Sunday 27 June 2010

4 more years of hurt

The vuvuzela has honked it's last honk. The England boys have let us down again. Let the Capello backlash begin!

On a positive note, it didn't seem to shake up the racing too much and I was pleased with a near faultless series of trades. Who'd of thunk it after last week's shambolic run of form.

Saturday 26 June 2010

6 days of hurt

The day

Last 6 days

Today's capers typify the sort of week I've had: the proverbial 'pushing water up a hill' week.

The root causes for this tilt can be attributed to a number of things:

a) overtrading

I've forgotten the number of trades I've done where I've made £5-£10 for the race, then sought to squeeze a bit more out and then lost it or even made a loss.

b) large stakes

I've been trying to build up a resistance to using the bigger stakes, upto £200. This had led to some quick and brutal losses.

c) the 'smasher'

Today, a £200 bet I left on the lay side was viciously SMASHED IN in the 16:15 - 30 quid gone in a flash.

d) playing the favourite

Up until this week, I've typically avoided trading the favourite due to the mayhem that appears to ensue just before the off. If I'm to make anything of this, I need to build up my tolerance to this kind of frenzied trading.

Next steps

Well, I'm 8 months in now and have traversed a very rocky road to get this far; I can't deny I'm starting to feel a bit of burn out. I can't tell whether I'm about to turn a corner and it would be a shame to 'nip it in the bud', but the opposing forces to success are considerably strong at times, overwhelming even.

Monday 21 June 2010

Growing pains

A funny sort of day today.

Missed the monster drift on Federer when he went 2 sets down and was losing the third. I watched most of the drift but couldn't decide when to get on. I haven't quite figured out the best entry and exit points on tennis yet. The market is always tricky when Fed's involved anyway because even when he was that far behind his price only went out to 4 and soon snapped back as he gained back some ground.

I was playing with upto £200 stakes on the horses, hence the patchy PnL. The stake hike is born out of frustration at not making what others make. I want to push the boundaries of my trading as much as possible while I have the luxury of doing it every day. I was -£40 down at tea time but rode a good drift in the second-last this evening to make most of it back. I have a tendency to 'chew the arm off' a one/two tick profit when sometimes I should allow a move to finish.

Monday 14 June 2010

The horn of plenty

I've got my vuvuzela today courtesy of Betfair :D

Admit it - you soooooo want one! ;)

Yes, my Betfair football pack was delivered as a free gift for collecting enough gambling points. There's a bag, flag, football and vuvuzela all emblazoned with the Betfair logo. I couldn't get much of a tune out of the horn, perhaps I'm doing it wrong.

I had another play around with my trading setup again. I've switched back to my beefier Windows 7 box since I've managed to bring most of the 'Blue Screens of Death' under control.

Please note: the piano is not for trading purposes ;)

After hours of messing around with drivers I finally got my Hauppauge freeview receiver working in Windows 7. So now I've got the footy playing very nicely through Windows Media Center, Racing UK streaming through their website (£10 a month) and ATR beaming from Sky downstairs. It's so nice not to have to channel hop all the time and hopefully I'll be able to concentrate on not going in-play a bit better!

One thing to note is that the Racing UK stream appears to lag behind the on-course action if it's been on a while so I tend to stop and start the feed 30 seconds or so before the off to bring the delay back to about 2 seconds. At one point the player had lagged to about 10 seconds and when I refreshed, all the horses were fully loaded - erk!

I'm pleased with the way things are going at the moment. I'm generally staking £100 stakes upto 10s now and £50-£75 thereafter depending on my confidence. Knowing that I can profit upto £15 per race takes the heat off shambolic losing days like yesterday. The afternoon session was a bit wishy-washy but the evening sesh was great and I made some nice easy money. Getting the trading environment right obviously helps greatly.

Sunday 13 June 2010

In-play mistakes never go my way!

I briefly calculated that I've lost about -£200 in in-play errors now; an expensive lesson indeed!

Today's gaffe was a £100 back stake matched just before the off in the 14:55 at Doncaster. The horse, Tudor Key (hotly backed at the time) fell out of the stalls and ended up at the back from the off. Curiously enough, I've never greened up in-play for £60! One of these days it may go my way!!

I had the live pictures on too but the camera was in front of the stalls instead of behind. Big mistake. If I've got pictures I like to do a couple of last-second trades but I really gambled this time and for what? The chance to make a couple more pounds.

So across 9 races I made -£7 per race. Whoopee-do!

Whilst there is a lot to be said for getting out at 0:00, I am actually in the process of getting my kit set up so I can have ATR and Racing UK beamed into my view simultaneously aswell as a tennis / football feed so I don't have to channel-hop quite so much. I think you will benefit in the long-term by having an eye on the off times as so many things can throw off the schedules and it can sometimeshave a knock-on effect on liquidity in the next race. Besides, lots of opportunities present themselves when you keep an eye and ear out on-course.

I just have to be more vigilant in future.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Evening update

Sometimes it takes the views of other, more proficient traders to open your eyes to things. A blog I read regularly is called Trading on the Betting Exchanges and the author has inspired me in many ways because not only does he write with clarity and ease about his rise to success on the exchanges, but he also engages us peasant traders without a hint of snobbery.

I followed his lead and traded some evening racing tonight, partly because he said he makes good amounts in the evenings and also because I wanted that £100 day. I've avoided trading the evening races until now because I always seem to end up on the receiving end of some random spike...and tonight was no different! It only took until the 19:35 to get SMASHED IN and be faced with a -£20 deficit on one horse grrrr!

Still, the perseverence paid off and I quickly caught up with myself to bring home my first £100+ day - hurrah! I didn't find it too hard going actually and I suppose I was bouyed by my earlier efforts. If time and brain allows, I will endeavour to make some more time for the evening racing in the future, providing I haven't already gone bust by tea time of course!

Mind over matter

Yesterday was the pits and I was really hacked off with my performance. I don't like the extra waiting around on these 2-card days and I'm always conscious of how it affects my profit given that I'm working to fairly tight margins as it is. I usually end up getting impatient and overstake / overtrade in an effort to compensate. Two nasty losses towards the end blighted my day.

Today, on the other hand, is the kind of day I've been looking for for a while. I held my own with using the £100 stakes and set a new personal best. I was hoping to smash the £100 barrier but as the evening racing kicked in, I bailed out. I've been done so many times on the evening racing that I didn't want to undo my good work for the sake of a few more quid. Besides which, my head hurts!

My profit per race was £4.71 so I'm very happy with that. I expect to trade at this level given the amount of experience I have now and will endeavour to keep it going. Some days seem more random than others but I'm sure this is more down to my temperament on any given day.

Friday 4 June 2010


I thought the summation in my spreadsheet summed up today perfectly:

up £45, lost mind and dropped to £10, went in play and lost -£40 and made back £15 using crazy stakes in last :(((

Another education in trading thrust into cyberspace for all to digest! The in-play wasn't intentional by the way. It could've been a breakthrough could've ended in a quickly things can turn. Don't take anything for granted!

Thursday 3 June 2010

Watch out for Polaris Rangers...

...they can be hazardous to your health! Some chap was out riding a buggy provided by a sponsor and took a tumble, which threw Lingfield racing into disarray. Apparently he sustained head injuries and had to use one of the on-course ambulances. Since there has to be a minimum ambulance provision, things got a little delayed as they put the racing on hold. Just when you think you've seen everything! I hope he was ok...

Money mountain
I had a fairly stress-free trading session today. It all felt a little less desperate and when that happens, money usually flows quite nicely. I usually try and conjure an image in my mind of this money pile which I try and add to with each race. It doesn't matter if it's 50p or a tenner, it all goes on the pile and trickles down from the top. Looking at things this way means that I respect each bit of profit that I make. If I don't have this image in my mind, it's usually because I'm being greedy and am not grateful to just be make positive amounts; this is usually my undoing as demonstrated by the last couple of days' trading.

Today's summary
I used £50-£100 stakes where appropriate, scratched well and took fewer chances. I did have one in-play punt with a lay at 1.06 on, what was at that stage, a two-horse race. I watched a similar scenario yesterday which could've paid out if I hadn't been so hesitant in getting my money on, so I threw caution to the wind today but this one didn't pay off. It could be argued that this is a bit silly given the delay in the pictures from the course combined with the in-play delay but for that sort of liability it's acceptable I think.

More on-track shananigans at 16:40 saw me get on the right side of a withdrawal which jumbled the markets and doubled my £10 green. I'm not quite sure how and I didn't question it!

Overall I'm pleased with how things are coming along. I had to take the plunge with the bigger stakes sooner or later. As I've commented in the past, learning with £2 stakes isn't really learning because I behave totally differently when there is money at stake, and I suspect others do too. So if I can offer any advice to beginners, it is: trade outside of your comfort zone more often and you will force yourself to see things you might ordinarily have missed.

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Losing less

A couple of silly trades left me with a needless deficit. The last one was just a speculative trade on a swingy second favourite gone wrong - it chased off so fast I couldn't get off the bloomin' thing! Using the larger stakes still feels like I'm trading on a knife edge. Then again, I go through this every time I raise the stakes so I'm sure I'll get over it.

What doesn't wipe you out makes you stronger!

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Up against it

In the interest of transparency I always discuss bad days aswell as good ones. I can learn from days like this and maybe I can help prevent others go through the same pain.

I started badly, getting in the red zone in the third race and watching it mount up as the price drifted...just drifting...watching...just watching.


was the call that eventually came from my brain. £20 red - curses!

I mounted a fightback that saw me claw a -£25 deficit back to a £5 profit by 16:30. It was too early to quit so I continued into the evening races...


As sure as day follows night the random price jumps came. It could be in running for all I care, the way it snatches around like that. £40 gone just like that. I didn't reduce my stakes or anything, just played the markets like I had been doing hoping that things would turn out all ok.

That's most of Sunday's profits gone but as that was unprecedented for a Sunday I consider it the house's money. I'm feeling quite nonchalant at the moment as I go through this R&D phase. The bottom line really is this is just a game with few rules. One market goes up - another comes down....or does it? Not yet...oh there it goes now someone has pulled all their money.

I like to win so I'll be back for more tomorrow. Maybe I'll follow it up with some more madman ramblings too!