December Summary

Before I even attempt to summarise this quite extraordinary month, I'll give you a quick break down on today's performance.

I had one goal today and that was to earn £7.31 in order to break through the £900 barrier for the month. As soon as I lost £4.60 in the first dog race of the day, I was thinking it wasn't going to be. Such an inauspicious start to the proceedings set the tone for the first hour or so.

No sooner would I claw much of my losses back and then lose much of it again. However, I slowly edged my way back into profit. All 20 pence of it! After 80 mins, I gave up and went for an early lunch. Half an hour later and with my head in gear this time, I broke through the £900 mark in only two races.

From then, I never looked back. The markets were excellent throughout the afternoon and I started racking up the profits.

I was annoyed at myself though as I was slow to catch on to what the William Hill Radio commentators were saying about the meeting at Nottingham. "There's a definite bias towards the outside traps". Once that clicked, it was simply a case of backing trap 6 for some very healthy profits.

There was plenty of money around so for a while I was able to increase my stakes by 50%. Come 5:30pm, I had gained the same profit I'd managed yesterday. Things slowed down from then on though and the evening meetings were very sparse. Once the Hull v Aston Villa match started, and after losing nearly £2, I quit trading the dogs.

Still, yet another record was broken today in a month that has seen records repeatedly broken. The £75.95 profit I achieved on the dogs today is the highest I've managed in a single day on the mutts.


I wasn't finished for the day though.

After such a good performance, and having sailed through the £900 marked, £1000 was quickly coming into sight. However, I knew that I wouldn't be trading tomorrow due to other committments so I thought I'd try my hand at the footy. After all, I've had such a good month and things have went for me so well, I thought I might get lucky - again.

Both Hull and Aston Villa have been involved in lots of matches with goals in them this season, so taking £15 of today's winnings I decided to back the over 3.5 goals on Betdaq with a view to trading out after 2 or 3. That went down like a lead balloon as you are no doubt aware.

However, SoccerLotto had tipped wins for Morton and Aston Villa so I stuck them in a double on Betdaq. Thanks to Villa's very late winner, the profit for the double covered the loss on the over 3.5 goals with a little left over.

So, my cunning plan to reach a grand didn't pay off, but with a monthly total of £971.33 let's just round it up and we'll call it quits :-)

So what about the rest of the month?

To be honest, I do not know where to start. There have been so many highs the past few weeks which I've already documented in the corresponding posts. It's extraordinary to think that there has been such a dramatic increase in my profit, particularly when one considers that the first week in December saw me make a very poor £47.30.

However, that first week saw me abandon my attempts to tame the horse win markets. A decision that has since been amply justified by the results. With that particular monkey off my back, I was free to concentrate on the greyhounds, which, as you'll see from the figures below, have come on leaps and bounds.

Listed below are the totals for each market/sport I got involved in throughout the month:

Greyhounds... £685.26
Horses... £39.45
Soccer... £246.62

A couple of things from these figures. Firstly, the horse markets remain an enigma to me, even when I switched to the place markets, I just cannot seem to get back to the same level of understanding I had when trading them in the first half of my trading career. I wish I knew why.

Secondly, while it could be argued that the soccer results, which have almost totally come from matched betting, have 'artificially' boosted the monthly total, I don't have any doubt that this, additional, stress free income boosted my confidence and lead directly to a more relaxed trading style that benefited my greyhound trading. As you can see, my profit from the greyhounds alone far outstrips my best ever month by some margin.

So what now?

First, I'm going to take a few days off and will probably not get going again in anger until next Monday. I'll take the time to think about what I do next, though I think much of it is obvious.

Specifically, while I would dearly love to master the horses, at least the place markets like I once did, I don't see the point. If I can maintain the performance I have managed on the dogs then I'll be quite happy. So that's where most of my concentration will be focussed.

I'll continue to look at the free bets/matched betting, but they are limited simply because I'm running out of bookmakers with whom I do not already have an account. However, on the subject matched betting, I have plans for further enhancements to the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet, which will also keep me occupied.

In essence though, the plan is to try and keep the momentum going. I cannot say I expect January to be quite as successful as December, but it's going to be fun trying.

So, a well deserved break from trading as the year ends and a new one starts. Let me take this opportunity to wish all my readers, where ever you are, a very good and prosperous New Year.

Best Wishes

Alistair

The Hare Is On The Move

After posting yesterday's results I realised that, given some decent trading, there was a strong possibility that I might reach the £900 before the end of the month. With this in mind, I went into today's trading with no small amount of excitement.

I knew that I was going to miss the best part of the day - after the horse racing was finished up to around 6:00pm. So the plan was to concentrate on the dogs and simply try and put myself within striking distance so that I would give myself a decent chance in tomorrow's trading. I didn't, for one minute, imagine I'd nearly reach the £900 target today. But that's what I did.

The morning card went very well, and by the time it had finished, I'd made a fraction under £30 in three hours. Then things seemed to grind to a halt.

I was only able to get involved in the first 90 mins of the afternoon card before I had to leave, but I only made £3. It wasn't a problem of losing trades. I simply wasn't getting on anything. I let so many races go by because I just didn't like the look of them. Very frustrating.

Still, £32 before my enforced break - that on it's own gave me a good chance for tomorrow. But I also knew that historically, the Monday evening dogs have been good to me. And so it proved when I rejoined the fray after 6:00pm.

To cut a long story short, I made another £31 and came within a gnat's ba' hair of hitting the £900 mark with today's effort.


Granted, I had a lucky escape when I got caught in the 20:31 at Romford as it jumped a little early. Unusually, I'd laid first rather then my normal back first. Fortunately, the dog lost and I won £7. Mind you, a little later I had a couple of losers which were by far the worst of the day and added up to roughly £7. So what goes around comes around as they say.

I traded a total of 67 races today, I lost on only 12 at a total cost of £9.79, though most of those were losses of 50 pence or less. So again, I hit around that magic number of £1/race or £10/hr. Next year I must work on ways of increasing that as only an extra few pence per race would have a dramatic effect.

So, I go into tomorrow's sessions knowing that a little over £7.00 will see me pass £900 for the month. Here's hoping the hare will continue to move, if only for a little while, and see me past the post.

Running Scared?

I think I may have achieved another ambition of mine, though, as a trader, it is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. However, in my days as a gambler, I always wanted to get to the stage where a bookie restricted my account. Today, Boylesports stopped me placing a £50 bet and limited me to £10, which I refused.

This all came about because of the matched betting I have been doing. Boylesports have a rather generous sign-up bonus of up to £200. They'll match a £50 deposit/bet immediately then, after 5 subsequent bets of £50 they'll give another £50 free bet. They'll do this two more times.

I was in the process of setting up my 4th and 5th bets to qualify for my third free bonus when their site refused to accept my £50 on Ipswich to win @ 3.00. When I phoned them I was told that they were limiting me to £10. They were, and still are, unclear if this is a permanent restriction on my account. I'll be annoyed if it is as another two £50 freebies would go down nicely, thank you very much.

I've hit Boylesports quite hard as I have worked my way through their offer. They've paid me a total of £795.50 in profit in two weeks covering 11 bets, including two £50 freebies which both paid out at odds of 3.80 and 10.00. Only 4 of the bets have been losers.

Of course, I've seen nothing like that profit as I've been laying everything off over at Betdaq in order to guarantee myself a positive return. Still, having only signed up with them two weeks ago, perhaps it was enough to have them running scared.

Whilst on the subject of matched betting, I completed my sequence of bets with 888sport today, finishing off with a free £20 bet on Liverpool winning 3-1 @ 19.00. I laid off on Betdaq @ 20.00 for a guaranteed profit of just over £17.

That got the day off to a good start. Pity about my trading.

From the first moment I opened BinarySoft, I simply wasn't in the mood, and it showed. I lost on the first 3 dog races I entered. Not much, but it was enough to set the tone. When I switched disciplines in order to trade the first at Lingfield, I immediately lost £5.57 in the place markets.

I set about recouping the losses in the dog markets and once I got myself back in profit, I quit. My heart simply wasn't in it today.

After an extended break, I rejoined the fray and thankfully my dog trading was much better and the profit started to build. Unfortunately, I kept shooting myself in the foot in the horse place markets.

I only did 8 horse races and came away with an overall loss of £8.51 having lost £11 in 3 losing races. I don't know what's wrong with me these days in the place markets. I just cannot seem to get them going at all.

The greyhounds remain my strongest area, but even today, I was off form. 28 races traded today, and only £18.75 to show for my efforts. The 7 races I lost were not significant in size, but neither were the ones I won.

So my trading only accounted for £10 of today's profit, which is very disappointing, but a profit it remains and keeps the graph going in the right direction.

A Struggle, But I Got There

I went in to today's trading fully expecting to break through the £800 mark for the month. Before I started, I knew I was guaranteed £13 thanks to some matched betting I did yesterday on today's Old Firm match. All I needed was just under £30 from today's trading and I'd be there. Boy, did I make heavy weather of it.

I started off at 10:30 this morning on the greyhounds. Things were going reasonably well and there was plenty of money around, so I increased my stakes by 50% - and immediately started losing. Typical! After two poor losing trades in a row, I reset my stakes, though that didn't stop the losses.

By the time the horse racing stopped, I'd only made £15, split roughly 40:60 between the dogs and the nags. Things did pick up then and I started to make some headway, but the nearer I got to my target, the harder it seemed to become.

Things weren't helped when I lost £4.50 and £3.30 in the first two evening races at Great Leighs. I almost did the same in the third, but managed to limit my losses to 40p after being nearly a fiver down.

Given the struggle, once I hit my target at 8:40pm I quit for the day, happy that I'd got through the £800 mark, but absolutely knackered in doing so.

In all, I traded in 55 greyhound races and made only £27.87 - a very poor 50.6p/race. I lost in 10 races at a cost of £14.57 - with one loss accounting for £5.11 on it's own. A very disappointing performance given my recent results.

The horse racing wasn't that much better. I concentrated on the Betfair place markets today, rather than playing around with the the Betdaq Trader software and the win markets. 21 markets traded have seen me win a measly £3.94 with the Great Leighs races accounting for 2/3rds of the £12.64 in losing trades.

Still, another profitable day to add to the others that have made this month so memorable. Long may it continue.

Boxing Day Dabble

Lot's of sport on today to tempt anyone wanting a bit of light relief from the festivities. I decided to mainly stick with the dogs since they have been so good to me recently.

The card was actually quit sparse after the morning session so I eventually switched to the horse win markets and played around with the Betdaq Trader software and it's ladder interface. Just playing to small stakes which is fortunate as I lost all the races I entered - only pennies each time though so no harm done.

I also carried on doing some matched betting. Specifically, the qualifying bets at 888sport and Boylesport. I qualified for a free £15 bet at the former, but annoyingly, it wouldn't let me place it. Every time I tried to submit the bet slip, I would get a message saying the odds were being refreshed.

So, as usual, the greyhounds carried the day, making me over £16 in a couple of hours. I lost £1 on the nags and made £0.34 in qualifying matched bets. I finished around 2:30 so happy with that as I'm edging closer to the £800 mark for the month. Hopefully, I'll clear that this weekend.

£10 Per Hour Will Do

Last spot of trading before I have to climb down the chimney in my Santa suit.

I spent 3.5 hours at the greyhounds today and, after a slow start, comfortably made £38 at just under £1/race. This equates to a £10/hr profit, which I'll happily settle for in my trading next year.


I'm chief chef tomorrow and there'll be no trading for me, though I promised to show my brother and mum how to do some matched betting (it is guaranteed cash after all). So my thoughts won't be too far away from the sports markets.

I'll be back in the hot seat on Boxing Day I would imagine, as I try to push through the £800 barrier. Not too far to go now.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you a Very Happy Christmas.

You Can Tell By The Way I Use My Walk!

Just a quick update before I don my white trousers, open my shirt down to my navel and head off to a customer's Christmas shindig.

It was a fairly leisurely day today, with a little trading in the afternoon whilst taking a break from all this dreary festive nonsense :-)

In between dog races I played around with the Betdaq Trader ladder interface and the horse win markets. Betdaq have done a good job with the ladder and there are some nice touches - like having all the runners in their own ladder, assuming your monitor's big enough to see them. They've also included some features that I've grown accustomed to in BinarySoft. So that's a plus.

A bit strange having to go along the diagonal from top-left to bottom-right in order to get a profitable trade, as opposed to bottom-left to top-right. Still, I'm sure I'll get used to it as I will get use to clicking on the opposite side to where my stake appears.

My concern is I mix the two up, so very small stakes for a while yet.

Aside from the 71p I made on the horses, I managed to amass a pleasant enough £21.15 on the dogs, which takes me over the £700 mark for the month. Can I make £800 before the month is out? I'm sure going to give it a bash.

Right, time to hit the dance floor...

Get On Yer Bike!

I was damned annoyed today. Not because my greyhound trading in the evening was rubbish, which it was. Rather it was due to a request made via a comment to my post A New Toy For Christmas. You can read my response there as well, but it's worthwhile reiterating it here.

DON'T
, either anonymously or otherwise, ask me to break copyright law by sending you a copy of commercial software whose license does not allow such activity. Especially don't expect me to oblige in giving you something for free, when I've paid for it myself.

Now, with that out of the way, here's a very quick summary of today's activities...

I had a free £50 bet from Boylesport to use up, which I placed on there being a 0-0 draw at Goodison, never expecting that there would be. A £40.20 guaranteed profit was obtained by backing at 10.0 via the bookie and laying at 11.0 on Betdaq.

My Betdaq account is really taking a hit these days due to these free bets. I might find myself getting banned by the bookies as the vast majority of them seem to be winning there. £450 was lost by Boylesport tonight and they've paid out a heck of a lot more than I've put in. :-)

As mentioned earlier, the dogs weren't great tonight. More accurately, I wasn't great with the dogs tonight. Very disappointing as I've found in the past that Monday nights are very profitable. Unfortunately, I was all over the place this evening and finished early with the staggering profit of £2.58!

I might get a view races in tomorrow afternoon, but essentially, that's me until after Christmas. I hope Santa is good to you.

A Bit Of A Let Down

Things are certainly winding down for Christmas. I thought both the greyhound and horse place markets were terrible today, not that I did a huge amount. I added a few pounds to the pot, but this afternoon was a waste of time as far as trading was concerned.

I had expected to profit from a couple of free bets from JenningsBet and Boylesport. Unfortunately, I hadn't qualified for my next free £50 installment from the latter. For some reason I had been thinking that I had to do 4 bets before I got another freebie. In actual fact, it's 5, so I should get a £50 free bet added to my account tomorrow.

So today's profit is made up of £24 thanks to the free bet from JenningsBet. Unfortunately I lost £5 on a straight punt on Getafe as I expected them to dispose of lowly Osasuna. Having been stuffed 5-2, I clearly couldn't have got that more wrong. The meager £7.50 I made trading this afternoon compensated for that though.

Still, having broken my weekly records last week, I've done it again this week. For the first time, I've won more than £300 in a week. £327.48 to be precise.

I doubt that I'll get much trading done from now until boxing day. I'll be at a client's tomorrow, so I'll see what the dog markets are like in the evening. I suspect, I might as well start winding down myself.

I've a few more free bets to sort out so I may just concentrate on that, but don't expect many updates over the next few days. All depends on how I feel.

In the meantime, Season's Greetings to you all.

A New Toy For Christmas

Finally, the Betdaq Trader software has a ladder interface. I've only had the briefest of plays with it prior to the 4:50 race at Great Leighs tonight. Not enough time to fully form an opinion. Clearly though, from what I've seen, it's going to take a bit getting used to.

On first glance there seems to be some nice touches, but the whole thing is going to be so alien to what I'm used to in BinarySoft, I suspect it's going to be a while before I become proficient in it's use.

Still, it's a major step forward for trading on Betdaq, and of course, as a Linux user, a huge plus for me. I just need to come to grips with how to use the thing now. It will give me sonething to do over the cold winter months.

It's Getting Better All The Time

Saturday! The day I often struggle and the day I've come to take it easy. Yet today has been a significant day for a number of reasons.

I'd already guaranteed myself a £20 profit thanks to some matched betting via Totesport. This was the only involvement in the football matches today as most of my Betdaq account was taken up with other matched bets I'd done earlier in the week.

With football out of the way, my day was freed up to concentrate on trading, but given my past history on this day of the week, I took things easy and only got involved in a limited number of markets - compared to the usual.

I did 34 greyhound races building up a profit of £29.65. I only lost on two of those races at a cost of £2.57, but I did scratch a lot more than I would have liked. Still, a very pleasing performance.

Similarly, the horse place markets went reasonably well with 3 losers out of 19 markets at a cost of £5.74. I carried on with my increased stakes as I had done yesterday and was quite comfortable with what I was doing as I built up a profit of £15.12.

So a very good day, with a total of £64.75 added to the pot. This now takes my running total through the £600 barrier for the month - a figure I still can't quite believe. I've now earned more this month, than the last two months combined.

More significantly, I've now gone through the £3000 mark, which represents an increase of 30,000% from my £10 starting position. The graph below clearly illustrates my progress, with the sharp increase in profit thanks to the past 2-3 weeks, plain to see.


Obviously it is great to have reached this landmark. However, this month has been so good, I'm determined to make it better. The next target is £700. To be honest, this shouldn't be that difficult.

For starters, I've got a £50 and a £30 in free bets coming tomorrow or Monday. Depending on odds, I should be able to guarantee myself in the order of £60 from those. Surely I can manage £40 in trading between now and the end of the year.

Right, I'm away to look for more free bet opportunities.

Coming Along, With A Struggle

As it's been a long day, I'll just give a quick update regarding today's trading before turning in.

I returned a reasonable profit today of just over £30, but it was not an easy day trading. Certainly not as easy as I have found it over the past fortnight. My trading was littered with too many mistakes, surprise turnarounds and circumstances beyond my control.

From the first greyhound race at 11:03 this morning until I finished just after 21:00, I traded in an inconsistent fashion. Just as I thought I was getting somewhere, I'd have a setback which would then take me a while to recover from. None more so, than in the 16:37 from Monmore and the following race at Swindon. Both times I was trading the favourite when I huge sum of money appeared on the opposite side of the market at higher odds and sweeping up my trade as it appeared. I lost £9 over those two races - some 30% of the profit I had built up.

No sooner had I recovered all of that when, in the first race at Wimbledon, Just after submitting my back bet, the dogs jumped 30 secs early and the market was suspended. Needless to say, the dog came second and I lost. Fortunately, before the suspension, only £4.21 of my £38 stake was matched so the damage was limited. I've never seen a dog race jump so early and I would have been very pissed off if all my money had been matched.

This of course made me rather wary of the dogs for the rest of the evening, particularly those at Wimbledon. Still, with the help of the evening place markets at Wolverhampton, I managed to get myself up to £30 profit.

In all I entered 60 greyhound races today, earning £40 in profitable trades. Unfortunately, the 10 losing races I had accounted for £18 of that. Very annoying, but at least it was still a profit.

I didn't fair particularly well in the horse place markets, especially in the afternoon. However, things picked up in the evening, partly because I increased my stakes and went looking for less ticks than normal. I traded 12 races today with only 2 losers. It is a shame that those losers accounted for some 35% of my profit.

So, a pretty tough day, but I'll settle for £30/day.

As we move into the weekend, I'll have a number of matched bets on the soccer coming to fruition tomorrow which will give me a few free bets to use up on Sunday. That in itself means that the weekend should be pretty successful. Indeed, looking at my records, this weekend should see me go through the £3000 mark.

A significant result, having started with only £10 back in February.

Could Have Been Worse

Considering the way I traded today, I've got to say I'm more than happy with the £28 profit I made. Unfortunately, two thirds of that wasn't due to trading at all.

I did some further bet matching today. This time through 888sport and JenningsBet. The £15 qualifying from the former actually doesn't take place until Saturday, but I got the bonus right away. As a result, I was able to pick up a guaranteed £11.45 from the PSG v Twente match this evening.

I can still collect another free £15 bet as well as an additional £20 from 888sport. To do so, I need to place 9 x £15 bets before picking up the first, then a further 5 x £15 to pick up the last £20. With each bet being matched on the exchanges, I could potentially lose £0.50 - £1.00 each time depending on the odds. Taking this into account and a typical return of £10-£12 from the free bet itself, I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.

With JenningsBet, I've got to place 3 x £30 bets before qualifying for a free £30 bet. The first was tonight. Sevilla was backed at 2.50 and laid @ 2.47 for 30.61 resulting in a zero cost for me. The other two qualifying bets are for matches at the weekend.

Making up the rest of the aforementioned two thirds of my day's profit was £10.02 from a straight double using my 5% bank. I backed Racing Santander and Olympiakos both to win, which they did quite comprehensively. These were respectively, the nap and banker of the day on SoccerLotto, which I am a member of.

So, what about my trading?

Well, considering how well it has gone the past 9-10 days, today was hopeless. Right from the off I was struggling.

I had £26.81 in profitable trades in the dogs. Unfortunately, I also had £15.37 worth of losses. The final straw was when I lost more than £7 in the first two races at Sittingbourne this evening. It was one of those days where I really struggled to read anything significant in the markets.

At least I made a profit in the greyhounds, unlike the horse place markets. I only got involved in 7 races and came away with a loss of £4.33. Again, I found it extremely difficult to spot anything in the markets today.

So a long and frustrating day sat in front of a computer monitor, certainly as far as my trading was concerned, but thanks to the soccer, today wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Even better, I haven't heard one way or the other from Boylesport regarding my phantom bet. So, on the basis that no news is good news, I've added the £49.45 to my total for Tuesday. Which, means, that Tuesday saw me break 3 figures for the first time ever.

So, today worked out alright in the end.

When Lady Luck Is With You

I don't know. It seems that everything I touch at the moment comes good. I'm just waiting for that dreadful moment when Lady Luck withdraws her favour and I get stung big time. I thought, albeit briefly, that moment had come this evening.

Continuing my quest to qualify for another free bet at Boylesport, I spotted via bet72.com that, in the Brugge v Copenhagen match, the away side were at odds of 3.25 to back at the bookies, but only 3.05 to lay on Betdaq. I duly placed my bet at Boylesport, remembering to actually submit it this time, and went to lay them on Betdaq. Unfortunately, the odds changed before I'd submitted the bet. Then, after readjusting things, the market suspended before I was matched. I hadn't been watching the clock and had not realised how close to kick off it was.

As Betdaq weren't taking the game in-play and I had a confirmed back bet at the bookie, a short-lived panic ensued as I switched to Betfair in the hope that they were taking it in-play. Fortunately, they were and all was right with the world again. I laid @ 3.05 and the panic was over. With Copenhagen winning, I got a small net profit of £2.40 and another step closer to my next free bet.

Earlier in the day I also did a couple of qualifying matched bets at the same bookie. These are for the weekend so my money in Betdaq is tied up until then. Blackburn @ 2.00 to back and @ 1.91 to lay on Betdaq with the other being Rochdale @ 2.90 to back and @ 2.84 to lay.

You'll notice that, like the Copenhagen match, I am guaranteed a small win on these irrespective of outcome. In other words, I'm actually being paid to earn a free bet. Isn't life wonderful?

Irrespective of looking to do matched betting to qualify for a free bet, the bet72.com site is an excellent tool for finding arbitrage situations like this. I'd advise all my readers to make use of it.

As far as trading is concerned, the £31 I made today may seem somewhat disappointing given my results of the past 7 days. However, I missed much of today's trading. I spent the first hour doing various chores, after which I started to trade, but I only lasted an hour. I hadn't managed to get much sleep last night due to illness and I found myself struggling to keep my eyes open.

With the more liquid dog markets not due until after the horse racing finished, I decided to take 2-3 hours off and try and catch up on some sleep.

I'm not sure if I was properly awake when I resumed as I lost a total of £8 in the first 3 races I entered. However, I soon got it back and by the end of the afternoon card, I was £16 up. This I more or less doubled in the evening session and I finished early to spend some time with my daughter.

So, a £31 profit over 38 races doesn't quite meet the £1/race target, but it's near enough, and it was a fairly laid back day.

And finally...

I haven't heard back from Boylesport regarding my imaginary bet yesterday. As I said earlier, I'm pretty certain that I omitted to confirm the bet having completed the bet slip. Still, as far as my records are concerned, I'm treating it as having gone through - for now anyway.

Too Honest For My Own Good?

Before I tell you about my trading exploits today, I wonder, in this modern, cynical world in which we live, if I should kowtow to the mainstream. I have always prided myself on being an honest and highly moral person, yet I wonder if it is about to cost me financially.

Today, in between trading the dogs and the horses, chatting in the chat room and taking phone calls and a host of other things that were pulling me this way and that, I saw an opportunity to do a matched bet with Boylesport. This was necessary as I need to make 4 bets with that bookie in order to qualify for my next free bet installment.

So, having spotted that they had Shrewsbury Town at odds of 2.20 to beat Brighton tonight, and that they were 2.22 to lay on Betdaq, I promptly jumped in. No problem there.

Tonight, after all of today's trading activities I happened to be checking my accounts. As the score was 0-0, Betdaq had a lovely £49.45 sitting there waiting for me. However, when I checked my Boylesport account, there's no sign of any bet. My account is still in credit to the same amount it was this morning.

I've just spent sometime talking with their help desk and they're going to log the issue with their IT department. This is where my honesty may cost me financially as they can easily turn round, knowing the score, and say "You did indeed back Shrewsbury for £50 Mr Hamilton. We've debited your account accordingly".

Irrespective of what they do, my conscience is clear. I will have maintained my integrity. It will be interesting to see if they reciprocate. Not that I am accusing them of dishonesty you understand.

Enough of moral dilemmas. On to the trading...

I had another excellent day today, apart from a two hour spell from 3:00 - 5:00 where I kept losing, or scratching.

As usual, I switched between dogs and horses all afternoon. Unfortunately, I wasn't getting anywhere fast on the place markets and eventually wound up with only £4 having traded 16 races. I only lost in 4 of those, but it was enough to take a fair chunk out of the meager gains I had made.

The dogs where a different matter, though they did suffer in the aforementioned two hour period. Still, I picked up £40 having traded 58 events. Not quite the £1/race target I try to manage, but good enough considering I lost a total of £15.88 in 12 of those races.

I also spent a rather leisurely evening match betting on the Sky televised greyhound meeting at Wimbledon. The image below is taken from the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet that I use specifically for the purpose. Remember, this is freely available to any one who wants it.


The settings I was using gives a 2% profit on each race when my pick loses. The profits are greater when a winner occurs. Unfortunately, and somewhat unusually, I didn't get one tonight.

Still, the whole process only took around 15 mins of my time and returned another £6 to add to today's pile, bringing the total to a few pence over £50. Obviously this will double if the feedback from Boylesport is favourable. For the moment, I'll assume that £50 is the figure and will amend it if necessary once I hear back from Boylesport.

A Satisfactory Hourly Rate

No sooner had I posted my entry last night and I received a phone call from the friend I was supposed to me meeting for drinks tonight. Work had intervened and our plans had to be canceled. As a result, I was able to get a full evening of greyhound trading, with very pleasing results.

For some time now, I've been aware that Monday evening, for whatever reason, seems to be good to me as far as trading the dogs is concerned. Tonight was no exception, though it turned out to be exceptional.

I was home in time to start trading from the 5:22 and I carried on until the last race at 9:30. I got involved in 43 races and lost on only 5 of them, collecting a profit of £42.94. At an average of £1/race it really goes to show how quickly the profit can mount on the dogs when the races come thick and fast as they do in the evenings.


That figure also works out at a very acceptable tax free £10/hr. I'd happily settle for that every day.

I confess, I'm a little bemused, though obviously delighted, with the run I'm on at the moment. Long may things continue to go this way.

What A Week!

Strangely, after my best ever week, I'm sitting here disappointed simply because I failed to make £50 for the 3rd day running. Thanks to getting caught, twice, in the second last race of today's greyhounds I lost a fiver. That disappointment won't last long though as I look back over what I've managed this week.

For the first time ever, I have broken through £200 in one week. In fact, I've sailed through it to the tune of £264. Absolutely staggering. I cannot tell you how chuffed I am. Clearly, my decision to abandon the horse win markets was the correct one.

Now granted, £70 of that money was through some matched betting I did using free bets from Bet365 and Boylesport. That leaves £186 due to trading activities which is still my best week, by some margin.

I will not bother giving a blow-by-blow account of today's trading. Suffice to say, it was quite difficult in the dogs as they were very thin. However, I had every intention of having a relatively leisurely day as I had already made £36 thanks to a spot of matched betting on the Portsmouth v Newcastle match so a poor performance in the dog markets was not the end of the world.

What with Christmas quickly approaching and all the distractions and commitments that that entails, I didn't have high hopes for this month. In the back of my mind, I had settled on £200-£250 being a profit I'd be happy with. To achieve that in one week is terrific and I'm on a bit of a high just now. Like I said, the disappointment is short lived.

I suppose I better go and give my daughter her cut now.

Tomorrow will be a day off, at least until the last hour or so of the greyhound races. I'm off to a client's where I actually work for a living, then off for a few non-alcoholic drinks afterwards. I can afford to buy a round now!

Have a good one if you're getting involved.

Matched Betting Boosts Profits

Saturday, historically the day that I always seem to struggle to make a profit. With so many things on, I tend to get myself in a muddle as I try to get involved in soccer, greyhounds and horses. Clearly, my multitasking skills are suffering as I get older.

With this in mind, I took the decision earlier in the week to take much of today off. I made other arrangements to be the dutiful son and visit my mother. My plans had to be modified a bit, so as to accommodate my daughter, which meant that I did get some trading in until early afternoon.

For this, I religiously stuck to the greyhounds and avoided having anything to do with other sports - from a trading perspective anyway. This worked very well as I had a relatively leisurely couple of hours building up some profit, which, by the time I finished for lunch, had grown to £15.

Once my family duties had been completed I managed to do a bit more in the evening greyhound markets. That was hard work as they were particularly thin. After adding another £5 to the pot I gave up trying.

I did do 4 horse place markets in the evening where I lost 1 and won 3 and came away with, believe it or not, exactly £0.00.

During quiet time in the greyhounds this morning, I availed myself of a couple of free bets by doing a spot of matched betting. Bet365 kindly gave me a £50 Christmas present which I duly qualified for by backing Feyenord and laying them off on Betdaq. I then used the free bonus to back a draw at Crewe and laid that off to guarantee a profit of around £34. Easy, risk free, money for virtually no effort.

I also did the same with a sign up offer at Boylesport, though I will not get the bonus until tomorrow, at which point I'll add that profit to the total.

So, all in all, a very different Saturday from what I normally have. Relaxed and stress free whilst adding another £54 to the pot. Here's to more of that.

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling Rawhide

At the risk of tempting fate, I've had an excellent week so far, with today being the best yet.

As you know, I have started to do the place markets again and that is coming along very nicely. One of the unexpected benefits I'm finding is that my trading style in the place markets is much the same as the one I use for the greyhounds. I'm looking for the same things, the same gaps and trends. This makes it extremely easy to switch between the two all afternoon. By doing so, of course, I cover a lot more markets in the same period.

I got involved in 21 horse markets today, including a few of the evening races. I lost a small amount on 4 of them and came away with a profit of £26.21. I'm very happy with that and, will look to increasing my stake in the near future.

Coincidentally, my profit from the greyhound markets was virtually identical at £26.24. This was made in more than double the number of races as the horses, which is a bit disappointing, even when considering that my stakes where somewhat smaller. I lost in only 5 of the 47 races I took part in but there was no major hit, unlike yesterday.

Having past £50 profit by 7:30, I decided to call it a night and not risk what I'd already built up.

With every intention of increasing my horse market stake in the near future, I also need to consider doing so for the dogs, particularly in those races from 3:30 - 6:00 where the liquidity and volume is much better than normal. I'm certainly catching a number of trends these days, and I need to capitalise on them.

Speaking of trends...

I've read recently that some traders believe that there are no such things as trends in the greyhound markets or they are, at least, so rare as to be effectively non-existent. I beg to differ as the following screen shots demonstrate.

These are examples of strong trends, not all of them on favourites I hasten to add, which happened during today's trading. There were many more, but these are enough to demonstrate my point.

These were taken whilst I traded using BinarySoft BDI and then tiled into one image for convenience. Unless you're familiar with BDI, the numbers will seem strange to you. That's not important. It's the illustration of trends that is the important point.


So you are not confused, the price information down the left of each graph is expressed in % probability. In other words, odds DECREASE going up the ladder so a steamer goes up the way and a drifter down.

Seven

Yesterday, I managed to get back from my lunch date just as the horses were finishing and the best time for the greyhound markets.

I settled in very quickly, averaging over £2/race, but an hour later, I hit a sticky patch and had a couple of loses. The biggest of these was £7. Not big by any stretch of the imagination until one realises I was using stakes of around £20! That set me back a bit, but fortunately I composed myself and eventually, come mid evening, had got myself up to £25 profit.

So, disappointed with not getting into the 30s again, but still happy with that result. That seven irritated for a while, so, here's another, much more pleasant seven...

Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One

More Of The Same

For the second day running, I have managed to amass a profit in the mid 30s. Indeed, my trading today, was virtually a carbon copy of yesterday's - except I had warm hands.

My trading in the afternoon was a bit more profitable, on both the horse place markets and the greyhounds. Unfortunately though, the most profitable time of the day - after the last horse race up to around 6:00pm - was plagued by distractions in the shape of my 13 year old daughter. Sometimes she will not shut up! Typical women I guess (I'll warn my postman to look out for a bag full of complaints).

In the end, having missed a few good opportunities as a direct result, I admitted defeat and had an early dinner.

I managed to catch some of the better races before the liquidity fell away quite badly after 6:30. I soldiered on for another hour bad it was hard going and I was only making pennies so I've stopped for the day.

I'm please to say that the place markets are picking up again. Having spent the first 5-6 months of my journey in these markets, it's good to get back to them. I'm still relearning them if I was honest and using stakes that are only 50% higher than I'm using in the dog markets. Still, I'm pleased with the way they are coming on.

I got involved in 10 horse races today and collected £12 for my troubles. Compare that to the dogs where I won £24 having covered 54 races - many of those were scratched mind you.

So, more of the same next time, though I won't get much trading in tomorrow (at least not until the evening) as I've got other plans. So have a good one if you are getting involved.

Keep Warm This Winter

Apologies for the lack of updates since Saturday. This is simply due to the fact that I've only done a small amount of trading.

Sunday, I spent working on further additions to the website, while doing the odd race inbetween, but I only earned £2 so it wasn't worthwhile writing anything for that.

On Monday I was working and didn't get back until after 6:00pm. I managed to trade the dogs for an hour or so and picked up £13 for my troubles. I was too tired so had an early night having decided to update the blog after today's trials and tribulations.

The first half of today's exploits, was frustrating, inconsistent and, quite frankly messy. I was getting nowhere fast. It wasn't so much that I was losing trades (though I lost a few on both the dogs and nags) but more to do with the fact that I was missing out on profit.

For whatever reason, my reactions were really slow. In the fast moving, volatile and jumpy markets that I trade, I rely on quick reactions yet today I was doing everything in slow motion. My eyes were seeing things, my brain was reacting, but there seemed to be some delay in send instructions to my trigger finger.

It was roughly 3:30 when, as I was rubbing my hands for the umpteenth time that afternoon, it suddenly dawned on me that I was damn cold. I'd forgotten to put the heating on. With that corrected, and a nice hot cuppa in my hands, I started to trade properly.

Up to that point I had only earned £2 all day. Once I had got some heat into my hands, I added another £33 to that. Coincidence? Possibly, but you can be sure I'll have the heating on all day tomorrow.

The Usual Saturday Rubbish

Living up to it's reputation, today was another slow and disappointing day. A case of too many things to do combined with me trying to get involved in too many markets at the same time.

I was intending to do some matched betting on the normal Bet365 Channel 4 racing offers, but the odds in the first qualifying race were unsuitable, then I was called away. Instead I managed to do a bit of trading in the place markets but that was poor, only winning a few pence.

Even the dog markets, the few that I did anyway, were thin, even for me. As a result, I got caught too many times for my liking and I stopped having lost a fiver early on. Again, interruptions didn't help.

I tested a laying plan on the dogs for very small stakes. I'm looking into this as it provides another option that I can use on Betdaq. Very early days and a small profit, so worth continuing as it takes very little effort.

And finally, You may recall a while back I set aside £100 specifically for punting on the footy. The intention being to back 5% of the current bank as a means of exercising any gambling fix. I had a double on Newcastle and St Johnstone. Both failed to win, so £4.74 down the tubes. That's 7 bets and five losers and a graphic example of why I turned to trading as another 5% sails down the Swanny.

So not a huge loss today, but fairly typical of Saturdays. Perhaps I should resign myself to doing the housework on these days.

An Altogether More Pleasant Day

Having taken the decision to abandon my attempts at mastering the horse win markets, I went into today's trading in a much more relaxed frame of mind.

I started off the day with the late morning dogs before switching to re-visit the place markets that I have stayed away from for so long. Playing with small stakes just to get used to things, I'm beginning to wonder why I left them in the first place.

I only had an hour or so as I was off spending a particularly hideous time Christmas shopping, but that hour was enough to really rekindle my interest in these markets. I love the cat an mouse nature of placing bets in these thin markets and I'll certainly be returning there on a more regular basis.

I missed the rest of the horse racing due to the aforementioned shopping trip, but managed to spend the rest of the night on the dogs. Again, the thin and volatile nature of these markets really suits my trading style and I racked up the very respectable profit of £32.35 to add to the £5.89 I'd won on the horses earlier in the day.

So, just short of £40 is the best day I've had for a while. This in itself was obviously rewarding, but I gained greater pleasure from the simple fact that the day, at least while I was trading, was stress free.

Time To End This

I've decided to halt my forays into the win markets. It simply isn't happening for me. Worse, it is effecting how I trade other markets. I cannot therefore, sustain the experiment as not only is it effecting my profitability, but also increasing the strain as I try to recover losses in other markets.

Put simply, the trading style I use in the dogs, and previously in the place markets, just doesn't work in the win markets. As a result, I've been trying to change that style in order to become profitable in the win markets - to no avail. But those changes are now feeding back into the markets where I normally make money.

Today was fairly typical of my performance. I made some profitable trades in the first hour of the greyhound racing, despite one of the meetings being called off. I then switched to the horse win markets and immediately started losing it. As I struggled to make headway, I just kept giving my money away.

Switching back to the dogs after the last horse race only perpetuated the trend. I continued losing until I stopped at 5pm some £20 down.

I didn't intend to resume trading this evening but I'm glad I did as I turned around my losing position and finished the day nearly £10 up having spent my time concentrating on the dogs.

This has been an all to familiar story for me in the past month. One discipline would lose and the other would recover those losses. Going through this, day after day, has not been particularly enjoyable and so I think it is time to stop.

I shall continue with the greyhound markets and I think I'll revisit my old stomping ground that is the place markets, but it appears the win markets are just beyond me. I'd rather be winning, albeit small amounts, on a regular basis than continually getting my backside bitten. That just isn't any fun.

Rolling Free-Bet Matching Update

This morning I've been working on an update to the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet in order to take account of the dead heat rules that I fell foul of on Tuesday night.

The main change is in how you specify whether your pick has been a winner or loser.

Previously, you would specify a "N" or a "Y" in the "Winner?" column to indicate success or failure. That column has now been changed to "Num of Winners?" and you indicate success or failure by specifying a 0 (zero) for a losing bet, 1 (one) for a winning bet and, in the rare event of a dead heat, a number indicating the number of runners involved in the dead heat. See the image to the left for an example.

In addition, in the 'Settings' section of the spreadsheet, there is now an extra element that you MUST specify - the 'Min Back Odds'. This is the minimum odds, as specified by the bookmakers terms and conditions, for which a free bet will be awarded. Again, always make sure you check the conditions for these bets and note that at the time of writing, the minimum odds are different for the horse racing offer compared to the greyhound offer.

If you are going to use this to match bet both disciplines, I suggest you create two copies of this file and assign one to each type.

That's it. The new version is available for download now.

Again, spend some time putting in dummy numbers before using it in anger so that you become familiar with how it works.

Update 4th Dec @ 4:45pm
: For some reason, the formatting in the P&L and Running Profit columns got lost when I converted to Excel from OpenOffice. This has been corrected now. If you downloaded the spreadsheet before this update, please download it again. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Bloody Kids

Don't you just love them?

I was doing OK today, on the dogs at least, when my son stopped by and almost immediately started fighting with his sister. This completely ruined my concentration and, over the next handful of races I lost all the profit I had built up during the day.

I tried to recover some of it in the evening, but didn't get anywhere and finished the day a few pennies down.

So, not much to write about today but I thought I'd take the opportunity to revisit this issue regarding dead heats.

I'd been thinking about that email I got from Bet365, and after checking what the P&L was in my Betdaq account for that race and it is clear that the response from Bet365 is complete waffle.

If you recall, they said, "The stake is split proportionally according to the number of relevant Dead Heated participants. In this case a bet on a selection at 4.0 would only return your money at a rate of 2.0."

That first sentence clear states that the STAKE is halved in the event of a two way tie. This, multiplied by the odds at the time of the bet gives the return. Fair enough, that's what I thought happened. However, as I mentioned yesterday, this sentence is, in my view, contradicted by the next one.

Now, let's consider the lay bet that I placed with Betdaq.

The stake was £52.55 @ 4.3 giving a liability of £173.42. If we apply Bet365's first sentence rule and divide the original stake by the number of dead heat participants we get a liability of £26.28 * (4.3 - 1) = £86.72. Minus of course the other half of the £52.55 which was lost, giving a liability of £60.43, which is what the P&L for that race on Betdaq was.

You won't be surprised to learn that if we divide the ODDS by the number of runners involved we get a liability of £60.43. i.e. £52.55 * (4.3/2 - 1),

So, irrespective of methodology, the returns are the same and should come as no surprise. It is of course completely irrelevant from a punters perspective who has placed a bet on a runner to win. The same return is achieved.

Clearly though, the bookies are going to use whatever method benefits them, and by using the odds rather than the stakes, they avoid paying a free bet to yours truly. Why don't they just come out and say it instead of beating around the bush?

Bet365 managed to live up to the reputation of help desks worldwide, as being staffed by inept people. I simply asked for confirmation of my understanding of the rules, with a yes/no answer being sufficient, yet their first response was to simply repeat, verbatim, what their Terms & Conditions say. Excuse me, I've read those. I just want confirmation!

When I pressed them on the matter, they replied with that tosh I've already cited, which, at first glance, confirms my original understanding, then seems to contradict it.

So, there we have it. Although not confirmed, the betting industry divides the ODDS by the number of dead heat participants and not the stake as I originally thought, simply for their own benefit. Having cleared that matter up, I cannot help think that that is a strange way of doing it from a probability point of view.

Are they really saying that, at the start of a race, the probability of your runner being involved in a two-way dead heat is TWICE that of winning the race outright? It's THREE times more likely to be involved in a three-way tie than winning outright?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that it's been along time since I studied statistical theory and probability, but surely that cannot be right? How often does a dead heat occur? Or a three-way tie for that matter?

That seems utterly bizarre to me.

Think of it another way. At that split instant, when those runners' noses cross the line at exactly the same time, the odds of any one of them winning the race outright have SHOT OUT to infinity, NOT shortened.

Not that my ramblings will change the way the betting industry works, but at least it gave me something to write about on an otherwise wasted day.

Update 4th Dec 2008: It's 8:30 in the morning and I realised while lying in my bed last night that I'd made an error in my calculations, but couldn't be bother to get up and fix it. I've adjusted my post accordingly. Apologies if there was any confusion.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

I normally like to post each days report at the end of the day. Unfortunately, yesterday's events meant I had quite a late finish and knowing that the post was likely to be a long one, I decided to put it off until now...

The Good:

My greyhound trading was the most pleasing aspect of yesterdays events. I traded the first hour up to the start of the horse racing, making almost £10 in the process which I was more than happy with. Indeed, the dog markets were really good yesterday and the temptation to carry on with them was strong. However, I had promised myself to carry on with trying to learn the horse win markets so I stopped.

I rejoined the fray later on in the afternoon where again, I found the markets much to my liking. In the end, I amassed a very healthy £36.87 - one of my best performances for some time.

The Bad:

Once the horse racing started, I switched to Bet Trader Pro and continued with my trial of the software, while trying to learn the win markets.

Right away, I was in difficulties. My bets were taking upwards of 3 secs to appear in Bet Trader Pro making it virtually impossible to trade. My misreading of the markets was helping either. After 3-4 races I decided to quite BT Pro and switch to BinarySoft.

This did the trick. My bets were being submitted as soon as I clicked the mouse. It's a pity my trading was still terrible.

It is curious as to why BT Pro has showing delays yet BinarySoft wasn't. I know there has been lots of talk recently with some users of both Bet Trader Pro and Bet Angel Pro seeing delays. With BinarySoft being fine, and the necessity for me to run Windows based software in a virtual box, I do not know if those delays I was seeing is related to my setup. However, the fact that other users are seeing delays tends to imply that it isn't.

Come 3 o'clock, I was down £18 and I decided to stop and go back to the dogs.

In between dog races, I paid the occasional visit to the place markets as I chatted with someone in the chat room. I ultimately lost another £2 but those visits reminded me of why I liked those markets so much and I really must get back to them sometime. That may come sooner rather than later of course if my exploits in the win markets do not go well.

Irrespective of the bet submission issues, I found the win markets very difficult today and losing £20 in the horse markets was a very poor showing.

The Ugly:

Having just released the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet after testing it for the past few weeks, last night was my first time using it with sensible stakes, as Bet365 were covering the Sky televised dog races.

Things seemed to conspire against me right from the off. The spreadsheet is configured so that you can specify which exchange to use for the lays. I use Betdaq for this purpose as I'd rather give them as much of my business as possible, rather than Betfair. So why did I do the first matched bet on Betfair?

As luck would have it, with a few minutes left to go, I noticed that the odds on my pick had drifted on Betfair so that I could green up with a guaranteed profit of £7. Great, I thought, I'll do that then do the lay side of the matched bet on Betdaq. The trouble was, I did things back to front. I sorted out Betdaq first then came back to Betfair only to find that the odds had come in again and I only got 63 pence. Doh!

The Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet can be configured in a number of ways. I prefer to set it up so that I earn 2%-3% on each losing bet. However, the best returns are when I get a winner. Although this will put me in a losing position initially, I get a free bet which makes me a tidy profit when it loses, and no further loses if it wins again - I get another free bet to boot!

The second race last night saw my pick winning, which of course is what I was looking for, but it gave me a problem.

It is important when doing these bets that you try to obtain as small a spread as possible between the back odds and the lay odds. In the third race, the spreads were quite wide and, if I had lost the previous race, I'd have ignored this race altogether. However, I had a free bet that had to be used on this race. As a result, I backed at 5.5 but was forced to take 7.0 for my lay, a spread which automatically put me in a less favourable position. As is the way of things, as soon as my lay was matched, the odds came steaming in and I could have had 5.6 a minute later.

Worse was to follow.

In the third last race of the evening, my pick won. Again, the ideal scenario as I will pick up a bonus on the next losing race I have. It wasn't until I started to look at the next race and prepare for my free bet that I realised that the race had been declared a dead heat.

That threw everything into complete confusion for two reasons.

Firstly, my spreadsheet cannot handle such situations. To be honest, in all my years of trading/gambling, I have never had a pick involved in a dead heat. Consequently, I hadn't considered it, neither had I appreciated the implications of such an eventuality with regard to how Bet365 handle things.

Secondly, I had always assumed that in the event of a dead heat, one's stake is divided by the number of dead heat participants and then multiplied by one's bet odds to give the return. Consequently, and admittedly somewhat naively, I assumed that, having backed at odds of 4.00 (min requirement being 3.00), I'd get a free bet of £25 rather than £50. This apparently is not the case.

It essentially appeared that Bet365 divide the ODDS by the number of dead heat participants. This is of course, rather convenient for them as it means they can avoid giving out a free bet to yours truly. Interestingly, the other pick involved in the dead heat had an SP of 8.00. So whoever backed that, would still get their free bet, but muggings here doesn't. That seems somewhat unjust.

I queried this with Bet365 and they sent the following reply:

I can advise that in a dead heat situation the odds are not affected. The stake is split proportionally according to the number of relevant Dead Heated participants. In this case a bet on a selection at 4.0 would only return your money at a rate of 2.0. What is important is not the odds of the selection but the rate of return. Your bet returns must be at least 3 times the amount of the original stake after any dead heat adjustments for the bet to return 2/1.

To me, the second and third sentences contradict each other, but that's by-the-by. They've clarified the position for me and I'll have to take that into account in the future.

The upshot of all this was that I finished the matched betting some £22 down. Rest assured though, that I'll be releasing an updated spreadsheet to take this issue into account - which of course will never happen again!

And finally...

Salt was rubbed into the wound by Stoke not beating Derby last night, losing me a further £5. So despite some excellent trading on the dogs yesterday, I finished the day £11 down. Just a small hiccup in the grand scheme of things and an important lesson learned.

A Good Start To December

I was at a client's all day, then I had an evening call to make as well, so I didn't expect to get any trading done today. However, I managed to squeeze in the last 80 mins of the greyhound racing and I immediately regretted having to visit a client this evening.

The dogs were really good. I found it a very simple task to read the markets with strong trends and great repetitive jumps. My only regret is that I didn't manage to grab the top of the jumps. Still, a rather relaxed £18 to add to the pot and kick the month off in fine style.

I wish it was always as easy as that.

P.S. For those of you who have downloaded the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet, you have you first chance to use it in anger tomorrow night as Sky televise the greyhound meeting from Romford.

November Summary

It's been an interesting month, full of frustration, ups and downs, not to mention one or two tantrums.

I had two main objectives this month. The first of these was to try and reduce the number of hours I've been spending in front of my computer, trading the sports markets. This, I have to say has been only partially successful.

Second, I wanted to spend much more of my time attempting to address the horse win markets. For some time now, I have been frustrated with my progress in terms of profit gained each month. Although I have successfully trading the place and, latterly, the greyhound markets, I have yet to find a way to trade those successfully with all but the most modest of stakes. As a result, my 'takings' were always going to be limited.

Rightly or wrongly, I see the horse win markets providing a means of increasing my stakes and therefore, my profit for the same number of ticks gained.

With this in mind, I went into this month not expecting to make a huge amount. Indeed, the win markets behave so differently to the volatile and thin markets that I am used to that I fully expected to lose money this month.

Fortunately, that has not proved to be the case having made over £200 this month. Not my best granted, but certainly more than I had geared myself up for.

Listed below are the totals for each market/sport I got involved in throughout the month:

Greyhounds... £169.55
Horses... £39.86
Soccer... £21.91

Of these, the greyhounds are the most disappointing. Particularly when one considers that they have been something of a staple diet the past few months. Having said that, I've not been entering as many markets whilst my focus was on the horses.

The soccer remains a disappointment, but this is partly due to not being able to find the time to dedicate to form study. I'd imagine that this situation will continue and the football side of things will remain nothing more than for the occasional small punt.

I'm a bit ambivalent regarding the horse racing total, given my earlier comments. Indeed. thanks to today's performance it is some £20 higher than it would've been. However, given that I struggled badly in the first half of the month as I ventured forth into the frenetic world of horse trading, I'm pleased that I came away with any form of profit.

At the start of November, I gave myself a month to try and come to terms with the win markets with a view to reassessing my position at the end of the month. Clearly, the month hasn't been a disaster, but then, it has hardly been a roaring success either. The jury is still very much out on that one.

With that in mind, I think it is sensible to carry on with my efforts to master these markets. There has been signs this month that things are beginning to make sense to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm still making loads of mistakes, but that's all part of the learning process. With this in mind, I'll be concentrating on the horses throughout December once again whilst I visit the dogs as frequently as possible in order to keep the profit ticking over.

Software wise, I'll be carrying on with my trial of Bet Trader Pro. I have some 1900 mins to use up, which I'd image will give me 6-7 days worth of horse trading.

The other thing to look forward to is the release of the ladder interface in Betdaq Trader. I've been informed that this should appear by mid December. I haven't been trading the horses on Betdaq due to the lack of a ladder interface. I'm looking forward to seeing what those markets are like as they may be more suited to my style.

Finally, I intend to do more matched betting and the observant among you will have noticed I've placed a spreadsheet on the site specifically designed for the Bet365 free bet offers. You can check it out via the software link in the menu. Feel free to download it and if you'd like, I'd welcome any feedback you may have.

That's it for this month. The end of the 9th month and a total of £2428 reached from a starting point of £10. Here's hoping that the next nine months can see me push on from there.

Rolling Free-Bet Matching

New and free to download - an easy way to make a profit.

Specifically designed to take advantage of the special offers from Bet365 on televised greyhound and Channel 4 meetings, this new spreadsheet allows you to perform matched betting with a twist, providing a stress free return for a few minutes work.

Works in both Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice.

For full details, click on the image and please make sure you visit the Bet365 promotions page to familiarise yourself with their terms and conditions, before you use it.

Any feedback welcome. Just make a comment to this post.

Trying Something New

I have always found Saturdays to be difficult trading wise. Something to do with the amount of money in the markets and the fact that there so many things on the go. I always find myself being pulled between football, horses and greyhounds. My multitasking skills have deteriorated as I head inexorably to my 50s. As such, I've taken to spending Saturdays doing a little experimentation to, if for no other reason, take a bit of a break from trading.

I spent the afternoon match betting the Bet365 Channel 4 racing offers. I covered 6 races and won a total of £4.50. A completely stress free 15% ROI based on a £30 and a few minutes work in total. I'm still experimenting with the numbers but I'm happy with this and will be increasing my stake for next Saturday's session.

Whilst on the subject of the horses, I did do a small amount of trading today, including a couple of US races late on. I didn't get anywhere though. Indeed, I almost wiped my matched betting profit.

I also started putting money on a little idea I had the other week regarding the over/under 2.5 goals markets. On paper, they'd been giving an ROI of around 30%. Of course, with today being the first time I committed any cash, I'm sure you can guess what happened. A loss of 30%. :)

Finally, the only real trading I did do was on the dogs first thing this morning where I managed a £13 profit.

So a fairly gentle day on the trading/betting front and another small profit to add to the pot. More importantly, I picked up another few ideas that I will be looking at in depth over the coming weeks.

So much to do, so little time.

Frustrating

Sorry for not posting yesterday. By the end of the session, I needed to get away as my trading hadn't been very good thanks to my brain not being in gear due to the foul mood I was in - the cause of which I won't bother you with.

Needless to say, I lost around £20 yesterday and I didn't trade in the evening as I had needed to do a spot of shopping.

Which reminds me. Does the fashion industry know something about the size and shape of the population that I don't? I'm over 6 feet tall, and have a 33 inch inside leg but middle age spread has taken hold. The fashion industry seem to design trousers with a waist size that is inversely proportional to the inside leg measurement. As the waist size gets bigger, the leg size shortens. I could only find trousers for tall, lanky gents or short, dumpy dwarfs.

Sorry, I digress...

Adam Todd of Racing Traders has kindly given me some free minutes in order to test Bet Trader Pro running in a virtual box on my Linux based computer. I started doing that today and initial impressions are favourable, in that Bet Trader Pro does not seem to be as resource hungry as Bet Angel Pro. As a result, it is not as sluggish.

For this arrangement to work, I'd be more comfortable doubling my RAM to 4GB and upgrading my graphics card. Unfortunately, looking through my motherboard spec today, it appears that 2GB is all it supports. So it looks like I'll have to buy a new box in the new year.

Anyway, on to the trading...

I was fully expecting little if any profit as I started experimenting with Bet Trader Pro. BinarySoft's way of doing things is so fundamentally different to conventional trading software and has functionality that BT Pro doesn't. As a result, I set off today without high expectations.

However, I have to say, that things started off rather well. I found trading the triple ladder very useful, and was able to settle down to the BT way of doing things pretty quickly. I traded steadily, building up a profit of roughly £10 as I went in to the last three races. This is when it all fell apart and I lost £14 over those races.

Thanks to a little bit of greyhound trading I managed to get myself all square for what turned out to be a frustrating afternoon.

Trading performance aside, my first foray into the use of BT Pro was a favourable one and I will continue to practice with it. I did have one wobbly however.

Early on in the session, I placed a lay bet which at first, appeared to have been matched right away. The £30 didn't appear in the leftmost, 'unmatched bets' column of the ladder, though the cell turned grey. The bet had clearly been submitted but it hadn't been matched. I had to go into the Betfair website to cancel the bet.

I do not know if this was an issue with BT Pro, or something to do with the way I'm using it in my setup. Certainly something I need to keep an eye on though.

Disappointed with not making any profit this afternoon, I returned to BinarySoft for this evening's racing. I also took this opportunity to raise my stakes a bit more. This worked very well and I was putting in some good trades. As is so often the case though, I started to lose in the latter races. Not too much, though still annoying.

All in all, I got involved in 26 horse races today, losing on 8 of them at a cost of £13.60. Coincidentally, thanks to the racing this evening, I was within 2 pence of being in profit by the same amount.

So, a successful day, in more ways than one. It's good to know that there are options available that will allow me to continue to use Linux as my operating system, even though I still have to succumb to using Windows and with the proviso that upgrading my kit may be necessary. I'll continue to test BT Pro over the coming days and I'll obviously let you know how I get on.

All I Want For Christmas...

... is a bit of consistency in the horse win markets. Though one could argue that I already have that as my inconsistency is nothing if not consistent, if you see what I mean. :)

I've been out of action for the most part the last three days. As I reported earlier, I had problems logging on last Sunday. Monday and Tuesday were spent visiting clients and I only managed a couple of hours on Monday evening where I picked up £10 on the greyhounds. Unfortunately, I lost £5 of that on the Wigan v Everton match. So today was the first time I'd sat down to do some serious trading since Saturday.

Things started very well and I was roughly £6 up after three races. Then came the 1:00, where I contrived to continually miss the big drift on the favourite, lost £2 on the 2nd fav, then continually missed my opportunities as the fav came in again ultimately managing to lose a total of £9.30.

The following race, I managed to benefit from a suspending market and a withdrawal which allowed me to get more than £6 back. Yet, 20 mins later, I lost another £8.50. There were more losses to come, but nothing quite as bad as those two. In the end, I finished the afternoon session only £1.50 up.

Thankfully, I did a little better in the evening which helped to boost my horse winnings to £8.22. I'm still having far too many losers though. Out of 25 races, I lost on 7 of them at a cost of £24.82. Which meant that I had £33 worth of winning trades. Clearly I need to work on reducing the number of losing trades or at least reducing their size.

My main problem is one of discipline in that I am continually being drawn towards the favourite, even though I keep telling myself to stay away. Virtually every time I get involved with the favourite I end up getting burned.

As is so often the case, the greyhounds came to the rescue this evening, at least until the Champions League matches started. The £12 I managed here helped boost the profits for the day to £20, which is welcome, but still very disappointing.

Up And Running Again

I've just tried using BinarySoft and was able to log in with no problems. I do not know what the issue was, and I haven't heard from any other BinarySoft users to find out if they had the same problem. However, I think it is time to revisit what options I have.

I'm still looking at using Linux as my underlying operating system with Win XP and Windows based trading software running in a virtual box.

To me, Bet Angel is an obvious choice, particularly since it has versions for Betfair and Betdaq with the same look and feel. I have already established that BA Pro does not run satisfactorily on my PC with it's current spec. In particular, I really need to at least double it's RAM to 4GB and possibly purchase a dedicated graphics card rather than use the on board one.

In a similar vein, the new kid on the block, Bet Druid, also offers solutions for both exchanges. I am a bit wary of this though and would like to invite comments from any one who may have used it. I do not like the idea of specifying my Betfair/Betdaq account details into some unknown software solution for starters.

There is one or two others that I might look at, but first up is Bet Trader Pro. Adam Todd has kindly offered to give me some free minutes so that I can test his software under my unusual setup. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that this week and obviously I'll relay the results via this blog.

Speaking of Bet Trader, there is a free 3 month subscription available by winning the free prize draw at Juice Storm. To enter, simply download Bet Trader Pro then head over to Juice Storm and follow the links to leave a comment explaining why you'd like to win.

That's about all for today. Best of luck trading tomorrow. I won't be doing much as I should finally get to see the client a failed to see last week.

Enforced Day Off

Well, has it finally happened? Has BinarySoft finally stopped working? I wasn't able to log on this morning being presented with the following error message instead:


It was like this throughout the day. There wasn't anything wrong logging in with other applications - BA Pro and Bet Trader - though as I've explained before, Bet Angel running in a Virtual Box is more or less unusable on my current pc. I haven't tested Bet Trader though I can log in.

I've been trying to contact other BinarySoft users I know of today, but I've not had any response as yet.

This may well turn out to be the kick up the rear I needed in order to make a decision about which route to take. I still want to investigate Bet Trader operating in a Virtual Box before I am forced to change may trading methodolgy, give up trading altogether or, heaven forbid, go back to the Evil Empire that is Microsoft.

I didn't waste all the day. In between doing much needed household chores, I continued looking at a greyhound dutching system and another aimed at the over/under 2.5 goals market. On going projects that will need more time to develop.

I have to say, after yesterday's trading screw ups, it was quite pleasant to have the day off anyway. Looks like I need to do some soul searching over the next few days though.

Storm Clouds Brewing

Sorry about the title. I just thought I'd keep the bad weather theme going :)

Saturday maintains it's reputation of not being a good day for me trading wise. I did a handful of dog races before the start of the horse racing and netted the grand total of 99p!

I had initially planned to do some matched betting with the Bet365 Channel 4 4/1+ offer, but decided against it as I didn't have enough money in my Betdaq account to cover the lay liability for the stake size I would have like to use. Instead, I decided to concentrate solely on my effort to get to grips with trading the win markets. I didn't even look at any of the in-play football markets.

I wish I had now.

I slowly built up a reasonable profit, with the odd loser on the way, when, in the 3:45 I got badly caught by a sudden shift and promptly lost 50% of my profit I had built up.

Then, to compound things still further, I lost the remaining 50% in the first two evening races at which point I stopped disgusted with myself. Although I'm not getting major losses, the amount of time I am consistently spending for very little gain means I cannot help but think I am wasting my time with these markets. I will persevere for a while yet though.

My day was saved by my 5% football bank bet. Thanks to advice over at SoccerLotto, I backed Nice at odds of 3.45 to win away at St Etienne. Which they did do by the only goal of the game.

That brought the smile back to my face this evening and the storm clouds started to disipate. Until tomorrow that is :)

Heavy Weather

What a tough day today was. At no time was I more than £5 in profit.

It started with the dogs where I spent the first hour losing money, so, by the time the horse racing started, I was on the back foot. Unfortunately, the nags continued the trend. Everything I touched turned sour. I lasted for an hour, then stopped for lunch.

It wasn't until after 3pm that I started to string some decent trades together, finally getting myself £5 in profit by the last race of the afternoon. True to form though, I immediately started to throw it away again when I switched to the dogs.

In the end, I lost £8.33 over 25 dog races having lost nearly half of them. I'm not sure what has been wrong with my reading of the greyhound markets of late. I just do not seem to be able to get up any momentum.

The good thing was the horse racing. Despite losing in 8 of the 24 races I entered, at a cost of £15, I came away with a profit of £10.56 from the horse win markets. So, disappointing in terms of the number of losses, but at least I came away with another profit.

All in all, a bit of a wasted day with only a little over £2 added to the pot.

Change Of Plans

My daughter came down with my bug and was off school, so I had to cancel any plans of visiting my client for this week. The benefit of course was that I was able to do a full day's trading. The drawback is I'm seriously out of pocket as I can earn a hell of a lot more spending the day with a client, than I can trading.

I did my usual routine today. Started with the dogs until the horse racing started. Unfortunately, my dog trading still isn't doing as well as it did in Sept/Oct. I'm managing a profit, but not as much as I have in the past. So I was disappointed with the £10 or so I'd earned by the time I switched to the horses.

For today's horse racing, I took the decision to increase my stakes by 50%. Very quickly, I was pleased I had done so as I had one of my better trades in the win markets in the second race, netting over a fiver. My pleasure was short lived though as I then started to lose money over the next hour when I found myself almost back to where I started the day.

I spent the rest of the afternoon slowly making my way back, but it was hard going as I would frequently lose money the race after I'd just won it. Come the end of the afternoon, I'd only managed to make £3.50 from the horses.

My frustration wasn't helped when I went back to the greyhounds and started losing some more. I just wasn't able to read the markets at all for some reason so I stopped before I gave away all of my meagre profits for the day.

Even the matched betting I had planned to do in the evening turned out to be a bit of a non-event. Although this brought me £10, I only managed 3 races as the odds available were very poor with too many short-priced favourites and large spreads between what Bet365 were offering and the corresponding lay price available on Betdaq.

I was using a stake size of £30 so it was still worth doing, taking up a total of 15 mins.

In between the Sky televised dog races, I paid the odd visit to Great Leighs where I managed to bring the total for the horses up to £10.

Only another week to go in my attempt to get to grips with the win markets. I'm only just in profit on the horses since I started at the beginning of the month. Hopefully, the coming week will see the consistancy I've enjoyed this week continue.

I'll continue with my current stake levels for the next few days and then increase it once again come mid-week, assuming things continue along the path they are going. I'd certainly like to see a bit more profit coming in now as this month certainly has taken a hit due to the focus I've had on the win markets.

Back On Track

I felt much better today, though still a little 'chesty' and this improvement was reflected in my trading.

I managed a small profit in the horses, but I was disappointed with it as I had my two worst trades in the last two races of the afternoon. These effectively halved my profit from the win markets.

I faired better in the greyhounds, even though I started off with a £3.60 loss. I steadily built up a profit of just short of £20 with most of that coming in the hour or so after the horses. I'm finding the greyhound markets at that time of the day to have generous amounts of liquidity, compared to normal.

The evening races died a death as the football matches approached, so I quit early tonight.

A while back, I mentioned I'd set aside £100 to use as a small bank to address and gambling urges I may have. I use 5% on things like double and trebles and any other madcap idea I might have. It's not going to great, as the fund is now down to £9.84.

The latest failure was a double of Iran and Australia in the World Cup qualifiers. Australia managed a 1-0 win in Bahrain with the last kick of the ball, but Iran could only draw 1-1 with UAE. I really must stop relying on tips from others. No matter how good the tipster is, I always seem to get involved with the tip that's doomed to fail.

Always best to trust one's own intuition and knowledge.

I won't get much trading tomorrow as I need to visit a client who I should've seen on Tuesday before my illness intervened. You'll probably find me in the chat room tomorrow evening as I'll be doing some matched betting on the televised greyhound meeting.

What A Shocker!

I made a few mistakes today. The first, and most crucial, was getting out of my bed this morning. I awoke with a splitting headache, sore throat and coughing my lungs up. There is no way I should have sat in front of a computer today.

The signs were there right from the first dog race where I lost £3.50. I've just finished for the day having lost £11.00 in the 16:57 greyhound race at Sunderland. Strewn in between is shocking trade after shocking trade with barely a decent one in there to separate them.

It was one of those days where virtually everything I touched went against me. In both the horses and the dogs, I was continually laying on the peaks and backing in the troughs. Time and time again, I got caught by big reversals that happened so quickly it was virtually impossible to get out for less than 3-5 ticks.

So, having lost nearly £18 on the day, more or less evenly split between dogs and nags, I think I'll just write this day off and put my feet up for the rest of the evening. A new day tomorrow.

Tempting Fate?

I managed to post another profit on the horses today. Just short of £10 over the 12 races I entered. This is particularly pleasing as I am still using small stakes ranging from £10-£30, depending on the odds.

At the risk of tempting fate, I'll carry on with this for the remainder of the week. Assuming this profitable trend continues, I will start to increase my stakes to a more sensible level.

Today's profit was also boosted by the greyhounds this evening where I managed almost £20 which I was really pleased with considering the evening markets were pretty quiet in the main.

I'm still looking at a system for the greyhounds and the data collection continues, and the earlier promise it showed is still there. I will continue with the paper trials for a few weeks, possibly until the end of the year. After that, I'll start implementing it to small stakes initially - assuming all goes well with the trial of course.

Weekend Update

Due to other committments, I haven't managed to spend all weekend trading, hence the lack of update for yesterday. Instead, here's a brief summary of trading for the weekend:

Saturdays are generally speaking not good days for me trading wise, so I tend to stick to the football. However, because of some Christmas shopping - yep, it's that time of year again - I didn't have time to do any pre-match study, so I didn't have any bets yesterday.

Indeed, I didn't get back until after 1pm so horse trading was limited. What I did do started off very well, but when I started to throw it away again after an hour, I stopped while still in profit.

Over the weekend, I traded in 29 horse races, losing in 10 of them, which was rather disappointing. Still, on both Saturday and today, I made a small profit so that's good. That's three days in a row now where I've managed a profit on the horse win markets. Very early days of course, but hopefully I've turned a corner.

I also did a little dog trading and added a few more pounds to the pot, but nothing significant.

Back into the swing of things tomorrow, so looking to continue the progress on the horses.

No Need To Worry

One of my main concerns of the past fortnight has been my returns, or lack of them, from the greyhound markets. As I have been getting more and more frustrated with the horse win markets, I've had this niggling feeling that that frustration was spilling over into my dog trading.

These fears were reinforced when I lost nearly £5 in the first couple of dog races and spent the next hour getting it back. I hate spending an hour just treading water. I needn't have worried though as everything turned out alright in the end.

With the racing starting at noon, I did my usual switching between our two four legged friends. I don't normally make much money on the dogs in the afternoon, but I was carrying on with my data collection exercise and paper testing of which there's more to do, but again, the results have been very promising. This has already opened up another avenue for me that I shall continue to investigate.

So, what about the horses? I am pleased to say, I had my best day yet. I kept my discipline and stayed away from the favourite (for the most part). I did start to get a bit careless towards the end of the afternoon races which was effecting both the horses and the dogs, so I quit for an early dinner.

The evening races went well, particularly the 21:20 and 21:20 where I actually made my best trades of the day - on the favourite, of all things!

Throughout the day, including the evening session, I traded 29 races and only had 4 losers and made a profit of £20.95. Needless to say, I'm extremely chuffed with that.

My dog trading wasn't quite as consistent as the horses. I traded 49 markets, losing 12 of them but made a profit of £19.82.

So, a very pleasant profit of just over £40 which makes a welcome change and a boost to the monthly totals. Most importantly of course, I decent profit from the nags. I just need to do that repeatedly over the next weeks or so and I'll be able to think about upping my stakes.

The Struggle Continues

I finished down by a couple of pounds today thanks once again to the horse win markets. These are showing no signs of clicking for me as yet and it didn't help throwing away £15 in the last hour of the afternoon races, finishing the session down by some £6.

My main problem is the favourite. I know I should stay away from them and concentrate on the next 2 or 3 horses, but that's where most of the movement seems to be. Consequently, I find myself drawn there like a moth to a flame. And I repeatedly get burned.

The greyhound markets weren't much better. I had difficulty getting any head of steam up and found myself frequently giving away what I'd won in the previous race. It probably didn't help that my attention was diverted each race while I recorded various bits of data as I have been looking at the possibilities of dutching the dog markets. Early days, but initial figures look promising. Still a lot of work to do on that score though.

So, as expected, this month is proving to be very poor as I concentrate on the horse win markets. My lack of progress is seriously hampering my profit. I will continue until the end of the month. If there is no sign of improvement then I shall have to reassess my involvement in the horse markets.

Here's hoping I can finally get somewhere in the next two weeks.