April Summary

The end of another eventful and, I have to say, somewhat frustrating month. One in which I haven't felt particularly happy about any of my trading despite seeing some excellent trades in both football and greyhounds.

Having had a good result in March, I was looking forward to April being much the same. Unfortunately it took me almost two week to get going. I had a good spell in the middle of the month, but that was more through luck than good trading where I was fortunate enough to have a football bet matched at much higher odds than I asked for as well as managing to get matched in a couple of greyhound races at odds which were clearly wrong.

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

Greyhounds... £422.08
Horses... -£30.76
Soccer... £69.05

Of those three figures, the profit from the greyhounds is the most disappointing. Indeed, ignoring the return from the two dog races I mentioned earlier, that figure would be around £350. Almost half what I've come to expect from the dogs.

I've made no sercret of the fact that my greyhound trading has been poor this month. I am at a loss to explain why. I've certainly been feeling tired and suffering somewhat from trading fatigue which hasn't helped, particularly since the results weren't coming as I'd like.

I also increased my stake size slightly which may have been a factor. I may have simply reached the limit for my style of trading. Having said that, this week I dropped it back to what I had been using but the results from that have been the worst of all.

The other unknown factor in this is the influence of the horse markets. I started trading the dogs last September when the summer horse racing season had finished. Now certainly during the winter, the greyhound markets vary significantly depending on when the racing starts. With summer horse racing now on the go, I'm wondering if this has had an effect on the markets. I've certainly come across numerous posts in forums that have complained of difficult greyhound markets. This being the case, the next month may require some adjustment in my dog trading.

The horses have been a waste of time, yet again. I switched to the place markets for a while and that looked promising for a short time, before starting to fall over. To be honest, my heart just wasn't in it and it may well have been suffering due to the general malaise I've been feeling all month regarding my trading.

In addition, I was more focussed on the in-running hedging idea than pre-race trading, which wouldn't have helped.

If you recall, since early on in the month, I've been looking at the possiblity of finding horses that would shorten in running to see if there are any angles I could exploit. Specifically, I wanted to see if I could consistently identify such a horse pre-race, that would shorten in odds by at least 50% thereby giving me a hedged profit equal to my stake (ignoring commission).

I should make clear that at this stage, I have no idea if I'll be able to use this. Moreover, it is important to realise that I would not be trading these runners in-play. I do not have a TV anywhere near my PC, far less Sky and fast pictures. Consequently, the only indication I have in-play is the market movements during the race. This isn't the wisest of ways to trade.

No, the initial idea, if the data supports it, was to identify those runners that would likely shorten significantly in-running, back them pre-race or at BFSP and immediately place a lay hedge at predetermined level (ideally 50% as mentioned earlier). No live monitoring of the market would be done, no trading out if things went against me.

I had no idea how this would pan out, keeping in mind that the point of the exercise was, and continues to be, to see if I can consistently identify horses that would shorten in-running. I was/am also hoping that, as a byproduct of the process, I'd learn something about identifying long term movements for pre-race trading.

Including today's results, I've made 221 picks throughout the month and, while there's still some work to do, the results so far have thrown up something that I didn't expect. This is best illustrated with the following graph which shows the overall profit if I'd backed each pick for £10 at BFSP and hedged at varying percentage drops in odds in-running.

In short, the returns from hedging by a small number percentage drop are not big enough to overcome any losses when the hedge lay isn't matched in-running. A consistent profit isn't obtained until hedging for a minimum of 65%. More specifically, this graph clearly shows that it would be significantly better simply backing those selections to win and not bother with hedging at all. I confess I was not expecting that result when I first started this.

To be honest, I'm not sure if I can do that. My inability to handle prolonged losing runs was the reason I turned to trading in the first place. Anyway, 221 picks is hardly a large sample size, but certainly the graph has made me sit up and take notice.

I'll continue the exercise throughout May, partly to confirm what I've already found, but also to help me get to grips with the horse markets in general. Hopefully I'll be able to identify something that will aid me in trading the horse markets pre-race.

With this task in mind, I've already set myself up for a relatively lean month. First though, I need to recharge the batteries. I'm feeling quite tired of it all to be honest. I've plateaued as far as my dog trading is concerned and I need to investigate other areas. I'm not going to be able to do that the way I'm feeling about trading just now.

So, I'm going to disappear from the trading scene for a few days. I've got lots of jobs around the house to catch up on, not to mention looking for a new car to replace my aging Peugeot 406. If I'm around during horse racing, I'll monitor some more picks for in-running hedging purposes, but trading is out for a while. I'll be back in the chair next week sometime.

As ever, thanks for reading and your continued support.

What's Going On?

This month has been a bit of a grind with my greyhound racing being particularly erratic. The past few days however has seen it go completely out of the window.

Once again, I'll present today's results in graphical form and let you draw your own conclusions.

I honestly cannot remember ever trading so badly. Though I hate finishing the day with a loss, I think it wise to do so now that the afternoon card has finished. I haven't come anywhere near recovering from those initial early losses having spent all afternoon trying.

In between attempts at clawing my losses back, I spent much of this afternoon continuing with some in-running hedging picks on the horses. This proved to be another successful day with 16 picks from 11 races with 4 of those picks being winners at BFSP odds of 6.43, 7.40, 15.92 and 5.42.

Having documented a total of 203 picks so far, today's four winners would have seen me pass the £1000 profit mark if I'd backed them all to win for £10 level stakes. I've got an interesting graph to show you regarding these hedging results, but I'll leave that for tomorrow and my monthly summary posting.

I'm off now to put my feet up for a bit before taking my frustrations out on a shuttlecock. Back again tomorrow though hopefully not for more of the same.

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words

The graph below is more than enough to illustrate how my day went. The histogram represents my profit or loss for each individual dog race I entered - all 46 of them - while the white line illustrates the running total and my struggle to get into profit for the day.

It took me less than 90 mins to find myself more than £20 down and the rest of the day to get myself back into profit.

Apologies for the lack of posts since Saturday. After that day's poor result I decided to take Sunday off, park myself in front of the TV and enjoy the feast of motor sport that was on in the form of the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix as well as the British Touring Car Championship from Thruxton.

I did manage to take in a few horse races for in-running hedging purposes. These have been added to the PDF file.

Monday is my usual day for visiting a client site so there was little trading done other than 90 mins on the evening dogs and a little on the Norwich v Reading game.

Other than that, I've been very lazy and enjoyed the slight break. I wish I'd taken today off as well having spent most of the day getting myself back into profit to the tune of £2.34!

The only thing that went right today was finding a 11.97 winner in the 7:35 at Nottingham while monitoring some more in-running results prior to stopping for the Champions League match. The updated in-running results are available for download now.

I'll be glad when this month is over. It feels like it has been one long slog.

Am I Addicted?

Time after time on a Saturday I've come here to report some shocking trading, and today was no different. But why do I keep trading on a Saturday despite the fact that I almost always have a bad day? Am I addicted?

I awoke at 10:15 this morning and the first thing I did, even before getting dressed, was put the computer on because the dog racing was due to start at 10:30. That cannot be healthy. Half an hour later, I was already paying the price.

Having barely earned £2 in the first two races, I completely screwed up in the third and it cost me £18! Quite simply the worst trade I have ever made on the dogs, which is ironic having posted my best ever trade only yesterday. What goes around, comes around I guess.

I'm still annoyed at myself for that loss because it was a stupid mistake that led to the loss being so large.

I'd placed a lay bet which wasn't taken and the market moved on 2-3 ticks, so I place another order ahead of the market but stupidly forgot to cancel the initial one first. I'm sure you can guess what happened. As soon as my second bet was placed, the market swept through me taking both bets with it. I judged the market badly when making the trade, but that initial mistake meant I had double the money in the market than I would normally do, resulting in a loss of twice the size.

To be honest, I struggled after that, but slowly and surely I started to whittle it down again. Until I lost another £8 in an equally shocking trade, at which point I walked away.

My football trading in the afternoon wasn't much better. I still have great difficulties with exit points and an on-going conflict between the man trying to trade the event and the gambler in me saying I should let it go. The trader always wins, and ends up losing.

Take the Liverpool and Chelsea games this afternoon. In both I tried drip feeding £10 into the over 2.5 goals market, up to a max of £30. Ignoring the fact that the Chelsea game was not the best of choices for this market - a story for another day - these matches illustrate the problem I have with trading football.

In both cases, I had entered my full £30 before a goal was scored. The trader in me says bail out if there's no goal by the time the odds are such that I'd lose £20.

So, Liverpool score soon after I place my last £10. The odds drop allowing me to bail out for a profit of £6. The game then sees another 3 goals scored and the gambler in me curses the trader for the rest of the evening for not holding on a little while longer.

The Chelsea game is still 0-0 and I'm approaching my £20 trade out limit. I trade out as per the rules laid down by the trader in me and blow me, no sooner is that lay bet matched and Chelsea score. The gambler in me curses the trader for the rest of the evening for not holding on a little while longer.

Now, OK, this is all a little tongue in cheek, but it illustrates why I find trading the soccer markets so frustrating. I honestly do not understand how people manage it. For me trading soccer matches in-play feels even more like a gamble than actually placing a bet pre-KO and walking away. What I mean by that is, with the latter, there's little emotion involved whereas the former throws me onto a roller coaster of emotions. I wonder if any soccer traders out there share these feelings.

Anyway, I ended the day trying to retrieve some of my losses by returning to the dog markets - and just made matters worse by losing another £10.

Even the in-running experiment wasn't great with only one winner in 14 picks, with only 4 of those 14 shortening in-running by more than 50%, though all bar one did indeed shorten. I'll post the results later.

A £32 loss for the day and yet another crap Saturday return to report. I really MUST stop trading on a Saturday, but then, I'm addicted.

UPDATE 20:53 - The in-running data has been updated and is available for download now. As you'll see, I had a touch of 'seconditis' today.

Change Of Tact Pays Off

I wish that headline was the result of a sudden sea change in my horse trading. Unfortunately it wasn't. I lost nearly £10 trying to trade the place markets this afternoon and with it, my earlier enthusiasm that I showed a few days ago is quickly disappearing. It doesn't help of course that I'm trying to pick and monitor results for the on-going in-running investigation I currently carrying out. In all likelihood, I'm simply not giving the place trading the attention I should be.

Speaking of the in-running issue, I had another 18 picks today from 11 races, finding 4 winners in the process at BFSP odds of 4.20, 7.60, 15.50 and 5.36. The updated PDF file is now available for download.

Yesterday I mentioned I had calculated that I would have been in profit to the tune of £191 if I had backed yesterday's picks to win at level stakes of £10. After today's results I calculated this for all the results in the PDF file. The result was quite staggering...

157 picks since starting this on the 9th April and, backing each of them to win at level stakes of £10 would have realised a profit of £795.28 after 5% commission!

Of course I am very aware that a sample size of 157 a system does not make, but figures like that don't half get the mind turning overtime.

Anyway, back to my original point...

I've been a little disappointed with my dog trading of late. Yes, I posted a great trade last Saturday - my best ever - but that was exceptional, not to mention lucky. My general trading has been something of a let down all month. Where I'd expect to be making £30-£50 per day, I've barely been making half that.

Well this morning I decided to do things differently. Normally, I wait until the last 2 mins so that the money is there to enable me to scalp the market for a few ticks. Today, I took a more long term approach. I went searching the markets 15-30 mins in advance looking for vulnerable positions that might be prone to large, momentary spikes, or money that was clearly sitting at wrong odds.

It was all pretty uneventful in that there was not a lot around. However, in the early races, there was some money intermittently floating around the 2.00 - 2.50 mark. I set about trying to grab some of the money waiting to back at those prices. I only needed one hit and I got it in the 12:18 at Oxford resulting in a new trading record for the greyhounds.

Later, I found £9 waiting to lay 'Shandon Focus' @ 10.00 in the 13:44 at Hove. So I grabbed that. By the time the start of the race was drawing near, I was able to trade out at average odds of 4.93.

These excellent results boosted my morning dog trading to £60. One of the best results I've ever had. Taking this longer term approach is certainly something I'll be looking into more regularly.

I tried some more greyhound markets in the evening but I lost as much as I won. Not surprising really as the markets were pretty thin. Still, over £60 on the dogs today and £50 overall. A much better result which hopefully continues for the rest of the month.

A Totally Tropical Taste

Twice today, I went on tilt and wiped out what gains I had built up. The first these happened in the morning dogs where I completely lost the plot, kept going in to retrieve the situation only to make it worse.

I stuck with the mutts until I had retrieved my losses and got myself back into the black, albeit only just, at which point I switched to the horse place markets. Well blow me, did I not go and do the same thing there? All afternoon I was building up a nice profit until, towards the end of the afternoon, I lost it all in one fell swoop. The usual story, misjudged the market and kept going back in to retrieve the it but only compounded my error in the first place.

So a small and insignificant loss of £2. It's more the wasted day that is frustrating. Having said that, I also carried on with the in-running monitoring I've been doing, with excellent results once again. So the day wasn't a total write off.

I made 18 picks today from 12 races with 5 of those winning their respective races at BFSP odds of 9.48, 5.20, 6.20, 7.20 and 11.01. Again, if I was to back all those picks simply to win and not bother hedging, I'd have made £191 profit, after commission, to £10 level stakes. Food for thought?

I spent last night and this morning setting up a spreadsheet to record the results of my picks. As mentioned the other day, I was going to put all these into one separate web page for easy reference. However, I've decided it was simplier just to export the data to a PDF file. You can find it here and I'll update it regularly.

It includes three days worth of results that I had done before regularly posting them on the blog. Feel free to browse through the results at your leisure.

Video Killed The Radio Star

Many thanks to John and Lee over at Juicestorm for having me on their show. I hope anyone listening to the broadcast found it as enjoyable as I did. If you missed it, it will be available for download from the Juicestorm site in due course.

With my appearance on WUBT Radio, I only traded the first 90 mins of the dogs this morning, netting another few pounds to add to the coffers. After the show I took a break and returned after lunch to continue with the in-running hedging I've been doing, as well as having another go at trading the place markets.

Two days in a row now, I've made money on the horses! I haven't said that very often in recent weeks. Just over £15 in, what was, a pretty relaxed session.

Here's the in-running hedging results from today:

3;05 Epsom - Millville - BFSP 9.80 -> Didn't shorten
3:05 Epsom - Mezzanisi - BFSP 7.44 -> 3.00
3:30 Catterick - Foreign Investment - BFSP 4.50 -> 1.43
3:30 Catterick - Blue Noodles - BFSP 7.40 -> 3.00
3:40 Epsom - Midday - BFSP 4.90 -> 1.32
3:55 Perth - Tranos - BFSP 10.00 -> 7.20
3:55 Perth - Marcel - BFSP 9.21 -> 3.80
5:00 Southwell - Donald Will Do - BFSP 9.92 -> Didn't shorten
5:15 Catterick - Compton Ford - BFSP 4.20 -> 1.01 Winner
5:50 Catterick - Fast Freddie - BFSP 6.16 -> 2.90
5:50 Catterick - Brut - BFSP 6.78 -> 2.50
6:50 Kempton - Saloon - BFSP 3.95 -> 1.01 Winner
6:50 Kempton - Generous Lad - BFSP 8.36 -> 2.12
7:00 Southwell - Charlotte's Webb - BFSP 4.70 -> 4.10
7:20 Kempton - Curacao - BFSP 6.60 -> 3.00
7:30 Southwell - Classic Quart - BFSP 5.29 -> 1.51
7:30 Southwell - Murphy's Beau - BFSP 7.60 -> 5.00

Not so many winners today, but a good selection of significant drops in price in-running.

I'm finding I'm posting what seems to be ever increasing selections each day, which is starting to clog up each post on the blog. I'm going to stop posting these on a daily basis within each blog post. Instead, I'll set up a page on the website that lists them all together in one place. This will also be of benefit to those of you who wish to examine all the picks in detail.

You'll need to give me a couple of days to get that sorted, then I'll put a link on the blog somewhere so that you can find it.

Today's In-running Hedging Results

I've just come in from playing badminton, so I won't bother going into today's trading results other than to say I actually won £10 on the nags. That's a turn up for the books! I spent some time in the place markets and, to be honest, it was like visiting an old friend.

As usual, I traded the dogs in the morning, but once the horse racing started, I concentrated on honing my selection skills for the in-running hedging I've been looking at. As ever, here's the results of the picks I announced in the chat room:

2:20 Kempton - Bartica - BFSP 5.70 -> 1.01 Beaten on the line!
2:50 Kempton - Towanda - BFSP 6.10 -> 2.54
3:00 Folkestone - My Flame - BFSP 5.60 - 4.00
3:30 Folkestone - Shadow Bay - BFSP - 6.77 -> 1.01 Winner
3:40 Southwell - Pinewood Legend - BFSP 7.60 -> 5.00
4:00 Folkestone - Ocean Blaze - BFSP 5.64 -> 5.30
4:10 Southwell - The Bully Wee - BFSP 5.10 -> Didn't shorten
4:10 Southwell - My Choice - BFSP 23.55 -> 18.00
4:20 Kempton - The Snatcher - BFSP 8.94 -> 7.00
4:20 Kempton - Lhirandelle - BFSP 11.16 -> 8.40
4:20 Kempton - Dubai Dynamo - BFSP 12.04 -> 1.01 Winner
4:30 Folkestone - Tobago Bay - BFSP 2.90 -> 1.67
4:30 Folkestone - Isabelonabicycle - BFSP 12.01 -> 1.01 Winner
4:40 Southwell - Dubai Diva - BFSP 4.70 -> 2.54
4:40 Southwell - Tae Kwon Do - BFSP 11.00 -> 1.88
4:40 Southwell - Eightdaysaweek - BFSP 14.00 -> 1.01 Winner
5:10 Southwell - Cragganmore Creek - BFSP 8.91 -> 1.82
5:10 Southwell - Sularno - BFSP 11.95 -> 6.80
8:00 Towcester - Hideaway - BFSP 5.80 -> 1.01 Winner

Quite a few selections today and, though it took a little while to get going, there were some cracking winners in there as well with BFSPs at 6.77, 12.04, 12.01, 14.00 and 5.80. Of course, I didn't have any money on them - they wouldn't have won otherwise. LOL!

That's it. Budget day tomorrow, so I wonder what our illustrious leaders will have in store for us. Should be an interesting listen. Alternatively, tune in to Juicestorm at 1:00pm for another important broadcast ;-)

Fifteen Minutes Of Fame

Those lovely people over at Juicestorm have kindly invited me on to WUBT Radio tomorrow to claim my 15 minutes in the spotlight.

So, assuming the piece of wet string from Malta to Scotland doesn't break, I'll be on at 1:00pm.

Some Sums

While I was bored out of my head at work today, I spent 5 mins doing some calculations on the in-running hedging results I've recording in the blog recently.

If you recall, my initial thoughts were to look for hedges that would double my money before Betfair commission. In other words, I needed the runners odds to halve in value at some point during the race.

Assuming level stakes of £10, 30 of the 49 picks posted so far have met that condition resulting in a profit of £95 after commission.

Compare this with the results of letting the bet stand and looking for winners. I've managed to pick out 13 winners from that 49 giving a hit rate of 26.5%. Again, level stakes of £10 would have achieved a profit of £319 after commission!

Granted, 49 picks can hardly be described as a significant sample size statistically. Still, food for thought.

Treading Water

If ever there was a day I felt I wasn't getting anywhere it was today. I spent most of the day trying to recover from a bad start on the dogs, which wasn't helped by a premature, if temporary suspension in the third greyhound race of the day.

No sooner had my lay bet been matched and the market suspended with 60 seconds to go. When it reopened, the market was at lower odds than I had laid at and, with less than 30 secs left, I was forced to take a £10 hit. I never recovered from that, though I did spend most of the day trying.

Fortunately, the small amount I lost on the dogs was made up by scalping the horse markets. Only £3.60 but significant in that it put an end to 4 consecutive losing days on the horses.

So far this month, I'm down £42 on the nags and I do not feel that I'm getting anywhere. I haven't been able to identify why and when things are likely to happen. Indeed, they usually do the opposite. I'm getting out far too soon when things are going my way and jumping out too soon when the temporarily go against me. Well, I'm sure you've heard it all before, from many traders not just me.

I find it all so frustrating. I'm simply not enjoying it and feel like I'm continually banging my head against a brick wall. Consequently I'm going to leave the horse markets alone for a while but when I return, I may, once more, try hand in the place markets where I plied my trade originally. Hopefully, that will all come back to me.

In between the scalping of the horses, I continued with the exercise of identifying horses that would shorten in-running. A bit of a mixed bag today, but here they are in any case:

2:50 Wincanton - Thetearsthaticry - BFSP 10.50 -> 8.40
3:20 Wincanton - Craven - BFSP 10.56 -> 8.00
3:40 Lingfield - Good Again - BFSP 4.40 - 1.01 Winner
4:00 Stratford - Charmaine Wood - BFSP 4.45 -> 3.00
4:20 Wincanton - Sterling Moll - BFSP 12.91 -> 4.00
4:40 Lingfield - Keenes Day - BFSP 3.97 -> 1.01 Winner
4:40 Lingfield - Wine N Dine - BFSP 4.83 -> 3.00
5:00 Stratford - Take Me There - BFSP 10.61 -> Didn't shorten
5:10 Lingfield - Rowe Park - BFSP 3.40 -> 1.01 Winner

The biggest problem I am having with this is resisting the temptation to make a pick in every race. Just like pre-race trading, sometimes there just isn't an opportunity. It's all too easy to convince oneself that a particular horse will shorten when, in actual fact, there's no indication that that will be so.

Anyway, very much a wasted day today with a loss of 4 pence! I wish I'd spent it outside in the garden now. Looking forward to better things in the coming week.

Best Trade Turns The Day Around

Saturday! That awful day were my trading seems to take a holiday, yet with so many sporting events to chose from I always feel obliged to give it a go.

After losing in all of the first four dog races I entered this morning I walked away in disgust and set about the DIY I had intended to do at the start of the week but continually put it off. I didn't go back to the computer until mid afternoon.

The intention was to trade some of the football matches kicking off at 3:00pm. Unfortunately, I couldn't make my mind up which match to get involved in so I kept my powder dry for the Arsenal v Chelsea match. In the meantime, having found myself £10 down on the dogs, I stuck to the horses where my trading was its usual haphazard self. Without going into details, I lost £10 there as well.

I did do a spot of in-running hedging, though having already lost money today, I stuck with paper trading. As is so often the case, no money involved means successful picks. Geez! I only did four, but here they are anyway, as mentioned in the chat room:

3:00 Thirsk - Destiny's Dream - BFSP 6.01 -> 1.01 Winner
3:25 Ayr - Chiaro - BFSP 15.07 -> 3.75
3:25 Ayr - King Barry - BFSP 14.00 - 6.40
6:15 Doncaster - Staying On - BFSP 6.82 -> 1.01 Winner

A nice set of results there with all four more than halving in price and two winners among them.

With the Arsenal v Chelsea match, I felt there would be goals. Both teams have been scoring for fun recently but had defenses that were not as solid as they should be. With this in mind, the over 2.5 goals market was the obvious choice.

For this, I thought I'd return to the drip feed technique that I have used in the past with the over 1.5 goals market. In this case, I opened a £10 back @ 2.20 and later had another at 2.70 once the match was underway. A third was placed at 3.20 but this wasn't taken before the first goal was scored around 18 mins at which point I traded out for a greened up profit of £10.

That was me finished for the day. I went off to have dinner, watch some TV and generally unwind. Saturday had been true as ever to its normal performance and I was £10 or so down. So it wasn't a disaster. However, there was sod all worth watching on the TV, so I later returned to the greyhounds to see if I could at least scratch the day.

The first race I entered and this happened:

My best ever trade on the dogs and in one fell swoop my day was turned around. So I'm off to bed, one happy chappie, to dream of the day when I can do that in every race.

It Was Bound To Happen

After making some money on the greyhounds this morning, I thought it was about time I started investing small amounts in the horse racing in-running hedging that I've been monitoring recently.

Just to re-cap, I've been looking for horses that will come in significantly during the race with a view to backing them pre-off or at BFSP then placing a closing hedge at lower odds that will automatically green me up. But at what odds do I place that hedge?

Over the weeks I have been taken aback at how many of my picks drop by more than 50% in odds. Of course, such a drop in odds would see a profit of 100% before commission. That was good enough for me. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way as the only two bets of £5 I placed failed to come in any significant amount. Typical!

Anyway, for the record, here are the picks I had today:

2:20 Ayr - Curragower - BFSP 6.2 -> 5.00
2:40 Newbury - Cheveton - BFSP 9.46 -> 4.40
3:05 Thirsk - Resentful Angel - BFSP 9.00 - 4.60
3:25 Ayr - Classic Act - BFSP 6.2 -> 3.75
3:40 Thirsk - Jonny Lesters Hair - BFSP 8.2 -> 2.76
3:40 Thirsk - White Deer - BFSP 4.50 -> 2.80
4:15 Thirsk - Mambo Spirit - BFSP 7.20 -> 3.10
4:25 Newbury - Lasso The Moon - BFSP 6.00 -> 5.20
4:45 Thirsk - Steel Stockholder - BFSP 12.70 -> 2.34
4.45 Thirsk - The Quiet Genius - BFSP 13.23 -> 12.00
7:20 Cheltenham - Tank Top - BFSP 4.50 -> 1.72
7:20 Cheltenham - DArgent - BFSP 10.70 -> Didn't shorten
7:30 Sedgefield - Red Dynamite - BFSP 12.51 -> 5.00
7:30 Sedgefield - Ormus - BFSP 14.00 -> 8.20
7:30 Sedgefield - Kingsben - BFSP 15.24 -> 9.20

So, £10 lost on this idea today, but I more or less made that up scalping the markets at the same time so no harm done.

One of the things I am finding is that it is difficult to resist getting involved in every race, as the length of the above list might indicate. That is something I'll need to work on. It's not something that I can plan in advance as I do not make the selections until close to the off.

I also tried trading the 1-1 correct score in the Burton v Oxford Utd match, but I only got £5 of my £100 investment matched. I wasn't going to chase the odds so I just closed the trade and called it a night.

Back again tomorrow.

An Interesting Day

There's been good money in the morning greyhound meetings of late so I took the decision to increase my stake a bit. Would a 15% increase translate to a corresponding increase in profit?

To be honest, my trading this morning was all over the place as amply illustrated by the graph below. This shows my profit or loss on a per race basis for the first 22 races of the day.

It's hard to tell whether my slightly increased stakes caused this somewhat erratic trading, or if it was just one of those days. Certainly, particularly early on in the session, I was getting caught too many times, but I reckoned that I was entering the market a little to soon. Once I adjusted my entry points, I started to string some decent trades together.

It is certainly worth carrying on with the increased stakes as, the race after this graph was created, the second last of the morning session, saw me make, if memory serves me correctly, my best ever dog trade of £16.47 after commission.

I stopped at 2:00pm to concentrate on the horses, but I traded from 5:30 up to 7:30 adding to the total. I eventually made just under £46 from the greyhounds today, despite some poor trading in the morning.

Once again, my horse trading was a disappointment, though that was mainly due to losing £11 over the first two races at Wolverhampton. Aside from that, I was doing OK. In the end I lost just £2.50 overall, making those two Wolverhampton losses all the more annoying.

To be honest, although I spent the afternoon scalping the markets, I was primarily focussed on monitoring my in-running hedging selections. Still paper trading, but looking good none the less. Again, here's my picks from this afternoon as mentioned in the chat room:

2:35 Ripon - Hi Shinko - BFSP 5.10 -> 3.90
3:20 Cheltenham - How's Business - BFSP 9.66 -> 1.01 Winner
3:20 Cheltenham - Markila - BFSP 21.81 -> 12.00
3:45 Ripon - Trunpstoo - BFSP 11.00 -> 5.50
3:45 Ripon - Crackdown - BFSP 14.76 -> 1.01 Winner
4.55 Ripon - Castles In The Air - BFSP 5.00 -> 4.50
4.55 Ripon - Kiwi Bay - BFSP 18.50 -> 7.00
4.55 Ripon - Ponta Rossa - BFSP 15.70 -> 3.00
7:15 Wolverhampton - Stagecoach Jade - BFSP 5.80 -> 1.01 Winner
7:15 Wolverhampton - Miss Boat - BFSP 8.2 -> 2.00

Again, not a bad set of results at all. This continues to look very interesting indeed. Mind you, knowing my luck, it will probably go belly up as soon as I put money on them. That's the nature of things.

I finished off the day with some involvement in the over 2.5 goals market of the Man City v Hamburg match.

I felt that there was likely to be goals in this and tried a drip feed technique that I have used in the past in the over 1.5 goals market. Essentially, I decide on the total stake I am prepared to invest, and, once the match gets under way, I stick in £5 bets at ever increasing odds until I've reached my maximum stake or a goal is scored.

The drawback with this is when an early goal is scored, as happened tonight, and very little of the overall stake is placed. In this case, I only had £5 in the market and I traded out after the first goal with a greened up profit of £1.69. At this point I finished for the night and settled down to watch the rest of the game.

So not a bad day in the end. £45 profit and a few more lessons learned.

Same Old Story

After Monday's excellent result, I was looking forward to trading today. However, the high's of Monday were short lived and quickly replaced with my normal trading of winning a reasonable amount on the greyhounds followed by losing it again on the horses.

I recovered some in the early evening thanks as usual to the dogs, but I quit early as I was off playing badminton at 8:00. Not that dog trading would have been possible then given the Champions League matches were on at that time.

Today was the first time for a little while that I consciously set about to trade the pre-race markets. Sixteen races and I lost in half of them - a little over £11 in total. Once again, I'm beginning to question the wisdom of trading the horse markets. Particularly if it is impacting on the profits I am achieving from the greyhounds. My pre-race trading is in complete contrast to my paper trading of the in-running trading/hedging I've been doing.

As I've alluded to in an early posting, I'm looking for horses that will shorten in-running with a view to either trading them, or setting up a suitable hedge pre-off. Today, I only looked at four races and found winners in three of them:

3:20 Cheltenham - From Dawn To Dusk - BFSP 5.20 -> 1.01 Winner
3:35 Newmarket - Ouqba - BFSP 5.14 -> 1.01 Winner
3:45 Beverley - Sirvino - BFSP 5.50 -> 1.01 Winner
4:20 Beverley - Amethyst Dawn - BFSP 8.42 -> 2.60

Generally, I haven't been posting the picks over the past week as they are made in the run up to the off and I didn't want to be accused of 'after-eventing' - not that it would bother me as I know what picks I've made. However, I've been announcing the picks in the chat room, so they have been 'proofed' in a manner of speaking, as part of an on-going discussion. Consequently, I may start recording them on the blog.

The point being, as I've said on numerous occasions, that I may have greater success utilising this than continually trying to master the pre-race trading. Time will tell.

The Misfortune Of Others

In my trading today, I was reminded of the BBC program, Million Dollar Traders, and in particular, the moral dilemma that some of the participants had in benefiting at the expense of others.

As traders, we benefit from others all the time, or at least we do if we are successful. It is, after all, a game of opinions. However, I make the distinction of one opinion winning with the other being wrong compared to benefiting from another's mistake. I benefited from such an event today.

I was trading the QPR v Sheffield Wednesday match. Specifically, the 1-1 correct score. My £100 back bet at 7.80 was not taken before the matched kicked off and the bet was therefore automatically canceled by Betfair. However, I was poised ready with a new one as soon as the market reopened.

Imagine my surprise when £40 of my cash was taken at 22.0! I was so taken aback, it didn't click at first what had happened. As a result, I immediately canceled what was left and traded out for a greened up profit of £73 before commission. In retrospect, I should have waited, but that's a lesson for another day.

The above screen shot was taken ten minutes or so into the game and after I had traded out. Clearly, someone screwed up there and I was able to benefit from it.

So the question is, do I have the same moral dilemma as those participants in the BBC program?

I've always prided myself on being an honest and moral person, yet I have to answer that question with a resounding no. In many respects it's a case of out of sight, out of mind. There's no personal involvement with the other side.

Forgive the analogy as it is hardly on the same level, but the only thing I can think of as I write this is the different feelings service men described during the war. The infantryman has a completely different emotional attachment to killing an enemy soldier in hand to hand combat than a Spitfire pilot does has he shoots down an ME109. Why would that be the case? They are both killing another human being. It can only be that the fighter pilot is 'killing' an airplane - detached from the personal contact the soldier feels.

So, getting back to the point, do we, as traders have to have the same moral detachment? Do we need to be lacking somewhat in moral fibre in order to be comfortable in gaining at the expense of others? Some of the participants in the Million Dollar Traders program certainly felt so and as a result, couldn't hack it. What do you think?

Sorry, that was starting to get a bit heavy there. Despite the philosophical issues raised above, today was actually a very good day. Indeed, it was my best yet. Although I lost £9 on another football match, the resulting £58 added to the £53 I made from the greyhounds made it an excellent day. I even managed a few pounds scalping the horse markets in the afternoon giving me a new daily record of £116.

Not An Easter Egg In Sight

What's a bloke to do when stuck in the house, all alone on Easter Sunday? Surprisingly, I managed to quell my insatiable appetite for chocolate and resist the temptation to nip along to the local co-op and scoop up all the cut price chocolate eggs they have for sale. Thank goodness there was plenty of sport to trade.

Today was almost a mirror of yesterday in that I tried the 1-1 correct score trading and came away with £24 yet my greyhound trading got nowhere.

I'm getting a little concerned with my dog trading of late. It has been very inconsistent since the turn of the month. Not really sure why, but I shall keep plugging on with it until it comes good.

I was pleased with the football trading today, trading the 1-1 correct score. Same tactic as usual. Back 1-1 pre-match and trade out as the odds decrease, getting fully out as they start to drift again or after the first goal.

I tried three matches today, though they were a bit of a mixed bag in terms of results.

The Aston villa v Everton match went fully according to plan, greening up after the first goal for a guaranteed £20 before commission.

The Man City v Fulham match was disappointing in that I only got a fraction of my initial bet matched before the kick-off. As a result, I only made a few pennies on that one.

In the evening, I went to Spain for the Deportivo v Ath. Madrid match. I traded out in stages and was fully greened up after 22 mins for a profit of over £5.

I even did some trading on the horses today. Shock! Horror! Nothing much, and made a couple of quid. I was more interested in monitoring the in-running ideas I alluded to in an earlier post. I won't list all fourteen selections from ten races here. Suffice to say, the result continue to be very encouraging with only two of those selections failing to shorten significantly in-running.

Moreover, there were three winners at BFSP odds of 8.40, 8.68 and 4.70. Still a lot of work to do before putting money on though.

I don't know how much trading I'll get done this week. Loads of DIY to do while my daughter is away. Good luck to you if you're getting involved.

When A loss Feels Like A Win

I thought I'd try the 1-1 correct score again today as I described yesterday. Out of all the possible games I could have gone for, I picked the wrong one. The Lazio v Roma match.

I placed £100 @ 7.00 and waited for the match to go in-play. No sooner had it done so and it was suspended. As I mentioned yesterday, I've never had a match with an early goal though I suspected the 1-1 odds would go out. Trust me to open my big mouth, albeit a metaphorical one.

Sure enough, out they went and, true to the plan, I traded out for a guaranteed loss of £20. No sooner had that bet been matched and the market was suspended again as Lazio scored a second! Two goals in the first 4 minutes! I was within seconds of losing all £100 of my stake. Never has a loss felt more like a win.

It does illustrate the importance of sticking to one's plan. Clearly, I could have decided to let it ride a bit, and it would have cost me. ALWAYS stick to what ever exit strategy you're happy with.

I made the money up on the dogs, but I didn't bother with any other football today. One narrow escape was enough excitement for one day.

Not So Good Friday

I found trading the greyhounds today rather difficult. There was so much money in the markets this morning that I just couldn't get my brain to adjust and found myself losing race after race. As a result, I gave up trading at 12:00.

It wasn't until I return at 2:00 and realised there was no horse racing on that it clicked why there was so much money on the dogs. With my afternoon plans thwarted, I spent some time playing around recording my trading on the dogs markets. Unfortunately, the new recording software that I installed is somewhat resource hungry and it severely impacted on the responsiveness of BinarySoft, resulting in more losses.

The only way I was able to stop this was reduce the quality of the recording and close all other applications, including William Hill radio. Unfortunately, I'm so accustomed to using WH radio that it has become an almost integral part of my dog trading. Without it, I wasn't getting anywhere so I stopped with a loss of £7 for the day, not that I did much in the first place.

With nothing else to do, I took the opportunity to visit something that I'd had mulling around my head ever since reading an article on the Bet angel blog about odds movements in football matches.

Although the article contains a video of the odds moving for a 1-0 result, I was more interested in the 1-1 scoreline. From what I've seen and gather, the odds for 1-1 actually come in slightly while the score remains goalless before drifting out again from around the 30 mins mark.

As yet, I haven't come across any games where there has been a very early goal, but if there is a score before 30 mins, then the odds come in significantly. Given that (ignoring my lack of data on early goals) the odds won't shoot out in the event of a goal, I felt that it was a relatively risk free way of pinching a couple of ticks with the added benefit of many more if a goal is scored.

If a very early goal did indeed take the odds out, I had the opportunity of trading the other scorelines to minimise my liability.

With this in mind, I backed the 1-1 scoreline in the Reading v Sheffield Utd match for £100 @ 7.60. Immediately after KO, I laid smaller amounts at ever decreasing odds and waited. Some of my lays were taken immediately. The rest I just left and hoped for a goal. After 20mins and no goal forthcoming with the odds looking like they were about to turn, I traded out at effective odds of 7.35 for a greened up profit of more than £3.

£3 doesn't sound that great, but I'm quite happy with a 3% return for 20 mins work. With the weekend coming up, they'll be plenty more opportunities to do the same thing so an interesting weekend ahead.

Back Into A Routine

I'm very much a creature of habit. Anything out of my routine can throw me a complete wobbly. That's one of the reasons I hate the school holidays. It means extreme disruption in my daily routine. It was different when the kids were younger. Now though. with my eldest having left home and my daughter now of an age where she doesn't really want to do anything with her father, I find school holidays a real bind.

Tomorrow she goes off to her mother's for the rest of the holidays, so with the promise of some peace and quiet, today I set about trying to get back to normality, albeit it only briefly.

I spent a full morning on the greyhounds as well as the last 90 minutes or so of the afternoon session. This proved very fruitful, netting myself £42 though I lost some in the evening session, ending the day with just over £36.

I didn't trade any of the horse racing though I did spend a couple of hours looking at some in-running hedging. I've been looking at this off and on for the past month but I let it slip as I started to try and trade them pre-race. Trying to multi-task these things meant my focus wasn't on the job in hand and it really deserved my full attention.

I'm interested in finding ways to identify horses that will likely shorten significantly in-running. I mentioned a long time ago that I was interested in trading/hedging in-running - small stakes, big reward being the driving force behind it. I'd use this either as another feather in the bow, on it's own or as a means to take some pre-race trading profit in-running in order to boost returns.

I only had time to look at 4 races today but here's the summary of what I got:

2:10 Folkestone - Winged Assassin - BFSP 6.60 -> 1.01 Winner
2:20 Wincanton - Orion Star - BFSP 9.59 -> 6.20
2:20 Wincanton - Dennis The Legend - BFSP 5.42 -> 1.01 Winner
2:50 Wincanton - Richard's Sundance - BFSP 7.40 -> 1.30
2:50 Wincanton - Mister Wiseman - BFSP 13.0 -> 5.00
3:20 Wincanton - I Hear Thunder - BFSP 5.80 -> 2.20
3:20 Wincanton - Fine By Me - BFSP 5.60 -> 4.00

Despite the small sample, it's encouraging to see every pick shortening significantly. These price movements are indicative of what I've seen in the past month when I've been monitoring this. Many more races to look at yet but given the size of the movement, it's worthwhile pursuing.

The rest of the day was spent looking for an alternative screen recording package to replace the rudimentary one supplied with Linux. I'm pleased to say I found one which produces better quality videos and will also save the files in a proprietary format that you lot in the 'Evil Empire' can use. :-)

I'll record some more of my horse trading and post the interesting ones on the website. Anything for a laugh. On a serious note, as advised by Leonthefixer, it's there to help me spot where I might be going wrong on the nags. Let's hope it works.

Finally, I apologise to anyone that has been trying to use the chat room today. I only noticed that it was down sometime this afternoon. It's hosted by a third party and their website has been unavailable today for whatever reason. It still is at the time of writing. I do not know what the issue is, but hopefully we won't be inconvenienced too long.

Looks Like It Does The Business

A much better day today (or yesterday as it's now after midnight), though it wasn't without it's screw ups. I also benefited from the excellent advice from William Hill radio, which helped to boost the returns from the dogs.

After my problems with the horses recently, I decided to leave well alone and concentrate on the greyhounds today - at least until the evening. The morning session kicked off very well and I was up nearly £20 in the first hour. I then threw nearly half of that away in two races just after 12:00. That's the type of thing that can really put a dampener on proceedings. However, a few races later everything was right with the world as I won over £21 thanks to William Hill radio.

I've said many times that if you are trading the greyhounds, you should get to know the WH Radio commentators. Some of them really know their stuff. One in particular, Darren Driver, has continually impressed me. Not only with his knowledge of the sport, but his picks are pretty impressive too. He'd already tipped a number of winners this morning with odds around 4/1 - 5/1 when the 12:47 came along.

Darren was very sweet on the outsider, 'Looksthebusiness', which was trading at 12.00 on Betfair. Having already won a small amount on the race through trading, and encouraged by Darren's earlier success and his enthusiasm for this particular mutt, I decided to stick £2 on it as a bet. Trailing in second place coming round the last bend, 'Looksthebusiness' mugged the leader on the line to win me a little over £21. Thanks Darren.

I've been disappointed with my trading of late, including my performances in the greyhound markets. Despite winning a total of £55 today from the dogs, I had far to many largish losses that stopped today from being exceptional. I traded a total of 42 greyhound races today, losing 9 of them at a cost of £20.57. Take away that successful bet on 'Looksthebusiness' and you'll see that my dog trading is still a bit iffy. Still, very happy with the £55 I made today.

After dinner I started to trade some of the evening greyhound races, but the money wasn't there and what was, was disappearing fast as the Champions League matches approached. Instead, I took the plunge and tried trading the horse racing at Kempton.

Some readers had suggested in comments to previous posts that I record my trading to help identify where I was screwing up. This I did and would you believe it, out of 6 races I entered, I only had one losing trade of 43 pence and made a total of nearly £7! Typical! Interestingly, I seemed to be much more focussed in my trading and, having reviewed the videos, I hardly entered the markets at all. Perhaps the very process of recording my actions altered my mindset this evening.

Since I use BinarySoft BDI for my trading, I'm not sure how much use they will be, but for anyone interested, I've put the videos on the web. Just click on the links below to download them. Note that these files are pretty large 100-170MB. Also, since I am a Linux user, they are recorded in OGG format, the free media file format. To view them, assuming you get your operating system from Darth Gates, you'll probably need to install the necessary codecs. A better alternative would be to install the free, cross-platform media player, VLC which will play OGG media format files right out of the box.

Kempton 7:20
Kempton 7:50
Kempton 8:20
Kempton 8:50
Kempton 9:20

I'm afraid the quality isn't great. One of the things that Linux lacks is screen recording software of the same standard as Camastia. The software that I used tends to make the colours somewhat muddy and 'washed out'. Still, it's good enough to see what's happening, though I'd recommend you view them in full screen mode.

Don't get too excited. The trades are for pennies for the most part, though the last one was a few pounds.

I Just Don't Get It!

Since the turn of the month, I've not done much trading, with my performance on the nags being no small reason for my reluctance. With school holidays to tend with as well as problem clients, it hasn't been the most productive of months so far.

Today, I didn't get a chance to do any trading until the 4:20 at Sedgefield. I traded the last seven races of the afternoon card and finished over £23 down, with the last two races accounting for over £18. Four losing races out of seven costing a total of £29.24. I'm just not getting to grips with these markets at all.

I continue to have problems with holding my position. The market will go against me and I'll come out for a 1-3 tick loss. No sooner have I done that and the market reverses, goes through my original position into, what would have been, profitable territory. I'll go in again and repeat the process thereby compounding my losses rather than eliminating them.

On those occasions where I bite my lip, hold on for a bit longer expecting the market to come back in my favour as before, it just keeps on going against me. It is so damned frustrating.

Moreover, I'm missing out on good profits because of this as, when I do actually get it right and catch a big move, I'm out way too early for fear of it reversing and reluctant to go back in again for the same reason. Today for example, I had a couple of trade where I managed 3-4 ticks but the move was 20+ ticks. As a result, my profit was a fraction of what it could have been.

Worse, it is starting to affect my dog trading with this evening being a case in point, resulting in a loss on the greyhounds as well.

A week into the month and I've made £40. Absolutely shocking. I'm down £33 on the horses and up £75 on the dogs. Once again, just like last November, I have to think seriously whether it is worth my while persevering with the horses. In many ways I feel I must, as I do not think I'll be able to do much more with the dogs.

What is perhaps making me more frustrated than anything else is the complete lack of understanding of why I cannot master these markets yet I have, in general, no problem whatsoever with the greyhounds.

It is worrying though that my complete in ability to regularly profit from the horse win markets, no matter how small, is impacting significantly on my greyhound trading. If it continues then I will have no option but to abandon any attempts to trade the horse markets.

What Does The Market Know Anyway?

How can I correctly predict which team will win a football match and yet still come away with a near £3 loss?

I've thought for some time that scalping the pre-match soccer markets must be a relatively safe way of picking up a few ticks profit over the weekend. Today, I thought I'd give it a go, but which match?

The one that stood out for me was the match at Goodison between Everton and Wigan. Everton are a team on form and their visitors clearly are not. The home side seemed the obvious pick so I stuck £100 on them at 1:30pm this afternoon. I put in numerous lays at every decreasing odds to close the trade and went back to trading the greyhounds and horses.

Obviously, everyone else in the land didn't see the match as I saw it as the odds had drifted as kick off approached. I was forced to take a 5 tick loss. Only £2,87, but all the more galling as Everton went on to win 4-0.

I've no idea how the pre-match market came to the conclusion that Everton were too short at my entry point of 1.97. Trying to judge other peoples thought processes is clearly something that only Paul McKenna can manage.

It's been a topsy-turvy month so far. Started off with a £30 loss, followed by a £50 profit on the 2nd. I then spent Friday afternoon building up a reasonable profit on both the horses and the dogs only to go on tilt in two races in the space of 30mins, one in each discipline, which saw me wipe all my dog profit and virtually all my horse profit. Sometimes this trading lark just makes me want to throw my computer out the window.

Saturdays are never a good day for me, though yesterday afternoon I couldn't have traded if I wanted to. Neither BinarySoft BDI or the Betfair website would let me in. It wasn't until well after the big race that I managed to get some trading in where I managed to add £21 to the pot thanks to the dogs.

I did try some of the evening horse races - 5 in all - but my small profits were wiped out by the one losing race.

My performance on the horses has been disappointingly ropey of late, so this afternoon, in between watching the F1 replay, the BTCC meeting from Brandshatch on ITV4 and the odd greyhound race, I concentrated on trying to minimise the number of stupid losses I've been having on the horses.

I was quite please with a return of nearly £14 over 17 races with only one loser of £1.62. I thought the markets were remarkably quiet, particularly after yesterday. Perhaps everyone had spent all their cash at Aintree. In any case, more of that level of performance is needed before I can really think of upping my stakes.

Trading for this week will be sporadic as my daughter is on her Easter break, so no doubt I'll be doing other things. I'll update the blog with any change in monthly figures, but new postings may have to wait.

Trading The Greyhounds

A few people have asked me recently if I could give any tips on trading the greyhounds. There's numerous snippets littered throughout this blog, but I thought I'd do a separate, dedicated post in order to collate all the bits. This will save readers from trawling through all the posts and comments (what do you mean you haven't read them all?).

Like any market that you can trade on the exchanges, there is no substitute for putting the hours in, watching how the markets behave and practice, practice, practice.

I honestly cannot tell you 'how' I trade the greyhounds as it has become, after watching thousands of races over the months, almost instinctive. An instinct that still goes awry at times. My style, if I can call it that, varies depending on the market, the liquidity and my mood. I'm also constantly trying new things, many of which don't come off.

However, for the purposes of this exercise, I'll list a few points that you should be aware of that will hopefully help you trade the greyhounds. Some are obvious I guess and may seem patronising. That is not my intent. I'm simply including them for completeness.

So, here they are, in no particular order...

1. As with any market, do NOT enter with more money than the market can support. It's easy getting matched, but you might never be able to trade out again. You'll be force to trade out with a big 'red', or worse, let the trade stand as a bet.

2. The greyhound markets vary greatly in liquidity during the day, particularly when other major sporting events are on such as horse racing or big soccer matches. Plan your day, and your stake size, accordingly. The morning card, from 11:00am to 2:00pm is a good time, as is after the afternoon horse racing card finishes. The evening card can be abysmal and many times it is not worth the effort, though money can be made if you are patient.

3. Except in very liquid markets, such as the Sky televised meetings, do not enter the market too soon. Two minutes before the off is soon enough. Even then, you may need to wait until the last minute. That's when all the money starts to arrive.

4. Generally, the time keeping is good, but occasionally races jump a few seconds early. To minimise this, make sure your computer clock is synchronised to an atomic clock via one of the many time servers on the Internet. You should be able to do this via your operating systems time settings. Also...

5. Make sure you listen to William Hill radio. This provides additional warning when the race is about to go. A word of warning though. Some of their commentators are better than others, so get to know which ones you should be wary off. Also, take care during the busy evening cards where they may nip off to another racetrack that Betfair isn't covering. It's very easy to get confused as to what race they are talking about.

6. While on the subject of William Hill radio, pay attention to what they are saying about the race. Some of their commentators really know their stuff. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen a dog suddenly shorten directly after it has been tipped on William Hill.

7. Just like the horse markets, the odds 'breakpoints' where the tick size changes can see points of resistance develop. The most prominent of these in the dog markets is 4.00. Personally, I'm wary of trading around this level. I always seem to muck it up. There are weaker resistance points at 3.00 and 6.00.

8. Keep an eye out for a 'jumpy' runner. You will frequently come across a dog whose price is rapidly bouncing between to points. These points can often have a gap of 5-10 ticks. The 'bouncing' might last for 10-20 seconds but you can make a tidy sum just clicking on both sides of the ladder without waiting for any one being matched. If you can manage to do that a few times before it stops, you'll be laughing.

9. Be wary of leading the charge. In other words, if you are going to go to the front of the market, make sure there is money behind you lending support. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen all the money behind me suddenly disappear as soon as my initial position is matched. Damned hard to get out of those.

10. In a bags race, watch out for a very short favourite, particularly if that dog has been coming in in the run up to the race. You can make nice profit on them as they come in. However, frequently, particularly towards the end of the session, large sums of money will come in and take the price out by 10-20 ticks, sweeping all before it, including your back stake, with little or no time to get out without 'redding' up for a substantial hit.

11. In an OR race, there is almost always a short priced favourite. These tend not to be prone to sudden, large scale reversals. That's not to say they don't happen, but in my experience it doesn't happen anywhere near as much in open races.

12. Unlike the horse win markets, the dog markets are jumpy due to lack of liquidity. This puts many people off. I'd say, learn to make use of it. Study the markets, make use of the many gaps that are there. Before you know it, you'll find yourself frequently picking up 5, 10, 20 tick trades.

13. All the money, what there is of it, tends to concentrate on the 1st and 2nd favourites. That's where I predominantly ply my trade. However, there's money to be made on the longer odds dogs. You may have to use smaller stake sizes in order to get matched but you should see some decent movement there.

14. Don't be scared of taking on a large amount, particularly if it is unsupported. That money will sit there for a while then disappear. This is why I say be wary of using just WOM in your trading. In this case the WOM would indicate you enter the trade on that side of the market but, in actual fact, you should oppose it. If you are not comfortable doing this then leave it alone.

15. I've read in the past that because of the lack of liquidity in the greyhound markets, you'll have difficulty finding trends. Absolute nonsense. Trends are there. They happen in every race. It's just that they occur over shorter timescales. A while ago, I posted some sample graphs demonstrating that fact. I use graphs all the time.

16. Because the money arrives so late in the market, and even if you are diligent in monitoring the off time, you WILL get caught. Whether you're caught with a back or a lay in the market, over time, the results of these mishaps will even out. What's important is that you have enough left in your bank to carry on in the meantime. So don't go staking your whole bank on the dogs. You just know it will end in tears.

17. With well over 50 races each day, sometimes nearer 100, you do not need to earn lots of money per race to make a decent income. I regularly hit £1/race on average and I'm now working on increasing that figure. Even making £0.50/race can quickly add up over a month to a nice tidy sum, so do not be greedy.

OK, that little lot is enough to be getting on with. If I think of any others, I'll add them to the bottom of the list so that you'll be able to find them again if you wish.

Again though, the best advice I can give is to watch the markets - there's plenty to choose from every day - and practice, practice, practice.

April Fool

That's just how I feel today with a shocking start to my trading for the month.

The morning greyhound session saw me trade blows for 2 hours before I managed to string 3 winning trades together. Things picked up then and I was approaching £20, - which, considering my earlier performance, was remarkable - when I lost £4.86 in the last race of the morning card before switching to the nags.

The horse racing wasn't much better. I opened my account with losses of £8.64, £5.32 and £14.08 at which point I switched back to the greyhounds, only to immediately lose £6.49! I took most of what was remaining of the afternoon off to lick my wounds.

Upon my return I stuck mainly to the dogs, though I did some more horse racing as well but didn't get anywhere losing as much as I won.

The evening greyhounds were good to me and I recovered all my daily losses until, sitting on a profit of £0.91 for the day, I got caught by a sharp reversal in the 7:78 at Sunderland which I struggled to get out off. I was left with some of my lay in the market when it suspended. Needless to say, it won and I lost £31.

So April kicks of with a quite appalling performance and a loss of £30.45 and leaves me feeling somewhat foolish.

Two losing days in a row. I've not had that for a very long time.