January Summary

What is it about Saturdays? My trading always seems to be below par at best - utter crap at worst. Today was no different, tending toward the smellier end of that scale.

I dived into the early morning start on the dogs, and that was perhaps part of the problem. I was still half asleep, and suffering from a headache. As usual though, I ploughed on regardless of any effect that might have - and my trading suffered as a result.

I revisited the dogs at various times throughout the day, in between feeble attempts at soccer and worsening bouts of headache.

In the end, I traded 34 dog races and came away with the grand total of £4.05. I lost in 12 of those races at a cost of £24.24. Absolutely appalling performance.

I also got involved in some soccer matches. I managed to persuade myself not to get involved in the early game at Stoke though my headache was at it's worst then so probably a good thing. Instead, I waited until 3:00pm and got involved in the Aston Villa v Wigan correct score market - and made a complete meal of it. It turned into a damage limitation exercise with a loss of £3 being the end result which felt like a victory by the time it was all done and dusted.

I also had a small bet on a double. Unfortunately Crystal Palace couldn't get the better of Blackpool at home. As a result, I lost another 5% from my imaginary 5% football betting bank - though the money was real.

In the evening, I turned to the Ajax v Heerenveen correct score market where I was able to get all green not long after half time. I spent the rest of the second half moving money around in order to maximise my profit on the likely end result.

So, after all that effort today, I made a fraction over £9 and Saturday maintained its reputation of being a pain in the posterior.

So, what about January as a whole?

Well, that aforementioned £9 was enough to take me over £600 for the month . My second best result since I started. That figure doesn't tell the whole story though.

Half of January's profit was made in the first week. Since then, I've been somewhat inconsistent, particularly in the second week as illustrated by my blog posts at that time. Fortunately though, the profits, although reduced, were still coming and it was simply a matter of plugging away until things started to pick up again.

There really was only one bad day, last weekend, when I had a particularly hideous half hour and lost roughly £100 thanks to an especially bad trade, quickly followed by getting caught by the jump. Whilst enough for me to take it out on my son's punch bag, it was forgotten about fairly quickly and the money was retrieved by the end of play on Thursday.

That in itself is an indication of how far I've come. Six months ago, a loss like that may have sent me over the edge. Now, I am confident in my own ability to get it back reasonably quickly. This can only be a good thing for my future trading career.

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

Greyhounds... £624.11
Soccer... -£23.64

Despite last weeks loss, I'm really pleased with that figure for the greyhounds as it is only £60 short of what I achieved last month. So clearly, I'm at least showing some level of consistency there.

The soccer figure is really disappointing, not that I've done much. Last month was boosted by bet matching the free offers from bookies. I haven't done any of that this month, mainly because I've already got longstanding accounts with most bookmakers and so haven't qualified for any freebies.

Recently though, as explained in an earlier post, I've started looking into trading the correct score market. The jury is still out on that score, but I have been very encouraged with what I've seen, despite the small loss in the Villa game today. I'll be continuing the learning process this month.

You'll notice that I stayed well away from the nags this month. The horses are something I'd like to go back to, but I see no point at the moment as even experience horse racing traders have been finding the past month or so rather difficult. So what chance have I got? I think I'll leave it to the summer before I even think about venturing back there again.

So, that's it for another month. More of the same called for I guess. I will be looking for an improvement in the soccer markets though to supplement my continuing progress with the greyhounds.

A couple of unrelated things before I go...

I've spent a fair bit of time developing the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet, which I've made freely available to one and all. A fair few have downloaded it and I was wondering how you are all getting on with it. If people are putting it to good use then that's great, but there isn't any point of me looking to develop it further if no one is using it. Please let me know in any event.

The chat room continues to prove itself a valuable asset to the site with the correct score markets being the latest topic for bouncing ideas around. There's a hardcore of users at the moment, but there's always room for more. Everyone is welcome, even more so if you have a particular market(s) of expertise and are willing to pass on the odd bit of advice (no need to give your secrets away, honest). It's not a prerequisite for visiting though, so feel free to pop by.

Finally, thanks again to every one who continues to post comments and offer support and advice. Always welcome.

Interruptions Abound

It's not been a good day today, despite starting the day with a profit of nearly £6. After that excellent opener, I was plagued by interruptions which served to completely screw my concentration. As a result, come 1pm or so, I'd only done 14 dog races and I'd lost 9 of them. At that point, I stopped while I still had a tiny profit.

It was so bad in the morning, I decided to write off the afternoon before it began and take my daughter shopping in the afternoon. However, she wanted to bake a chocolate cake instead. Oh decisions, decisions: cake or shopping, cake of shopping? Easy choice. I let her get on with it and returned to the trading.

Unfortunately, the afternoon continued in much the same vein as the morning had with an endless stream of interruptions.

In between all of this I eventually managed to get involved in 36 races today, but with 13 of these being losers, it is hardly surprising that I only managed £23 in profit. The losers cost me a total of £18.70. Not good, but understandable given the way my concentration was effected today.

To cap it all, I had intended to trade the correct score market of the Hamburg v Bayern Munich match, but when I was roped into running a free taxi service for my son, causing me to miss the start of the match, I threw my arms in the air and conceded defeat.

That's me finished for the night. Time to put my feet up and console myself by gorging on tea and chocolate cake.

Steady Progress Once More

Carrying on from yesterday's steady performance, this morning saw me have one of the most consistent sessions I have had in a long while.

I started off at 11:03 in the first greyhound race and carried all the way through to the last of the morning session at 14:04. Out of the 24 races I entered, I lost only 4 for the insignificant cost of £3.50. I came away with a very satisfying profit, having just failed to break through the £40 mark.

As I was on a roll, perhaps I should have carried on, but as yesterday showed, reducing the quantity and increasing the quality seems to have it's benefits - in more ways than one. With this in mind, I took a well earned break and had an extended lunch, caught a bit of TV and generally relaxed a bit.

I rejoined the fray in time for the 15:17 but I quickly found that the afternoon session was going to be a lot more difficult than the one in the morning. Despite having my best trade of the day in the 16:47, I generally struggled to get on anything significant and finished the session at 18:00 having just scraped through £50 for the day.

I decided to ignore the dogs in the evening and concentrate on the Cambridge Utd v Oxford Utd football match.

I've been reading much about trading the correct score markets recently, and there's been much discussion of it in the chat room so tonight I thought I'd give it a bash.

I cannot say I made a particularly good job of it, though I did come away with a tiny profit of £1.33, as you can see from the above image. Making a profit was a bonus to be honest. The exploration of another market was the main purpose of the exercise. I saw enough to make me want to get involved again.

I've mentioned many times in the past that I have difficulty trading soccer markets. Specifically, the match odds and the over/under markets - the two most popular. I've never been happy with the exit strategies I've come across and my poor gambling instincts that I have, in the main, suppressed thanks to trading, often rear their ugly head. Getting involved in these markets requires, in my view, too much trusting to luck in the hope that something happens to bring the odds in line with the position I've taken. May be I'm doing it wrong.

In any event, that's why I've stayed away from trading soccer with anything but the smallest of stakes.

I found with the correct score market that I was taking a much more proactive role in adjusting my position as time went by and the odds changed. It was much more like trading than gambling - if you get my drift. As a result, I got greater pleasure out of it, despite the small win. Mind you, that small win represents 6.65% of my opening liability, so not to be sniffed at.

Today therefore has been a very successful one. An excellent return from the greyhounds having traded in only 39 races and the discovery of a new market for me in which I can already see strong possibilities. I've wanted to expand my portfolio for sometime in order to progress. The correct score market may very well provide that opportunity.

Less Quantity, More Quality

For a variety of reasons, I did a little more than half the number of dog races I normally do. I managed only 30 mins of the morning session and I missed the first half of the afternoon session due to visitors.

Still, even with this reduction in the races I participated in, my trading was in fine fettle. It was steady and consistent rather than spectacular but with only 2 small losing races out of the 35 I entered, it didn't need to be.

I stopped for dinner at 6:00pm having made a satisfying £22. I hadn't intended to trade in the evening, but I managed to squeeze 45 mins in before the start of the Celtic v Dundee Utd match. I'm glad I did as in that short spell I added slightly over £10 to the total.

Having returned what I would normally consider a decent amount, in roughly half the number of races, I'm beginning to wonder if I should deliberately limit the number of races I enter. I've certainly had a very relaxed and enjoyable day and this may point the way to go.

The trouble is, without other distractions, the call of my computer may be too great to bare.

Trading Is Easier Than Parenting

If there's any traders out there thinking of having kids, don't! Trading is so much simpler than being a parent.

My darling daughter, bless her, has been pestering me and her mother to have a second set of ear piercings. We both said no. I've just received a phone call from my ex-wife telling me that our daughter had gone against our wishes and had it done anyway. More accurately, done it herself with a needle in her bedroom on Sunday.

I don't know whether to punish her, or applaud her bravery. Anyway, that's her grounded, and even better for me, no more 5% of my winnings as pocket money. Whoohoo!

As for trading, well yesterday, I only managed to fit an hour in after being at a client's all day. I was pretty tired so I didn't do much in that hour, but a few more pounds were added to the pot.

Today, was an extremely frustrating one. I started off well enough, building up a reasonable profit in the first half hour. I then lost it in the next 30 minutes. I repeated that process for the next 4 hours! Whenever I threatened to build up a head of steam, the valve blew and I lost all my pressure.

It wasn't as if I had difficulty putting in some good trades. I was. I just kept throwing it away again. How much of that was psychological after Sunday's big loss, I don't know. I was certainly much less willing to take my trading to the last second.

I didn't start getting things together until after 3 o'clock, when a bit more cash came into the markets. Don't get me wrong, I was still making mistakes but I was putting some decent trades in as well. Like the one where I was trading 'Iains Story' in the 3:17.

I felt that it was going to come in a fair bit, but I entered the market too early. It very quickly drifted big time and I chased it as it did so until I was fully out for an all red £7. It then reversed again and started to come in as I had expected - and it kept going. I eventually came away with nearly £4 profit.

Actually, there's a very important lesson there for any would be traders. DO NOT PANIC. If it goes against you, keep your wits about you. More often than not, you'll be able to reduce your loss, or turn it around completely.

To be honest, even for me, that lesson is still a work in progress.

I stopped after the end of the afternoon card. Though I did do a handful of races in the evening, they were pretty unspectacular. I traded 60 races today and came away with a disappointing £26. I lost 14 of those races at a cost of £28.96! While it is always nice to get a profit on the board, particularly after Sunday's big loss, losing that amount simply isn't good enough. I essentially made nearly £55 in profitable trades today. That's great, but to throw over half of that away is inexcusable.

Clearly, still a lot of work to do.

The Importance Of Concentration

Half an hour ago, I was looking forward to posting a decent day on the greyhounds to add to the one I had yesterday. Now, I have to report my worst ever loss as the last 30 mins have seen me go completely on tilt.

After the 3:43, I was looking at a tidy £30 profit and, as I had 10 minutes before the next, I nipped downstairs for a cuppa and to put the tumble drier on. When I came back, I immediately jumped straight into the 3:53 without re-appraising the market. You won't be surprised to learn that my bet was immediately taken and my side of the market collapsed with the price sweeping through me like a hot vindaloo. I eventually managed to get out for a £10 loss.

Annoying? Yes. Careless? Absolutely.

How many times do I have to tell myself not to get involved in the race immediately after I've gone to do something else? I never seem to learn that simple rule. My concentration is ALWAYS off.


Having composed myself, I set about building up the profit again. I put in a couple of reasonable trades in the next two races and I was quite happy with what I was doing. Then came the 4:14 and I got stung big time.

My concentration still wasn't there. I wasn't paying attention to WH Radio and I got caught with an open lay on 'Cactus Candy' when the market suspended. Though I crossed every finger I had, somehow I just knew that the stupid mutt would win. A late charge round the outside of the last bend and it caught the leader on the line.

So, over £96 lost in the space of 25 mins or so. In fact, I can add another £5 to that as a double I had on Genoa/Palermo lost as well. Simply one of the worst half hours I've ever had since I started this trading lark. It has wiped out much of this week's profit.

I had high hopes of this month comfortably being my second best month, but I'll be struggling to achieve that now. At least I won't need to pay my daughter much in the way of pocket money this week!

I'm away to lay into my punch bag for a while to get it out of my system. I'll be back on track tomorrow.

Another Poor Day At The Office

I carried on with my slightly elevated stakes today - and got nowhere again. In fact, after the first hour I'd entered 8 races and lost in 5 of them. Not huge amounts, but clearly my head wasn't in the right place so I stopped. I returned for the afternoon session, but it was just as bad.

Come dinner time, I had managed to claw my way back to the grand total of £3.

Things picked up in the evening but it was slow going. Most of the markets were pretty dead so once I'd got myself into double figures I stopped for the day, somewhat disappointed and deflated.

I had entered 50 races today and lost on 16 of them at a cost of £17.74. Not my best performance but a profit none the less.

In between the evening dog races I resurrected something I'd been toying with before I started concentrating on the dogs. I returned to my favourite football market, the over 1.5 goals. This time the Derby v Nottingham Forest match caught my eye.

The idea is to drip feed bets into the market every 15 mins up to whatever overall stake I'd be prepared to lose. As I'm just trying this out, I decided on £5 bets with a limit of £20 which would take me up to half time.

I had £15 matched in the market when Derby opened the scoring at which point I laid off for a free bet. With Forest equalising in the second half, this netted me £3.53 after commission.

Half Baked Idea

My trading today seems to have been made up of halves. The first of these was my staking level. I decided to increase my stakes by 50% looking to make 50% more profit. This may have well been a half baked idea as my trading turned out to be terrible.

The signs were possibly on the cards in the morning session. I stopped for lunch with a disappointing £15. I've had worse, and I've certainly had better, but I'd been looking for at least £20 having increased my stakes.

The afternoon session proved to be very difficult and despite the higher stakes I only made £8 by 5:30 at which point, my trading went south very quickly. I traded 4 more races before stopping for dinner, finishing with the following results: -£9.88, £1.92, £2.07 and -£6.10! So, within a short space of time, I'd virtually halved my profit.

I went back in during the evening session and started to build it up again, but I was getting caught too many times culminating in another £4 loss in the 20:50 at which point I gave up for the night.

I traded 62 races today and made a measly £10.49. I lost 17 of these at a cost of £36.72! A quite shocking performance.

The question is, did increasing my stakes cause this? From a market point of view, I don't think so. I was very careful not to go into the market unless my staking level could be supported. Besides, the increase wasn't great in monetary terms. A typical stake would be around £40.

Did the increased stakes effect me subconsciously resulting in a subtly different trading style? To be honest, I do not know and I'm not prepared to speculate based on one days worth of trading. I was certainly careless at times, particularly towards the end of the afternoon session - and that's not the first time I've said that! It seems I still have lessons to learn.

I think it sensible to simply accept the fact that I achieved a profit and repeat the process over the next few days. Assuming a 50% increase in stake translates directly to a 50% increase in profit, it is clearly worth pursuing for a few days.

Premium Charge

Oh no! Not another moan about the premium charge!

No, not quite. There's plenty of them out there as it is. I just wanted to bring to your attention the fact that you can now view your charge on-line. You need to be logged on to Betfair first before going to that page.

Whilst I'm here, I quick update regarding yesterday's trading...

I traded 50 markets to earn a profit of £31. I wasted £13 over 10 races with most of that coming in the last hour of the afternoon session where, for whatever reason, I was all over the place. Still, £31 keeps me well on track for this week.

A Matter Of Principle

I'm sure I'm not the only Betfair customer who recently received an email entitled, 'Claim your free Arcade Bet Now!'.

A free, no risk £10 bet courtesy of Betfair. While I'm always happy to be given free money, I must admit, I'm reluctant to take up their offer, on principle, after the company has shifted emphasis, introduce a raft of questionable changes (not least of which is the premium charge) and now actively encourage the vulnerable into their arcade.

I'm sorry, I will not do it. You can keep your £10 offer Betfair as I have no wish to lend some form of validation to your arcade activities. I'd rather you refund the £10 on my first premium charge bill - when it arrives.

Now, on to my trading.

After my somewhat unsteady performance last week, I had no intention of trading yesterday. I was at a client's in any case, so I had decided to spend the evening trialling a greyhound dutching system on Betdaq. Unfortunately, Betdaq Trader wouldn't let me post the bets. I tried a few times but always the same result. So that was that particular experiment over.

After sending the details to Betdaq, I switched to trading on Betfair and managed to get myself over £10 in 90 mins or so.

Today, started off very poorly, and by 12:30 I'd barely made £2 so I stopped for an early and somewhat prolonged lunch.

The break did me good as straight away the trades started to come that much easier, though I was plagued this afternoon with phone call interruptions. Trading really picked up though once the horse racing finished as loads of money came into the market but they remained quite jumpy - just how I like them. I had an early finish in the evening as I was off to play badminton - not a good idea given my arthritic knees, but I need the exercise.

With all the interruptions etc, my involvement in the markets was restricted today, yet I still managed to trade in 58 races amassing a profit of £39 in the process. I lost 11 races at a cost of £9.77 which is much more acceptable than some of my days last week.

So this week has got off to a reasonable start. Here's hoping it continues.

End Of A Difficult Week

The monthly headline figure looks nice and healthy at over £400, but I cannot help be frustrated at this week's performance. Today was pretty typical of the frustration I've been feeling.

I started off very well, with an initial trade of over £5 in the first dog race of the day. By the time the first hour was up. I was over £10. As I've said a few times in the past, an hourly rate of £10 would do me nicely. Unfortunately, at this point I started treading water. I spent the next 4 hours floating around this level, +/- £4.00.

The day was only saved in the last half hour were I finally had some good trades that boosted profits up towards the £20 mark. Such a disappointing figure to add to the other disappointments of the week.

I traded 43 races today, losing 12 of them at a cost of £16.32 - which is clearly not good enough having thrown half the value of my profitable trades away.

My trading has been increasingly poor this week and I have had an ever increasing feeling of my confidence ebbing away. Strange, as I said at the turn of the year, that a minimum of £400/month is what I would be happy with. Last week's £101.65 takes me over that target and there's still two weeks to go!

Am I being too hard on myself? Perhaps, but having got used to £200-£300 in a week, it's hard not to.

Rolling Free-Bet Matching - Version 3.00

My trading continues to hit a brick wall and this week has turned out to be one of the poorest I have had for some time. After the highs of the previous month, I hope I'm not falling back into my old ways.

Today was a day that I really shouldn't have bothered. A day when I should have listened to my inner self telling me to leave it alone.

I woke up this morning, and I new I really wasn't in the mood. Yet, I settled down in front of my computer regardless - perhaps I'm becoming addicted to this trading lark. If I wasn't in the mood when I started, I sure wasn't after I opened my account with returns of £0.49, -£4.11, £0.00 and -£9.75. I walked away then.

Instead of trading, I decided to try and put my time to use by exploring the use of Betdaq on the dog markets. I mentioned yesterday that I'd like to investigate the possibility of laying and/or dutching these markets as trading them on Betdaq is out of the question. I started my experiments and got some money back, but I was getting too many interruptions that I stopped - another plan put on hold.

I compounded my losses by losing a further £5 on the football. I placed a Livingston/Cowdenbeath double on Betdaq and both of them drew.

With my heart not really in it, I took the rest of the afternoon off and watched 'Cromwell' - a film I haven't seen for years.

I did do some further dog trading after that and managed to reduce my overall losses for the day to £6.47. Nothing disastrous of course, but the fact that I'm not making the money I have been over recent weeks is so frustrating.

For the rest of the evening, I finished of my work on the latest incarnation of the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet - which is the whole purpose of this post.

I've included additional functionality that allows a user to specify extra lay bets on a bet-per-bet basis. In addition, these can speculative in that these bets can be used if the trader wants to take them in running.

For those not familiar with the spreadsheet, the whole purpose is to make use of bet365 Ch4 racing offers and make a profit by over laying knowing that if your selection happens to win, you'll get a free bet to the same value from bet365. The spreadsheet does all the necessary calculations for you based on the settings you provide.

Full details can be found at Rolling Free-Bet Matching.

High Hopes Dashed Again

Yet again, I achieved a profit which, on the face of it looks OK. However, I cannot say I'm satisfied with my trading. I've spent all day - 11 hours including lunch and dinner breaks - trading and getting myself increasingly frustrated by my mistakes. For example, I've just finished the day with a £5.50 loss.

What's been the most frustrating part is the number of times I'll put in a really good trade, and follow it up with an equally bad one in the next next race. As a result, my profit/race ratio is terrible.

Believe it or not, I got involved in 74 races today, yet my profit was only £39.89. I lost 19 of those races at a staggering cost of £31.14! More than half of that was in the last 2 hours, so fatigue may well have had something to do with it and I'll have to keep that in mind for the future.

I had high hopes for my longterm trade which I identified last night. Unfortunately, although the odds came in, they didn't come in as much as I was expecting. I traded out half of my stake, in small amounts, throughout the day. But come the off, I had to trade the remainder out to give me a respectable greened up profit of £13.

However, I only got £5 profit from the race.

During the afternoon I had been discussing the race with some of the chat room regulars. One of them noticed that one of the other runners had £8 waiting to be backed at odds of 26.0. A quick scan over the stats indicated that, for the same reasons as my original pick, this too would likely come in. So we took £4 each.

Just as I place my bet, £10 appeared for a third runner at odds of 21.0 and I took that as well, once again, for exactly the same reasons.

In retrospect, that was a mistake. Although I was confident that the odds would likely come in, what I naively didn't appreciate was the effect of the red hot favourite. It essentially hogged most of the money in the market, as you'd expect. As a result, there was never any momentum to bring the odds in for those two runners. Consequently, I had to trade them both out for losses of £1.84 and £5.80 respectively.

Still, it was a very useful exercise and one that I shall repeat, but not tonight as I'm absolutely knackered.

So the disappointing week continues, but at least the profits are continuing to come, albeit not as large as I'd like them to be.

I had intended to spend much of tomorrow looking at dutching and laying the dogs on Betdaq. There isn't enough liquidity to trade properly, but I'd like some form of alternative to using Betfair. Dutching and laying may provide that.

However, because I've been trying to get my trading back up to speed, I haven't had time to sit back and have a good think about what I want to do. So it looks like I'll end up scalping the dogs again.

I've also got to have a good think about how I'm trading the dogs. This has been sparked by a thread on the Racing Traders forum where a forumite known as 'The Badger' posted a screen shot of a dog trade he made this morning where he greened up for £24. I've never got near that, though granted, my stake levels are much less than the £100 he used. The point being, I've never felt that those stake sizes could be supported in the dog markets. Clearly, I'm wrong and it is something I need to think about.

Opportunity Knocks?

No, I'm not about to burst into song, or start juggling numerous household items whilst peddling a unicycle, through a burning hoop, on a tightrope 10 feet above the ground.

Now I'm showing my age again and I will have completely lost any reader under the age of 30, or possibly 40!

Late last night, I couldn't sleep so I thought I'd investigate something that had me browsing through the greyhound cards for today. While I was doing so, I came across the 20:53 at Perry Barr and something leaped out at me.

There was £30 sitting waiting to be backed at odds of 18.0 on a dog called 'Mall Nosey'.

My initial reaction was that this way too high. In all the races I've seen since I started trading greyhounds I do not recall many mutts going off at odds so high. I couldn't resist and so I grabbed £15 worth as a speculative trade and carried on with what I was doing.

However, I kept thinking about 'Mall Nosey'.

Looking back at the market, the remaining money was still there so I set off to Greyhound Data to check the stats for the dog.

Everything I saw confirmed that this price was too high. It's regularly been finishing in the top 3 of it's recent races; it's time round the Perry Barr track is better than the average; in it's recent runs, it's SP has never been higher than 5/1. Everything pointed to this price coming in.

In addition, the Racing Post has this dog in it's tricast for the race. It's running from trap 5 and they have 2-6-5 as the likely finish. The also have it's forecast odds at 8/1.

Clearly, this dog is no pup, if you see what I mean. With this in mind, I grabbed the remaining cash.

There is one potential spanner in the works in the form of the trap 2 dog, 'Fear Zafonic'. This dog is the red hot favourite and will likely go off at odds on. It has frequently done so in recent runs. Indeed, last night, there was over £200 waiting to be laid at odds of 1.80. To be honest, I was tempted to lay it, but I felt the price is likely to come in before going out.

In any case, the upshot of this red hot favourite will be that all the others, including my pick, will be unlikely to drop below 5/1. That though, will do me very nicely indeed. If 'Mall Nosey' doesn't come in, then fair enough. It's a risk worth taking in my view as the upside is much greater than the downside.

I'll find out as the race approaches.

Too Many Mistakes

I'm still finding this week tough going. As I mentioned yesterday, I seem to have become very tentative when trading, slow to make decisions and even slower to react. My 47 years must be taking their toll on the old brain cells.

I made a reasonable profit today, but it was littered with too many mistakes such as winning nearly £8 in my best trade of the day, then throwing more than half of it away in the very next race. Such things can be very trying.

Once again, the morning session was particularly troublesome. Come lunchtime, I'd only made £9. I think possibly that I've been putting myself under pressure partly due to the poor results from Monday and Tuesday. Add into the mix that I knew my trading time was going to be limited throughout this week as I wasn't able to get involved in most of the evening sessions and I think I was subconsciously trying too hard.

I traded 43 races today and made a rather disappointing £26. I lost in 11 of those races costing £15 which simply isn't good enough and certainly nothing like my performances from last week. Today was another of those days where I had to stop early as the electrician was back to finish the work that he started on Tuesday.

It was amusing this evening as he obviously had to turn the power off for a while. If ever anyone needed evidence that today's youngsters watch too much TV, they only had to look at my daughter. Talk about a fish out of water! We had to entertain ourselves playing cards for an hour or so. She wouldn't believe me when I told her of my formative years spent in longterm darkness during the winter of discontent in the 70s.

Kids have got it so easy these days.

Walking A Fine Line

I'm sure every trader out there is well aware of the tightrope our minds walk when trading. It never fails to amaze me how the slightest doubt can tip one's mind over the edge and before you know it, it's a fully fledged crisis of confidence.

Over the past few weeks, I have become very accustomed to earning £200-£300 per week. So my performance of Monday night, coupled with yesterday's loss was a major disappointment and potential setback. So much so that I have no doubt that it was praying on my mind as I traded today.

At no stage throughout the morning greyhound card, indeed, for much of the afternoon card, did I feel comfortable with what I was doing. I traded in a very tentative way, reluctant to jump on any trend that I spotted. When I did, I was getting out far too soon. As a result, it took nearly 4 hours of trading to recover the small £8 loss I had from yesterday.

It wasn't until I took a break and gave myself a good talking to that I started to settle into the task at hand. Even then, it wasn't until the last 30 mins of the afternoon card that I started to trade the way I know I can. I made more than £10 in that half hour spell, yet that only took me to £26 for the day.

After dinner, I squeezed in another 4 races before I had to go off to play badminton - boy am I going to hurt tomorrow, but that's another story. Those 4 races took me over the £30 mark which is much more respectable and I'm happy with that. More importantly, I'm happy that a potential crisis of confidence was averted.

Two Poor Days In A Row

I didn't post Monday's results as I felt it wasn't worth the effort describing my profit of 59p! I only traded for two hours after a hard day with a client and it just didn't happen for me at all so I quit at 8:00pm.

I've said in the past that I find Monday evening greyhound markets to be particularly fruitful. That's two Mondays in a row now where I've really struggled having made a total of just over £3 combined. I hope that isn't the start of a trend.

Today's trading (Tuesday) was much better, or at least, it started off much better if not spectacularly. As the end of the morning card approached, I'd made about £20 then the rot set in with my losing £4 just before lunch.

I know £4 doesn't sound much, and it isn't compared to what I've earned over the months, but it represent 20% of what I'd spent earning that morning so it still hurts. After lunch, I was hit again in the second at Crayford.

The William Hill radio commentator was making a big play of the delays caused by the late running of the first at Crayford. As a result, I thought I had time to squeeze another couple of ticks out of the favourite, 'Keallons Pride'. Unfortunately I didn't. The race was suspended before I could close the trade and I lost £30 when the silly mutt got beat.

Despite being put on the back foot, I'm quite philosophical about it. After all, I benefited from being caught the other day. I sure these things have a way of balancing themselves out.

One thing I did learn today is that there is a great variation in the commentary from the Willam Hill radio presenters. Specifically, some of them, and the one this afternoon was guilty of this, rarely, if ever, announce when the dogs are going into the traps. This is the point to quit the trade.

The presenter of the afternoon card would insist on rambling on and giving a commentary of the changing odds and would only make an announcement when the hare was running - by which time it's too late.

If any one is using, or planning to use the William Hill radio service, and I'd certainly advise them to do so, get used to the differing presentation styles of the presenters. I didn't today and it cost me.

So, there I was, £14 down after lunch and it took me to nearly the end of the afternoon card to draw within 10p of being level. I then spoiled it by losing £5 over the last 3 races before stopping for dinner. When, upon my return, I immediately lost another £3, I stopped for the night.

I had to stop in any case as the electrician I mentioned in a previous post arrived to start work.

So, two very poor days, not to mention my first losing day for more than a month. Not a great loss and I'll soon get it back. It still grates though, having a red figure on my spreadsheet.

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Yesterday's postponed shopping trip went ahead today, so I missed a fair few races before I got back. With only 4hrs left of the greyhounds, I set about getting a reasonable sum that would go some way to paying for my daughter's new ski boots.

To cut a long story short, I traded 32 races amassing £40.13 profit. I lost £5.13 spread over 5 races which I was pleased with.

What didn't please me was the 90 mins or so in the latter half of the afternoon where I was consistently getting myself into very good profitable positions only to lose it again and come away with a fraction of what I had. I must have given away some £15-£20 this way, simply because I was greedily looking for an extra tick or two rather than taking my profit.

Until this spell had come along, I had reach almost £30 for the day, then I stagnated. I made up for it though by winning £10 in the last three races which was a very nice way to end the day.

My profit for the day was cut having had a failed bet from my '5% pseudo bank' on Bologna to beat Chievo. That lost £5.64 though the bank is still 7% in profit.

So a total of £34.49 added to the running total which sees me through £300 for the month, which I am delighted with.

My trading will be curtailed a little next week as I have an electrician coming to do some work on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, part of which will allow me to move my computers out of my bedroom and into a dedicated office/trading room. I'm looking forward to that I can tell you. I might even be able to get some TV pictures up and running.

Good luck to you all for next week.

Delays, Delays, Delays

I had a very strange day today. A day in which I had originally intended to go shopping for ski boots and have a break from trading. When those plans were postponed, I got stuck into the trading as normal, never expecting to have such a roller coaster ride courtesy of Betfair's temperamental systems.

Everything started off pretty well, slowly building the profit in consistent sized steps. Until that is, I started to get hit by the submission delays I've been suffering from recently. It then became a frustrating and rocky ride.

The first time I was hit, resulted in my closing trade not being submitted in time before the market suspended. My fault in that I have, over recent weeks, started to sail closer and closer to the off. But with the help of my countdown timer on my mobile, as well as the commentary from William Hill Radio, I have found my returns increase as a result. Consequently, I believe the rewards are worth the increased risk.

That said, it is still annoying that I was unable to trade out thanks to these excessive delays in my bets appearing in the market. Neither did it help today with the market being suspended a few seconds early.

As I've mentioned before, I tend to back first, lay second. However, When the timer is almost up and I'm trading so close to the bone, I'll switch to laying first, backing second. At least then, if I do get caught, I'll have five dogs running for me rather than against me.

In this particular race, luck was on my side once more after I had 30 secs of nail biting to see if I'd be £22 up or £70 down. That luck was short lived however as another delay two races later caused something very weird to happen resulting in a loss of £12.

I was trading 'Missie Capone' in the 2:254 at Newcastle, taking a few ticks here and a few ticks there. I tried placing a back bet at odds of 4.10 and nothing happened. A few seconds later, my money appeared in the ladder; FIVE times the amount of money I submitted. By the time I had thought, "What the hell!" and tried to react, it was taken and I struggled to get out. Hence the loss of £12.

I couldn't understand what had happened. Did I multi-click? I'd accept inadvertently double clicking, but not clicking 5 times in rapid succession. Besides, multiple clicks would appear as multiple bets in my Betfair account, yet, as you can see from the image below, there's a single bet of over £117.

I have absolutely no idea what caused this. All my settings in BinarySoft are as they have been for months. I can only assume that the delay threw the software a complete wobbly. I do not understand what mechanism in the communications between Betfair and Binarysoft would result in such a wildly differing amount being submitted to the market compared to the one I instructed it to submit. Clearly, a very worrying and potentially disastrous issue.

Unfortunately, BinarySoft does not record any log so I doubt that I'll ever get to the bottom of this mystery, though I'm sure it has something to do with Betfair's submission issues. I can only hope it was a one off.

Other than that, I was happy with my trading, despite the continued and intermittent delay issues.

I wasted my time on 50 dog races today, losing only 6 at a cost of £18.57 - including the £12 loss discussed above, so I'm very pleased with that.

In addition to the £54 I won on the dogs, I had a small trade on Valencia, trading out after they went 1-0 up in the first minute. I wish they were all that easy, but, having won only £2.44 it's one of those trades where I wish I'd stuck a lot more on it.

So, a fairly satisfactory £56.65 gets added to the pot and continues the good start I've made to the year.

Just A Quickie

Said the vicar to the virgin.

I've spent the last 45 mins composing a response to comments made in an earlier post, so I'll keep today's tale of woe, perseverance and luck as brief as possible...

Trading this morning was terrible. The Hove meeting was running some 20 mins late and this screwed everything up. I lost my normal rhythm and to cut a long story short, I lost 6 out of the first 9 races I entered. At this point, I gave up and went for an early lunch.

Once the afternoon card started, I soon had most of it back. Then I was hit by submission delays. This has been a problem for many users in recent months, but fortunately I have rarely seen them. Boy did they effect me today.

The first time they hit, I lost all of my recovered losses and a bit more. However, aside from that loss, it was the number of times I missed trades that was hurting me. Frequently, I would spot an opportunity, but the market would sweep past me while Betfair decided what to do with my bet. As a result, I missed out on many a profitable trade.

Despite these issues, I slowly recovered and got myself in profit, but it was hard going, not to mention nerve wracking not knowing when my backside could be bitten by another delay.

So I rode my luck a bit I guess, but my best (and worst) moment came in the first evening race at Wimbledon. I was trading the favourite and listening to William Hill Radio and I didn't notice they switched to Sunderland. There I was, laying the evens favourite thinking the dogs weren't in the traps yet, when the market suspended. Arrrgh! Somehow, that summed up my day.

So, my worst trading moment of the day. Careless and not something I was proud of from a trading point of view. However, it also turned out to be my best moment as the favourite was stuffed and I won £31. Woohoo! What a jammy git!

I traded a little more after that, but was still suffering from these submission delays and decided not to push my luck any further.

I traded in 45 markets today, losing 12 of them at a cost of £22.51 - not my best performance! Still, thanks to 'Indigo Joe' turning out to be a real dog (excuse the pun), I eventually came away with over £50.

Before I go, a word about the Betfair delays. It wasn't just bet submission that was suffering. When moving to a new market, it would take ages to load. Much, much longer than it normally does. In addition, I noticed that the Betfair website was ponderously slow as well. I don't know if anyone else was having problems today, but hopefully they won't effect me again anytime soon.

Spam Comments

Over recent weeks, I've been inundated with comments to my posts that do not contribute anything other than saying something simple like, 'nice blog', and followed by a web link.

I am more than happy to publish constructive comments that are relevant to the post, but in my view the comments in question are nothing more than spam and consequently, I won't publish them. If you do not wish to contribute to the debate, then by all means leave a simple comment, but don't include a link - especially if you've never commented before.

If you wish to exchange links, then I'm happy to do so with other, related sites.

Here We Go Again

I see that the trader known as 'The Polish Trader' is having another go at 'promoting' Betdaq. I confess, I am at a loss as to the reason why it is felt this attempt will work, when the previous one failed.

Whilst the aims are laudable, i.e. promoting the use of Betdaq in an attempt to make it a viable alternative to Betfair, surely this is something that Betdaq should be doing?

The plan is to have a concerted move across to Betdaq on the 21st of January, initially for a two week period. Those who plan to do so, should 'sign-up' on the aforementioned site. I for one will not be doing so for the following reasons:

1. I already use and promote Betdaq. I use them as much as possible where the market allows. I do not need a concerted effort to move across.
2. I'm reluctant to get involved in a website that claims to be promoting one thing, yet litters every page with affiliate links. It's for this reason that I will not put a link to the site on my blog. It is hard to believe there isn't an ulterior motive.
3. I honestly think the premise is fundamentally flawed. Those that are hacked off with Betfair's Premium Charge are being encouraged to defect. No purpose would be served by successful traders moving to Betdaq. It's the vast majority of losing punters that need to make the move, but by definition, the PC doesn't affect them so why should they bother?
4. I make most of my cash in the greyhound markets. Those markets are dead on Betdaq. Most folk who might make the move are, in my opinion, likely to be horse traders.
5. Software issues make me reluctant to be in the vanguard of any such move. I could use the Betdaq Trader software, but can I afford to take the time out to learn how to use it efficiently?

So, I won't be signing up and I won't be joining, what I suspect to be, a damp squib come the 21st of January. I'll continue to use both exchanges for my trading/betting, giving Betdaq as much of my business as possible, without compromising my income.

That's the way any sensible trader will work, both in the short and long term.

Now, on to today's trading...

I had a very satisfactory day making slow and steady progress right from the start of proceedings. I traded a total of 71 greyhound races today, losing 9 of them at a cost of £11.44. Half of that was taken up by just 2 races. The rest I either scratched or earned a profit resulting in me adding £62.57 to the pot. This keeps me well on target for the month.

More of the same tomorrow will do nicely.

Slowly Picking Up

Having taken a break over the turn of the year, I've found it difficult to get going again. Partly because I fell out of the habit and partly because I still feel somewhat lethargic from winding down 'too much', if that's possible. Still, there's been signs over the past two days that things are slowly picking up.

Although I didn't post yesterday, preferring to have an early night instead, I picked up £25 for my troubles after a very poor first 90 mins where I made 18 pence!

Today also suffered from a painfully slow start - though not quite as bad as 18p. However, as the afternoon wore on, things picked up and I stopped at 6:00pm some £37 richer. After dinner, I got roped into playing with my daughter and her Wii Fit. Certainly sitting in front of a PC all day does absolutely nothing for one's health, not to mention all the chocolate I've consumed over the past month or so.

I didn't return to the greyhounds until 8:00pm but the markets were absolutely dead, so I decided to call it a night, rather than risk what I'd already earned.

Reflecting on last month's performance, I'm very wary of setting goals, particularly one's that will beat that performance. I've already stated that I doubt I'll achieve that this month. However, what I have said in the past is that £400/month would make a difference and something I'd be happy with. After all, that's only £20/day, 5 days/week. Looking back over recent weeks, I'm certainly achieving that quite comfortably. Even better if I can bump it up to £30.

So that's what I'm going to try and aim for. I don't believe in setting unrealistic goals. This one however, is eminently achievable in my view.

PS. I forgot to mention, that since I've still got 2 x £50 free bets to pick up from Boylesports I thought I'd try them again to see if they'd relaxed their restrictions on my account. They hadn't. Quite the reverse in fact. I wanted to place £50 on Bristol Rovers @ 2.10. They offered me £6.28. So I immediately emptied my account. They'll be getting no more business from me.

Too Many, Too Short

I look forward to Monday evenings as they have been very good to me over the months since I started trading the greyhounds back in September. Tonight though, I had great difficulty.

I have never seen a card where virtually every race had a clear, short-priced (2.75 and below) favourite. As I tend to back first lay later, these favourites cause me difficulties as they frequently jump out as a large sum of money suddenly takes the price out by a significant number of ticks. Usually after I've placed my opening back bet. As a result, I'm very wary of getting involved,

Tonight though, I was coping quite well and for the first hour, there was no sign of the aforementioned sums. Then I got caught and in one fell swoop, my profit was wiped from the board.

I spent the next hour building it back up again, only for another big hit to come along. After this, I changed tack and started laying these short-priced favourite with every expectation of the price suddenly shooting out in the last 30 secs before the off. Blow me, did it not shoot in rather than out?

I traded 25 dog races this evening and came away with only £2.55. I only lost 6 of those, but they counted for £22.38 in lost trades thanks to these sudden reversals.

Very disappointing. Not so much the lost trades, but the lost opportunities. There were plenty around this evening, but I seemed to get on the wrong side of most of them. Never mind. There's always tomorrow.

Happy New Year

Firstly, let me wish all my readers all the very best for 2009. Here's hoping you all have a prosperous one.

I was away over the New Year period and only got back late on Friday night. I didn't do a great deal of trading yesterday as I was 47 years young and spent much of my time with my feet up, being pampered by my daughter - I wish! I managed to pick up £9 in the handful of races I entered.

Today was slow going as well, what with the greyhound meeting at Hove canceled and the afternoon markets being pretty thin at times, even for me. Still, I earned myself a gentle £23 for my trouble so cannot complain.

Not quite such a dramatic start to the new year compared to the way I finished the last one, but breaking myself in gently after my New Year exertions was perhaps all I could expect. The real trading starts during the week.