Yet. The man has done a lot for English cricket. In the test arena at least. And England are obviously understrength with Trescothick, Vaughn and Jones out from the 2005 Ashes winning team. Harmison is a shadow of his former self, Flintoff appears to be playing through an injury and the loss of bowling coach Troy Cooley - who went to Australia - has obviously had a big impact on the performance of the English attack.

But for fecks sake man. Injuries or no injuries there's still the job of picking the best team available. And recent selections have been more than a touch bizarre. To win a test match you have to take 20 wickets. No ifs. No buts. 20 wickets. So it's no surprise the country is asking why we are playing Ashley Giles instead of Monty Panesar when Monty is clearly in better form. And isn't playing his first competitive matches after a year out injured. Fletcher's answer? We need Gilo's batting. What? The same batting that was seen him score a total 74 runs in 4 innings. While taking just 3 wickets in 2 tests at an average of 87.3?

I appreciate the batting argument. But it's such a negative approach. Effectively you're saying you can't rely on the batsmen. So we won't play our best bowlers. So we end up with a team without the best players in their disciplines. No wonder the Aussies are openly laughing. The 2nd test could have been so much different if England had taken a few more wickets a little more quickly. And if Giles hadn't dropped Ponting in his 30s before he went on to make another century.

Ultimately I'm just an armchair pundit. I like Giles and Fletcher knows more about cricket than I ever will. But it's time for change for the 3rd test. Maybe wholesale change. Stuart Broad? Ed Joyce? Sajid Mahmood? Monty Panesar? They're all names I hope Fletcher is at least looking at in possible team line ups. Unfortunatley I don't think he'll give them more than lip service. Just carry on like he is now. Claiming his team selection is great and it's all the batsmen's faults.

But will he really dare leave Monty out again?

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Win Bet Angel trading software for a year

Click here for your chance to win the Bet Angel software free for one year

Win advanced trading software worth up to £438
Fancy getting your hands on some of the best Betfair trading software on the market? For free? Well, the lovely people at
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How to enter
Simple! Just visit
this page and enter your name and email address to sign up to the company's newsletter. One of the people that signs up will win the free software. The winner will be chosen randomly on December 31, 2006.

That sounds great but...
I had questions too. So I asked the guys at Bet Angel and hopefully this little section will answer any queries you have. Your email address will not be passed on to a 3rd party. You can remove yourself from the mailing list at any time. (Though must stay on to the end of the month to be eligible to win.) Existing Bet Angel customers are eligible to win. New customers are eligible to win. People who aren't customers but sign up to the newsletter are eligible to win. Those who sign up to the newsletter, and then decide they want to try the download the software and use it before the end of December, are eligible to win, even if they have alreay paid.

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What is Bet Angel?
One of the most advanced trading platforms available for use with Betfair. I use it and am happy to recommend it. As well as all the functionality you get in the traditional Betfair interface some of the other main useful features include:

* Connectivty - connect to Betfair through either the website or the API.

* Fast refresh rate - Set it to automatically update prices several times a second.

* One click trading - Beat others into the market. Essential for scalpers. Manual and automatic modes.

* Multi market trading - trade multiple markets simultaneously. Either manually or automatically.

* Ladder trading interface - In addition to traditional style interface. Orders entered with one click. Drag, drop and cancel with mouse.

* Automated / triggered betting - Use built in functions to trade automatically - or program your own bot using Excel.

* Live charting - An array of charts to illustrate how markets are behaving and moving

* Dutching - Back sections of the filed to make a pre-defined profit. Manual and automatic modes.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

South Africans crush Indians

Daily Result: £55.03

Bit of a bloodbath really the last ODI between South Africa and India. A nine wicket humiliation that saw the South Africans cruise past the Indian total of 200 - their highest score of the series - with more than 18 overs to spare. And in doing so posted a 4-0 series score to complete a whitewash and once again prove the Indians have serious problems away from the sub continent.

Apart from a few over spell at the start of the Indian innings the South Africans were never above their match start price of low 1.4x. Which meant that at the stakes I bet at I was never likely to make more than £200 on the match anyway. Unfortunately as the Indians got off to a flyer (4 off the first over, 10 of two, 14 off 3) I laid the Saffers thinking that at last the Indians might post a decent total.

But two wickets in two balls sent the South African price plummeting and it never recovered as the Indians lost more wickets and ticked the scoreboard over at a pace a snail would have fancied itself against. So with the South African price more or less bottomed out for a long time I was left waiting the start of their innings to see if it was just poor Indian batting display or a tough pitch to bat on.

Once the South Africans got going it was clear there was nothing wrong with the wicket, I sorted out my position and then just kept an eye on the game till the end as the Saffers raced to 201/1. Not a big win for me but I guess over the course of a month I'd be more than happy to average £50 a day. Certainly helps keep the old wedding funds ticking over anyway.

Had another look at some NFL in the evening picked up a couple of pound again. I know I used to watch a lot of NFL but while I'm still getting used to how the market behaves in a game I'm just playing for very small stakes. Seems to be going ok though and I'm hoping in the future it will help to fill some of trading gaps in the year.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Winning start to December

Daily Result: £252.44

So after a poor November, which saw a disasterous start, it's nice to get off with a win in December. Today was a bit of a trader's dream in fact. For the hardcore there was a good 18 hours straight trading available with the 2nd day of the Ashes test, the final day of the Pakistan v West Indies test, Davis Cup tennis and the Pro20 clash between South Africa and India.

All a bit too much for me but I did do the Pro20 match and the dip into final day of the Pakistan test. The Pro20 game was fantastic. A last two ball thriller once again cementing the form of the game as the crack cocaine of the cricket trading world. (The royalty cheque's in the post Mr B!) I'd levelled my position out way before then though and just enjoyed the spectacle. For those a little braver than me there were small fortunes to be made. With swings in the prices of 1.42 to 1.05 in one delivery the ends of these games are often strictly for those with balls of steel!!

I won't run through the details of the game but it was noteable for the fact it was India's first ever international Pro20 game - and they actually won a game in South Africa at last. Though they did make a total pig's ear of chasing the 3rd lowest ever international Pro20 score of just 126. But that just made the game all more interesting to watch.

Earlier on I'd done the final day of the Pakistan test. Made enough on it to more than cover the cost of my ARY digital subscription and so effectively get 5 free televised ODIs over the next month or so now to trade. Hoping it will help me keep building the wedding funds in what will be a quietish month trading wise.

The match provided a close finish which I again just sat back an enjoyed after building some green on the two likely results. The issue was the light. West Indies were clinging on for a draw - and if the light had been offered would have survived. But in the end it never got quite dark enough and Pakistan managed to get the wickets they needed. Another exciting finish.

The test was probably most notable for another stunning batting performance from Mohammad Yousuf. With a century in both innings he notched up his 9th test match century of the year and broke Sir Viv Richards' 30 year old record of most test runs in a calendar year. Yousuf cruised past Sir Viv's record of 1710 in his second innings finally making 1788 before being bowled by Sarwan. An amazing achievement at the end of a stunning year for the Pakistani batsman.

Anyway, some good news! As the test started in November Betfair include the winnings in November's results so that improves those a little making them a little more respectable.

Finally, this opportunity to win some free trading software. Will probably put this up on Sunday now.

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Betting while drunk

Yes, yes, we all know it's one of the cardinal sins, right up there - and often in conjunction - with chasing. If we've heard it once we've heard it, well, more than once. Betting while drunk is the way to the poor house. The quickest way to blow your bank. Dumber than dumb.

But, there again, if we all stuck to the rules we wouldn't get the benefit of priceless threads like this on the Betfair cricket forum. It's set to become a classic. With Mr Cider Red on Tour a forum legend. The thread was entitled "ive just come home p1ssed rom the pub" (sic). Enjoy!

Back tomorrow with news of how I got on in the final test between Pakistan and West Indies, this afternoon's Pro20 match between South Africa and India and, trumpet fanfare.............. a chance for you to win a year's free use of a top trading package worth £300.

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