Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Trading mistakes: dumb and dumber?

Daily Result: £34.20

Well, £34 is £34. A bottle of something or other for the wedding. And a profitable end to the month. But boy did I screw up today. Through not much more than pure stupidity that boiled down to a total lack of concentration.

The day started ok. Got up early for the India v West Indies ODI. Heating not being fixed until tomorrow so was a touch parky but managed to make £253.35 on the match. Won't go through the details here as I want to spend more time looking at my entry for the betting world's equivalent of a
Darwin Award.

I lost just under £220 on the snooker game between Stevens and Day. Dug myself in a right hole during the first frame that left me the equivalent of just over £200 red each player. A staggering sized fuck up considering I was only playing with chunks of £250. But very easy to do if you're feeling especially dumb.

Basically Stevens was on a break and I was considering backing him. The door went, I answered, dismissed the God Squader type and went to the bathroom before coming back to my den. Glanced at the tv, saw there was a difficult pot, heard the commentators say it was basically a make or break ball and lined up a back. It went in. I submitted a bet. Saw some lay money hadn't been immediately cancelled and submitted another thinking I may get lucky and match two chunks. Well match them I did. Because it wasn't Stevens at the table! It was Day!! And to make matters worse a third chunk of £250 got matched as I'd left it in the queue further up the ladder and neglected to cancel it before going to answer the door.

So suddenly I have a £750 red position on Day, who's a massive favourite to win the first frame in a race to 5. Win the frame he did and although I'd managed to dump some of the red it made more sense to keep the rest until the start of the second frame and see what happened.

How dumb is that? A complete lack of concentration on my part (tinged with a healthy dollop of greed) had landed me in a hole far larger than I was comfortable with. Thinking back I realise that there is a red dot on the coverage to show who is building the break. But I simply didn't have a close enough look. There was a close up of the player (back of head etc as they were cueing) and I know they have different hair styles but something must have just clicked in my brain and somehow I assumed it was Stevens at the table. Can't really explain it. Just an example of supreme stupidity caused by lack of concentration.

Anyway, the rest of the game was spent trying to sort the hole out. Frame by frame I slowly reduced the red down to £150 the pair, £130 the pair, £121 the pair etc until it was down to about £90 the pair in the last frame. Missed one frame as the oil heater we'd lent out was returned (heat at last! the central heating isn't being fixed until tomorrow) but apart from that frame by frame the red was slowly reduced.

Until I screwed up again. Though this time it was simply a trading decision (or two) I got wrong as both players missed simple pots one after another. If Day had won the frame it would have been match over. If Stevens had there would have been a decider. Day was on a break and I switched to a small green on him He missed. I altered my position, Stevens missed. I simply levelled out red and left the match. I was still up on the day and sometimes you just feel "Right, that's it, leave it before you do any more damage." So I did.

The last mistake was interesting though. Basically I took the small green option on Day considering the price I was getting was value instead of keeping the all red position. A classic decision point, one that I normally err on the side of caution of, didn't today and it cost me. Truth is I probably thought I was on the verge of a great escape and that helped colour my decision to go for it.

Anyway, a profitable day at the end. But one that should have been so much more so. Still, lesson learned. You can never overestimate the value of knowing which player is at the table!

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Trading hot but getting cold

Daily Result: £271.46

Just a quick entry as the central heating has given up the ghost, we've lent out our oil radiator and it's fair to say it's more than a bit nippy. Dread to think what it'll be like in the middle of the night if I get up to do the India v West Indies ODI. Just hope I can get our friendly plumber chap to come out at short notice tomorrow and do something to make it work again!

Today's profit came from the New Zealand v England ODI and a couple of frames of the Hendry v Milkins game from the Malta Cup. Predictably New Zealand won the cricket and in the process set a national ODI record for runs scored against England of 318. It came courtesy of some good knocks, notably from Vincent, Taylor and an end of innings blitz from Oram - but was also the result of some awful England bowling. I mean 37 extras. Plus all the runs that came of the extra overs bowled as a result. Not the stuff ODI victories are made of.

To be fair England had a fair crack at the chase to start with but the pressure of the required run rate started to tell and as wickets began falling the match tailed off as a contest and instead turned into a question of whether England could stop New Zealand picking up another bonus point. At least Flintoff's men managed that - although the final will now be an Australia v New Zealand affair unless England manage something spectacular in what looks like being their last match of a dismal winter tour against Australia on February 2.

As for the snooker - after losing the first frame Hendry was pretty awesome and I just rode his price down for a few frames as he won 5-1, racking up his 700th career century break in the process. And regarding my value mention of Walden to beat Murphy at 2.72? Well, I once again showed why I don't try to be a tipster. Walden lost! Though to be fair it was 5-4 and there was plenty of opportunity in the match to trade out green if you'd got on at the start price.

Right, that's it. Hot drink, electric blanket and bed time. Catch you tomorrow.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Malta Cup snooker

Daily Result: £57.53

Spent a little time doing the Doherty v Bond 1st round match from the Malta Cup this afternoon. Couple of interesting early flukes livened up the betting a little but there was never really any doubt about the result. Especially as Bond was just too negative at key moments. Though it would take a braver man than men to pile in on Doherty at 1.25 before the start in such a short match.

Had a quick look in on the Parrot v Drago qualifier in the evening too. Shocking stuff even for players in the twilights of their careers. Straight forward blacks missed off the spot, numerous failed safetys that left sitters and some sub club standard positional play. I hear Parrot pulled it together a bit towards the end but by then I'd given up on the match. Just too boring and so many misses it would have been easy to end up in a hole. That said, if frame betting had been available it would have been interesting. If you'd simply laid the break builder each time, for the part of the match I saw, you'd have been quids in!

Will probably have a look in at tomorrow's coverage after the New Zealand v England ODI. Hoping the Walden v Murphy match is televised as reckon it could be a good one to trade. I'm no tipster so take my views with a bucket of salt but the last price Walden was matched at on Betfair was 2.72 and I reckon that represents a bit of value! 2.68 is the best price I can find with a bookie if that's your thing.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Punting v trading

Daily result: £143.65

No, don't worry, I'm not going write a massive essay about the differences between punting and trading. It's a huge subject and besides I'm sure many could have a much better crack at it than me. But I do want to focus in on one small area as today I made a mistake. Infact I made two mistakes. The same one on both the events I got involved with. And it's all to do with why I opened my initial positions.

The two events I lost on were the South Africa v Pakistan test match (I was carrying a small red from the previous day) and the New Zealand v Australia ODI. (I caught the second half). The annoying thing is both the initial positions I opened today were eventual winners. That is, South Africa to win the test. And Australia to win the ODI. But i managed to lose on both of them. Now I've noticed I've done this in the past too, especially on short odds favourites as today's were. So I've been sat here scratching my head wondering why. And, right or not, have come up with a possible answer which I'll try and explain.

It's all to do with my expectations when I open the position. In normal trading mode I'll usually open a position in the direction in which the momentum is going - the trend is your friend and all that - though I'm not afraid to oppose it in certain circumstances as I've discussed recently. Anyway, the key is I open the position in expectation of a market movement.

But in the case of today's two losses I opened the position in expectation of the eventual result. That is I expected South Africa and Australia to win. But having done that, instead of riding out some expected market turbalence, I fell back into a trading mindset and closed positions out in fear of bigger losses as the markets moved moderately against me.

Translate that and I believe I opened the positions as a punter only interested in the result but then lost sight of the bigger picture and fell back into a trading mindset. And this is a leak I think I may have had for a while but perhaps am only just recognising.

What bought it home to me today was both events were on at the same time. Now regular readers will know I don't believe in the Free Money principle. But at the same time having considered the two situations I genuinely believed both my opening positions were winners. The trouble was with only one Sky box in my den I couldn't follow both events properly though so rather than trading a single event as I normally would I basically punted two events with the thought that my picks would win and I'd probably have a nice chance to lay off either at a later point if I wanted. Which, of course, I would have. But not before both prices moved against me in the shorter term. A true punter wouldn't have let this worry him. Short term price fluctutations aren't really important. It's the end result that counts. But I'd reverted to type, had a short term trader's view and ultimately lost money as a result by getting too fiddly.


Hmmmm. Reading back through that I'm not convinced I've explained it as clearly as I'd hoped but fingers crossed you get the gist. Anyway, it's a subject that's interesting me, as I believe I may have discovered a leak, and I'd be interested in any views /opinions / comments anyone has.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

India v West Indies 3rd ODI

Daily Result: £104.73

Quite an interesting game really which again had some serious volatility in the second innings before the Windies this time managed to make the run chase. Though not before a few early hiccups that reduced the amount I'd eventually win on the game.

India got off to an absolute flyer with Uthappa smashing 70 off just 41 balls and setting up a total innings score which looked like it could be around the 350 mark. With good knocks from Tendulkar and Dravid the price ended up sub 1.2 from a 1.7ish starting point before the ball softened and the Indians showed they'd been watching some England "how to collapse" DVDs and promptly lost their last 7 wickets for 36 runs!

At the change of innings I stronly fancied the Windies and my position reflected it. But with Gayle again going early (1st ball this time - and I was on the phone) I decided to level my position a little more until I could concentrate fully. And from there I basically just watched parts of the game, getting involved for short periods throughout. Shame to see Samuels miss his century by just 2 but good to see Lara back in the side with his knock of 83. Didn't bother watching the end. Saw a few wickets fell when the match was all but done and dusted but the profit was safe by then and will help boost the low monthly profit and wedding funds.

Elsewhere I've also been involved in the 3rd test between South Africa and Pakistan. Could kick myself really. After banging on about laying the draw in test matches a few days ago I didn't. Simply because it looked liked the Saffers were resting strike bowlers and I wasn't going to be around for the early pitch reports and the start of the match. Of course, when I looked in later in the day it had been another wicket fest and looks set to again finish in the afternoon session of Day 3 tomorrow. Having watched some coverage since the wicket looks an absolute shocker. Dry at the ends. Green on a length at one end. Not the best test pitch I've seen!

Anyway, I played around a little on Day 1 and got a tiny green any result. Had a fair lump on the Saffers late today as they reached around 25/0 in their second innings chase of 161. Which promptly led to them losing 2 wickets. So now I'm in a smallish all red position if I level out but will leave it till tomorrow. In the meantime I'll probably take a look in at tonight's Australia v New Zealand ODI if I don't drink too much before hand!

Right, that's it for now. Dinner and drinks time. But I have been looking into the test match draw stats and will post up something about it on Sunday or Monday.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Losses that feel better than wins

Daily Result: £166.27

It might seem a strange thing to say but sometimes a loss really can feel better than a win. Of course, we'd all prefer to win, but occasionally when the dust settles after an event the size of a loss can be a relief. Especially if a potentially much larger loss was being faced during that event. I guess what I'm trying to say is by getting yourself out of a bit of a hole you can feel more positive than you do when you have a small win. At least I do sometimes. And today was a perfect case in point.

Dumb as it sounds I didn't even realise the 2nd ODI between India and the West Indies was being played. (And right now kind of wish I hadn't!) Recently I put all the fixtures into my trading diary and somehow managed to miss this match out. So I only realised it was on when I tried to tap in 502 into Sky for Bloomberg and by force of habit ended up on a Sky Sports channel instead. And there it was. The game in full swing. So I spent some time watching the pitch and game. Read through some comments from those who'd been involved from the start and settled down to do the second innings.

And wow did I get things wrong. I had to cut my first 4 trades for losses. And didn't do much better after that! Unfortunately I didn't keep a rough graph of price movements to game events to my trades but if I had it would look like a trader's nightmare. I just wasn't at the races today. Got in and out at the wrong points all over the place. The 2nd innings was also very volatile which initially was simply compounding my problems. Which all ended up with my facing a position of £400+ red the pair at one stage.

I won't go into the details of the game here except to say I fancied the Windies for a long time but some absolutley suicidal cricket with some village moments that would contribute to a best selling Crap Cricket compiliation finally made me realise it was going to be India's day. But only after I'd taken a quick break from the game, wondered into the garden, made a coffee and come back to the match with a clearer head.

From then on I was just trading to reduce the red and took advantage of the extreme volatility in the market by getting in and out in very short timeframes - even between balls - each time nicking a few ticks. It was all a bit manic but I also took the opportunity to lay very short prices while staying withing my maximum loss limit. (£500). And when it finally became clear that India were going to win I had a bit on them too which I just let ride.

The result of it all was a £166 loss. Not the greatest result ever. But none the less one I'm happy with when I take into consideration the position I had been facing earlier. Sure, I got a little lucky (not lucky enough for a tie and a cancelled market tho!) but I also kept control, cleared my head and came back with clear idea of how to progress to reduce the red. Put it this way. If you'd offered me a £166 loss on the match when I came back in from the garden I'd have ripped your arm off! And that's why, strange as it may well sound, I say a loss can sometimes feel better than a win.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

NZ v England: A strange market

Daily Result: £135.45

Someone was joking with me the other day that the market has one sharp mind as it always gets the result right in the end. It was a light hearted comment that made me laugh. Yep, the market is one shrewd cookie! Certainly following a market trend is a basic trading principle that many benefit from. And done correctly with discipline it should at least give an opportunity to a realise a profit, even if it's small.

Sometimes though you just feel the market is having an off day and has lost its way before inevitably reaching the right result. And today was a case in hand. New Zealand batted first and got off to an awful start. On the toss news their price dropped to around 1.67-1.68. It just seemed too short and I was in the process of leaving a comment on the Betfair forum when the first wicket went. I missed the price and it went to 1.82-1.83. The score was 1 for 5 off 1.5 overs.

I then watched incredulously (and took an appropriate position) as their odds remained the same even though they had made only 9 runs from the first 6.5 overs - 5 of which came in the first over. A solitary 4 in the last ball of the 7th over sent the price back down to sub 1.8.

There just seemed to be one hell of a lot of support for the Kiwis in the market - to such an extent that by the time they were 2-38 of 13 overs they were still clear favourites. And were still evens by the time they were 2 for 55 off 18.2 overs!!

Anyway, the support for them in the market started to collapse as the innings progressed, wickets fell and the run rate remained well below 3 an over for a good while longer. England reached around 1.4 before a 6th wicket partnership of 120 gave the Kiwis a lifeline. Even then though, needing just 211 from 50 at 4.22 an over England were clear favourites by the time they went to bat.

Which, of course, was the perfect cue another inept performance from England. Who started dieing a slow death as the run rate rose before finishing things off quickly with what looked like some self sacrifice.

All of which resulted in my building on my change of innings New Zealand green. While all the time wishing England would just for once chase a total with ease and pocket me a lot more money!

Of course, the market got it right in the end and New Zealand won by a frankly embarrassing 90 runs. I'm still not convinced it had it right early doors though and it was by opposing it that I made most my green in this game. I guess the market is just so shrewd it took into account the "England Factor" earlier than I did!! :-)

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Cricket: Profit from laying the draw

Daily Result: £360.45

A pleasing daily result which puts me back into profit for the month - this time hopefully for good! Most the profit came from the 2nd test between South Africa and Pakistan which Pakistan wrapped up with an easy win in only the second session of the 4th day.

Of course such an early finish was set up by the fall of 15 wickets on the first day after South Africa won the toss, elected to bat and were all about way before tea. With a clear weather forecast it was really just a question of which team would win from there. And as I'd layed the draw at the start I simply kept both results (as opposed to the draw) on side. I did manage to add a little to results over the weekend, and a little more today, but most the money was made during the first day's play.

So many wickets in the first day isn't the norm of course. But the fact remains that laying the draw in test matches seems to be as profitable as ever. For years I've been checking the weather and laying the draw in test matches. In fact I can remember shortly after I first started using Betfair a friend who worked for a bookmaker explaining the idea to me. The question that's always puzzled me is why the draw price is often so low at the start of a match when so many factors point to a result. Don't think I've ever come up with a definitive answer so if you've got one...

Anyway, I thought the lay the draw idea had seen its heyday a few years ago but it seems to back with vengeance. Sure, the price you take is obviously important, but we just seem to be on a long run now with very few draws I can remember - certainly in the games I've actively traded. I don't know. I may be wrong but just out of interest I've decided as part of the research / review process I regularly go through on my trading activity to have a quick look at recent tests and see just how many are ending in results. I'll pop the findings up sometime soon. I hope they make for interesting reading and may help make us all some more money.

As well as the cricket I finally had a look in on the Australian Open tennis today. Given it a wide birth this year. Obviously I've been busy but I also don't like the increased delay in the Australian wallet. Easy enough to get around - it just takes a change in approach - but I haven't had time to think it through properly and figure I don't really need to. Just wait until the matches move on to somewhere else and do the cricket in the meantime.

Anyway, I made a fiver on the Murray v Nadal match. Only placed one small trade. And then levelled out. Decided to just watch the match instead. But the trade was noteworthy because it's the first time I've got involved in a tennis match since early December time. Sure there will be a lot more to come later in the year but for the time being I'll be concentrating on the cricket.

Talking of which I'll stick those test match draw results up soon. In the meantime best of luck if you get involved in this New Zealand v England game overnight.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Small profits add up

Daily Result: £44.1

Not the greatest of profits today but a green is a green and better than a loss. And each small profit reminds me of a line from Market Wizards book I mentioned recently where the trader points out that combined they add up surprisingly quickly and shouldn't be sniffed at. Ok, he was referring to mere $10,000 profits but the principle is the same! :-)

Made the money today on the snooker final and the American football playoffs, as well as continuing to add to my 2nd test position between South Africa and Pakistan. In between going out to buy carpets and a surprise visit from relatives my trading was pretty stop start. Which was most true on the snooker where I had to equal out for an £80 red each way when visitors turned up. I'd switched positions from Junhui to O'Sullivan after Ronnie pulled it back to 2-2 but couldn't risk just leaving it unattended for a few hours. Missed the rest of the first session but managed to turn it into a £20 profit or so during the early part of the evening session.

As for the NFL playoffs again it was a case of a quick look in. More importantly we ran through all our wedding stationary options tonight as we need to get some proper invites done now. But inbetween I managed to get involved for a few plays in each game and make around £25 or so. Again, not a lot but even £30 a day is £900 a month. Manage that and by August, add it on to my exisiting profit, and it's virtually job done on paying for the wedding. So these small profits are all important. They do all count.

It's been my approach throughout the blog to try to bank smaller consistent profits rather than enjoy big wins at the expense of bigger losses too. As an approach it's simply less risky. Of course it sometimes means you feel you could have made more on an event. But it also means you know you didn't lose as much as you would have done when you do lose.

The classic example is probably something along the lines of it being around evens the pair in a tennis match. You're £400 green one player and £600 red the other. You rate the players' chances as evens, both are injury free and playing well, and you think the prices are about right. What do you do? My usual action during the blog has been to level out for a red, especially if after a point or two I've felt there's a touch of value in one of the prices. Or at least reduce the positions drastically.

Sure, it's not as exciting as hanging on for the big win (for me) but I'm not in it for the excitement and try to keep my losses below a set level. Variance in poker is what busts a lot of players who don't have a disciplined bankroll strategy and end up playing for stakes and buy ins that are too large for the money they have available. And especially on the blog, where I have a set target in mind within a set time frame, I'm happy to try to maintain a more consistent growth in profits. It's all factored into the money management rules I set out at the start and, for me at least, is preferable to having huge spikes in my P/L figures where I win and lose big.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Back to winning ways

Yesterday's Result: £98.59

So really for the first time this year I managed to spend some proper time trading yesterday and it's great to finally be getting back into the swing of things. And hopefully the result is a pointer to what lies ahead!

I spent time looking in at part of two snooker matches from the UK Masters and the opening day of the 2nd test between South Africa and Pakistan. The £100 or so came from the two snooker matches - Junhui v Lee and Hendry v Murphy. Missed the start of the first match and the second half of the second. Made sure I greened out of the Hendry match at an appropriate point this time - unlike the other day when I held on for two long trying to make a profit on the day after an earlier loss.

Although pleased with the snooker results most of my time was spend doing the cricket. And some day of play it was too. South Africa won the toss, elected to bat and were all out way before tea. Pakistan then tried to follow the feat and were 5 wickets down before the close of play. Which left me as a draw layer with a big smile and around £300 any result. All of which should put me back into profit for the month. And hopefully, this time, for good. :-)

Not able to trade today as we have a long-standing day of wedding stuff to get through followed by beers and curry tonight. Which means I'll probably miss the early action tomorrow too though may well look in on the test again later on in the day, as well as the snooker final.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Big Brother - Jade v Shilpa video

Bit off topic this one but regular readers will know I've been a big fan of trading Big Brother over the years and it's provided me with my biggest wins both with Betfair and the bookies.

Not so involved market wise this time round as I simply haven't had the time but have still been catching the odd show. And, of course, following the development of the Jade v Shilpa bullying / racism story with interest.

Really don't want to get into the rights, wrongs and wtfs of the whole issue here. But thought I'd pass this video on that was sent to me last night. It's an interesting take on the story, is very well done, comes courtesy of a user called DOGOID on You Tube an will no doubt be doing the viral rounds today. Enjoy! (and careful with the sound if you're playing it at work.)

Anyway, am doing the Australia v England ODI at the moment and will be taking a look at the first day of the 2nd test between South Africa and Pakistan so will be back later with a write up about that lot. Best of luck if you get involved with either...

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Snooker trading loss

Daily Result: 93.64

Not really the kind of start I was after now I can spend a little more time trading again but I guess we can't all win all the time. Made the loss on the Hendry v Stevens match in the UK Masters. When I lived in London I used to go up to Wembley to watch the tournament - something I wouldn't have regretted doing today after booking this loss!

Won on the outright market but got in a right mess on a frame I was involved. A silly mistake early in the frame left me all red which I switched to a green / red position when the frame looked more or less done and dusted. But a kick caused a miss, market mayhem, and I ended up unable to really do anything except sit and take the loss as Hendry went on to win the frame. No point in really trying to change the position by then as the odds were so short.

The frame loss itself wasn't that bad. I had it more than covered in the outright market with a position on Hendry. And when he powered to a 5-0 lead, flattering as it was, I was looking good for an overall profit on the match.

Until, of course, Stevens made a comeback. I left my position when he won his first frame, and the second, and even his third. But when it looked like Stevens may make it 5-4 I got out just in time with Hendry around 1.2x Although Hendry won I'm pleased I did as it eventually went to 5-5, evens the pair, before Hendry wrapped it up in the last.

Fightbacks are great to watch but not so much fun when it causes the market to move against you! All Hendry had to do was win one frame out of 4 when he was 5-0 up and I'd have made a profit on the match. But as the Stevens' fightback kicked in ultimately I just had to protect what green I had on the outright market though.

All a little annoying as I know that without the loss in the frame betting earlier I would have greened out in the outright market a lot earlier when Hendry was sub 1.05. By doing this today though it would have left me with a small loss on the match overall. So I left it thinking Hendry would wrap the match up easily but was wrong and ultimately cost myself.

Still, it's not all bad news. Turns out I can't read a calendar properly and the Australia v England ODI is on Friday morning, not Saturday morning, meaning I will be able to trade it afterall. Hopefully it'll be an opportunity to reduce some of this red I've picked up so far this month!

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Back to normal at last

Result since last update: £284

Phew! Well that's been some start to the year. Nice break away for the first week or so but been manic since then. Still, my accounts are now done and I've caught up with all the major normal work stuff that needed doing. So with the exception of some DIY and having some new carpets put down from today I should finally have time to get back to normal on the trading front. :-)

The £284 loss came from the South Africa v Pakistan test match I was banging on about in the last few entries. Had a nightmare on the weather really. Could have bought my way out of the red and had a small green South Africa, who won the match, but it would have left unacceptably high reds on Pakistan and the draw so I left it. Did manage to reduce it from its high but ultimately just had to take the loss on that one.

The result puts me into a bit of a new situation. Since I started the blog last May I've never been so far down (around £200) at such a late stage in the month. The principle reason is obviously I've had a few losses. The underlying reason is I've just not traded very much so far this month so haven't hadn't a real opportunity to recoup the losses, or build any real profit to absorb them.

Still, I should have more time to put back into this again now. The only exception is Friday night's ODI between Australia and England. We've got some wedding arrangement commitments on Saturday and I don't want to stay up half the night and turn up like a zombie the next day so will have to miss that. And talking of the wedding we're off back to the venue tonight to run through some more arrangements. Suddenly it all seems to be getting very close!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Weekend roundup

Result since last update: £82.71

Again not really had much time to do any event properly since the last update but managed to pick up a little green and everything should be back to normal by Wednesday. Hoping to start having a proper go at the cricket then and plan to start making some changes to the blog that I've mentioned previously.

The £80 profit or so came from a BDO darts semi final that I caught a set or two of, some of the final itself though I mostly watched it than trade it as I was knackered (that was nearly one of the comebacks of all time by Nixon!) and about 5 overs of the Australia v New Zealand ODI on Saturday night / Sunday morning.

Nice to keep some profit ticking over as the month seems to be shooting by and it feels like I've barely got going. Still, the accounts are nearly done, I'm in with the accountant tomorrow, and some work that cropped up is just about finished. Will be good to finally be able to get back to a normal routine!

Anyway, the last post about the South Africa v Pakistan match shows why I don't like to tip! Wasn't able to spend as much time doing it as I'd hoped on Sunday so reduced my position by about half when it was clear play wasn't going to be delayed, and then dumped most the rest soon after the start of play with catches being dropped all over the place.

Unfortunately when I returned to it later in the day I then twice manged to lay South Africa the ball before they took a wicket (Sometimes you just feel it's not your day!). The second one didn't really cost me but the first left me with a 3 figure red on the Saffers. Couple that with a bad weather trade, and a delay in play as I type, and it looks like I'll be taking a loss on the match. Will keep an eye on the situation throughout the day but unless it pours, or Pakistan take some quick wickets, today is more about managing a sizeable loss than making a profit. Just as important of course, if not as much fun. :-(

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Quick catch up

Result since last update: £12

Bit frustrating at the moment. Lots to trade but other commitments means I'm not able to take advantage. Should be back to normal within a few days though and then I have several months of cricket to look forward to. :-)

Had a very quick look into some BDO darts the other day. Silly really. Got involved because I wanted to rather than because I should. Was near the end of the match and volatile. At least I had the good sense to keep the stakes low but the £12 loss is annoying because I know I should never have placed a bet. Just so keen to get going this year after the break but getting involved at the wrong time can be a costly mistake and I'd really have noone to blame but myself. I learned a long time ago that a lack of patience can be very costly and need to remember that.

That said I have been able to get involved for part of the 3rd day of the South Africa v Pakistan test. I have a largish 3 figure red on South Africa and a smallish 4 figure green on Pakistan and the draw. If I levelled out I'd be around a fiver red all round. I layed the Saffers hoping for an earlier end to the day as it was raining and the light was bad. But the rain was never quite heavy enough and the light never quite bad enough to go off. Instead a couple of wickets fell and I was near to the point where I was going to cut a potential all round loss for a while.

But Pakistan manged to hang on and turn it around a bit which means tomorrow should be interesting. Pakistan are just 1 run behind with 8 wickets in hand. Without an early wicket tomorrow the South African price is going to rise quickly. The weather forecast looks ok but any change there and a delay in play is in favour of my position too. Basically the match is still wide open. A few quick wickets and the Saffers will be in control and I'll be out of pocket. A good stand, some flowing runs and I'm quids in. Especially as the Saffers will be chasing on a wicket that is already deteriorating fast with a lot of low bounce.

I don't do tips as such but wouldn't put anyone off a similar position to mine. (A back of Pakistan could be even more profitable but I want the draw onside in this one) That said my position could get nasty very quickly and if it looks like the start of play isn't going to be delayed by poor weather tomorrow I may well reduce my position before the off. Either way it'll be an interesting market tomorrow and well worth looking in on. Should be plenty of price movement and lots of opportunity to build some green. So good luck if you decide to get involved.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Let's all laugh at Brett Lee

It was Emma's birthday yesterday so didn't get round to trading as we hit the shops in search of boots and bags before going for dinner. Probably won't get the chance today either as I'm busy doing my accountzzzz.

So instead I thought I'd take the opportunity to give us England cricket fans a chance to have a laugh. Afterall, there hasn't been much to smile about recently - from the opening ball of the Ashes series, which Harmison delivered to Flintoff at 1st slip, right through to Tuesday's Twenty20 drubbing.

So time to turn the tables! The Aussies have been having a good laugh at our expense recently. It's payback time! Click the video below to see Brett Lee's efforts at cracking the pop market!

Not much I can add to that really. I particularly liked the bit where "Bing" croons: "I promise I'll make you laugh".


Come back
Hoddle and Waddle. All is forgiven!

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Twenty20: Aussies destroy England

Daily Result: £203.27

I guess the result in today's Twenty20 wouldn't really have surprised anyone. An Aussie win. But the nature of it might. The Aussies were awesome. Racking up a world record international Twenty20 score of 221 - setting a new world record of 14 for the number of 6s in the process. While the 77 run win was also a world record. It was fantastic stuff. And thrilling to watch - or at least the Aussie innings was!

One look at the Aussie batting line up and it was clear a big score was on the cards. And the tone for innings was set after Anderson's first over was smashed for 14 - which was better than the average 16 per over he finally went for! All the England bowlers suffered though with the best economy rate being 9 per over. (Flintoff and and Collingwood)

Which, of course, meant there were some awesome Aussie strike rates. Hayden had the best with 250 though the average was 179.5!! Several were over 200 with only Clarke below 165 with a paltry 83.33!

Which all made for great viewing, and pretty straightforward trading, until the end of the Aussie innings. With such a monster total to chase England were always going to have to take risks and the obvious happened. Needing 11.1 runs an over from the start England had to play shots and as the rate quickly rose the wickets fell. After just 1.2 overs England were 5 for 2 with Flintoff out. The game was already long over bar a Pietersen miracle - the chances of which faded completely when he ran himself out shortly after. Enabling England to get quietly on with the business of being humbled again by the Aussies.

So any positives from being crushed this time around? Well, it was great to see Vaughan finally leading England out for the first time since his knee injury in December 2005. He was one of England's more successful batsmen on the day, we got a glimpse of the old Vaughan as he despatched the ball round the park and, although he was a little slow between the wickets, at least there was no obvious breakdown. Probably too early to draw any long-term conclusions but fingers crossed.

Other positives? Monty was picked! And all things considered his 2 for 40 was a pretty good performance. At least he looked like a genuine wicket taker as he clean bowled a rampant Gilchrist and beat Hussey for flight having him stumped. And it was Paul Nixon doing the stumping. Following his Twenty20 successes at Leicestershire he's actually the world's most experienced Twenty20 cricketer!! Nice to see him get his international debut, even if he is 36. He showed his was more than competent behind the stumps while his impressive 31 not out with the bat must put him right in the frame as the gloveman for the world cup.

The final positive was, of course, I made a profit. Just over £200 wipes out most of yesterday's loss, puts me back into profit for the month and leaves me within a hair's breadth of reaching the £10k profit mark again. Lots of cricket coming up so hopefully I can break through it for good soon.

Monday, January 08, 2007

First loss of the new year

Yesterday's Result: £276.58

Whoops. Not the kind of loss I was hoping for near the start of a new year. Especially as it drops my profit below the £10k mark after I managed to creep through it yesterday. Truth is I just had a bit of a nightmare on the American Football. Specifically the Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks.

The game itself was amazing. A 93 yeard kick off return, A 67 yard touchdown pass, a defensive inzone fumble that looked like a touchdown but was ruled a safety, a field goal fumble in the dying seconds that would have changed the result - and a last play Hail Mary that nearly came off!

But it had all gone more than a little wrong for me way before the end of the match. Seattle ended up winning the match 21-20 which was doubley annoying as they were my pre-match pick. Not that it was ever in the bag until the last play was over.

First mistake was I got trigger happy on the mouse early doors. Thought the Seahawks had scored a touchdown, submitted the bet and realised the ball had been fumbled. So was immediately in an all red position - which I managed to increase through a couple of losing trades. Anyway, bottom line was before too long I was looking at a £250 all red position.

Still, there was plenty of time to reduce that and I did - back to around £130 red the pair with around 7 minutes to go which I was happy to settle with. There was plenty of scope to get one side green with a larger red the other but the game was close and I fancied the limited loss rather than a gamble on the winner.

So what happened? Disaster really. The Cowboys were on a drive, and with the clock ticking down just needed to score to effectively win. When it looked like they had a 1st down at the 1 yard line I backed them and submitted a lower lay - simply looking to reduce my red. Managed to lay a small part of it off but a play review showed the 1st down was missed so they went for a field goal. By then the price was out past my back point. But rather than add to my red I decided the Cowboys wouldn't miss and once the ball sailed through the posts I could get out of my position no problems.

So, of course, the Cowboys missed. Romo caught the ball, and let it slip as he went to place it. No kick was attempted and Romo had effectively let the Cowboy's entire season slip through his fingers. To add injury to insult made a beeline for the inzone but was bought down a yard or so short. Leaving me with a £280 odd red on Seattle. With nothing I could do about it. I'd more than doubled my loss on the match within a minute or two!

Bollocks basically. And I've had a good look at that last trade. Even on my match notes I'd written settle for the loss. But the situation just seemed a no brainer to reduce the red. I must have felt a little uneasy with it though as I only placed a half-sized trade knowing that if it went wrong I wouldn't be able to get out.

Still, it's all a great reminder at the start of a new year that nothing should be taken for granted. I've put the loss behind me and hopefully it will be onwards and upwards - starting with the Australia v England Twenty20 on Tuesday morning.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

£10k profit mark passed

Yesterday's Result: £79.12

A winning start to the year - and long may it continue! Had a quick look at two events today - part of the last day of the South Africa v India final test and some BDO action between Veitch and Klemme.

The cricket was volatile. The Saffers were on a very achievable run chase but the light was poor with with a threat of rain. I just kept stakes small and spent some time getting back into the swing of things after the break making just under £40. Then decided to do part of the darts match and pocketed just over £40. Didn't realise quite what a big £40 it was too untill after when I noticed it took me over the £10k profit mark for the first time since starting the blog 8 months ago! A most welcome start to the new year. :-) Again, I know it's small fry to many but it was a nice little milestone to pass on the first trading day of the year.

Unfortunately, in an all too predictable turn of events, I had a mare on an American football match in the early hours of today so am back under the 10K profit mark now. :-( Mad busy at the moment but I'll post the details of the loss soon - and at sometime in the near future I'll do a proper write up on reaching the £10 profit mark for the first time. Hopefully by then I'll be back through it - for good this time!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Back - and ready to roll!

So, hope the new year is treating you well and you're off to a winning start. Had a great week away with Emma. Really fantastic. And am now feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to start trading again. It's good to have a break from it all from time to time and am hoping I'll benefit from it. :-)

In between the drinking, eating and serious relaxing while away (I'm pretty lazy at heart and it doesn't take long to revert to type!) I took the opportunity to review many aspects of my trading and money management and also had a think about improvements that can be made to the blog to make it more useful for anyone who reads it. So hopefully you should be seeing some changes over the coming months.

That said I've been true to type, have been a bit lazy, and still haven't filed my tax returns for 05/06 yet. My accountant appears to be pulling his hair out in frustration and I need to spend a day or two checking everything over before I hand everything to him. It's just so boring I always manage to find something else more important to do. But, mind-numbingly dull as it is, the deadline looms, so that'll be my main priority at some point in the coming week.

Finally got around to reading Market Wizards by Jack D Schwager while I was away. A fantastic read. OK, it doesn't mention Betfair, or sports betting exchanges even once (and was published before they were invented) but I defy anyone to read even the first chapter and not realise they're holding pure gold. Sure, the traders interviewed operate on financial markets and offer differing advice. But many of the general principles are the same as with sports trading, the pyschological stuff is totally relevant and much of the money management discussion makes sound advice. It's a book well worth reading. And then re-reading. Several times. There's honestly hundreds of pieces of advice in it that I could copy onto this blog and they'd be totally relevant. I've no doubt I'll be cribbing bits from it in the coming months. So a big thanks to whoever it was who recommended the book to me through a comment. And I'll pass that recommendation on to anyone who hasn't read it.

So what else? Well, I've updated the results page. Had an all green position on the 2nd test between South Africa and India before going away so have added that to December's results. After a relatively quiet trading month in December it all kicks off again in January. Even just looking at the cricket January is a busy month - and the schedule gets busier still over the coming months as we approach the world cup. Much of January's action is over night but as it'll be one dayers I'm planning on staying up for a lot of it. Though there are a few UK daytime tests that I'll no doubt have a dip into. On top of that the BDO darts has started (gutted I missed the PDC final between Taylor and Barney) and the tennis season gets going again. So there should be loads to keep me busy.

Finally, it is, of course, 2007. Which means I'm getting married this year. :-) Time seems to be flying by towards the big day and it's all getting a bit exciting. We had one of our favourite bottles of champagne on New Year's Eve to celebrate and now need to start planning all the small details soon. All the big stuff like venues, cars, photographer etc was sorted a while back. Which all gives me a great incentive to get on with the trading, keep everything disciplined and hopefully start collecting some more green again to help pay for the big day!