March 2010 Summary

It's always nice to reach some sort of milestone or break a new trading record. This month however, is not so welcome. This is the first losing month since I started trading just over two years ago. It was bound to happen sometime I suppose, so it's good to get it out of the way.

The loss has set me back a couple of months, and much of it was due to my own stupidity. In the first few days, I decided to let a dog race trade go without trading out, with almost inevitable consequences. I quickly followed that by not laying off one leg of a Betfair Mania multiple when I should have. Again, the result was inevitable.

The BDI Ladder

I have argued for a long time that the ladder in BinarySoft is the best out there. It is clean, fast and, as far as I am aware, unique.

BinarySoft BDI, as its name suggests, was initially designed for two runner markets such as tennis, under/overs and so on. Its benefit lies in the fact that in such markets, BOTH outcomes are displayed in the ladder at the same time. The software performs a type of cross-matching in that if you place a back bet on one outcome and there's an available price on the other that would give a match, or a better return, it will LAY that other outcome rather than place the back bet.

Looking For Soccer Tips?

If betting on soccer is your bag, you could do worse than signing up with SoccerLotto, who have just had yet another excellent weekend.

"Blackburn’s win on Sunday and that of Rennes pushed our profit for Saturday and Sunday up to 1,361 points with over 1,000 of those coming from the second acca, so I hope you were on. No less than 18 of the 22 picks in our long shortlist brought home the bacon. All recommended singles won and 10/10 picks in the two accumulators brought two full houses there. I usually enjoy the final weeks of the season and this phase has got off to a great start, so stay with us."

Use It Or Lose It

It has been just over a month since I set up the forum. Four weeks on and it seems that, in the main, I am talking to myself.

I appreciate that there is already a host of trading and gambling related forums out there. In that context, the inclusion of a forum on Bet Your Life was always something of an experiment. I was encouraged to set one up as I have been asked in the past if I would do so. It seems that this initial interest has dissipated. It certainly doesn't seem to be there now. That's fair enough. It's what I expected to be honest.

More Trading Software Coming To Linux

I mentioned a few months ago that I had had feedback from other software developers that they intended to release version of their trading software specifically for the Linux platform. I'm very please to see that Mark Welburn, developer of BetPodPro, is true to his word and announced its release in a few weeks.

This is obviously good news for me and other Linux users. It is also of interest due to the way he has gone about it.

Blogger Resources

Just a quick note for all you traders with Blogger based blogs out there...

Tired with the same, boring old themes provided by Blogger? Spruce up your blog by downloading the freely available blogger themes from Blogger Templates. They all come with full instructions on how to install into your blog.

You may have noticed the addition of a forum to the Bet Your Life Sports Trading blog (which I encourage you to visit and join in the discussion) as well as other small changes. There's been others behind the scenes as well which should enhance the blogs presence on search engines etc.

Most of these tips were gleaned from the excellent BloggerStop site. It contains a wealth of information about running, maintaining and optimising a Blogger based blog. Well worth a visit if you are at all serious about your blogging.

Attention Span Deficit

I don't know if that is a recognised medical condition, but it should be as I seem to have it. Looking back over this month's horse race trading, there seems to be a bit of a trend where most of my losses, or at least the bigger ones, happen in the last few races.

Today was no exception, where I halved my overall profit in the last two races. Perhaps the need to concentrate so intently all afternoon starts taking its toll come 5pm-ish. Certainly something I need to be aware of.

Where Has All The Time Gone?

Out the Windows, that's where!

The flavour of Linux I use, Ubuntu, like most desktop distributions of the open source operating system, not only comes with the OS itself, but pretty much all the software the average user is likely to need. On my current hardware it takes approximately one hour to install the OS and all the software, together with all recent updates. It automatically detects all the drivers it requires for graphics, network card, printer etc.

One To Watch

With both Hearts and Hibernian floating around mid-table in the SPL at 6th and 5th respectively it looks on paper that this Saturday's Edinburgh derby at Tyncastle will be a close affair. Certainly the odds would indicate that.

However, Hearts have had, and continue to have, great injury problems and it's just been reported that they are likely to miss at least seven first team players for this match.

Sounds like a pre-match lay is in order.

What A Relief

It's been a pretty miserable week or so, with a prolonged losing streak in the horse win markets. At least as the days have passed, the size of the daily reds were getting smaller, until today when I actually managed to scrape into the black. It was touch and go though.

The magnitude of my carelessness that I've been suffering is amply demonstrated by a graph of my race by race P&L, together with running total. To throw all my profit away and put myself in the red by losing the last three races of the afternoon card is pretty typical of the mistakes I am making.

The Struggle Continues

Having taken a few days off to recharge the batteries and collect my thoughts, I had hoped that the break would see me getting back to winning ways. Unfortunately not.

The horse win markets continues to cause me much trouble with far too many losers. All the more annoying after starting the day reasonably well.

50% Isn't Good Enough

Some time ago I posted details of how to install and run Fairbot in a Linux environment. I'd never actually used it in anger. Due to the poor run I've been on of late I had intended to reduce my stake today, so today I took the opportunity to use Fairbot at the same time.

I cannot say I was any more successful using Fairbot than any other application. I used £50 stakes yet still managed to lose £26.

As for the software, I found it OK. There's some things I did not like about it, but much of that would be lack of familiarity with the application and the differences between it and my normal application, Binarysoft BDI. However, despite its rather out-of-date look and feel it does what it says on the tin. The fact that it can run on Linux, albeit under Wine, makes it a strong candidate for future use.

Confidence Out The Window

After another shocker, I've stopped early before I throw any more good money after the bad.

I've lost over £30 on the nags today thanks to some of the worst trading I have ever done. Time and time again I was entering the market at the tail end of a move. As a result, it was reversing on me within seconds and not coming back. I was frequently forced to take 5+ tick losses as I waited for the market to come back but didn't.

I've no idea what has happened to my trading. Last week, as I documented in earlier posts, I was becoming increasingly comfortable trading the horse win markets. Now, I feel I'm plunging head long into an ever deepening crisis of confidence.

It might not be so bad if I could depend on the, usually, reliable greyhound markets. However, I've been all over the place with them as well in recent times. This is only exasperating the problem where I now find myself nearly £100 down for the month.

My head is swimming at the moment while it searches for some sort of understanding of the horse markets, but continues to drown in the seemingly random nature of it all. As I said in the chat room today, I'm beginning to think I might as well roll dice to decide what horse, and type of trade I should do. It seems to me that it can't be any more useless than I am at the moment.

False Dawn At The Races

Oh what a day! It all started off so well in the old horse racing markets. Kicking off with a £4 winner, which was quickly followed by a very pleasing £20 win, it was all looking fine and dandy. Then I went on a seven race streak that saw me win only one of them.

That run saw me lose £65 from which I never recovered. I picked up a little over the next few races, but when I got caught again in the 4.20 at Newcastle, losing another £17 in the process, I decided to call it a day.

Horse Race Trading Progressing Nicely

At the risk of tempting fate, I'm please to report another good day at the office, at least as far as horse racing is concerned.

I participated in nineteen races today with only four losers. This is the sort of hit rate I need to achieve on a consistent basis to start making decent money. I am delighted with the way things are progressing, though I am well aware that it is early days. I'm just feeling much more comfortable playing these markets than I have ever done in the past.

Based on staking levels of around £100, I netted £43 today, which I think is a pretty good return. Of course, I still made mistakes. I got caught a couple of times and on three separate occasions I came out of the market way too early while there was a big move on. That doesn't worry me as I'll get better at that as my experience and confidence grows.

A Word About The Forum

I've never been totally convinced about running a forum here at Bet Your Life Sports Trading. Too many such animals have sprung up over the past year or so that participation gets spread rather thinly and the same old faces keep turning up. I always thought the fact that I have nothing to 'offer' wouldn't help. I've no software, service or ebooks that may need supporting. This blog is nothing more than my self-indulgent ramblings put here primarily for my own benefit.

The only area I felt one would be a useful addition was primarily for those chat room members that wished to discuss things on a more permanent basis. It is only recently that I discovered that Blogger had introduced a mechanism that would allow the addition of a forum in the first place. My curiosity was triggered so I had to install one just to see how.

Senility Setting In?

I'm getting ever more senile as old age settles in. What else could explain the obvious senior moment I had today?

I took part in one of the Betfair multiples offers today. This one was to stake £30 on a racing multiple and if only one pick loses, get £15 back. This offer was discussed at length in the chat room. Indeed, I even did a voice broadcast to explain my thoughts.

Why then, when it came to the crunch and I placed my multiple, did I chose to ignore my own advice and not lay my pick in the first race?

Having A Nightmare On The Dogs This Morning

I've had to abandon the greyhounds this morning as I'm all over the place. With Hove delayed by 12-15 mins, the schedules are all screwed up and it's upsetting my natural rhythm in these things.

I've only done 7 races and I've lost heavily in three of them - all at Oxford, where there is loads of money but some wild, sudden jumps. So after only an hour, I'm nearly £20 down. That's a lot given the size of my stakes.

What with this morning's performance and last evening's lapse. It has been an expensive 24 hours.

Silly Mistake

Having been at a client's this morning I spent the afternoon clearing out the attic for new loft insulation being installed on Tuesday. Actually, my son spent the time in the attic, as I'm to old, fat, unfit and stiff to be crawling around tight spaces. What else do we have children for, if not to work for us in our old age?

At the risk of sounding like my old man, when I was young, such chores would have been done for nothing. I had to give my son £20. Children are such mercenaries these days.

Anyway, I hadn't managed any trading apart from the last three afternoon horse races so late on this evening I thought I'd trade some dogs, and immediately regretted that decision as I got caught by the suspension having laid the favourite in the 9:07 at Sittingbourne. Needless to say, the beast romped home and I was plunged into the red for the month.

Not the first time I've made such a silly mistake, and will no doubt not be the last. It has been quite a while since I last did it mind you. I simply wasn't paying attention, which is what I get for trading when I was tired.

Never mind, there's plenty more days left in march to get that back.

Incompatible Browser

As far as I am aware, the Internet is meant to be an open system. People should be able to access information on the Internet irrespective of their chosen hardware, operating system and browser.

Tonight, I had reason to visit betmate.co.uk and was immediately presented with this piece of nonsense:


It didn't give me any other option to progress other than going to the Microsoft site to download Internet Explorer!

Any company who deliberately excludes potential customers by forcing them to use a particular piece of software is short sighted in my view. From a personal point of view, any website that tries such a trick with me is immediately blacklisted.

As for insisting a Linux user uses Internet Explorer! Talk about a red rag to a bull!

Betmate will not be getting any business from me any time soon.

A Difficult Day

Much more experienced and better traders than me keep saying that this time of year is difficult. Never more so than today, for me anyway.

I had a pretty average morning in the greyhound market, but looked forward to the horse racing after lunch. After only a few races and two horrendous losses (for my stakes anyway), both at Wolverhampton, I found myself down over £30 on the nags. I simply wasn't getting to grips with the markets at all. I couldn't make any sense of them.

They were jumping all over the place, turning whenever I entered the market (nothing unusual in that I suppose) and just generally hard to read. Not that I didn't have some good trades. I did, but not until I had walked away from my computer, had a cuppa, and watched some TV. Half an hour afternoon TV is enough to bore anyone to tears, so I forced myself back into the hot seat and an attempt at damage limitation.

Tale Of Two Markets

I'm pleased to say that March has kicked off on a winning note. Not only that, I've made a profit on the horses! There's the dreaded kiss of death right there. LOL!

It's funny how I never seem to be able to do well in all the disciplines I try in a day. Yesterday, the dogs were good to me and the horses only scraped into profit. Today it was a mirror image of that.

In fact, the dogs were particularly disappointing. Having made £16 in just over an hour, I then went on a 3 race losing streak that wiped all of it out and some more. I just seemed to completely lose focus. Even stopping for an early lunch didn't sort my concentration out. I didn't get the dogs back into profit until the last few races of the afternoon session, once I'd finished with the horses.