February 2010 Summary

A slightly different style of summary now that I am no longer publicly declaring my winnings.

It has been a month of experimentation for me, and not one that has been entirely successful.

First on the list of things to try was a manual look at dutching the greyhound markets. The intention was, if successful, it would be an ideal thing to automate so that I could set it running in the morning while I got on with other things. I cannot say that it was entirely successful. Indeed, it was a bit of a disaster.

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

Yet another let down on the horses today though at least my losses were due to my mistakes and not the software doing funnies. I actually put in some good trades today, but I had too many stupid mistakes, not least of which was entering the market way too early with far too much money. This obviously resulted in a difficulty in trading out for anything other than a loss. I really need to up the concentration levels.

With it being the weekend, I took £10 of my morning greyhound winnings and did my usual fun trixie bet over at Betdaq. This time I went for wins for Birmingham, Werder Bremen and a cheeky little pick of Stoke to beat Arsenal.

New Forum

At the risk of being accused of copying everyone else, I've configured a small forum for readers to share their trading experiences.

I've not formulated any specific plans for having a forum, but a few hours ago I discovered how to host one with in a blogger.com based blog, so I've been up into the wee small hours simply because I could :-)

I've yet to optimise the colour scheme, but I need some sleep. It's operational now via the link in the menu. Pop in and say hello.

Evolution Or Stagnation?

With my broadband issues finally resolved (you've no idea how much wood I am touching as I type that) I recently went back to Bettrader Evolution for trading the horse racing markets. As it turns out, I did so to my cost today.

I was trading 'Kempes' in the 3:20 and placed a back bet for £100 @ 5.9. 30 secs later it was taken and I immediately fed 5 x £20 lay bets at ever decreasing odds. No sooner had I done this and another £100 back bet appeared in the market @ 6.0 of it's own volition!


The decision of Wayne Bridge to withdraw from possible England squad selection speaks volumes for his character and the position he has been placed in by his 'friend' and fellow countryman.

It also speaks equal volumes for the total lack of character of John Terry. His shameful behaviour has effectively forced Bridge into retiring from the International arena and forego the chance of a lifetime - to play in a World Cup finals.

If Terry had any honour or a shred of moral fibre in his body, he'd be the one to withdraw from the squad. That, unfortunately, isn't the case and this utter lowlife of a man will, in all likelihood, go to South Africa without feeling so much as an ounce of guilt over the effects his actions have had on his one time good friend.

I congratulate Wayne Bridge on his decision, regretful though it is. Sometimes principles have to take priority. It is such a pity that there are so few people like him in the footballing world.

Happy 2nd Anniversary

It's just turned midnight and moved into my 2nd Anniversary in this trading lark.

On the 23rd Feb, 2008, I started a serious attempt at sports trading after having had a very poor spell punting on football. Indeed, it really was the last throw of the dice. I vowed to never again throw money at gambling and was on the verge of giving it all up. So off I went, with £10 in my hand - well, my Betfair account - and launched myself into the horse racing place markets with a promise to myself to never again feed a gambling account. If this experiment crashed and burned that would be it and it would have cost me no more than £10.

Taking It Easy

I've been rather quiet on the trading front the past few days due to work commitments and a skiing trip today. The snow up north is still excellent if anyone is interested. Unfortunately, my arithitic knees take nearly a week to recover. It's worth it though.

I've managed a handful of dog races in the evenings, but nothing of any significance.

Much More Like It Or Just Coincidence?

Today saw me achieve the best return from trading the greyhounds I have managed for some time. Stopping for lunch after trading for a couple of hours this morning I was nearly £40 richer. I added to that a little after the horse racing was finished. I wonder how much of that was due to the sudden improvement in broadband speed.

Having switched to BT Broadband at the end of January after my much documented trials and tribulations with my previous ISP, I was delighted to see last night that, after a two week settling in period, my speed had jumped from 0.6Mbps to 2.6Mbps. This is 1.0Mbps higher than I used to get with my old supplier prior to hitting problems.

Not That It Matters

I'm not one for arguments. Indeed, I avoid them like the plague unless I'm certain I'm right. The smallest doubt is enough for me to hold my tongue - at least until I've checked my facts. One thing I do do is correct people if they are wrong.

What's got my attention today is this little snippet I read online:

"I also started a live trading chat room for Racingtraders members in Paltalk and have close to 100 regular members enjoying the live environment that a forum does not provide. We will be expanding that in 2010. Racingtraders were the first to do this as well and now several other groups are endeavouring to copy our lead and start their own."

It's Been A While...

...since I posted a Betfair daily P&L in three figures.

All is not as it seems though as £50 of that was a matched bet which was lost over at EuroSportBet. It's also been a while since I did any matched betting so getting a guaranteed £30+ for little effort is always welcome. I really must get my bookmaker accounts sorted so that I can do more of them.

Cry Foul!

I'm not a happy bunny this evening.

On Sunday, I took part in the Betfair promo whereby, if I backed a fourfold and it failed, I'd have half my stake returned up to a maximum value of £25. I do not have the link to the original terms and conditions for the offer, but I interpreted it as the maximum refund was £25. Not according to Betfair.

Based on my understanding of the T&C, I placed a £50 fourfold which ultimately failed. Betfair credited my account with £12.50 and not the full £25 as I expected.

The Inevitable Betfair Crash

A major upgrade and downtime was announced for this morning so I trust you all tread with care as the odds for the system falling over after it had been brought on line again must have been shorter than 1.01. Sure enough, around 12:10 down it went.

I managed to get an hour of trading on the dogs and added a few pounds to the pot before it fell over. No idea when it will come back, but, as ever, extreme caution advised.

The 'Rabbit' Is On The Move

Some comical goings on at Nottingham this evening when a real live rabbit managed to find its way into the stadium. The 6:44 race had to be delayed while numerous ground staff and officials tried to catch it or chase it out of the arena.

One can't help but think it would have been quicker if they'd just turned the dogs loose. Then again, that may not have been quite so entertaining. Probably just as well as the animal rights lobby would no doubt be up in arms complaining about the natural instinct of the dogs to chase down a cute and defenceless, small cuddly bunny.

How To Profit With Pre-Match Soccer Trading

On paper, it should be the simplest thing in the world. Assess a match, team news, form etc, etc, and place a bet accordingly with a view to trading out for a pain free profit before kick off. The price will move in your favour as everyone else comes to the same conclusion as you. Don't they?

Not in my case they don't. I've tried pre-match trading many times, in a variety of different markets, but I never seem to assess the mood of the market correctly. I may very well get the outcome of the match correct, but the pre-match moves? Very rarely, if ever. Indeed, I'm beginning to think that I should, once I've formed an opinion, oppose it. Certainly, going on past results, I'd be in profit.

Thank Goodness For The Dogs

It's been a mixed bag this weekend with two decent returns on the greyhounds, but the football cutting that profit significantly.

I'm still trying to make various angles on the football work, but with limited success. This weekend's problems started on Friday night when I attempted to trade the correct score market in the Newcastle v Cardiff game.

Friday Mania - Word Of Warning

If you were encouraged to try Betfair's Midweek Mania after reading my last post, you'll be interested to hear there's another one on today. However, today's offer is NOT the same as that described yesterday.

In today's offer, if any of your picks is the ONLY loser in your multiple, then Betfair will refund £10. Find two or more losers and you do NOT get the refund.

Not quite the same as yesterday's so be careful if you get involved as you'll need to change tact a little.

Midweek Mania

It's been a good day thanks in no small part to Betfair's Midweek Mania promotion.

It case you haven't seen it, they ask you to place a multiple bet (at least 3 selections) where one of those selections must be the horse that they specify. If that horse loses, they refund your stake. So as long as you make sure that this horse is in the first race of your multiple, you have a free bet. It's a no brainer.

Running Fairbot In Linux

As ever, I've been exploring other applications with a view to giving me options that would allow me to trade using my preferred operating system, Linux.

For those unfamiliar with Linux, applications designed for Windows will not run natively on Linux, not surprisingly. There are a number of ways around this - potentially. One of these is an on-going Linux project called Wine ("Wine Is Not an Emulator") which attempts to provide a Windows compatible API set that will run under the open source operating system.

Beyond A Joke

Just as I'm settling down for the morning greyhound session, Binarysoft loses connection as the API falls over yet again. Fortunately, I wasn't involved in the market so no harm done.

This situation really is getting beyond the pale. I'd rather Betfair took the thing offline completely, sorted the issues and didn't bring it back up until it was working properly. These continual interruptions to the service are costing people money, and that can never be acceptable.

I'd happily trade elsewhere, but the greyhound markets over at Betdaq are utterly dead. So I'm stuck with BF. Very annoying.

I knew I should have gone skiing today.

Knowing When To Stop

I don't use stop losses, at least not in jumpy markets like the greyhounds. All too frequently, the stop loss would fire when it was inappropriate for it to do so. I do however use a daily stop loss. Once I'm running at a certain loss for the day I'll stop. Accept the fact that I'm trading badly and not in the zone and quit. Better to take the loss on the chin than continue to muddle on only to risk further losses.

Sloppy, But Profitable

A bit of a messy start to the new month for me as can be seen from the P&L per race chart below.

I didn't get an opportunity to trade until mid afternoon as I spent the morning with a client. This, coupled with a dental appoint meant that my trading opportunities were limited. Annoyingly so as there were stacks of money in the afternoon dog race markets.

Unfortunately, I was far to sloppy to take advantage of it and insisted on throwing money away as soon as I'd won it. Always nice to get under way with a profit though. I just need to be a little more careful tomorrow.