Greyhound Lay Plan Summary for April 2017

Having gone back to the dogs recently it seems appropriate that I take the blog back to its original purpose all those years ago as a means of documenting progress and help maintain discipline.

Having entered semi-retirement and with a part-time job that has constantly changing shifts trading the horse markets on a regular basis has been haphazard to say the least making it difficult to pick up any momentum. Switching back to my roots and revisiting the dogs means that no matter what my shift patterns are I'll always have the opportunity to get involved in those markets sometime in the day if I so wish.

Unlike the past, I am not trading the greyhounds pre-race. Although I was successful at it, it took long hours earning pennies at times for each race and it is not something I wish to return to. Instead, I'll be laying runners pre-off and letting them get on with it. This means there will be lots of winners and losers as you'll see from the saw-tooth like nature of the graph below.

I won't be going into any detail on how or why I lay the selections I do. Suffice to say I have a preset set of criteria which I have tested in simulation mode in Fairbot since the middle of March using its automated strategy feature. This has proved successful enough to encourage me to put real money into the markets from the 17th April as represented below.

The blue indicates the ups and downs of the running total from race to race. The red bars represent the running total at the end of each trading day. One should note that the first day I was using stakes that I subsequently decided where too high for my available bank. Consequently, I halved the stakes for subsequent days. As the overall total increases (hopefully) and reaches certain landmark values I will increase the staking levels in small increments.

Back To The Dogs

Since giving up self-employment six months ago and starting a new job my shifts are such that my trading exploits and, in particular my participation in the horse markets has been severely limited. Hence the lack of posts, videos and tweets.

I've slowly been looking at other markets such as tennis and cricket but I've also found myself drifting back to where I originally started; the greyhounds. It's been like visiting a long lost friend.

I'd forgotten how favourable I'd always found the dogs. This morning wasn't bad for a little over ninety mins work.

In-Running Scalping Of Sprint Races

Earlier in the year I happened to mention on Twitter that I was looking at improving the in-running scalping technique so that it could be used on sprint races with a little more consistency. If you are not familar with my IR scalping technique please visit the Bet Your Life Sports Trading Youtube Channel where you'll find lots of videos demonstrating it.

Here's a summary of what I've found, in no particular order:

1. Be very wary of using this technique on sprints on the AW tracks. These sprints generally involve a bend where runners usually go round in double file. This seems to affect the way the odds move in-play which tend not to be in your favour come the half-way point and don't resolve themselves until coming down the home straight.

2. Capitalise on the natural volatility of the sprints by increasing the size of offset you use. 1-2 ticks seems to suit longer races. In sprints you should be able to double this or more.

3. Reduce the 'fill or kill' settings to match the length of the race in furlongs as a maximum. i.e. 6 secs for 6 furlong sprint. Do not go any higher.

4. Do NOT use the 'Repeat on Success' feature in Fairbot or equivalent utility if your preferred trading software has it.

5. Do NOT reenter the market after the half-way point. You can hang on a little longer if you have an unmatched back bet waiting in the market rather than trading out at that point. There's a high probability that the volatility in the market will still cause it to be successfully matched.

6. Do NOT recycle bets through the market more than twice for 5 and 6 furlong races. That's not to say you can't, but I'd advise against it until you are happy with the technique. You can generally manage three cycles in 7 furlong races. This guidance is directly related to the 'fill or kill' settings you specify.

7. If your software allows it, increase the number of odds you can see on the grid and place your lays further away from the current market price, i.e. 5-6 ticks below rather 2-3 ticks below. This will reduce the number of times you get matched but increase the likelihood of matched lays 'bouncing' back up to their trade out point.

8. Reduce the odds at which you are prepared to lay. For example, in longer races you can probably lay up to odds of 20. In sprints I'd keep it below 10.0 or even 5.0. This will reduce the number of qualifying selections at any given time but protect against a sudden drop of a higher priced runner.

9. Think about reducing your stakes a bit compared to those you use in longer races.

That's enough for you to be getting on with. Remember, use simulation mode until you are happy with what you are doing. Let me know how you get on.

Decisions Decisions

You may have seen a tweet I made the other day regarding my work status. To cut a long story short, the last long term and major client I had has decided to seek IT support elsewhere and has terminated our business relationship essentially making me unemployed. Whilst that causes initial financial concern in the short term it is something of a blessing in disguise.

I've been running my own IT support business since 1993 but the last 8-10 years have been an ever increasing struggle. My heart simply wasn't in it any more but given the amount of work that that firm gave me, combined with the freedom I had, it was difficult to turn it down and close the business. That decision has now been made for me.

I need to decide what to do with my life now. The obvious thing would be to go full time trading. You'd think anyway. The trouble is, as I've stated many times on this blog in the past, I've never had the inclination to do so. Indeed, even as a part time hobby I frequently get bored with the whole process and have been known to take frequent prolonged breaks from trading.

I'm in the fortunate position that I do not need a lot of money. The mortgage and car are paid for; the kids have left home and I have no debts. I've always lived a fairly frugal existence. I can live on less than £800 a month which covers all my utilities, day-to-day motoring costs and groceries.

That £800 boils down to £40 per day, Monday through to Friday. Surely even I should be able to achieve that! I simply need to do what I normally do but with a professional mindset and not that of a hobbiest.

So I've decided, for the moment, to take the semi-professional route - starting tomorrow, 1st Sept. Mornings will be spent applying for full time work and afternoons will be spent in the horse racing markets looking to replace the money I'll lose by winding up my business.

This will be a huge leap for me so if anyone out there who has made that psychological leap into professional trading please feel free to offer any advice.