Sunday, 24 July 2011


I actually feel like I'm getting somewhere with my data imports. The Betfair data extractor I've written is working fine except for one niggle around the totalmatched field which, depending on what time of day you query the API, may or may not break the delimiter I've set on the columns. I'll have to write some more clean-up code to eliminate the manual effort I'm forced to do.

The Betfair data and MFPro action logs (ie the logs which actually detail what bets have been placed) are then imported into a SQL database via this SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) job that I've set up. I love the graphical nature of SSIS and really got to grips with the technology while I was in paid employment. The fact that I'm now using my skills in this fashion is really quite ironic!

SSIS chain of events

Finally, some meaningful data in a SQL view - the pain was worth it

My bot is now using real money and by the end of yesterday was 4 points up - whoopee! Sitting here writing this, I've just heard the software make that comical "wah wah wah" noise so not exactly the start I was hoping for in the first at Carlisle. Now I'm using real money, I'm compelled to gather as much data as I can so I can fine-tune the bot and make it as profitable as possible. Test modes are all very well but unless you're losing real money, it's hard to get motivated to find winning ways.

If I can get the bot winning, I'll be keen to interface it with BetDaq as quickly as possible because, like many others, I'm appalled by Betfair's new Premium Charge structure (despite not having to pay it yet). Betfair's website is shockingly slow now with all these panels popping up everywhere, their API was down yet again last Saturday and the whole ethos of the company now smacks of corporate greed.

There have been many requests on the Geek's Toy forum for a "purple" version of the software but The Geek is keeping quiet on the topic. There was talk a few weeks ago on the forum of a sell-out and The Geek was being very cryptic (perhaps because of a non-disclosure agreement?) so what the future holds for the software in general is anybody's guess. I still love using the software but in this fast-changing industry, fickle users will migrate to something else if the "grass is greener"...or purple-r! The Toy is classier than anything else out there and I've tried them all now; if I had to use BetAngel or something else just to get BetDaq access I will be gutted, especially as I would rather not line the pockets of certain well-publicised characters in the API software industry.

I've changed my set-up now in case The Toy / my internet / my PC goes belly up. I used to run another copy of The Toy on my netbook with a 3G O2 dongle. It helped me out a few times but I wasn't happy with the time it took to load a market ladder using the netbook - it could take anything upto 30 seconds which is too long in this game. With the O2 dongle having come to the end of the contract period, I decided to ring up Vodafone to see if I could use my iPhone's data tethering feature with my current contract. Surprise surprise, that feature was an extra £10 per month but what it means it that I can use my iPhone as a 3G wireless hotspot and then run BetTornado on my iPad so I quickly exit a trade. It works really well and is nice and quick, the login takes about half a second and markets load in a second of two.

The BetTornado app on the iPad

Hotspot set up on the iPhone...what is a hotspot not?

BetTornado: another MASSIVE green!

I've not yet manually traded with the 'Tornado but I can see it being really handy to use in front of the telly when the footy is on.

More Apple free-advertising
After a sticky start, the Apple Mac Mini has been earning her keep in the last couple of months. I've been running Windows 7 on VMware Fusion, and The Toy has been running like a dream. Now that I'm botting more actively, I managed to convince myself that I need a more powerful Mac to trade on so I can run the bot on the low-power doesn't take a lot to persuade me to empty my purse at the Apple store! The new Minis (released last week) didn't float my boat so I decided to order an iMac instead

Well if you don't spend your money on anything else, you might aswell have some nice gear - right?


  1. which well publicised characters do you refer?


  2. Nice and interesting post (as usual).
    How is the Macmini performing regarding noise level? I have considered buying one myself, and would like a low-noise pc.
    I have traded on and old second gen imac myself for the last year, and i like it. I prefer to run Bootcamp instead of some "overlay" software, as i feel it will reduce the failure opps (i think its more like running it as a real pc).
    Good luck

  3. Great post as trading blog on the net.

  4. @AL - I'd rather not name them directly, only say that they're quite notorious on the Geek's Toy forum for flogging their software off the back of one of their really expensive trading courses.

    @Tytteboevs - thanks mate. The Mini is whisper quiet except for a few clicks of the hard drive here and there (the sooner solid state becomes the norm the better I say!). I replaced one of the 1GB RAM sticks for a 4GB one so now I've got 5GB which is plenty to share between Fusion and OSX. £500+ is a lot to pay for a quiet PC though if you're only booting into Windows - there might be a cheaper alternative?

    @banjo - cheers! :)


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