Thursday 30 December 2010

Stepping up

It's been a busy few days on the horses with so many races going off on both sides of the Irish Sea.

I've been exploring some different strategies this month and, in the last 3 days, these have proved to be very successful...

This gives me a good deal of confidence as I will be going full-time in January 2011.

It's been a long year, with many ups and downs as far as making a living on Betfair is concerned. Having started trading properly in October 2009, it took until February this year before the profit came, and a modest one at that, but it's been positive ever since and I look forward to doing even better in 2011.

My New Year's resolutions will be to take a more proactive approach to trading by:

• exploring other markets besides football and horse racing
• using some of my programming skills to create some bots (if I can remember how to code!)
• focussing on the 'big picture' and taking a position at the start of an event rather than just during it eg Premier winners market, X-Factor, golf tournaments

Plenty there to be keep me busy.

I'll try and get in some more horse racing tomorrow and then it's off to a party to see in the New Year - somehow I ended up being the DJ??!! I hope they like Fear Factory hehe...

Happy 2011! :)

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Treading carefully

Nice to see a couple of meetings on today. I was a bit wary after Saturday when a bug / feature / anomaly (call it what you will) in The Toy pulled the rug from under my feet...

Basically, since I started exploring in-play betting, when the race begins I would usually tap in £2 across all runners by hovering my mouse over each runner...

and hitting the 2 key on the keyboard. On Saturday, for whatever reason (probably a variable in the code that retained the old value), when the race went in-play and I tapped £2 in across the board, it didn't register and the ladder remembered my pre-trading stake amounts.

So I ended up plonking £100 on a nag at a price of 32, which was quickly shared amongst hungry layers whom anticipated the horse having no chance. The price never recovered.

The Geek explained that "There is a bug in 1.0 where stakes were retained for runners that were not visible on the ladder".

I hadn't upgraded my version to 1.1 since I currently have no need for the charts, but I upgraded today as a matter of precaution. Also before each race began, out of paranoia, I reset the stakes across all runners using the stake tool...

...AND tested pre-race that the amounts registered on the ladder as it should for each horse, with these bets being subsequently cancelled in-play.

It's hard giving away a hundred quid through no real fault of your own, and with so many other hazards to negotiate, this is one I could do without. On the other hand, in the 12 months+ I've been using The Toy, this is the only time my profit has been compromised by this software.

So, nothing special today but I hit my target which is something I need to embed in my brain from now on...

Having said that, I need get out of this bridesmaid mentality ie £30 is enough and everyone else can make their money. It's no surprise that some people make this amount per race consistently, as I assume they are usually the ones dictating the ebb and flow of the prices by bullying others. If Peter Webb really has 250k in his account, he can more or less do what he wants to the prices!

Indeed, he seemed to be a major player in the X-Factor markets by stating "people would be horrified about how much of that market was me". Where does that leave the rest of us?

Despite all the trading blogs out there, no-one really talks about the level of manipulation that goes on in Betfair markets, none more so than horse racing given there isn't much at stake until the race starts. It's akin to steroid use in Bodybuilding: Ronnie Coleman may be at the top of his game but he didn't get there using the protein shakes alone - to do so would expose his methods of winning and assure the end of his livelihood from endorsements.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

I don't use the word Guff enough

One of yesterday's lapses in concentration cost me 34 quid...

At one point I was 45 quid down but ended up with a fiver loss, so I can take some comfort in the comeback. Making 70 quid and losing 75 is really not the way forward though.

I got the sticky notes out and scribbled a few reminders that are now stuck on the bottom of my screen. It's all the usual guff that most traders talk about, and indeed I've talked about in the past, but I've never actually written them down before on paper and stuck them where I can see them.

Today was a different story....

Whether the sticky notes helped I'm not sure, but I was pleased to trade upto £36 on the second race in which made me feel better about the 34 quid I lost yesterday. Not quite up to Didd's standards, who reported a £70+ win on one race yesterday - staggering! (there was a screenshot but I can't see it anymore)

The Nugget Crew called the Seville-Dortmund game correctly tonight, hats off to them. I was going to have a sniff but my dutching spreadsheet went on the blink and it took me a while to find a new one.

I read the Nugget Crew's Trades of the Day and fair play to the lads, they do put their predictions in black-and-white for everyone to see. Quite a few of the trades seem to end up as scratches but they have their moments. At the end of the day, they're business men and creating a buzz around their chat rooms will inevitably lead to curious subscribers to their service, eager to part with their cash in search of riches. Football's pretty subjective though, and 4 pundits on Gillette Soccer Saturday can call a match 4 different ways. Cripes, how many times does Andy Gray call it wrong on his Betfair blog!

Well, the weather forecast looks pretty bleak for the next few days so I wouldn't be surprised if the racing is turned on its head once more. If there is going to be a big freeze like they keep saying, possibly lasting for a month (!!!), then maybe it's time to get on with all those jobs around the house I keep putting off like decorating (groan) and replacing the kitchen mixer tap (double groan) ;)

Sunday 5 December 2010

Take a chance

I commented in this recent post how I sometimes like to trade outsiders for small stakes and hedge in-play. Well this approach came good again today to the tune of £58, as I let the outsider of a 4-horse field run his race.

This is the single highest amount I've made in a race and I'm very pleased - it's nice to get a slice of luck like this for a change.

This gave me a nice boost, but I then struggled to capitalise on the win for a further two hours as I won and lost equally. Whilst profitable, this "win a bit more than I'm losing" approach isn't very satisfying and only goes to highlight the limitations of my strategy; I just need to pin down exactly what those limitations are.