Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Result since last update: £2342.98

Well that's a bit surprising! Mainly because I didn't really get too involved in anything between Christmas and New Year. Did a lot a eating, drinking and family stuff so missed the start and end of the two test matches, traded a set or two of darts and a a single quarter of an NFL match. Looking at the result maybe I should take this less hands on approach into the New Year!

Obviously pleased the results. Nice bit of unexpected green to add to December's results. My most successful market was the first test between South Africa and West Indies. Only caught a few sessions really but there were some absolutely staggering prices available. Knowing I was unable to do much of the match, including the scheduled end, I just kept my liabilities limited and my position in such a way that I could leave it at any moment. I know I discussed the price on the 3rd night / start of the 4th day with some people on MSN but I'm aware it still smacks a little of aftertiming to say the the price on South Africa seemed sheer lunacy. From memory everyone and their dog on the Betfair cricket forum was of a similar view so I'm sure some very nice wins were landed. As it is I couldn't do the start of the 4th day so just left my book in an all green position with some weighting towards the West Indies. Was able to look in later in the day but by then the West Indies were 1.2x and I'd missed all the real action. Still, there's more to life than trading and despite the missed opportunity I'm more than happy with the result.

Anyway, I'll tot it all up another time but from a quick look through my results I'm staggered. It appears I've made over £45k profit this year - while still trading with a £1k bank for the first few months. Tell you something now - if you'd offered me that kind of result at the start of the year when I was still saving for my wedding I'd have wripped your hand, elbow and arm clean off!

Anyway, off to celebrate the new year now. Hope you and yours have a great one tonight and 2008 is a winning year for you. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

So I didn't get round to trading that late NFL match last night as I got sidelined. Ended up watching The Hustler again which is always worth a viewing. :-)

Anyway, just thought I'd say Merry Christmas and all that. Thanks for reading the blog this year and hope you have a good one over the festive season and that Santa delivers a few winners for you.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Latest trading results

Result since last update: £967.53

Whoa! I said there could be some dynamite trading opportunities in the last two days of the final test between Sri Lanka and England and it looks like traders that involved weren't let down. Sri Lanka were 1.2x at the time of writing from memory. I believe the draw hit a similar price on day 4 before blowing to 2.7x + on the fifth - and then rushing back in to 1.01! Sure there were some small fortunes won and lost on that little lot.

As I mentioned in my last blog entry I was unable to get involved in the last couple of days. Was spending some time in London with Emma. All good fun and refreshing to have a few days away from trading. Even is the christmas shopping crowds were little short of a nightmare!

The profit since the last update mainly comes from that final test. Had greened out for a reasonable win despite the result before heading off to London. Took a £200 hit on Sangakarra as top Sri Lankan batsman for the series but some profit on today's NFL more than accounted for that and left me with just shy of £1k profit on Betfair since the last update. Happy with that! Also made a bit elsewhere having got the draw with some books at 6/4 early doors as previously mentioned elsewhere. Didn't let that run but layed it off at various odds on prices elsewhere to effectively hedge for an equal all green position on that too. Smiles pretty much all round on the trading front then. Certainly helped out with buying some Christmas presents anyway :-)

Anyway, may do some of this late NFL game shortly before another few days away from trading. Will be back with another entry tomorrow anyway.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Trading update

Result since last update: £539.79

It seems I keep starting new posts with apologies for not updating the blog more regularly recently but again things have been both very busy with normal work and I've also been snowed under preparing for some changes to my trading in the new year. Both on Betfair, the results for which I record on this blog - and the other exchanges / bookmakers and spread firms I use.

I was considering finishing the blog at the end of the year but sentiment and a few encouraging messages (thanks) have more or less persuaded me to keep it going. That said I'll probably change the format from a daily results round up to more of a notepad for my thoughts on trading and comments on various events. Something more along the lines of Punt I guess. But with a few more updates ;-) I don't know. If I do that I'll explain my reasoning at a later date as some at least might find it interesting. See how I feel after the festive period I guess.

As for my trading since the last update. Well, not managed to look in on the darts yet but have done some Twenty 20, NFL and ODIs and that's what makes up the green. Had a nice early green wiped out in an abandoned ODI but not much I can do about that. On the down side I've a £200 loss on Sangakarra as top Sri Lankan series batsmen to book soon. But more than making up for that is an all green position on the Galle test between Sri Lanka and England.

The rest of the test could provide some dynamite trading opportunities but I'm not going to be able to get involved further. Am off to London in the morning to do some shopping before taking Emma to the ballet for her annual Nutcracker fix. Staying over and going out for drinks and dinner too. Should be a great little break and will be back at some point over the weekend when I'll update again.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Testing times

Result since last update: £662.38

It's great to see cricketers back in whites. Competing at "proper" cricket in a true test of tactical savvy, concentration and endurance. But while I love test cricket - and especially trading it - recent matches have proved tough for me. Just not been getting them quite right - at least on the exchanges - and keep being left to look at what could have been.

The two tests earlier this month were a little hit and miss for me - winning on one, losing on the other - and the end of yesterday's third test between India and Pakistan proved to be another frustrating one. Eventually made a tiny profit on the game - from what had been a moderate one - when, realistically 12 balls away from an agreed draw, Pakistan embarked on a suicide mission losing wickets almost as quick as I could utter abuse in their general direction!

The end of today's second test between Sri Lanka and England bought better news and is where most the profit since the last update comes from. Always happy with a profit but can see where I went wrong earlier in the match which ultimately cost me a far larger win.

Anyway, I've done a review of my trading in the last few tests to try and see exactly where I've not been getting things quite right. Always useful to review relatively poor performances and all worth bearing in mind as we go forward to the final test at Galle next week. And, indeed, over the next couple of months where there is a pretty full test cricket schedule that will hopefully provide some nice profits!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Twenty 20: Australia v New Zealand

Today's result: £427.4

Nothing like a bit of Twenty 20 to get the old blood pumping. Enjoyed today's smack and run fest between Australia and New Zealand. Made a nice distraction from the two tests that are grinding along at the moment and added some green to the monthly balance.

Only transferred over a little money to the Australian wallet for the match. Decided I didn't want to get involved too heavily but was happy to have a go. I got on the Aussies fairly early, was in and out a few times but essentially as they racked up 186 it was always likely to be too much for for New Zealand to chase.

As indeed it was. Only saw the first 5 overs or so of the Black Cap reply. By then the price was 1.01 and I was out of the market and back on the test matches. Not looked up what their final score was but it was looking pretty woeful when I left the game. Anyway, not complaining. Made around £370 on the match. The other £55 or so came from a couple of quick look ins on some NFL earlier in the week.

Was an interesting story to come out of the Twenty 20. Aussie state cricketer Luke Pomersbach was parking up at the WACA with his girlfriend to watch the match when he got a call from the Aussie team asking if he could play! Brad Hodge had hurt his back in the dressing room and instead of watching the match with his paid for ticket in the stands Pomerbach took to the field and picked up 15 from 7 balls at the innings' death - including a 6 and a 4. One of the stranger international debuts you're likely to come across!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Quick round up

Result since last update: £230.19

Firstly apologies for the lack of updates over the last week or so. I have traded a few things but my mind has been on some other issues which could see some pretty big changes at BFT Towers. Not bad news but important enough to require considerable time, thought and effort. Haven't really resolved all the issues yet but if / when I do I'll let everyone know as it will no doubt result in wholesale changes to the blog too. In fact at the moment my thinking is I'll probably just wind it down.

Anyway, haven't actually had a settled result for days but the profit since the last update comes from cricket and NFL. Had a pretty good win on the 2nd test between India and Pakistan but gave around the same amount back on the 1st test between Sri Lanka and England. The balance comes from a few NFL matches that I had quick look ins on.

Have started doing the two test matches that are ongoing at the moment. Small profits showing on each at present. Better results away from the exchanges on them though with a little luck both will show a good profit on Betfair before they end!

Apologies again for the lack of updates but sometimes there are just more important things to do than the blog. Emma has returned from her 2 week business trip too so been spending time with her and catching up. Going forward, in the immediate future I'm planning to get back to more regular updates again. I'll also try and reply to all the emails I've not had time to and the odd comments below as well. In the meantime good luck with your own trading. :-)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

New Zealand hammer South Africa

Yesterday's Result: £341.99

Well that was a bit of a turn up for the books. New Zealand crushed South Africa by 7 wickets in yesterday's ODI, levelled the series 1-1 and set up what could be a thrilling decider. Which all resulted in a nice win for me after my loss last time out.

I actually made around £358 on the match odds market and lost around £16 on an innings runs one - a market I'm starting to pay increasing attention too despite the sporadic liquidity. But while the New Zealand victory might have been emphatic my trading was a little less cocksure. In fact I found the match a pretty tough one to call - ridiculous as that sounds with hindsight - and took a very cautious approach.

My opening trade was a lay of South Africa at around 1.4. In fact, if I had just left that for the whole match I would have won more than I did by the time the game finished. My timing was somewhat off though I was keen to take some profits early as the weight of money was strongly against me despite a poor South African start. (It had moved 10 ticks or so against me before a ball was bowled pretty much!) Early South African wickets proved the key to the match though for me. Slow progress - caused by the loss of key early wickets - gradually saw New Zealand become favourites and for a large part of the innings, after the several early wickets, there was not too much movement in the prices and I ended up with a smallish all green at the change of innings. It was as if the market had decided the batting track was tough, New Zealand - under lights too - would find it equally as hard and whatever South Africa posted would be defendable.

This was the key issue for me. Eventually the South African total of 209 was perhaps better than had been expected earlier in the innings. Still shy of the 228 average 1st innings score at the ground. But how much of this was due to the wicket? And how much to an appalling start by South Africa that forced them into a conservative approach for much of the innings? It was a subject I discussed with some other traders - my view being the pitch, although not great, wasn't the sole factor in a score that was still unlikely to prove enough.

Consequently my early positions in the second innings were backs of New Zealand. An early wicket was a set back but from there a second innings stand of 154 effectively wrapped the match up for the Kiwis. I followed the price down but my stakes were moderate and my approach cautious until the odds were too low to really do much about. I could have lumped on the Black Caps near the end but that would have given me an unbalanced book with too much red on South Africa meaning two or three quick wickets would have left me in an even book situation. So I just took some moderate sized positions on short New Zealand prices and settled for a win of around £340. Happy with that.

Two tests going on at the moment which I'll write about in the entry for today at some point. In the meantime I've added some links to two new blogs.
Hamish Writes is an interesting mix of politics, sports and financial trading while The Football Project appears to be a weekly tip blog which is showing a profit. Enjoy!