All Stood Still


That image says it all! Five pence profit for the day! So I won't bother adding that to the bank.

It was strange today. First thing this morning, I'd spent 90 mins in a torrential downpour working on my new fence. Having been soaked to the skin, with no sign of the weather clearing, I packed it in. Instead, I had a shower then took myself off to Tesco to do some much needed grocery shopping.

Having spent the morning in a productive manner, I cleared my desk in readiness for an equally productive afternoon trading. It didn't pan out that way.

I never really felt comfortable all. I didn't seem to be able to get my head into the right frame of mind. My body seems to be in a permanent state of aching with the manual labour I've been doing, and I just couldn't read the markets at all today.

I started off losing £1.07 on the first race. Not a huge amount by any manner of means, but it set the tone for the afternoon as I hate starting off with a loss. However, three races later, I had managed to claw most of that back though it was a real struggle - ridiculously so considering how well I've been doing of late.

Then in my fifth race of the day, the 2:55 at Pontefract, I chucked away another 2 quid and I decided to jack it in for the afternoon. It wasn't happening and my head just wasn't getting into gear. Fortunately, the weather had cleared so I was able to distract myself by some more fence building.

After dinner, I ventured into some of the evening racing - 3 races to be precise - where again, I struggled to see anything happening. I did, however, manage to recover my earlier loss and profit to the grand sum of 5 pence!

So, a case of standing still today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Give A Little Bit

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 1.8% profit. New bank... £111.92

Just a little update for today before I settle down to watch the Man Utd v Barca Champions League match.

Having been at a client's all day, I didn't have any opportunity for trading until this evening where I managed to squeeze in 4 races after dinner. I scratched 1 and profited in the other 3. All pretty small fare compared to some recent trades but they all serve to give a little bit more to the bank.

I'll be fully back in the saddle again tomorrow.

Occasional Demons

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 10.3% profit. New bank... £109.93

Yipee! The horsey bank has passed the £100 mark despite the appearance of one particular demon in the shape of my daughter.

Like yesterday, I got off to a blistering start and was over 7.0% up after the first two races. For two hours I traded like a man possessed, taking part in 8 races, losing a minor amount on one and finding myself nearly 15.0% up on the day.

Then, along came the 4:00 at Yarmouth, just as my daughter came home. I do not know how many times I've told myself not to trade when the kids are around, but I never listen. I promptly lost £2.62 as I tried to concentrate on my trading while holding a conversation with her.

To make matters worse, I didn't switch off BinarySoft BDI like I should've done. No, I carried on chatting to her, then, out of the corner of my eye, I thought I spotted a move, jumped in and quickly lost another £2. Then it finally sunk in. I switched the PC off and went and made dinner.

Afterwards, I ventured into 3 races in the evening, winning on 2 and losing 1. But it brought the percentage profit for the day back into double figures.

Despite my lack of discipline - for which I've given myself a good slap - I'm obviously delighted with another successful day, and of course, reaching the £100 landmark. Now that that has been achieved, I'll ring-fence another £20 so that my stake drops to £50 approx. That's £60 now 'protected' which will allow me to fight another day if I have a major mishap.

A day off tomorrow, until the evening anyway, as I'll be at a client's.

One Fine Day

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 18.9% profit. New bank... £99.67

I love Sundays.

It was a beautiful day when I got up this morning so I thought I'd give the digging of the remaining fence post holes a miss (I was still aching from the past three days) and spent the morning pottering around the house and generally chilling out.

I watched the first 30-40 mins of the Spanish Grand Prix but it looked if it was going to pan out to be a bit of a precession so I decided a spot of trading was in order. I'm so glad I did.

The first two races saw me more than 8% up. What a start! Bizarrely though, this had a negative impact on my trading. For the next 4 races, I spotted significant price movements yet was reluctant to get on them for fear of screwing up and losing my excellent start. So I let them all pass me by. When I eventually opened a trade nearly an hour later, I lost - just 64 pence so no big deal. Still, I stopped and gave myself a slap and got back in gear.

I must have slammed that gear lever straight into fifth as the next race saw another stonking trade. I couldn't believe it! I'd only entered 4 races and I'd added 12.3% to the bank!

That was the last of my spectacular trades. For the rest of the afternoon I carried on adding pennies here and there, eventually ending up with an 18.9% increase to the bank. Whoohoo!

All together, I got involved in 15 races today with 3 scratches and two losers - which came to the grand total of £0.79 so they were virtual scratches.

I actually thought my horse bank had broken through the £100 mark. However, having just checked my Betfair account I see that I only won £0.57 in the 3:25 at Wetherby rather than the £1.03 I thought I had, presumably due to a last minute withdrawal. So, somewhat disappointingly, I'm a few pence short of that landmark. It shouldn't be long in coming though.

Yesterday, I talked about getting to the point where I'm at least making the minimum wage. Well today, I wasn't a kick in the teeth off that goal. Let's hope that can become a regular habit.

So, after a very successful afternoon, I found the strength to dash out and dig the rest of the post holes. That's the hard bit done. The fence starts going up tomorrow. Of course, I'll have to stop in time for the afternoon racing.

Until next time...

One Of These Days...

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 4.9% profit. New bank... £84.08

... I'll be completely screw up free.

I've had such an excellent afternoon. Not a loss to be seen anywhere and a double figure percentage rise in profit.

Cue dinner break and the evening session where I lapsed into some of the sloppiest trading I've ever done. 4 races and 3 of them losers. Throughout the evening session I kept telling myself that nothing was happening, so quit. Instead, I fell into that old habit of entering markets that had little, if any, liquidity; trying to force trades that weren't there.

Actually, that's not entirely accurate as someone else obviously managed to trade at the expense of yours truly.

Fortunately, my winnings from the afternoon were sufficient to allow me to post a 4.9% increase to the horse racing bank.

I found the markets pretty thin today. Surprisingly so for a Saturday. There were quite a few races in the afternoon where nothing was happening, so I left them. Why I was unable to do the same in the evening I do not know. Clearly I should have.

In total, I traded in 19 races today - all in the place markets as usual. Of those, 3 were losers and 6 scratched.

So, the graph continues to point in the right direction, which is the important thing of course.

I've now been doing this for two months and the £10 bank I set aside for horse trading has grown to £84.08 - a 840% increase.

This is of course a staggeringly good result. However, I'm very conscious of the fact that there is a long way to go. At the moment, I'm barely making a fiver for 3-5 hours work (it doesn't help that I keep chucking big chunks of it away each day). Still, it's slowly building. Within the next 2-3 months I aim to be at least making the minimum wage. £20-£25 per day is surely a realistic figure to achieve.

Onwards and upwards...

Waiting For The Big One

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 4.6% profit. New bank... £80.13

I knew I should've shut my trap yesterday. I've just packed it in for the day after getting caught badly in the 7:15 at Banbor-On-Dee by a sudden swing which has more than halved my profit for the day.

To be honest, I should've stopped before dinner time as, true to form, I messed up two tea-time races which put a significant dent in what had been a very good afternoon.

Whilst this is a common occurrence for me, as far as today is concerned, these races where indicative of the sloppy trading I was performing as the afternoon wore on. Typically though, that sloppiness was manifesting itself as greed where I was throwing away good, profitable positions for small, mediocre ones.

After having a dinner break, I quickly recouped the loses from those two tea-time races in the 6:45 at Bangor. Such a shame I chucked it away two races later.

Given the way that carelessness was creeping into my trading, I thought it wise to quit while I still had a reasonable profit on the table. More importantly, it means that I've recouped my big losses that I had last week. Indeed, I've moved past them. I just need to try and eradicate the almost carefree trading that I sometimes fall into.

Note to self: Concentrate at all times Ali!

Changing the topic ever so slightly, regular readers will be aware that I've little or no knowledge of horse racing. One can argue that one doesn't need it when trading the pre-race markets. However, I'd also like to develop in-running trading skills and for this I think it is very important to gain skills in identifying horses that will run well - or badly.

I'm an avid reader of The Experiment, and having read Graeme's tips and with a bit of encouragement from the man himself, I've started to look at the mystical world of form study.

I haven't had the chance to devote much time to it this week due to other commitments, but I did managed to grab 15 mins before the 1:15 at Sandown. You're not going to believe this, but I picked out Commander Cave, the winner at an SP of 17/2 (no idea what it was on Betfair). I can safely say, that is the first time I have ever picked the winner of a horse race.

I didn't have any money on it of course, but that's not the point. It showed me that even a luddite like me can pick winners. All I've got to do know is repeat it and show it wasn't a flash in the pan.

Running Up That Hill

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 6.5% profit. New bank... £76.61

I might be taking two steps forward and one step back, but I'm slowly recovering from the screw ups I had last week.

Today was very much a case in point. It started off with the almost obligatory loss in the first race. At least it was only a few pence this time so no major harm done, especially as the next race saw my best trade of the day.

I got involved in 20 races today with 4 scratches and 4 losses, which was a bit disappointing. It could've been worse though as I had a number of races in the red but managed to retrieve the situation before the off. The recoveries themselves were pleasing, but obviously I'd rather not find myself in that situation in the first place.

I found Beverley in particular quite difficult this afternoon. To be honest, I was tired from digging holes for fence posts - I'm so unfit. I only managed 4 due to the number of tree roots I was having to pull up. Anyway, a couple of times I was guilty of trying to force trades that weren't there. Surprise, surprise, they lost.

Perhaps the most pleasing trade was the very last race where I had my second biggest win of the day. It's nice to end the day with a win for a change.

Again, much of my trading was spent looking for spikes in the place market. I managed to catch a couple of beauties as well. No doubt I'll be bitten one day, but at the moment, the tactic seems to be working for me.

Hopefully, tomorrow afternoon, in between hole digging, I will get myself back to where I was a week past Monday and be able to kick on from there. And I suppose I really shouldn't have said that.....

Grace Under Pressure

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 5.6% profit. New bank... £71.92

Only four races for me this evening after a full day at a client's. And what a lovely four races they were.

The only disappointment was the first race, the 6:50 at Kempton. Although I came away with a handful of pennies, I'd let a couple of quid slip through my grasp by hanging on for an extra couple of points and being caught by a big spike.

Other than that, I was very pleased with my trading tonight and caught a few good movers. None more so than the 8:05 at Worcester where 'Blue Dark' shortened considerably in the place market and I managed to get most of it. It drifted a bit afterwards but I didn't want to risk losing what I already had so I let it be. That trade alone was worth nearly twice as much as the other three put together.

So I very healthy 5.6% profit bumps up the bank again and the recovery continues...

What I have done over the past few days is make better use of BinarySoft BDI and the facilities it provides. I'm paying much closer attention to the excellent graphing facility that was recently introduced. I'm also using the LTP (Last Traded Price) column in the selection table a lot better in an effort to try and spot market movers more easily.

In addition to that, I'm becoming more confident, with the help of the aforementioned tools, in jumping a couple of ticks ahead of the live price in order to get matched when a move is on. Before, I'd sit on it, or go one tick ahead, and I'd be overtaken before being matched. As a result, I was forever chasing the trend rather than riding on its back.

Tomorrow is the start of the fence building so I don't know when I'll get back in front of the PC. Given that I've got quite a few holes to dig for fence posts, which won't be easy as I'll likely hit loads of tree roots, it may take a while. Mind you, I'm so unfit I'll probably be knackered by 10am so I might get a full days trading in after all.

I'll obviously post any results if I have them. In the meantime I'm away to put my feet up....

A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 11.7% profit. New bank... £68.17
Tennis... 38.5% loss. New bank... £9.43

Take a look at that bloody tennis figure! That really got the day off to a good start! NOT!

I was trading the Calleri v Seppi match this morning and was doing quite well. Up 10% with my first couple of trades. It was midway through the first set in what was a tight game. Seppi went 0-30 in the 8th game of the set and I promptly backed him. Yet the odds drifted. Big time! I couldn't understand what was going.

I was monitoring the scores using the live feed from protennislive.com. This is generally a few seconds behind the play. So to see the odds drift before the score comes up is nothing unusual. I expected Calleri had taken it to 15-30, so I left my position as it was. But the odds kept going. It was then I realised that something was amiss. For whatever reason, the score hadn't been updated on the protennislive.com feed. When I refreshed the score, Calleri was suddenly 40-30 up for the game! Bollocks!

I traded out for a guaranteed loss of £5.90. Ouch! There was no point in continuing if I couldn't trust the live scores. 'Live scores' my bottom! Half dead more like.

That's my tennis bank now below the £10 I started with. I think I'll go back to my tennis hedging strategy.

On to the horses...

The nags proved to be much better and fortunately I recovered what I'd lost on the tennis and a bit more, so my overall bank was OK for the day. I even managed a win on my first race. WhooHoo!

I stuck to the place markets throughout the day and had a slight change of tact in that I deliberately went out looking for spikes. This worked quite well with some good trades, though I did have a big one go against me - it always seems to be the last race before dinner time that I screw up. I got it back though, two races later.

I ventured into 27 races today, scratching 3 of them and losing on 4.My staking level, having been cut to £11 approx last Friday morning has now risen to £28ish. I quit in time to watch the Champions League match, so a fairly relaxing evening.

All-in-all, it's been quite a good day, despite the setback in the morning. I even feel that I've won big. As I mentioned yesterday, I'll be building a fence this weekend. When I first looked into this last year, I was quoted over £700 for the materials. When I went to order the stuff today, that was what I was expecting to pay. It only cost me £420.

So the fightback continues. Hopefully, there will be more of the same tomorrow. But it will have to be an evening session for me as I'm off to see a client.

Better Trading Day

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 9.9% profit. New bank... £61.01
Tennis... 4.8% profit. New bank... £15.33

Today's trading got off to a good start as I had a little dabble in the in-play market of the Andy Murry match. I didn't do much as I only joined the action when the score was 6-5 to Murray in the first set. I traded the 12th game and the tie breaker for a small, but very welcome 4.8% profit.

More importantly, I saw enough of the action and how the market reacted to formulate some idea as to how I'd go about trading the tennis in-play in the future. Always good to have another string to one's bow. So stay tuned for further exploits on that front.

As far as the nags were concerned, I cannot say I was in the mood for it before it was time for the first race. This was reflected in my opening trade.

Once again, I ignored my own advice and ventured into the win market and promptly lost two ticks. I nearly packed it in then, but I persevered thankfully. It is worrying though the number of times I lose on the first race I get involved in.

That first trade seemed to put me on edge a bit for much of the afternoon. In a lot of the races, particularly in the early part of the session, I scratched or didn't get involved, despite seeing some decent movement in the place markets. To be honest, I was finding it all rather boring, and frequently missed opportunities because I was busy reading trading blogs, or trying to give an aging laptop a new lease of life. I just kept forgetting what I was meant to be doing.

Come mid afternoon though I did manage to get some focus and started to string some wins together. I did have a hiccup in the 4:40 at Pontefract where I completely misjudged the direction of movement on 'Young Bertie'. But that was the only other loss I had all day.

I did find the evening racing much easier as well, though my reticence brought on by last week's poor showing still lingers. I found myself latching on to many large movements throughout the day but tended to hang back a bit when they were spotted. As a result, I came away with profits that were less than half what they should've been if I'd had the courage of my convictions.

However, all-in-all, today was a good day. A 9.9% increase in the horse trading bank continues the slow recovery of the losses I suffered last week. And again, I've managed to minimise the number of losing trades: 23 races traded with 5 scratched and only 2 losers. Also, my stake size has now nearly doubled since I slashed it the other day.

One last point. I didn't do any further trialling, for cash or on paper, of the in-running hedging of the place markets today. The races I did look at didn't look all that promising so I left it. What I really need to do is set some time aside in the morning or the previous evening to make a shortlist of the races of interest. That was difficult today as my daughter's school was on holiday. They've only just gone back from their Easter break!

I don't know if I'll manage that this week as, assuming I can get the timber delivered, I'll be building a fence round the back garden having just had a 40 meter long conifer hedge removed. Hopefully, I'll be able to fit that in around some trading.

A Day For Experimentation

I sat down in front of my pc today with every intention of trading the afternoon away, yet that is not how it panned out.

I didn't get involved in the first few races as nothing much seemed to be happening. There was a distinct lack of cash in most of the place markets today which only served to make the afternoon that little bit more boring.

Indeed, it was so bad that I committed my cardinal sin and took a look at the win markets. I got involved in a couple, one with a one tick loss and the other with a one tick gain. After all that effort, I was down a few pence which I'm not even going to bother recording in my bank.

By this time I was pretty bored to be honest so I thought I'd try a little experimentation with hedging in the place markets. When I first started this lark back in February, I had tried this a few times for fun and hadn't had a failure. The in-running markets are something I want to get into as I feel there's definitely profit to be had, for reduced risk - less money, more ticks - was my way of thinking.

I wasn't intending to trade in-play. The place markets do not have the liquidity in my view. However, my way of thinking was that I'll have 2-4 chances of winning depending on the number of places available. So, I wanted to place a small back bet on my preferred horse (actually, the Racing Post's preferred horse as I know nothing of form etc) with a view to laying off in-running.

So, I gave myself the grand total of £10 to spend, giving me 5 hedges to minimum stakes... and promptly lost the first three races I got involved in.

Upon reflection, I was far to greedy in placing my closing position in these races. Having said that, during my aforementioned previous attempts at this, my picks all went on to place, so I did have a precedence. Anyway, reducing my target profit to around 30% - 50% of my stake in the next three races worked well and I clawed back some of my losses.

So, a £3.80 loss which is no big shakes and I shall continue this experiment for a number of reasons:

First off, I want to get into a more measured trading/hedging state where I can utilise the form books (something I must get better at). Having that type of knowledge must give an edge.

Secondly, related to the idea of in-running trading, I believe one will get better value during a race, whilst risking less. In the process, recognising that there is a higher gambling element here than in pre-race trading.

And finally, whilst pre-race trading is a useful skill to have and in which I shall continue to try and attain some measure of proficiency, I do find it somewhat boring.

So there we have it. At the cost of £3.80 a useful afternoon was spent in identifying a potential new area for trading/hedging. More experimentation needs to be done, much of which is likely to be on paper, as I learn to read the race cards properly - a lot of which I simply do not understand at present. Once that's in place, I'll probably setup a separate bank just for in-play trading/hedging.

A Quiet Day

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 2.0% profit. New bank... £55.51

Not a huge amount to report today as most of it was spent doing family things. I did however manage to get involved in a few of the afternoon races before spending the evening with my daughter and her friend hurtling down the local dry ski slope on some planks.

In all, I got involved in 11 races today with only one loss and one scratch. Unfortunately the one that lost was a five tick job which was nearly four times the size of todays average win. This limited the profit somewhat.

Still, as yesterday, the object of the exercise was not so much the size of the profit, but minimizing the number of losing trades. On that front this afternoon's work was certainly successful.

I was surprised how little money was around in the place markets today. That's probably one of the reasons I got caught out in that losing trade - a spike that remained rather stubborn and only disappeared after I'd baled out. This aside, I was pleased with the way I read the vast majority of races today.

I just need to see if I can maintain that over the weeks to come.

What A Relief

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 5.0% profit. New bank... £54.40
Tennis... 24.0% loss. New bank... £14.62

I'm pleased to report that a managed I profit on the horses today. Only £2.61 which equates to a pleasant 5.0%. That doesn't seem a lot but I'd be more than happy to increase my bank by that amount every day.

Actually, the size of the figure is irrelevant. The important thing today was to minimise the number of losing trades I've been having this week. In all, I got involved in 13 races today with 10 of those being winners, 1 was scratched and the other 2 losers. I'm satisfied with that. Most of this week the ratio has been something like 50:50.

I did two things today. The first was a drop in stake size, as detailed in a previous post, which helped to lift some of the pressure I may have been feeling earlier in the week when things started to go wrong.

The other thing I did was pay much more attention to the streaming graphs available in BinarySoft BDI. The time frame that these graphs display can be adjusted. By default it is set to 1 min. I increased that to 3 mins which gave me a much better idea what the price trend had been and a good idea what it was likely to do. This helped enormously.

So, hopefully I've turned things around but only time will tell.

Now, on to the tennis...

My delight in my horse trading result is somewhat tempered today as I hit my first loss in the tennis. It was a very frustrating loss as well as it was so close to succeeding.

I'd identified a number of matches that I wanted to get involved in prior to the start of the racing. The intention was to do my normal 20% lay hedge of the favourite but it never panned out that way.

In two of those, I made the mistake of placing my opening bet way too early in the day. The odds went the opposite way and I baled out before the start of the match. If, I'd left them alone, my hedge would've been successful midway through the first set in both cases - which is what normally happens with this bet.

This was indeed how my foray into the Zakopalova v Knapp match panned out.

The match that caused the 24% loss was Almagro v Monaco. Having looked at the stats for both players, I was happy to lay Almagro @ 1.61. Unfortunately, he shot into the lead and was 4-0 up in the first set within 40 mins or so. This was the one that I found frustrating. In every one of those first four games, Monaco had a game or break point to take the game. Yet he just couldn't kill any off them off. Almargo won the first set and Monaco never really got into the game.

Despite the loss, I've learned a number of things with my excursions into the tennis world today:

1. When hedging, wait until just before the match starts before placing the opening bet.
2. If I'm using the hedging strategy, treat it for what it is - a bet. Don't sit and watch the odds jump up and down as this only serves to sow doubt in my mind.
3. Other than todays failure, all the matches I've got involved in, either on paper or for real, has successfully closed the hedge in the first set. Therefore, I think that a stop loss after the first set may be in order, particularly in best of 3 sets matches.

So, there you have it. A bit of a mixed bag today, but the important thing is that I'm a hell of a lot happier about the geegees than I was most of this week. Here's hoping it will continue.

And It's A Hat-trick

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 6.8% loss. New bank... £51.79

After the losses I've incurred from my horse trading bank over the past two days, I wanted to spend this afternoon monitoring the markets and only get involved when I felt absolutely ready. So much for that plan.

Before I describe the day, a quick word about my staking...

I started towards the end of February with £10 in my horse trading bank. Since then I've traded with the full amount, adjusting my stake with each win/loss as I moved on to the next race. Once my bank reached £50 I 'ring-fenced' the original £10 but kept it in the bank. I then carried on as before with the remaining £40 intending to 'ring-fence' a further £20 once the bank reached £100.

The long term plan was to repeat this process every time I reached a multiple of £50. However, after my confidence was somewhat shaken over the past couple of days I decided to bring that forward so that at the start of play today my initial stake was £25.57.

So, having reduced my stakes today, how did I get on?

The afternoon was not too bad really, despite kicking it of with a loss. To be honest, I very nearly jacked it in there and then. I wish I had, as all will soon become apparent.

Still, I pushed on and quickly recovered that loss moving into the black in the next five races I entered. By this time there was only one more race to go and I made a real pig's ear of that. Fortunately, I managed to reduce some of the deficit before the off, but still wound up losing.

That was a disappointing end to the afternoon, but at least I was in profit for the afternoon's work. After the events of the past few days, that was the most important thing - even though it was only 1.9%.

Then came the evening races. Dear, oh dear, oh dear....

By this time I was feeling a lot happier than I had done this week and was looking forward to carrying on. I was soon to be put in my place.

All afternoon I had concentrated on the place markets. I had successfully spotted lots of large movements, though I didn't manage to get on them due to lack of confidence brought on by the past two days. Unfortunately, the place markets in the evening were hopeless. So after failing to get on anything in the 6:50 I switched my attention to the win markets for the next race at Dundalk. A big mistake.

Three races and half an hour later, I'd lost a fiver and I was down 6.8% on the day. I'm beginning to think I'm fated to never master the win markets. Possibly fated never to master the horses.

I'd get myself into a position where I was confident that the general trend was in a particular direction and I'd place my opening bid accordingly. As usual, the market would turn against me immediately and I'd get out for a two tick loss. The market would then immediately reverse back through my original entry point into what would've been a profitable position. So bloody frustrating.

Yet, when I forced myself to ignore the short term fluctuations, not take the two tick loss, expecting the market to follow the general trend it would simply carry on in the wrong direction and before I knew it, I was looking at a 5-10 tick loss.

I simply cannot read these win markets with any degree of confidence and I'm even more pissed off than I was yesterday. It's typical that things seem to be going belly up after my BinarySoft BDI trial has ended and I've forked out over £100 for a subscription!

So, where to from here?

I'm essentially going to go back to basics. I'm going to 'ring-fence' another £10 so that my stake level drops to £11.79. In essence, I'm starting again and I'm going to stick to the place markets where I built up my bank in the first place. I'm extremely disappointed that I'm doing this, but I feel it's a necessary step to protect my bank and get back on track. I just hate to think that I've wasted all that time.

Tennis Trading Update

Tennis... 13.7% profit. New bank... £19.23

While I take a little time out to get my horse trading head back in shape, I've been spending a little time on the tennis.

I haven't been using my Tennis Hedging Strategy, or at least, not as it is outlined in my previous post. Instead, I've been looking at something else which may prove more rewarding for less risk. I will not go into details here until I've spent a lot more time on it.

Still, I'm happy to report that after three matches, two last night and one this morning, my tennis bank has grown by another 13.7%. I was looking for more, but I missed the start of the Flipkens v Ani match in Estoril. Annoying, as my intended lay/back of Flipkens would've been matched after the first couple of games. The image below was taken when the score was 0-3 in the first set.


So this alternative version of the Tennis Hedging Strategy is looking promising. There's lots of tennis over the next few days so I'm hopeful that that particular bank will see some significant growth.

This afternoon I will spend some time watching the horse markets. I do not intend to launch into full trading mode but I will have BinarSoft BDI poised and ready, but with much reduced stakes. The aim though is not to trade, but to get my head back in gear with a view to getting my horse trading on track once again.

Hopefully, I'll have a further update later this evening.

Shell Shocked!

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 14.8% loss. New bank... £55.57

And the nightmare continues....

I've called it a day after only six races, four of which were losses. The other two were in profit but hardly enough to buy a packet of crisps!

The day got off to a particularly bad start in the first race of the afternoon where I lost £6.28 (9.6% of my bank). I never really recovered from that. Indeed, I'd not properly got my mind in gear after yesterday's disappointing performance. As a result, I should never have tried trading today.

The second race saw my losses mount to over 11% and I should've seen the signs and stopped then but I didn't. Determined to recover something I pushed on, earning a few pennies in the next two races and losing some on the fifth race of the day.

The sixth race was the last straw though taking another £2.47 from my account. That was the cue to jack it in.

I stuck to the place markets today, in the hope that I'd get back on track, but my confidence was shattered from yesterday and consequently my trading was severely impaired because of it.

I persistently found myself selecting the wrong horse to trade, where it looked as if it was going to move but didn't. When I spotted selections that were on the move I found it difficult to latch on to that movement because of the aftereffects of yesterday. As a result, I'd sit and watch as, tick after tick, the price marched on. I'd eventually pluck up the courage and place my bet and BAM! In the blink of an eye it turned against me.

I'm absolutely shattered mentally. Over the past two days I've lost 28.5% of my horse trading bank. I'm going to take a break from the horses for a couple of days to get my head back in gear and think through what I'm doing/have been doing. I cannot figure out in my head why there has been such a dramatic turn around in my horse trading skills after showing such improvement over the past two weeks.

There's a few tennis tournaments on at the moment so I think I'll concentrate on those over the next couple of days.

What A Mare

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 16.1% loss. New bank... £65.20

I've had to stop early this afternoon after a shocking set of trades that has resulted in my emotions starting to rule my head. After 5 out of 12 trades have gone completely awry for me today I've had to walk away before I do some serious damage to my bank. Not that a 16% loss isn't serious enough.

I settled down to carry out my plan to alternate between the win and place markets and everything started off smoothly with wins in the first two races.

My afternoon started to go to pot in the 2:30 win market. The market turned against me as soon as I place my opening bet - how often does that happen? I baled out with nearly a £5 loss. But I compounded the error by going in again to attempt some damage limitation only for me to misread the market again (I cannot get to grips with the win markets at all).

So, having lost over £7.00 in the space of a couple of minutes I abandoned my plan to alternate between markets and concentrate on the place market where I've been building up my bank since I started.

This worked well and I started to recover my situation over the next four races. That is until the 3:10 at Warwick. I did much the same thing in the place market: went in and lost then couldn't resist the temptation to try again. Another £5.57 down the drain.

I should've stopped there, but no. Further losses in the 3:50 place market and the 4:00 win market saw another fiver leave my account. That was when I managed to turn off BinarySoft BDI and walk away.

I'm not sure why I was misreading the markets so badly today but it is clear that my losses would not have been anywhere near as bad if I had not gone back in to try and retrieve my losing situations. I am so annoyed with myself as, time and time again, I have identified that as being an issue I have. Yet I have consistently failed to heed my own advice!

No doubt I'll be back later for the evening races. :-)

Today, I have effectively lost the last two days worth of trading gains. Bugger!

The Wrong Kind Of Bookends

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 3.1% profit. New bank... £77.68

It's always annoying to end the day, like yesterday, with a crap trade that suddenly takes a big chunk out of your hard earned profit, but to begin the day in the same manner is not good.

I settled down with the intention of repeating what I did yesterday, i.e. switch between win and place markets for each race. Although I recognise there may be issues with switching trading styles every 5 mins, it's important that I start becoming more involved in the win market as, ultimately, this is were I'll have to trade once my bank grows. I still don't want to abandon the place market as yet as this is where I've been making my money up until now.

So, off I went to the win market for the 1:50 and promptly lost £2.39 - 3.2% of my bank. Not a good start and not the best way to get in the correct frame of mind. I stopped to collect my thoughts and waited for the next race.

It's always useful I find to take a step back after a loss and not go jumping in again right away. Fortunately, there was a 20 min gap until next race which allowed my to compose myself. And it worked. I immediately got that money back and some more besides. This allowed me to settle down and get into a bit of a groove.

My plan to alternate between markets didn't materialise though as virtually every place market was severely devoid of cash. I only got involved in one place market today. So I spent the day playing in the win markets where I was doing quite well, until the 3:50 where I halved the profit I'd built up during the day. I was so disgusted with myself I decided to quite for the day, despite having my afternoon bookended by two losing trades.

Before I got involved in the 3:50 I kept telling myself to quit and be happy with a nice 7.0% profit, yet the inner demon in me kept urging me on. Obviously an emotional flaw that I will need to overcome.

So a £2.32 increase to the bank, but that represents a 3.1% profit and let's face it; that's a hell of a lot better than I'll get in a bank.

Tomorrow will be a day off for me as I'll be spending the day with a client though I might get back in time for the evening races, if there is any.

A Tale Of Two Markets

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 13.5% profit. New bank... £75.36
Tennis... 13.6% profit. New bank... £16.92

After yesterday's struggle I spent some time last night thinking about what to do next. Don't get me wrong. Yesterday's 2.5% loss was hardly a disaster but it was such emotional, brain sapping hard work that I felt it necessary to think about what I had been doing badly.

That process brought me round to thinking that perhaps I need to look at the win markets again. My experience of these so far has been somewhat hit and miss. But I've always been aware that I'll need to address these at some stage because as my bank grows, the liquidity in the place markets will become an issue. Indeed, I'm seeing signs of it already in some races.

The difficulty I've had with the win markets is that I find it very hard to separate the short term price fluctuations from the medium to long term ones. As a result, the large amounts of cash flying around, particularly within the last few minutes just makes me cross-eyed - no mean feat on a vertical ladder.

In addition, one of the areas I've identified where I have issues in the place market is one of boredom. For reasons of liquidity I like to wait until the last five minutes but I have to seriously control the urge to jump in earlier than that. As a result, I get bored, my mind wanders, or worse I end up trying to force trades that aren't there in some subconscious attempt to keep me occupied. I've even missed excellent movements, or indeed the race, because I'll go off and start browsing the web just to keep occupied and completely forget what I'm meant to be doing in the first place.

Then I hit on my cunning plan...

Avoid the big money that rushes into the win market in the last five minutes by trading with ten minutes to go. There's still plenty of liquidity for my meagre bank and certainly a lot more than in the place markets. Then, with five minutes left, switch to the place markets where I've been successfully building up my bank the past few weeks.

In the place markets, I tend to trade manually. I don't use stop losses and let my position ride as much as I dare. With the win markets, I decided to use some of the functionality of BinarySoft BDI. I still wouldn't use a stop loss, preferring to do that manually, but I'd use the software to automatically place my closing trade 1 tick away from my opening bid and I'd only leave the initial bid in the market for 5 secs or so.

And that is how I spent my afternoon. After yesterdays poor showing I was nearly 20% up by dinner time. Unfortunately, I threw a big chuck of that away in the first of the evening races at Wolverhampton at which point I decided to stop. I generally don't like ending on a losing trade, particularly one of that size, but I decide not risk my remaining profit from what had been a particularly intensive afternoon.

So, the graph is pointing back in the right direction again to the tune of 13.5%.

Bausch And Lomb Championship Tennis...

I used my Tennis Hedging Strategy in this competition once again entering at the quarter final stage. As mentioned in an earlier post I successfully hedged the first three quarters but I decided not to get involved in the fourth.

As before the plan was to put the return from these matches into the corresponding semi-finals but that didn't happen. I didn't realise that after Davenport's withdrawal the other semi-final was brought forward to 6:00. As a result I missed it. So that ends my involvement in the competition. One of these days I'll manage to do more than one round!

Still, a satisfying 13.6% profit to add to the tennis bank.

Tennis Hedging Strategy - Revisited

I've had a couple of friends ask me to explain the Tennis Hedging Strategy in more detail.

In essence, it is based on the fact that there is significant volatility in-play in virtually every tennis match and that, irrespective of the opening position you take at the start of the match the likelihood is that you'll be able to successfully hedge that position for a guaranteed profit - as long as you are not greedy. Check any graph towards the end of a match and you'll see the evidence.

Now, you can take that idea as is and look for a 20% profit, say, to level stakes. Based on the musings by Peter Webb, that first sparked my thinking, you'd have a high hit rate. You could obviously increase the hit rate by looking for smaller profit. Conversely, look for increased profit at the risk of reducing the hit rate.

All well and good so far. I wanted to take things a bit further, satisfy the inner gambler in me and look to increasing my return. The first thing that sprung to mind was to think of a tournament as one large bet, with each match being a component part of that. Throw in what I call a 'Rolling Accumulator' where the original stake and winnings are reinvested in subsequent bets and the Tennis Hedging Strategy was born.

So, I came up with the following guidelines:

1 - Decide the TOTAL amount of cash you'd be prepared to lose for the tournament. If I recall correctly, Peter Webb was saying that only around 10-15% of matches would fail longterm using this, essentially, blind technique. Still, you have to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
2 - Divide this total with the number of matches in the round which you wish to enter the competition. Keep in mind that if the total is a relatively small figure you may have to wait until later in the tournament due to the Betfair minimum bet of £2.
3 - Take the figure calculated in the step above and place your bet in each match of your desired round. Here's an important point; if you are laying first that figure should be your liability.
4 - Once the initial bet is matched, place a bet to close off the hedge ("down by the river" - geddit? LOL!) at the necessary odds and stake to guarantee your target profit. BinarySoft BDI makes this very easy by doing the calculations automatically. If placing this bet before the match starts make sure you use Betfair's 'Keep' facility so that it doesn't get canceled when the match goes in-play.
5 - After each match, the stake and the profit follows the winner into the next round where your stake will be a combination of the total return, including original stake, from two matches. The table below illustrates the progression through to the start of the final.
6 - If one hedge fails, then the stake for the match in the next round is the return from the other winning match.
7 - If both matches that feed the next round fail then that particular branch of the bet grinds to a halt.
8 - You do NOT need to bet on every match. Say, for example, I don't like the look of a particular match - like the Mauresmo v Cibulkova match last night - I simply ignore it. The stake that you would've used on that match is carried forward to the next round.
9 - At any time, you can withdraw some of your profit to protect your investment at the expense of reduced stakes in the next round.
10 - You can stop at any time. You do NOT need to keep reinvesting throughout the tournament.

Notes on the above table:
  1. The totals at the bottom of each stake column give you the return, including stakes after the previous rounds.
  2. The figures are based on a target of 20% profit and do NOT include commission.
That's it. I hope that is a little clearer, but obviously, if you have any questions just leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

I do have another variation on a theme but I'll leave that for another day.

Oh What A Shocker!

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 2.5% loss. New bank... £66.38

I knew I should've stayed in bed today. Twenty minutes before the first race I fired up BinarySoft BDI only to be told that my free trial had expired and I had to dig into my pocket. That's a shock I can tell you... (and you can keep your 'tight fisted Scotsman' jokes to yourselves - LOL).

I was hoping that my trading profit during my trial would've built up sufficiently to pay for my subscription but I haven't managed it. Still, I've seen enough of the software and been happy with my progress to bite the bullet and fork out for a six month subscription. I didn't think I'd get much trading done as the good folk at BinarySoft had to reactivate my account and I didn't know how long they'd take. But, give them credit, I got an email 5 mins later and I was live again in time for the start of the races. Excellent service.

Judging by the first two races, I wish they hadn't been quite so on the ball.

I started off scratching the first from what had been a reasonably profitable position. Then, in the 2:00 things went belly up. One thing I've learned from the place markets is that you need to take a slightly longer term view than the win markets. So if a trade goes against you, it will, most of the time come back. But to hold on take nerves of steel.

I laid 'Just The Lady' but it started coming in. No problem, the signs were that it would still drift. But it kept on shortening. I waited nearly three minutes and eventually got out with a loss of around eight ticks. Ouch!

That sapped the confidence somewhat and so, although I spotted it turning and drifting, I was reluctant, unable or fearful, to act - possibly a combination of all three. It carried on drifting past my original opening lay position so if I'd held my nerve a bit longer....

On reflection, I broke one of my cardinal rules. Never enter the market until around 5-6 mins before the off. On this occasion I'd jumped in with over 10 mins to go.

Anyway, I staged a stirring fightback and after the next four races I entered, I'd clawed all the losses back to within a few pence.... only for me to screw up the next race. Within in a blink of an eye I was more or less back to my original losing position. Very demoralising.

Still, I took a break, gathered my thoughts and got back in the trenches again. Four races later, I was within a few pence of recovering my position yet again. But lo and behold, the next race I screwed up again. Not as badly this time though so it wasn't quite as disastrous. But worse was to follow....

In the 5:00, 'Boundless Prospect' was trading around 1.20 in the place market but looked like it was about to drift. And sure enough it did and I got on it; twice for nice one tick profits which would've given me a 3% profit for the day. Why, oh why did I go in for another nibble? Needless to say I got my backside bitten and my lovely profit for that trade turned into an ugly loss of much the same magnitude.

Evening update....

I ventured into 5 races this evening and managed a profit in four, but one of them let me down. Still, I limited the damage for the day to a 2.5% loss so I've got to be happy with that considering the number of cock ups I had. What made the day all the more infuriating was that in between I had some nice trades. But I've still got to be concerned with my apparent inability to stop when I'm in profit. I MUST stop taking another bite as it's usually me that gets bitten.

Tennis update...

It's the quarter finals stage in the Bausch and Lomb Tournament and so I've been applying my Tennis Hedging Strategy once again. The first two quarters have made their profit (20% in the Cornet v Razzano match and 15% in the Sharapova v Bondare match - because I manually traded out early). I'm waiting for the Davenport v Szavay match to get under way though I've already traded out for a 7.0%ish profit. I have a lay order on Davenport at 1.57. Hopefully that will be matched shortly so that I can place a closing bet to make up the rest of the 20% target....

.... All done and dusted by 9:30.

My Pleasure Or Yours?

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 22.4% profit. New bank... £68.10

An excellent day, yet at 11am today it didn't look good.

First off, my Internet connection went down when I was in the middle of creating my previous post. Don't know why, but I was off-line for 20 mins or so. My broadband is supplied by Freeola and in the six years or so I've been with them this is only the second time it has gone down.

Anyway, given my somewhat intermittent trading times this week I was coming to the conclusion that today was going to be another frustrating day when my ADSL jumped back into life. So I spent the next hour or so clearing the decks in readiness for this afternoons trading when a client called at noon. All their machines had crashed - their words not mine. I spent the next 15 mins on the phone trying to resolve the issue and in the end decided an on-site visit was called for.

So off I went, disappointed that I was likely to miss much of the afternoon racing, but satisfied that I'd be able to charge them a hell of a lot more than I'd earn trading the geegees. I got there just before 1pm only to discover that the problem, whatever it was, had corrected itself. It must be my magnetic personality!

I spent sometime there trying to trace what the problem was, but couldn't find it. None of the various logs indicated any issues. All the network equipment was behaving itself and performing as it should. I hate that. Without knowing what it was, I cannot put measures in place to stop it happening again. One good thing though.... I was back by 2.45pm and ready for some trading.

But what about the trading?....

I got off to a nice steady start making profit in the first four races I entered. Then I took a bit of a step backward in the next three, but I was still in profit for the day despite not trading particularly well. I then got into a bit of a groove and slowly but surely built up my profit culminating in a piece of madness that fortunately I managed to get out of with something to show for it.

I'd switched to the 17:10 and whilst I waited for some liquidity I went and got myself a drink. Came back and spotted some nice movement going on so jumped in. I'd forgotten to note the time and as soon as my bet was matched, the race went in-running. Arrrgh! Panic time! It was a sprint as well so not much time but thankfully I managed to trade out with one of my better profits of the day. My word though, that doesn't half get the blood pumping!

So new mantra...
WATCH THE BLOODY CLOCK!

I took a short break but I should've stopped as my judgment was somewhat impaired and the next races I entered resulted in a scratch and a loss of half the profit that I was so fortunate to get in-running.

After dinner, I entered four of the evening races and came away with a tidy profit with some of the best trading I'd done all week, doubling what I'd earned all afternoon. The best of these was 'Your Pleasure' in the 19:50 at Kempton which drifted very nicely in the place market. So the pleasure was indeed all mine.

So, a total of 20 races traded today with 2 scratched and 3 losses resulting in a very healthy 22.4% profit.

One final word, and a complete change of topic...

Congratulations to Rangers on an excellent win in Lisbon against Sporting Lisbon - and that's from a Celtic fan!

Betting Blind For Profit

While I'm waiting for this afternoon's racing to begin I thought I'd hark back to my gambling days and ask the question: is it possible to blindly bet on favourites and profit longterm?

I've never been a horse racing fan. The idea of sitting down and ploughing through form figures and stats was the last thing I wanted to do each morning. (Bizarrely though, that's just what I used to do with my favoured sport of footy). Once I discovered Betfair though, my interest in the nags was kindled.

I was wasting away a few hours one afternoon exploring the Betfair site when I noticed a peculiar thing. It was amazing the number of times that a horse, in 6th or 7th in the Betfair coupon list went on to be placed. I was curious as to whether this was a one-off for the day, or if it happened on a regular basis. So I wound up spending a few weeks recording the results.

Sure enough, it happened a lot. But not enough to be profitable to level stakes. Still, I continued my studies.

I should point out that one of the kicks I get from this hobby is dreaming up weird and wonderful systems and staking plans. Indeed, I probably get more enjoyment out of finding patterns in statistics and thinking of ways to exploit them than actually gambling.

With this in mind, I came up with a selection system and recovery staking plan (which I won't go into details with this post) which, on paper, turned £1000 into nearly £500000 in three weeks (14 race days to be precise).

Yes, you read that correctly. £1K into £500K in three weeks.

It all crashed and burn in a prolonged losing streak. But that's not the point. I was re-investing ALL of that paper money simply to see how quickly the bank would grow. It was not representative of any real life money management.

I abandoned the plan for one simple reason. There's nowhere near the amount of liquidity in the place market to allow the system to work. Even less so when one considers that I was looking at horses that where a long way from being called favourite. Still it was a useful exercise which led me to turn my attention to the win markets and the race favourites.

More specifically, I was looking at whichever horse in the top two of the Betfair coupon list was favourite 2 mins before the off AND had odds of 3.5 or greater. This often meant that the selected horse was not the favourite at the time of the off.

The graph below shows the paper money profit/loss performance over a nine month period though I did have a break for nearly two months in the summer due to the World Cup 2006, holidays and other commitments.


Not a bad return for someone who didn't study form, trainer or jockey statistics, course conditions or anything else that may or may not influence the outcome of a race.

So, to answer my original question. Yes, it is possible to profit from blindly betting on favourites. You need a system/staking plan and something that I have never had... a decent sized bank to cover the inevitable losing streaks.

All Aboard The Rollercoaster

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 3.0% profit. New bank... £55.65

Such a disappointing day. For various reasons, I've struggled to get any quality trading time this week so I was really in the mood to get stuck in today. Yet, as I'm sure you know, the Betfair API was playing up before the first race so I couldn't load any horse markets in BinarySoft BDI. Consequently, I missed the first few races.

Once I got going, I was trading rather cautiously - as I always think it wise to do when there's been issues with the Betfair service. I don't know if that was subconsciously influencing my performance but I didn't seem to get in a groove or have any real confidence in what I was doing. Still, I was in profit for the day.

In the first four races I got involved in, I'd scratched, won, lost, won and this seemed to set the tone for the day. Indeed, when the 3:30 came along I had one of my best trades ever and the day was looking like a potential double percentage figure profit. Yet two races later I wiped it out with one of my worst ever trades.

I was trading 'Edelff' in the place market where it was hovering around the 1.60 mark. All the signs indicated it was going to drift. It didn't. It started to shorten and I quickly got out for a guaranteed loss. It soon settled back around 1.60 again. Once more, I was convinced it was going to drift so I jumped back in. You guessed it. It turned on me and once again I came out having doubled my original losing position. As there were 60 secs before the off, I decided to take my losses on the chin and leave the market.

I write down the results of each trade as I go along so you can imagine my frustration when I lift my head up and look at the screen to see the bloody animal had drifted way past my original opening position and continued to do so until the race went in-running. Grrrrrrrrr!

I composed myself and managed to claw a few pennies back in the next race but that was me finished for the day. The kids were home from school and I had to take my son to his football match so no opportunity to trade any more today.

So, given the circumstances, I'm happy with a 3.0% profit but once again, it is tinged with disappointment as what could've been. I'm getting the impression that that is an all too common state of being for a trader.

A Day Of Interruptions

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 5.3% profit. New bank... £54.01

Today turned into something of a non-event. Rather annoyingly so as it turns out, as I see from various website comments that the horse markets were particularly good for trading today.

I'd just settled down with my trading cap on preparing for the first race when my mum, sister and her sons announced a surprise visit. I had a quick foray into the 2:10 which ended in a scratch then I packed up before they arrived.

I managed to get going again in the 3:40 and 3:50 with decent enough profits and scratched the 4:20 by which time I had to stop again as my daughter had come home from school, despite the fact she's meant to go to her mother's on a Tuesday evening. She proceeded to pester me as she is currently upset because I refuse to let her have her navel pierced. As a result, I decided it would be safer to quit for the day.

I've just managed to nick a few pennies in the 6:10, but there's not much liquidity so that's me for the day.

So a total of 5.3% added to the pot which I'm happy with given that I only got involved in five races with two of them scratched. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get a decent run at it without the interruptions.

Clients. Who'd Have Them?

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 1.0% profit. New bank... £51.31

It never fails to amaze me how, given that personal computers have been with us for so long, some users just seem to be completely incapable of learning anything. It doesn't matter how many times you show some people how to do something, they always seem to require hand-holding. Quite frankly it's downright laziness on their part.

Anyway, I shouldn't complain as it's money for old rope. But I can hardly say I am technically challenged. So much for spending all that time and money becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

And just to add to my frustrating day, I come home to discover there's no evening racing. Bah! Humbug! I guess I'll have to do the housework instead now!

I did get home in time to catch the last two races. Managed to add 1% to the pile with the last race scratched. Not a huge increase by recent standards, but it all adds up I suppose.

Never mind, I'm at home tomorrow so there should be no problems with spending all afternoon in front of the computer.

A Grand National Day For Me

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 20.3% profit. New bank... £50.77
Tennis... 10.3% profit. New bank... £14.89

What a great day! I started the day with a scratch and a loss and finished it with a loss and a scratch, but in between I had some great trades. All in all, I got involved in 8 races today.

It's a funny old game this. All week I've been chastising myself for wasting good, profitable positions by being too greedy and trying to get a bite too many. Yet I did just that in the 3:20 at Lingfield and wound up with a 12% increase in my bank from that race alone.

The next race was much the same, with another big boost to the funds.

I didn't trade the races in the close run up to the National, or the big race itself. I did have a £2 punt on behalf of my mum on Mon Mome being placed. She's not a gambler, but she fancied a bet on the National as she picked up £33 with an e/w punt on Silver Birch last year. So I watched the race and cheered that on.

Although I only started this blog a week ago, my trading project has been running since the 23rd Feb. As is my want, I started on the horses with £10 and when staking I have used my full bank each time adjusting it accordingly after each race. (Someday, I must put up my profit performance graph). Anyway, now that I've reach the £50 mark, I'm going to ring fence that £10 so that I'm now playing with free money.

Psychologically, I feel taking something out is important. So every subsequent multiple of £50 I'll ring fence another £10. I'll keep doing this until my bank has built up to significant levels by which time my stake size will probably need adjusting anyway as the place markets in particular may not be able to handle large sums.

Finally, a quick mention on the tennis...

As explained in a previous post, I've been applying my tennis hedging strategy to the Sony Ericsson Open. Or at least trying too. I've only managed to hedge two of the quarter finals. The remaining games I've either missed or I've chickened out and scratched the trade. So, as far as this competition is concerned, I'll take what profit I've made (all 10% of it), add it to the bank and draw a line under it. The bank moves on to the next competition where I'll repeat the process.

That's it for another day. I may not get much trading done tomorrow as I usually go and watch my son play football though I may get back in time to catch the last few races. Monday will be missed as well as I will be spending the day with a client.

So, until next time, happy trading.

Why Am I Disappointed?

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 13.1% profit. New bank... £42.22

First off, a quick update on the Sony Ericsson Open from last night.....

If you recall, I'd laid Federer @ 1.23 and placed a back bet @ 1.30 to carry forward in-play. The plan was then to go to bed. If I had, everything would've been hunky dory.

Unfortunately, I was still up when the match started, so I thought I'd watch the market for a while. For nearly an hour, Federer's odds had barely moved so I decided to scratch the trade. No sooner had I done that his odds shot up to 1.70 and my 20% would've been made. He of course went on to lose 2-1 anyway and my hedge would've been successful, IF I'd stuck to the original plan.

To cap it all, I wasn't around for the start of the Nadal v Berdych semi-final so my tennis hedging strategy isn't working too well for this tournament, simply because I'm not getting the bets on!

Now, on to today's horse racing.....

Despite the excellent 13.1% increase in my racing bank, why do I still feel disappointed? There's two reasons.

First, I was still suffering a bit from what plagued me yesterday. Namely, not accepting what profit I had and going in for some more only to lose much of it. The worst manifestation of this came in the 3:30 at Southwell. I was trading 'Dodaa' in the place markets and was in a position to increase my bank by over 10% on this trade alone. But I went in for some more and came away with pennies.

Secondly, I was picking out significant, double figure, price movements really well but just couldn't get on them. Every time I placed my opening position just ahead of the market the market moved in front of me before I was matched. I do not have the confidence yet to jump ahead of the market by two or three ticks. I spent much of the afternoon chasing trends.

Even my toilet break conspired against me. I was sitting waiting for 'Mister Top Notch' to drift in the place market of the 4:55 at Aintree. It was stuck on evens, so I nipped to the loo only to find it had drifted out to 2.38 by the time I came back!

Most of my trades today were just earning pennies - though they all add up of course. It wasn't until the last few races that things picked up and the profit was boosted.

So there you have it. A good days work, yet I still feel disappointed. Still, one thing to be pleased with. Ten races traded and not one loser amongst them. That's a first.

A Frustrating Profit

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 3.7% profit. New bank... £37.34

I should be happy with a 3.7% profit on the day, but I'm not. I traded 7 races today, with 2 of them being small losses, but what was frustrating was the way I was throwing away good positions.

On four separate occasions I had got myself into good, greened up positions only to get greedy and go back in for another nibble and lose most, if not all of it. So today's mantra with which to send myself to sleep with is...
ACCEPT YOUR PROFIT AND STOP BEING GREEDY!

I missed much of the racing today due to family commitments, which also meant I missed the Davydenko v Tipsarevic quarter final in Miami. My liabilty for that would've been £3.37 which will now be carried forward to the semi-final where it will be combined with the result of the Federer v Roddick match.

I've laid Federer @ 1.23 with a back bet sitting at 1.30 to give me just over a 20% profit after commission. I'd imagine that that will be matched pretty early in the game, but I won't bother staying up to find out.

Back again for another installment tomorrow.

Sony Ericsson Open - Update

My late night venture into the second mens quarter final was successful. Always nice to wake up to a profit.

As mentioned yesterday, I'd laid Berdych @ 1.4 against Andreev and placed a back bet @ 1.53 that would be carried forward in-play as the match wasn't due to start until the small hours. Berdych won the match 2-0, but drifted early on and my hedge was closed within 15 minutes of the match starting.

So that's another 20% to carry forward to the semi-finals. Two more quarters to come later today but lots of racing before that....

Day 2 And Back On Track

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 16.3% profit. New bank... £35.86

Well, after yesterday's screw ups, I had a much better day today, not only recovering yesterday's losses but making a decent profit over and above that. A case of two steps forward, one step back. I don't care as long as the overall trend is up, that's all that matters.

I missed the first half of the afternoon as I took my daughter and one of her friends swimming. I got back in time for the 3:30, but, after yesterday's difficulty in reading the markets I decided just to sit and watch for a while. This clearly paid off as I traded quite well and was comfortable doing so.

I got involved in nine races all told, all in the place markets with 7 of them being winners. I took a biggish hit in the 8:20 at Kempton which knocked the headline figure back a bit. Still, a 16.3% increase in bank cannot be sniffed at. Wouldn't it be great if our banks increased at that rate every day? If only!

I'm also underway with the latest installment to my Tennis Hedging Strategy.

The mens competition has reached the quarter final stage in the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. I successfully laid Nadal @ 1.56 and came out with the desired 20% profit 40 mins later. That profit will be carried forward to the corresponding semi-final.

The second quarter final will get underway when I'm hopefully sound asleep, so I've already laid Berdych @ 1.4 looking to be matched at 1.53 for a 20% profit. I'll find out tomorrow if that is successful.

My tennis bank will be updated when I've finished my involvement in Miami.

Time for bed now. Next update tomorrow evening.

An Inauspicious Start

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 7.4% loss. New bank... £30.83

I guess it was bound to happen. I didn't get involved in too many races today, but when I did, I didn't feel comfortable in what I was doing. Psychologically, I may have been trading differently having made my plans for this blog known and as a result became too preoccupied with wanting to make a profit. It didn't help that my kids are still on their Easter break so my mind was elsewhere anyway.

The day started off pretty slowly and was perhaps a sign of things to come. Both the 14:20 and the 14:40 saw me exit with scratch trades. This was followed with small profits in the 14:50 and the 15:05, but to be honest, I was finding the place markets difficult to read today, for whatever reason.

I only got involved in two more races before I had to play taxi driver for my son. I really wish I hadn't bothered as in both the 15:15 and the 15:40 I got badly caught out by these bloody spoofers who chucked huge amounts into the place markets. Both times I managed to bale out with a 5 tick loss.

It's annoying in that I generally ignore these large amounts when they appear but on these two occasions they came in immediately after I had placed my opening position. Unfortunately for me, they took the market in the wrong direction.

So, a disappointing day with a 7.4% drop in the bank, but I'm sure I'll get that back soon enough. I think I need to be careful this week though, as I know I'll get pulled away on family matters so trading will, by necessity, be somewhat limited.

No more trading for me tonight. I'll settle down instead to watch the Roma v Man Utd game. Back again soon.