Thursday 31 December 2009

Green shoots

Green shoots is a term used colloquially to indicate signs of economic recovery during an economic downturn.

Very fitting indeed. Things have been very fruitful this side of Christmas. Today, I set new personal bests for daily total, highest profit for a single race and number of markets entered.

Things started out a bit wonky and it did enter my mind to quit when I was a few quid down - rather than risk going on the tilt and posting a big loss - but I quickly told myself off for being defeatist and carried on!

Whilst I typically trade with £15-£20 stakes at the moment, I did experiment a little with £30-£40 stakes...and scared myself stupid a few times! As before, the bigger stake sizes will take a bit of getting used to.

Well, looks like there's a ton of racing on tomoz so if I don't see ya, have a good New Year celebration and I'll be back then with more ramblings - cheers!

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Ooh aah, just a little bit...

...ooh ahh, a little bit more.

Anyone remember Gina G? Just me then...

I've got a bit of consistency in my game now which is pleasing. I sensed disaster early on when Betfair went down and I had a lay bet on with an unmatched back bet - my fear being that the unmatched back bet would've been erased if the server had gone down. It was on the favourite so I knew my liability wasn't going to be of bank-wiping proportions but still...

It got me thinking about putting some money in my Betdaq account so I can whack a quick counter-bet on should something like this happen again but the only problem is, half the time I'm not even looking at the horse that I'm trading and could end up having a punt on a completely different horse!

I suppose aside from software crashes, hardware failure, broadband disconnection and Betfair outages, there's not really a lot that can go wrong! ;)

Late on in the session, I upped my stakes to £30 which seemed sensible given my recent run of good form. It contributed to the £4.07 profit in the 15:25 which made the afternoon session worthwhile, given that I'd sloppily lost -£3.92 in an earlier race.

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Home straight

Well, the mini-challenge is a bit closer to completion after another good day's trading - only £11.46 left to make until I'm in profit.

I had a great start and even stopped for lunch in the middle which I rarely do. It helped clear my head a bit and I really felt I could reach the £20 mark today but tiredness caught up with me in the end; 24 markets is usually what I would do on a Saturday but the Irish races had good liquidity today so I got involved there too.

I worked out today that I've been trading seriously for about 12 weeks now which = 84 days, so 84 x 3 hours a day means I've put about 250 hours into this now...exhausting if I think about it! If that was flying time I'd probably be piloting 747s now or something! Still, the hard work is paying off bit-by-bit and I look forward to getting over this hump and making some real profit for a change.

£14.57 using max £20 stakes.

Monday 28 December 2009

Turkey power

Another good session today, by my standards anyway. All that Christmas turkey seems to have had a positive effect on my trading!

I'm still striving for higher profits and sometimes get knocked sideways while exploring new trading territory, as today's P+L shows. Things are going in the right direction again though and maybe I'll scratch that deficit by New Year?

Saturday 26 December 2009

Back with a vengeance

I got stuck in today after a few days break. Nice to see so much racing for a change - I've been starved!

Lots of money sloshing around which was great and I took a bit of it - my best recorded day so far and I was exhausted by the end. I spotted lots of opportunities to make a bit of green and missed many more. It's true what they say, you can win a little and lose a lot in this game by jumping off a green position too soon and holding onto a red position for too long, respectively.

I would have made a bit more had I not been smashed by a surge in the 15:25.

12 nicker using max £20 stakes.

Monday 21 December 2009

Itchy trigger finger

I was very pleased with my start today. Had my mind on the job at hand and kept a clean sheet for the first three races. The fourth race was a bit horrid though; I managed to double click the stake button and lay the favourite for £40 moments before the price came in. After I'd done the 'rabbit in headlights' bit wondering why my tick sizes were so huge, I quickly redded up. I started to go on the tilt after that but kept it together to take a small green.

The irony is, I've got two mice, one of which I purposely don't trade with because it has a tendency to double click itself...and I was using the other one! Actually, I'm a bit miffed about that double clicking mouse as it's a Logitec MX Laser and cost a pretty penny at the time.

Sunday 20 December 2009


In a word.

All that talk of me playing more safely went out of the window today with a wreckless opening trade where I lost 6 quid over 4 horses. There are no excuses. The next trade wasn't much better.

-£7.40 using £15 to £20 stakes.

Wolves vs Burnley

I'm having a little cheeky bet on the Wolves game at 13:30. I'm taking a position on the Correct Score market in favour of Burnley.

Burnley are due an away win and Wolves let goals in at home. No insurance on the unders this time - for 2 quid I'll let this one ride!

As Sky Bet always say


With Wolves scoring early on and remaining in a seemingly dominant position, I got off this trade for a 33 pence loss. Looks like Mick's gamble to rest players paid off - shame!

Saturday 19 December 2009

Ready...aim...put the safety on

I'm consciously trying to take a more cautious approach with my trading. When I make a successful trade, it's typically as a result spotting a positive signal moments before; losing trades are usually as a result of a speculative trade gone wrong, where a signal wasn't present.

With another day's racing decimated by the weather, I'm finding it hard to get into my stride. I could trade all day if there were enough races, such is my hunger to get more experience. I suppose it's just a case of 'battening down the hatches' during this lean spell.

I think I have become a bit more desensitised to the larger stakes which is something I'm happy about. I typically use £15-£20 stakes on most trades now; using anything less would now seem like a backward step. Following a stake hike, I think the trick is to 'not lose', rather than to win more; more profit should come with confidence.

£3.15 using £15-£20 stakes.

Thursday 17 December 2009

Spurs vs Wigan all over again

After a relatively gentle first half, things quickly took a turn for the worst in the second half.

My main concerns today were:

a) not scratching soon enough, hoping an adverse swing would recover
b) trading everything in sight instead of just picking the ones I was sure about

'Big' losses (relatively speaking) hit my confidence, there's no denying it. When I'm a few quid up I'm relaxed and able to trade freely; when I'm in arrears it feels a bit like swimming against a strong current. I was mentally fatigued by half-time which probably accounted for the big hits later on in the session.

Not sure if I'm going to get chance to trade tomorrow which will be a shame as I really wanted to be in profit for the week and today has hit the P+L hard.

-£10.95 using max £20 stakes.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

22 rounds with Zangief

I got caught by Zangief's spinning piledriver attack on a couple of occasions today.

"Dunno what you're laughing at!"

I went into this afternoon's session nice and early with plenty of energy and the drive. It was a turbulent affair. I didn't find things very strightforward really; some of the graphs looked hideous - like they'd been through a mangle - which gave some indication of the market behaviour.

I was using mostly £20 stakes again. Even after going 8 quid down, I persevered with the bigger stakes and clawed most of it back. I was on a mission!

With not having traded regularly through the seasons, I keep with me the hope that Winter trading is a tough nut to crack and by going through it and coming out the other side, maybe things will be a bit more encouraging during the other seasons.

-£2.86 using £7.50 to £20 stakes.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Mind the gap

My alter ego 'Billy Big Stakes' fell down it in the first race after steaming in and getting smashed before he'd munched down the last bite of his tuna roll.

I'm sure he just does these things so I have something to write about in this blog!

Spent the rest of the time clawing it back a bit at a time, which I felt confident I could things have come on in just a few weeks! A silly hiccup in the last race left me with a bit of red but it hasn't dented my recovery too much.

My Christmas challenge of scratching my deficit is still on track, weather permitting of course!

-£1.35 using £7.50 to £50 stakes (just the last race on a short-priced favourite)

Monday 14 December 2009

Breaking new ground

Bit of a pain them cancelling the racing at Ayr today. I like it when the races come thick and fast, so waiting 20-30 minutes before the next race can be a bit off-putting.

Nevertheless I had a good little session, felt confident using mostly £20 stakes and set another personal best for profit on a single race.

I was -£1.90 down in the 15:10 at one point but brought it back to green before settling for a -£0.45 loss. The recovery was helped by me holding my nerve more and getting into less of a flap when things went against me, which they still do quite often.

I forgot to mention that I recorded a few of my trades yesterday using some free software called CamStudio which someone else recommended on their blog. You have to hunt for a better codec though to keep the file sizes down; I ended up downloading an Xvid MPEG4 codec and that certainly helped matters.

It was interesting to watch some of the races back. For instance, it gave me a good feeling when I watched yesterday's 15:40 back where I profited by a couple of quid. It's at times like that where I feel that things are really coming on with my trading. Nothing wrong with a bit of positive reinforcement!

£6.51 using £7.50 to (mostly) £20 stakes.

Sunday 13 December 2009

Easing back in

I was a bit anxious about getting stuck in today after having a couple of days off. It's a bit like that feeling when you have some vacation from work and then you have to go back and you're not sure what you're going to find!

I mostly stuck with £7.50 stakes because things were a bit 'snippy' (see Glossary) and I didn't want to dent my P+L, although I did use £20 stakes in the last two races after I'd got trading head back on again. I intend to push the £15-£20 stake boundary in the coming week.

£1.56 using £7.50 to £20 stakes.

Saturday 12 December 2009

Duvet day

"feeling ruff!"

No trading today due to excessive consumption of Bells whiskey the night before! I feel bad missing a Saturday since it is normally a good day for me PnL-wise but my head and stomach simply weren't up to the task!

Thursday 10 December 2009

I feel good, duh-duh duh-duh duh-duh duh

And a bit tired too. I made a tenner today and worked bloomin' hard for it!

There seemed to be a lot of slow-down in the later races which could have been the API, The Toy or my broadband - who knows. In any case, it seemed to filter out some of the 'noise' and I found it easier to trade.

I capitalised on a spike in the 14:00 race and made my biggest profit on a single race so far. Prior to this, I found myself getting frustrated at the lack of opportunities I was having, despite making a play for everything I could find. I was yelling


and then that spike happened and I was like

"Oh, there is a trading God after all!"

I took a conscious decision to reduce my maximum stakes slightly. I haven't quite got a 'feel' for £15 stakes yet...whatever that means lol!

No trading for me tomorrow because of a prior engagement which will be a bit weird as I've traded the last 33 days consecutively!

£10.07 using £7.50 to £12.50 stakes.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

From -£47 to £0 by Christmas

In line with so many others and their challenges, mine is to scratch my deficit by Christmas. I just decided.

"Ooer, not many shopping days left now - can he do it?"

We'll see. It's good to have short term goals though.

Trading-wise I did a 'Mets special' and gave it all away at the end again. I think I might get that camtasia software that everyone bangs on about and record my trading to try and see where I'm going wrong. Maybe it will identify some traps that I fall into that I'm not currently aware of while doing it.

£0.69 using £7.50 to £15 stakes.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Out for a duck

Well 3p.

Not much point wasting valuable kilobytes of Google storage capacity with another post about the whys and where-fors of amateur trading. It is what it is!

£0.03 using £5 to £15 stakes.

Monday 7 December 2009


"Skynet is the primary antagonist — an artificially intelligent system which became self-aware and revolted against its creators."

The machines must have been playing each other today. There is no way that other humans were involved, besides me. 'Funny money' all over the place.

Well done if you prospered - wanna sell me some of your 'edge'?

-£3.60 using £7.50 to £15 stakes.

Sunday 6 December 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly

The good
Difficult conditions again today, unsurprisingly for a Sunday, and I traded very cautiously. My concentration levels were very high after a good night's sleep and they had to be, with spikes all over the place. It's highlighted that if I exercised this level of concentration and caution every day, I'd be getting on much better.

The bad
After chalking up 4 hard-earned pounds, I backed the 3rd favourite for £12.50 in the 14:30 at Lingfield and got blasted by a spike which left me £3 in the red.

The ugly
Then my computer crashed, just seconds after the spike. Fortunately there was 6:30 left on the clock which gave me time to boot up again and close out at -£3.33.

Ok, so not that bad or ugly this time. With plenty of time left and a maximum loss of £12.50 on the cards, I was relatively calm about the whole episode; had I laid £12.50 with 2 minutes on the clock, it might have been bank massacre of Jason Vorhees proportions!!

So plans are afoot to have some contingency in place before this happen again. I am going to install The Toy on a spare lappy and, using my wife's BT dongle, prepare for the inevitable before the start of each session. At least then, the only thing that could catch me out is a crash at Betfair itself, which I can't do much about.

I know that Pro traders wouldn't dream of trading without a backup and this has given me the kick up the bum I needed.

It's a shame I don't know next door's Wifi password, as I could just run Evo on my little Linux netbook and close out that way. Maybe I could tease it out of them in conversation?

£0.82 using £7.50 to £15 stakes.

Saturday 5 December 2009

Gimme a break!

Not my usual Saturday harvest today but still a bit of green.

£2.50 using £7.50 to £15 stakes.

I moved on to the footy at 3, backing the 0-3 and 1-3 in the West Ham vs Man Utd game.

I screwed up my <2.5 insurance by inadvertently hedging out early on (my mix up using The Toy) so spent the next hour reducing my liability on all the scores it would have covered.

This reduced my profit on the 0-3 & 1-3 so I couldn't green up at 0-2 as planned. This was fine though because Utd got the 3rd...

"I feel a 'but' coming"

...BUT they also got the 4th SECONDS after and I didn't have time to hedge out - BUGGER!

What a cock up.

I should stay off the footy cos every time I have a go something screws me over (either some misfortune on the pitch or my own incomptetence - or both!). Small stakes were used so only lost a quid ;)

Friday 4 December 2009

Doing a Man City

I've let slip a few leads this week and I'm a bit dissapointed.

The inconsistency is still there, as highlighted by today's effort. I lost -£3.82 in the 5th race after being £1.80 up, which shows me quite clearly just how easy it is to get caught out.

Having said that, I topped last week's total profit, even if it was just by a whisker, so I'm moving in the right direction.

I've been more aggressive with my trading this week and feel that this approach is working for me. I want to smash the £10 barrier next week and I think the only things that are holding me back are:

1) rushing around chasing prices rather than anticipating their movements carefully
2) attempting to scratch a deficit, then making the same mistake that got me into the deficit in the first place, thereby increasing the deficit further
3) redding up too soon when the price swings the other way on me

Back tomorrow for more fun and games!

-£2.60 using £7.50 to £15 stakes.

Thursday 3 December 2009

"Ha ha this-a-way, ha ha that-a-way

...ha ha this-a-way, my oh my"

PnL-wise it was a very swingy day. I'm not too disturbed by it as I am taking a lot more risks these days, both with stakes sizes and entry / exit points. There are times though, when I jump into something without really assessing the field, which I need to stop doing.

I recorded my biggest gain on a single race today, £3.06 (before commission). I was on the right side of a big spike for a change and handled it well, quickly profiting again straight after while the market was still in disarray.

Btw, was Wizbit an actual real programme or did I imagine it? Same with Choccy (spelling?) where that floating thing used to appear in that boy's bedroom - it used to scare the hell out of me. And Tripods - fancy putting that on at Saturday teatime. I'm a proper 80s child ha ha! Street Hawk was the best!

£1.63 using £7.50 to £15 stakes.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Two loaves of bread and a tin of beans

You can't get much with £2.58 these days.

Now, do I get the good beans and the own-brand bread? Or splash out on the Hovis bread with the seeds in it, and settle for the value beans? (the small brown ones that Heinz didn't want)

£2.58 using £5 to £15 stakes.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Excuses, excuses...

I involuntarily pressed the wrong mouse batteries ran needed the toilet.

These were some of the excuses I was making for the rubbish start I had today. Actually, they were all true, but mostly it was down to good old-fashioned ill-discipline.

I went storming in like 'Billy Big Stakes' and got smashed about like a one-armed cage fighter!

I was going to quit after I was -£6.79 down but opted to fight on with £7.50 stakes and reduce some of the deficit, which I did. Crikey, if I can't get past a -£6.79 loss then bigger losses will have me 'running for the hills'!

-£4.83 using £5 to £15 stakes.