Saturday 27 March 2010

Come on Hardy!!

UFC 111 tonight and I'm very excited!! I won't be staying up for it as it can be quite a drawn-out event with a million ad breaks and lots of fights I'm not bothered about, but I've got my bets on:

Georges St-Pierre vs Dan Hardy
I decided to lay GSP for £25 @1.2 and back him for £15 @ 2, which will net me a tenner. The reason I've taken this approach is that, while I can't see Hardy being victorious, he may do enough to early on to push GSP's price out. I'm not sure of the swing in MMA markets though so it's a complete 'finger in the air job'. What will likely happen is that GSP will submit Hardy after about 30 seconds in the first round!! Only a fiver at stake so who cares?

Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin
I've gone for a straight £10 punt on Mir for the win @ 1.73, based wholly on his last performance (which was brutal). Carwin looked awesome at the weigh-in though so, whatever the outcome, I can't wait to watch that one back.

My progress trading the horses is steadily - er - staying the same with nothing special to report on. Weekends continue to be profitable while weekdays are a bit hit-and-miss, but the profit line is still rising so it makes it worthwhile doing. Making money in a low-risk fashion on the horses effectively allows me to have free bets on the UFC and footy so it's quite good really, as I'd feel guilty punting my own money.

Monday 22 March 2010

Weekend roundup

Not a bad weekend on the horses. I really enjoyed both sessions and didn't try and do anything heroic - just put my mind to grinding out a few pennies in my usual fashion using £40 stakes. I'm quite happy with £20-£30 a sesh really and I want to aim for some consistency really rather than 'shooting for the stars' etc.

I got smashed on Friday for -£24 after letting one go in play and losing -£23 in a single race. I left a lay on too close to the off and couldn't get off the thing very easily. It was horrible and made me feel a bit sick, given that I could've decimated a big chunk of my hard-earned. It could have been much worse though so I'm counting my lucky stars! I have been guilty of trading anything upto -30 seconds just lately without pictures and it's really only out of sheer opportunism...ok, GREED! Mustn't do it anymore.

I have Talksport / BBC 5 Live internet radio on while trading the horses and this week I was particularly proactive in seeking out trading opportunities. I didn't win much but I was pleased with my decision making:

Sunderland v Birmingham
Layed Sunderland for £20 at 2-0 up. 2 early goals meant their price was down to 1.1 ish with an hour to go. When Birmingham got one back I backed a tenner, leaving me with a free bet on the draw / Brum win. The 2-1 outcome left me with nowt.

Man Utd v Liverpool
Scalped the 1-1 for a bit since I figured that, after the initial frenzy, both teams would settle down and it would still be 1-1 at half time (I didn't hang on until half time to trade out though). I put the profit on 3-1 and 2-2 scorelines and could've traded out after Man Utd went 2-1 up, but with plenty of time on the clock I held out for a result. The 2-1 outcome left me with 70p.

Fulham v Man City
Again, layed City for £20 at 0-2 with plenty of time left on the clock. Figured Fulham might still have some of their midweek 'bouncebackability' left but it wasn't to be. When Fulham got a penalty I backed a tenner for a free bet on the draw / Fulham win but ultimately, the 2-1 outcome left me with nowt. Deja-vu?

So the overriding theme for the footy was that I made nowt. But it was good fun all the same with little risk involved :)

Oh yeah, and 5 Live on the internet is reeeeeaallly delayed - as highlighted by their commentary on the Everton game when it took about a minute for the report of the first goal to come through - so don't rely on it when trading the current score!!

Tuesday 16 March 2010

¿Que pasa?

No mucho.

All that money sloshing around at Cheltenham has unsettled me a little bit. £5Million+ matched on a single race?! I prefer the conditions to be a little less liquid. Nor could I harvest much from the other meets, either because they were too swingy or there was too much money bunched up. Just lately, I'm finding that I'm having lots of little wins followed by a big neutralising loss. There's an invisible tractor beam pulling me back to £0 just as I start making some gains. Still, at least I'm not losing heavily.

Moving onto the footy and the Chelsea-Milan game. Milan's price never really deviated from the 5.5 mark throughout the first 70 mins and the commentators on 5 Live were starting to 'big up' Milan so I felt it was worthwhile to have a little speculative punt on Milan to win. Only £2.50 mind you, just to make things interesting. I figured that Chelsea must be getting a bit twitchy with the clock ticking down, and it wasn't long before Milan scored netting me £8 of green.

I'll look for more of these 'value' in-play positions in the future I think.

I had a brief look at trading the tennis and was surprised by the way the Soderling-Lopez game was swinging around at the start of the first set. Soderling's price went flying out in the tie-break when he went 2-0 down and the came steaming in again as he won the next 4 points. Scary stuff! I didn't commit any of my hard-earned tonight but I might have a look at the next Murray game to see if I can get anything out of it.

I had a little look at the UFC 111 prices tonight, more from a punting angle than a trading one. The markets appear to be going in play but I haven't got any plans to stay up and watch it live on pay-per-view.

I've only really gambled on the UFC once before, when Frank Mir fought Brock Lesnar in their rematch: I backed Mir to make it 2/2 but he got smashed by Brock-zilla! Mir is fighting Shane Carwin whom I'm never seen in action apart from YouTube highlights; Mir has bulked up a fair bit since the Lesnar fight and looked an awesome beast against Cheik Kongo in his last fight, which he won, so I might have a bit of the 1.67 on offer.

George St-Pierre vs Dan Hardy is going to be a belter, although Betfairers think GSP is a dead-cert at 1.16 and I can't really disagree. Hardy does have knockout power though and an ego the size of Nottingham (where he's from) so I might have a fiver@5.3 on 'The Outlaw' !

Thursday 11 March 2010

First £50 day: the aftermath

Well I like to think I'm very systematic in my approach to trading. This week, for instance, I've systematically been erasing all the good work I did at the weekend. There's not much left of Saturday's hard-earned...

The notes section of my spreadsheet, where I rate each day with a comment and a colour (red=bad through to green=good), has turned that murky yellow colour again which means things aren't quite as spiffing as they should be. Not critical, but not good.

The larger stakes haven't helped much - typically £55 - but then neither has missing out on an obscene amount of good moves by scratching / greening up too early. Frustration is creeping in again and the hat has been getting thrown across the room in anger a fair bit.

I will be taking tomorrow off to rest but also to savour what profit I have left for the week. A bit of consistency is the order of the day at the moment as I haven't been able to string more than about 3 good days together of late.

Monday 8 March 2010

Dis-comfort zone

I did some R&D today, experimenting with bigger stake sizes at times upto £100. As such, the P+L is peppered with losses and the overall was a small loss.

I accept that this is a part of moving up a gear which I feel I need to do in order to push myself. With the hunt for some sort of employment in motion, I don't know for sure how much longer I'm going to get to indulge this trading quest with such regularity so I may aswell make the most of this 'education'.

I scared myself plenty with the higher stakes, not least because I had to enter into some unfamiliar territory to get the orders filled. That said, I'm really comfortable using £40 stakes now which I wouldn't have said a month ago, so I'm fully expecting £100 to seem quite normal in another month or so. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the mind can adapt to changes in perceived risk.

Sunday 7 March 2010

Look at what you could've won

Nevermind the speedboat, I didn't even get the bendy Bully today!

Having started out with a speculative punt on the Reading-Villa game, with a fiver on Villa to win after the first Reading goal went in, I got on with the horses while listening to the game. With Villa 2-0 down at half time I redded out for -£ because salvaging the £1.25 was sooooo important - NOT! Final score: Reading 2 - 3 Villa. Grrrrrr...I keep saying I'm gonna stay off the footy. I don't mind losing but not winning is worse!

Anyway, the loss on the footy was negligable compared to the £25 I'd accrued on the horses so it wasn't all bad...that is until I chucked it all away with some big losses at the end.

Flamin' marvelous!

To be honest, I was tired and really didn't care at the end. When I'm in that state of mind I know I shouldn't be trading, so rather than chase more green, the computer was promptly switched off and I went and had a power nap.

So what could've been a £40+ day ended up as a slight loss.

Oh the harsh realities of making money on Betfair!

Saturday 6 March 2010

Another goal reached

It's been a while coming but I managed my first £50 day today. It was a bloomin' slog towards the end as my brain was getting tired but I limped over the line in the last race.

Stakage was generally £40 again - I'm really comfortable at this now and its about the right level for my style of trading - although I did up stakes to as much as £80 when the conditions seemed right.

I'm having a good run at the moment and seemed to have shaken off the self-doubt that was creeping in just a few weeks ago. Some days are still a struggle, for instance one day last week I lost £20 in just over an hour and the alarm bells started ringing...."THIS IS NOT YOUR DAY - WALK AWAY!" At least I'm recognising these days earlier now and close down The Toy before the real 'bank busting' occurs.

The significance of meeting short term targets has been quite fundamental to my development as a trader. Now that £50 has been reached, my mind is already thinking "what was all the fuss about?" and that can only be a good thing. It means that:

a) A £75 day isn't impossible
b) A £20-30 day will seem easier to achieve

In my mind, b) is already true i.e. the 'programming' has already taken place!