May Summary

Today saw me make my best daily profit on the horse trading, returning £41 from the pre-race win markets and taking my total for the month to over £500. Yet only two days ago, achieving that figure was completely unimaginable. It sure has been an extraordinary weekend.

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

Greyhounds... £185.80
Horses... £261.24
Soccer... £7.44
Cricket... £3.33

Added to this, is a £50 reload bonus from Bet365, which I was able to withdraw once I had recycled my qualifying bet a few times.

This month has proved to be very difficult, for two reasons.

First off, I intended to have another go at the horse win markets so I had already psyched myself up for a poor month.

Secondly, I've been struggling in the greyhound markets for 5-6 weeks. Either my trading skills in these markets have completely disappeared, or the markets themselves have changed and I have yet to adjust.

I suspect it is the latter as there were signs back in April that there was something different. It coincided with the summer horse racing season starting. At this stage, I do not know if that is the case or not. Is there a seasonal element to the dog markets? I've no idea as I've only been trading them since last September, i.e. the winter months. In any case, it is worrying as the greyhounds have provided the bulk of my profit for some six months now.

Under normal circumstances, I'd be expecting the dogs to provide the bulk of my monthly profit, typically in the region of £400-£600. To make only £185 is particularly poor. Indeed, it is worse than that since most of that £185 (£144 to be precise) has come from bet matching the Bet365 greyhound offers. So only £41 has been made by actually trading the greyhound markets.

Granted, I've not been trading anywhere near the number of markets that I was doing 2 months ago, due to concentrating on the horses. However, there is no doubt that the markets have been more difficult. They were less jumpy with very few decent moves. I lost cost of the number of races I didn't get involved in as the market was absolutely static.

The one glimmer of light is my horse trading. Even then, a large portion of the £261 profit (some £115) was also due to bet matching Bet365 offers. That said, I'm delighted with nearly £150 profit from actually trading the markets. The last two weeks in particular has seen much improvement, despite the odd disastrous day, and leaves me with no small amount of optimism that the horses will be providing the bulk of my profit sooner rather than later.

Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done and even more to learn, but finally, I am a lot happier with my prospects of mastering the horse pre-race markets.

For the coming month I will carry on with the horses being my main focus, though I still want to keep my hand in on the dogs. Also, as this weekend has shown, I need to avail myself of the Bet365 offers more than I have been doing of late as they provide a stress free route to easy money. Given the results this weekend, it would be remiss of me not to do them.

Thanks to some decent trading, some excellent matched betting and a little bit of good old fashioned luck, what was predicted as being a poor month (and was heading for that very outcome) turned into good one. All in the space of the last two days. I'll settle for more of that in June thank you - the decent trading, excellent matched betting and luck that is.

As ever, thank you for all your comments, support and taking the time to read my self indulgent ramblings.

Betfair Account Virtually Wiped

After yesterday's poor performance, I proceeded to almost wipe my Betfair account today and had to call on some emergency funds to top it up. At least with such a loss, there's no chance of any premium charges hitting my account.


Fortunately, all is not as it seems as while I was losing big on Betfair, I was winning on Bet365. Oh, I'm such a tease!

Saturday, as I've said many times in the past, is not a good trading day for me simply because I always seem to muck it up, irrespective of what markets I get involved in. So it is very much set aside for bet matching.

Even so, I didn't have great expectations today. My main aim was to get into profit by some £25 to nullify the effects of my failed ante post bets on the English Greyhound derby. The losses would disappear from my account tonight after the final. I could never have imagined that the day would turn out like it did. Yesterday, everything seemed to go against me. Today was the exact opposite.

First up was the opportunity to avail myself of a £10 free bet offer from Paddy Power. A quick visit to the excellent Oddsmatcher facility at Bet72.com and a couple of bets in the Spanish leagues saw me net a free £7.44.

Next up was the Ch4 horse racing offers from Bet365 and of course, the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet. I'm sure you are all familiar with this by now, so I won't go into details. Suffice to say, I found a couple of winners and a tidy profit as shown below.


Not bad for less than two hours 'work'. These Bet365 offers are a real doddle and provide a pretty relaxed way of making some easy money, especially when the winners come in.

With that out of the way, and today's mission accomplished and then some, I went and watched the second half of the cup final. Unfortunately for me, it was the Scottish cup final I had to suffer - good strike from Novo though, even if I say so myself as a Celtic fan.

After dinner, I spent some time trading the horse win markets where I took my time, managed to avoid all the favourites as if they had the plague and as a result, came away with £23 in profit from 9 races. I had no major losses other than two 'scratched' trades which cost 20p in total. After yesterday's loss, I was well chuffed with that.

I could have easily stopped for the day, satisfied that I'd made a decent profit. However, there was a bonus in the form of the English Greyhound Derby final from Wimbeldon. This meeting was being covered live by Sky which meant yet more rolling free-bet matching.

This couldn't have gone better if I had planned it. Again, here's a screen shot of the spreadsheet results.


Although that represents a very nice profit in itself, it does not tell the whole story.

Kicking off with a winner was a great start as that is when the real money is made with these offers thanks to the subsequent free bet from Bet365. However, it got better when I found another winner in the 9:25. Thanks to the low odds, my running total after that win was only marginally in the red, which meant that the lay of my following free bet would be all profit.

Unfortunately, the following race had an odds on favourite which meant that the odds spread between Bet365 and Betfair for the other runners was pretty high. Out of curiosity, I checked the figures and it showed Bet365 had an over round of 135% - the thieving b*gg*rs! Not ideal for maximising the profit from this technique, though, to be honest, not drastic when it happens on a free bet.

However, my chosen runner in this race also won, effectively canceling out the poor spread and taking the free bet forward on to the final race - the derby final itself, which was somehow very appropriate. However, before I got there, there was another twist in the tail.

Bet365, along with many other bookies these days, have a best odds offer whereby if the SP is higher than the odds taken then any winner is paid out at SP. That's what happened in the 9:45. 'Bubbly Eagle' went off at 6.00 and that's what I was paid out at when it won. So that spreadsheet doesn't tell the full story as there's another £75 to add to the total thanks to the higher SP. Result!

I put £400 into my Bet365 account this morning. By the time I was finished, there was £1500 there. I'll transfer much of it back to my Betfair account, until the next bout of bet matching that is.

After today's exploits, and the excellent results that came with it, I've just had my best ever day, by a long way. After deducting the £25 lost on the derby ante post bets, I've made a profit of £211.43 and, unbelievably, almost doubled this month's takings in the process.

And to think, I was meant to be decorating my daughter's bedroom this weekend. No doubt she'll moan, but I'll just threaten to stop her 5% cut.

I'm off to bed, with a very satisfied smile on my face.

Nightmare On Elm Street

Not a good day for me at all as the P&L screen shot shows. I went on tilt with that first loss of £10+ thanks once again to being suckered into trading the favourite and getting repeatedly caught.


I went for a long walk after the 3:20, but even that break didn't clear my head and I quickly doubled my losses on my return at which point I took the hint and quit for the day.

One of those days I'm afraid, though it is somewhat frustrating that every time I begin to think I'm getting somewhere, along comes a performance like today. Hopefully I've got that one out of my system but I don't think it wise to increase my stakes as I had planned. Not yet anyway.

Stakes In BinarySoft BDI

Today, I was asked by a visitor to the chat room what level of stakes I was using. £20 - £100 was the reply though I promised to explain things in a blog post as things aren't as straight forward as that in BinarySoft BDI.

Conventional wisdom for those who use more traditional trading software would be to break their stake levels into 'price bands'. So for example, one might use the following stake levels between each breakpoint in tick size:

£500 for odds of 1.01 to 2.00
£250 for 2.02 to 3.00
£125 for 3.05 to 4.00
£75 for 4.10 to 6.00
£50 for 6.20 to 10.00
£25 for 10.50 and above.

Still Too Many Mistakes

I had another good day on the nags today which was prevented from being an excellent day thanks to a four race losing run just before dinner which cost me £16. Still, this afternoon saw another record trade, this time at Yarmouth in the 3:40.


I could certainly get used to double figure trades!

I traded 26 races losing £25.57 over 8 races. Finishing with a profit of £28.33, I'm wasting a lot of my winnings by giving this amount away. Clearly, I still have a lot of work to do to minimise these losses. Doing so would boost my profit by almost double.

I'm still finding myself drawn to the favourite, particularly when there's not much money around on the other runners. This costs me virtually every time, not least of all today where half those losses were on favourites. Obviously a temptation I need to resist until such times that I have the experience and skills to deal with those markets.

Despite this, I'm very happy with the way things are going and looking forward to gradually increasing my stakes over the coming weeks in order to boost my profits still further.

I also did a handful of dog races in the morning. I'm still finding these markets difficult for some reason but I managed to pick up a few pounds which takes my profit for the day to over £31. It's been a while since I posted a return that high and is most welcome indeed.

I finished early thanks to my son arriving and immediately causing a rumpus. Experience has taught me just to quit when he arrives as the noise level in the house increases tenfold. You wouldn't think he was 18.

On The Other Hand, Maybe Not

Having spent much of today revamping the Bet Your Life blog so that it was hosted under betyourlife.co.uk rather than on blogger.com, as described in my last post, I've reset it back to what it was.

Every time I made a change, no matter how small, blogger insisted on republishing the whole blog. All 400+ pages of it. This would take upwards of 10 mins each time and can only get worse as the blog expands. So, reluctantly, it will have to stay where it is though I still want to change the design. It just means I'll have to do it in two places.

At least my horse trading was a bit more successful than my web design exploits. Despite a hiccup towards the tail end of the afternoon where a number of losers cost me nearly £16, I managed to recover all but a couple of quid of yesterday's loss. This was helped by my best trade to date.

The Times They Are A Changin'

Well, this blog is at any rate.

As you are no doubt aware, this blog is hosted by blogger at blogspot.com and is completely separate from the Bet Your Life website at www.betyourlife.co.uk.

I've long wanted to merge the two under one roof and blogger has the facilities to publish blogs to a separate hosting service using FTP. Unfortunately, to do that successfully, I have to revert the blog to a 'classic' template rather than the one you see now with all these 'widgets'. It means I'll lose some functionality but it's a price worth paying in order to keep everything together.

Over the next week or so, you may see the layout of the blog change as I prepare it for transfer. It may even disappear (though that's more likely due to me screwing it up). Assuming it doesn't, it will still be available via betyourlife.blogspot.com during this process, and I still intend to update it with my trading exploits.

Ultimately, it will be available at www.betyourlife.co.uk/blog. I'll obviously let you know when that happens.

In the meantime, please bare with me as I make the changes.

What A Shocker!

Yesterday, I had the day off from trading as I was with a client, yet in that one day, I seem to have forgotten everything I have learned in the past 2-3 weeks.

The day started promisingly enough with and hour spent in the greyhound markets, picking up £12 in the process. Then on to the horses and some good, if not spectacular profit in the first two races of the afternoon. It all started to go wrong after that.

I went on a run of races where I managed to turn some decent, greened up profit into losses. In the process, I got more and more frustrated with myself for being greedy, trying to grab that extra £2. Unfortunately, I let my discipline slip and the frustration get to me, which only made matters worse. I subsequently went on tilt, trading like a complete lunatic without a care in the world.

Come 4:00, I stopped having lost £11 on the nags and only marginally in profit for the day. I didn't resume trading until 5:35 not realising that the afternoon card was finished and there was a while to go before the evening races. So I tried the dogs again and promptly lost £9!

Another break and the start of the evening horse card saw me continue where I left off - yet more losses and the same, couldn't care less trading style. This culminated in the 7:20 where, against my better judgment, I decided to trade a three runner race - and lost £17!

Surprisingly, this did not entice me to throw the rattle out the pram. Indeed, as I saw my money disappear each time I entered the market, I was sitting here with a smile on my face. One of disbelief perhaps.

I got some back in the next race, but then lost another tenner in the 7:50. I eventually stopped after the 8:05 where I actually made a profit. I always like to finish on a high note. LOL!

18 horse races traded and 10 of them lost at a total cost of £50.19! There were some good trades in there that limited the damage to £31.26, but they were few and far between.

I had two main problems today, both of which led to frustration and indiscipline. The first, I've already mentioned. Too many times I threw away greened up profit by going in again to grab some more. Although a few of these meant a less profitable trade, most were turned into losses. This was just downright careless.

The other issue I had was one of submission delays. Not necessarily in terms of transmission delays between me and Betfair. No, it was more to do with the speed of the market. Time after time I'd spot a significant move just as it was about to happen, or had just started. I'd jump ahead of the market and place my bet, but by the time my money had entered the market, everyone else had spotted the move and gone past my entry point.

I'd chase the price a little, but I was always too slow. I'd have perhaps one or two goes at getting matched, but wouldn't chase the price all the way. I've learned from experience that that is a dangerous thing to do. More often than not, you get matched just as the trend is turning. As a result, the failure to get on such moves can be/was very frustrating and no doubt led to some dubious trading almost for the sake of it.

So, a total of £26 lost today when what was left of my morning greyhound profit is taken into account. Not a huge loss in the grand scheme of things and I'll get that back soon enough. The number of shocking bad horse trades is more worrying though looking back over todays performance and the nature of those losses, I'm happy it was more of an aberration than anything significant.

Back again tomorrow for another bash.

Your Biggest Trading Regret?

Mine? That's easy. Two weeks before the 2009 F1 season started, I was advised to back Button to win the world Championship by the excellent SoccerLotto site. He was 66/1 to win at that time. Two weeks later and before the first race had started, he'd dropped to around 3/1.

Now, after yet another fabulous drive, this time at Monaco, he's currently sitting on 51pts, 16pts ahead of his nearest rival and team mate, Barrichello. As I type this, he's trading at 1.36 to lay in the Driver's Championship market on Betfair.

I doubt that I'll come across an opportunity like that again. Not anytime soon anyway.

At least the horse racing is continuing to show very encouraging signs. I managed to catch the last 14 races today, having spent the early part of the afternoon doing the usual Sunday visit to family.

I'm delighted to say I only lost 2 of those costing less than a fiver and finished up with a few pence shy of £25. Hopefully this progress will continue in the coming week, by the end of which I shall look to increase my stakes slightly.

I'll have my IT Consultant's hat on tomorrow so not much trading for me, during the day anyway. Good luck to you if you're getting involved.

In-running Hedging Results

I haven't mentioned the in-running hedging monitoring very much of late, mainly because I haven't been doing any LOL!

I found it too distracting while I was trying to get to grips with pre-race trading. Trying to do both was impacting on the quality of the in-running selections, as well as my concentration levels on the pre-race trading.

I had intended to carry on until the end of this month or until I had made a minimum of 500 picks. However, for the reasons outlined above, I've decided to draw an end to it having made 376 picks. The PDF file is up to date for anyone wanting to look at it themselves.

The findings were not what I expected. If you recall, I had had ideas to back pre-off and immediately place a lay bet at a predetermined level to 'keep' if necessary. What that predetermined level would be was the reason for this exercise, but I had hoped that a hedged profit of 100% could be regularly achieved. In actual fact, the figures indicated that it would simply be better to back to win or at least hedge at a very small value i.e. <= 1.05ish.

In any case, the results are best summarised by the following graph and is based on level stakes of £10...


This in itself was a disappointing result, apart from the obvious profit when simply backing every pick to win at level stakes of £10 that is. It means a return to conventional gambling - and its inevitable losing runs, which is the reason I turned to trading in the first place. I simply do not have the mental strength to survive prolonged (or even not so prolonged) losing runs.

Whether I return to the idea at another date is debatable. It's been a useful exercise in that it has helped my pre-race trading and what to look for when trying to find swingers - oooh err! For the moment though, it's time to put it to bed. Hopefully you've managed to get something out of it as well.

Progressing, If A Bit Sloppy

I hadn't intended to trade today, partly as it was a Saturday, but mainly as I was knocking holes in plaster and ripping skirting boards off in preparation for laying laminate flooring in my daughters bedroom. I was finished by 3:00pm so I thought I'd 'give it a bash'.

As you can see from the now somewhat customary graph, I had a very good day with the inevitable sloppy mistakes preventing it from being an excellent one. I had 7 losers today costing some £22 which restricted my profit to £26. Once I eliminate those mistakes, my profit will dramatically increase.

All the same, progress is clearly being made, so it's very much a case of carrying on as I am doing (but working on those mistakes) and I'll be looking to increase my stakes accordingly in a few weeks.


The only disappointing thing today was the failure of my one remaining ante post bet to make it to the final of the English Greyhound Derby at Wimbledon. If it had, I would have been able to green up for a decent profit. As it was, its odds hadn't dropped far enough by the semi-final to allow me to do that. So a total of £25 lost, which will disappear from my account next Saturday after the final.

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

I won't go into today's performance too much as I'm just about to head out the door.

I did a little greyhound trading this morning, but felt rather nervous after yesterday's poor show so I only did 5 races and added a couple of quid to the pot. Instead, I went into the garden and did some much needed weeding. That's how nervous I was!

The horse trading came along nicely. I traded a total of 35 races and lost 8 of those at a cost of £23.86! Rather disappointing, but I'm not too bothered by that as I know where my mistake was in most of those, especially the bigger ones. A touch of favourititis.

Sometimes the favourite is like the sirens feared by mariners. Their call is so tempting with such wonderful promises. It's hard to resist at times and there in lies my downfall. Having said that, looking back over the bets I placed, if I held my opening position, and not be phased by the 'noise', each one of those would have been profitable trades. How many times do I say that? I'm sure as my experience grows, I'll be able to resist the urge to panic.

So, despite a few too many losers, I still came away with a profit of a little under £20, thanks in no small part to the last race of the day where I posted my best single race profit to date.

My Feet Hurt!

Hardly surprising really given the number of times I shoot them!

I seem to have developed the unfortunate habit of starting off with a couple of poor trades which immediately puts me on the back foot. Today was no different other than it was a whole session that I screwed up.

The morning dog markets were strange. The meeting at Sunderland had little money floating around. Certainly no more than one would expect in the first few races on a weekday morning. In contrast, the meeting at Sheffield had bucket loads of the stuff. Why, I do not know.

The difference between the markets made it difficult adjusting to the liquidity from race to race. My main problem was at Sheffield though. Plenty of cash around with loads of opportunities to make a tidy profit, yet I continually found myself on the wrong side of the market. None more so than in the 11:57 where I lost nearly £16! (It didn't help suffering from a twitchy finger and inadvertently TRIPLE clicking resulting in three times the amount being submitted to the market than I intended! LOL!)

After losing a further £5.50 over the next two races I quit with a deficit of £22 in just over an hour.

Strangely though, I didn't feel that bad about it. I just shrugged my shoulders and went for lunch. Nothing I could do about it. I had traded appallingly, possibly the worst I have ever traded the greyhounds.

Refreshed, I started the horse trading quite well. Indeed, throughout the day, I was happy with my horse trading, despite posting some very poor trades and adding a further £5 loss to the total for the day.

I had a couple of bad trades in the afternoon where I lost over £15 in total. Sometimes, I find it all to easy to get sucked into trading the favourite, which is what happened here. The usual story though of opening with a loss then going back in to retrieve it, only to make it worse.

Still, come 7:45, I'd reduced my overall loss to under £10. So I was doing well on the horses despite the aforementioned losses. Then my son arrived....

I really must learn to simply stop trading when Stuart is around. No sooner is he through the door and the noise levels seem to increase tenfold. There was just too many distractions for me to concentrate properly and I lost £18 over the next three races, at which point I stopped.

Bizarrely, even though I'm £27 down today, I am pretty relaxed about it. The damage was really done in the morning on the greyhounds. My horse trading was, in general, pretty good and I was very happy what I was doing. I know where I went wrong with the losses in the afternoon, with the losses in the evening easily avoided by not trading when there's so many distractions.

The point being, despite the losses today, I can honestly say I'm starting to feel that there may be light at the end of the tunnel and I'm actually getting somewhere. Of course, time will tell if that is premature or not.

Anyway, just to let you see the rollercoaster day I've had, here's the race by race combined graph...


Not the prettiest results I've ever posted, but as I said, I feel that I am beginning to get a sense of getting somewhere now with the horses and I'm looking forward to some decent returns in the coming weeks. Something I didn't think I'd be saying this time last week.

Much More Like It

At the risk of tempting fate, I'm a lot happier tonight, than I have been of late. Yesterday's late turn around was the spur I needed and helped me to a profit from the horses of a little under £23. A happy chappie indeed.

I didn't do any greyhound trading today as I was called away to sort a client's broadband equipment. Always a nuisance when missing trading sessions, but I can console myself by charging them a heck of a lot more than I would have won on the dogs.

So, only the horses today and a pretty significant day it turned out to be. Twenty five races traded and only three losers. A hit rate that I've got to be happy with and hopefully will become the norm sooner rather than later.

The size of the losses were somewhat disappointing, given that they were a number of times bigger than the daily average. More annoying was the fact that everyone of those traded losers had actually been in profit at some stage during the trade. In each case, I got greedy and went in for some more only to lose it.

Still, an extremely encouraging day with more like that to come I hope.

Losing The Will To Live

I'm not a superstitious man. I don't believe in fate, the Zodiac, leprechauns or magic healing crystals. I don't believe in God, irrespective of his religion, or any other all knowing and all seeing being. I'm not a follower of conspiracy theories nor do I believe that 'the man' is always out to get me.

I DO believe that it is all too easy to let this trading lark question one's beliefs! A couple of examples today exemplified this and had me throwing my hands in the air and cursing the gambling gods for continually having a laugh at my expense.

The first of these occurred in the 2:40 at Yarmouth. This was only my second race of the day, having scratched the preceding race at Nottingham.

As I've said before, ultimately, I want to be able to swing trade rather than scalp the horse win markets, though both are valuable skills to have. With this in mind, I use the Betfair graphs and those available in my trading software to help me. Or that's what the plan is in any case.

For the race in question, I identified 'Elusive Hawk' as a likely contender for a long term drift. As a result, I laid the horse @ 4.30 as indicated in the graph below. As you can see from the graph, taken just as the market went in-play, I was indeed correct.


As you can see, an excellent move all the way out to more than 6.50 before the off. Why then, having assessed this horse exactly right did I come away with a loss of £4.20?

The continued problem I have in the horse markets of holding my position. I'd enter the market which would immediately go against me. I'd bail out with a 2-3 tick loss only for the market to immediately reverse through my original position into, what would have been, profitable territory.

I'd go in again, and the same thing would happen. Again and again, rinse and repeat. So, despite getting the move right, all these little losses add up to something more substantial. I am finding it incredibly difficult to have the courage of my convictions when every other trader out there is lying in wait to pounce on my money shouting "Ali's here again, let's have him". Or so the conspiracy seems.

The second example of mysticism, or more accurately, the gambling gods pissing themselves at my expense, came in the 3:10, though I didn't notice for roughly 45 mins - see, the buggers won't even let me in on the joke!

Having found myself down £6 in the first 2-3 races, I suddenly put in a decent trade and got it all back. Yipee! I promptly moved on to the next race feeling a lot happier than I had been 5 mins earlier.

Forty five minutes later, when checking my P&L on Betfair, there was no sign of my £6 profit. The one horse that was withdrawn before the off happened to be the one on which I'd made the profit. Give me a break!

At this point, I stopped caring. I'd lost the will to live and, though I carried on trading, I wasn't bothered what happened. I was virtually picking a horse and it's direction randomly. Suffice to say I went on a losing streak. Jeez! Even the Laws of Averages seemed against me!

Having made £9 in the morning dog session, I found myself in the red and down over £13 on the horses.

Going into the evening session, the losses continued until the 7:10 at Leicester where I finally had a decent trade of £6 which Betfair didn't take away from me. This perked me up a bit and I only had one more loss as I put in some decent trades to not only get myself back in profit for the day, but to end up in profit on the nags as well. What a turn around.

Today's performance was a perfect example of why I am finding the horse win markets so frustrating. I know I can trade. I've done it in the place markets and continue to do it with the greyhounds. One doesn't turn £10 into £6K over a 14 month period then simply lose those skills overnight. As you can see today, I can, and do, put in some good trades. Unfortunately, I'm putting in far to many poor ones to make this pay - at the moment.

Whilst I have been down and frustrated with the win markets, particularly over the past week or so, this evening's performance and the great turn around that it produced, has given me some reason for hope. At least until the next conspiracy theory comes along. LOL!

I finished the day by trading the four quarter finals of the Greyhound English Derby being held at Wimbledon. This more than doubled my profit for the day and was a welcome boost. In addition, my one remaining ante post pick is through to the semi-finals. Hopefully, its odds will drop significantly allowing me to trade out and recover some of the losses from the other failed picks.

For a change, I thought I'd include the greyhounds in the P&L graph to let you see what a rollercoaster ride I've had since 11:00 this morning.

Shot In The Foot

Not much trading today, though I did managed to catch the last 14 horse races of the UK card and actually made a profit! I wish I'd stop shooting myself in the foot and losing biggish on the first few races though. Looking over recent results, this seems to be a recurring theme and doesn't half make life difficult.

The Struggle Continues

Thanks mainly to a £50 bonus from Bet365, I actually had a decent return today. As for my trading though, well the least said about that the better.

I made £18 match betting the Bet365 CH4 offers in the afternoon, but threw £13 of that away trading 4 evening races.

I also made £15 in the morning thanks to the greyhounds, but threw most of that away trying to trade the English Derby heats at Wimbledon. Plenty of money around so used bigger stakes. So much for that idea. Unfortunately, 2 of my remaining 3 dogs were eliminated in their heats so I'm left with only one ante post bet there and I doubt that I'll be able to lay it off at any stage to recoup the £20 I've already lost.

This trading lark is really getting me down at the moment. Specifically, the horse win markets. It's just not clicking for me, and showing no signs of doing so anytime soon. I've made nearly £60 on the horses so far this month. However, all but £3 of that has been due to match betting the Bet365 offers.

In addition, my greyhound trading is still very poor so I do not have that to fall back on either.

I'll keep plugging away in the hope that things pick up again, but I'm seriously considering if it is worth the effort at the moment.

Pulling My Hair Out

Or I would, if I had any left.

Trading, particularly the horse win markets, must rank up there as the most frustrating activity ever devised by man. At least it is for me. So much so this afternoon that, come 4:00pm I was ready to jack it all in. Losing time after time tends to do that, particularly when there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.

The same old story for me this afternoon in that I let the 'noise' completely distract me from the underlying trend resulting in me continually getting out when there was no need to. I'd then go back in again only to be fooled again. All these 1-2 tick losses add up.

I am finding it extremely difficult to place my initial order and not react when the aforementioned noise takes the price temporarily against me. I'm beginning to think I should shut my eyes and count to 100, or leave my desk completely for a couple of minutes and return to accept the consequences whatever they may be.

I stopped just after 4:00pm as I had a prior engagement, but I did summon the willpower to try again in the evening. The difference from the afternoon session was like night and day, as you can see from the graph of today's horse trading below. With no losses in the evening, I was able to get myself back in profit, albeit by only £3. At least I'm a little happier now than I was a few hours ago.


It would've been worse if I it wasn't for the near £6 profit in the fourth of those races, though that wasn't as a direct result of my normal trading.

Earlier in the morning, I had been bet matching the Bet365 Channel 4 offer in the Salisbury 2:20 and had backed 'Palisades Park' for £50 @ 5.50 and laid it on Betfair @ 5.3. As the race approached, I switched to the market and found that it had drifted, so I traded out on Betfair for a guaranteed profit and then relaid @ 5.50 and configured it as a 'keep' bet. This was comfortably matched in-running so I made nearly £6 from the trade as well as £2.50 from the matched bet.

I've done this before and it may well be worth keeping an eye on for trading purposes, keeping in mind the risk involved if the relaid stake isn't matched.

I'm still having difficulty with the dogs, which continues to be a worry. I traded 12 races this morning and made only £5. It's not just the lack of decent profit that is of concern, but the number of races I'm either scratching or simply not getting involved in because I don't see anything happening.

Half way through the month and I haven't made £100 yet. Very disappointing. Tomorrow, I think I better go shopping for a wig.

The Head Or The Heart

Well, here it is! The car I've decided to go for.

I've spent the last two weeks test driving loads of cars, and having a ball doing it. I've been like a kid in a toy shop. It's been made all the more difficult because of the large selection of good cars available these days. I don't remember there being such a choice when I bought my current Peugeot 406 over 9 years ago.

However, as of this afternoon, I still hadn't made my mind up but I had narrowed it down to two cars. The Seat Ibiza Sports Coupe or the Toyota Auris. My head was saying "Auris", but my heart was saying "Ibiza".

The Toyota was probably the sensible choice. A reliable and practicle mid-sized family car. The obvious choice for a family man. However, given that half my family no longer live with me, I decided to 'stuff the family' and do something for me for a change. LOL!

My daughter has given it the thumbs up saying it is 'The Shiz', which I believe is a good thing, but being 47 years young I might have misheard her. I think people of my generation would equate the term to the 'dogs bollocks'.

The order is getting placed tomorrow though the paperwork cannot be done until Monday for the scrappage scheme, with delivery sometime in June.

I'm looking forward to it as I've never bought new before, and I wouldn't have done on this occasion if it hadn't been for the £2000 scrappage allowance and the fact that I've turned £10 into £6000 over the past 14 months. So, thanks to Betfair et al for that. I'll give you a toot on my horn when the car arrives.

Back To Gaol

My great escape yesterday has come to nothing and I'm back in solitary confinement. Given the way I traded the horses today, I should be facing a firing squad in the morning.

Rather than go into the gruesome details, I'll follow my recent custom and give you a graph instead.


I suffered from a whole range of character flaws today - greed, impatience, sloppiness, lack of conviction, boredom,.... the list goes on.

I started off well enough, but come 3:30 I went on a suicidal mission and lost around £20 in less than an hour. I stopped then and had a good talking to myself. After dinner, I started to claw some of it back, but I was still making too many mistakes. Still, I managed to get myself within a couple of pounds of being level before the last two races came along and I chucked £11 away.

So that's my horse trading stake back down to £23 and to say I'm frustrated this evening is an understatement. This is indeed going to be a very lean month.

The Great Escape

Phew! That was a hard day today with only £4.42 added to the pre-race horse win market pot. Not a particularly successful day on paper, but considering I was down over £16 by 4:30 on a stake size of £32, it has to be viewed as some sort of victory.

I was all over the place in the afternoon, for many reasons. The bottom line though was simply a lack of concentration, forgetting what this exercise is all about and slipping into scalping mode - and failing as usual.

It didn't help with there being too many distractions, not least of which was also monitoring the in-running hedging while trying to trade pre-race. Having said that, the hedging picks in the afternoon were particularly successful with four winners found at BSPs of 13.17, 7.43, 9.46 and 7.4. The evening session wasn't as good with no winners found. I've updated the PDF file with the latest results.

At least the evening saw some decent trading and I managed to turn around the £16 deficit into a £4 profit. A great escape indeed. That profit takes my stake for the next session to £36.

Other than that, I had small profits elsewhere. £5.10 was won by bet matching today's Bet365 feature races and a little over £1 on the morning greyhounds from the tiny selection of races I had time to do today.

The greyhound results are rather worrying. Yes, I'm not spending as much time on them. Even so, I'd be looking to win the £34 I've won so far this month in a day. This past week has been quite difficult on the dogs where I've had great problems spotting anything significant. I hope it picks up soon.

Coming Along Nicely

After another, customary client visit on a Monday, I only had the evening available to me for trading. This, after having Sunday off due to the Spanish Grand Prix, being the dutiful son and another test drive session, has not been the most profitable couple of days I've ever had. However, it has been successful none the less.

I'd normally trade the greyhounds on a Monday evening as they have frequently been good to me at that time. I changed my mind when I saw that there was two UK horse meeting on and I thought I'd carry on with my studies.

After Saturday's successes, my stake was up to £23. It wasn't the easiest of sessions, but I'm please to say I came away with a 37% return on stake, which takes my stake up to £32 next time around. Just under £9 doesn't sound a lot, but I'll settle for a 37% daily return once I'm using £1K stakes.

I had a couple of losing races out of the ten I got involved in, along with two or three good recoveries after opening with a loss. I have to say that this more measured approach seems to be working for me. At the risk of tempting fate, that's four profitable trading days out of four with my stake/bank growing from £10 to £32. Hopefully this trend will continue as my stake grows.

I also took the opportunity to do some more in-running hedge monitoring making 8 picks with only one winner at BSP of 4.60. I'll update the PDF file later in the week. For now, I'm off to put the old feet up.

Saturday Off?

For all the reasons I've moaned about before, I now, in general, take a break from trading on a Saturday. However, having received a reload bonus from those nice people at Bet365, I had to work my way through numerous stakes before I could claim it. The easiest way to do that, was a bit of bet matching of their Channel 4 racing offer.

It has been a while since I used the Rolling Free-Bet Matching spreadsheet. I had a spell where I wasn't finding any winners, which was really taking its toll on my premium charge allowance, so I stopped doing them. Today gave me an excellent opportunity to get it out again and blow me, I started off with two winners!


So a very relaxing afternoon working my way to an easy £23 profit. Perhaps I should get back into this.

Later this evening, with nothing worth watching on the box, I took the opportunity to venture into the horse win markets again for a bit of pre-race trading. Following on from yesterday, my stake was now up to £16. I only traded a handful of races but didn't have any losers and managed to win £6.74 - a 42% return of my stake, so I'm very happy with that.

Again, I successfully identified decent moves, but suffered from premature exits. Still, the confidence is slowly building, as is my stake, which will be £23 next time around.

Wasted Time Is Relative

With less than £5 added to the running total for the month it would appear that today's efforts were a waste of time. To some extent, this is true. Certainly as far as my dog trading is concerned, but looking back over the day, it was far from it.

The least said about my greyhound trading the better. I struggled to spot any decent moves all morning and spent my time adding pennies to the total. Just over £5 for over two hours work, which I then threw away on the second last race before lunch. I don't know what was wrong today. The markets seemed particularly flat and I just couldn't make any headway.

Thankfully, things were better on the horses with both pre-race trading and in-running monitoring proving successful.

As mentioned yesterday, I'm trying to use the Betfair and Binarysoft graphs in a more intelligent and analytical way in order to identify longer term moves. Concentrating on finding runners that are shortening, this was again successful today in terms of identifying the moves. However, I lost a lot of profit because of a lack of conviction in my assessment. As a result, I was frequently getting out for 1-2 ticks when there was often much more to be had if I'd waited. Still, that will come as experience grows.

What is important is the number of times I get it right. Today, I entered 19 races and only lost in 3 of them for a total of £1.50. Having started with a £10 stake yesterday, I added that profit for today's stake of £12. Next time, which is likely to Monday or Tuesday, the stake will be £16 after adding today's profit. Doing this, I plan to grow my stake as I learn.

As for the in-running hedging I've been monitoring, I'm still doing it but trying to be mindful that it doesn't interfere with the pre-race trading process. Today was a slow start as I didn't get a winner until the 4:45. Actually, the number of races that had short-priced favourites meant my choices were limited, particularly in the afternoon.

In the end, I made 22 picks throughout the day and only managed to find 3 winners, but that doesn't really matter when they are at BSP odds of 5.90, 5.58 and 23.63! With results like that, it is hardly surprising that the in-running hedging seems to be morphing away from the original plan into a straight forward betting system.

Despite my poor greyhound trading today, I've three picks out of five original ante post selections for the Derby being held at Wimbledon. All were backed for a fiver each over a week ago. One lost in the first round last week, with another falling by the wayside tonight. The remaining three backed at odds of 130.0, 200.0 and 450.0 are through to the third round and I expect to be able to trade out a little before then.

So, a poor showing in terms of profit for the day, but far from a wasted day after all.

Back In The Saddle

Or should that be jacket?

After taking nearly a week off, I finally got stuck in to a full days trading (though I did have a nibble at the dogs on Tuesday and Wednesday). Slow and steady wins the race as they say and that was very much the case with my efforts today.

My days off were spent decorating my mother's bedroom and test driving numerous cars as I prepare to take up the government's 'generous' offer to scrap my 10 year old car. In many ways there's simply too much choice and, for the most part and for a particular price bracket, modern cars are difficult to distinguish. Still, I've managed to narrow it down to two cars. One ruled by the head, the other by the heart. Given that the head is £2.5-£3K more expensive, it's likely that the heart will win. I'll test drive them again just to make sure.

The time off has given me an opportunity to think about where my trading is going - or not going would be more accurate.

One of the reasons I needed to take a break was the increasing frustration I've been feeling with the whole process. My greyhound trading, while providing a very welcome few hundred pounds each month, has effectively plateaued and I doubt that it will get any better. I've recognised this for a while, but I have been unable to successfully branch out into other markets.

Granted, I've been reluctant to do so in recent months, simply because of the potential impact on the greyhound trading. However, now that summer racing is up and running, there is clear demarcation lines between the morning greyhound session and the start of the nags. So, despite my persistent failure with the horses, it is time to make a concerted effort to get to grips with them.

Yes, I know, I've been here before - many times. Without doubt though, as many wannabe traders will agree, the pre-race horse markets are like the Holy Grail of trading. That's where the money is and consequently, the profit. I'll carry on trading the greyhounds in the morning, but I really must figure these horse markets out if I am to move forward significantly.

The past week has given me the opportunity to reassess how I go about the horse markets. It is clear, that I find scalping very difficult for reasons I've discussed many times. This in itself has been a source of great frustration for me as I have no problem in the dog markets. That frustration has tended to make matters worse.

I need a different approach and need to retrain my brain to a different way of trading - i.e. swing trading. Encouraged by the work I've been doing with the in-running hedging (which is still on-going by the way with the latest results available for download as usual) I want to use the Betfair graphs, along with the streaming graphs in BinarySoft BDI, more effectively. A more analytical approach will, I believe, sit better with my technical/scientific background and mindset. (Oh I can see me falling on my face with this).

I ventured into the markets today, using £10 stakes and only looking for horses that were coming in. I had some success in that I came away with a profit - all £2.40 of it, though I was let down by losing £2 in the last race I entered. It felt OK, but that old issue of coming out too early was still there. That's not important. What was important was the number of times I got the move correct.

In the past, I have tried to make use of the graphs and base my decisions on what they are showing, however, I always found that I was forever being persuaded otherwise by the WOM. This was frequently to my cost. Today, I switched the WOM facilities off and that seemed to help. I'll see if this holds true tomorrow.

So, only £10 made on the dogs this morning and a couple of quid on the nags. Still, it's good to get going again after a much needed break.

New Domain Name

Way back in the dim and distant past when I set up a previous incarnation of Bet Your Life, I was forced to use bet-your-life.co.uk as my preferred choice was not available. When I got into trading and wanted to establish a chat room, among other things, it was easy to resurrect bet-your-life.co.uk as I still owned the domain name, despite it not rolling off the tongue very easily.

I discovered yesterday that my preferred choice of betyourlife.co.uk was now available so I snapped it up. Feel free to adjust your bookmarks to point to www.betyourlife.co.uk.

The old domain at www.bet-your-life.co.uk still works and will do for some time, but eventually I'd imagine that I'll let that domain lapse. That won't happen for a couple of years though.

The blog is still hosted at betyourlife.blogspot.com.

Right, back to the odd jobs. Have a good weekend folks and I'll see you next week.