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.


leonthefixer said...

Good read as ever. Look forward to your return!

A break I think will do you some good and clear your mind and get your appetite back for it with lots of new ideas.

Keep it up!

afropunk said...

As ever have enjoyed catching up on your blog posts. Sounds to me like a short break is exactly what you need. Hope you enjoy the break, will also be looking forward to your return.

PhilipH said...

Most interesting and, as usual, well presented. Back pre-race and set a lay price left in running is something I've tried on Betdaq and although I did not keep precise records the way you do Ali I reckon Paretos law applied to my picks: i.e. about 80% were fully matched in running! My problem was very few of these went on to win, and because of my small stakes "greening up" did not happen! Even so, it was the 20% of unmatched bets that nibbled away at my bank, eventually swallowing the lot. I shall be venturing into "trading" in a while, probably sticking to the evening racing.

Anway Alistair, enjoy your break from the trading desk and I'm sure you'll resume with a full head of steam in due course.

Regards, Phil

PhilipH said...

Oh, and I forgot to say how informative those graphs are!