The importance of greening up on Betfair
Daily Result: £2.50
Think it would be most useful if get straight to the point here. With 4/5 overs to go in today's Twenty20 between England and West Indies I had over £1k green on the Windies and could have levelled out for around £850 profit whatever the result. Instead I won £2.50. Want to avoid the same mistake? Well read on...
In a nutshell I failed to green out. Didn't think England had a chance of winning. So left my position as it was. Crazy stuff. Because on it's own £850 would have been my biggest Twenty20 win ever. And I'd have settled for £100 at the start of the game. So what the hell was I doing letting the position ride? Well, two things. I had overconfidence in my position. And I'm afraid to say that even after writing about greed the other day I suspect I got greedy again. I wanted to make £1k on the match. And that meant not greening out. So I didn't.
So essentially I ignored my own considered opinion on how to behave when trading for an on the spot decision. And the whole idea of consistent profits which I've based much of my blog trading on went for a walk too. I basically risked £850 profit (and I could easily have making an actual loss too) for the sake of £150 extra green. Probably to achieve another arbitrary landmark - the £1k profit on the match. Put simply I wasn't thinking straight. With hindsight I was probably losing control.
Sure, there is an argument that greening out at short prices is simply a waste of green. It's a big debate. And mathematically I guess the answer comes down to the price you take and how many times, and at what cost, things will go badly against you compared to how much you lose each time you green out. That debate is a bit of a side issue for me here though. My whole approach with the blog has been based on small consistent profits for reasons discussed before. Today I simply failed to follow that strategy. And it cost me £850.
Difficult to describe how that felt. Empty is pretty close. As is nauseous. I always say a profit is a profit. A green is a green. And it is. I've got more money in the pot now than I did at the start of the day. But at the end of the match I felt worse than any loss I've suffered since starting the blog. Not only because in terms of the size it's effectively the biggest. (Accepted it was not actually profit until settlement at the end of the match but let's be realistic here) But also because of the manner in which I threw the money away. To borrow a cricket phrase my trading decisions at the most crucial point of the match were village!
Which was doubly annoying as I'd traded the rest of the game like a dream. Both on the blog and the Betfair forum I'd said I'd hoped the Windies batted first, got off to a flyer and I could lay the short price England were. That all went to plan. By the change of innings I was over £400 green either side. And near the end of the match I was at the potential £850 green either side scenario already discussed.
At that point I could have levelled off and enjoyed the rest of what was a cracking match at 1.0x. Instead I decided on a stop and let the position, with a large liability on England, run. Big mistake. As I didn't actually set the stop. And when the market moved against me it flew. Sailed past my envisaged stop into the low 1.2x range. Where I ended up bailing at a poor price. But in the full knowledge that if the next ball went for a boundary it would be 1.3x. The market was panicing. If I'd levelled out I'd have been filling up at the juicy prices. Instead I was giving them to someone else. The irony is pretty clear. If I'd levelled out and then got back on again as the price rose I would have made more than the £1k I didn't level out to initially save!
I guess everyone's own approach to trading colours their opinion on going all green. Obviously you don't want to be consistently doing it when you're giving great value away. But you can often get away with it offering poor or fair value. I like consistency in results. So I like going all green. Or at least leaving no liabilites on one side unless there's a very low risk of things moving against me more than a few ticks. That was another mistake today. Because the Twenty20 markets can be so volatile. And today I got caught badly.
Whatever your own views on greening up today has reminded me why I like to do it. I've basically just thrown £850 away by not doing it. I don't like that feeling. I'd rather have the £850. So what if I could have made £1k? I could have anyway if I'd greened up and then got involved again as the price drifted. Instead I've got £2.50. The decision on whether / when to green up is one every trader has to take. If you don't want to feel as emotionally drained as I did today, as well as being out of pocket, just do it. Take the profit. Turn the screen green! If you're of a stronger disposition, and don't mind the odd setback like today in favour of not giving away a little green when there's a chance things could swing against you each time fair play to you. But it's not for me.
Anyway, end result? Well, immediately after the match I simply turned the computer off and got lost in some very loud relaxing music for a while. I thought things through and put the result behind me. I'm not being too hard on myself. Afterall, it's not as if I lost. I'm better off than I was this morning. But I'm not pleased with my trading. I didn't follow a basic plan. I even went as far as losing control. Though still had the sense to bail when I needed to.
Over riding even all of that though is my reaction to it all. Too emotional. Not detached enough. I'm getting too involved with silly targets and the end results. I've recognised this recently but failed to act on it properly. That means it's time for a break. So despite wanting to just get back into things with tomorrow's Twenty20 and prove to myself I can behave (!) I'll be giving it a miss. Suspect I will Saturday too. Emma is away on business again on Sunday so I might have a look in on something then. In the meantime I'm going to get on with some painting tomorrow, go for a boozy barbecue at a friend's on Saturday and hopefully comeback next month refreshed with a clearer head and the basics that have served me well so far firmly at the front of my mind. Best of luck with your betting in the meantime.