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.

It started off well, but the inevitable losing run struck and wiped everything thing out and then some. While I could/should give it more time, the size of the losing runs meant that it would always be running the risk of significant wipe outs. Given that my inability to mentally handle even the most modest of losing streaks was the reason I turned to trading from gambling, I decided to finish that particular experiment early.

It was worth a look, but good that this potential issue was identified at an early stage so that I didn't waste a huge amount of time on it. I was still able to trade the greyhounds as normal while collecting the data so the time spent wasn't entirely wasted.

That greyhound trading provided virtually all of this months profit - as is so often the case.

I also did a bit of paper trading in the horse markets, looking at how I go about things while trying to train my brain into a different way of thinking and away from the frenetic last 60 secs of the greyhounds - a mindset that I think hampers me when trading the horses.

I have so many issues with trading the horses that always seem to cause me problems. One of them is my habit of always picking the wrong horse. In other words, I'll start trading a runner that I think is going to move in price but it doesn't so I end up sitting there waiting for an opportunity to trade out while all around me the rest of the field is swing to and fro as if suspended at the end of a long rope.

I decided to take that decision making process out of my hands so that I could concentrate on other aspects of my trading. To this end, I only traded those top ratings horses as specified on the Adrian Massey site. The idea being that, as Adrian's site is well known, I wanted to see if his runners would shorten pre-off and I would concentrate on backing them.

In actual fact, his top ratings drift just as much, if not more so, than they come in. However, that was useful as the experiment morphed into teaching me to bide my time. One of my main problems with horse racing is being continually fooled into a panic driven early exit for an all red figure only for the market to recover and move into what would have been a profitable position. This exercise help to show me how to wait, and the length of time I may need to wait, for the natural ebb and flow of the market to move back my way.

All very easy to do this when paper trading of course. The real test was always going to come when real money was involved. I'm afraid I'm failing the test. I started using real money on Thursday and I've lost every day since. Problems with software, as documented previously, hasn't help.

Having said that, thanks to the midweek racing offers from Betfair, the horse racing markets have more or less scratched with a tiny loss this month. So the experiment will continue into March.

Soccer also showed a profit this month, though not a staggering one. Indeed, my actual trading has been riddled with bad luck and bad timing. The number of times I've taken a position on the game and traded out for a loss when my exit point is reached, only for the game to end up as predicted, has been particularly demoralising. To such an extend that I am now staying well away from the overs markets.

I still haven't got to grips with trading the correct score markets yet. In fact, everything about trading soccer seems so much like a gamble. I'm not sure if I'll ever master trading it.

The gambling aspect is why I've taken to having small trixies at the weekends, only with money I won in the morning. It's these trixies that have put the soccer in profit for the month!

So overall, I profitable month for me which having had my 2nd trading anniversary earlier this month, makes it 25 profitable months out of 25. Long may that continue.

The blog isn't two years old yet. That doesn't happen until the end of March. February has seen it under go a number of changes though. Changes that are still a work in progress.

After my broadband issues (which are thankfully resolved now) and the knock on affects that had, I've been working to consolidate everything under the one roof rather than being spread across the blog and a separate website.

There's still lots of work to be done, particularly with giving previous blog posts labels (no idea why I didn't do that from the start) as well as updating links in previous posts that currently point to the Bet Your Life website. Some pages have had to be redesigned as well as new ones added.

Probably the biggest and newest addition has been the forum. To be honest, I've never really had an intention of having a forum but having discovered a way of hosting one directly on a blogger page, I thought I might as well. It will be a useful addition for chat room members in particular to discuss topics on a more permanent basis that don't lend themselves to the somewhat transient nature of the chat room.

I don't have any specific goals for the forum, though I'm looking into using it as a repository for trading strategies that I've collected over the years. Some of these have already been discussed in the blog, but as the number of pages grow, it is getting harder and harder to find these. I'm thinking of making this repository a members only area. I haven't decided yet.

It's only a few days old, so there isn't much posted there as yet, so feel free to sign up and start posting.

That's it for another month. As ever, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I hope you have had a good month too and wish you well for March.

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