October Summary

Not the best of months, but certainly not the worst. October started off rather slowly but picked up nicely after the first week or so. It slowed down again a week ago, then of course, I decided to take much of the past 5 days off. I have nipped in for the odd hour here and there, just to 'keep my eye in', but for the most part, I've had a very beneficial break.

As per the previous month, much of my trading was spent on the greyhounds, where I struggled at times to achieve the same level of trades I was making in September.

I did start to return to the horse markets, but I'm still finding them difficult. However, it is something I need to work on as I do not believe I will be able to step up a level without them. Certainly, I do not think I can go much further in the greyhound markets simply because of liquidity issues.

The other option is to look at other markets of course and the long winter months will hopefully give me some time for research into that. With this in mind, I've started to get more involved on the soccer front, but to be honest, I still have difficulty with trying to trade these markets and separate myself from a gambling mentality. My betting background lies in football and I cannot help thinking that I may be better returning to that for these markets rather than keeping my trading hat on. It's a conflict I have yet to resolve.

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

Greyhounds... £371.85
Horses... £39.47
Soccer... -£24.69
Tennis... -£46.53

The least said about that tennis loss the better. The method of it's loss is more disappointing than the loss itself as I explained earlier when it happened last Monday.

I'm very disappointed with the loss in the soccer markets. Again, I've made some poor choices as I've failed to choose correctly between trading and gambling.

So what's on the horizon for November?

Well, as the dogs are the ones that are bringing in the money, I'll be carrying on with them in the meantime. I will be getting involved more in the horse markets but the soccer markets may take a back seat as far as trading is concerned. I've never been happy with trading soccer so I may go back to gambling on those, funded by winnings from my trading efforts.

I also intend to spend more time taking advantage of free offers from bookmakers. So I'll be looking at matched betting in more detail. I have never looked into this simply because I always thought it was more hassle than it was worth. However, the new Odds Matcher facility at bet72.com now makes this a doddle, as I highlighted in my last post.

More specifically the likes of Bet365 have a regular feature during the televised greyhound meetings and some of the horse meetings regularly covered by Channel 4. There are special conditions imposed on these offers which don't lend themselves to the normal matched betting process.

However, with thanks to the Iranian Giraffe for sparking the idea, I spent much of my mini sabbatical this week developing a spreadsheet just for this application. The testing has gone very well and I'm quite excited about it so I'll start using it in anger at the earliest opportunity.

I'm still trading on Betunfair as it is being called by many these days. This is mainly due to my ongoing software issues and, as far as the greyhounds are concerned, liquidity. Betdaq trader is due to get a ladder interface very shortly so I'll be trading the horse markets on Betdaq once that arrives.

I'll be carrying on with trading on Betfair, at least until my 'allowance' is used up, though I suspect that will have to continue indefinitely as far as the dogs are concerned. I do not see liquidity in these markets improving sufficiently on Betdaq any time soon.

I continue to do all my soccer trading/gambling on Betdaq rather than Betfair and this will continue. I'll also be using Betdaq for all the matched betting I'll be doing.

So interesting times ahead for me with new areas to explore and profit from. I certainly need to be looking for ways to move up a gear. Way back in the dim and distant path I said that I'd be happy making £400/month. I'm more or less doing that now, but it isn't enough. Not when I look at the number of hours I'm putting in - and that's without me being charged the premium charge yet. I need to work on improving my hourly return so I can cut back a bit.

How I am going to achieve that is, as yet, unclear to me.

Matched Betting Odds Matcher

I just wanted to do a quick post to flag up a new facility at bet72.com.

If you are into matched betting to make use of the numerous free bets available from bookmakers and guarantee yourself a profit, then you need to check out bet72's Odds Matcher. No more searching the internet for the best opportunities and scratching around with spreadsheets to work out the figures. It's all there, in one place, with real-time data. Check it out. It's a great facility.

Note, I'm not associated with, or affiliated to bet72 in any way. I do however like to flag up great facilities and tools when I come across them, and this one is excellent.

Time For A Break

Over recent day and weeks, I have felt my discipline slip and my mind not focussing on trading. I've had a number of things on the go in my life of late which are causing 'distractions'. I am aware that I have been drifting into a gambling mindset rather than a trading one and this morning saw the best example of that.

I acted on a tip by a forum member in a site I frequent, namely SoccerLotto, He was recommending to back Sam Querrey to beat Marcos Baghdatis.

With this in mind, and seeing that Querrey was serving first I decided to back him once the match went in-play for £100 with a view to laying him off for a £10 profit. Within 20 secs of placing the trade, his odds shot out as Baghdatis took the first game and I was looking at a £50 loss.

I waited for a couple of games to see if Querrey could break him back but no, so I took the hit and got out for a loss of £46. I do not have the nerves to see if he'll fight back.

I'm annoyed with myself for this lapse. Not so much for the losing trade itself, but for diving into a market I know little about based on the recommendation of someone I know to have a good record. I went in with no plan, no knowledge and no sense. A pure gamble.

And as I type this, I see that Querrey has fought back and my trade out position would have been taken. I'm so used to the fast paced pre-race markets where trades are completed in seconds that I clearly cannot handle the the stress required to hold one's position in a tennis match.

I need to take a break, not just because I'm feel myself slipping into a gambling mindset, but because I am frustrated. I haven't been able to set a path for myself with regard to where my trading is going. I'm spending long hours in front of my PC and it is having a detrimental effect on my domestic life. I currently feel I need to spend those hours in order to build up any sort of profit.

My trading has clearly plateaued and that is a worry in itself. Hopefully a break will do me good.

End Of The Week Syndrome?

The past couple of days have been very poor, living up to the reputation that Friday and Saturday are just not good days for me. I'm beginning to wonder now if that is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy each week.

I didn't post yesterday's result, simply because it wasn't worth the effort. I had struggled all day to get anywhere. The most I got ahead at any point in the day was £12. In the end, I finished early while I was still a fiver up.

Today's performance wasn't much better. To be honest, I simply wasn't in the mood and, after doing a little trading on the dogs early on, decided to quit at lunchtime. Instead, I took the decision to have a little punt. Well 3 actually. I placed £5 on each of 'The Hairy Mutt' in the 2:00, 'Rileyskeepingfaith' in the 2:10 and 'Championship Point' in the 2:45. All to place - all failed.

I traded a little more in the evening, but when I lost over £11 in the 7:20 at Wolverhampton I decided to pack it in for the night with my trading having earned 3 pence for the day. LOL!

Whilst I appreciate that I cannot win everyday, I am disappointed with the last two days as my performance in the first half of the week had put me in a position to win over £200 in a week for the first time. It needed reasonable performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but obviously, that is unlikely to happen now.

Saturdays in particular are so regularly poor, I'm beginning to think I should take them off. Or at least, trade completely different markets. I'll have a think about it during the week.

Momentum Waning?

I'm a pretty small player in the grand scheme of things, yet even I have been hit but the now infamous premium charge. No money has been withdrawn from my account as yet, but the charge is being applied to my 'allowance'.

Because it hasn't directly hit me in the pocket yet, and won't do for 3-4 months, I've not talked about it much. There's more than enough been said about it by those directly involved. That is not to say I do not support a move to Betdaq. Indeed, I'm already doing all my football betting/trading over there. Once Betdaq Trader has a ladder interface, I'll be there for the horses as well.

However, I'm becoming more and more concerned that any mass exodus is losing what momentum it had.

I've felt from the beginning that the people to be hit the hardest by this charge, are not the high rollers, but the smaller players. Someone who regularly earns £3K-£5K per week, might justifiably feel aggrieved at having to pay an extra 20%-25%, but let's face it, they'll still be able to maintain a very comfortable living with what's left. The little guy on the other hand who, like myself, earns £75-£150 per week is going to be faced with the situation where trading simply might not be worth the effort.

The high rollers currently cannot afford to move over to Betdaq which, in itself is making other punters reluctant to move. Don't get me wrong. Liquidity is improving no end in the land of purple, but it is largely due to the valiant efforts of smaller traders like Drifter and LeonTheFixer, to name but two, as they desperately try to maintain their income whilst avoiding the premium charge.

To illustrate the point, one only needs to take a look at recent posts on the Bet Angel Blog. Here we have Peter Webb posting screen shots of some excellent daily results. Over £2K on the 18th Oct.

I mean no disrespect to Peter, but posting such images of returns earned on Betfair is hardly going to encourage users to leave for another place. It would be great, and much more beneficial, if the likes of Peter posted regular results obtained on Betdaq.

It may be pure conjecture on my part, but the urgency and enthusiasm that Bet Angel showed a few weeks ago in getting the Betdaq ball rolling seems to have disappeared. Yes they made a sterling effort to get Bet Angel for Betdaq out so quickly, but I just have nagging doubts. Indeed, believers in conspiracy theory may suspect that some sort of deal has been done between BA and BF.

If I'm way off base, then I apologise unreservedly to Peter and his team, but it seems to me that Betfair will remain the home of most, if not all high rollers for some time to come. This may very well turn out to be permanent and the dream of some real competition in the exchange business may be just that. A dream - and that will be a sad day for the rest of us.

Now, on a brighter note, I won £43 today. Woohoo!

It was a very difficult day having started off extremely slowly. I couldn't get going at all and, come lunch time, had barely broken into the teens. To make matters worse, I lost more or less half of this immediately upon my return. I spent the rest of the afternoon taking two steps forward, one step back, gradually building the profit. However, it wasn't until the evening session that things started to come together for me and I eventually got into the 40s.

My long term Udinese trade was a disappointment. Far from coming in, it actually drifted before kick off and I was forced to trade out for a small loss. Unfortunately, I didn't have the courage of my convictions to put a smaller bet on them to win as I indicated in my earlier post. As expected they won their match and I missed yet another opportunity on the football.

Not to worry though. A tidy profit for the day with October picking up nicely after a slow start.

False Dawn

After yesterday's performance, I was hoping for more of the same, and I got it. I was off to a flyer from the first race onwards and had recovered two thirds of the money I lost on the late race last night.

Great start, but come 12:30-12:45, I hit a brick wall. Trading went on tilt and within the next hour I had lost a significant portion of those gains. A took an extended lunch break before trying to retrieve some of those losses. Unfortunately, I found the afternoon session hard going with little money in the dog markets and a somewhat haphazard trading performance in the horse place markets.

However, by the time the Champion Leagues matches kicked off, I had recovered from my earlier setbacks and continued onwards. By this time though, the dog markets had practically dried up so I decided to quit for the day some £25 richer.

Quite happy with that, but hoping for a bit more tomorrow.

We Wiz Robbed

As a Celtic fan, I was hoping beyond hope for a good result at Old Trafford tonight. Realistically though, I was expecting a thrashing. With our main strikers out I didn't expect Celtic to come anywhere near scoring and with Man Utd's strike force on song at the moment, the omens were bleak indeed.

Still, for much of the game, I felt Celtic held their own, whilst riding their luck at times, but what chance does any team have when faced with such appalling decisions. Bervatov's two goals were clearly offside. I doubt any team would have managed to come back from there against Utd.

To cap it all, the officials then chalked off a perfectly good goal by Rooney, before he went on to get Utd's 3rd. How many times do we see good games spoiled by bad refereeing?

Still, well done to Man Utd. The better side won, even though we wiz robbed. LOL.

My trading today went very well. As is now the norm, I started at 11am trading the greyhounds. Within 2 races, I found myself over £8 up. A great start completely spoiled by losing it all again over the next three! After that, I settled down to some steady trading that took me through the day.

In the afternoon I alternated between the dogs and the nags, steadily building up my profit until I stopped just before the big match, with just over £60. An excellent result, which I then added to at half time.

After the match I went back to the greyhound races with a view to earning the few pounds I needed to see me past the £70 mark. I guess you know what happened. Indeed, my daughter told me not to do it saying I'd lose it all. Oh she of little faith!

Everything went to plan. I was within a few pennies of breaking through £70 when the 22:00 jumped 20 secs early. The market was suspended before I had fully traded out. I was left with a liability of £31. Needless to say, the silly mutt, the favourite, didn't come close to winning.


Surprisingly, I took the loss in my stride. As I said to Leon in the chat room, although the loss was annoying, if I'd been offered a profit of nearly £40 at the beginning of the day, I'd have snapped it up, no question. At the end of the day, it wasn't my fault that I lost. My trading was sound, and had been all day. If I can get a profit of £70 in one day, then I can do it again another day.

Since starting trading dogs at the beginning of September, I have earned a profit of £675. In that time, I have been caught by the start in an open position 3 times. Twice it has cost me, the other time, it went in my favour. I guess, what goes around, comes around and these things even themselves up over time.

Aside from this 'mishap', there was one area of my trading I was disappointed with. I only earned £1.75 on the horse place markets. There was plenty of liquidity and I had increased my stakes from £60 to £75, yet I had difficulty getting on anything of significance and wound up scratching a lot of trades.

As I mentioned earlier, I was alternating between dogs and horses in the afternoon. This wasn't a problem in itself. With the place market though, I like to take a good 4-5 mins to assess the market. With each dog race happening 2-3 mins before each horse race, I wasn't getting a good opportunity to do that. I think this is where my problem lay today. Tomorrow, I'll use BinarySoft's monitoring facility to track the horse market while I'm trading the dogs and see if that helps.

In any event, if I trade half as well as I did today, then I'll be a very happy chappie.

Betdaq Trader Ladder Interface

I've been led to believe that the Betdaq Trader development team are currently working on a ladder interface which should be available in the next few weeks.

This truly is excellent news as it will provide me with a viable Betdaq trading option that runs natively in Linux.

I have been using the test version of Betdaq Trader, currently at version 1.0, and have found it to have many interesting and useful features. However, as far as my trading style and markets are concerned, it is limited. That is not to say, that I couldn't use it for other markets. Far from it. It's just that I'm not up to speed in other markets.

I've been using it's grid interface for my football betting/trading, but I've never found such an interface easy to use for the fast paced pre-race markets. So a ladder interface is most welcome.

I'll keep you updated if I hear anything else.

By the way, the download page is available again, so you can get your hands on Version 1.0.

Udinese v Spurs

At the time of writing, Udinese are better than evens on Betdaq to beat Spurs on Thursday. I expect these odds to come in before KO so I've backed them.

Even if the odds do not come in significantly before KO, and I'd be surprised if they don't, Udinese are the team to be on in my view. They are currently flying high in second spot in the Serie A and let's face it, Spurs are all over the place just now.

Quote Of The Day

Thanks to Pythia on the Betfair Forum for this little gem:

"Betfair is up front about what it charges but the bookies hide their inflated rates in their margins."

You can find the full thread in the Betfair horse racing forum. Worth a look if you want a giggle.

I had limited trading opportunities today as I was at a client's. However, during the day, I formulated a plan for this evening's session.

I felt that Man City had a very good chance of winning at St James Park, particularly as Newcastle had their main attackers missing. I wanted to back City out right, but wanted it for nothing as it were. So I decided to trade the greyhounds and put what ever winnings I achieved on Man City to win, with a view to trading out whenever they went into the lead.

The plan was, each time my greyhound profit increased by £5, I'd put that fiver on Man City and I'd keep on doing so in-play until they took the lead. By the time kick off came along, I had £10 on Man City.

Unfortunately, with the football on, the greyhound markets dried up considerably, so I didn't get the opportunity to put anymore on by the time Man City took the lead. At which point I traded out for a profit of £8.87 before Betdaq's 2% commission.

So, despite getting the result of the match wrong, it started off as I expected and that's good enough for me.

That, combined with the £16 I won on the dogs, adds another £25 to the pot, which I'm very happy with. Not bad for a relatively relaxed 2-2.5 hours this evening.

Mixed Bag

I had a reasonable day in terms of final return, though it was primarily due to my trading the horse place markets rather than the greyhounds and soccer.

The day started off pretty well with the dogs until I made two stupid mistakes in consecutive races around noon. The first saw only a fraction of my opening trade being matched. I jumped a few ticks ahead to get on, what I thought was going to be a decent shortening of price. Stupidly, I hadn't canceled the remaining unmatched stake from my opening position. No sooner had I placed the second bet and the market reversed, sweeping up both by bets.

So, I was left with double the amount of money in the market than I had intended - and double the resulting loss.

Having decided to take a time out and have a cuppa, I came back and jumped straight into the next race without pausing to assess the market. Not surprisingly, I lost on that one as well.

Those two basic, schoolboy errors cost me over £11. Indeed, throughout the day, I racked up over £18 in lost trades on the greyhounds. They still wound up in profit for the day, but those losses were disappointing.

The horse place markets were much better and I'm pleased to say that some confidence is returning after completely losing it last September. I'm playing with much reduced stakes of £60 but I still managed a profit of over £20. The good news is that the place markets continue to attract a lot more money than I was used to in May/June, so I should not have too much trouble increasing my stakes.

I also decided to stick a lazy fiver on the football. This has been let down thanks to the Athletico Bilbao v Barcelona game only having 1 goal.

So a profit for the day of just under £20, but more important than that are the encouraging signs that the horse racing is an option once again.

What A Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday evening, having performed so badly, I was of a mind not do any trading today, especially as Saturdays do not seem to be my best days. However, having vented my frustrations on here, followed by a good night's sleep, I changed my mind.

I was in a much better mood today, plus the fact that I had other things on the go that I could do whilst trading, I was able to sit down in front of my pc without feeling as if I had to trade everything that came along.

I spread myself about quite a bit today trading in greyhounds, horses and soccer. The latter was the one disappointment, though I was trying a little experiment in the Villareal game which led to the loss of a fiver.

So I came away with a profit of just over £30 with both the nags and greyhounds contributing roughly equal shares.

It was the horses in particular that I got most satisfaction from. I ventured into the place markets again and, for the first time in what seems an age, things started to click once more. Hopefully that is no flash in the pan. I'll carry on with the place markets this week and see if today has been an aberration. If not and as there is loads more money in these markets nowadays, then I'll quickly increase my stakes again from the £60 I used today.

A happier bunny than yesterday. I now need to go off and think about whether to lay Hamilton or not in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Oops! I Spoke Too Soon

So much for reaching the £2K mark the other day. Today I had a nightmare which saw me back below that figure.

Things started to go awry yesterday, when I was caught badly on one dog race that wiped 75% of my gains. I finished the day with less than a fiver in profit. I was so disgusted that I didn't bother posting yesterday, for which I apologise.

That theme carried on today, although everything started off reasonably well. I was edging towards £20 profit for the first session on the dogs when, in the 13:12, I threw over £11 away in the one trade. I completely misread the market and got caught badly. Of course, it would be after I raised my stakes as well. Typical!

I endeavoured to carry on, but I then managed to lose another £2 soon after, so I packed it in after throwing my rattle out the pram. I was virtually back to square one and felt an extended break would do me good.

I returned to the fray a couple of hours later but lost another £18 on one of the first races I entered - this time on the horses. After throwing the rest of my toys out the pram, I switched off. My head clearly wasn't with it.

After another prolonged break and a significant effort to calm myself down, I set about trying to limit the damage. I managed to recover about a third of my losses when I has bitten on the rear by a dog, yet again. This time I said goodbye to nearly £8. If only I had had some toys left.....

So I've wound up some £18 down on the day after what had started to look like being a good day. Losing trades of £11, £18, and £8 may not seem that much, but when one considers the size of my stake (£60 for the nags and £30-£60 for the dogs) one should quickly appreciate how bad those trades were.

I looked to retrieving some of those losses on the over 1.5 goals market of the Bochum v Monchengladbach match but my bet wasn't matched before the 1st goal on the half hour mark.

These trades really sum up the way I've been feeling about my trading for a while. As I was commenting in the chat room, I'm having great difficulty in stepping up a gear. Whenever I try to do so, I seem to hit a brick wall or worse still, go backwards. This certainly seems to have happened with regard to the greyhounds this month.

I find myself seriously contemplating giving up this trading lark, at least in it's current form. I'm spending long hours in front of my PC trying to trade the dog and horse markets for pretty scant reward just now. Yes, the extra money is welcome, but I could earn more packing shelves in B&Q. At least I'd get the opportunity to get out the house and meet people. I am really not sure that trading at this level is worth it.

I look at many blogs and see how well other traders seem to be doing. I honestly cannot see me ever getting to that level. Even regularly making £50/per is way beyond me just now, yet way back in June, that was looking like a distinct possibility.

Regulars will know all too well that I tend to be too hard on myself. Self-critical is my middle name. I certainly feel myself sinking into a crisis of confidence again. This hasn't been brought on solely by today's poor result. Rather it's a combination of not only my inability to push on, but my failure to even maintain the results I was getting last month.

As ever, I just need to plow my way through it and hope that things turn a corner soon.

Bet Angel For Betdaq Is Out

And it's FREE!

Interesting times ahead. Liquidity on Betdaq has always been an issue, coupled with the lack of decent trading software. That may be about to change with the release of Bet Angel for Betdaq.

Head over to Bet Angel and download it now!

Another Landmark

Today's trading wasn't particularly spectacular but the £10 or so that I did win was enough to scrape me past the £2000 mark. That's a 20000% increase from my original starting point of £10 way back in Feb. I had hoped to be here at least a month ago, but as I've documented previously, mid-July through August was not as good as I would have hoped. Still, £10 to £2000 in 203 trading days is not bad at all, though I do say so myself.

A Good Result After A Slow Start

I spent the first two hours of the day still suffering from the problem of making good trades followed by bad ones. As a result, I'd only made a couple of quid come 1pm at which point I gave up and went to Tesco to get the weekly groceries.

I'm not sure why I am no longer making decent returns during the morning session of the greyhounds. I'm certainly getting caught far more often than I was, so I may be leaving myself open for longer than I have in the past. I'll work on that during this week.

After lunch, I spent the afternoon switching between dogs and horses. Slowly but surely, things started to pick up. I even finished the afternoon with a profit on the horses. Shock! Horror!

I continued adding to the profit in the evening, though I had to be much more choosy which dog races I entered as some of them were particularly thin.

In the end, I finished the day with a profit of nearly £30 which is much more like it. I am, however, throwing away far to much. I had £24.72 in losing trades today which is far too high compared to my profit. In essence, I had over £50 in profitable trades today so I really need to work at reducing the number of losing trades. Then, perhaps, I'll see my profit jumping to the levels I believe it should be at.

And finally...

Anyone who trades the greyhounds will no doubt be familiar with the voided/lapsed bet email sent from Betfair. Usually, this happens when I've made a decent profit on the race. It's so unusual to receive one that goes in my favour.

Monday Evenings Buck The Trend

I got back from work earlier than I expected enabling me to spend 3 hours trading the greyhounds.

In line with quite a few Monday evenings in recent weeks, I traded quite well, racking up £20 in profits for my troubles. This was all the more pleasing as I missed a significant number of races due to phone call interruptions and the like. So it seems that Mondays are pretty good to me.

This is borne out by the figures. I had a quick look over my records for the past 5 weeks. As you can see from the period totals below, Mondays are clearly my better days, with Saturdays my worst - as I've known for some time.

This is particularly interesting as over the past month or so, I've only been able to trade in the evenings on a Monday. I also seem to get worse as the week goes on. However, it's a small sample of only 5 weeks, so I shouldn't draw too many conclusions from it.

Back to a full day's trading tomorrow, assuming I can get my various chores done. My recent problems with the burst water main has meant somethings haven't been done that should've been done. At least the insurance company has agreed to refund my £150 excess seeing as Scottish Water admitted liability and fixed the problem. I'll still be sending a letter of complaint to Scottish Water regarding the inaccurate information their helpdesk operative gave which led me to making an insurance claim in the first place.

The Poor Returns Continue

I'll keep this short as I'm pretty tired and, to be honest, fed up. I am still struggling to get going and over the past couple of days, I've only managed a profit of £25.

I've been persevering with the greyhounds, but, for whatever reason, I'm making around 30% of what I was making in those markets in September. I've been so frustrated, I've even started venturing back into the horse place markets - with very limited success. Essentially I'm losing as much as I win on the nags which, in itself, is adding to my frustration.

I haven't been getting involved in any football either. This weekend was out anyway as I don't like international matches. I've left the football recently mainly because I'm still not happy trading those markets. I need to decide whether I'm going to make a sensible attempt at trading, or just punt them. I cannot make up my mind.

Anyway, I'm taking tomorrow off as I have some DIY to do for my sister. I'll also be at a client's on Monday, so I doubt I'll get back to trading until Tuesday, when, hopefully, I'll be able to sort out why I'm not performing as well as I know I can.


Have you ever had one of those days when, no matter what you do, you just go round in circles?

Having been woken early this morning to hear news of a burst water main in my garden, I set about getting that sorted. The water board in Scotland, not surprisingly called Scottish Water, don't have a manned switchboard at that time in the morning, so I reported the leak via a form on their website, expecting them to call me back soon after 9am. This didn't happen. So I had to call them.

Having spent god knows how long I eventually got through to their customer services who promptly told me that, as the burst main was in my garden, then I was responsible for any leaks and they washed their hands of it (no pun intended). This was news to me and something of a cop out by them. Throughout the local estate, the pipe carrying water to every house runs 2 ft inside the boundary of each house. Are they really not responsible for that supply?

I was told that I'd have to get another contractor out. I spoke to a neighbour who knew someone local who kindly agreed to come out to turn the water off. In the meantime, I contacted my insurance company who arranged for a contractor to come out and mend the pipe.

The first guy came, and spent an hour looking for the toby to turn the water off. There's two in my garden, as far as I am aware, and neither of them killed the supply. So he left, but at least he didn't charge me.

The insurance company's contractors appeared 2 hours later. They spent 2 hours hunting for the toby and gave up. They cannot mend the pipe until the water is turned off. So they called... yes you guessed it, Scottish Water, who decided to treat it as an emergency and send someone out within 2 hours. In the meantime, the contractors were told by their boss to go off to another job rather than wait. I agreed to call them once Scottish Water had identified were to turn the supply off as it may be necessary to cut it for the whole block.

I suspect this will be the case as I'm certain it is the main pipe that is burst rather than the pipe from that into my house. I still have clean water with no drop in pressure.

You won't be surprised to learn that Scottish Water never turned up. In the meantime, I have a reservoir emptying through my garden. It continues to flow as I type. Tomorrow I'm thinking of putting a couple of slides in and charging the local kids £2 to come and play in my water park!

So, having spent the whole day faffing about trying to get this leak sorted, I'm no further forward.

As I was at home today, I did try to trade the greyhounds but the problems I've been having since the turn of the month continue. Today's shenanigans didn't do anything to keep my mind focussed. I was hoping for a good performance to try and offset the £150 insurance excess I had to pay before these guys would come out. Unfortunately, I got caught far too many times and wound up with a paltry £3.75 from 48 races. Utter rubbish.

Water Works

No, I haven't burst into tears though, as my greyhound trading yesterday was rather poor, I could be excused for doing so.

Again I struggled for much of the day to make any headway. The markets in the run up to the horse racing starting were great, but I just kept giving my gains away, just like the day before. I'd barely made a fiver by the time I stopped for lunch at 1:45.

When I came back, I thought I'd have a look at the horses instead. I promptly lost £3 and went back to the dogs with my tale between my legs. I managed a bit better in the afternoon and started to put some decent trades in, but my performance in the earlier session meant I was never going to end the day with a huge profit.

I was intending to take the day off today as my sister needs some help laying laminate flooring at her son's new flat. That plan has been put on hold as I was woken at 7am by a neighbour telling me that I had a flood in my garden. Sure enough, it looks like there's a burst water main and the water is surfacing in my back garden, flowing through my shed, through my front garden and off down the street. Great!

So I need to hang around for Scottish Water to get their finger out their backside and come and sort it. I better brace myself for a bill - though my house insurance should cover it - assuming I, as the householder, am liable.

At least I might get some trading done today.

A Day For Learning

I spent much of the morning reading up about matched betting and how to make use of the various free bet offers from bookmakers. To a large degree, such offers are of no use to me as the vast majority of them are for new accounts only. I've had accounts with a whole swathe of bookies for a long time and consequently wouldn't qualify for them. Indeed, the last time I used an account at a bookies was some 18 months ago.

Any offers available for existing account holders tend to be pretty paltry and few and far between to boot. As a result, I've always felt that doing match betting was hardly worth the effort. However, a conversation with one of the chat room regulars, Iranian Giraffe, sparked my interest again, hence my research this morning.

As chance would have it, Iranian Giraffe was in the chat room this afternoon and a quick, impromptu session was organised for this evening so that he could run through his version of match betting using the greyhound offers frequently available on Bet365.

The chat room has been found to be very useful since I set it up as a general tool to exchange ideas, but this type of 'demonstration' if you like was exactly why I wanted to create the room in the first place. So, many thanks to Iranian Giraffe for taking the time to share his methods this evening.

Ultimately, I'd like to have similar 'events' hosted in the room, with a bit more notice given in advance for readers of this blog. Whether that happens will totally depend on the goodwill of those prepared to take time out of their busy schedules to pass on their thoughts and strategies. Hopefully we will not have to wait too long before the next one.

Now, on to a quick summary of today's trading...

I made a reasonable £20 on the greyhounds today, though I have to say I was disappointed with it. I just couldn't get going this morning and I spend 2.5 hours making the grand sum of £3! This was very annoying as there was loads of money around, but I just kept making too many mistakes. Putting in a good trade, then giving that profit back in the very next race was a particularly galling habit.

After lunch, I had intended to spend the afternoon looking at the horse markets on Betdaq, using the Betdaq Trader software. Unfortunately, I found it impossible without a ladder interface. I'm so used to that style of trading now that going back to the standard interface one sees on all the exchange websites was too difficult for me.

In the end, I gave up and returned to the dogs where I made the rest of the £20 - which was unusual in itself given that afternoon dog racing tends to be a pretty quiet affair.

Finally, October Gets Going

It's been nearly a week, but the month finally got going this evening. Having struggled to break even for the past 5 days, I managed to amass a very welcome £23 from the greyhound racing this evening.

More importantly, I think I might have identified where I had started to go wrong last week. As I've learned the greyhound markets I have developed a strategy where I take an early position. This has paid dividends throughout September. However, surreptitiously over the past couple of weeks, my entry point has been getting earlier and earlier. Last week, I think it had gone too far.

I started to do the same thing this evening, and spent the first hour unable to build any momentum. Indeed, I started to go backwards. This was when I change tact. I went back to basics and only got involved around 60 secs before the scheduled off. I didn't catch many big swings, but at least I started to consistently win. So more of the same tomorrow.

Bad Day At The Office

Actually, it's not been a particularly good week, or at least start to October anyway. I did so well in September trading the greyhound markets, yet now I'm struggling to break even. I've only made £3 in those markets since the turn of the month. I've no idea why. I just don't seem to be able to read those markets all of a sudden and find myself getting caught far too many times.

I think I'll take a couple of days away from the greyhounds and give myself a break. Hopefully that will help me get back in gear.

I spent the first couple of hours this morning, losing on the dogs, so I decided to concentrate on the football for the rest of the day. That, as it happens, turned out to be a bad choice.

I had a couple of £5 punts, which failed miserably and I also got involved in the Sunderland v Arsenal game.

This was a game where I felt there would be goals so decided to do my normal over 1.5 goals market where I'd place bets later in the match, looking for higher odds. I didn't get involved until just before half time when the odds were 2.00. Having stuck a fiver on that, I put another £5 on at 3.00 and mid-way through the second half, £5 more at 5.00.

Unfortunately for me, the Sunderland goal came a little to late in that the odds didn't drop far enough to give me a profit and I traded out for a loss of £3.90 - only for Arsenal to equalise immediately after I had done so. I little more patience on my part and I would have had a profit of £35! Typical.

Actually, this goes to the very heart of why I do not like trading football. I've never been happy with any exit strategies I've come across. Of course, as a trader, getting out when I did was exactly the right thing to do. However, I go into these markets expecting goals and getting involved at very good odds. In the long term, I should profit from that by letting these bets run.

I first started looking at the over 1.5 goals market nearly a year ago, primarily because I was fed up with my over 2.5 goals bets being let down by the lack of a single goal. In those days I was trying to trade them by backing them pre-kick-off at odds of around 1.35-1.40 and I'd get out not long after half time to minimise my losses. Of course, I then had loads of games that went on to have 2 goals later in the 2nd half. Again, my exit strategy was wrong.

I seem to recall when I looked back over my results, I had a hit rate approaching 95%. Given that, perhaps I should just punt these and forget about trading them. The trouble is, I've worked hard in the past year to get the gambling mentality out of my head and replace it with that of a trader. It may be difficult going back the other way.

I Do Not Believe It Mr Black

Finally, at the second time of asking, Betfair sent me an up to date premium charge statement. As suspected, they have me clearly in their sights.

Indeed, I have been 'paying' the premium charge since the middle of July. This has been going towards my £1000 allowance which has now been reduced to £863.10. Given my current performance, it won't be too long before that has been used up and I'll have the charge directly removed from my account.

I have a couple of issues with this statement though.

According to Betfair's Terms and Conditions, customers are only liable for the premium charge if their account is in profit, and I quote...

"You’ll only be considered for the Premium Charge if your account is in profit over the previous 60 weeks"

Now I only started trading back in February and, as reported a few days ago, my account has only just moved into the black. Therefore, by definition, my account could not have been in profit when those charges started to be applied back in July. I am therefore at a loss why the charges have been backdated to then.

My statement for last week saw premium charges of £22.28 being applied on a gross profit of £150.81. I paid £12.38 (8.2%) on those winnings. This, coupled with the premium charge means fees payable on those winnings reach 23% which is quite outrageous. This figure is in line with those reported by other Betfairians. So much for not paying more than 20% of your winnings!

In the full period covered by the statement, I have made a gross profit of £1788.06 and paid £253.07 in commission charges. An additional £114.63 would have been due thanks to the premium charge. This works out at total charges of 20.6% though this figure doesn't tell the whole story as the first 5-6 months of the charging period I was a consistent loser rather than a winner.

What really riles me more than anything though is, as regular readers will know, I can hardly be described as a high roller as far as my trading is concerned. I spend upwards of 8-9 hours per day parked in front of my computer manually trading the markets. I do not use bots or any other form of automation other than the one click interface provided by BinarySoft BDI. Last week I made £150 before commission for my efforts - and that was a good week. But that works out at less than the minimum wage.

Now, if virtually a quarter of that profit is to be taken in commission and charges, one has got to ask if it is really worth the effort? Just as I get my account into the black; just as I start to realise the dream, those buggers are about to take it away again.

I have to wonder though, if my meagre returns put me in the top 0.5%, then the rest of the Betfair community must be really crap at what they do. 0.5% my arse. I just do not believe it Mr Black.

October Kicks Off - Just

That was not the best start to the new month. First market I enter and I find myself down £13!

After the success of September I was looking forward to getting October off to a good start. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out the way I had hoped.

The first dog race of the day saw the favourite come in from 3.30 to 2.30, yet I didn't get on it.I have become wary of these short priced dogs as all too often I have seen a huge amount of money come in immediately taking the odds out by 20 ticks or more. As this price came in, I was convinced that that was exactly what was going to happen, so I became increasingly reluctant to enter the market in case I got caught. Sod's law, it didn't and I had to move on to the next race having missed a glorious opportunity.

The second race of the day saw me much more prepared to enter the market and I got caught. Twice! On different dogs by the very thing I was trying to avoid in the first race. Typical. The moves weren't so dramatic as I've seen in the past, but collectively they accounted for nearly £13 down the drain. I spent the next 2 hours slowly nibbling my way back into profit.

I didn't do much trading in the afternoon, eventually stopping with just over £7 in profit. Not my best performance, but considering where I was right off the bat, I've got to be happy with that.

I didn't bother trying much in the evening when it was apparent that the markets were pretty dead due to the Champion League matches.

On a more serious note, many of you will be aware that Betfair started charging today. What's most disturbing about that is the fact that the £1000 so called 'allowance' seems to have been applied retrospectively despite assurances by Betfair that it would not.

This really is a gross breach of the contract between them and their customers. Clearly those effected by the charge have had to, as far as I am aware, agree to new term and conditions regarding the premium charge. But to apply that new agreement retrospectively is nothing short of outrageous. But then, nothing that firm does anymore should surprise us.

With the imminent release of Bet Angel for Betdaq, I hope there will be a significant shift to the purple exchange and let's hope Betfair get a bloody nose for the fiasco they have created. Having said that, it appears that Betfair aren't too bothered if the traders in particular move elsewhere. They certainly seem to be repositioning themselves as a traditional bookmaker rather than a sports exchange. It's a sad turn of events to see such an innovative company apparently turn their backs on the very ideals that made them great in the first place.