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.


leonthefixer said...

Well done on the profit mate and an excellent post.

I can relate to what you are saying. I am currently trying to move to a long term trading position on the horses which is easiers said than done.

I am used to cutting out very quickly if the market moves a tick or two against me where as with this new style I should be holding on. Yesterday for eample I lost 6 ticks on a race despite the market moving 5 tick in the right direction. The reason being that as soon as it went two ticks against me I jumped ship. IT will be a long journey to change but I think a worthwhile one eventually.

Good luck with the football.

Scott Ferguson said...

Hi Alistair,

While football is the next most common sport to trade on, it's also pretty risky. Because of the low-scoring nature of the sport, any change in odds is pretty massive, eliminating your chance to close out for a small loss. Under/over 2.5 goals is ok if you get in erly, but after the 2nd goal, the risk is obviously quite high.

I prefer higher scoring sports - tennis, rugby, cricket, basketball. So long as you know the game is likely to experience plenty of ebbs and flows, even the most basic of knowledge, combined with quick fingers, will get you green most of the time.

Alistair said...

Hi guys and thanks for the comments.

It certainly takes a different mindset Leon for trading in-play and another one for trading longterm pre-event. I'm finding it difficult to achieve that mindset, but it will come I'm sure.

Thanks for the tip Scott. There's a number of sports I'd like to get involved with but my knowledge of them is limited. But then, going by my soccer trading experiences, perhaps that's a good thing.


Anonymous said...


Good luck with the correct score stuff, it might be worth sticking to the higher liquidity games initialy, stuck with positions in those low liquid games can be frustrating, Nick

Alistair said...

Hi Nick, thanks for popping by.

After my performance tonight, perhaps I should stay away altogether. Not getting the hang of these markets at all.