November Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rolling Free-Bet Matching

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

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

Works in both Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice.

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

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

Trying Something New

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

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

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

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

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

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

So much to do, so little time.


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

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

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

Sorry, I digress...

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

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

Anyway, on to the trading...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All I Want For Christmas...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up And Running Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enforced Day Off

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

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

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

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

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

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

Storm Clouds Brewing

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

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

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

I wish I had now.

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

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

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

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

Heavy Weather

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change Of Plans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back On Track

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What A Shocker!

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

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

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

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

Tempting Fate?

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

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

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

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

Weekend Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Need To Worry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Struggle Continues

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

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

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

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

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

Not The Best Of Days

I'll keep this short as it's getting late.

Thanks to Betfair's shocking customer service, as reported earlier, today has turned out to be a bit of a non event.

I managed to claw the greyhounds back into profit once the API came back on line having lost £10 because of it. I stopped trading the dogs in the evening and concentrated on them to exploit the free offers from Bet365 when Sky televises a dog meeting. Using £20 stakes, I added a further £7.80 to the pot.

My horse trading was cut short thanks to the API issue when I was in profit by a few pence. I took the opportunity to play around with Betdaq Trader. Specifically, I was looking at the dutching facilities. This appears to be a very useful tool, though on this occasion, I lost £5.

I lost a further £5 on a football bet. I placed a treble on over 2.5 goals in the spurs v Liverpool match combined with Dundee Utd and Inverness CT to both win. Unfortunately for me, ICT only managed a draw.

So, in the end, I came away with a few pounds profit, but the day was completely spoiled by factors outside my control. Thanks Betfair!

Betfair Incompetence

I'm sure I'm not the only one to be caught out by Betfair's latest piece of ineptitude.

I was trading the last dog race at Newcastle before stopping for lunch when BinarySoft lost it's connection. I managed to switch to the Betfair interface and cancel my unmatched portion of my bet, but was unable to close my existing position before the off. Needless to say, the dog lost and so did I, to the tune off more than £10.

Not a great sum of money in the grand scheme of things, but more than the profit I'd accumulated for the day.

This loss was all the more galling as it wasn't due to a faulty broadband connection or a server going down suddenly. No, the API servers at Betfair had been turned off due to 'problems'.

Betfair made an announcement via their forum a full 7 minutes before closing them down, thereby disconnecting any application that was using the API. Such a short notification is not only unacceptable, but the the method of delivery is inadequate.

Not every one has time to review the forum posting when the races are coming thick and fast. Even more so for me as I switch back and forth between dogs and nags in the afternoons. In addition, Betfair have been banning users from their forum left, right and center in recent weeks as an aftereffect of the introduction of the premium charge. How the hell are these people meant to see the announcement?

I went to vent my anger on the forum, but couldn't as it kept saying I had to register a chat room name, despite the fact that a did so ages ago. Useless!

I readily accept that unexpected equipment failures is one of the risks we traders take but this is different. This was a deliberate act by Betfair to close down their API servers. Granted, they weren't operating correctly and that situation needed addressing. That isn't the issue here - though every time Betfair 'upgrade' their systems as they did on Monday, the aftershocks seem to last for days.

No, the issue here is the woefully inadequate notice given to users who, like me, wound up with unintentional liabilities that they couldn't get out off. Yet again we have an example of the appalling customer service that emanates from what used to be an excellent company.

Not The Most Productive Of Days

My plans this week have been chopped and changed thanks to problems I had getting my car started yesterday. In the event, whilst I eventually got it going, I had already canceled my planned visit to a client and went today instead.

With this turn of events, I settled down yesterday for a full days trading, only to be interrupted by visitors and phone calls. I managed to get some trading done in the afternoon before the Betfair 'upgrade' brought things to a halt again in the evening.

I didn't get anywhere on the horses, again, coming away with a small loss. The few trades I managed to do on the dogs got me into profit on the day, but it was pretty much a wasted day if truth be told.

With work taking up all of today, I didn't get around to trading the dogs until nearly 7pm where I managed a couple of hours before packing it in. I spent the time trying a different approach which looks like it might yield better results, but I'll need to carry on testing. It was just beginning to get somewhere when my daughter came home and I had to stop so the jury is still out on that one.

I built up a profit of over £12 with the test, though I did have losses totalling some £6 as well, so the approach needs some work.

On a different note...

Like many people of my generation, I stood silent at 11am this morning in remembrance of the fallen. It always brings a tear to my eye thinking of those who have witnessed and suffered such horrors. Horrors that I, I am sure, wouldn't have the courage to face.

To the best of my knowledge, none of my family, going back through the years, have been involved in the armed services. My ancestors were employed in mining or farming so managed to escaped conscription. Despite this, I have always felt a sense of pride in the job the armed services do on our behalf. Honouring their sacrifices is the least I can do.

A Better Day

I had a reasonable day today which makes a pleasant change. Unfortunately, my success was solely due to the dogs, where I traded off and on throughout the afternoon for a profit of £20.

The horse win markets remain an enigma to me. Over the weekend, I had tried to follow the same principle of gaining 1 tick and then leaving the market all together. I've not been going back in to boost profits or recover losses. This had led to a rather boring time, but I feel it's a necessary evil I need to go through.

Today, I traded 16 races and came away with 47 pence profit! I only lost on 4 of those races, so that is something of an improvement. Clearly though, the size of any individual loss tends to be greater than any individual profit and is something I will need to work on.

Still, I think I'll carry on concentrating on improving my hit rate with the ultimate aim of looking for 2-3 ticks in profit. There's a long way to go before that happens though.

Soccer wise, I looked to trade the Aston Villa v Middlesborough match. Specifically, the over 2.5 goals market. I didn't do too well as I didn't trade out after the second goal as I got distracted. By the time I came back to the match, around the 70 min mark, the odds had drifted to my entry point so a scratched the trade getting 8 pence for my trouble. As so often happens when I do something like that, the late goal Aston Villa conceded would have seen me OK.

I'm off to a client's tomorrow so there'll be little time for trading other than the evening dog racing so there may not be an update tomorrow.

Lack Of Standards

As an engineer, I get really hacked off when companies blatantly disregard national or international standards. Microsoft do it all the time. Take Internet Explorer for example resulting in nightmares for web designers. Another example is their Office suite using proprietary file formats forcing users to use bloated Microsoft software rather than alternatives.

The latest firm to wind me up is Ford.

I've not done much trading the past two days as I've been installing a new stereo and speakers in my son's car. These things should be plug and play. The Sony unit that he'd bought has standard connectors on the back. Not so the Ford wiring loop for the audio or the mount fittings. We spent nearly two hours on Friday afternoon touring the local hardware/car parts stores getting the necessary bits to allow me to install it all correctly.

Anyway, it's all up and running and he's happy. Pity about the music he plays but there you go. Oh no! I'm beginning to sound like my old man now!

I managed to get some of the evening dog and horse races yesterday. I didn't make much - only £6, but most importantly, I didn't have a single losing horse race in the six markets that I tried.

After finishing work on my son's car this morning, I wasn't particularly in the mood for trading today. The decision to avoid it was more or less made for me when the 'stickiness' issues I've been having reared their ugly head again. Bet submission was 3-4 times slower than normal. Judging by the posts on other forums, it wasn't just me that was having problems.

Instead of trading, I decided to do a live test of the spreadsheet I'd developed last week. It is used in conjunction with the free bet offers from Bet365 on the televised races on Channel 4 and is a form of matched betting. I was playing with small stakes today; £10 in this case with the spreadsheet configured to give a minimum 2% return per race. Everything went to plan and I came away with £1.40 from the exercise.

Now that I'm happy that everything is working, I'll start upping my stakes next time.

I traded a little on the dogs tonight, but the markets were pretty quiet and the bet submission delays were still present so I stopped while I still had a small profit.

I've mentioned in the past that I have an on-going conflict between trading and gambling in the soccer markets. To try and separate the two, I've set up a small bank of £100 for gambling purposes. I intend to stake 5% of the bank on any one match as a straight punt. Hopefully this will satisfy any gambling fix I crave will still leaving me the flexibility to trade other matches as I see fit.

I started off tonight with £5 on the over 1.5 goals in the Bologna v Roma matched. I was matched in-play at 1.77 when the score was still 0-0 and, thanks to a last minute own goal, came away with £3.77 after 2% commission at Betdaq.

That's it for today, Hopefully I'll be free from the bet submission issues that I've had recently and I'll get some trading in tomorrow.

A potential spanner in the works is my Internet connection. With this intermittent issue I've been having, I have started to investigate my broadband speed and, rather than the 1.5Mb I normally get on ADSL, I'm struggling to meet 0.9Mb and, more typically 0.6Mb, which is touching the minimum allowed for broadband.

I'm currently in touch with my ISP to try and sort the issue out. Hopefully they'll, or more accurately, BT, will be able to identify what the problem is.

The Lose Markets

I think I'll make a complaint under the Trades Description Act. Quite clearly, Betfair should not be calling these markets, 'win' markets as I do anything but win.

Today was worse than ever, if that's possible. So much so that I stopped after the 2:30 race having thrown away £15 over 8 races with a profit in only two of them.

If things carry on like this, I won't be continuing this experiment much past the weekend, never mind the whole month. Indeed, I think I might need to curtail this trial anyway as I am beginning to think that I am at a severe disadvantage using BinarySoft BDI. At least in these markets anyway.

As much as I like the software, there are somethings I've always hated about it.

Like most trading software, it has the ability to automatically put in closing trades at a predefined tick offset as the initial bet is matched, or partially matched; it can kill a bet, or what remains of it after a specified time has elapsed; and of course it can put in a stop loss as well.

The problem with this is the lack of a global settings facility where these can be specified in advance so that all one needs to worry about is clicking on the ladder and all these things are taken care of. Instead, when the facility is switched on, clicking in the ladder does not immediately enter one's bet into the market but displays a dialog of which the following image is an example:

Here one can specify a tick offset as well as how that offset will be entered into the market. Every time, a bet is placed via the ladder, this dialog pops up. Although it retains the relevant settings until they are changed again, the very process of having to confirm the dialog causes a potentially expensive delay in the bet submission process.

I have never used it much in the past as it is pointless doing so in the volatile and jumpy markets that I usually frequent. However, I thought I'd try it in the win markets to help get my closing trades near the front of the queue quicker rather than wait until I was fully matched before closing off. Because of the awkwardness of it's operation I have lost out on good moves and been caught by bad ones.

Last spring I had flagged these issues to the developer who promised he would resolve them in the next release. Of course, he subsequently decided to abandon the development of BinsarySoft altogether.

Another area where I am being hampered by BDI is it's inability to show multiple ladders. As a result, I find it very difficult to see what other runners are on the move whilst I am busy watching another. This has seen me, on many occasions throughout the past 8 months or so, miss wonderful opportunities.

Now, I've managed quite well in other markets without multiple ladders, but I feel in the case of the win markets having more than one ladder would be a distinct advantage. That is not to say that that is definitely the reason why I cannot come to terms with the win markets. It may simply be that my trading style is more suited to thin, jumpy markets. I hope not as that will drastically impair my ability to scale things up and make a reasonable amount from trading.

However, I'm afraid I keep coming back to this issue of software and the lack of a suitable alternative that will run on Linux. I can only hope that Betdaq will hurry up and release a ladder interface for their trading software - as long as it has multiple ladder capability.

The obvious thing would be to go the Bet Angel route. With the Betfair and Betdaq versions being virtually identical, there is a distinct advantage in doing so. I confess, I'm reluctant to do so as each time I've tried BA over the years, I have not been comfortable with it's interface. More importantly though is the issue of having to use Windows. That philosophical question needs to be answered before I can do anything.

In the meantime I shall persevere with trying the win markets, but I will not do so for much longer. Since the month began, I've only traded the win markets for 5 days in which time I've lost nearly £40. Thanks to the greyhounds and some soccer matched betting, I'm level for the month, but I cannot afford to make only 33 pence in a week. Not to mention the fact that my daughter is really hacked off with the lack of pocket money.

Bizarre Chat Room Shenanigans

Something weird is happening in the chat room lately and I do not mean the antics of one regular visitor (you know who you are LOL) who has, in the past, managed to find his way into a completely different room, which is, shall I say, of a somewhat more colourful nature than the Bet your Life one. :-)

It's not just my failure to get to grips with the win markets that is annoying me at the moment. For the past two or three weeks when I've been in the chat room, even when I've been there all by myself, I intermittently get, 'Oh my God! Go away!' coming through my speakers. It can happen once, or it can happen 3-4 times with 10 secs between them.

It's driving me nuts!

I have to turn off all the audio notifications to stop it, but then of course, I easily miss when someone enters or leaves the room as well as when they post a message.

The chat room has the ability to send a whole load of sounds at the user's request, yet bizarrely, none of the available sound files consists of this irritating message.

I'm beginning to think I'm going mad. If any other visitor happens to be getting the same problem, please leave a comment to this post and I'll investigate further. In the meantime, I'll see you in the asylum!

Six Pound Bookends

With the horse racing starting early these days there's not much time for greyhound racing in the morning, but I managed to pick up a £5 in the first hour, which, I have to say is really disappointing. I've struggled for a few weeks now in the early session of the dogs, despite this usually being the best time in the dog markets as far as liquidity is concerned. I don't know why that is.

The horse win markets experiments continued today and I started off badly by losing £6 in the first race. I then proceeded to claw it back, with the odd hiccup along the way. Once I got myself back into profit for the day, I completely spoiled things by losing £6 in the last race.

The P/L screen shoot below says it all.

Again I missed out on some excellent price movements because of small, temporary reversals in the market that caused me to get out for a one tick loss. I'm not sure how I'm going to come to terms with these.

One might think that the obvious answer would be to wait a bit longer to see if the trend turns back on track. Yet when I do, it never does and I end up with a bigger loss. It is very demoralising.

I did a bit more on the greyhounds in the early evening, but I wasn't really in the mood so I quit after an hour or so, finishing the day with a few pounds profit.

I'm finding trading very difficult at the moment because I'm making little or no money. I know it's because I'm trying to learn a different market and that's the price I am going to have to pay until it clicks. Starting again like this is really hard though, not to mention frustrating.

Scratch That!

I made the grand total of 76 pence today, so a bit of a waste though the horse racing is coming along. First though, a quick word about yesterday as I didn't post anything.

I'd been at a client's all day so didn't manage any trading until after 6pm where I spent some time on the dogs. I only traded an hour or so as I was having difficulty submitting bets. I don't know if it was an issue with Betfair, my internet connection or BinarySoft BDI. Occasionally it was taking upwards of 4 secs for my bet to appear in the market. Sometimes, it took so long that BinarySoft 'timed out' and reported an error. When I cleared the error message sometimes my bet would appear, other times it didn't.

Fortunately, it didn't catch me out but I felt it was safer to quit for the night and pocket the £8.50 or so I had made.

Today started off with a real mare, or should I say bitch? I just couldn't do anything right in the greyhound markets this morning. I got involved in 12 races before switching to the horses and lost on 8 of them. So I was over £12 down before lunch time.

I faired much better in the horse win markets. I started with two satisfying wins and found myself over £8 up going into the 3rd race. Unfortunately I screwed this up completely.

I backed the favourite, 'Desert Strike', in the 1:30 as it was starting to come in. I got on at 2.32 and shortly before the off it was touching 1.75, yet I came away with a loss of £9.20. Every time I went in, it would drift 2-3 ticks so I'd get out. It would then immediately start coming in again, so I'd go back in. Lo and behold it would do the same thing and... well, you know the rest.

Very frustrating of course, to get the direction of the movement correct, yet make a loss. It is simply a matter of learning to hold one's nerve a little bit more. I'm so used to reacting quickly in the more volatile markets that I normally frequent that it will likely take me a little while to adjust.

I lost another £4 a couple of races later which was disappointing, but other than that, the other races were good. I had to stop early as my son came around at 3pm and I promised I'd help him do some work on his car. In the end I managed 9 races and wound up with a loss of 4 pence! Now that's progress!

I concentrated on trading 5-10 mins before the off and moved on to the next race when things started to heat up. In the main, this worked for me and I'll shall persevere with this strategy in the coming days.

I returned to the dogs in the evening, but started suffering from the same issues as I had the evening before. Again, I didn't get caught out by these submission delays and errors, but it did cause me to miss out on quite a few decent moves, which was very annoying. Once I had recovered my losses from this morning, I felt it safer to stop.

I do not know what is causing this 'stickiness' but it is a real pain. Hopefully, whatever it is, will have sorted itself by tomorrow otherwise I shall not be a happy chappie.

It's Going To Be A Long Month

I managed to get some trading done today before the Brazilian Grand Prix - what a dramatic finish that was!

Again, concentrating on the horse win markets I managed another losing day. The difference from yesterday was I actually had some winning trades amongst the losing ones. As you can see from the screen shot below though, I had one particularly bad race.

This was one of those races where I'd lose a tick or two, go back in to recover it, and lose a bit more. All those 1 tick loses soon add up.

One thing I did notice, although it is a small sample size, was that those winning trades took place no closer than 5 mins before the scheduled off when the action was a little less frenetic. So that may be something I will take a closer look at over the next few days.

Finally, before I go, congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on securing your first F1 Championship. One of many I'm sure.

The Experiment Starts

Today, was my first day putting in a concerted effort in the horse win markets. It did not go well, but more of that later.

The day started with the late morning session on the dogs. Unfortunately, this being Saturday, it lived up to it's reputation of being a poor day for me. I struggled to get anywhere in these markets today, and, with the horse racing starting earlier and earlier as the days shorten, the markets dried up pretty quickly.

I tried the greyhounds again later in the evening, but I was still struggling and in the end, I came away with a small loss.

After an early lunch, I spent some time looking at some football possibilities. I decided to try a straight treble in the over 1.5 goals markets with a view to doubling my stake. I narrowed it down to the matches at Cardiff, Juventus and Marseille giving combined odds of 2.40. However, when I went to place this bet on Betdaq, although the individual odds were as advertised, I was only offered odds of 2.22 for the treble so I didn't place the bet and I didn't have time to place it with a bookie.

You won't be surprised to learn that the treble would have been successful. Typical! I've posted a question on the Betdaq forum, in the new 'Ask Betdaq' section, asking them to explain. There's no point in placing multiples on there if they are going to give a raw deal like this.

I also had a straight punt on Montrose to beat Stenhousemuir at home. Unfortunately, they were stuffed so that failed miserably.

So on to the horses...

I've decided to spend November trying to get to grips with the horse win markets. If today is anything to go by, it is going to be a long slog.

Every time I opened my position the market would reverse and I'd immediately come out for a 1 tick loss. No big deal. Annoyingly, having got out, it would immediately double back and I could have attained a 2, 3 or 4 tick profit. I'd go back in looking for a tick, and the same thing would happen. Time and time and time again the same thing occurred until it came to the point where I decided not to get out immediately and wait a bit longer for it to go back in my favour.

Well, I'm sure you can guess what happened. Did it do an about turn as it had countless times before and give me a profit? The hell it did! Instead of a 1 tick loss, it was a 4,5 or 6 tick loss. Every time I tried this, the same thing happened. Talk about frustrating!

I didn't have a single winning trade today in those markets. Still, I shall persevere with them as it is the only way I'm going to be able to step up a gear, as far as I can see.

I returned to the football markets in the evening. Specifically I went into the Juventus v Roma match with a view to trading the over 2.5 goals market. As I've mentioned before, I've still not resolved my trading/betting strategies for football, and this match was no different.

I placed bets at odds of 2.4 and again at 2.75 with another waiting at 4.00. The third of these wasn't matched before the first goal was scored. I traded out after that having only managed to guarantee myself £1. Shortly afterwards, the second goal was scored and I missed out on a reasonable return.

So, all in all, not a particularly successful day. It was only saved by the final part of a matched bet I'd been doing and as a result, I managed to scrape into profit on the day.

I'm not sure how much trading I'll get done tomorrow what with family visits and the finale of the F1 season. Here's hoping Lewis Hamilton can keep his head together and not throw it away like he did last year.