Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Bye bye Blogger, hello Wordpress!

This will be my last post on this blog. I've moved over to a new site and will be blogging from there in future.

Blogger is a great platform but doesn't serve my needs anymore.

The new site is at


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

All change

I've been having a bit of a move around in the trading room

I'm probably on my 4th configuration of my trading setup now! I quite like ripping it all out and starting again - it helps me to streamline my setup (and get to that hard-to-reach dust!).

I've moved away from running Geeks Toy on the iMac within virtual Windows, and am now running GT on my Mac Mini with Windows 7 64bit on a Bootcamp partition. The iMac was actually my music / media PC so this way I've achieved a pleasing separation between work and play.

My workspace is vitally important to me, especially as my OCD doesn't cope well with clutter!!

I tried to squeeze a third screen into the mix but it would've required some new hardware so I didn't bother. I did try a workaround, some software called Display Link which enables you to use an iPad as an extra monitor for Windows machines; it worked ok but the cursor was a bit laggy when moving around the iPad screen (because it's doing it over wifi I think).

Not a particularly good 5 days for me. I wasn't nearly as careful as I should've been on the Tuesday and was reeling from an early loss for the remainder of the session. The rest of the week wasn't a great deal better and I managed a few hundred across the festival but that was about it.

I'm a bit apathetic towards my trading at the minute and it spilled into Ascot unfortunately; developing my swing-trading has taken quite a lot out of me these last couple of months when it became obvious (back in February time) that my scalping technique wasn't going to stand up in seemingly more volatile markets. Anecdotal evidence suggests I'm not the only one who's had to adapt their trading styles in recent months.

Other reading
Some interesting posts recently over at 70k Betfair Tennis Trader - my heart raced as the author described his whole-bank punts on the tennis and football. It's all gone a bit quiet since the England-Italy match (he was expecting goals) but it did open my eyes to how quickly you can grow a small bank by backing the low odds in the right matches.

Another eye-opener was the interview with Matt from, over at the excellent Sports Trading Life. It's easy to forget that there are traders out there operating on the different planet to the rest of us - I grumble at a £100 losing day and this guy puts upto 40k on the line in some tennis matches! Good on him though - I find inspiration from this kind of sounds like he's developed the Holy Grail of spreadsheets!

On the move
Mets' Trading Diary is on the move soon - over to a swanky new Wordpress blog - and the blogspot one will shortly be retired. It's been a great ride so far - and the blogging will continue on the new site - but the blogspot sites only let you do so much and Wordpress offers a lot more flexibility in terms of membership offerings. Indeed, hours upon hours of research led me to the Digital Access Pass plugin, which turns any WP site into a fully fledged membership site. I've had a couple of weeks to play with it and I'm pretty impressed so far.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

The elusive £500 day

Well, my first £500 day came in the end but not how I expected

I had a fairly mediocre session on the horses and there was even a pad-throwing incident as I started giving large chunks back towards the end of the session. I got blasted in the 17:45 Chester race and had to red up for -£50 on one runner...always a kick in the teeth when you've been grinding away all afternoon to build up a nice bit of green.

The Eurovision, on the other hand, went quite smoothly and accumulated a lot of green on Sweden which I let run once those grannies from Russia had been on and didn't go down as well as expected. The grannies did steam in from about 7 to 3 while the vote counting was going on though, so I don't know what was going on there - they didn't go below about 5.8 while they were on and drifted to about 7 during the performance.

Still looking for a £500 day on the horses but I don't feel I've got enough in my arsenal to reach that at the moment.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

What a difference a-ldi makes

Well, I'm still here grinding away...and what a grind it was today. Two low grade all weather meetings on a Wednesday afternoon should have had alarm bells ringing as far as pre-race trading is concerned but that didn't stop me getting stuck in. One day I'll learn from past mistakes.

The markets were so horrendously manipulated that only a fool would get involved...especially when there's a Barney Curley runner involved

To think I can crack these markets is futile - and I know this - but the challenge of getting one up on the people steering the prices is more than I can resist. To cut a long story short, I got smashed from pillar-to-post and ended up -£100 down by tea time. Approx -£70 of that was from pre-race trading, the other -£30 from in-running

Should've just stayed in bed this afternoon!

Since I started jotting down my pre-race and in-running totals for each race, it's been a real eye opener just how slim my pre-race edge is some days; quite often, I'm just glad to break-even and today was one of those days.

While it's tempting to carry on sitting at your desk hoping for a miraculous turnaround, it's likely your brain is already tired and your confidence shattered from the disappointment of one negative total after another. I had no choice but to pull myself away as the weekly grocery shop at Aldi beckoned. I don't know which is worse, sitting at my desk losing money or trudging round Aldi for an hour buying the same old crap I bought last week.

Anyway, the break away from desk seemed to do the trick and I managed to rake back the deficit and half the grocery bill in the remaining 8 races :-)


Even after all this time, I'm still perplexed by the way some days play out. I could've stepped away at 17:00 just -£35 down but the "lure" of one more trade is hard to resist and it ultimately cost me another -£65 over the next 3 races. As I've said in the past, I hate losing days and the bad feelings it brings - it's really exacerbated by my OCD too which insists that I don't leave any "loose ends" and a losing day is a loose end that I can't fix until really bugs me!!

In other news, this weekend brings the Eurovision Song Content 2012 and to be honest it's about the only other thing I do outside of horse racing that I'm confident I can profit on at the moment. I made a measly £30 in 2010 but managed to triple that last year, so let's hope it's another good one. It's such great fun to watch and the betting side of it is fascinating - pity it's not on more often.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Epidemic of addiction

Stumbled across this in the Mail Online today. It's the usual thing: we're all a nation of gambling addicts and everything is set to become 10x worse with the popularity of in-play betting blah blah.

I was more interested in the pictures. The featured trader's 4-screen setup would look rather nice in my office...

Friday, 27 April 2012

Reining in the losses

Up until this point in my trading career, I've tended to take the "win-more-than-I-lose-and-I'll-be-happy" approach.

So if I ended a day with £200, after making £350 of positive trades and £150 of negative ones, I'd write the losses off using that old adage: you've got to speculate to accumulate.
    But last week I started to write down my pre-race and in-running trades and was horrified at the state of affairs! Some days, my pre-race game was being bolstered by my in-running game; other days, it could be the other way round.

    What I did notice was that these two disciplines rarely "fired" together: if I made a bit of money pre-race I'd often gamble it away in-running hoping to make more, and if I made a loss pre-race then the in-running trades were merely damage limitation.

    Writing down all my trades is starting to pay off now though. It's putting things into perspective and making me more mindful of my trades. As a result, I'm starting to choose my battles more carefully. Today was very nice and stress-free for me

    and I only made about 20 quid's worth of duff trades overall. With the weather knocking out a couple of cards and totally screwing up Punchestown's schedule, it was pleasing to make nearly a ton on so few markets. That's almost unheard of for me, as usually I need about 20-30 races to get into some sort of rhythm. This week, been just as happy to bide my time and strike when things felt right, rather than trading everything that moves and coming unstuck.

    The other nice thing about writing trades down is you can set yourself little win-streak challenges. I managed about a 10-race win streak yesterday and it really focussed my efforts on not giving away my profits. I know Sam over at the excellent Adapt and Survive blog (wish you'd post more dude!) wrote about this a while back (I think he was putting together 70-80 race win-streaks!!) and it really is a great way of improving the ol' strike rate.

    Tuesday, 17 April 2012

    The "glamour" of track-side betting

    Matt Chapman from ATR with his take on track-side betting for those who didn't see it today

    Might have to turn the speakers up a bit as the volume on my telly was quite low.