Friday 30 April 2010

Put the garden chairs back in the shed...

With the bad weather putting an end to trading in the garden, I was back in the house working from the office again this week. To be honest, with all the gear I had to move out there, it was more hassle than it was worth and as one reader pointed out, it could get a bit glarey.

This week I've been using my other PC - a much beefier machine running Windows 7 and two monitors - while I get the PSU fan fixed on my regular trading machine. It's been nice having the second monitor there as I've been whacking on the excellent ITV player and catching up with Corrie, Champions League and even Joanne Lumley's Nile! I don't usually watch a lot of telly but this has been a welcome distraction. Having these distractions makes it feel more like a hobby and less like a job I find; it's good company too.

I've decided against watching the live racing for the time being as it was causing me to get into bad habits too close to the off, costing me £60 over two in-running fiascos. Now I just do what I did before and get out when the clock strikes 0:00.

I've been updating my graphs on the spreadsheet that I keep and it's been interesting to see how things are coming on. Below is an up-to-date graph for profit per race for the last 6 months.

At a glance, it's clear that the losing days are starting to thin out and that I'm consistently hitting the £1+ mark per race (over 20 races per day typically).

Today was a pretty good haul but, after seeing Jack Birkhead make my daily personal best in a single race, I still can't help feeling like I need to move things up a gear!

Anonymous: "You'll never be satisfied will you Mets?"
Mets: "No!"

Saturday 24 April 2010

What a drag

Well today was a waste of a good Saturday - they are usually my springboard for a good week but I found myself chasing the money today; I'm usually in sync with the movements in the prices on Saturdays more than any other day, but not today it seems.

I upped my stakes in the first couple of races to £80 - twice as much as usual - but got blasted in the second race; in Mets' Glossary terms, that means SMASHED IN! That didn't set the scene for a very good day and I was oscillating about the £0 mark for the rest of the session. I hate getting off to a bad start, it really annoys me and gives me no buffer to take some chances and earn some more green; instead, I get hellbent on just getting back to square one which affects my game. I suppose it's akin to being 0-40 down in a game of tennis and then focussing all your efforts on not losing, rather than winning - it's quite energy sapping.

I think a lot of it is down to fatigue. The last time I had a day off trading was Good Friday and that was only because I didn't have any choice. I'll be taking tomorrow off and maybe Monday too, just to clear my head.

When all is said and done, it's been a profitable month so far - my best yet - and with the weather brightening up, the benefits of sitting in the garden and trading while sucking back a couple of bottles of 'wife-beater' cannot be understated! :D

Wednesday 14 April 2010

I dreamed a dream

The current run of good form continues - today was my 18th profitable day from the last 19 days traded - and I'm well on course to turn trading into a part-time affair at least.

I managed to cancel out last Thursday's blip with a good day of trading on Friday arvo. I'm still being a bit greedy too close to the off but am getting better at using the signals from the racetrack to know when to exit safely...usually just before the men loading the horses start scurrying for their lives past the stalls!

At The Races seems to be about 3 seconds delayed which is adequate for what I need it for and it only costs a quid a month extra on top of my Sky package. Of course, ATR don't cover all the action so I enquired today about getting a free trial of Racing UK streaming to my PC - they said they'd give me a 24 hours free trial to see if it's adequate, in which case I will happily fork out the required £9.99 monthly fee. Hopefully my rather ancient laptop will be able to cope with that and The Toy running together!

In some respects, having the horse racing on in the background gives what I'm doing each day some context, and I'm actually starting to get into the whole hoopla of racing! Having said that, ATR only covered Gowran Park today so I switched over to the planner and caught up with Corrie. Ahem.

I think I turned a corner in trading a few weeks back when I analysed what was working for me and what wasn't, and subsequently cut the bad bits out of my game. 'Little bits make a big bit' is still my approach, as well as keeping my losing trades to less than a couple of quid if I can.

"I could make all your dreams come true, Mets, if only my sleeves weren't so huge!"

Thursday 8 April 2010

A (not so) gentle reminder

I've been doing more trades close to the off just lately, using the live (well, slightly delayed) pictures from At The Races / BBC2 / Channel 4, but I was given a rap over the knuckles today after I let one go in-play following an unexpected start.

Of course, we all bang on about the perils of in-play but I suppose it only truly sinks in once you've 'done a bank'. Fortunately, that hasn't happened to me yet.

A stop loss feature in The Toy might help matters somewhat, and The Geek has indicated it may be in the next version. In the meantime, I guess I'll lick my wounds and tread a bit more carefully in future!

Monday 5 April 2010

Smash and grab

A rich day of racing today and a thoroughly enjoyable session, if a little long (39 meerkats traded). Today is my 10th successive day with a positive outcome - ranging from a modest £1.13 through to today's haul, my largest to date. Stakage is still £40 max at the moment.

I've made a conscious decision in the last few weeks to avoid situations that were causing me to get into deficit. This has resulted in me trading within a strict set of parameters and if a market doesn't fall within those parameters, I'll rarely get involved and just move onto the next race. Play to your strengths I say!

Thursday 1 April 2010

A hoof and a prayer

Not a great start on the horses today with what I felt was a bit of funny money hanging about catching me off-guard. I was close to calling it a day, since I don't allow myself to slip too far in the red these days, when something unusual happened...

I'd kept the market open in the 15:40 at Folkestone long after the clock had ticked down to 0:00 when, after about -7 minutes I was wondering why it hadn't started. I whacked on At The Races (I don't normally bother with live pictures) and it was clear that there was a bit of commotion in the stalls: one of the horses had it's hoof stuck in the stall and they were trying to free it. This caused the markets to go a bit screwy and lots of opportunities were presented to me to trade. I felt a bit like a kid in a sweet shop as my green mounted...£5...£10...the opportunities kept coming....£15...£20...! I had a feeling that the race was going to be cancelled and all bets voided but I kept going anyway. As it happened, the race went off and I made a nice profit to boot.

If only every race was as easy as that!

Valencia vs Atletico Madrid
I made a few more pennies in the Valencia game tonight after correctly anticipating a 2-2 in the correct score market. It was a good game with plenty of chances both ends. I didn't actually put anything on the 2-2 until well into the first half when, after lots of missed chances, goals seemed inevitable; the second half was a treat! Arsenal-Barca all over again.

UFC 111
I didn't have much joy with my UFC punts the other night.

Frank Mir was demolished by Carwin's uppercuts from the clinch late in the first round which entinguished my hopes of a Mir submission. The Lesnar-Carwin fight (if it ever happens) will be a very tough call and fascinating to watch.

Hardy fought very valiantly against GSP but was totally dominated by GSP's takedowns and submission attempts. I was staggered by Hardy's resilience when he was put in a shoulder-wrecking arm bar and, later on, a shoulder-wrecking kamora. I think Hardy will be mentally stronger in the rematch and could 'put the wind up' GSP.