June Summary

Today's trading finished off the month with a profit, keeping up the alternating nature of my trading these days, and sees me end the month with a profit of £436.

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

Greyhounds... £36.09
Horses... £391.50
Soccer... -£1.47
Tennis... £0.25

As you can see from the figures above, this month was spent trading the horses for the most part, though the profit of £391.50 doesn't reflect my trading efforts as £148.28 of that was due to matching betting the bet365 4/1+ Channel 4 and Feature horse races. Still, that leaves £243 thanks to trading the pre-race horse markets.

To be honest, I'm not sure whether to be happy with that or not. Looking back at the end of May, and the beginning of this month, I had psyched myself up for June being a lean month. I knew I wanted to concentrate on the horses as this is where I see my future trading. This was especially true as my greyhound trading has seen a major dip in profit since April.

So, having geared myself up for a quiet month, I'm delighted to have made £243 trading the nags and over £400 for the month over all.

Having said that, I'm slightly disappointed as I know that it could have been so much more if my trading hadn't been so erratic at times. As I mentioned yesterday, and throughout the month for that matter, I have a nasty habit of throwing much of my profit away.

The customary P&L graph with running total clearly illustrates the point. In this case, the graph shows the performance from horse trading alone.

Two things that are obvious from the graph. Firstly, I take heart from the fact that the average daily loss is much smaller in magnitude than the average winning day.

Secondly, the second half of the month in particular, was where I really became inconsistent with the profit and losses throughout each day canceling each other out. This may reflect a change in trading style, greater risk taking or just incompetence on my part. In any event, it is clearly something I need to work on.

I'm encouraged by the results from this month, despite my obvious frustrations at times as reflected in my posts. There is still lots of work to do, but there is certainly hope.

One of the disappointing things to happen this month was the receipt of the email from bet365 banning me from receiving any free bets or bonuses. This was inevitable I suppose, but still a great shame as their 4/1 horse racing offers, combined with the 2/1 televised greyhound offers, where a great source of income.

Whilst I can no longer avail myself of these, I'd encourage anyone who hasn't done them to do so. It really is easy money. To this end, I'll leave my spreadsheet up on the site for download should anyone require it. Please note though, as I can no longer do the offers, I won't be developing it further.

Having decided to concentrate on the nags, I've done very little else. I had intended to look at tennis in particular, but that was not to be. I feel I need to become more proficient on the horses before I start expanding my portfolio. So much to do, so little time.

With that in mind, July will be more of the same. Concentrate on the horses and slowly increasing my stakes as I go. I must also find the time to research some football trading strategies in readiness for the new season. This is particularly important for the winter months when there will be no evening racing.

I also took some time out to revamp the site a bit. Hopefully it is a little more distinctive and less like all the other blogger blogs that use the same template. I've got a few more changes in the pipeline which will get added as and when I can find the time.

As ever, thanks to all those who take the time to read this blog, particularly those who are prepared to leave comments and advice. This is much appreciated and helps to maintain the will to keep publishing my musings.

Good luck with your trading for the coming month. I'll be here as usual.

This Parrot Is Dead

Normally, I'm off seeing a client on a Monday, so it is a rare thing for me to find myself in front of the afternoon race markets. If today's performance is anything to go by, I hope that I'm never again in that position.

I started off fairly gently before losing nearly £12 in the third race. It was down hill from there on in. Loss after loss followed, with only a brief interlude in between, culminating in losses of £18 and £11 in the 4:30 and 4:45 respectively. By the time I'd finished the 5:00, I found myself some £50 down on the day. Easily my worst ever performance.

I found the markets extremely difficult today with trade after trade immediately turning on me whenever I entered the market. I'd get out for a five or more tick loss, only for the market to ultimately end up at my entry point. This happened so many times it became funny in a rather surreal, Pythonesque way.

Rather than stopping, I continued to try and trade the markets with a somewhat carefree attitude, finding the situation bizarrely fascinating and all the while hoping, just for once, that a big jump would happen in my favour. No such luck.

Once that magic £50 deficit had been breached, I stopped.

In contrast, the evening session was a breeze. I had a different attitude. I was much more focussed and determined to reduce the loss if for no other reason than to stop my monthly total falling below £400.

This I managed to do, ending the day with a loss of £17. Quite a recovery considering where I was a few hours ago. It's not often a loss feels like a win, but it certainly does tonight.

That's twelve days now that I have alternated between profit and loss. It is, to say the least, becoming extremely annoying and demoralising. The greyhound markets were never like that for me. However, I shall keep plugging away in the hope that I will find some consistent wins.

Bad Habits

Just over a week ago, I was delighted to post my best ever daily return from the horse markets. £87 if you recall. I've barely managed £45 for the whole of this week. Much of this has been due to some extremely annoying habits that I seem to be having difficulty breaking.

1. The first, and arguably the most damaging of these, is my propensity to build up profit in a race then reduce it, or worse, throw it all away, by going in for some more.

I've never been in the habit of setting myself targets and certainly not for individual trades/races. Instead, I've always preferred to take what I can get. Perhaps I need to reappraise that and would be interested to hear from more experienced traders regarding their thoughts.

2. Essentially the same as 1, but this time it relates to losses. The number of times I open with a losing trade and find my self going in again and again with a view to retrieving the situation only to make it worse beggars belief.

Having said that, there are many times when I have turned it around and either reduced it, or got myself into profit. Perhaps I need to introduce a 'stop loss' for the number of times I go in to repair the damage.

Again, feedback from those more experienced than me would be welcome.

3. My trading application of choice, BinarySoft BDI, does not have a drag and drop facility in the ladder. In other words, if I fail to get matched, I cannot simply move my stake up/down to the front of the market. Instead, I have to cancel the order and resubmit at the new odds.

Whether dragging and dropping is more efficient than the two clicks required by BDI is a mute point and isn't the issue for me. Rather it is my insistence on submitting first before canceling the original order that causes the problem. No sooner have I place the second trade and the market reverses taking that and my original stake with it. As a result, I end up with twice the amount of money in the market than I intended - and twice the loss.

I know I do it. I keep telling myself not to do it but in the heat of battle I forget - until it is too late.

4. The last two or three races of the session are frequently losers for me. I found this to be the case in the greyhound markets and now it's rearing its ugly head in the horse markets. This past four days has seen me wipe all my profits for the day on two occasions and today I cut it by half.

Very frustrating, but it seems to me that I really need to think about not trading these, or at least reduce my stakes a bit.

5. I have a habit of chopping and changing between horses looking for an opportunity. I'll get myself involved in a horse - often to simply end up as described above to recover a loss. In the meantime, while I'm mucking about on that runner, I miss a major move on something else.

I've got other annoying habits, but these ones are the biggest culprits. Granted I'm making money, but I'm not doing so as fast as I could/should be doing as these habits outlined above are hampering my progress. Until I resolve these issues, that progress will continue to be slow.

I've Had Better Days

Today was a real struggle. One of those days when I seemed to get virtually every opening position wrong and as a result, spent much of my time on the back foot. I actually finished the afternoon session around 3:30 as nothing was going my way so it seemed.

I returned after 5:00 to try and recover the near £20 I had lost earlier. It took a while to get going, but eventually things started to click and as soon as I got myself into profit I stopped for the day.

It is of course frustrating spending all day just to make a few pounds. However, it's all part of the learning process. At least the lessons are not costing me huge amounts of money and will stand me in good stead in the long run.

Who's A Silly Billy?

I upped my stake level today by another 10% as I have been making steady progress recently, even though I'm still putting in some very poor trades. In the end, if I'm making more money than I'm losing, then I'm happy. As long as the larger stakes doesn't screw things up of course. An increase of 10% shouldn't cause to much of a problem.

Today was slow and steady, rather than dramatic. Although I found the afternoon session quite difficult compared to the evening racing (seems quite common for me) I still managed to build some profit. Once the evening racing came along, progress picked up, until the 7:30 at Hamilton, as can be seen in the graph below.

I first opened a position on 'Fantastic Strike' only to be caught by a sudden jump which saw me lose over £4. I then switched to 'Orpen Arms' and was caught again by a sudden reversal, this time to the tune of £7. I then compounded my mistakes by going in again, this time on 'Colonel Mak'. Blow me, did I not get caught by a third jump which cost me £10.

In the space of four minutes I contrived to wipe out all my profit for the day, finishing with a loss of £2. A 'silly billy' indeed (and yes, I'm old enough to remember Denis Healey). I'm not sure what I did to deserve that - apart from the obvious poor trading of course.

No damage done on the day of course, but it is annoying throwing away profit all the time. Whether I do that on a race by race basis, or look at it over a longer time frame, it's frustrating and annoying. Still, all part of the learning process. Plenty races tomorrow to get it back.

Disrupted Week

I already knew that this week would suffer from a lack of trading, primarily due to my nephew requiring knee surgery at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He and my sister were staying with me as they are unfamiliar with the area, so I was designated chief taxi driver.

I have to say, more time was wasted due to the shocking disorganisation on the part of the NHS, which saw my sister and I spend the whole of today waiting in the hospital in order to see the surgeon, and wait for a physiotherapist to grace us with her presence before Sean could be taken home. I didn't get back until after 5pm.

Over the past few days, my trading has been somewhat sporadic and relatively ineffectual in terms of increasing the bank. Fortunately, I was able to settle down for a full evening worth of trading today.

I'm pleased to say that another profit was had, though I did get rather sloppy as the evening wore on. This resulted in losing 6 of the last 9 races. A bit annoying, but what's important is the profit of £24, which takes me over £400 for the month. Very chuffed with that.

My visitors are away home now so I'll be able to settle back into the normal trading routine tomorrow.

Flash In The Pan

Weren't they a pop group in the musically dreadful 80s? Or was that Flash And The Pan? Sorry I digress.

Yesterday's record breaking exploits didn't spill over to today unfortunately. Back to the usual inconsistent rubbish with two losers in the last races putting me in the red for the day. Only £8 lost, so no big deal. I'm just glad to get today out of the way.

I found the markets incredibly volatile this afternoon with little money floating around. That was my first mistake, in that I kept going in too early, probably as a leftover from yesterday. As a result, I found myself continually getting caught by reversals. No excuses though. I just traded very badly.

Back in the saddle in a couple of days as I'll have visitors until Wednesday probably.

A Day For New Records

My main focus today was to try and cut out the inconsistency that was so prevalent in my trading yesterday. The main reason that progress hasn't been as quick as I would have liked is the number of losers I'm having, even though, over the month, I've built up a reasonable profit. Cutting out the number, and the size, of those losing trades would see a major boost to the returns I'm already getting.

The area where I am particularly weak at, is recognising when to walk away from a losing trade. I am forever going back into the market to retrieve an initial losing trade only to make things worse. Going back in for a second time is fine. I've recovered numerous trades doing so. However, going back in and losing time and time again is what is making my losing races so sizeable.

Throughout the afternoon I concentrated very hard to avoid that mistake. Indeed, I had done quite well having had only two losers out of 20 races and accumulated £25 in the process. I was pleased with that only for me to lose that concentration in the last race at Ayr.

Here was the first record breaker of the day. A near £17 loss. My biggest since trading the horse win markets. SEVEN times I went in to retrieve a loss on 'Shy Glance' only to make it worse. It really shouldn't take me that long to get the hint.

To be honest, I shouldn't have traded the race as I was in the middle of making dinner and my attention was elsewhere. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I recovered a little in the following race, but it was still rather annoying.

As so often seems the case with me these days, the evening racing is much better. Indeed, I traded 9 races and didn't have a loser.

I had, near enough, fully recovered the £17 by the time the 7:20 at Lingfield came along. And boy, did it come along with a bang.

Huge amounts of money started coming in for 'Toga Tiger' and I was fortunate enough to spot it early. I was able to get on at 3.35 and had various trades all the way in to 2.28. This saw the second record of the day. £39 and my biggest winning trade since trading the horse win markets.

As the price continued to steam, the large amounts kept coming in big leaps, driving the price still further. Ultimately, the move stalled and the market started to steadily reverse, though not quite so sharply. There was money to be made on the drift, but I was reluctant to get involved just in case the huge sums arrived again taking the price in quickly.

The rest of the evening was spent adding a further £23 to the total giving another record breaking figure of £87. My best ever daily total for trading the horse win markets. If only it were always that easy.

Consistently Inconsistent

Talk about erratic! Not much to say about today's performance. To be honest, I'm mentally drained and too tired to describe it, so I'll leave you to interpret the P/L graph for yourselves. Suffice to say, I'm not sure how I managed to escape with just a £7 loss.

Thumbs Up To Ffos Las

I've often wondered if other traders have a 'bogey' course. One where they always seem to lose. I've been thinking that of Ripon recently. Virtually all of yesterday's losing trades where at the Yorkshire course. So when I opened today's proceedings with a near £8 loss at that very track, I immediately thought, 'here we go again'.

Fortunately, everything went swimmingly from there on in, with one exception. I messed up the 8:10 at Leicester and wiped 30% from the profit I had built up. Still, I managed to get it back in subsequent races and wound up with a decent £35 profit for the day.

I particularly enjoyed trading the races at the new Ffos Las Racecourse in Wales. I guess the thinner markets were more my cup of tea. I only had one disappointment where I managed to turn a £3 profit into a 67 pence loss in the last. Other than that, I traded that course really well.

I got involved in 24 races today, losing 5 of those at a cost of £18.63 though £16.64 of that was in the two aforementioned races. Apart from those two slip ups, I was really pleased with my trading today, managing to catch some reasonable swings in the process.

If I can keep the same sort of return going over the next few days, I'll look to slightly increase my stakes once again. Here's hoping.

Night And Day

Looking back over recent weeks, it seems that, in general, I am much more consistent in the evening race meetings than those in the afternoon. This is amply illustrating in the following graph for today's results.

I'm not sure why this would be the case, though the obvious answer may lie in my past experience of the thinner greyhound and place markets. I'm not so sure it is as simple as that though. However, irrespective of the reason, it is clearly something I have to work on.

The good news is that the afternoon meetings are not seeing me make huge losses. It is just that I am very inconsistent. Further progress will not be forthcoming until I learn to control these losses on a regular basis.

This evening's racing was interesting in that, to a large extent, I concentrated on the favourite of all things and managed to catch some good swings to boot.

I noticed over the past couple of days that as I tried to avoid the favourite, I was frequently missing significant swings as I traded one of the lesser fancied runners. I wanted to see if I could pick up on some of them, whilst at the same time being very wary of what some might describe as my nemesis in recent times.

I didn't trade all favourites. Only those that had showed persistent moves in one direction or the other. This seemed to work well allowing me not only to recover from this afternoon's minor loss, but post a reasonable profit as well.

More of that tomorrow will do very nicely thank you.

I Should Have Stuck To The DIY

A difficult day today, for me at least. I recognise that the 'big boys' love these major meetings but, to be honest, the amount of money in these big races scares the life out of me. So, I went into today with every intention of leaving the Ascot races along. That in itself was a problem in that there was only one other meeting on at the time. Which led to boredom and mistakes.

I decided to increase my stakes by 10% today, not that it did much good. I spent the whole afternoon treading water, stopping for dinner just after 5:00 with more or less what I had started with.

I came back in time for the 6:00 race at Yarmouth and immediately wished I hadn't bothered. I had a six race run where I lost heavily in 4 of them with the combined profit in the remaining two barely enough to cover one of those losses. I quit when the last of those races saw me lose £10 and I started to wish I'd carried on with the DIY.

Another break and a good talking to myself saw a better performance where I was able to recoup a fair chunk of my earlier losses.

In the end, I lost £8 on the horses so no major disaster and ready to try again tomorrow. This time I must concentrate that bit more. Too many times was I caught by sharp reversals and traded out when a patient game would have seen the market readjust itself. Mind you, that old chestnut of being drawn into trading the favourite early on kept rearing its ugly head. One day, it will eventually sink in.

No Pain No Gain

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past few days. I have had my DIY hat on. I've been working on my daughter's bedroom, decorating and preparing it for laminate flooring - which I did on Sunday. I've been in agony ever since. It's when I do big projects like that that I realise how dreadfully unfit I am.

My sedentary lifestyle of spending much of my time in front of a computer, either professionally or as a trader, is really taking it's toll. I must get back into my regular walking regime. Not this morning though. I'm just too damn sore and tired. I slept until 11:00 and now I don't know if I feel better for it or not.

Not much to report on the trading front as I haven't done a great deal since Friday. I caught a few races on Saturday and Sunday during breaks in the DIY as well as doing a few of the evening races last night. Those exploits have added around £30 to the pot so quite happy with that.

Looking forward to getting fully back into the swing of things today. Good luck if you are getting involved.

Jolly Unsporting Of Them

Isn't life's twist and turns weird? Call it fate, coincidence, sod's law or whatever, but no sooner had I expressed my gratitude for the Bet365 offers in yesterday's post and low and behold, I get an email this afternoon banning me from any future offers and freebies.

Here's a copy of the email in full...

"Dear Mr Hamilton,

I am contacting you with regards to your bet365 account.

In order to reward existing customers and attract new customers, bet365 make regular offers such as bonuses and free bets.

These offers are expensive and bet365 policy is therefore not to allow them where we consider that the offers could make a significant difference to the likely profitability of a customer's account.

Unfortunately your account has been identified in this way and so we are notifying you that you will not be eligible for bet365 offers in future.

Additionally we are no longer able to offer you our telephone betting service. However, our online service remains available to you to place future bets.

If you require any further assistance, our team are available 24 hours a day by Live Chat, email at support@customerservices365.com, or telephone on 08000 288365 and we will be pleased to assist you.

Kind Regards
The bet365 Team"

Bound to happen some time I suppose, though I did find it rather amusing on two fronts. Firstly, being denied use of their telephone service is rather strange given that I've never used it in the first place. Secondly, the denial of such offers because of a "significant difference to the likely profitability of a customer's account" flies in the face of the offer itself. If I may quote the promotions 'blurb' taken directly from their website:

"Keep backing those winners and we'll keep giving you free bets!"

Needless to say, I've emptied my account with them and will not be returning. Not until they give me a reload bonus of course. LOL!

Now that this reliable income source is no longer available to me, I really must redouble my efforts on the pre-race horse win markets. With the greyhounds going nowhere, it looks like it will be the only avenue open to me for sometime.

Thankfully, today saw a much improved performance with a record breaking pre-race horse racing profit of just over £50. If that is an indication of what can be achieved then I'll be happy with that. All I need is a little consistency.

I got involved in 29 markets today and lost only 3 (ignoring a -£0.08 'scratch'). More importantly the size of those losses were, £0.64, £1.72 and £2.88. A significant improvement in the size of my losing trades in recent weeks.

Control the losses and the profits will take care of themselves.

I should write that down in huge letters and stick it to my monitor. All I need to do now, is repeat the process.

I'm not sure what I'll do on Saturday afternoons now that the Bet365 offers have disappeared. Looks like I'll have no excuse now for avoiding the housework. Not tomorrow though as I'll be laying laminate flooring instead.

Have a good one.

Struggling Along

Thank goodness for the Bet365 4/1+ offers. If it wasn't for them, I think I may well have given up on trading the horses.

27 races traded today and only 5 losing races (ignoring the 4 I scratched for a few lost pennies). Unfortunately, those 5 races cost £27.50 and wiped out all but £2.50 of my profit.

My two biggest problems are still with me. Namely, being drawn in to trading the favourite and letting the noise trick me into taking a 1-2 loss when I had got the direction of the trend correct.

A classic example of that was the 3.50 at Newbury. I thought the favourite was about to drift, so I laid 'Kinetix' @ 1.90. It drifted out to around 2.2 before the off, yet I came away with a loss of nearly £7. Go figure!

I then lost another £6 in the very next race! It's these big losses that are doing my head in as they are, in one fell swoop, wiping out all the good work that had gone before.

I had a bigger loss later on, but I won't bother going into details. It was more of the same I'm afraid. Fortunately, I found the evening racing a little easier to handle and managed to recover my losses and get myself into profit, albeit to the tune of only a couple of quid.

I still came away with over £50 profit though thanks to Bet365's featured races and the free bet I had earned by finding a winner yesterday. I must say though, I'd be a lot happier if I was earning £50 from the trading.

Normal Service Is Resumed

With a loss of £38 in the horse markets it would seem that my trading was particularly poor today. However, it's not as bad as it seems with over £29 of that due to finding a winner in the Bet365 featured race at Hamilton this evening. This means of course that I have a free bet in the 3:00 at Nottingham tomorrow where I shall recover all of that plus a bit extra.

That leaves me just short of £9 lost through trading today. Again, I'm not as bothered by the amount as by the manner in which it was lost.

Too many times did I enter the market just as it was turning, only to go back again after trading out for a loss. Too many times was I hit by a sudden, sharp reversal which left me up to 10 ticks in the red and fighting to reduce the loss. Too many times did I find myself all green only to go in for a bit more and wind up significantly in the red. And finally, too many times did I find myself trying to recover a loss on a horse that simply wasn't moving while the rest of the market was steaming or drifting wildly.

I entered 28 races and lost 9 of them costing over £36! Losing 33% of races is bad enough, but the size of the loses when I do is really killing me. I must learn to be more particular in which races/runners I trade and get out sooner. Having said that, I tend not to have one trade ending in a big loss. Rather it is made up of a number of losing trades where I go back in to recover the situation and only make it worse.

Perhaps I need to learn to walk away from that horse, or indeed race, if I have a loser. Having said that, there's many times when I have recovered from an initial losing position and finished up with a profit. Oh, decisions, decisions.

To round of the day I earned a few pounds on the greyhounds as well as collecting a £10 bonus from Bet365. So only a £25 loss today with a profit of some £40+ from the aforementioned free bet to look forward to tomorrow.

Bet Matching Does The Business

I carried on with the trading as normal today, though my performance wasn't great. I had some excellent trades but these were countered by some equally large poor ones. Still, I managed to run up a profit of £15, though that was more to do with trading out of a bet matching position than a planned trade.

Some of you are familiar with the Bet365 4/1+ horse racing offers and my spreadsheet I use to capitalise on them. One of the great things about this offer is that Bet365's SP guarantee still applies. So, having backed with them, if your runner wins at a higher SP, then that's what you get paid out at.

As far as the the 4/1+ offer is concerned, they way I approach these races is to overlay so that, if the runner loses, I'll win £2.50 (5% from a £50 stake) after commission, safe in the knowledge that if it wins, I'll get a free £50 bet from Bet365.

Having placed my positions on Bet365 and Betfair, one might cross one's fingers hoping that the pick will then drift like a barge before the off (so that the SP is higher than the original price taken) and then the animal goes on to win for a bumper payout. However, as a trader, sitting watching the ladder on my software as the price on Betfair moves well into a green position, I can't help think that there should be a way of capitialising on that drift.

The first featured race today, the 3:55 from Salisbury, was an excellent example of this and gave me the opportunity to try something out.

Twenty minutes before the off, I had backed 'Cill Rialaig' on Bet365 at odds of 10.00 and was gradually laying off on Betfair at various prices below that. I only had £10 to go when it started to drift, so I got rid of the rest at odds of 11.00 giving me average odds of 9.91.

That in itself is a decent spread as a loser would see me make my 5% target and a winner would give a loss of £42.39 which could easily be made up with the free bet in the following race.

However, over the next 15 minutes, 'Cill Rialaig' drifted out to 14.0 - 14.5. Looking at the ladder, I was in a position to green up for over £15. Keep in mind though that the lay on Betfair is there to counter the back on Bet365. So I couldn't simply trade out as I'd have £50 riding on the horse at the bookmakers.

If I traded out, I'd have to place another lay to take care of the bet over at Bet365. However, this would result in a spread of 10.0/14.0. Under normal circumstances, one should never bet match these offers with such a spread. For example, these figures would result in a £2.50 profit in the event of a loser, but a £268 LOSS in the event of a winner. Granted, there would be a free bet to come, but it would be extraordinarily difficult to recoup that money with the freebie.

Sometimes though, it can be difficult to avoid a poor spread when bet matching these offers. However, this excessive liability in the event of a winning pick can be nullified by BACKING the horse on Betfair.

So, to summarise, this is what I did...

1. BACKED 'Cill Rialaig' @ 10.00 on Bet365
2. LAID @ 9.91 on Betfair
3. BACKED @ 14.0 and 14.50 to green up some £16 before commission and thus canceling out the lay in step 2.
4. LAID @ 14.00 on Betfair in order to close the matched bet. I could have waited for the odds to drop further in order to improve the spread, but time was pushing on by this point.
5. BACKED @ 14.50 for £20 on Betfair in order to reduce the large liability that this odds spread produced in the event of a winner.

Doing all this produced a greened up profit of £16 through the 'trade' and, by backing £20 @ 14.50 the return in the event of a win was changed from a loss of £286 to a PROFIT of £1.58. There would be a liability of £16 in the event of a loser. However, this was covered by the 'trade'.

Also, keep in mind that as the horse had drifted significantly the SP, in all likelihood, would be higher than the 10.0 I had taken. This in itself was another reason for doing the 'trade'.

In the event, the odds came in a bit prior to the off, but the SP was 11.0 and the horse went on to win. Which meant I won a net £51. Result! With a freebie to come, I decent return was assured.

It is interesting to note that if I hadn't went through the process described above, I would have obtained an effective spread of 11.0/9.91 and a profit of £7 with a free bet to follow. I was doing this 'on the hoof' so the numbers are not optimised, but the general principle holds true. I think it may well prove to be a valid option on those occasions where a major drift occurs after setting up the matched bet.

With this success in mind, I was looking forward to an evening of matched betting the live greyhound meeting from Belle Vue. Unfortunately this was spoiled by my pick in the second race being involved in a dead heat.

This resulted in a loss of £13, which is no big deal as that sort of sum is easily recoverable doing this. No, the main cost of a dead heat is when the effective odds drop below 3.00 which is the minimum required by Bet365 for the free bet to be awarded. I had taken my pick at 5.00 so I didn't get the free bet.

In the end, I came away with a profit of £2.60. Scant reward to show for an evening's work, but I'm not going to let it spoil what has been an excellent day.

Back Into Profit

Well, it's been a while coming, but I finally got myself into profit for the month thanks to the last six races of the day.

Having been at a client's all day, followed by a quick drink with a friend I hadn't seen for a while, I didn't expect to get any trading done today. Fortunately, I got back in time for the 8:00 and 80 minutes later I had earned £26.20 with not a loser in sight.

So, very delighted with that, though it has left me a little puzzled.

As I traded tonight, there was no sign of my usual panicking. I was calm and comfortable throughout. I saw all the right moves and the market went the way I wanted and expected it to. Indeed, I was pretty relaxed by it all, to the point of being nonchalant. I wish it was always that easy.

How To Eat An Elephant

It may be coincidental, but I noticed a rather curious thing yesterday while looking through my previous results.

As regular readers are no doubt aware, I've been having a bad time of it recently. Not for the first time and certainly not the last. My moments of self doubt, poor performance and lack of self belief seem to be cyclic in nature - remarkably so. Every two months roughly, which ties in very well with a medical condition I was diagnosed with over a year ago.

I suffer from a B12 deficiency. A vitamin that is essential for the creation of red blood cells. My body is incapable of absorbing B12 from food and as a result, I receive regular injections to boost my levels. Guess what? I get these every two months.

I know I am due an injection, not by having the date entered on my calender, but simply by the fact that I get tired. I start feeling lethargic, cannot concentrate, my memory slips and my reaction times are noticeable longer. Once I get my boost, I'm back to normal after a couple of days. I had a boost on Friday.

Coincidence? There's a fair chance of that, but it may be something else I need to keep an eye on.

A friend of mine once advised me that one cannot eat an elephant in anything other than small bites. I won't go into what prompted that particular pearl of wisdom, but it struck me very pertinent to my trading of late.

Not withstanding my medical history outlined above, lately, I've perhaps been trying too hard to get the trading back on track. The pressure to do so in a speedy fashion has been greater since my dog trading has been suffering for a few weeks now. As a result, I may have been forcing the pre-race horse trading too quickly in a desperate attempt to compensate.

With the memory of my friend's advice still ringing in my ears, I have endeavoured to take a step back from what I had been trying to do, and return to first principles. In essence, I have tried to be more particular about what races I get involved in, and what runners I choose to trade.

Also, although I'm still using the same odds dependent stake size of £20-£100, I'm taking smaller tick profits. I'm still making those annoying mistakes like turning an all green profit into a loss, but at least I've made a profit in each of the past three days, with £16 being made today alone.

That's me back, more or less, level for the month. So I think I can safely write the past week off and move on from here.

Still in the spirit of eating that elephant, the more observant of you will have noticed that I've been nibbling away at the design of the website/blog. This is partly to make room for other things I have planned as well as making the look and feel a little more unique rather than all the other blogs using the same blogger template.

The main change, apart from the graduated backgrounds is the fact that the width of the site is no longer fixed. For those of you with bigger monitors, the site will expand accordingly, giving you more info on the screen without having to scroll.

That's it from me for now. Thanks to all those who made comments on my last post. Sorry I haven't had the opportunity to reply to them, but rest assured they are very much appreciated.

I Can't Go On Like This

Today, I lasted 45 mins and 5 races. In two of them, I turned £3 greened up positions into a pennies. The rest, I turned equally good greened up positions in similar sized losses with the result that I found myself £9 down. Not a great sum granted, but the manner in which it was achieved made me turn off my pc in disgust.

I went back at 4:00 and did 3 races before giving up. I won £3 in one, turned profits into losses in the other two, one of which went from £3 to -£8.20. I've conceded defeat and closed my trading software.

A total of eight races and a loss of more than £16.

I am really struggling with this trading lark this month. That's four losing days on the trot for the pre-race horse markets. Any skills that I may have been developing in recent weeks have disappeared and I am just not 'getting' it.

As I've already mentioned, my greyhound trading skills have completely deserted me and I now seem to be left with nothing. The mental demons are racing back to plague me and I have to question where I go from here.

To be honest, I haven't a clue. Although last weekend offered some welcome respite, I've not been enjoying the trading over the past few weeks, mainly due to frustration with my lack of progress - not to mention the losses.

Don't be surprised if there's no more posts for a while. I'm just so pissed off by it all.

Do I Have 'MUG' Stamped On My Forehead?

It certainly feels like it after yet another terrible performance in the horse win markets. I came away with a small profit today, but that is thanks to the two Bet365 featured races and some decent matched betting.

As far as the trading is concerned I seemed to be on the wrong side of a sharp reversal in every race. You'd think I'd be on the right side now and again. Not this 'mug'. Last week, I thought I was beginning to get somewhere. Obviously not if the past few days are anything to go by. Indeed, I'm very quickly going backwards.

Aside from the two Bet365 races, I traded 15 races today and lost 6 of them at a cost of £22.93. Far to many large losses, not to mention the number of potential large losses that I managed to recover. My overall P&L for pre-race trading alone was -£8.29. That makes three losing days in a row for the pre-race markets.

One of the things that is frustrating me in particular is my entry points. If I join the queue at the head of the market, I never get matched. The market moves off in the direction I thought it would resulting in either scrapping the position or chasing the price in order to get on (always a dangerous thing to do in my experience).

On the other hand, if I jump ahead of the market to ensure I get matched, the market seems to move against me almost every time putting me on the back foot.

If I had any hair left, I'd pull it out! Instead, I'm away to see if I can wash 'MUG' off my forehead.

Back Down To Earth With A Bump

Well, the euphoria of the weekend didn't last long as June gets off to a losing start.

I lost a little on Monday evening, but saved the worst for today. Greyhounds, horses and soccer all returned negative sums with virtually everything I touched today heading south.

The greyhound markets continue to be weird for me and I only tried the first 4 races and lost every one of them.

The poor performance continued with the nags where I traded profitable trade with losing trade throughout much of the afternoon. Thanks to two Bet365 matched bets, I was in profit until the 5:00 which saw three losing races on the trot costing me £14, at which point I stopped.

I returned to try again in the evening, but immediately kicked off with another three losers at a cost of £19. I finally took the hint and left the horses alone.

My poor decision making wasn't finished though as, through frustration more than anything else, I got involved in the France v Nigeria match. I went into the correct score market without any sort of plan and nearly got myself in a mess. I managed to escape with a £1.50 loss.

The only thing that did go right today, from a trading point of view, was a small scale foray into the tennis markets where I tried a bit of scalping and came away with 25p in profit!

I'm at the point where I think I give up on the dog racing completely. I'm finding that my lost ability to trade these markets for the past 6-7 weeks is leading to frustration and poor decision making. Not only that, it is affecting my frame of mind such that I'm not fully focussed when the horse racing comes along.

Decorating tomorrow, so don't know if I'll be able to trade at all tomorrow. Good luck if you get involved.