February Summary

Today being a Saturday, I stuck with my new regime and avoided the trading as much as possible. Indeed, I only traded two greyhound races in the evening with a spot of free-bet matching of the horses in the afternoon.

Once again, my Betfair P&L for the day gives a false impression with all the runners in the 6 races I tried losing. As a result, my Betfair account was boosted more than £300. Looks good, but I also lost £300 over at Bet365.

For those that are interested, here's the figures for the rolling free-bet matching I did this afternoon showing my profit of just under £25.

Today's profit sees me breaking through £500 for the month of February which I'm a little disappointed with given the previous two months.

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

Greyhounds... £530.29
Soccer... -£56.64
Horses... £24.85
Rugby Union... £2.87

As expected, the greyhounds continue to fly the flag. Hardly surprising since I concentrate the vast majority of my efforts in that direction. This will continue to be the case though I intend to start exploring other markets. Indeed, I have already begun to do just that.

The soccer side of things remains a disappointment. I had started to trade the correct score markets until I lost £28 one night and I haven't looked at it since. My problem continues to be my opening position. I almost always get it wrong. If I got it right, I probably wouldn't trade the correct scores anyway and concentrate on the various over/unders markets.

The rest of the losses were made up of straight £5 bets and another loss of £7 in the correct score markets.

Clearly, soccer isn't working for me but I will persevere with it for now. I obviously haven't found an edge there and will keep looking - assuming there is one to find.

I'm slowly starting to look at the horse markets again, though virtually all of that profit was today's bet matching efforts on the Bet365 CH4 4/1+ offers. I have been trying the win markets again in the evenings only, but I may resort to the place markets which is what originally got me going in the first place.

Hopefully, come the end of this March, I'll be able to report that the nags are contributing a bit more than they currently are - as long as it isn't at the expense of my greyhound trading profits I'll be happy.

That's it for another month. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.

What An Idiot!

Sometimes I think I should just shoot myself for being so stupid. Today I committed one of the cardinal sins of trading - not concentrating on the task in hand.

Today had been one of those days where I took 2 steps forward, then 1 step back. Still, at least I was heading in the right direction despite way too many sizable losing trades. However, they paled into insignificance when I lost £13.80 in the 4:18 at Monmore this afternoon.

I had allowed myself to get distracted after the previous race and found myself reading a forum post when my mobile sounded the 1 minute to go warning. I switched to the race, saw that there was a clear favourite quickly coming in and lumped on without stopping to think and assess the market.

I do not really need to tell you what happened next. One big reversal later, I'd lost nearly £14.


Interestingly, that dog was the Racing Post nap for the Monmore card. Another warning sign. Just the other day I was telling the chaps in the chat room that I frequently lose on these naps and I should leave well alone.

Anyway, I shrugged it off as I am able to do these days and things looked better when I immediately retrieved more than £2 in the next race. However, when I lost a further £5 in the following race, I decided to quit for the day having gone from the mid £20s and looking to break through £30 down to £5 profit for the day.

I traded a total of 33 races today and lost on 9 of these costing a staggering £32.06! As you can see from that figure, my problem wasn't just that big loss at the end but it certainly took what remaining wind there was from my sails.

Best to stop and put my feet up for the night I think.

There's Neigh Hope For Me

I visited the horse racing again tonight. Yikes! First race I entered saw me lose £8.42 and I was on the back foot right away. Fortunately, I had £30 to play with having won that on the greyhounds earlier in the day.

I have a number of problems with the nags...

1. I never seem to get my entry points correct. As a result, the market always reverses as soon as I go in.
2. If I'm in a losing position, I cannot resist going in repeatedly to try and recover the situation, which only makes things worse.
3. If I'm in a profitable position, I cannot resist going in repeatedly for another nibble, which I end up losing. Go back to point 2.

The first race saw me £4 down right off the bat. I worked hard to get this into the green - £2 if memory serves me correctly - I went in for more and lost it, and continued to lose it until I was down over £8.

I made a profit in the next two races which saw me get nearly £6 of that back, but when I got suckered again in the 4th race of the evening, I gave up.

Yesterday evening I traded in the last 10 mins. Although I found it difficult, nerve racking and down right uncomfortable I managed to profit in all four races I tried.

I had heard that trading pre 10 mins can be easier for beginners as things aren't quite so frenetic. So, I thought I'd give that a go this evening.

To be honest, I found it more difficult. Nothing much happens. I'd place a bet and wait for what seemed an eternity for it to be matched. Sod's law of course dictated that whenever I canceled it, the market would move to that position where it would have been taken.

The other thing I found difficult about trading in this period was a direct result of this lack of movement. I found it extremely hard to assess which way the market was likely to move. At least closer to the off it's easy to see movement happening even if it does jump about all over the place.

Still, all part of the learning process, though I hope I'm not going to make a habit of throwing away a third of my greyhound trading profit each day on a handful of horse races. Otherwise I'll end up in the same position I was last November when I singularly failed to get to grips with the horse win markets to the detriment of my dog trading.

Premium Charge Confusion

Apologies for the lack of posts since Sunday. I only did a little trading on Monday where I was doing OK until I wiped almost all of my gains by losing £9 in one of the last of the afternoon greyhound races.

I didn't trade at all yesterday as I'd been at a client's all day and was pretty exhausted so I decided to leave it and parked myself in front of the TV all evening.

As expected after the big 'apparent' loss I had last week after bet matching the greyhounds, my premium charge statement shows that no fees were charged against my 'allowance'. So there you have it. Make sure you lose and you'll pay no premium charge. :-)

I was confused by this. In particular, by the gross P/L figure of -£75.07 which didn't tie in with the total loss figure from my account P/L statement for the same period (shown below) until I remembered that that is net commission of £22.27. However, -£97.25 + £22.27 = -£74.98 which doesn't quite equal -£75.07, presumably due to rounding errors. On the other hand, perhaps I'm just having a senior moment.

I had a mixed bag trading today. The first hour on the dogs started OK, but then went down hill so that I was slightly in the red when I came through the other side of it. The rest of the morning was pretty straight forward, finishing up £15 which, considering the first hour, I was quite happy with.

When I returned after 3:00pm for the afternoon session I immediately strung a few good trades together and had got myself up to the acceptable £1/race target I've mentioned so many times before. Come 4:00pm that all ground to a halt. I spent over 90 minutes losing or scratching for a few pennies profit. After whittling my profit down to £20, I stopped.

I did a little later on, but as expected, the markets were pretty quiet thanks to the football.

Those of you who managed to wade through my end of year 'summary' may recall that I talked about restructuring my time to give me the opportunity to look into other markets. The low liquidity in the evening greyhound markets provides a prime excuse to do just that I suggested. With that in mind, and there being no time like the present, I thought I'd dive into the world of the horse win markets once more.

I remember thinking as I was trading four of the races at Kempton, 'how can anyone do this'. Every trade I entered immediately reversed, yet I managed to come away with a profit in all four.

In the first two of these races, I opened with a hedged loss of £7 or more, but managed to recover the situation. Similarly with the biggest of these profits, I was down a guaranteed £4 before turning it around.

While I was pleased that I managed to dig myself out of a hole on each occasion, I'd rather not get into that position in the first place. Clearly, I need to identify my entry points a bit better than I did. Still, adding £12 to my total for the day was most welcome.

I lot of work to do, but an encouraging start.

Inauspicious End To The Year

Well, that's it. As my trading anniversary is tomorrow, today marked my year end. Unfortunately I failed to see it out with a bang. Barely even a whimper, having had a poor day on the dogs making only £2.43, losing nearly £7 on the soccer as I experimented in the over/under markets and rounded it all off with a loss of over £7 on the horses (including a near £9 loss in the last at Lingfield).

But this post isn't really about today's exploits. Rather it is a summary of what has turned out to be a quite extraordinary year and my attempts to make sports investing pay.

Those of you who have been reading this blog from the start will know that I had virtually given up any hope of achieving a second income from gambling. This really was the last chance saloon. If I couldn't do it this time, that was it. But I made one commitment. I was not going to throw vast amounts of cash at it. I was not going to feed my betting accounts again. If I lost it, that was it.

So, off I went on the 23rd Feb 2008 and started trading the horse place markets with £10. One year later, that £10 has turned into £4411.05. A 44110% increase!

I won't pretent it has been plain sailing all the way. Far from it. I've had plenty of screw ups along the way, prolonged periods of self doubt and no end of frustration at times. However, as the weeks and months have passed, and I've become more experienced, disciplined and thick skinned (for want of a better term) these crises of confidence have lessened in both their frequency and intensity.

A year ago, if anyone had said I'd make nearly £4.5K, I would have snapped their hand off. Now, as I sit typing this, and reflect back over the year I cannot help but feel disappointed. This isn't some form of ingratitude on my part. Far from it. It's more a realisation that I could have performed better in some areas than I have done.

For example, the biggest disappointment has been my failure to not only get to grips with the horse markets, but to persevere and establish why they went wrong for me in the first place. After all, it was the place markets that really set the ball rolling for me. Starting off with that tenner last February, I built that up to around £1500 come mid summer at which point I started to lose the knack. I've never established why.

To counterbalance that however, has been my discovery of the greyhound markets. These have been a revelation for me. Since I started looking at them back in September they have accounted for £2.7K of my profit. As a result, they're virtually the only market I get involved in. This is one area that needs to change as I'm limited to what I can achieve there simply because of liquidity.

I've played around in other markets, specifically soccer, with a bit of tennis, rugby and FTSE thrown in. Nothing much has come of these though and I'd certainly like the first two of those to start contributing. That in itself is a problem. Finding the time to learn these things.

Scalping the pre-race markets is an attractive and, to put it quite bluntly, easy option when it comes to trading. I don't mean it is easy to do - far from it otherwise everyone would be at it. No, I mean it doesn't require any form of preparation, form study or research. One only reacts to the way the numbers jump up and down on the screen. It's for this reason that I must make a concerted effort to make the pre-race horse markets pay in the coming year.

Soccer and tennis, or any other sport where the main trading takes place in-play, requires, in my view, an understanding of the game and the participants in order to formulate one's best entry and exit points - not to mention an understanding of how the market behaves in-play. At this point, I do not have that knowledge and so any attempts I make to get involved in those sports is nothing more than guessing.

So what now as I move into my second year?

For the foreseeable future, the greyhounds are going to have to take precedence. They're earning me more than £400/month and clearly that is not something I want to sacrifice. However, I need to structure my dog trading better in order to free up time to look at other markets.

I've already established that, for whatever reason, Saturdays are not good days for me. My trading performance is always poorer on those day. I've already decided that Saturday afternoons will be set aside for free-bet matching, but I also need to look at freeing up other times as well. Evening racing is probably a prime candidate.

I started trading the dogs in September, after evening horse racing was virtually finished. Once that kicks in again, I'd imagine that evening dogs will be even worse than they are now - not that I haven't made a fair bit of profit in the evenings. However, clearly this is another time in the day that I could exploit to better use.

Essentially, come this time next year, I want to be able to turn around and tell you I'm making regular and decent profits in the horse markets and on soccer. I'm not going to set myself a financial goal though a doubling of profit would be very welcome.

To be honest, I'm not sure how my trading will pan out this year as I really need to be looking to get back into employment. I'm quickly running out of clients as the economic climate continues to free fall. This, coupled with the fact that I'm really fed up being self-employed, means that I should/need to look for work as an employee.

I've been self-employed since 1993 and I'm quickly approaching my 50s, so finding work will be significantly more difficult anyway, irrespective of the current state of the economy. In the meantime though, I will continue to plan my trading goals based on my current situation.

Aside from my trading, I have plans and ideas in the pipeline for this blog and it's related website.

The introduction of the chat room has proved to be very beneficial. There's a hardcore of visitors with frequent transient guests popping in as and when. Those who are there regularly already share tips and hints as we explore other markets together so everyone is welcome to join in.

One thing I'm investigating at the moment, is the setting up of semi-formal sessions where a well known trader will pop in and give guidance during a particular event he/she is trading. By their very nature, this excludes pre-race events simply because they happen too quickly. However, sports such as soccer, cricket and tennis may well be ideal for this.

I've already spoken to some traders who are OK with the idea in principle, though the details have still to be discussed. Hopefully, it will come off in the not too distant future. In the meantime, if you are a trader with expertise in a particular field and would be willing to spend some time in the chat room then please leave a comment with your contact details (which I won't publish) and I'll get back to you.

I have a few minor enhancements to make to the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet which reminds me... One of the things that I could do is have a chat room session discussing how to use it. Alternatively, I can create an article on how to use it. However, even though it has been downloaded numerous times, I have no idea if people are using it. There's no point in me spending my time on it if there's no interest. Please let me know if a chat room session would be useful.

I've still got in the pipeline plans for a whole series of articles on gambling/trading. I just do not know when I'll get the time to do them.

One major project I do have is to convert the spare room into a dedicated trading room/study. At the moment, my study/office takes up half my bedroom which I've always hated since I moved into this house over 4 years ago. It's like being a student again.

A fair bit of work involved though as I need to install network cabling, phones, tv cable, server, desktop, television etc, and still leave space for a spare bed. Before all that, it needs to be stripped of my daughter's junk and redecorated as I'm not sure I could face an 8-10 hour/day in a bright pink room.

So, that's my loose plans for the coming year. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank every one for their support and comments over the part 12 months. I hope I have provided something in return, even if it is to demonstrate that it is possible to build up a bank from very small amounts.

As the headline says, 'From small beginnings, great things grow'.

What Is It About Saturdays?

Regular readers will know of my aversion to Saturdays. I have repeatedly performed badly on Saturdays to such an extent that last week, if you remember, I talked about taking those days off from trading.

Later on in the week, after successfully doing some matched betting on the dogs, I took the decision to spend those afternoons bet matching the horses by working my way through the Bet365 Ch4 offers rather than do no trading at all.

I confess, I couldn't help myself this morning. I had to do a spot of greyhound trading - anything to keep me from doing the housework! I'm glad I did, otherwise I wouldn't have had anything to show for today's exploits.

I spent a couple of hours this morning trading 17 dog races and picking up £17 profit along the way. I lost £2 over a couple of races but all in all, it was a pretty relaxed session.

I stopped at 1:00pm for lunch and to get myself organised for the main task in hand - the Bet365 matched betting on the CH4 races. This is where the Saturday 'voodoo' struck.

For anyone who has done this, or perhaps more importantly, anyone thinking about doing this, the key is to lay off at odds as close as possible (preferably less than) to the odds obtained for the back bet at Bet365. This makes sure that if and when you win and obtain a free bet, that freebie is used to make a profit rather than claw back some of the losses. I won't go into details here, as it will take too long and perhaps deserves an article in it's own right.

Sometimes, by going in early, you can find Bet365 odds at a higher value than those available to lay on Betfair. That's the ideal situation and should be snapped up as quickly as possible. Other times, one has to be patient and wait until the odds start to converge before entering the game.

Nothing though can legislate for what I did today in the opening qualifying race, the 2:05 at Kempton.

I add my eye on 'Dee Ee Williams' as its odds were the lowest that still qualified for Bet365's minimum odds requirement of 5.00. Unfortunately, the lay odds on Betfair at the time were 6.00 - the gap was too high.

However, 'Alfie Flits' looked promising in that the odds were starting to converge albeit a bit high around the 8.00 mark.

With no sign of 'Dee Ee Williams' converging, I went for 'Alfie', switched to Bet365 and placed my £30 bet only to realise after submitting my betslip that I'd backed the wrong horse! The curse of Saturday strikes again!

I had inadvertently - read stupidly and carelessly - backed 'Conflictofinterest' @ 8.50. Not necessarily a problem in itself until checking Betfair to see that the lay odds were 11.5!

Of course, I could have laid on Betfair to guarantee myself a loss that would be a bit less than the £30 liability I had on Bet365. I decided not to. By way of punishment, I felt if £30 was the price I had to pay to learn a lesson of concentration then so be it.

I waited to see if the odds on Betfair would drop pre-off and when they didn't, I placed a keep bet @ 8.4 and let the thing go in-running. Right from the off, the odds dropped to around 5.00 and I was immediately matched resulting in no loss and one lucky escape.

At that point, although I looked at the next couple of races, I decided to abandon the idea of match betting for the day and not push my luck any further. So I took the rest of the day off, secure in the knowledge that I'd learned another valuable lesson without having to pay for it and still have £17 in my pocket for today's efforts.

While on the subject of matched betting, it has been brought to my attention that Ladbrokes have now introduce a very similar offer to the Bet365 CH4 offer. I haven't had time to check it out myself, but this being the case, the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet can be used for that as well.

Boredom - A Dangerous State Of Mind

I had another tale of two halves today while trading the greyhounds. The morning session went much as they have done most of the week and I finished the session having comfortably managed my minimum target of £1/race.

I took an extended lunch break and didn't get back to my computer until after 3:00pm when I continued in exactly the same vein. Until, that is, I stopped for a cuppa. I've forgotten how many times I've told myself not to trade the race immediately after putting the kettle on, or any other form of distraction for that matter. I always seem to lose it.

I lost over £3. Not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but in terms of the profit I had built up that day, it was a chunk. Having been looking at topping £30, I was now down in the low £20s. For the next hour I struggled to get anywhere and when I lost a further £4 an hour or so later I stopped before I dropped into the teens.

I hadn't intended to trade in the evening, but sometimes is difficult not to. Particularly when there's nothing on the TV and I was desperately trying to avoid doing the shopping. The boredom factor can be dangerous.

Trying to trade the evening races on a Friday is, as I've found in the past, a frustrating experience with a severe lack of money. I guess everyone and their dog is out spending their weeks winnings then. With so little happening, boredom can set in and mistakes are easily made. Fortunately, no big screw ups tonight, but I didn't really get anywhere.

So frustrated was I that I committed a heinous crime. I ventured into the horse win markets at Wolverhampton. I gave myself the fright of my life in the 7:50 where, surprise surprise, the market reversed suddenly as soon as I'd entered my bet. Fortunately, I managed to eventually escape with a profit of 47 pence. :-)

I returned to the dogs, but once again, the boredom factor sent me off in the direction of Wolverhampton and the 8:20 where, thankfully, I had no trouble getting a profit of £4.

This seemed to spur me on as 20 mins later, I won £5 on the dogs and suddenly my day was looking that much healthier. I tried a few more dog races but didn't get anywhere so gave up just after 9:00pm.

I traded 48 greyhound markets today for an overall profit of £26.83. I lost 9 of those races at a cost of £14.92 - disappointing, but not disastrous with todays profit taking me past my minimum monthly target of £400. Everything else this month is just a bonus.

A Staggering Loss?

Looks like it. I've certainly never before posted a daily P&L like this one.

Fortunately, all is not as it seems as the last 6 entries in that market list were part of a matched betting exercise I was doing on the Sky televised greyhound meeting at Swindon. With three of my picks winning, all the profit is sitting in my Bet365 account.

The following screen shot shows all the numbers as I was using my Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet in conjunction with the Bet365 offers.

This represents a remarkably easy profit of £24. If you are not making use of the televised greyhound and horse racing offers from Bet365, you really are missing out on this simple way of making money. I've even done the hard work for you by making my spreadsheet freely available.

Compare this profit to the £42 profit I made during the morning and afternoon greyhound sessions. I'm happy with the return for roughly 5-6 hours work, but it is draining and intense watching these numbers jump up and down the screen all day. By using the offers from Bet365, the bet matching provides a good return, for little stress and I urge you to make use of it if you do not already do so.

So despite the apparently large loss indicated above, I actually made a profit of £67 today. I've got to be happy with that. An added bonus is of course that with such a loss in my Betfair account, any premium charges will not apply. It will be interesting to see the figures for next week.

Deja Vu

Today panned out remarkably similar to yesterday. Indeed, at times I thought it WAS yesterday.

The figures for the morning session were virtually identical to yesterday's. The profit was the same, within a few pence; the number of races was only one more and I had one small loss.

After lunch, things ground to a halt, just like yesterday. In two hours, I made £1.50. It wasn't until after 4:00pm that I strung a few good trades together and by 6:00pm I had amassed a quite pleasant £42.50.

Like yesterday though, I endeavoured to throw a fair chunk of that away. I lost nearly £7 in the last three races of the session and when I returned after dinner I carried on losing it until I pulled the plug before I dropped below £30.

The evening markets were particularly difficult with little or no money around - presumably because of the big football matches on tonight.

So I've stopped for the evening, some £31.52 richer having got involved in 53 races, losing 10 of them at a cost of £18.55. Again, this is far too high and is making a big dent in my profitable trades.

While I'm obviously happy to have made a profit, I'm really disappointed with this performance and the number of mistakes I'm making. Not really sure why to be honest. If I can consistently curb these mistakes, I reckon I'd be 25%-35% richer. Mind you, it would ultimately be lost to the premium charge.

I've decided, like last Wednesday, to post a screen shot of my premium charge calculation for the previous week. In fact, I think I'll do so every week for one very simple reason...

Now that the furore has died down nearly six months after its introduction, one never hears much about it. I get the impression that many people think it will not hit them. What I aim to do by showing mine every week is to bring attention to the fact that even small time traders like myself are affected.

While I spend a lot (way too much) of my time trading successfully, at £100-£150 per week I would hardly describe myself as a high roller. To any wannabe traders out there, please be aware that as soon as you start winning regularly, no matter how small, you WILL be hit by the premium charge eventually.

Once again we see that the total charges I would have paid, including commission already removed after each event, would be 23% of my gross profit.

I have half my 'allowance' left so I guess I need to start thinking of ways to reduce the likelihood of me being hit by the premium charge. The only way to do that, without drastically reducing the number of markets I enter, is to increase my losses on Betfair.

Doesn't it seem bizarre that in order to maximise our returns, we have to think about losing?

Good, Bad And Indifferent

Yet another day I can walk away from with no small amount of disappointment, yet if you'd said at the beginning of the day I'd definitely come away with £26, I would have been happy.

My trading in the dog markets is so variable throughout the day, it can be frustrating at times. Very rarely do I finish a day totally satisfied. Splitting each day into morning, afternoon and evening sessions, there's always one which lets me down.

Today, I started off really well, making profitable trade after profitable trade. Come lunchtime, I'd been involved in 21 races, earned myself £21 and only lost one race (which was annoying in itself).

After lunch, I couldn't get going. Every time I threatened to get myself past the £21 mark, I lost. At one point, I was sitting on £16 profit fro the day. Mid way through the afternoon I took a break and didn't return until 5:00pm. I was still making mistakes, but at least I was edging forward. I stopped for dinner a few pence shy of £30. A pretty indifferent performance, but at least it was progress.

The evening session was just bad.

I wanted to at least get into the 30s, but preferably edge towards £40 before the football came on as I was planning to trade the Luton v Brighton match. I was doing OK when I was caught twice in the 7:30 and lost £3.67 and two races later I lost nearly £6.

I then set about getting myself back up to £30 but I found the same problem has I had earlier. As soon as I got close, I'd suffer a setback. I was too busy concentrating on the dogs, that I missed the start of the football, so I didn't get involved and carried on with the mutts. However, once I had another setback that dropped me to £26, I gave up.

I traded a total of 63 races today, so today's result is very disappointing. I lost 14 of those races at a cost of £26.35, which is utter dross.

I had intended to go skiing tomorrow, but the weather ain't looking too great. So I'll put that off until Thursday, assuming there's still snow left, and carry on trading instead.

I Think I'll Pack It In

On a Saturday anyway.

After yet another poor Saturday in a long line of poor Saturdays, I think I should take that day of the week off. I don't know why I always perform so poorly on those days. There really isn't any point in continually wasting much of the day for so little reward. £2 in the case of yesterday.

Today was a totally different matter. I traded steadily throughout the day, with only an hour long spell in the afternoon letting me down and slowing my progress. Still, I managed to add another £30 to the pot to round off what has been an extremely disappointing week.

Fortunately, Friday and today showed some promise and hopefully I've weathered this particular little storm in my trading. It's not long until my anniversary, so I'd like to try and pick things up a bit in the next week and see that landmark day arrive in style.

Getting ready for the big crash and burn from me then... ;-)

Hooray! A Decent Day At Last

I was beginning to wonder if I'd lost the knack of trading the greyhounds. Since last Friday my trading these markets has been particularly poor with daily results of £9.07, £7.80, -£3.57, £0.90, £10.57 and £5.04. Granted, I haven't done as much trading as I normally would this week, but that's more to do with a crisis of confidence rather than lack of opportunity.

After my skiing trip on Wednesday, yesterday was the first day I had free to trade all day. For the first time for a while, I felt a bit more comfortable with what I was doing, even though I was finding things slow and difficult. I had built up a half decent profit when Betfair decided to switch off some of their API servers resulting in response times some 4-5 fold greater than normal. I stopped at that point before I got caught big time.

I resumed again at 6:00pm and found the API working as normal, but I lost £8 on the first race I entered and switched everything off in disgust while I still had a fiver to my name.

Today, looked like continuing the trend of poor trading. After the first hour, I was down over £5 and on the verge of giving up. Thankfully, I persevered and slowly turned things around so that, by lunchtime, I was £15 in profit.

My trading throughout the day continued to improve until 9:00pm when I stopped after passing the £40 mark for the day. The first decent profit I've made on the dogs for over a week. Not before time I hasten to add.

I traded in 65 races today achieving a profit of £43.27. I still made far too many mistakes as the 16 losing races indicate. Total value of losing trades today was £17.28, which is far too high with almost half of that coming in the first hour.

I haven't done any soccer correct score trading since I got myself in a mess a week ago. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with that as yet. In my past couple of attempts, I cannot say I've been confident or comfortable with what I've been doing. However, I do not want to give up on it just yet as it clearly has potential and I really must expand my horizons so that I am not solely reliant on the dogs.

As a matter of interest, I thought I'd let you see the figures Betfair have produced for my premium charge for last week. You can get to your own statement via the Premium Charge Portal, as long as you are logged into Betfair at the time.

I'm currently working my way through my 'allowance' so haven't lost any money to this money grabbing scheme as yet. However, the figures show that I would have incurred £24.72 in premium charges. This is of course over and above the £13.70 I'd already paid in commission.

So, on a gross profit of £166.72 for last week, I'd have paid 23.04% in charges.

This is really worrying as a premium charge of such a size represents the profit from a full day trading - on a good day. You've got to wonder if it's worth the effort for us small scale traders.

To quote the Betfair site:
"In addition to the other charges detailed above, a small number (less than 0.5%) of our most successful customers will incur Premium Charges."

Am I really to believe that I am in the top 0.5% of Betfair customers?

A Relaxing Break?

My trading has been so poor recently, and the snow conditions up North so good, I felt no qualms missing trading Tuesday evening and yesterday as I headed for the slopes. I met up with a friend in Aberfeldy on Tuesday evening and headed cross country to Glenshee first thing in the morning.

Fabulous conditions. The best I've ever seen in Scotland since I took up skiing when I turned 40 back in 2002. Clear blue skies, little wind and perfect snow.

It's at times like these that I hate getting old. Well, not so much my advancing years but the various ailments that seem to come with it. My gammy knees took a real beating yesterday, but it was a price worth paying. I just need to give myself a week to recover before going back up. LOL.

Back on the trading trail today probably, assuming Betfair ever comes back online. I must exercise caution though, as should everyone else, as strange things are known to happen after Betfair does an 'upgrade'.

Good luck today if you get involved.

It's A Good Job I Don't Drink

I don't drink, and haven't done so for many a long year, which turn out to be quite fortunate as I've barely managed to earn enough this weekend to buy a pint.

I'll keep this short as there's not much to report.

My dog trading the past three days has been abysmal. £9 on Friday, £8 on Saturday and a loss of £3.57 today. Yesterday and today, I wasn't in the mood and it showed in my trading. I've only traded in 42 races over the past two days - less than I normally would in a day. I lost in 10 of those but the losses were, generally, much larger than the profit I was making from the successful trades.

After the mess I got into on Friday with the correct score trading, I was reluctant to get involved in any such markets this weekend. I did have a punt on an over 2.5 treble yesterday which lost me £4.60. However, I got £3 of that back by laying the under 3.5 goals early in the second half of today's West Ham v Man Utd match. I got on @ 1.06 and 16 mins later traded out @ 1.10 when Ryan Giggs scored.

I did have one success this weekend. I won nearly £3 on my first foray into the wonderful world of Rugby Union. Again, I laid at low odds - Wales @ 1.24 - and traded out not long after at 1.28. Nothing spectacular but welcome none the less.

So, a staggering profit £2.18 today and an extremely poor end to what promised to be a very good week. Still, nearly £150 profit for the week, so not bad but definitely a weekend to forget I think.

It's A Funny Old Game

Though after tonight, I'd describe it as a frustrating, annoying and downright stupid game! I just cannot get the hang of this soccer trading lark. I was like a deer caught in headlights tonight.

I had intended to trade the Boulogne v Metz match as I expected this to be a low scoring game - correctly as it turned out. However, after Betfair inexplicably removed the match from their in-play coupon, I had to change my plans.

The other game I had had my eye on was the one at Arminia Bielefeld who were playing hosts to Hertha Berlin. I had felt that there was a reasonable likelihood of a few goals in this match so I had dismissed it in preference for the game in France. Clearly, after the Boulogne match was no longer going to be tradable in-play, I should have left this one alone.

To cut a long story short, I didn't. I never opened with a sensible position to start with and by half-time, and the score at 1-1, I found myself in all sorts of trouble. I managed to bale myself out on all other score lines other than the 1-1. Indeed, I sacrificed some of my position on this score in order to cover myself on the higher scores where I had bigger liabilities. Unfortunately, this meant that I couldn't get myself out of that position and I spent most of the second half praying for a third goal.

Needless to say, it didn't come and I lost £27.70 and thus providing myself with further evidence that I'm not getting the hang of these correct score markets.

To cap it all, this loss occurred on a day when I found the dog markets very difficult. With only one meeting on in the morning and the afternoon, there simply wasn't much money going around and I struggled to make more than a few pence per race. I only made £9 in 25 races which is in utter contrast to yesterday's performance.

Looking for better things tomorrow.

Growing Pains With Longterm Trading

Back in my gambling days, I had great difficulty coming to terms with losses. Don't get me wrong, I was able to pick winners but a single loss was enough to generate so much doubt in my mind that I would question my methods. I'd carry on picking them, but that doubt was enough to convince me not to back them. Of course, every time I didn't back my picks, they would win.

Although looking back it wasn't the case, but at the time it seemed I'd lose whenever I put money on and would win when I didn't. As a result, I became so lacking in confidence, that I was scared to do anything. This in itself was dangerous as I simply wound up trusting to luck and ignoring any research I did.

Of course, I've since turned to trading and I am much happier now that I've done so. However, the reason I raise this issue is because of my desire to expand my horizons and trade other sports. Since my gambling background is in football betting, soccer is one such sport I'd like to trade proficiently. Given my history, I'm not convinced that is a good idea. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing as the saying goes.

One of the problems I now have is how to trade longterm. I've become accustomed to trading pre-race where positions are closed within minutes. Indeed, in the greyhound markets I'm in and out within 30 secs.

In the soccer markets, I find it difficult to take a position and hold on to it until such time when I can trade out. I become racked by doubt and end up trading out far to early for little profit, or a loss, only for the result to end as I expected. I'm suddenly back to my gambling days.

As you know, I've been trying to trade the correct score markets once the market turns in-play. Today though, I decided to do a spot of pre-match trading in the PSV v ADO Den Haag match. The market was expecting a high scoring game and, looking at the stats, the home side were expected to get most, if not all of them.

With this in mind, I looked at the 'Any Unquoted' odds sitting at 3.40 and felt, as I have seen a few times now under similar circumstances since looking at correct score markets, that this would come in. I decided to back this to the tune of £100 with the intention of trading out before kick off. To cut a long story short, they didn't come in and I had to take a loss of £5.58.

PSV went on to win the match 6-0 and clearly, the market and my assessment of the match was correct and if I'd traded it in-play, everything would have been hunky-dory. However, there was no way I was going to take £100 in-play... back to the familiar indecision of my gambling days.

Interesting of course is the two scenarios here. By taking it in-play, I'd be taking a trading position based on my assessment of how I felt the game would pan out. I essentially did the same when trading pre-KO. Yet, is that how I should have traded?

When trading pre-match, what is important is how I perceive the market is going to move. Now this may be influenced by how others perceive how the match will pan out, but in essence the two are different. Pre-match, I'm trading against other traders if you like. something I comfortably do day in day out in the greyhound markets. In-play, I'm at the mercy of what happens on the pitch as is everyone else.

At the route of this is the longterm nature of pre-match trading. In the fast paced pre-race dog-markets, I can see the market move and I react accordingly. In a longer term market, that doesn't happen and it becomes necessary to judge what I think other punters/traders will do - which isn't necessarily the same thing as my assessment of how the actual game will pan out. My mindset needs to change completely and it's taking some time to get used to.

Despite this small loss on the footy, today was a good day, even though it was a painfully slow start.

As usual, I fired up the pc in time for the 11:00 am start only to discover that one dog meeting had been canceled and the other severely delayed due to the weather. I hung around for an hour waiting for some action, gave up and went to do the weekly shop at Tesco instead. That's how boring it was.

The afternoon session wasn't much better with the meeting at Crayford put back by 90mins or so. I was quickly beginning to understand how the horse racing boys have been feeling over the past few weeks.

Once Crayford eventually got underway things really picked up and I'm glad to say, my greyhound trading was among the best I've done.

I traded 40 races today, eventually stopping at 9:00pm. I only lost 4 of those at an insignificant cost of £2.57. The markets, particularly Crayford, had plenty of money there but were jumping up and down wildly before the off. Anyone brave enough to take their trading close to the jump was rewarded on numerous occasions. Thankfully, WH Radio commentators were usually on the ball with these delayed races as the Crayford organisers squeezed their schedule to make up time.

An intensive session, but the final total of £62.53 made it worth it. It's such a pity about the footy.

Playing Nursemaid Again

My daughter was off school again today so I still haven't managed to do any proper work.

Trading was a mixed bag today. The morning greyhound session proved to be difficult in that I couldn't seem to build up momentum. In the end, by the time I stopped for lunch at 2:00, I only had a fiver for my efforts.

After lunch, everything clicked in the afternoon session, and by the time I stopped to make dinner at 6:00 I had built up a profit of £43. That was a very enjoyable session as you can imagine and I put in quite a few excellent trades. I got a little sloppy towards the end, but I'm very happy with that return.

I added another £5 or so in the evening before I turned my attention to the football. I had though about doing the correct score market in the Ajax v Heracles match. The market clearly thought that someone (and judging by the stats that meant Ajax) would score 4 or more. The 'Any Unquoted' scoreline was sitting at 2.8. Indeed, looking at the graph, some lucky sod had managed to lay at 1.74.

This to me was a ridiculous price and I seriously thought about laying it but I foolishly put myself off it and opted for the Burnley v WBA instead. Oh how I rue that decision.

Trading during the first half, I had nice greens on all but 3 of the score lines. I should have left it at that and taken stock, but I carried on tinkering and only made it worse. Then the 1st goal was scored and it put me in an awkward position where I was fighting a rearguard action until the final whistle. How I managed to get away with a loss of just under £8, I'll never know.

I'm still not finding the best way to do these correct scores. I seem to change my technique every time I try it. I'll carry on trying to crack it, but I need a more structured plan before I launch myself in there. I have a few ideas so time will tell.

As long as I've got the dogs to bring in the cash, it is worth losing a bit of it trying to get to grips with a new market.

I've managed to rope my ex-wife into looking after our daughter tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be off to earn some proper money. Only evening trading for me then and a decision between greyhounds and soccer.

Squeaky Bum And Twitchy Finger

Monday is normally the one day of the week I manage to get out of the house and visit a client, rather than working from home. Today was called off due to my daughter having a major bout of skiveritus - well, a cold anyway.

Still, I thought that I'd manage to get a full days worth of trading in - until I saw the greyhound card. The weather had caused the cancellation of one meeting in the morning and one in the afternoon. I seriously thought about leaving it.

I'm glad I didn't as the markets were excellent and there was plenty of time between races to collect one's thoughts. Indeed, it was possible to trade some of the races 10 minutes or so before the off. Something unheard off in all but the televised greyhound meetings.

So come the end of the morning session, I'd only done 12 races at Sheffield, but earned more than £12. As I've mentioned before, I'm more than happy with £1/race.

The afternoon session continued in the same vein. In the second at Monmore, I found myself with a greened up profit of £3.50 as the off approached. I was listening to WH Radio as usual and, based on the commentary I went in for another nibble only for the market to be suspended before my closing trade was taken.

It was at this point that the commentator informed his listeners that he'd lost pictures at Monmore earlier. Thanks for telling me! So, not only did I have an £80 liability on one dog, I had to tighten my buttocks for longer than usual because there wasn't any commentary.

I've come to accept being caught by the jump as an occupational hazard, particularly when I sail so close to the off. As I've mentioned in the past, I believe these things will likely balance themselves out over time and that was the case today. The dog wasn't in the frame and I won over £37 which made up a bit for losing £86 the last time I got caught.

By the end of the afternoon session, I had amassed over £65 in 25 races thanks to that lucky break. Even discounting that race, I was still over £1/race so I have to be very satisfied with my trading today. This wasn't the case in the evening though.

Actually, with my daughter feeling sorry for herself, I spent much of the evening with her and didn't intend to do any trading. I relented after 8:00 and thought I'd grab the last hour of the greyhound card.

I carried on where I'd left off, then in the 20:24 race at Yarmouth, I had, on reflection, a completely bizarre and comical moment.

I was looking at 'Banner Droopy' which was trading just under 6.00 when all the money waiting to me laid disappeared. In Binarysoft one right-clicks to center the ladder but on this occasion my index figure twitched and pressed the left mouse button. A purely reflex action and wholly unintentional. Unfortunately, my mouse was pointing to the active part of the ladder at the time and I wound up placing a lay bet at odds of 9.40.

Needless to say, this was gobbled up by some grateful soul before I could react and cancel it. I managed to get out at various odds, but it cost me £7.42. I can laugh at it now, but that mistake screwed up my concentration for the next race causing me to lose a further £3.

I managed to get myself back to over £60 before the close of play, but that little episode put a bit of a dampener on the evening. I shouldn't really complain since I had a lucky escape earlier in the day. I can though laugh about it and remember to keep the mouse well away from the active parts of the ladder.

No football trading for me today - though the Bradford match which I was initially looking at was postponed in any event.

I'll need to make up time for my client sometime this week, but when will depend on how well my daughter feels, not to mention the weather. If I'm stuck at home again, I'll be happy if more horse races are canceled as the greyhound markets can only benefit.

Experimental Start To The Month

I decided to sacrifice my dog trading today in order to continue my practice of the correct score markets. That doesn't mean I ignored the greyhounds completely. I did manage an hour first thing though things weren't particularly great. However, I did at least pick up a fe quid for my troubles.

There were plenty of in-play matches to get stuck into this afternoon and I had a number of ideas I wanted to try.

First up was the Newcastle v Sunderland match. This went according to plan until midway through the second have when I completely lost the plot and my train of thought. In the end, I escaped with a loss of £1.53 having had a liability of £37 at one stage.

The Liverpool v Chelsea match was next and this went much better, and I was all green by half time, albeit unevenly spread. I spent a bit of the second half trying to balance things out, but, as you can see from the screen shot below, I wasn't entirely successful. :-)

I took myself off to Italy in the evening for the match between Lazio and AC Milan. Again, I experimented with a different plan which all went to cock as soon as AC Milan scored. The problem was, being unfamiliar with how this market moves, I was taken by surprise how much the larger scores came in after the first goal. I hadn't covered these and as a result, I was left with no money to play with.

At one stage I was looking at a £42 liability, but I managed to reduce that to a loss of £6.38. Needless to say, I doubt that I'll be trying that idea again unless I cover myself a bit better than I did.

So a successful day in terms of education. I certainly learned a lot, even though my profit for the day could hardly buy 2 litres of milk.