Will I Never Learn?

I cannot say I'm proud of myself after yesterday's exploits. £83 profit, yet I can hardly say that I deserved it.

I have a problem that I always succumb to. The chat room regulars will know what it is as I moan about it often enough. The fact that I keep doing it is, quite frankly, unforgivable, since I know what it is yet but don't seem to learn.

I find it very easy to lose focus. The simplest of distractions is enough to send my concentration AWOL. Taking a break to make a cup of tea is enough to trigger it. I almost always lose the next race I enter upon my return, yet I find myself virtually incapable of leaving that market alone in order to give myself time to regain my focus.

Yesterday was no different. My trading was going well and after only 11 races, I was up by £24. I went for a cuppa, entered the very next race on my return and lost £13. I continually misread the market, repeatedly going in to recover the situation, only to make matters worse.

Over the past year, my discipline has come on leaps and bounds, but in these circumstances, I just don't seem to be able to obtain the discipline to leave that next race alone and just watch it. I need to learn to do so, or stop making cups of tea!

Worse was to come though as, a few races later, I got caught big time. I laid 'Jumping Queen' in the 1:51 at Hall Green and got it completely wrong. The market swept through me and I was looking at another £12 all red with no hope of it coming back. I was so disgusted with myself, coupled with the previous loss, that I gambled.

I lapsed into betting mode. Something I haven't done for a long time. I let the lay stand, encouraged by the fact that Darren Driver, a William Hill Radio commentator I've come to respect, strongly suggested opposing it.

I listened to the commentary as it came home in second place and I was £33 better off. But it wasn't a proud moment and I switched my computer off and walked away. My trading head clearly wasn't in the right place.

I returned later in the day to do the matched betting on the Bet365 feature races. I also did a little horse trading, bumping my 'Back to Basics' bank up by another £5. With my head in a better place, I also carried on with the dog races before stopping at 8pm to play badminton.

So, all in all, a very profitable day, but not one to be overly happy with from a discipline point of view.


Anthony said...

There's nothing anyone can say to you - there's almost nothing you can say to yourself. Have you tried just not opening the market on the next race? It's easier, discipline wise, not to open that next market than it is to stop yourself getting involved in it if you're looking at the odds. I used to suffer from letting trades go in-play on the horses, as I discussed with Drifter many times but I haven't done that for months. I worked out that I had lost about £4,000 and my sanity doing that. That's a nice car's worth of profits. Next time you're tempted, think about how much £12 or £13 is in relation to how much you've earned since you started or even in this current month. It's nothing - let it go!
Having said that, I'm glad it worked out in your favour. Well done on your great month so far.

Rick Ford said...

Hi Alistair - Well done on generating profits in a very volatile market. In trading you cannot predict price movements, you just adjust to them! You need the emotion of a machine to overcome all natural feelings and jusgements so you will always make mistakes no matter how long you do it - it's human nature. If you want a good understanding of the required mentality for trading and improve yourself I suggest reading "Trading in the Zone" by Mark Douglas. It is based on Finance Trading but the logic applies to sports trading. It's helped my mentality know end!

PhilipH said...

Hi Alistair,
I can just imagine how stressful it must be to have a "lay" bet go against you with no way out. I did something similar the other day, on the nags, and it was because I was just waiting for "the right moment" - which never came because it went in play. I do not use large stakes but I'd laid an 8-1 chance for £2 and in running it was on offer in the sprint late on at 2s or thereabouts. I was "listening" to the race via my laptop screen and as this nag shortened it seemed it was going to darn well win! It came nowhere in the end, which was a relief to me! OK, I won £2 - but the thoughts of paying out £16 caused my blood pressure to rise. I seldom lay first but sometimes I think it will drift so I take a chance. Naturally, things seldom go in the right direction right on the off for me.

Another silly thing I did today: I backed at about 10 on a nag, for £1 only, and then thought I'd have another £1 on it at 10.5 but as I tapped the trackpad the race was off and the "in play" price of 3, yes 3, was matched. I was quite mad with myself. I reckon some players deliberately set these low odds on the off, just to catch mugs like me!
Cheers, Phil

Alistair said...

Hi guys and thanks for the comments.

Yesterday was very much a rattle thrown out of pram moment.

Of course Anthony, the amounts involved were nothing in the grand scheme of things.

The deliberate decision to let the lay stand as a bet, was borne out of frustration from the earlier loss and very much out of character.

Still, ended well and it's all water under the bridge. I did however avoid making cups of tea today :-). I had a large bottle of water next to me throughout the day and just sipped from that coming away with £33 in the end.

Thanks again.