July Summary

I'm going to keep this as short as possible because, quite frankly, I'm really in a foul mood after what I did this evening.

Trading this afternoon was pretty steady and come dinner time I'd got myself up to £21 profit. Nothing spectacular, but given my typical daily returns for much of July, I was happy with this.

I settled down for the evening session with the first at Musselburgh - and threw £16 of that away. Absolutely disgusted with myself, I switched the computer off and went for a walk.

Unfortunately, my little jaunt in the summer rain has done nothing to clear my mood, so I've decided not to resume for this evening and preserve what little profit I had made.

So, how to summarise July?

Three words I think amply describe my feeling for this month: MUST DO BETTER!

Having earned more than £500 in June, I had great hopes for July, but today's performance has been all too typical of my trading this month. Yes, of course there has been some highlights such as reaching £1000 and posting my best ever daily result - but these have been few and far between.

Since breaking through the £1K barrier I've only managed to win a total of £134.45. That's an average of less than £8/day and even then, that's only thanks to that great result of £78 last Friday. My daily average over the whole month is under £11. Hardly meeting the minimum wage is it?

Quite honestly, I'd be better off getting a part time job. At least I'd get out the house and meet people instead of being locked away like a hermit.

Some time ago, I said I'd be delighted to win £100/week. Clearly, July has failed on that score as well.

A general malaise descended on my trading earlier in the month which I haven't been able to shake off. It has permeated my trading so completely, that I can honestly say I have not enjoyed it. I've come a long way since I started in February, but I feel now that I'm continually treading water and not moving forward. What's annoying me the most is I have no idea what has caused me to suddenly grind to a halt. It's all very frustrating.

I've got another week of trading to go, then I'll be taking a break. Hopefully then I'll be able to get my head in gear and see where I go from here. As far as this month goes, I'm glad to see the back of it.

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

I feel like the lion in 'The Wizard of Oz'. I have completely lost my courage and it's costing me decent profit every day.

Right from the off, when I first started this trading lark, I grew to recognise that having opened my position, if I held my nerve it invariably paid dividends. Since hitting the £1K mark, I seem to have turned into a quivering coward.

The trouble is, I'm not sure what has caused me to lose the courage of my convictions, but there is no doubt that it has gone. I hope I can find it again soon to save me spending long hours trading for little reward. It's becoming very frustrating.

I traded 24 races today, scratching 6 and losing 7 at a cost of £23.67 only to come away with a profit of £10.81. That's just not good enough.

I've stopped after the 7:00 as the evening markets are very quiet, particularly at Leicester.

Tomorrow, I'll have to tread carefully due to the planned API upgrade that Betfair have announced. I have no idea if BinarySoft BDI will still be working after it is complete. If it isn't, then my trading career will come to an abrupt halt for a while as there is no point in me subscribing to Bet Angel as I won't be trading anyway from the 9th - 17th Aug.

Just have to wait and see I suppose.

Another Wasted Day

I'll keep this short as I have an early start in the morning.

It seems that last Friday's excellent result was something of an aberration. I have fallen back into the small returns that have plagued me for much of this month. In the last three days, I've barely made £20.

I found the markets this afternoon to be very poor and, as I was not getting anywhere fast, I decided I'd try some experimentation. In particular, I wanted to test things out on runners that were hovering around evens in the place market. This is an area where I always seem to misjudge the movement. As this should be an excellent area to trade, I really need to get it sorted out.

I'm afraid to say, the jury is still out on that one as I lost as much as I won.

The evening racing was equally poor. I kept missing the important moves, or at least most of them. The ones that I did spot were being driven by small amounts of money which made me reluctant to join in fearing a collapse if I did so. I persevered until the 7:50 when I gave up trying and went to watch some TV instead.

I had identified two in-play hedges today but, disappointingly, hadn't earned any money pre-race so I wasn't able to get on 'Barnezet' in the 6:10 at Windsor and 'Linda Green' in the 7:40, also at Windsor. Annoying as they finished 2nd and 1st respectively. It is encouraging though that I'm still able to pick them.

All in all, I traded 18 races today, scratching 4 and losing 6 at a cost of £18.37. All for a profit of £4.53! Like I said - another wasted day.

I'll miss the first day at Goodwood as I'll be at a client's, though I should be able to manage some of the evening races - assuming I'm in the mood.

Have a good one.

My Daughter Will Be Pleased

Thanks mainly to the cracking result on Friday, my daughter will be getting £6 in pocket money for this week. Mind you, she's away to her mother's for a fortnight, so I won't tell if you don't. Oh, I'm a right mean old git! LOL!

Like yesterday, today was characterised by a severe lack of focus on my part. It took me ages to get going today as I was allowing myself to become distracted between races by browsing the net, reading blogs and generally not putting 100% into my trading. As a result, I missed many excellent movers which, under normal circumstances if I'd been paying attention, I would have latched on to. So I deserved all I got, or didn't get as it turned out.

It wasn't until the 3:40 that I started to string some decent trades together. Even then, it was slow and steady rather than anything spectacular. Still, by 5:00, I was some £20 up on the day which I was happy with considering my lack of attention at times.

I was due to go out at 5:45, so as there was 20 mins before the next race, I decided to go for a quick shower and catch the last two races afterwards.

That was a mistake as my concentration had gone when I came back. I threw away £8 in those last two races which completely spoiled the day.

The one pleasing thing today was the fact that I had another successful in-running hedge. Unfortunately I only managed £2.96 in pre-race trading which limited my input to £2 which I put on 'Siyabona' in the 4:00 at Ascot. I backed it at 3.45 and placed an in-running lay at 1.38 to guarantee me a £3 profit on that runner.

I am very encouraged by these in-play hedges and only wish I could make a bit more pre-race to fund them.

I traded 18 races today, scratching 6 and losing 3 at a cost of £8.91. So the results promised by Friday's performance simply didn't materialise over the weekend which is a big disappointment. Still, I earned £122 last week, which I'm more than happy with.

Even better, I've withdrawn £159.66 which takes my account back to £1000. I think it's about time I started to benefit from my hard work so at the end of each week, I'll take out any funds over the £1K level.

Money Management Up To £1K

Sparked by a comment made by Nathan ('The Final Furlong') to an earlier thread, I thought I'd take this opportunity to expand on my money management techniques I used to grow £10 into £1000.

From what I've seen on other blogs, it seems to be conventional wisdom for traders to change their stake size based on the odds of the runner they are trading. So, for example, one might use £1000 at odds under 2.00, £500 where the odds are 2.00 - 4.00 and £200 for odds of 4.00 to 6.00 say. This is done due to the differences in tick sizes and how it effects the profit or loss for a given number of ticks.

In addition, the stake size refers to the traders liability when backing, but it refers to the backers liability when laying. This probably stems from the way Bet Angel is used where any successful trade creates a free bet on the selected runner. Greening up requires a further lay bet to be placed.

In BinarySoft BDI, there is no green up function. By default, the software automatically hedges by calculating the stake required to close the trade - whether that is green or red, it doesn't matter.

When I started out in February with that £10, my intention was to use all of my bank for each trade. The winnings (or losses) would then be added to the bank and that new value would be used in the next trade. By compounding like this I felt that my bank would grow at a reasonable rate and as it did so, my returns per trade would grow thereby making my bank grow faster. But, it still provided me with some breathing space as I learned the skills to successfully trade so that I was not risking huge amounts.

So each trade I did, my bank was my liability. This is important in that when I laid short odds runners - which, given I was operating in the place markets, happened more often than not - meant that the backers stake was often much higher than my liability. This is where my staking differs from the convention outlined above.

The compounding nature of my staking meant that my bank would grow exponentially - which is amply demonstrated in the graph I posted when I hit the £1000 mark. However, there were two limiting factors that reduced the rate of this growth:

1. Around the time my bank was building towards £50, there were numerous issues with Betfair. There had been a few crashes; there were many reports of refresh delays and bet submission problems; and Betfair themselves were making a number of changes to their systems. It struck me then that I was running the risk of losing my whole bank if I was caught out by Betfair going down or I had other connection issues.

In order to protect myself I decided to start ring-fencing some of my bank. I didn't want to take lots out, as this would severely impact the growth rate of the bank.

What I settled on was to reduce my stake by 1/5 every time the bank reached a multiple of 50. So, When my bank reached £50, my stake was reduced to £40 and my original £10 was ring-fenced, though it remained in the bank. I was playing with free money - whooohoo! When the bank reached £100, a further £20 was ring-fenced making my stake £70 and so on.

That was the original plan, but it didn't pan out as neatly as that. As I progressed along this journey, I had numerous wobbles where my confidence was severely dented. I found it beneficial to ring-fence further amounts thereby dropping my stake. I'd continue to trade as before, growing the stake as outlined above. There was no need to reset the stake once my confidence returned as it had grown back in any case.

2. The second issue that restricted the exponential growth rate was one of liquidity in the place markets. As my staking approached the £100 mark, I found it difficult at times to get fully matched - or worse, to get out of trades. As a result, the compounding of my stake essentially stopped.

I still compound my stake during the day, but the following day, I don't continue from where I left off. Now that my bank has passed the £1000 point, my liabilities are stuck around the £80-£120 at the start of each day. The highest they've ever been is £150. If I ever figure out how to trade the win markets then that might change.

Many traders will use a significant portion of their bank in each trade. This makes sense. One might as well put that money to work each time. I do not do that, not in the fast paced world of horse racing markets anyway. I'm not willing to have a liability of much more than 10% simply because I have no other way of protecting my bank in the event of some failure in the communication chain between me and Betfair. Doing this, allows me to continue the fight in the event of disaster.

So, there you have it. How I managed my money from £10 to £1000.

An Eventful Non-event

Today was something of a non-event, though it was certainly eventful.

I'd got myself prepared and settled for this afternoon's racing and had started quite steadily when my son arrived for a surprise visit shortly after 2:00. As a result, I missed much of the afternoon session.

I managed to get back for the last few races and, as I moved into the evening session had got myself back into the swing of things. Come 6:20, I was into double figures which I was quite pleased with given the few races I'd actually managed to trade. Unfortunately, I wiped all my day's profit out in the 6:35.

With 15 mins in between races, I'd been taking the opportunity to chat with Leon at Don't Give Up Your Day Job on MSN. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I spotted 'Talk Of Saafend' starting to drift, but I failed to spot that there was nearly 10 mins left on the clock. Rather than stop and take stock, I jumped straight in at 1.50 only to be swept aside by a large sum going in the opposite direction. I waited a bit to see if it would disappear, as they so often do, but support money started to arrive behind it so I decided to get out at 1.45 and a guaranteed loss of £10.90. Ouch!

I managed to retrieve a small amount on other runners, but the damage was done. Annoyingly and as so often is the case when I get caught like this, if I had held my nerve, the price came back again. However, it didn't do so until the last 60-90 secs. That would've been a long time to hold my nerve. Still, if I had been able to do so up until the off, I'd have been looking at a double figure profit rather than a double figure loss.

I let this lack of concentration screw up my head a bit causing me to lose another £9 over the next two races and I suddenly found myself some £9 down on the day. Fortunately, over the next 3 races, I managed to get myself back in profit, albeit just, at which point I quit for the day.

I traded 19 races today, scratching 7 and losing £20.62 over 4 with virtually all of that as a direct result of not staying fully focussed on what I was meant to be doing. So, an eventful day, effectively scratched and a bit of a comedown from yesterday. However, I've got to be happy with that as it could've been much worse.

Not Before Time!

Today has been so satisfying on so many different levels, it's difficult for me to know where to begin. I might as well start at the beginning I suppose...

One of the things I'm acutely aware of is how unfit I am. I've had trouble with my weight for some time and I'm very conscious of the fact that I've been piling it on in recent months. On going health issues make it extremely easy for me to make excuses not to do things - but they are just that; excuses. So I've decided to start doing something about it.

After spending an hour tidying up the house this morning, I went for a three mile walk. It's a walk I used to do at least 4 times every week, but I've got out of the habit and have rarely done it in the past 12 months. I really enjoyed it and, dare I say it, it set my mind up for the trading in the afternoon - as you can probably guess from the screenshot below.

Rather than give a blow-by-blow account of my trading today, I thought I'd spend some time discussing why I suddenly managed to outstrip my daily record by some margin, having spent much of the past fortnight struggling to get anywhere. Indeed, today's profit is more than 4 times what I've earned since passing the £1000 mark nearly two weeks ago.

For whatever reason, everything about today was different compared to recent days. I was relaxed and not in the least bit concerned about todays trading. In fact, I was really looking forward to it. I really do think that going for that walk had a lot to do with that.

Looking back over my days trading, I do not believe I was trading any differently than I normally do other than being much more confident. However, there is one glaring difference when I think back to other days when I've struggled. I traded in 32 races today and scratched 15 of them with only 1 small loss of £1.39 and therein lies the answer I believe.

Not the fact that I only had 1 loss, but the fact that I scratched nearly 50% of the races I entered. By extension I guess, this is why I had so few losing trades.

One of the things I have castigated myself for many times, as documented throughout this blog, is the fact that I throw away a large part of my profit. Despite posting profits of £30-£50 on a regular basis, I'm also posting the cost of losing trades of £20-£40. In other words, I am regularly making profitable trades that collectively approach today's total, but wasting it by having quite a few losers as well.

Today was completely different and was within a gnat's ball hair of being a loss free day.

Those scratched trades are interesting in themselves. In the past when I've scratched a lot of trades, I've become more and more frustrated as I haven't been making any money. As a result, I make mistakes, enter markets that I shouldn't and try and force trades that simply are not there. The fact that I was able to keep my discipline when, for long periods, I wasn't realising any profit is another reason to be very satisfied with my performance today.

Another area that gave me some satisfaction today was the way in which I stuck to my reading of the markets and had the courage of my convictions. This was true throughout the day, especially in the last two races where I made £34 in the last ten minutes of the day. But strangely, it is a scratched race that gives me the greatest pleasure of this.

On three different runners in the 7:20 at Chepstow I was caught out by a significant jump with large sums as soon as I entered the market. On each occasion, I held my ground. These sums, despite potentially putting me some 10 ticks in the red, where isolated. Even though they were of sums much larger than that on my side of the market, I was convinced they would disappear. Sure enough they did and the market came back to my position where I was able to scratch.

If I'd been sharper and much more on the ball, I should've taken those jumps on, but I wasn't and I didn't. I was happy to scratch so I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

Some satisfaction was also had in a couple of in-play hedges using the technique I outlined in yesterday's post. My only disappointment came in the 7:00 at York. Having got my self some £2.50 in pre-race trading profit, I stuck £2 on 'Perpetually' @ 4.70 and placed a closing trade at 1.40. When the race went in play though, I bottled it and moved my closing trade to 2.24. The horse won at an SP of 11/1 but I only got an extra £2 out of it. Hey Ho!

Unfortunately, I didn't fancy any of the horses in the last two where I'd made significant sums, otherwise I would've stuck more than £2 on in-running.

So, there you have it. I VERY satisfying day where I've broken my record profit for a day's trading; I've posted my best ever individual trade, albeit it just; and most importantly, I traded like I should always be trading - full of confidence.

All I need to do now is carry that confidence forward into the coming days, but I think I'll be starting with a walk in the morning.

In-running Hedging In The Place Markets

I got home from work in time for the evening session, but due to the delays at Folkestone and Kempton, I decided to quit for the night as the markets were pretty messed up. Also, as I have no pictures, and I don't particularly trust Betfair Radio, I didn't want to risk inadvertently going in-running. I made a small amount in the first two races which I'll add to tomorrow's total.

In the meantime, I thought I'd take the opportunity to answer a question that 'The Final Furlong' posted in a comment a couple of days ago.

Before I do, I think it worthwhile to provide some background information which will help to illustrate where I'm coming from.

Way back in the dim and distant past I tried trading the win market - first with using Bet Angel Basic, then a few months later, Bet Angel Pro. I understood the theory and, using minimum stakes, set about conquering the world.... I sucked. I would win consistently on minimum stakes but whenever I increased my stake, by even a small amount, it all went pear-shaped. In the end, disheartened, I gave up.

There were many reasons for this, not least of which was my lack of discipline. I'd frequently let trades go in-running; I'd lapse into gambling mode and be totally incapable of protecting my bank. In essence, my head wasn't in the right place to be able to handle the emotional pressures of trading.

I came back to trading after a very poor year gambling on soccer. Indeed, my 2007 performance made me almost give up on betting altogether, but I thought I'd give trading one last try. I put £250 in my Betfair account in February and promised myself that once it was gone, that was it. In actual fact, I took, £175 back out again after the first bet I placed using BinarySoft BDI left me with a huge liability that I wasn't expecting - but that's another story. Most of the remaining £75 was wasted as I got the gambler out of my system and the rest, as they say, is history.

I was determined to do it properly this time and chose the place markets in the, albeit somewhat simplistic belief, that if I went in-running I'd have three chances of still winning. I know, that sounds rather naive now, but that was my think at the time, based on my previous experience of trading the pre-race horse markets.

I've never been keen on 1 tick scalping. Starting off with £10, I hardly had the bank to make it worthwhile. Now that I've built my bank up, I will not use more than 10% of my bank in any one trade. I'd argue that it still isn't worth my time even though my bank is now over £1000. The reason for this is simply one of protecting the bank. In essence, the most I am prepared to lose at any one time is 10%. This allows me to carry on the fight in the event of something happening outwith my control, such as Betfair going down, connection failure and so on.

Because of my general aversion to 1 tick scalping, it was always my intention to ultimately get into trading in-running for the reasons outlined above - more ticks for less outlay. I should emphasise at this point that I treat pre-race trading and in-running trading as two completely separate disciplines and never the two shall meet.

However, there have been three things holding me back from getting into in-running trading:

1. With any in-running trading, irrespective of the sport, I think it absolutely imperative that one has some knowledge of form. Sadly, as far as the geegees are concerned, I do not know one end of a horse from the other. To be honest, I find it difficult to find the time to learn so I'd have to rely on other sources, which, by definition, would limit any edge I might have.

2. As indicated above, I have no intention of using my bank to gamble. If I wish to do any in-running trading, it will have to be done with money that I earn on that race through trading the pre-race markets. So even if there was a very strong candidate for an in-running play, if I haven't made anything pre-race, I ignore it. As you will have seen, even on a good day, my average profit per pre-race trade is barely £3. Consequently, I haven't been generating the cash needed to trade in-running anyway, particularly this month.

Having said that, I do not exclude sometime in the future, developing a strategy specifically for in-running trading. In that event, I'd have a dedicated bank assigned just for that purpose.

3. As I've discovered, there's no money available in the place markets during the race which obviously restricts trading opportunities. The money doesn't really start coming in until near the end of the race when the places are pretty much settled. In otherwords, one might as well just back the prefered runner to place and be done with it. Actually, that's not entirely true. What you must be confident of is that your chosen runner has a damn good chance of getting placed otherwise you'll never have an opportunity to trade out. What I'm trying to get at is, there's no point in trading out for a 10 tick profit. Instead, it's better to set your trade out point pretty damn low and go for a decent return. If your trade is gonna be successfully closed out at 10 ticks, in all likelihood it would be succesfully closed out at 50 or more.

Now, onto TFF's questions...

To recap, he asked the following:

Can I just ask, I presume that from you trading the pre race markets to secure profit for inrunning trading that you stake a lot heavier pre race, than you do when the race is off.
Also are you looking for a much smaller price swing when the race is being run than you do pre-race in order to maintain most of your profit from your pre race trading, as your trading on follow the band would indicate a different method?

In answer to your first question, yes. My staking pre-race currently varies from a liability of £80-120. From that, I'd be looking at getting a profit of at least £5 before I'd think about carrying that over in-running. In actual fact, I wouldn't use all of it so that I'm guaranteed at least a small profit.

Now, one might argue, what's the point in taking such a small amount in-running? Well, and this goes to answer your second question, I'd be looking to at least double that money that I take in-running so that, assuming the play is successful, my overall profit from the race is significantly increased in percentage terms. To do this, I'm looking for a much larger swing in-running than I would be doing pre-race, simply because the stake levels are so much smaller. If I can do this 4 or 5 times a day, that would make a significant difference to my daily total.

Unfortunately, I'm just not consistent enough in making pre-race profit at the moment to do any more than the occasional in-running play.

It's worth pointing out that I am not trading in-running. As I mentioned above, in-running trading is actually quite difficult in the place market due to lack of liquidity. As a result, it is virtually impossible to react to the market.

What I do is hedge - and I make the distinction from in-play trading. Having got my pre-race profit, and chosen my preferred runner, I will back that runner at the current odds before the off. I will then place a closing lay at odds that will guarantee to at least double my money from that opening bet. I configure this as a 'keep' bet that goes in play when the market re-opens after the off. To do this, I never back a horse that is trading less than 2.5 pre-race. Preferrably , it should be better than 3.00.

So, there you have it. By using a proportion of any pre-race profit, I can guarantee a small profit on the race, with the promise of increasing my pre-race trading profit by at least 50% if the in-play hedge is successful.

I hope this answers your question TFF and you didn't fall asleep reading that lot before you got to it.

How Should Success Be Measured?

I'm pretty tired just now and as I've got to go to a client tomorrow and could do with an early night, I'll try and keep this short.

Today, I traded 29 races, scratching 12 and losing on 6 at a cost of £25.55. I came away with a profit of £11.17 and to be honest, I've got to be pretty pleased with that. Strange, given how low that profit is. It's not that different from the poor results I've posted for nearly two weeks now. However, given the mess I got myself into mid-afternoon, it's down right brilliant!

Having got myself more than £5 up after the first 4 races, two of which I scratched, I then proceeded to lose £10 in the 2:40 and a further £7 in the next. This screwed with my head so much that by the time I was finished with the 4:10, I was quickly approaching being £20 down on the day.

Over the months I've been doing this in the place markets, there are two types of races that I've always had difficulty with:

1. Where there is a very short favourite which tends to suck up all the money making it difficult to trade other runners. The odds on the favourite don't change that much either, so trading that is difficult, but that doesn't stop me trying - always to my cost.

2. Where a runner is hovering around evens. This should be a great area to trade, yet virtually every time I try, I get it wrong.

Over the months, I've learned to avoid these scenarios - so you'd think. Why then do I keep letting myself be drawn to these like a moth to a flame?

It was the first of these conditions that grabbed me by the short and curlies today. To fall into that trap and lose £10 as a result was bad enough, but to repeat the error in the very next race was unforgivable.

Anyway, I'm supposed to be keeping this short...

With my head in a mess, I was very close to packing it in for the day. Fortunately, I managed to keep a firm grip on my rattle and by the last race of the afternoon, with thanks to some good trading and another in-running hedge, I'd got myself within a £1 of being level.

Given the mess I was in only an hour or so earlier, I've got to call that a success.

Buoyed by this recovery, I set about some steady trading in the evening, in between doing other things and managed to get myself over £11 in profit.

So yes, I am delighted to have posted any kind of profit today. Equally, I am very pleased with the way I traded with the exception of those two cock ups. So much so, that I'm actually looking forward to the next session for a change. This may not be until Friday due to work commitments tomorrow.

Right, off to bed...

Same Old Story

More and more I am getting the feeling that I am wasting my time. It's not that long ago, that I was saying that earning the minimum wage would be an achievement - and I was happy when I started to do so. Now I am regularly struggling to make that hourly wage in a day.

I'm still being plagued by the very bad habit of winning nicely on one race, then immediately giving it back again on the next. None more so than this afternoon, where I started off by scratching the first 4 races. I then opened my account with a satisfying £6.72 profit. Unfortunately, I followed that up by finding myself £2.50 down in the next which I then made worse by continually going back in to retrieve the situation. I finally saw sense when I was nearly £10 down and I moved on to the next race.

I continued to trade blows like that only to end the afternoon with the staggering profit of 71 pence! Even then, this was only managed thanks to me taking a free bet in the 5:10 at Salisbury.

It has always been my intention to bet/hedge/trade in the place markets with a view to boosting profits. However, I was only ever going to do it if I was able to generate enough pre-race trading profit in the race concerned. So, generally speaking, I haven't been able to create enough cash to allow me to do this - certainly not in recent weeks anyway.

Fortunately, the 5:10 saw me amass nearly £6 so I decided to put £2 of that on 'Follow The Band' which was trading at 7.80. I immediately placed a corresponding lay bet at 1.86 to guarantee me more than £6 from that runner alone - if it was matched. Not long into the race, most of my lay was taken giving me a minimum return of more than £4 over and above the money I'd already got on other runners.

The evening session went a bit better for me, up to a point. I immediately started stringing a few decent trades together and after the first 5 races was £15 or so up on the day. I then hit a run of three losing races which saw me halve that. At that point I decided not to risk what was remaining and called it a night.

I traded 19 markets today, scratching 5 and losing 7 at a cost of £24.01. Over 5 hours spent to gain just £7.76. It seems an absolute eternity since I last had a decent day and didn't feel that I was wasting my time. There's always tomorrow...

BinarySoft Source Code For Sale

I, like all the other BinarySoft BDI users (presumably), received an email at the weekend offering the BDI source code for sale for personal use only.

As I've discussed before on this blog, I'm a Linux user and BinarySoft BDI is, as far as I am aware, the only Betfair trading software that will run natively on my chosen operation system. So, the opportunity to purchase the source code and develop it further for my own private use was very tempting.

Although I run my own IT support business, BetamicroSolutions, and I have done my fair share of programming in VBA, ASP and so on, I wouldn't describe myself as a programmer. Neither am I up to speed in JAVA - the programming language that BDI is coded in - and unfortunately, do not have the time or the inclination to attain that knowledge and skill.

There is also an issue with the Betfair API license. I confess, I haven't looked into it in great detail, but my understanding is that for personal use, there are two options. The first gives full access and costs some £200 per month according to the Betfair Developers site. There is a free version for personal use, but my understanding is that it is restricted. How that will effect the performance of BDI, I do not know, but it is clear that there is a certain amount of throttling on the API calls.

This, coupled with the fact that my trading does not produce the level of income that would justify the expense means that I am unable to take up the offer of purchasing the BDI source code, more's the pity, and will continue my investigation of using another trading software solution.

My preferred option, if I had had one, would've been that BinarySoft, as a company, had been sold as a going concern, or at least the software had been sold to someone/some company who would have been able to continue with the development and marketing of this excellent product. Chris, at BinarySoft, has, it seems, chosen not to do this and I respect his decision, though I am obviously disappointed that BDI is dying a death as a commercially available product.

Missed Opportunities Abound

I was in profit today - by a few pounds at least, which makes a pleasant change. I won't be buying an Aston Martin any time soon, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!

I missed the latter half of the afternoon session as I had a prior commitment, but the six races I did manage to get involved in were characterised by missed opportunities. I saw many a good move this afternoon, but the lack of confidence I've been suffering from of late meant that I was unable, or unwilling to jump on them.

My trading was mediocre to say the least - winning some then giving it away. I lack the courage to hold my position, even though I'm certain of the direction of the move. As a result, I was taking profit way too early and equally, taking a loss when the market momentarily turned against me. I missed out on so much profit this afternoon because of that lack of commitment.

The evening session was a bit better, in that I was a little braver going in there, but I was still far too keen to take a loss, even though it was clear the market would go back in my direction. Consequently, I spent the evening winning a few pounds on one race, then giving it all back again in the next.

I traded 17 markets today, scratching 4 and losing £13.10 over 5 races. I stayed away from the win markets as far as trading was concerned, though I did spend a little time watching the market develop in a couple.

I really could do with a break. The weekend of the 9th-10th August sees the British Superbikes come to my local circuit, Knockhill. The weekend after, the British Touring Car Championship arrives. I've got tickets for both. In between, I intend to go camping with my daughter so I'll have plenty time off to relax and reflect on where I go now.

In the meantime, my daughter is about to go away for two and a half weeks so I'm going to concentrate on trading the place markets and try and get myself back on track.

Where's My Pocket Money?

I wasn't going to trade today because I'm really struggling to pick up any momentum as I discussed yesterday. However, having reached £1000 I'd agreed with my daughter that she could have 5% of my weekly winnings as pocket money. With my trading being so bad this week, she was in line for the staggering sum of 7.5 pence! Consequently, I felt obliged to try and get her some more.

Well, I lost £5.99 so she owes me pocket money! LOL!

Today didn't get off to a good start. I was immediately down over £6 after the first race and this just set me off. I was super hesitant in the next few races and didn't get involved. I managed to claw £1 back then I lost over £8 in the 3rd race I entered. £13 down within the hour! Given my state of mind and my lack of enthusiasm, I was never going to get all that back.

I skipped from race to race, unable to spot anything and when I did, I was unable or unwilling to get involved. I lost a further £5 in another two races and I was getting to the point where I was past caring.

I did manage to pull a fair bit back, not through trading, but by backing the odd runner to place using some pre-race trading profit. This served to more than double my winnings in those races.

I even tried the win markets again, this time taking Leon's advice and not getting involved until 2-3 mins before the off. I won on two and lost one so for once I was in profit in those markets, but I cannot say I enjoyed the experience.

So an end to an extremely difficult week and one which I'm glad to see the back off. The trouble is, the whole of July has been difficult so I cannot say I'm holding out much hope for next week.

Hitting A Brick Wall

I just do not know what to do at the moment. I am having great difficulty moving forward in the place markets but whenever I try the win markets, I lose money faster than the Royal Mint can print it.

Today didn't start off too well in that I was down some £6 after the first 4 races. Not a lot, but it was the manner in which I was losing it that was cause for concern. I just couldn't seem to get on any moves. The market would collapse behind me as soon as I'd entered my opening position. I simply couldn't read the markets at all this afternoon. This, coupled with the fact that I wasn't particularly interested (and that interest was disappearing fast) made me decide to quit.

Having managed to turn £10 into £1000 in recent months, I have learned that sometimes the best thing to do is walk away. So I switched off the PC and watched some of the British Open instead.

I didn't return to the fray until after 4:00 when I managed to get myself into profit by nearly £12. I should've accepted that and taken the rest of the night off. Unfortunately, I seem to be making a habit of ignoring my own advice.

I've managed to get involved in one race this evening, and it bit me on the bottom so hard, I packed it in again.

There was no movement in the place markets tonight, so I thought I'd try the win markets yet again. The first couple of races were pretty non-eventful so I didn't get involved. The 6:40 was a different matter however.

I'd been keeping my eye on 'Titus Andronicus' which was trading as 3rd favourite at the time. The favourite was drifting slightly and the 2nd fav had stalled. 'Titus' had come in slightly and looked like it would continue so I backed it for £100 @ 4:30. As soon as my bet was matched, the market jumped against me big time. Why oh why does the market never seem to jump in my favour?

The jump was virtually instantaneous. I tried laying off at 5.10 but only £5.84 of my bet was matched. I got fully out at 5.50 for £72.77 and a guaranteed loss of £21.39.

So I'm down nearly £10 on the day. Again, not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, but it's my head that is getting screwed up. I just do not understand the win markets at all. In the place markets I can predict, with some degree of confidence, when a jump is going to happen. In the win markets, I cannot - other than to say it will go against me. I CAN guarantee that.

I am feeling somewhat demoralised at the moment. I am not making the headway in the place markets this month as I did in May and June. This is nothing to do with stake sizes. I haven't increased my stakes since the beginning of June. I think it is more fundamental than that. Something has changed in the way I'm trying to trade the place markets. Something that just isn't working.

This lack of progress has led me to think that I should be in the win markets. Yet time and time again I mess those up. Each time I venture there, I come away more demoralised than before making me less and less willing to go back there again.

At the moment, I am at a bit of a loss as to how I knock down this metaphoric brick wall. That in itself is badly effecting my trading.

Pennies For Profit

What a wasted day. The grand sum of 46 pence profit which is hardly worth changing the monthly total for.

There were early signs that today was going to be a difficult one. I lost in the first four races and it wasn't until the 2:45 that I actually put a decent trade together. Unfortunately, that didn't see the start of a good run. Rather I embarked on a serious of races, in between those I scratched, where I'd make some profit then immediately give away virtually the same amount in the next race. This was the case irrespective of the initial profit I'd made.

I was heading for a loss this afternoon when I finally managed to put in a good trade in the very last race of the session with a greened up profit of £12 as 'Cee Cee Rider' drifted out. This win, saw me in profit to the tune of £2 for the afternoon.

For much of this afternoon's session I was gambling rather than trading. I was placing my opening trade in the hope, rather than the expectation, that the price would move in my favour. Trying to force trades like that simply doesn't work, yet I kept on doing it.

Unfortunately, the evening session wasn't much better and when I started swapping profit and loss in the first couple of races I decided I'd try my luck in the win markets. I know, I know. Not my area of expertise, but I haven't been doing that great in the place markets either of late, so I thought 'what the hell'.

I went in using a stake of £100 with the intention of scalping a tick, possibly two, then getting out. Things went reasonably well. I was averaging around £2/race and had got myself some £11 in profit when the fateful 7:25 came along. This was one of those races where the head is screaming that it should be left alone, yet I try it anyway.

I was trading the favourite, 'Guest Connections' and had got myself into a profitable position when I was hit by a jump in the market before my closing trade was matched. I waited a bit to see if the price would reverse, but it held firm and I decided to trade out for a loss of £8.

I then switched to 'Obe One' only to be caught out in exactly the same way resulting in a loss of almost £4. That put me more or less even for the day at which point I decided to quit. I'd found that hour or so in the win markets incredibly tense and draining. Consequently, with this loss, I felt that quiting for the night was the sensible thing to do.

I traded 25 markets today, scratching 6 and losing 8 at a cost of £41.78. With losses like that, it's a small miracle that I came out essentially even for today's efforts. Very frustrating, but it sums up what a difficult month I have found July to be. I do hope I can find some consistency soon.

My Comfort Blanket

After giving myself a fright yesterday afternoon trying the win markets, my already fragile confidence took a bit of a hammering. As a result, today I thought it prudent to reach for my comfort blanket in the shape of the place markets.

I did have a couple of trips to the win markets, but only for pennies and both were effectively scratched.

In all I traded 36 markets today, scratching 11 and losing on 5 at a cost of £19.31. I managed a profit of £35.87 today, which came as a welcome relief after the poor showings I've had since passing the £1000 mark last Saturday.

Of those 5 losses, four of them were really annoying. The biggest, at £8 was lack of discipline on my part. I was trading 'Bauhaus' in the 2:30 and quickly found myself in the red by a couple of quid. I just misread the market on that one. It happens - no big deal. My mistake though was to repeatedly go back in to retrieve the situation as if I was suddenly able to read that market perfectly. As so often is the case, it just made matters worse.

I was fine for the rest of the afternoon until the last two races before dinner time. I lost nearly a fiver in those, but one in particular was really stupid.

I'm still using BinarySoft and it allows you to center the ladder around the last traded price by right-clicking anywhere on the ladder. I inadvertently left-clicked and as the mouse pointer was sitting over the bet placement column of the ladder - in went my bet. As is the way when the gambling gods are having a laugh, it was on the wrong side for the trend that was happening at the time. Ooops! I managed to get out for a loss of £2.94.

That momentary lapse of concentration, coupled with a twitchy index finger was one of these things. But I went and did exactly the same thing in the 8:30 for a loss of another £3 or so. Now the first time was silly, but to do it again was just plain carelessness.

The final annoying loss of the day came in the 6:30 when I had backed 'Bond Becks' for £118 @ 3.05. No sooner had I placed my bet when BinarySoft lost it's connection. Mad panic ensued while I checked my Internet connection. I couldn't access the Betfair site, yet other websites were OK. To cut a long story short, I got BDI reconnected 5 minutes later where I managed to trade out @ 3.15 and a loss of nearly £4. Not the most comfortable 5 minutes I've ever spent.

These little wobbles aside, I was very pleased the way I traded today. I didn't have any spectacular trades but kept it nice and steady throughout. Neither did I suffer any of the doubts I'd been having since the weekend so long may it continue.

That Was A Stupid Idea

So much for venturing into the win markets today.

Despite cutting my stake to £50, I found myself nearly £15 down after the first five races. I just cannot read these markets at all. No matter what my opening position was, I would immediately find myself at least 3 ticks in the red. This was just stressing me out so I quit the win markets and went back top my comfort zone that is the place markets.

This was a good move, initially, as I immediately started to claw back those losses. I had nearly recovered everything but the last hour has been a nightmare - which hasn't been helped by an increasingly intense headache, something I've been suffering from almost constantly for nearly a month.

It's only 4:55 and I've just finished a run of 4 races where I've thrown away nearly £18 so I've decided to stop for now. I've lost confidence completely and there's no point in throwing good money after bad. I may return in the evening if my headache dissipates, but to be honest, it might be better just to leave it completely.

That's me lost £21.53 this afternoon. This month is proving to be very difficult to pick up any momentum. So much for starting again.

Where To Now?

This is my first post in a few days, so I thought I'd better resurface and let you know what I've been up to.

First off, the eagle eyed among you will notice a few subtle changes to the layout of the blog. Specifically, I've set up a listbox on the left that will allow you to scroll through my monthly profit and loss figures. The listbox allows me to keep all the information compact without spoiling the layout of the sidebar on the right. In light of this, the value of my bank will no longer be monitored in this blog.

Since Saturday's success, I've been thinking about what to do with this blog. I had intended to change tact and get away from the daily updates detailing my performance - hence the monthly figures on the right. However, my performance over the past few days has been very poor - I'm down £12 or so from the highlights of Saturday - tells me I'm not ready to abandon the discipline of daily posting to this blog. So I shall be continuing with my daily castigations.

That's the blog sorted, but what of my trading. Where do I go from here?

Since Saturday, I've struggled in the place markets so I think it is time I made a concerted effort on the win markets. I spent this evening in the win markets and came away more or less even. I had three silly losses that cost me £32 but I was very pleased with the other races. So, time to spend more time in these markets where I will effectively be starting again - not from £10 though you'll be glad to hear. I'm going to take my liabilities down to £50 and slowly build them up as I did with the place markets.

Regarding BinarySoft BDI.

While I am learning the win markets, I do not think it sensible to abandon the application I am familiar with. So, while it is working, I shall carry on using it for a couple of months, or until such time that it shows signs of misbehaving. That may come sooner rather than later as it did have a strange glitch today.

However, I have been investigating the various options available to me as far as operating systems/trading software are concerned. As I've detailed previously, I'm going to be forced to use Windows due to the lack of suitable software for Linux. However, rather than abandon my preferred platform altogether, I've been investigating running Windows inside Linux in something known as a 'Virtual Box'.

It's nearly 4:00am as I type this and I've just spent the past 3 hours installing a Virtual Box in Linux, installing Windows XP in that, and installing various other bits of Windows applications. As you can see from the image below, I've got BetTrader Pro and Bet Angel Basic running in a Windows XP environment hosted in a Virtual Box. Since these run, there should be absolutely no reason why Bet Angel Pro wouldn't run - I just do not have it to test at the moment and I wasn't going to pay for the trial version. I'll subscribe once I'm happier in the win markets and certainly within the next two months or so.

So, based on this, carrying on trading and still using Linux is a definite goer, though obviously having a totally Linux based solution would be the ideal, it's unlikely to happen, more's the pity.

One final thought before I eventually hit the sack. Since I'm reducing my stake significantly, I think I may reduce my overall bank to £500 and treat myself to a new, large monitor. Part of the reason for this is the need to use Windows. My 1440 x 900 resolution widescreen monitor doesn't seem to have Windows XP display drivers. I just don't have these hassles with Linux.

That's it for now. I'm bushed but I'll be back tomorrow detailing how much money you lot have scalped off me.

Drum Roll Maestro If You Please

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 4.2% profit. New bank... £1039.47

Whoohoo! That's it! £10 to £1000 by trading the horse markets in Betfair. I won't bother going into details of todays trading. Suffice to say, the afternoon was exceptional and I came very close to a new daily record until I got a bit careless towards the end.

The evening session was spent doing a bit of experimentation in the place markets. The jury is still out on that one as I lost a little.

Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words as they say, so here's my horse trading bank progression since 23 Feb when I stared with £10 all the way through to today.

It took 122 trading days to get this far giving an average daily interest of 3.88%. Now, I don't know if that's good or bad, but a 10000% increase in my bank is good enough for me.

I've detailed every day of trading in this blog since the 1st of April. The main reason for writing the blog was to help me maintain my discipline. To that end, it has been successful. However, it has also provided a means for me to let off steam when I've screwed up and generally get things off my chest.

In addition, the constructive comments I've had from other traders has proved invaluable, particularly when I was overwhelmed by doubt and indecision and questioning my fledgling abilities. So I'd like to thank all those who have advised, encouraged and generally offered support throughout the past three and a half months. It is much appreciated. I hope I will be able to do the same as my experience grows.

I'm going to change the way I use the blog now. In detailing each trading day, it has served it's purpose. I want to expand it more now so that it becomes more of a general discussing of trading and betting. How that will pan out, I've no idea as I haven't fully thought it through yet.

I also want to decide where my trading goes from here. My gambling background is in football, and I'd like to get back into that. I'd also like to expand my trading skills into tennis - and I suppose there's those horrible win markets to consider. Keeping in mind that this was all meant to be a hobby!

My current thinking is to concentrate on the place markets for the time being as I do not think I have fully exhausted all possibilities there as yet. This will allow me to build up my bank still further, providing me with the funds to experiment in these other sports. Not to mention pay my daughter's pocket money at a rate of 5%!

That's enough for now. I'm away to bask in my own success. I'll carry on trading this week, though I could really do with a break, so do not worry if there are no updates over the next few days. Rest assured I'm not away spending all my winnings - not yet anyway.

Until next time...

Oh That Was So Damn Close!

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 5.5% profit. New bank... £997.34

5 pence short of equaling my daily record and £2.66 short of that magic 4 figure number. My Betfair account is actually just into 4 figures as I have some left over from my tennis trading bank, which hasn't been used for quite a few weeks as I concentrated on the horses.

I had a very good afternoon session, with only two losses totaling £6. The worst of those was in the third race of the day where I felt 'Yorgunnabelucky' was going to drift from the 1.19 it was trading at. Unfortunately for me, after placing my opening lay, it refused to move so I lost my bottle and took the £4.50 hit. As so often is the case, if I had had the courage of my convictions I would've been OK. It failed to place in the race either so that would've been a jolly nice lay - something I'll discuss another day.

The rest of the afternoon was fine. I was more than happy with my trading and finished for dinner some £27 up.

The evening session was altogether different in that, once again, I took the decision to venture into the win markets looking for a tick then switch to the place markets for that race. As per the last time I entered the win markets, I was losing twice as much as I was winning. The biggest of these came in the 7:55 at which point I decided to concentrate on the place markets. I had more or less kept myself all square up to that point thanks to the place markets.

I did however, change tact in the remaining place markets. In essence, I became much more aggressive; going for those runners that I felt were about to move and holding my position - even though the market initially resisted or turned against me. This paid dividends as I racked up some excellent trades in the last 90 mins making virtually all of my evening profit in this period.

All in all, I traded 42 markets (I still cannot believe that), scratching 14 for +/- £1 or less and losing only 6 at a cost of £18.73. A total of £52.50 for todays efforts equates to a 5.5% increase in the bank. It would've nice to get that little extra to take me through the £1000 mark, but there's plenty of races tomorrow.

My daughter will be please when I hit that landmark. I've agreed with her that once my bank is into 4 figures my trading will fund her pocket money. She's to get 5% of my weekly profit. I reckon she's going to be a future Chancellor.

So, a very good day trading wise, tempered by the news that BinarySoft are no longer developing the software, as I reported earlier. It seems that not only will I have to think about how I shall progress my trading and where I take this blog but more fundamentally, how I am going to go about trading in the first place.

BinarySoft Closes It's Doors

I've just received the following email from BinarySoft which is also displayed on their home page at www.binarysoft.co.uk:

Dear Alistair,

This is to let you know that BinarySoft no longer wish to promote betting/trading and therefore we have decided to close the company.

If you are an existing active paid user then your subscription will remain active indefinitely; BDI will continue operating until a Betfair API change results in the software ceasing to function. We offer no guarantees about when this will happen, but it is likely that BDI should function fine into 2009, possibly into 2010 or after. The support pages will also remain online for the forseeable future at http://www.binarysoft.co.uk/support/

If you are a member of the BinarySoft affiliate program then any commission due will be paid out within the next 24 hours, regardless of the minimum payment threshold.

We wish you all the best of success in your future projects,
BinarySoft Ltd
Suite 5
Piccadilly House
London Road
United Kingdom

This is really bad news for me as it is the only cross-platform trading tool, that I am aware of. Having abandoned all things Microsoft last year for the much more secure and reliable world of Linux, BinarySoft saved my trading career. Until I discovered it, I had given up on any idea of trading due to what I thought, was a lack of software for my preferred platform.

Although, as the letter suggests, I will be able to carry on using it until such times as Betfair change their API, who knows when that will be. Next week or next year?

I now have to make a very important decision. Do I abandon my desire for a Microsoft free computing life and put up with their insecure and faulty software - and all the associated costs or do I abandon all hopes of trading other than by using the Betfair web interface, which, let's face it, is only of use for long term trading?

At the moment, I'm rather upset by this news. I really loath Microsoft and all they stand for and the virtual monopoly they run, despite being a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

Come on Bet Angel! Make your software run natively on Linux and I'll sign up immediately.

The Tax Man Strikes Again

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 1.3% profit. New bank... £945.04

In the same way Hector gives out benefits to the needy, only to claw them back in some other way, my trading was very much win on one race, give it back shortly after.

It was a frustrating afternoon as I was continually interrupted by phone calls. A client's network went down, so I spent some time troubleshooting that over the phone. It looks like they have a network switch that has an intermittent fault. A case of turning it off and on again - a technique honed to perfection after many years supporting Microsoft products! LOL!

That type of interruption I can accept. After all, I get paid for it. Worse though this afternoon, I was inundated by companies cold calling me trying to sell anything from marketing services to insurance. PISS OFF the lot of you! The more I got the more irritated I became. The poor sod who phoned me last, bore the brunt of it. I was rather abrupt with him.

All this only served to ruin my concentration. As a result, much of the afternoon was essentially scratched. I made one good trade late on, netting me a double figure profit, which saw me in profit for the afternoon.

The evening session wasn't any better in that I missed most of it. I felt a bit queasy after dinner - too much to eat I think - so I had a snooze instead of trading. I managed to catch the last hour or so where I added a few more pounds to the total, but nothing spectacular happened.

So a frustrating day, but at least the frustration wasn't due to my inability to trade. I managed to get involved in 22 races today, scratching 9 and losing 6 at a cost of £15.17. Another few pounds added to the bank for a 1.3% increase.

I think I'll leave the phone off the hook tomorrow.

Edging Closer To Four Figures

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 3.1% profit. New bank... £933.09

I had a mixed day today. I was only able to trade up to and including the 4:05 as I had another engagement afterwards. But I have to say, the twelve races that I got involved in went very well, for the most part.

I had a rather shaky start though as the profit I made in the first race was lost over the following two races. After that I started to string a number of solid trades together and by the time I was finished for the afternoon I was £32 up.

Obviously pleased with this result and happy with the way I'd been trading I was in two minds about this evening's session.

One of my regular readers, Anthony, made a comment yesterday and suggested that I try the win markets in the evening as I might find these markets a bit easier than their afternoon counterparts. When I was thinking about this during dinner, I decided to give it a try in the hope that it might provide a stepping stone from the low liquidity place markets to the mainstream win markets.

I was happy to give this a go tonight having had a good session earlier in the day. So I went into the evening trading with the attitude that losing some of my earlier £32 profit would be OK as long as any loses weren't heavy and I was able to gain even a little experience of these markets that I've had such difficulty with in the past.

Things looked very promising right from the off as I quickly chalked up nearly £5 in the first race. I had decided beforehand that once I closed a trade in these markets, I wouldn't go back in again - even if I had lost. ESPECIALLY if I'd lost. So when I lost £8.50 in the next race, I took it on the chin and moved on.

What I did do throughout the evening was trade the win markets for 5 mins or so before switching to the place markets for the last 5 mins before the off. This worked well and over the next few races, I recovered to get myself back to where I had started in the evening, plus a little extra.

I felt reasonably comfortable in the win markets in that I wasn't put off by all the noise. I was happy taking a longer term view when I opened my position. However, after reducing my profit by a third during the 7:50 and 8:10 I decided to leave the win markets for tonight. I felt that I didn't want to risk anymore of my gains. Instead, I set about recovering my position by returning to my favoured place markets.

I managed to retrieve nearly £6 to finish the day with £28.33 and another 3.1% profit. The £1000 target is now edging ever closer. At the risk of putting myself under way too much pressure, I'm hopeful that I'll be celebrating by the end of the week.

I traded 25 markets today, scratching 6 and losing 5 at a cost of £25.33 (£20.09 of which was in the win markets). Although it's always disappointing to lose money, in this case, it was something I'd prepared myself for when I ventured into the win markets. Despite this, I'm satisfied that my trading appears to be back on track after the slowdown of last week. I'm certainly happier now that I'm back to posting sensible returns for my efforts.

Long may it continue.

Mr Angry From Chiswick

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 3.1% profit. New bank... £904.76

Despite a 3.1% profit and despite finally getting through the £900 barrier, I'm sitting here feeling really annoyed as I type this.

Something weird happened in the last race of the day. I was trading 'Present' and had just jumped ahead of a sizeable sum to get my opening back bet matched at 2.60. The odds continued to come in and I decided to close the trade for nearly a £4 profit. There was plenty of money available at 2.46 to take my closing bet. Yet that money, and mine, sat opposite each other on the ladder for nearly 2 seconds. My bet was never taken, the odds reversed and the money propping up the back side disappeared. I had to take a £7 loss.

I then made the mistake of trying to win some of it back on another horse only to lose another couple of quid. I should never have done that of course as my mind was racing due to what had just happened.

I don't know if it was a glitch with BinarySoft BDI, Betfair or my broadband connection but instead of being over £40 for the day, I have wound up with £27. Bloody annoying.

That aside, I traded really well today. I was much more focussed and relaxed and everything was ticking over nicely. I'd had a couple of minor losses by the time the 5:00 came along. This turned out to be my best race of the day where I netted £16 on 'Three Strings'.

The evening races weren't so good in that I scratched an awful lot of them and I missed quite a few really good moves. Still, a nice tidy profit was being made - until the last.

Once again, I missed out on some excellent profit due to my lack of pictures. As I've mentioned before, I have to rely on the countdown timer in BinarySoft BDI and get out before it hits zero. In a handful of races today, the horse I had been trading continued in the direction I was following after the scheduled off. In all of these, I could've realised a profit of 2 to 5 times that which I actually achieved.

I need to find a reliable and timely source that can tell me when the race is about to start. Once I get my dedicated trading room set up, I'll be able to have pictures. However, that will only be of use for Ch4 and BBC covered events as I have no intention of subscribing to Setanta, SKY et al.

As you all know, I found last week really difficult. This week has got off to a good start. I didn't trade yesterday as I was with a client and I spent the evening with my daughter, who'd returned from a weeks holiday at her mother's. I did do something very significant last night from a financial point of view. I paid off what was left of my mortgage! I am mortgage free and it feels GREAT!

Here's hoping today's performance has seen me turn the corner somewhat and the week sees me bringing more good news.

How Not To End A Day's Trading

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 1.2% profit. New bank... £877.73

Just a quick update before I head off for dinner...

As you can imagine after my performance this week, I sat down in front of my PC with some trepidation this afternoon. Fortunately I made some reasonable trades right from the off, which helped me settle down no end.

I did have a much better trading day today, although I had a couple of annoying smallish losses mid afternoon. By the time the last 4 races approached I was a decent £22 up. Three races later, I'd thrown half of it away! Very stupid!

Still, I take heart from my trading leading up to that as I was trading much more effectively than I had been doing of late. It would've been a different story if those loses had come in the first 30 mins mind you.

I got involved in 18 races today, scratching 5 and losing a combined total of £16 in 5 others resulting in a 1.2% increase to the bank. That means that this past week has seen a measly profit of £27.62. So, although it's nice to get a profit, it's nowhere near what I should be doing in a week.

Let's hope things pick up soon.

Peaks And Troughs

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 0.9% loss. New bank... £867.31

Today, after a long, frustrating and quite frankly, demoralising day saw me lose the hard fought £8.30 I'd won yesterday. How I got away with such a small loss, I'll never know.

My confidence has been slowly ebbing away since last Saturday. A general malaise has descended on my trading that I'm beginning to think what skills I have developed have deserted me. It has resulted in me making not only bad trades, but bad decisions. I'm getting involved in races I shouldn't; picking runners at odds I usually have difficulty with; trying to force trades that aren't there; and generally making far too many mistakes. I seem to have hit a brick wall this week.

Today started badly. I'd dropped my stakes a bit so that I could concentrate on trading, rather than losing money. I was down £5 after the first three races. Not a lot I know and under normal circumstances, it wouldn't bother me. But I'm not trading 'normally'.

This poor start made me make, in retrospect, my first poor decision of the day. I decided that, if I was destined to lose money today, I might as well lose it while trying to learn how the win markets work. 'Stupid Boy' as Capt Mainwaring used to say.

I slashed my stake to £50 and off I went - and promptly lost on the first five races I entered. I wanted to try and filter out the noise from the trend, so I was prepared to hold my position a bit longer. I paid close attention to the streaming graphs and when I was happy, in I'd go. Every bloody time I wound up either backing on a peak or laying in a trough. I was pulling my hair out - not that I have much left to pull.

This only served to drop my confidence levels still further. I switched to the place markets whilst continuing with the lower stakes. This in itself was frustrating as my stakes where now at a level I haven't been for over 2 months. Despite this, I was still trading in a somewhat haphazard manner with a seemingly complete lack of ability in reading the markets.

By the time the afternoon session ended, I was £20 down. Again, not a huge amount to some traders, but when you consider I'd managed to get myself up to £25-£50 per day, this is a significant sum.

In the evening session I decided that if I had any chance of recovering some of those losses, I had to raise my stakes again and take the risk. I promptly lost the opening race. Oh dear!

To be honest, I'd almost got to the stage where I didn't care anymore - a dangerous place to be. Fortunately, that was the last loss of the day. I did, finally, manage to put a few good trades together towards the end of the evening session, with lots of scratched trades in between. So I'm a little happier than I was at dinner time.

I'm going to see how tomorrow goes, then decide what I'm going to do next. I don't know why I seem to have had such difficulty this week, though certainly, I've let the negative mental aspects effect me. I may very well take a break for a few days as I've been doing this almost everyday since February. In any case trading may be limited over the next two weeks anyway as my daughter is on school holidays and she'll be back from her mother's on Monday.

I also feel that I've lost sight of what I was trying to do. I've been caught up in how well I've been doing since starting with £10 at the end of Feb that I've forgotten that this was meant to be a hobby. If I want it to be more than that, then that's fine, but I need to get that clear in my own mind.

Hoping for better things tomorrow.

P.S. I've just realised that this is my 100th post to this blog. It doesn't seem that many but if so, it's amazing that some people actually still read my ramblings and almost continuous self-criticism. Thanks to you all.

Utter Rubbish

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 1.0% profit. New bank... £875.61

I seem to be going through a lack of confidence at the moment. Last Friday I happily posted a new daily record, having gone through the £50 mark in one day. It has taken me another 7 days to earn the same amount - and that's thanks to one good session I had on Wednesday. Other than that, my trading has been very poor.

Today was very much a case in point. It was really tough going and when I'm down on confidence, it gets worse. It's almost self-perpetuating.

I was only about £10 up by the end of the afternoon. So although I had some wins, they were small compared to normal. I kept missing opportunities, not getting on them when I should. Instead, I'd follow them wary that my judgment has been lacking of late. I'd eventually jump on them when the trend was on the turn and so I had a fight on my hands just to break even. This led to frustration, and consequently, the mistakes increased.

I lost £28 in 6 lost trades today and scratched 18 of the 38 markets I got involved in. So I come away with the grand total of £8.31.

Like the title says.... Utter Rubbish.

The £900 Will Have To Wait

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 2.7% loss. New bank... £867.30

Have you ever had one of those days where you really wish you hadn't got out of bed?

I went to visit my mum today who's currently recovering from a second replacement ankle operation. On the way there, I nearly crashed the car. I pulled out in front of someone at a roundabout - I thought they were turning off, but no. Fortunately, my car is reasonably powerful to accelerate out of trouble.

I returned in time to catch the first race of the day which went comfortably enough winning just under £3. Then, the 2:10 saw me embark on a run of 4 losing races. The worst of these was the 2:20 at Perth were I lost on THREE separate horses, racking up a combined loss of just under £12. When this was followed by another £4 over the next two races, I switched the PC off.

I simply couldn't read the markets more wrongly, and when it is like that, it's safer to walk away. So that's what I did - a 3 mile trip round the local countryside. A lovely warm day, so no need for a coat. Halfway round, the heavens opened. I actually quite enjoy walking in the summer rain, but I usually prefer to wear a rain coat. 30 mins later, I got home, soaked to the skin.

I got back in time for the 3:50 in the hope that I'd have the correct trading hat on. It seemed to be as I kicked off with a reasonable win. But then it all fell apart again. Two more badly judged races later saw me a further fiver down and I've struggled ever since.

Since then I've lost on a further 3 races and now that my daily losses have gone past £20, I've decided to quit. I'm clearly not in the right mindset now. Instead, I shall chill out for the rest of the evening and try again tomorrow.

Out of 17 races, I've lost on 9 of them, with 5 of them scratched. Absolute dross!

Normal Service Has Been Resumed

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 4.2% profit. New bank... £891.15

After a very poor last four days where I've barely managed a profit of £35, I made that today to put me firmly back on track - despite losing £19 in lost trades.

One of the things I've been looking at recently, is my staking levels. I've noticed that I tend to lose more trades when my staking levels are higher. It seems that I may be hitting the limit of what the market, and my style of trading will take. I tend to lump it all in at once. However, it may be that I'm getting to the point where the market cannot support me, making it difficult to trade out if there's a reverse.

I'll look into changing my methods so that I submit lots of smaller bids to see if that helps. An experiment for another day. In the mean time, I've lowered my staking a bit, which certainly worked today.

Another thing I've noticed is that I seem to be concentrating more and more on horses that are likely to come in. This is a major shift for me - and I'm not sure when or why I changed. I've always found it easier to spot drifters, so why the alteration? It may be a natural result of me trying to use the Racing Post site to identify runners that are likely to move in the market. By definition, the RP will flag those runners that are likely to do well in the race and will consequently be well backed. I need to look into this as I have been missing some big drifts of late because I'm too busy concentrating on a runner that I'm expecting to come in.

Today's result was spoiled by two losing trades of just under £8 each. The first was a failed attempt at trying something new. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. It did succeed, but I'd lost my bottle beforehand and traded out for a loss. Ho! Hum!

The other was all due to a cup of tea. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, and it may well be anecdotal as I don't record these things, but it is remarkable how often I mess up a trade in the race immediately after fetching myself some refreshment. It's as if this simple process switches my brain off of 5-10 mins. Perhaps I should either not trade these races at all, or make up a flask at the start of the session and have that with me throughout. Bizarre!

I traded 30 races today, scratching 9 of them and losing 4 for a disappointing £19. That adds another 4.2% to the pot and brings it tantalisingly close to the £900 mark. Hopefully that will be passed tomorrow with flying colours.

Silly Way To Start The Month

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 0.2% loss. New bank... £855.24

I was away on my weekly visit to a client so I only managed the evening session today. I traded like a complete pillock tonight. So much so, I'm struggling to understand how I managed to come away with a loss of only £1.32.

The evening started off pretty slowly with 3 out of the first 4 scratched for less than £1. The other one saw a reasonable profit, but nothing to write home about. Then came the 6:50 at Thirsk which screwed up my thinking and led directly to the ridiculous way I traded the rest of the night.

I was initially interested in 'Coleorton Choice' which was trading just above 3.00. I felt strongly that it was going to come in so I backed it with £120 @ 3.10. Sure enough, it started to shorten and I had an excellent opportunity to close out the trade a few ticks lower but I held on for more - and the market reversed. I managed to get out in dribs and drabs by the time it had drifted out to 3.60 and I was nearly £16 down!

Disgusted with myself, I nearly threw it in then, but I gathered my thoughts and noticed that 'Secret Venue' was on the way out. I managed to get on that and a minute later, I'd recovered nearly £11 and found myself £5.40 down for the race. But what annoyed me, and ruined my thinking for the rest of the session was, on switching back to 'Coleorton Choice', it had come in again, and sail past my original opening position and was sitting some 20 odd ticks lower.

I've mentioned this so many times on this blog, it is becoming boring. I am frequently losing out on big trades because I fail to have the courage of my convictions when the market turns against me soon after opening my position. I close out for a loss only for it to head off in the direction I predicted, past my original opening position into what would've been a profitable result. Very, very annoying.

What followed after this race was some of the worst trading I've ever done. Or at least, some of the worst opening positions I've ever taken.

With 8 races and only 3 losers one might question what all the fuss is about. Every one of those races saw me in a losing position. I was continually fighting to get myself back in profit, or at least scratched. I was making mistake after mistake: entering the market too early, not paying attention to the streaming graphs and relying too much on WOM which is pretty meaningless in the place market. Very messy.

So, 13 markets traded with 5 of them scratched for under £1 and 4 losers costing £17.40. With only a 0.2% reduction in the bank it is hardly a disaster but I wish I would learn to have faith in my judgment. Perhaps that makes it too much like gambling - and therein lies the problem. Who knows? There's always tomorrow.