September Summary

Well, the end of another month and a very pleasant one it was too. Not least, because my Betfair account is in profit as I reported the other day.

Having just failed to better my best month result of £515 for June you might be surprised to hear that I think, from a trading perspective, I consider this month to have been my best. Granted, not from a financial point of view, though only marginally, but consider this:

I started trading a completely new market, namely the greyhounds and made £458 from that sport alone. So I quickly came to terms with the way those markets behave. Yes, I got caught out a few times, as well as having my share of fortune, but at the end of the day, I took to those markets like a duck to water.

Secondly, that profit was earned by trading with no more than £35 stakes and frequently less than that. To get such a return from risking so little is very pleasing indeed.

I also tried some other markets with mixed success.

I ventured back into the horse place markets towards the end of the month. As I've documented on the blog many times, my confidence in these took a bit of a knock in July and August. In retrospect, that's a good thing as I wouldn't have tried the greyhounds otherwise. Still, the jury has yet to make a decision regarding my return to the geegees.

I had a foray into the mystical world that is the FTSE 100 Hourly markets, which proved to be a bit of a flop. I'm glad I had a look, but I doubt that I'll be venturing back there any time soon.

I also started getting involved in the soccer markets, though I will always be more of a punter here than a trader. I've never been happy with exit strategies in these markets so I'm more than likely to do a straight bet when the mood takes my fancy - like tonight when I had a failed attempt at an over 2.5 goals treble for a £5.

That's actually an important point for me. Although this blog is about my exploits as a trader, it's fun to have the odd punt on the footy. However, these will only ever happen with money I've earned from trading and will be for small stakes. It helps to satisfy the lingering gambler in me I suppose.

All these markets contributed the following to the monthly totals:

FTSE 100 Hourly... -£14.88
Greyhounds... £458.17
Horses... £31.19
Soccer... £23.73

So, what next? Essentially, more of the same for next month if you please. I will continue to trade the greyhounds, but will start switching more often back to the horses in the afternoon, with soccer and dogs in the evening. Clearly the horses and soccer need some more work. If I can get them to contribute their fair share each month then I'll be laughing.

September of course has seen the uproar caused by Betfair's introduction of the premium charge. I'm not sure yet how that is going to change my trading. At the moment, I'll continue with Betfair to trade the greyhounds and horses, primarily because I'm still using BinarySoft BDI. I am told I am not effected by the premium charge. How long that will last now that my account is in profit and my progress continues, I have no idea.

I am already doing all my soccer trading/betting over at Betdaq and will continue to do so. With regards to the horses and greyhounds though, I guess I will need to see how the markets are effected on Betfair and if that has an impact on me. The point being, that at some point, if I wish to move across to Betdaq completely, which I suspect will have to happen at some stage, then that old chestnut of Linux/Windows/trading software will raise it's ugly head again. I'll cross that bridge when I need to. In the meantime, I guess it's carry on as I'm doing.

Door To Door Salesmen

Firstly, assuming you haven't heard already, I should point out that the Betdaq version of Bet Angel is due to be released imminently. The release is likely to be this coming weekend or early next week.

I was at a client's today so didn't start trading until 6:00 and spent all night on the dogs. While the rest of the trading world was attending the latest Bet Angel Webinar, I was nipping in and out of lean greyhound markets earning a pound or two as I went. I eventually racked up £34 over 29 races. I only had 1 losing race where I said goodbye to the insignificant amount of 56 pence. So, I'm more than delighted with tonight's session.

Now, on to the subject of the title.

Earlier today, I received a comment from one Klaus Stefan Gerber. Klaus was touting for business and wanted me to look at his ladder interface for Betdaq, despite the fact that he acknowledged I was a Linux user and his software is developed in .NET - a purely Windows based environment. I published the comment so that my Windows readers could investigate if they wanted.

However, on reflection, I've deleted his comment. Why? It bloody annoyed me that's why.

Klaus is not the first to visit here, or the chat room, with the sole intention of flogging their wares. I object to people posting comments on my blog just to make a sale. Particularly so, if their post is the first they've ever made here. If however, you make regular and valued contributions to the discussions contained within, then I will consider it. But please do not come knocking on my door, whether that is this blog or the chat room, in order to fob me off, or my readers, with some product that I've never heard off. If you do, I'll simply delete your comments.

However, if you want to contribute, then by all means introduce yourself. Once you've become known to me and my readers, then perhaps I can accomodate you, but not before.

An Important Day

I've just withdrawn some cash from my Betfair account. In doing so, I have finally made that account profitable for the first time since I joined Betfair 3-4 years ago.

As you can see from the image below, I am hardly among the big movers and shakers on Betfair, or indeed, in gambling circles anywhere. Even so, getting to this point has been an important goal and one that I would not have achieved if I hadn't turned to trading.

I had virtually given up all forms of gambling at the start of 2008. By taking my last few pounds I have turned that account around through trading the horse markets in particular, and now the greyhounds as well. Trading has provided me with a realistic means to earn some regular extra money. It has instilled a much needed level of discipline that I sadly lacked as a run of the mill mug punter.

Now all I need to do, is get myself up there so Betfair can charge me 20%. Then I'll be able to say I've made it. LOL!

Finally, I'd just like to thank all those who have encouraged and offered support be it by commenting on this blog, or in the chat room. It is much appreciated and I hope that someday I'll be in a position to reciprocate.

My True Age And My Wii Fit Age

It never fails to amaze me how the slightest distraction can cause one (for that read 'me') to lose one's focus. Today's culprit was the emptying of the tumble drier. I came back from carrying out that meaningless chore to jump straight into the 5:20 at Musselburgh and promptly lost nearly £5.

Until that moment, I'd been heading for a very pleasing £30+ but, in the space of a few seconds, saw it fall towards £20. I decided to call it a day then, as historically, Sundays are not my best days so a profit of nearly £23 was fine in my book.

£20 of that profit came from the greyhounds, in particular between 12:15 and 13:15. Although the racing started just after 11:00, the markets were very quiet. Similarly, they died a death once the horse racing started. As a result, I switched disciplines and went back to the place markets which I have neglected this past month.

I didn't actually do a huge amount of trading today. I got involved in 19 dog races and 12 horse races. I had a break in the middle to spend some time with my daughter playing on her Wii Fit. What a giggle. You really must get one of those if you haven't already. I haven't laughed so much in a long while. My word, I'm unfit though. It's time this aging 46 year old got off his arse and did something. Mind you, according to the Wii, my Wii Fit age is 34! Obviously I haven't lost all my faculties yet.

Anyway, I need to take a break and have a rest. See you tomorrow.

Not Much To Report

I didn't do a huge amount of trading yesterday as right from the off, I didn't particularly feel in the mood. What I did do was plagued by indecision, particularly on the football.

I looked at a total of 4 games yesterday and couldn't make my mind up so I left them. When they were all 0-0 approaching half-time I put a few bets on, but canceled them shortly afterwards. On each occasion, there was a goal within a minute of me changing my mind.

I had one straight bet on Tromso to win, which they didn't. Summed up my day on the football pitches.

One thing that all this indecision did show though is that Betdaq seem to have corrected the issue I was having regarding changing odds of previously submitted bets in their Betdaq Trader software. I'll flag up any others I find. The funny thing is, I haven't been able to use it's trading facilities yet simply because of the way my bets have been going or I've been having straight punts on non-in-play matches.

I did have a little look at the horses later on in the afternoon and came away with a small profit. However, I'm going to have to relearn the place markets again as the trading techniques I developed when I started this lark were for a market that now behaves completely differently, apparently.

So in the end I made a small profit on the day, which is fine considering I took most of the day off, effectively.

Another Good Day

Today wasn't quite so dramatic as yesterday, mainly because I didn't capitalise on the lively markets during the morning session. Part of this was due to the amount of money that would repeatedly oppose a runner, usually the favourite. As I seem to be better at spotting dogs coming in rather than drifting out, this made me particularly cautious.

To give you an example, there was one race (which one escapes me for the moment) where the favourite had come in and was comfortably trading at 2.50. Suddenly, a huge amount of money came in and laid that dog at odds of 4.00. As that sum was slowly eaten away, a second chunk immediately took the odds out to 6.00!

This sort of behaviour happened frequently throughout the first three hours of greyhound meetings this morning. Fortunately, I managed to avoid getting caught though the difference between avoidance and capture could be measured in milliseconds. Indeed, on a couple of occasions I immediately opposed these sums which paid off I'm glad to say.

I've noticed this happens quite a lot in the early sessions and I've been caught in the past. It has made me reluctant to keep an open position in the market when I may have been willing to do so in the past. As a result, I'm coming out with less profit. One good thing though is that I'm learning how to identify when these chunks may be about to appear. All I need to do now, is learn to get a quick lay before the jump.

The afternoon and evening sessions did their usual slow down, but in the end I was able to rack up a satisfying £30. This was spoiled slightly by the abject failure of Tranmere to win tonight, which cost a fiver. Still, a good day which takes me through the £400 mark for the month. A figure I said many moons ago I would be very happy to make on a regular basis. Mind you, I could lose it all again over the weekend so I better keep my fingers crossed for a little while longer.

Betdaq Trader Software Available

Just checked the Betdaq Trader site and noticed that the software has been made available again.

I've just downloaded it and although the version number appears to be the same as the one I already had, it seems to be working now. Before, it wouldn't submit bets. It now does it quite happily.

Back later with an update to today's proceedings. In the meantime, here's my first bet placed with Betdaq Trader

UPDATE @ 9:18 Fri 26th Sept - I'm afraid to say the software still has a problem. It is submitting bets for me now without any difficulty, but if I try to modify those bets by changing the odds for example, I get the same old 'Invalid odds' error message in the 'Activity and Alerts' window. See the image below for examples of the error. On each occassion, I had tried to modify the odds of the bet that had previously been successfully submitted.

I've reported the issue to Betdaq and forwarded this image to them.

What A Contrast To Yesterday

With my accounts out the way and my tax return filled in this morning and ready to post, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Another hideously boring job out of the way. This freed me up to concentrate on my trading. Well it should have done.

First thing this morning, my daughter claimed she wasn't feeling well. Off she went to school in any case. It was inevitable that my trading in the morning would be disrupted by a phone call. So I missed the first few races as I went to fetch her back home.

After getting her settled, I was able to bash on with the greyhounds. It always makes such a difference to my trading if I get off to a good start and today was no exception. I found the morning markets to be very good today with plenty of money around. Within the first hour I had recouped all my losses from yesterday.

Normally, I carry on until the horse racing starts, but I was so pleased with myself, I actually had an early lunch. It didn't help with my daughter nagging me to feed her. So I missed some more of the morning session, even though it tends to be the best time to trade the dogs.

Progress was a little slower in the afternoon even though the markets still had an unusual amount of money. They virtually dried up in the evening, as expected, but I still managed to rack up £50 for today's efforts. Not quite my best result on the dogs, but very satisfying none the less.

I entered 49 races today, losing in only 7 of them. I did have a little fortune in the 20:22 when my closing hedge wasn't fully matched leaving me with a £1.80 loss across the field and a £7 profit on 'You Mucky Puppy'. With 10 secs to go, I didn't have time to balance it off, so I left it. Fortunately for me, 'Puppy' won.

So, all in all, a jolly good day and looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.

Tax Returns, Headaches And Losses

Apologies for not being quite so active on the blog as normal over the past couple of days. I have desperately been trying to finalise my accounts and get my tax return out of the way. All this while fighting a headache and trying to squeeze in some trading as well. I guess it was inevitable that I'd incur a loss yesterday.

Doing my accounts is something I utterly detest - yet I am my own worst enemy. When I set up in business in 1993, I religiously did my accounts when ever there was an expense or sale - on the day, everyday.

Over time, this then became every week, then every month, and finally every 3rd month when my VAT return was due. A few years ago when my business changed for personal reasons, I didn't have the same level of income, so I deregistered for VAT - I objected to spending the same amount of time as before employed as an unpaid tax collector. As a result, my accounts only got done every year and I'd spend an inordinate amount of time making sure all my paperwork was in order because I hadn't filed it properly as I got it.

To compound matters, last year I took the decision to go down the Linux route, which meant the accounting software I used was redundant (it was overkill for my accounts anyway). So for this years accounts, I've had to bring it all back into spreadsheet form. Oh what fun!

Anyway, the tax return is complete, filled in and ready to be posted. I just need to get stuck into the accounts for this year now before I find myself in the same position next September.

One might think that all this would induce any headache, but I'm afraid I've been suffering from almost constant headaches since May. Yesterday was particularly bad and I should never have tried trading. To be honest I didn't do much as I felt the headache coming on and I really wasn't in the mood. I tried the first 90 mins of the greyhounds and didn't get anywhere so quit.

Later on in the afternoon I tried a couple of horse races only to lose them. The worst was to come later in the evening. Again, I still wasn't really in the mood and should never have tried trading the dogs. I wasn't thinking straight or paying attention - just going through the motions. As a result, I tried to force a trade which, not surprisingly, bit me on the backside. A £35 stake and I got out for a loss of nearly £15. Ouch! No more than I deserved really.

So I lost just over £16 yesterday, which nearly wiped out my gains of £20 from the day before.

Now that I've got my accounts out of the way I'll hopefully be able to focus a bit better today. I'll need to dose myself up with paracetamol first though.

Oxford Utd v Cambridge Utd In-Running

I'm not a great lover of cup matches when it comes to betting. There's just far too many unknowns for my liking, particularly with big teams often putting out their reserves for such games.

However for tonight, there's an interesting tie down in the Conference. The only caveat is one of liquidity. I suspect most money this evening, whether you go to Betfair or Betdaq, will be found in those cup matches involving Premiership sides.

The match at Oxford interests me due in part to the head-to-head record and partly the current scoring record of both teams.

These teams have met 20 times going back to 1991. Of those matches, 16 of them have been over 1.5 goals. That's 80%, equivalent to 1.25 in decimal odds. All of the past 10 meetings between the sides - going back to 2001- have had 2 or more goals.

The scoring record this season has seen 15 goals at Oxford's 5 home games and 12 at Cambridge's 5 away games.

Given this, I think the 1.38 available pre-ko for the over 1.5 goals has got to be value. The only issue with my normal plan is that 9 out the 15 goals at Oxford and 7 of the 12 goals on Cambridge's travels, have been scored in the first half. As a result, I won't be surprised to see an early goal in this game.

In addition, with 6 of the past 10 meetings having 3 or more goals the 2.17 available for the over 2.5 goals should also be considered, though in all honesty, I'll probably leave it alone.

UPDATE @ 22:17 - The game finished 3-1, but Oxford's first goal, scored in 4 minutes, put paid to any involvement by me.

Just A Quicky

Spent the day at a client's so not much trading today. I had intended to get involved in some football tonight, but when I got home and had a chance to look in more detail at what was on offer, nothing took my fancy. In the end, I just spent a couple of hours scalping the greyhound markets where I managed to add £20 to the pot.

Before I go, I should apologise to the reader who made an anonymous comment to the 'Pulling A Fast One' thread. I was made aware of what you spoke but had promised not to mention it on my blog, for the same reasons as you alluded to in your comment. This is why I didn't post your comment, but rest assured your comments are read and appreciated.

With that rather cryptic note (he/she will now what I'm on about) I'll call it a night.

UPDATE @ 10:00 23rd Sept: As you'll see from the comments on this post, I'm now able to publish the link to the Gruss software, Betdaq Assistant. Keep in mind it is early release software so if using it, stick with small stakes.

Pulling A Fast One

I managed to get a little trading in today, between spells of sorting my accounts out. I did a little scalping in the greyhounds markets and won a few pounds; a little scalping in the horse markets and lost a few pounds, and a number of attempts in the over 1.5 goals markets where all bets were scuppered by the early goal. Apologies for not posting my selections, but I was trying to squeeze them in whilst doing my accounts.

I did think I was on to a flyer though in the Spurs v Wigan match. I had though about laying Spurs in this game but for what ever reason decided against it. Pre-ko, Wigan were a very attractive 5.00 but again, I gave it a miss as my mind was focussed on other markets.

As I've said before, I do not have live pictures available to me while I'm trading and so I generally have one of the live score websites up at all times. The one a usually use is, so when this flashed up that Wigan had gone 0-1 up I couldn't believe that Betdaq hadn't suspended the market. Wigan where still sitting there at 5.00 so I quickly stuck £10 on it.

Not long after, the market suspended and when it re-opened the odds were the same as before, but had corrected itself and reset the scoreline back to 0-0. What a disappointment. I didn't manage to pull a fast one and immediately traded out for a loss of 28 pence. LOL!

Later on in the evening, and at the risk of 'after the eventing' I managed to get involved in the Racing Santander v Real Madrid match. I hadn't even realised it was on, so I had not carried out any analysis on it. Having done a bit more of my accounts, I loaded xscores again and noticed the half time score was 0-0. A quick check of the stats revealed the 18 of the last 20 meetings between these two had had 2 or more goals.

The current odds for over 1.5 goals was 2.3, so I quickly asked for £5 @ 2.50 and £5 @ 3.00. The odds didn't quite reach 3.00 before the first goal was scored and I was able to trade out for a free bet of around £4.70. This was won 15 mins later when Van Nistelrooy got Real's 2nd.

Just over £7 added to the pot, which I was quit happy with considering I didn't do that much trading today.

Tomorrow of course is the start of the 'Premium Charge'. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few of weeks. In particular, whether the liquidity at Betdaq will improve. I'll be at a client's tomorrow, so I won't be doing much trading in any case other than some soccer, potentially, in the evening, but I'll be doing that over at Betdaq any way.

Bet Angel Not For Me - Yet

Well, I've had my trial of Bet Angel and, for the moment, I'm not going to take it any further.

The purpose of the trial, was not to get to grips with Bet Angel as a trading tool, but to establish if I'll be able to trade reliably and still retain Linux as my preferred operating system. The exercise was specifically about running Win XP, and the Windows based Bet Angel in a virtual box on top of Linux. From that point of view it was successful, albeit with some issues that can be fixed with a hardware upgrade.

Specifically, I'd be happier if my 2GB memory was doubled so that I could allocate more to the virtual box. In addition, a more powerful graphics card is required rather than the onboard graphics that I currently use. This would then be able to handle the larger screen resolution that was causing problems when I first tried it.

By extention, the fact that I was able to use Bet Angel in this manner means that I'll be able to use any other Windows based trading software in the same way. However, I'd really rather not do that.

I have a philosophical issue with using Microsoft Windows as my operating system, or indeed, any application that that firm makes. I don't like the way they exploit the monopoly they run. I do not like their blatant disregard for international standards which lock their customers into their bloated, insecure, unstable and expensive products.

As a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Professional, I have been selling, installing, developing and supporting Microsoft products since I set up my business in 1993. I still do all of those things in my professional life. I don't want to have to do them in my home as well.

The situation has also been made somewhat fluid by the recent events at Betfair and their Premium Charge. Now we find that a number of software developers are in the process of creating trading tools for Betdaq. More interestingly from my point of view, is that at least two of them are designing their tools in either Flash or Java. In other words, they will be cross-platform and I'll be able to run them natively in Linux.

I've already started doing all my soccer trading over at Betdaq, using their web interface. I only need a trading application for scalping fast paced markets such as horses and greyhounds. For that, I can still use BinarySoft BDI - despite it's limitations - until such times as it falls over.

So, for the moment, I will leave Bet Angel alone, and any other Windows based trading tool for that matter. I see no point in investing in additional hardware and software in order to scalp the horse/greyhound markets when I can do that with what I've got.

I will continue to monitor developments over the coming months, but the bottom line is, at the moment, to use a Windows based trading tool, not only goes against the grain, it also requires some additional financial investment. An investment that I am reluctant to make or justify at the moment.

Frustration Abounds

It certainly was a frustrating day for me. It started of with the greyhounds in the morning but the markets were very quiet and I found it extremely difficult to get on anything. They picked up a bit around lunchtime and I started to make some headway only for me to be caught again by a violent swing in the opposite direction. Why do these always seem to happen just after my opening bet is submitted?

That was enough to wipe out what meager gains I had made and put me back in the red again. The dog markets for the rest of the day were abysmal and I only managed to nibble away at that red, eventually winding up a little over £3 down on the day in these markets.

I'm going to have to rethink my dog strategy as that's quite a few times in recent days I've been caught badly by such swings. I've been doing the greyhounds a little over two weeks now, and, for whatever reason, I've always found it easier to spot mutts that are shortening in the odds. As a result, I almost always back first. Interestingly, these large amounts always seem to be on the lay side and typically come in at least 10-15 ticks higher than my entry point. I do not think I have seen a large swing in the other direction when a dog is drifting.

I need to study the markets closer to see if I can, first of all, learn to spot the drifters a bit easier, and secondly, see if there's ever any indication when I large opposing shift is about to take place.

I must also try and find the courage to oppose this money as it almost always disappears. That would mean putting more money on the back side, but it would have the effect of increasing my effective odds where I can get out for no loss. As it is at the moment, the odds very rarely go back down to my entry point allowing me to scratch. As these large shifts often occur when there's less than a minute to go before the start of the race there's often very little time to get out in any case.

As regular readers would have seen, I had two over 1.5 goals recommendations today in the soccer markets. Both of these also ended in frustration.

The first, Aberdeen v Dundee Utd worked to plan in that I got my bets at 1.90, 2.00 and 2.10 successfully matched on Betdaq, with the first goal coming just after half time. On this occasion I chose to go for a free bet rather than hedge for a guaranteed profit. All I needed was another goal, which didn't come. So no profit there, but more importantly, no loss.

The second match, West Ham v Newcastle Utd had plenty of goals, but my bets weren't matched before the first goal went in, so that plan came to naught. It's the nature of this strategy that early goals will kill off the bet before it's begun, which can be quite frustrating. One simply has to take solace in the fact that there's lots of games just around the corner so another opportunity is not long in coming.

The afternoon dogs were so quiet and boring that after an early dinner, I ventured back into the horse place markets. Having had my confidence dented in the markets last month, I was a bit wary of trying them again. I lowered my liability to £50 and, over 13 races, I made £15 so I was delighted with that. I'll be popping back to them again in the coming week.

I don't know if I'll get any trading done tomorrow. I really shouldn't do any as I desperately need to get my accounts completed and my tax return submitted. It's one of those hideously boring jobs that I keep putting off and off. My trouble is, I find it very easy to get distracted from such tasks and the fact that I'll be doing them whilst sitting in front of my computer doesn't help.

West Ham v Newcastle Utd In-Running

Next up on the over 1.5 goals list and again, the head to head record of the past 20 meetings would indicate pre-ko odds of around 1.33. However, 3 of 5 games that failed to have 2 or more goals occurred 10 years ago. Looking back over the past 10 meetings between these sides and we have only 1 match that failed at 0-0. This equates to decimal odds of 1.11.

West Ham's two home games this season have seen 8 goals with Newcastle's two away games averaging at 2.5.

You'll find odds of 1.3 are available on the exchanges so, just about value pre-ko. Again, I shall do my usual of looking for additional value in-running.

UPDATE @ 15:20 - Early goal scuppers the bet before any of my bids are taken. That's the thing about this strategy. It can be frustrating at times. Still, there's plenty more games just around the corner.

Software Dramas

Not much to say about my trading today. The dogs were very dodgy. I got caught far too many times with big moves in the opposite direction. This was particularly true in the first hour or so where I seem to be developing that old habit I had in the horse markets - messing up early on and having to spend the rest of the day getting it back.

In the end I made just over £5 quid for my efforts having lost a total of £24.11. So £30 worth of profitable trades today, completely spoiled by all the crap ones.

You may have seen from my previous post, that I had intended to get involved in the Bayer Leverkusen v Hannover match. Unfortunately, that was a non-event for me as the first goal was scored before I even had a chance to submit my bets.

Talking of which I tried the Betdaq Trader software in this game. Just after the game went in play, I went to specify a back bet in the over 1.5 goals market. Having entered a bet of £5 at 1.90 it wouldn't submit it. More accurately, it submitted it but wouldn't accept it. Instead, it returned an error saying that the odds were invalid. I tried it again at different odds and got the same thing. Clearly the software isn't ready yet and that's probably why the download page has been removed and a 'Coming Soon' notice put in it's place.

I've reported the issue to Betdaq so hopefully it will be corrected soon enough. Not the best start to proceedings though.

I had other issues with software today, namely Bet Angel Pro. As regular readers will know, this week, off and on, I've been testing BA Pro in an XP environment running on top of Linux. It's performing much better now that I've reduced the screen resolution, removed some of the 'tabs' from BA, increased the memory available to the virtual box etc. To use it in anger though, I'd really need to increase my memory from 2GB to 4GB as well as potentially invest in a newer, more powerful graphics card as the smaller screen resolution doesn't make working in the software very easy.

While I was testing it on the horses today, I did have one major panic. I was only using stakes of £5 and completely messed up simply because the ladder is not only the wrong way round compared to Binarsoft BDI, but it's also upside down! In addition, I didn't feel it was particularly clear what I'd done and I suddenly found myself with a liability of nearly £50 though this didn't jump out at me at first - simply due to unfamiliarity with the software. Anyway, I panicked, quickly switched back to BDI and got out of my position for an 18 pence profit. LOL!

I was trying to explain to Leonthefixer in the chat room how much clearer BDI presents your position at all times but I wasn't making a good job of it so I thought a picture or two may be worth a thousand words.

The first image below shows my position having placed a £35 back bet at a probability of 25.974% (decimal odds of 3.85) and £20.18 of it matched. The 0.57, highlighted in orange represents £amount/points which is the way Binarysoft BDI represents money in the market.

Notice how the left most column of the ladder, the P/L column, clearly shows what the profit or loss would be depending on where the closing lay was placed. In my opinion, this graphic is so much more obvious than what BA Pro displays.

The next image clearly shows the greened up profit obtained after cancelling the unmatched portion of my back bet (the 0.57) and having a lay bet for the outstanding amount successfully matched 4 percentage ticks higher at 27.397% (decimal odds of 3.65) netting £1.11 across the board.

I find this very visual way of presenting my current position particularly useful. In contrast, I think the Bet Angel Pro interface far less clean and too cluttered. I will no doubt, if I ever get around to using BA Pro full time, get used to it, but I fancy the transition is going to be hard. Something about old dogs and new tricks springs to mind.

Aberdeen v Dundee Utd In-Running

This lunchtime fixture in the SPL is unlikely to attract the sort of liquidity that any of the Premiership matches would, but it should be enough for me.

In the last 20 meetings of these sides, in both league and cup, there's been 17 where there's been two or more goals. That equates to odds of 1.18, yet, at the time of writing, the pre-ko odds on Betdaq are 1.37.

In addition, in the 3 home games Aberdeen have had this season, there's been a total of 7 goals - i.e. 2 and a bit per game. Similarly, Dundee Utd's three away games have averaged 3 goals each. That's good enough for me.

As usual though, I'm greedy and will go looking for greater value by placing bets at higher odds once the match goes in-play.

UPDATE @ 14:48
- Final score 0-1 so no profit for me having traded out after the first goal for a free bet rather than a guaranteed profit. No harm done though and that's the important thing.

Incorrect Dates For Posts

I don't know why, but blogger seems to be putting in the wrong dates when I submit new posts to the blog. This one was put in at 11:48 on Sat 20 Sept, yet, as you can see, it's being logged as Friday 19th.

So the Aberdeen v Dundee Utd game is definitely being played on Sat 20th

Bayern Leverkusen v Hannover In-Running

I'm drawn to this encounter in Germany tonight. As ever, looking at the over 1.5 goals possibilities and the head-to-head records seem to indicate that goals are on the cards.

The last 12 league meetings between these teams, going back to 2002, have seen only two games with less than 2 goals. You need to go back to 1989 to find these teams in the same league once more. 10 game out of 12 implies a probability of 83.3% i.e. odds of 1.20. Current odds on Betdaq are 1.22 so the pre-match odds are just about value.

So far this season, Leverkusen have had 2 home games with a total of 12 goals being scored. Hannover's 2 away games have seen 5 goals in total. So this season's results tend to indicate there will be goals in this match. It's this more than anything else that has influenced the over 1.5 odds of 1.22.

I'll be looking for more value in running, as is my want, though I wouldn't be surprised to see a goal being scored before I get matched.

UPDATE @ 8:02 - As suspected, an early goal scuppered my plans and the bet was over in 20 mins - if I'd backed pre-ko, which I'm never likely to do. Never mind, there's plenty more where that came from.

Betdaq Trader Software

I've just downloaded the Betdaq Trader Software and, as it is Java based, it runs on Linux. Whoo Hoo!

At first glance, it is pretty basic and a little ropey - though with a version number of 0.c, it's hardly surprising.

I initially had trouble logging in. It kept reporting an error say that I was specifying an invalid user. However, the login box allows you to specify site name as well as username and password. By default, the site box is pre-populated with ''. Changing that to '' did the trick and I was in.

There's no ladder interface so in terms of the tools that most traders use for fast paced pre-race markets, then it is limited. There's a one click interface laid out in much the same way as the Betdaq web interface. How useful this will be totally depends on what markets your likely to use it for.

It's important, where appropriate, that Betdaq users/traders start using this application, if for no other reason than to encourage Betdaq to continue with development and demonstrate to them, and others, that trading using API tools is perfectly viable on Betdaq. Hopefully, this in itself will help encourage software vendors to develop their own tools as well as persuade traders that Betdaq is a viable alternative to Betfair. This in turn will boost the liquidity, thereby making it more attractive to traders.

I'll be doing my part and using it to trade soccer matches all of which I do on Betdaq now. I'll carry on using Binarysoft BDI to trade the pre-race horse and greyhound markets.

Greyhound Trials And Tribulations

After the close shaves and outrageous escapes of yesterday, I was looking forward to a more conservative days trading. No more mishaps please. I made sure my mobile was to hand and the countdown timer switched on, and I was very careful that I canceled any open bets if I switched runners. That wasn't to help me much in the first 40 mins or so this morning.

I was slightly down after the first few races when I was caught badly in the 11:42. Just as I was about to trade out for a 4 tick profit, the market took a quick and violent leap in the opposite direction. I had backed 'Flighty Roisin' at 4.80 and suddenly found myself out of pocket to the tune of £12 as I didn't get fully out until 6.97. Yikes!

The speed of the reversal took me by surprise and I wound up panicking into getting out as fast as I could. If there's one thing I learned from the horse place markets - when I was able to read them - was that these sudden adjustments frequently come back again. This one was no different. If I'd held my nerve for a couple of minutes, I would have still managed to get my 4 tick profit. 'Held my nerve' - very easy for me to say that now of course. As that dog went on a near vertical drift it was a different story.

I went and made myself a cup of tea and calmed down a bit, then in the 12:04 I won almost all of that back as the favourite came steaming in from 5.4. I got out at 4.00 as my timer was bleeping away with 45 secs to go. It shortened still further before the off.

The rest of the morning session was spent building myself a small profit, though given where I was at 11:45, a profit I was very happy with.

I started to play around with Bet Angel Pro in the afternoon and lost £2 on the horses before my son popped round putting paid to those experiments. We wound up watching the Aston Villa game so that was the afternoon gone.

I tried trading some of the evening races, but with so many British teams involved in European competition this evening, the money simply wasn't there so I eventually gave up. I earned just over £12 profit from the dogs today.

I also got involved in the Portsmouth game via Betdaq, backing the over 1.5 goals at 1.90 and 2.00 just before the first goal was scored when I traded out for a guaranteed profit. Another £4.62 added to the pot.

So, not the most prolific of trading days, but after the poor start this morning, a satisfactory one.

There Is A God After All!

I don't mean to cause any offense to anyone's religious beliefs, but I am not a believer. Tonight though, for once, the gambling gods where looking down on me and took pity on me after what can only be described as a tumultuous day on the trading front.

Perhaps, looking back on things, I shouldn't have been trading today. I had so many things to sort out for my daughter's party and that was just during the day. In the evening, with 12 screaming 13 year olds and music blaring, the atmosphere was hardly conducive to focussing on the trading markets.

I had intended to take 2 hours out in the morning to trade the dog markets, and, for the first hour things went reasonably well, if not spectacularly. Then came a moment of confusion that ultimately cost me £38.50.

I'd been trading 'Yonnas Legend' in the 11:57 at Newcastle, when, with 20 secs to go I closed my trade to green up, only for my position to turn red on all the other runners. I couldn't understand it. I quickly place another small trade, but no green up. I immediately thought that Binarysoft BDI was playing up. I quickly switch to the Betfair interface to close out manually, but it was a vain, panic stricken attempt to get out of a bad situation.

I couldn't understand what had gone wrong. Unfortunately, BDI does not record a log of it's behaviour so I was left with a £38.50 loss and no real understanding of how or why it happened. To compound things, I traded with much smaller amounts in the next race and it was fine. Disgusted with my bad fortune and cursing the gambling gods I switched off and went for an early lunch.

It was only then, while munching on my sandwich, that I thought of what might have happened. A quick check of the transactions in my Betfair account and all was confirmed. Before trading 'Yonnas Legend', I'd been looking at another runner, 'Coloured Cash' where I'd placed a back bet at 5.30 and well out of the money. When I switched runner I didn't cancel it and subsequently forgot all about it. So when it was matched 20 secs before the market suspended, I was fooled into thinking that something had happened when trading 'Yonnas Legend'.

Whilst I was not happy with suddenly being some £34 down on the day, I was a bit happier that I now had a sensible explanation for the loss.

For the rest of the day, in between the necessary household chores and my role as party chef and general dogs body, I set about getting some of that back. Given the amount of races I entered, I was doing quite well, helped by a £9 trade in the 19:43. In not many races, I'd managed to virtually half that deficit. This satisfactory progress was about to be halted rather abruptly though.

I was trading 'Williams Quago' in the 20:41 at Yarmouth. I should say, TRYING to trade in amongst the mayhem going on downstairs. Suffice to say, I wasn't concentrating and I got caught by the market suspending. Having been caught this way before I've turned to using the countdown timer on my mobile phone, but it was on charge and not to hand. I wasn't paying attention, being distracted left, right and center and, quite frankly, deserved it. I had £35 on the clear favourite and I couldn't trade out.

Once again, in disgust, I closed Binarysoft down and walked away from my computer and made a cuppa.

It is only in the past half hour when I came on to type up my posting for the day that I find the stupid mutt actually won! Yippee! I cannot believe it. How infrequently does that happen? So, instead of finding myself some £50 down on the day, I'm £42 up! There is indeed a god after all.

I've taken the hint though, breathed a huge sigh of relief and quit for the day. Best not to try my luck any further.


First Tests Of BA Pro On Linux

Some time ago, when the demise of Binarysoft BDI was announced, I expressed my concern as there was no other Betfair trading software, that I was aware of, that would run natively on my preferred operating system. I had four options available to me:

1. Continue to use Binarysoft BDI until such times as it stopped working. Keeping in mind that no further developments and facilities would be forthcoming since the author had decided to hang up his boots.
2. Run Win XP and Windows based trading application such as Bet Angel Pro inside a 'virtual box' on top of Linux.
3. Give up on Linux altogether and return to the 'Evil Empire' and all the hassles and expense that that would entail.
4. Give up pre-race horse trading altogether and stick with trading slow markets where I could use the Betfair interface which would allow me to carry on using Linux.

Until now, I've been going with option 1, but recently, Peter Webb of Bet Angel kindly gave me a free trial for a week or so, so that I could test out option 2. Today was the first time trying to use it in anger.

First off, I didn't try a lot of trading. It's going to take me a lot longer than a few days to learn how to use Bet Angel Pro as it is completely different to Binarysoft BDI. There's so much going on compared to the clean interface of BDI that I wouldn't want to dive straight in there until I understood what I was doing.

No, today was about seeing if the application worked with an operating system running on top of another. The short answer is, it didn't. Not well at any rate. Delayed bet submission and cancellation was my initial worry, but this wasn't a problem. What was an issue was slow screen refreshing resulting in bits of the Bet Angel window becoming distorted or 'missing'. This happened to such an extend as to make the program unusable.

This is purely down to a resource issue I think, so all is not lost. Over the next couple of days I'll try a number of things to free up some computer resources to allow Win XP/BA Pro to run a bit better. These include using a lower screen resolution, allocating more memory to the virtual box, removing anti-virus software etc. If this doesn't help, then my pc may require additional hardware, namely more memory and a much more powerful graphics card. Hopefully it won't come to that.

I'll give you an update on that later in the week. In the meantime, how did my trading go today?

Once again, I had a reasonably successful day at the dog tracks. I used a stake of £35 today and came away with a ROI of 61.9% so I've got to be happy with that. Yet, when looking at the number of races I got involved in - 47 - it's disappointing. I got caught more times than I should've because my reactions were too slow - which cost me £15.29. Also, on three separate occasions, those same slow reactions meant I missed greened up profits of at least £5 each time.

So, another good result, but it could've been better.

I didn't get involved in any of the Champions League matches tonight, partly because I don't, in general, get involved in cup matches and partly because I hadn't had any chance during the day to look at the stats. I didn't even get much of a chance to watch the games as I was spending the time with my daughter.

Speaking of which, I don't know how much trading I'll get tomorrow. It's my daughter's birthday tomorrow and after school she's having 12 of her pals round for a wii Fit party! So I've got to spend much of the day tidying the house just so that lot can trash it! Oh the joys of being a father.

I'll try and squeeze in some of the morning greyhound races. That's the great thing about the dogs. There's so many races on from 11am through to 10pm or so that I never feel obliged to do all of them. Instead, I can dip my toe in the water whenever the mood takes me throughout the day.

Anyway, good luck if you're trading tomorrow.

Greyhounds Continue To Bring In Profits

I was at work all day, so didn't managed to do any trading until after 6pm. The intention was to get involved in the Spurs v Aston Villa game, but having looked at the stats, I decided not to bother.

As you know, I'm keen on the over 1.5 goals market but the odds for this pre-ko were 1.27 on Betdaq. That's equivalent to a probability of 78.7%. Having looked at the head-to-head results over the past 20 meetings, only 12 of those were over 1.5 - implying odds of 1.67. Even looking just at the last 10 meetings gives implied odds of 1.42. So in my view the pre-ko odds were not value and I decided to leave well alone.

As it turned out, I was wrong and the game ended 1-2. However, I wouldn't have been matched anyway as I would've been looking for odds of 1.8 and upwards in-running. The early goal would have scuppered that.

I spent much of the evening trading the greyhounds where I had a successful evening despite it becoming much harder once the match at White Hart Lane had started. I traded some 26 races and came away with a profit of £18, so I was quite happy with that to round off the day.

If I can keep that sort of level going on a consistent basis, I'll be qualifying for the 20% premium charge in no time. LOL.

Good End To The Week

I wasn't sure what the dogs would be like today, but thought I'd give them a shot anyway. For the third day running, I found the early hours difficult, which was annoying as the markets were reasonably busy. Again, I made heavy weather of it by winning small amounts on a few races only to throw it away in one fell swoop.

It didn't help that I kept missing decent moves as I was busy getting my soccer bets together and posting to the blog. Still, I plodded on into the afternoon where the pickings were very thin indeed. I was on the verge of giving up and concentrating on the football, when, in the 3:37 I managed my best ever trade on the dogs. £9.57 after commission (5% that is) - not bad for a £30 stake.

This perked me up a bit and I carried on eventually netting £21.66 over 26 races. This, coupled with winning £7.35 after 2% commission over at Betdaq on the football made it a particularly satisfying day.

Speaking of the football, while getting involved in two matches today, I kept my eye on the liquidity at Betfair and Betdaq. Betfair far outstripped the amount of matched money by a factor of 7ish. I saw no sign of a move towards Betdaq in these markets, unlike there was in the cricket markets during the week. The odds available were pretty much the same, within a tick.

I suspect this will continue to be the case with the two biggest sports on the exchanges - namely horse racing and soccer. Whether that will change once API software is available for Betdaq I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

I was pleased with the way I read the two matches today. It's just unfortunate that I wasn't able to capitalise on the QPR game with a goal happening so early. Let me know if you found my thoughts on these games of interest and perhaps I'll do them more frequently. It certainly helped me collate my thoughts as I analysed the form book.

It's interesting though that with the £29 I won today, my total for this month after only two weeks has surpassed the total for the whole of August. Long may it continue.

QPR v Southampton In-Running

Just like the Stoke v Everton game earlier, I'm expecting a few goals in this game. However, unlike the lunchtime match, I think there's likely to be goals in the first half. QPR in particular have been scoring their goals at home this season during the first half, so I won't be surprised to see them take the lead.

The odds for over 1.5 goals are currently around 1.30. I think this is touching on value for a straight punt pre-ko, but I like to try and build in more value by taking the higher odds as they arise in-play when no goal has been forthcoming. So like the earlier game today, I'll be placing bets at 1.8, 1.9 and 2.0 one the match is under way.

In this case, I wouldn't be surprised if a goal is scored before I am matched. In which case my bets will be canceled and I'll not get involved further.

UPDATE @ 16:02 - I told you I wouldn't be surprised if QPR took the lead early on. I didn't expect it to be quite that early! 1 minute gone! I'd only just placed the first of my bets when the market was suspended. LOL! Oh well, there's plenty more matches to come.

I hate to think what all those folk who back the under 2.5 goals are doing right now!

Stoke v Everton In-Running

I thought I'd start posting my soccer trades/bets just for the hell of it.

Today's play is already under way. Both these teams have shown they have leaky defences but interestingly the goals in their respective games have been coming in the second half - predominantly.

I'm keen on the over 1.5 goals market so today's play is to place in-running bets at 1.8, 1.9 and 2.0. Assuming these are taken before the first goal, I'll then trade out when it arrives. If it's still 0-0 by the time the odds reach 4.0, then another bet will be placed then as I'm sure there will be goals in this game.

The above bets have already been placed as I type this.

UPDATE @ 14:18 - First three bets were matched a few minutes before Everton took the lead on 41 mins. Traded out for a no risk free bet which I'll win if there's another goal.

UPDATE @ 14:50 - Everton 2-0 up after 51 mins and a 50% profit in the bag. This compares with what would've been a 90% profit if I'd let the bet ride. This is something I need to consider as I develop this bet/trading strategy.

Onwards and upwards.

A Flash In The Pan?

I'm beginning to think my earlier success on the dogs was indeed just that. A big bit of beginners luck.

Today, like yesterday, I struggled to make any headway at all. The first three hours, generally the best time due to liquidity to trade the greyhounds (apart from televised events in the evening), were very poor. I was simply making too many mistakes through having incredibly poor reactions. Time and time again, I was too late to close out and the market turned against me having been in a profitable position. It was like I was operating in slow-motion.

As expected, the markets died a death in the afternoon and evening. I went and did something else rather than waste my time. I did try and scratch a few pounds profit in the evening, but it was hard going. By the time the televised events came along, with all the money that that entails, I'd lost interest and stopped for the night with only a few pounds profit.

My biggest win today was a straight punt on Stenhousemuir to win away at East Stirling - as per the advice at the very successful site, Soccerlotto. This was my first foray into the purple world of Betdaq, so let's hope that's an omen.

Back again tomorrow, hoping for a return to the performances I had earlier in the week.

A Tedious Day

I didn't get around to posting last night as I was pretty tired after a long day so here's a quick run down.

The day started off badly when the very first greyhound race was suspended when I had an open position some 90 secs before the scheduled start. I couldn't believe it! Not again! Fortunately, it was due to a non-runner. Under dog racing rules, the race was voided and all matched bets returned. Phew! Panic over. I even got an email from Betfair a few minutes later, explaining why my bets had been made void. What wonderful customer service LOL.

The first hour then went OK and I was into double figures by the end of the hour, only for my broadband to stall. Fortunately I didn't have an open position at the time. A quick hard reboot of my router seemed to sort the problem and it was fine for the rest of the day. These things don't install confidence and I was just waiting for the next thing as bad things normally happen in threes as they say.

Disappointingly, the next hour saw me embark on a very poor run and an on-going battle to keep in the black. Come 2pm, I'd barely made £2 and had lost much of my enthusiasm for trading. I had hoped that a quick lunch would get my head together, but on my return, the afternoon markets were very quiet and I struggled to get on anything, so I gave up and did some gardening instead.

When you realise how much I hate gardening, you'll understand just how bad the afternoon greyhound markets were. They weren't much better in the evening but I managed to scrape enough together to get me into double figures for the day.

The jury is still out on the greyhound markets. I've obviously had 2-3 really good days and a few poor days as well. However, it's only been 9 days since starting in these markets and I've earned £139 on them. Not a huge amount, but a decent return given I've been using stakes of £20-£35 and a lot better than I'd been getting on the horse place markets for sometime. Consequently, I shall persevere with them for a while longer.

This coming week will see me experiment with BA Pro. I've downloaded the software and got it running with Win XP running inside a virtual box on top of Linux. My initial concerns were that the speed of bet submission and cancellation was going to be an issue. I'm pleased to say that this is not the case if early indications are anything to go by. Some of the screen updating speed appears slow, but I'll strip Win XP to the bone to help with that, though it may need a memory upgrade from 2GB to 4GB.

It's going to take me a while getting used to the interface as it is much more complicated and cluttered than that of Binarysoft BDI. I'll get used to it though. I'm not going to delve into the software until Tuesday afternoon, when I'll return to the horse markets. In the meantime, I'm going to spend my quieter moments wading through the user guide.

Caught Out Again

Today started off poorly in that I missed the favourite of the 11:04 greyhound race come in from 3.5 to 1.8 because I was too busy chatting in the chat room and checking my emails. I managed to get on for the last few ticks for a £2 profit, but it should've been at least 10 times that.

This probably set the tone for the rest of the day, as I struggled to pick up any momentum at all. Three hours later I'd barely made £5.

Things didn't get much better in the afternoon, especially since the markets tend to be a bit thinner with the horse racing on. It didn't help by being caught out again when the market was suspended.

One of the things I really like about Binarysoft BDI is the fact that it automatically hedges. Whenever you place your closing trade, it will calculate the stake required to give a greened up profit (or loss). There's no additional step required. It doesn't place the closing bet at the same stake as the opening one, then place an additional lay at the current lay odds. It's quick, neat and you always know where you are.

However, occasionally, the closing bet may get matched at slightly different odds, resulting in an uneven greened up position. That's what happened to me today in the 3:28. I was paying attention to the countdown timer. I had my mobile phone warning me there was 30secs to go. But I had a £5.40 loss on one runner and £1 loss on the others.

To balance this up, one simply needs to quickly click on either side of the ladder - usually for a 1 tick loss to make sure both are matched. 30 secs is plenty of time to do that. To this end, what I normally do, is reduce my stakes so as to minimise the size of the 1 tick loss.

Unfortunately for me, when I did so at these odds - around 3.50 in this case - the bet wasn't submitted as the amount was too small. I increased them and tried again - same thing. In the meantime, my 30 secs is running out.

I set my stake levels higher and quickly clicked both sides of the ladder. My first bet was accepted, but the second wasn't. In the split second it takes to quickly click on either side of the ladder, the market was suspended and I was left with £70 odd sitting on one runner and a £26 loss on the rest. Well, I guess you know what happened next...

What a stupid thing to do. At least I learned one thing. If I'm ever in that situation again, trying to balance the books, I MUST lay first rather than back. At least then, if I'm caught out, I'll have most of the field running for me, rather than against me.

Anyway, I spent the rest of the day trying to get that back. As the day wore on, it became harder and harder as the markets got thinner and thinner. In the end, I gave up around 8:30 having got myself back to within a fiver of being level.

In total, I lost £45 over the 51 races I entered today. So again, I can take comfort in the fact that I had £40 worth of profitable trades in amongst that lot. I just need to be a bit more careful in future.

FTSE 100 Foolishness

Remember this? Having missed the opportunity to make some tidy profit in the FTSE 100 hourly markets on Monday through a lack of courage, I bravely stood my ground today - and lost!

Again, having heard the financial news on BBC Breakfast regarding another US bank rumoured to be in trouble, the early markets were falling - so the report went. So I quickly backed the FTSE 100 9:00-10:00 market to be down. £50 @ 2.00 with a number of smaller closing trades placed at various odds to lay off my liability.

As soon as 9:00 came, the first of those lays was taken, then the market headed south and never returned. I had decided before getting involved that I would get out for a £15 loss if things turned against me. Despite having numerous opportunities to get out for less, I stuck to my guns and 23 mins later I got out.

It was an interesting exercise in a market that I've only paid a cursory glance at in the past. I doubt that I'll try trading it any time soon. The spread between active odds on either side of the market is huge - 20 ticks at least. When the money moves in one direction, the other side of the market moves to maintain that distance. I didn't see any big spikes that would leap up, grab some action then drop again. So, although there was plenty of money in the market, very little was traded in those 23 mins.

So, on to the greyhounds and the fight to get that £15 pounds back. As usual, the main time for me trading these markets is the early shift from 11:00 to 14:00. Within 90 mins or so, I was back in profit for the day and eventually stopped for lunch at 2pm with approximately £25 earned from the dogs.

I popped in and out of the markets for the rest of the day, though the evening session was a complete waste of time as there was absolutely no money around. I presume everyone was more interested in the football tonight.

By the end of the day, I had traded 48 greyhound races losing money in only 6 of them at a cost of £7.10. I won a few pence short of a round £40 giving me a total profit for the day of £25. So I'm more than happy with that considering my foolishness first thing this morning.

Finally, I mentioned yesterday that I'd dropped my Betfair account to £250. I've taken a further £100 out as I'm simply not using it. It might as well be earning me interest rather than Betfair.

What To Do About Betfair?

Like many other loyal Betfair users, I'm quite disgusted with the recent hike in commission rates. It's clear that it will effect more than the claimed 0.5% of Betfairians. Take Leonthefixer for example. He has just resurrected his blog at Don't Give Up Your Day Job in order to vent his anger at the situation. Worth a read under normal circumstances but even more so now.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I received an email saying I was one of the 99.5% who will not be effected by this. Having read Leon's post and numerous postings in forums etc., if I was to be a bit more consistent, I don't think I'll be too far away from it this time next year. So what can I do about it?

Like many traders out there who use dedicated software like Bet Angel Pro, I'm stuck with it. Betdaq and WBX are simply not catered for by these software vendors. Hopefully this will now change after the uproar that Betfair's actions have caused. The other exchanges now have a glorious opportunity to attract disenchanted Betfair users and finally make the exchange industry more competitive.

As I trade the fast paced pre-race horse and greyhound markets, I have to use software to have any chance of being successful. However, I do not need to rely on software for slower paced markets. So, for the meantime, I will continue to trade the horse and greyhound markets on Betfair using approved API software.

My football trading though will be switched to Betdaq once I can get an account set up. I can easily use a web interface for the type of football trading/betting I do. If software vendors produce solutions for Betdaq, then perhaps I'll switch completely.

By removing my football trading from Betfair, this will not contribute to my account and will lessen the impact of commission charges should I reach the point where I am successful enough to incur them.

To this end, I have just emptied my Betfair account of all funds bar £250. That's plenty given my staking levels and I'll remove any profit on a daily basis so that the money available to Betfair to earn interest on is minimised.

It's been a sad week and, even though I am not effected and could theoretically carry on as I am, I feel it is important for me to make some small gesture to show my disgust at their monopolistic behaviour and demonstrate support for all the other traders that will be hit by this quite outrageous commission charge.

Wake Up And Pay Attention

I've had another interesting day trading the greyhound racing. It has seen some excellent trading and some particularly sloppy trading, which, I can largely put down to the thumping headache I've had most of the day thanks to this head cold I'm having difficulty shaking off.

Funnily enough, I shouldn't have been trading at all today as I was meant to be visiting a client - as is normal for a Tuesday. However, I felt so groggy when I awoke this morning, I postponed it until Thursday. Given the condition I was in, it was perhaps a bit risky trading at all.

I've settled into the routine of trading the first 3 hours, then having a break for much of the afternoon when the horse racing starts and much of the liquidity disappears from the dogs. With such a good result yesterday, I was looking forward to a repeat performance. This was certainly on the cards when, after the first hour, I was over £13 up. So I was rather annoyed with myself when in the 12:15 I lost much of those gains as I said goodbye to £9 - I got caught by a big reversal, twice on different mutts, which I struggled to get out of.

Not to worry though, this was until the end of the day, the biggest loss. I continued to slowly build the profit back up again, then lose some of it, claw it back and lose a bit more. Come mid evening though, I'd managed to get myself up to £31.

The 20:45 however proved my downfall. I was busy trading 'Crucial Girl' (if that means anything to anyone) when the market suspended. I'd been dreaming and hadn't looked anywhere near the countdown timer. I was left with a £24 profit if it won and a £15 loss if it didn't. As is the way of these things, it lost - and so did I. I've had so many 'Get Out Of Jail Free' cards of late, it was too much to expect another.

Not too worry. A silly mistake, brought on by fatigue. I should've stopped much earlier in the evening, but as I was doing so well I kept pushing on.

This loss left me with £17.50 profit, so I decided to carry on and get it to £20 when I'd stop. However, when I nearly got caught again in the next race, and just managed to get out for a £1.32 I felt it was time to quit. Protect the bank as they say. Despite the fact that there were plenty of races still to come, I was just too tired to concentrate properly.

That mistake aside, I was quite pleased how things went today, despite some of the sloppiness alluded to earlier. In the end, I traded 63 races throughout the day, and, including the one that was suspended, I lost £42.51 and yet still managed a profit of £16.11. In other words, I had nearly £60 worth of profitable trades. So, I'm quite content in that knowledge and look forward to trading the dogs again.

Taking Candy From A Baby

I was rather annoyed with myself this morning for losing my bottle. I'm not a financial expert by any stretch of the imagination, but when the news broke over the weekend that the US government had arranged to bale out two of it's most troubled financial institutions involved in the 'credit crunch', then even I could see that the stock markets would get a boost from that.

I foolishly forgot all about it though until this morning when BBC Breakfast News mentioned it again and indicated that the markets in the far east had already reacted favourably to the news. So, at 8:30, I logged on to Betfair, opened the FTSE 100 Hourly market for 9:00-10:00 and placed a £25 bet at evens for the FTSE 100 to be up.

There was plenty of money sitting at 1.90 waiting to be backed, just as there was plenty sitting at 2.1 waiting to be laid. I let my money sit there for 15 mins, yet nothing moved, so inextricably, I canceled my bet, went downstairs and made myself a cuppa.

I came back at 9:10 and the odds had steamed in to 1.10! Why oh why did I not grab some of that money sitting at 1.90? It really would have been like taking candy from a baby.

I actually dreamed up today's post title before news of Betfair's latest wizard wheeze became public. I received an email saying I won't be effected. This is of course good news as well as bad. Good because I don't have to pay the additional commission. Bad because it means I'm not as successful on Betfair as I'd like.

I'm not going to say much about these new charges - there's plenty enough to read about the subject on the Internet already. However, I cannot understand what Betfair are doing. Sorry, yes I can. They are doing what any other business would do - maximising their profits through any means they can. To be honest, I do not have a problem with that. What I take issue with is the blatant way in which they are abusing their monopolistic position. They will have upset a large proportion of the customer base. Unfortunately, those customers have little alternative but to accept it due to the lack of competition - and Betfair know it.

20% commission? Nice work if you can get it. A bit like taking candy from a baby.

Anyway, through all of this, I did manage to have a successful day trading, preferring the greyhounds and staying away from the horse markets that I have been struggling with recently. I had a good 3 hour session this morning before the horse racing started when what limited liquidity there is lessens still further. For the rest of the day, I nipped in and out as I felt up to it as I have been suffering from a head cold the past 2 days.

To cut a long story short, I made £53 trading 55 markets. I only had two losses that amounted to £6.45. In both I got caught by a reversal that didn't bounce back. That's the first time I've made this amount in a day for some considerable time. So to say I'm chuffed is an understatement. More of that will do nicely thank you very much.

A Mixed Bag

Again today, I spent most of my time investigating the greyhound markets. Well, for 90 mins or so late morning/early afternoon anyway, before breaking for lunch and to watch the first half of the Belgian Grand Prix. I resumed again around 2:30.

This was time well spent I'd say as I managed to get a 50% profit from a £25 bank. Unfortunately, as the afternoon wore on, what little money there was in these markets completely dried up. At this point, I turned my attention to the horse place markets once again. The first race I entered, the 4:00 at Thirsk, saw me immediately throw away over 37% of the gains I'd made on the dogs. This was enough for me just to throw in the towel and go and watch some TV.

My confidence in the horse markets has been ebbing away for some time, and to me, this was just confirmation. I do not seem to be able to read the place markets with any degree of accuracy anymore. As a result, it is causing me immense frustration to such an extent, that I'm sure it is effecting my decision making processes, thereby making it worse.

After an hour of chilling out, I checked out the greyhound markets once more. There was only an hour more racing left, but within three races I'd recovered all the money I'd lost on that single horse race, plus a bit more.

In the end I won £18 on the dogs today using a stake of £25. Next time I'll bump up the stake to £30 and see how I get on. For the moment, I think I'll give the horses a rest and concentrate on the dogs. I won't be able to make much per race but those races come thick and fast so hopefully it will be a case of a little profit, lots of times.

No Rest For The Wicked

I had every intention of staying clear of the horse racing today. Thanks to the weather, I had no trouble in doing so.

I needed to find some action so in the run up to the Peterborough v Bristol Rovers match, I went off to the dogs to carry on my quest to see if I could trade those markets. Well, to cut a long story short, I made just over £10 today from a £20 stake. That's a very pleasing result and I'll be doing the same again over the coming days with a few to raising my stake as I go. I reckon I should ultimately be able to use a £50 stake without too much problem. Time will tell.

My main play of the day was to be in the Peterborough match. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a non-event as all will become clear.

I don't trade football matches in the true sense of the word, for two reasons. First, I do not have live pictures, so I wouldn't be reacting to what is happening in the game. Second, I've never found a market that has an exit strategy I'm happy with.

What I primarily do, is back the over 1.5 goals where I deem the odds are value. However, I try to build additional value into the bet by looking for higher odds in play. I will place a number of bets at varying odds which hopefully will get matched before the first goal goes in. At which point I'll decide either to trade out, or let the bet run.

I was pretty confident there'd be goals at Peterborough today and when I saw that evens were available for over 2.5 goals, I seriously considered it. However, I decided to stick with my usual game plan and went for the over 1.5 goals. Unfortunately for me, this game was one of those where a goal is scored before any of my bets are matched. So no harm done other than an opportunity lost - but there's plenty more games just around the corner.

Who would've thought we'd see such a goal feast? Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I told a little lie earlier regarding the horses. I tried one race where I lost 2p. This was only because I was trying Bet Angel Basic with Windows XP running in a virtual box under Linux. I just wanted to check that bet submission was OK. Speed wise, everything seemed fine, though given that the minimum refresh rate for BA Basic is 1 sec, perhaps this test was inconclusive. Hopefully the Bet Angel team will look favourably on me and give me a free trial of BA Pro for a few days.

It Was Bound To Happen Sometime

Apologies for the late posting for yesterdays results. After the final race yesterday, I spent quite a while in the chat room where a very useful debate was going on trying to identify where, or indeed if, I was going wrong. Thanks to those who took part and offered advice - it has been most helpful.

To quickly summarise yesterday's proceedings...

I started the day on the dogs where I slowly made some cash using £20 stakes. I had a couple of biggish losses in comparison to the wins, but I was in profit. After an hour or so, all trading was brought abruptly to a halt by a power cut. Fortunately, I didn't have an open position at the time.

From my landing window, I can see the substation that serves my estate, and there was an engineer working there. When I spoke to him, he said he'd had to switch the power off for 60 secs or so. Thanks for telling me! Anyway, he informed me that everything was up and working again and there'll be no further disruption.

I did a little more successful trading on the greyhounds and geared up for the horse racing in the afternoon. That's where things really started to go awry. I scratched the first race, then lost £9.64 in the next! When one looks at that, and considers my liability of £90 I was using at the time, that seems excessive. I should point out that that was not through one bad trade, rather a sequence of them where I'd lose, go back in to retrieve it and lose again repeatedly. I still haven't learned to walk away when things go wrong.

Anyway, as you can imagine, that was me on the back foot yet again! The story of my trading the horses for some time now. To cap it all, the power went off again! This time for nearly an hour.

I really should have taken this as an omen and abandon trading for today, but against my better judgment, I ventured forth again into the 3:50 and promptly lost another £3.24. OK! Point taken. That was me for the afternoon as far as the horses were concerned. Instead I spent another hour or so playing around in the greyhound markets.

To cut a long story short, in the evening, I made a valiant attempt to recover my losses by some trading in the Germany and England U21 matches as well as trying the racing at Kempton. The football got me within £1 of being level for the day and the second last race drew me closer still. I only had 32p to get from the last race..... but I lost £4.80, and so there ends 33 days of profitable trading and time to stop recording it on the blog as advised by Roberto Cassini some time ago.

A loss of £5 today is of course insignificant in the grand scheme of things. What has been of greater concern is the way I seem to be going backwards in terms of earnings from horse trading. There's no doubt I have been finding the place markets difficult in recent weeks. A combination of a change in the way they are behaving, probably due to the increased amounts of money appearing there, and my inability to read them as I once did.

The conversation in the chat room last night went someway to allay my fears, but it is clear that spending 5 hours a day to barely win a tenner is hardly utilizing my time in an efficient manner. I need to do something about it and one of those is to change the software I use.

I feel I have outgrown BinarySoft BDI as far as trading the horse markets are concerned and need to change to BA Pro. This of course was always on the cards with BDI's demise, but I've been putting it off for so long to avoid having to use Windows.

This morning, I've requested a free trial of BA Pro for a few days so that I can test it in a Win XP environment running inside a virtual box on top of Linux. I want to check to see if there is a significant lag in bet submission due to running an operating system inside another. If the trial is successful, I'll subscribe to BA immediately. If not... then I have a decision to make. Do I abandon my principles and go back to Windows in order to continue trading horses or do I stick to Linux and trade slower paced markets that do not need dedicated trading software?

Before I go, a quick note about the blog/website. I've added a links page as you'll see from the menu at the top. I've moved all the blog links that were in the sidebar to the right. This effects those of you who exchanged links with me in the past. If you wish to revise those agreements due to this change then I understand. Also, since I now have space, if you want a brief descriptive sentence next to your link then send me a quick one liner with what you want.

My Trading Is Going To The Dogs

Quite literally...

I've been very aware over the past few months that I need to expand my repertoire so today I took the opportunity to look at the greyhound markets. These markets during the day are quite quiet, almost resembling the place markets that I've come to know and love. Actually they are a lot quieter which presented it's own problems.

I played to reduced stakes of £25 and was doing reasonably well earning anything from a few pence to just over a pound. I took one hit for £2.80 when I was to slow to react but the disappointing trade was still to come. I inadvertently clicked the wrong button which meant I placed a bet of £100 rather than £25. I was gobbled up immediately and couldn't get out for anything less than a £6 loss.

That was annoying to say the least. Not because I lost a trade. I misread the market, but to submit such a large bet when the market simply wasn't capable of supporting it was just careless. So, I finished £5 down on the greyhounds.

Despite this loss, I saw enough today to want me to carry on looking at these markets. The dog races certainly come thick and fast so even making small amounts per race, it will soon add up.

Having suffered this loss before the horse racing started, I didn't do myself any favours by losing 4 of the first 5 horse races I entered. So once again, I found myself on the back foot early in the day and it took me all afternoon to get myself in profit for the day.

Having done all the hard work, I was really annoyed with myself in the 4:50 to have a bad loss on 'Drumming Party' which put me back in the red. I then had to go out, so it wasn't until much later this evening that I discovered the horse had been withdrawn and those bets were void. Yet another 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card.

The evening was spent primarily on the Kidderminster v Torquay soccer match with a little trading at Great Leighs in the place markets.

I did my now almost customary five bets in the over 1.5 goals market, with the first three of these being taken before the only goal of the game was scored. I managed to trade out for a small guaranteed profit which, combined with the horse racing was enough to keep me in profit for the day.

I shall continue to expand my horizons tomorrow, but this time I'll have better results. Hopefully.

Monopoly Anyone?

I should play the famous board game more often as lately I have been picking up so many 'Get Out Of Jail Free' cards it's unbelievable.

Just like the past few days, I traded steadily if not spectacularly, slowly building the profits until throwing it all away again. On this occasion, it only took 50 minutes before the wheels fell off the bus.

I managed profits in the first 4 races and things were looking quite good for the day. Come the 3:00 however, I embarked on a run of four losing races that wiped out all those gains and put me in the red. I was disgusted with myself, frustrated and I'm afraid I lost a bit of discipline.

I've said many times on this blog that I will not bet with money I haven't won that day. The idea being that I can fund any bets I may wish to do by the profits I make that day from trading the horses. My intention was to primarily apply that to any bets I may have on the footy, as that's where I'm likely to have a punt if I'm having one at all. However, the theory applies to anything I do, including in-running hedging on the horses.

This is where I lost my discipline as I hadn't won anything, but I decided to stick a fiver on 'Acquifer' in the 4:20 at Lingfield as tipped by Graeme over at The Experiment. Yes I know, I was chasing my losses, but I felt I could afford another fiver (or tenner as it turned out).

I got on at 15.0 a few minutes before the off, then placed a 'keep' lay at 3.76 to give me a guaranteed profit of £15. As the start of the race approached, it drifted out to 23.0, so I stuck another £5 on at those odds. The race jumped before I could cancel the lay at 3.76. As soon as the market reopened I did just that and placed a new lay at 7.60 for £25 to guarantee myself £15 before commission, assuming it was matched. It was, shortly after, with the odds reaching 5.00ish before drifting out again.

And there's my 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card. If it hadn't drifted pre-off, I wouldn't have been tempted to put another £5 on it and consequently wouldn't have altered the closing lay. As a result, I would've lost a fiver. About time the gambling gods gave me a break!

So, there was me, a much happier chappie thanks to Graeme rather than my trading skills. That wasn't the end of the story though, as this win, gave me the boost I need to actually put in some decent trades before the end of play at 5:10.

This evening was, in between earning a bit more in the place markets, spent looking at hedging in the win markets sparked by a discussion that took place in the chat room last night. Already the room has seen some interesting thoughts banded about, so thanks to those who have been taking part.

Anyway, early days with the idea, but this evening's monitoring, coupled with a handful of races I looked at this afternoon has seen a 100% success rate - albeit on paper. I'll continue to monitor it for a while, but it certainly shows promise if today's results are anything to go by.

I 'traded' (LOL) 20 races today, scratching 6 and losing 4 at a cost of £12, but thanks in the main to Graeme, I came away with a £24.64 profit on the day. Cheers mate.

Why Do I Keep Doing That?

I had a two moments of madness today that completely spoiled my horse racing returns.

I was quite comfortable today, playing a slow and steady game building the profits nicely. I had a couple of small blips early on, but in general, my trading was consistently in the right direction. With three races to go, I was heading for a £20+ afternoon which I would've been quietly satisfied with.

Since I started trading horses back in Feb, I've always tended to try and trade every race. Indeed, the temptation to do so in order to 'earn' another few pounds is very difficult to resist. Recently however, I've been trying to be more selective with the races I enter in an attempt to both pick the ones with decent movement that I can jump on, as well as avoid those that are likely to see me lose.

I obviously haven't mastered the selection process yet as I jumped on wholly inappropriate runners in both the 5:05 and the 5:20 this afternoon. I won't bother going into details, but both those races were screaming at me to stay away - but I didn't. As a result, I wiped out all the gains I'd made throughout the afternoon and suddenly found myself in the red.

Fortunately, I managed to compose myself and put in a decent trade in the last which brought me back into profit for the day - just. So yet again, through carelessness on my part, I end up with a tiny profit from my exertions in the horse markets. I ask again, why do I keep doing that? Answers on a postcard please...

With the afternoon's disappointment behind me, I moved on to the York v Mansfield match in the hope of redeeming myself somewhat.

One of my favourite soccer markets is the over 1.5 goals. I first of all look to see what would be value odds for the over 1.5 goals. I then try to build in additional value by looking for higher odds in-running.

Generally, I place 4-5 bets in ever increasing odds and wait for them to be matched. After that, I simply wait for a goal. Once the first goal is scored, I usually trade out, though not always. Sometimes I just let it run.

Take the match tonight for example. I placed bets at 1.6, 1.75, 2.00 and 4.00. The first goal was scored not long after the second bet was matched. I then traded out for a guaranteed profit of more than a fiver. As I mentioned to the guys in the chat room, as soon as I traded out, I regretted it. I felt strongly there'd be another and I should've let it run. Easily said with hindsight of course.

So a reasonable return for a £15 bet and the day looks a little better than it did at 5:20 this afternoon.