Monday 31 May 2010

Testing day

The pnl extended over 3 pages today. 44 markets traded - I'm exhausted! In brief I had a high of £17, a low of -£22 and ended the day with nowt.

My plan for today was to continue where I left off yesterday and possibly break the £100 barrier, given the number of races on offer, but I ended up just chucking some money around and seeing what came about. Perhaps I could call it an R&D day! I had some good wins but overall my trading was erratic and purposeless...or whatever the opposite of purposeful is! :D

Stakeage was £100 again pretty much throughout. I'm pleased I had the belief to come back from the deficit. With the potential to grab £10 a race it doesn't seem quite so daunting making back losses. I hope to carry on in the same vein until I'm suitably 'battle hardened'.

Sunday 30 May 2010

Sunday best

A very pleasing day considering Sunday is typically my most frustrating day. I always look to have a good weekend performance which usually sets things up well for the rest of the week. Following on from yesterday's change of tactics, I had a nice stress-free session to add some more pennies to the coffers.

Stakeage was £75-£100 again; I'm surprised by how quickly I've adapted to this level of staking and I'll be continuing at this level for the coming week. Time will tell whether I have indeed moved up a gear or just happened upon some good fortune.

Saturday 29 May 2010

Eurovision goodness

I had a nice day on the horses today. I raised the stakes upto £100 and looked at different ways to trade so that I can try and develop my style a bit more. I still haven't had my first £100 day yet and it's starting to grate on my nerves a bit now. If I'm going to do it on any day it will be a Saturday as I more often than not find them to be quite lucrative. The other six days of the week are a bit of a lottery for me at the moment but Saturdays always seem to come together.

Tonight I decided to have a go at trading the Eurovision Song Contest. It was a fairly stress-free affair but I made sure I trod carefully as I wasn't sure what the markets were capable of - vote rigging and insider information were never far from my mind!

As it turns out a young German lass won it with a song that has apparently been popular all over Europe - something to look out for next time perhaps? There were much better songs in my opinion but that doesn't count for much in this competition! I thought Graham Norton did an excellent job filling in for Terry Wogan on the commentary. It's funny how we mock it so much over here when they take it so seriously on the continent.

I did a bit of tennis trading before the horse racing started. It's one of those sports that I'm happy to trade casually when the right game comes onto Eurosport. Since I'm still a noob at tennis trading I only really look at situations where one of the players becomes layable for a small liability. Looking at it this way does tend to limit your trading opportunities but I'm not prepared to risk throwing money away at the moment until I get to grips with it a bit more.

I'm sure someone like the TradeShark has little things that he looks for in a game that he's confident will pay dividends; to me, it still seems like your mostly gambling on the outcome of the next point which can go either way. For instance, Hewitt broke Nadal's serve in the first game of their match today - who knew? Then again, Nadal's odds were 1.02 so doing anything other than laying him at those odds seems a bit ridiculous! Nadal's odds 'flew' a massive 1.07!! Match outcome? Nadal nailed Hewitt in 3 sets of course!

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Expect the unexpected

I traded with At The Races on today and I'm glad I did as some crazy things were going on.

First race in and a horse got itself stuck in the stall; it looked in a bit of discomfort too. I managed to trade right up to the off for a tenner and was rather pleased with the start.

What then followed were a series of good and bad trades that left me with round about zilch after 2 wasted hours. It's not like I could blame the markets either, they seemed stable enough but things moved a little too quickly at times and I was caught out on more than one occasion.

At 16:40 things changed for the better when a horse bolted and they spent ages catching it and getting it back to the start. The At The Races commentary hinted that it may be withdrawn but then Tommo came on and said that there was nothing wrong with the horse and that it'd probably go off with the rest ok; Tommo also hinted that the horse's feisty behaviour may serve it well in the race. Having traded upto about 4 quid on the race I decided to have a cheeky 50p bet on it to win at odds of 14/1 or thereabouts. The horse won. And the name of this horse was....Law To Himself! Its price went out in-play to 90 too!

The 17:10 also went off late because of a horse that was playing up which I took advantage off.

Fair play to ATR they showed all three race cards today and I'm only paying a quid a month for the channel.

I must admit I did feel beaten at 16:20 after making and losing over £40 but it just goes to show that you get nothing in this game by shutting up shop early!

Saturday 22 May 2010

Back in the driving seat

A nice day on the horses today undid all of yesterday's loss and more. It was plain sailing today I felt. I stuck to my usual gameplan in an effort to restore my faith in trading.

I reorganised my workspace before the session, moving my old telly into the mix so I can beam At The Races to my office from the lounge when the downstairs telly is not being used. They only had racing from Curragh today so I had to revert to channel 4 racing for most of the afternoon. I like having something on in the background just to keep me company.

You'll notice that I carry all the essential items in my trading survival pack:

- Wilko Dry Time for those sweaty moments
- Kalms
- Smarties for a sugar boost
- Stopwatch so I know when my Ginsters pasties are ready
- USB fan so I don't have to use so much Wilko Dry Time in those sweaty moments

No heroics stake-wise today, just my usual £20-£40 stakes which don't get me into as much trouble. One nice £120 trade netted me a good few quid after seeing a nice scalping opportunity but I'd can't see me making a concerted effort to raise the stakes until May has been and gone. I got off to a flier at the start of the month before coming a bit unstuck last week so I'm determined to finished the month strongly without setting myself up for a fall.

Friday 21 May 2010


Well, 3500 markets in and I finally succumbed to the "not closing a position before walking away from the PC" mistake. And it cost me dearly.

Attempts to try and regain some ground were really in vain - I don't like chasing big losses, I'd rather just power down the PC and start fresh the next time.

There are so many things that can go wrong in trading, so many factors that are against you that it isn't surprising that so many people try it and give up - it's enough to try the patience of a Saint.

Time to put this week behind me I think and regain my composure for tomorrow, the start of a new trading week.

Yours sincerely,

Saint Mets

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Be sensible, boy!

Today has been the best day of a fairly lean week so far. Using high stakes of upto £120 effectively nullified my usual game plan; instead of yielding more profit from the markets I killed off all chance of making consistent returns by getting into lots of bother and losing my focus.

So today I went back to basics, allowing myself to only stake upto £40. This was helped by the fact that I withdrew some of my bank and only left in there what I really needed. It seemed to do the trick and, although I got off to a shaky start, things soon picked up and I found myself back in (nice) familiar territory where I was able to trade comfortably and not get annoyed.

The progress had been going so nicely up until last Friday too, with a nice upward trend showing on the profit graph

I've had a few of these humps in my time as a trader, for many reasons including a change of stakes, a change of technique and sometimes just because of frustration. I always seem to overcome them which is the nice thing.

So the game plan going forward is really just to stick to the old game plan. And whilst I will certainly continuing embracing and congratulating those that are more successful at this than me, I will try not to let it overpower my own ambitions.

Saturday 15 May 2010

Fed up

You could say I was chasing my own tail on the horses today. I had some lovely trades too but sadly they were negated by some silly ones. I overstaked a bit too much, upto £120, and I got caught out a few times by it. So my £35+ day ended up being a fiver. And I lost a tenner on the tennis by laying Federer (of all things!!) just before he broke Ferrer's serve at 4-3 in the third set. Well, I'm a noob tennis trader so what do I know!

I'm getting impatient at the moment. I think I'm reading too many blogs and looking at what some are making and getting jarred off with my own ability/performance/whatever.

I also talking/thinking/blogging/taking trading to heart a bit too much these days. I got on better when I just shut the heck up and got on with it! I'm just really fed up with the whole Betfair thing in general today :(

I'm off to bed...bah!

PS This is what sleepless nights does to you :D

Friday 14 May 2010

Trying something new

Well, I didn't get very far with the horses today, bringing in just a few pennies in the end after ending the session early due to other commitments.

When I got in this evening I thought I'd have a look at the tennis, since others seem to be getting on well with it. I traded the Murray/Ferrer game in its entirety and to be honest anyone with more gumption than me must have made a killing! This thing was swinging about so much that even the most innocuous of incidents caused gigantic swings. I suppose if you do this regularly then that sort of thing is normal but I've never seen the likes of it in the footy.

I was laying Ferrer at regular intervals with no real set strategy, more just speculative trades with modest stakes as the game streamed on Betfair. I had a high of £43 but sacrificed some in the last game in the anticipation of a Murray wasn't to be.

It was a nice way to spend a few hours and I'll certainly have another crack at it, preferably after I figured out why my PC keeps crashing with a hardware fault at random intervals!

Thursday 13 May 2010

Luck and judgement

Bit of an odd day really.

I nearly lost a packet after more in-play shenanigans at the start due to our old friend Mr Greed; I was lucky to get out for a -£7.44 loss in the end.

Actually, things never really got going until about 3 o'clock because I couldn't find anything to trade ie none of the races fell into my strict criteria.

Once things did get going, the momentum started to build and I was up and away. The £8-£10 wins are happening more frequently now I've upped the stakes to £80 and it really takes the pressure off trying to reach a minimum for the day. It's still chickenfeed to the Pros but a lot to me.

I tried a few evening races but I do find it a struggle - everything seems that much more volatile which doesn't suit me whatsoever - so I'll try and resist the temptation from now on.

Jack Bauer
I whacked on the first couple of episodes of 24 Season 5 today while I traded. It's been sitting on my hard-drive for months now and I don't really have the patience to sit down and watch tv for any extended period of time so this is a good way of getting through them. I always enjoy the first episode of the series because it always start with Jack doing something really normal and then it descends into absolute chaos within 10 minutes!!

"Hello? Betfair? Can you close my position please - my PC has just crashed and I'm staring at a total bank loss!"

New Toy
In a bid to get fitter and cycle away the stresses and strains of trading, I've gone and ordered myself one of these...

...a Boardman Hybrid Comp from Halfords. Well, you've got to treat yourself now and again ;)

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Normal service resumed

After Monday's debacle and yesterday's 'technical difficulties' - unresponsive keyboard, flickering monitor and random mouse-pointing behaviour - it was business as usual.

I traded furiously and was about to smash my personal best when the penultimate race cut me down to size; it wasn't an in-play loss either, just a £120 trade that went a bit wrong! I've decided not to dwell on it as I'm still left with a respectable bit of green.

It didn't help matters that another, rather profitable trade, was voided leaving me with less than I'd anticipated. Pity the £24 loss wasn't voided! These things happen.

I made more £80 trades in this session than any time previously and, although frightening at times, it's certainly helping to boost the day's takings.

Monday 10 May 2010

Played like a cheap violin

Today was turbulent to say the least. The markets seemed ferocious and I felt I was at the mercy of some spoofing syndicate or something. I didn't seem to matter which horse I was concentrating on, I wasn't getting matched easily and when I did I was SMASHED IN.

On a positive note, Betfair had just credited me a £25 refer-and-earn payment so effectively nothing lost except pride.

"Until next time...Gadget"

Friday 7 May 2010


Today was my biggest yield yet for a single session and I didn't really break a sweat, which was pleasing. I even stopped for a quick break at 3:30 to go to the shop and get a Fry's Chocolate Cream....I had a craving!


Blinkin' expensive though those Fry's Chocolate Creams - 63p for a chocolate bar?? What a rip!

There's plenty of racing left for the day but my concentration is spent and I'm getting a bit bleary eyed. I definitely get on better earlier on in the day when I'm fresher.

I'm setting myself a modest weekly target so as not to put too much pressure on myself and this week I've exceeded those expectations which will help reinforce the winning mentality. At least I know now that it's not a fluke.

Thursday 6 May 2010

Pushing water up a hill

Today's summary:

First hour and a half --> flying :)
Next two hours --> clawing :|
Last two hours --> cowering :(

After such a great start, I started thinking about smashing my personal best but things went a bit 'pears' and I succumbed to eratic markets and fatigue in the end.

I thought the evening cards might give me more opportunities to boost the income but past experience has shown that trading into the evening often proves worthless and gets me wound up.

Someone once commented on the Racing Traders forum that the evening races are a different animal to daytime racing and I'm inclined to agree.

Monday 3 May 2010

Higher stakes + more trades = insomnia

Another good haul today and I'm not afraid to say I'm trading a lot more consistently at the moment. I've upped the workrate this week quite considerably and am also using bigger stakes, up to £80 where sensible.

This has led to me getting a bit tense after sessions and it seems to carry over to sleep time, where my mind isn't settling as it should. I had a couple of Kalms earlier to take the edge off...

and a couple of Natrasleep a few minutes ago...

Always read the label!

Saturday 1 May 2010

No Easy Way Out

Sometimes when I trade and do something really silly it's usually because I'm not fired up enough. One way to do that is to blast out some crunching tunes, preferably of the rock variety.

One of the songs I like the most is No Easy Way Out by Robert Tepper which is from the excellent Rocky IV soundtrack. If you ever need to get fired up to lift more weight in the gym, I suggest sticking on the Rocky IV soundtrack, in particular the Vince DiCola Training Montage - it's awesome!!

So I set about playlisting some tracks in Windows Media Player that are certain to get me going. It's work in progress...

You're probably like "who the heck are Evergrey?" Crunching metal, man! You just have to whack on whatever works for you I suppose :D

I needed a bit of the Tepper today when I was languishing early on. A blast of that is the audio equivalent of a kick up the backside! A good haul today, very straightforward indeed - Saturday as it should be!

It's starting to dawn on me that trading is largely a probability game. A combination of sensible entry and exit points, quick mouse click reaction times, efficient scratching and avoidance of particularly volatile or spoofy markets all contribute the probability of winning. This wasn't particularly obvious to me when I started out. For beginners out there, this blog post

is probably the single most useful post I've found on any trading blog to give you belief and keep your mind on the long term goal.