Sunday, 26 December 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy (& Prosperous) New Year!

Season's greetings to everyone!

It's been  a while since I updated, and I'd like to bring the blog to a close, in terms of its original direction in any case.

Combining a full time, long hours job and trading / blogging hasn't been particularly successful, but I'd like to continue but in a slightly different vein. I'm going to attempt something broadly similar to the compounding experiment, but with the emphasis more on being able to draw a useful second income from trading as well as trying to achieve a modest bank growth as well.

The precise nature of what I'm going to try will be detailed in the 'What is going on here?' panel to the left of the main posting area. I will upload that later today.

My New Year Resolutions with regard to trading are 1) to keep disciplined and detailed records and 2) to set achievable goals to remain focused and 3) to update the blog at least every three days.

Let's hope they last longer than my annual Resolution to stop smoking!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Snowbound and thinking about low liability laying....

Can't get the car out of my road today... so having an enforced day off. Putting Mrs Gun's list of jobs to one side, I looked at the In-Play soccer coupon for today. First off, a seemingly one-sided affair between Thailand and Laos. Now, there would be room to spare on the back of a postage stamp if I wrote down everything I know about Asian football! Thailand were at 1.06! Any Unquoted on Correct Score was at 1.65 pre-match. A glance at the form stats suggested there was little value in getting involved so I left it alone.

You can probably imagine my surprise when I checked flashscores later to see it was 0-0 at half time! Interest re-aroused I flicked Evo open and had a look. I was sorely tempted to back AU as it was at 5.5 but decided to concentrate on the various goals markets. U2.5 was too high to lay so I put a couple of £2 liability lays in both the U3.5 and U4.5 markets. The result? 2-2!! With Laos taking the lead twice and a 90th minute for Robbo's boys securing the draw this was a low liability layer's paradise!

The screenshot below shows the graph for Thailand in the Match Odds market - and leaves me thinking that despite a good profit from my lays that I really should have invested £6 in laying Thailand for £100 when I first spotted it!

Stuck in the snow - but had a nice touch anyway!

My journey home from work is six miles, door to door. I left work at 6pm last evening, and walked indoors at 11.15 pm! The QEII bridge over the M25 was, to put it mildly, more exciting than I'd have liked! The upslope was littered with stuck lorries, so cars, vans and other lorries were having to weave in and out all the time. Those lorries that made it over the crest were obviously  struggling for grip on the downslope - I watched one French lorry literally slide for about 50 feet with all twenty odd wheels locked solid!

Having phoned a lot of people I hadn't spoken to for a while the time reached 7.45 so it was time to tune into 5 Live for the West Ham match. I had speculatively placed a back bet on AU at 6.25 the previous evening, expecting to make a few ticks prior to kick off - unfortunately only for £10! You can imagine my delight, and surprise, as West Ham duly knocked Man U out of the cup with a resounding 4-0 home victory! Well done The Irons!

I couldn't help wondering how I would have traded that score had I been home in time (I haven't got a fancy mobile to trade with - a mobile phone is for arranging a time to meet in the pub or on the golf course in my opinion!). Would I have let it run at 2-0 - I very much doubt it... every sensible nerve junction in my brain would have been screaming 'United will pull it back....' and I would have traded out of the position.

So a big thank you to the snow and to Britain's total lack of ability to deal with it!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

"Reason Why Boy Don't Like Marry Pretty Woman".

I received a comment from 'Mr Lonely' inviting me to read his blog - and, as always, I checked it out! There is a translation of a Chinese saying - referred to above. I won't reprint it but here are the reasons....


  • The management fee is too high.
  • High maintenance costs
  • "Usage" value is not high.
  • "Durability" is not strong
  • The economic costs of problem
By the time I'd finished reading it I was aching with laughter! Any married man will, I'm sure, see some parallels! (No offence intended to any lady readers! :-)). Go and check it out for yourself: www.lonelyreload.blogspot.com - I'll let our  young Malaysian friend do his own talking!

Mindest....funny old thing (subtitled 'How I won over a grand in one night!')

Sometimes you are just 'in the zone'.... every trade goes in your favour, your judgement is clear and unblinkered - you take the red when you must and maximise the green.

Monday of this week was a case in point - a 2-2 draw between Sunderland and Everton and a couple of other games to play around with. In fact I can't even remember the other games or what I did, but somehow, and the bulk of it was from the prem game, I won over a thousand pounds in about 2 1/2 hours.

The nice thing is that I was totally decisive - in both getting into a trade and in terms of exiting if it didn't look like working. At one point I laid u3.5 goals for a £1000 at 1.2 - a £200 liability, to exit for a three figure green shortly afterwards when a goal was scored. I entered and exited the same market on another two occasions to pull nearly £350 from it in total. The real clean-up was a Scatter Gun on the same game - and I backed 2-2 at 30 during the first half so that came in massively. There were smaller winners on the European games I got involved with as well.

I've been trying to work out why it was so different. I sat in front of the same lappy, with the same screens open that I normally have. I was logged into chat and took advantage of a couple of trades the other guys spotted. I hadn't been to the gym beforehand so there was no adrenalin coursing through the ageing veins, nor was I pissed before anyone asks.

There is, therefore, only one rational explanation.... it was because I traded the entire night with Evo's Training mode turned on. I wasn't using real, hard earned, cash! The frustrating thing, of course, is that the methodology and the thought processes are identical but because the result doesn't matter as much you act quickly, decisively and without those crucial seconds of hanging in the trade 'just in case'.... know that feeling?

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Some thoughts on attitude and mindset...

The sales profession is jam packed full of age old cliches and truisms, some of which are more relevant to life than others. Two, however, stick in my mind to the extent that I think they are valuable in everyday life and your approach to potentially risky environments such as trading football matches!

"It's your ATTITUDE rather than your APTITUDE that determines your ALTITUDE"
And....

"Proper Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance" 
To translate both those sayings into a trading situation you could re-write number 1 as "Don't panic, Capt Manwaring!" and the second one to "Make sure you have an exit strategy if it goes tits up!"

I have, in the past, been extremely guilty of panicking and of not having an exit strategy! Trading when everything is going well is so easy. The men are sorted from the boys by their actions when a plan goes awry. Look no further than my rabbit in the headlights session a few posts ago for a prime example of this! What a whining useless 'boy' I was that night - even though it turned out well enough in the end!

We had an interesting discussion in the chat room the other night about scalping and peoples' attitude to risk. Personally I am far too tight to pay Mr Murdoch for a load of drossy TV and until and unless he lets me have a pure sports subscription it will stay that way. Most of my trading is, therefore, done either totally blind or by listening to a radio commentary or watching a poor quality stream which is usually at least a minute behind the action!

Most people in chat prefer to scalp games they are watching on Sky or terrestrial tv. The idea is that you enter a trade when the ball is 'safe' - out of play, in the goalie's arms or when someone is receiving medical attention. The exit is either a straight lay a couple of ticks lower, or you exit when there is a 'danger' moment. This all sounds an excellent plan and I know lots of people do this kind of scalping extremely successfully. However, ask yourself this question... Can a ball go from the 'keeper's arms into one of the two goals inside 16 seconds? The answer is yes - and the sixteen seconds is important because that is the in-play delay on submitting two bets.. and that's a best possible time because getting a bet placed AND getting it matched are ,as we know, two different things!

To my mind scalping is inherently dangerous - particularly if you are in a binary market - i.e. two outcomes, such as correct score or u2.5 with two goals already scored - you stand a real chance of getting caught for your full stakes..But, scalping can be greatly profitable - on its own or in reducing other reds, a tactic a lot of people use on the CS market. So my approach to scalping is twofold - in a binary market I go with small stakes, and look to green a back with a hedged lay 1 or at the most 2 ticks lower than the back. Evo is great for doing this - the lay is submitted as the back gets matched automatically - the trader need do nothing. In a non-binary market (e.g. U3.5 at less than 3 goals) I'll use higher stakes and look to lay in stages, building a green figure on the most likely outcome..

The mindset of a trader is a very interesting thing....in my opinion you need to be resolute in your choice of trade, and ruthless in your execution - if it looks like it's going wrong take decisive action and don't, whatever you do, look back! Another apt little truism is this one.... 'An opportunity going away from you always looks a lot bigger than one coming towards you..'

Finally, for those of you who are mathematically aware there are some fascinating discussions on the Racing Traders forum, mainly courtesy of a chap who goes by the monicker of 'Uncle Scrooge'. He talks of the difference between probability and frequency - an important concept to grasp when looking at entry and exit points. He also has plenty to say about poisson distribution and its relationship to probability and to ideas about money management. To be frank, a lot of it goes right over my head, but, US, if you're reading this (I've no idea who he is, btw!) it's massively interesting and thought provoking....

Friday, 19 November 2010

Trading with green.....

I had a lovely trade tonight - a classic example of a free trade - the kind I like!

I wrote the other night about Dartford FC and how they were in-play. My prediction that they'd get spanked proved sadly too true! Tonight, with a very poor card (of the one game!), saw my other local team, Ebbsfleet United in a second round FA Cup replay at home to AFC Wimbledon. Formerly known as Gravesend and Northfleet, and now named for the recently opened high speed continental and domestic railway station, Fleet started as confirmed underdogs.

Almost unbelievably, after a drab 0-0 in South London, Fleet were 2-1 up by about 25 minutes. I scalped the 2-1 scoreline down from 9.2 to just over 5 by about 55 minutes. I stopped, basically because I was convinced a fourth goal was highly likely. However, time went by and it began to look as though Fleet might hold on for a famous victory. Having made just over £15 from scalping the 2-1 I decided to reinvest two thirds of that in a lay of Ebbsfleet - for a £5 liability at 1.49 and for another fiver at 1.29. With the score at 2-1 in the dying seconds I laid 2-1 at 1.18 for £20 leaving a green of £3 if it stayed 2-1 and about £60 if not.

It was with more than a twinge of regret for Ebbsfleet as the local underdogs that I watched the Suspension come up - but 2-2 it finished, for Wimbledon to go on to nick a winner in the dying seconds of extra time, but for my bank it was fantastic news.

I'll quite often use green made from one market in a match to fund a more speculative trade in another, and it's a fantastic feeling when it all comes together as this one did - I heartily recommend it!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Many moons ago, when I were a lad...

I used to watch my home town team, Dartford, play at the Watling Street ground. A typically proud small town team with a strong non-league tradition, able to attract some of the big stars of the game once their higher league careers were over. I remember watching Ian Hutchinson, a 1970's pre-cursor of Rory Delap hurl a ball deep into the opponents' penalty area from the touchline, even the great Derek Hales (for those of you who don't know - a prodigious goalscorer for Charlton in the '70's) is a former Dart.

One dank and cold winter's afternoon a friend and I watched Dartford entertain Plymouth Argyle in the 2nd Round of the FA Cup at Watling Street. My memory is hazy, but I know we lost 2-3 very late in the game, and Argyle went on to draw Manchester United at home in the 3rd round! What a game that would have been at little old Watling Street!

I won't bore you the trials and tribulations of my home club over the years - it's on the net if you really want to know..

Yet, guess what?? For the first time since I've been trading football little old Dartford FC have a game going in play this evening! Having drawn with Port Vale at home ten days ago in the First Round of the FA Cup, they're making the trek up to the potteries for the replay. Several of my friends are on a supporters' coach, doubtless supping a few beers, as I write!

I'm not suggesting anyone seriously wanting to trade a match tonight should get involved with this one - my suspicion is that they will get spanked! Yet, for old times' sake, I'm going to have a little dabble - I actually fancy them to take a shock lead and 0-1 at 40 has got to be worth a £2 punt!

Wish me luck....

Friday, 12 November 2010

Any Unquoted - Correct Score 2

The Correct Score 2 (cs2) market is offered by Betfair where a rain of goals is expected. The scores start at 4-0 (or 0-4)  and usually go out to 7-2 (or 2-7) and the market offers an AU scoreline for scores outside the range quoted above. If you stop to think about that statement for a second you'll realise that, in the context of CS2, 3-0 is an AU score, as is 0-0 and indeed 25-0! So how can it be used?

The first thing to point out is that cs2 is generally a very low liquidity market, and AU is the least liquid of the scorelines available on it - until a higher AU score becomes a possibility, that is! Then it magically springs into life.

AU generally starts off odds on, I have seen it as high as 1.9, but more usually it's in the 1.4's. The reason of course is that 0-0 through 3-3 is an AU result, so the scoreline steams until at least a couple of goals to the favourite are scored. My favourite entry point is about 1.2 at which point I usually lay £100 for a liability of £20.

As a stand alone trade this is fine on its own as long at the score at some point with some time to go reaches 0-3 or 3-0 to the favourite. Then it steams right out - as the next score is 4-0 or 0-4. A 3-0 / 0-4 result is paydirt as the lay wins!

I tend to use AU on cs2 as cover against some of the more interesting combinations on the normal CS market. It can be the most effective way of taking AU out of the CS market - leaving you free to concentrate on the lower scores without having to worry about 4-0 or 4-1 etc. You could use the O/U 4.5 goals in the same way, but my preference is AU cs2 as the odds are generally a bit lower.

There is a cs2 market offered, for some reason, in the Man City v Birmingham match tomorrow - have a look if you get a chance and see how the odds move, and how liquidity changes as goals (if any - game looks a 1-0 2-0 to me!) go in. More likely to be worth watching is the market for the Chelsea v Sunderland match on Sunday.

Good luck over the weekend -no trading for me until late Sunday afternoon due to work and social commitments.

If you haven't got Evo yet, get it soon!

No trading last night for me due to strong gales in the south east of England. No, they didn't cause an internet down as far as I'm aware but they did shut the Dartford Bridge. My six mile journey home from work, which usually only takes 25 minutes on a reasonably busy night, took me four hours if you include the hour my colleagues and I spent in TGi's having a beer and a plate of nachos waiting for the traffic to subside!

Day off today, and on firing up the old lappy this morning one of the emails I received was from Racing Traders announcing the launch on 17th November of a new version of Bettrader Evolution.  The most interesting innovation is the inclusion of a training mode. That's right, you can try various different trading strategies and techniques with make believe money! Any winnings, or losses, are also make believe of course, but what a fantastic way to hone your skills! It's not clear from the release notes whether this will be available on the free version - and I have posted a question on RT's forum asking them to clarify this. If it is - and you haven't yet downloaded Evo - you really should do so now. There's a link here.

UPDATE


I've received a reply to my post on RT's forum. Unfortunately you will require a subscription to use the training mode, but from its launch on 17th November 2010 that mode, together with the full speed 'Turbo' mode will available to try, free of charge, for 7 days.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Do you know what....

....it took me over half an hour last night to write that detailed analysis of a no-lose trade on the Mancunian derby. I wrote the following prose in anticipation of a cracking game....

"The point behind the two higher scores is twofold ... it buys 'leverage' should the game go crazy and also it means that if it's 1-1 at say 70 minutes I can consider laying the draw knowing I've got 1-1, 1-2, 2-1 AND 2-2 covered....and if 3-3 comes in I'll have hit the jackpot!"

Yeah! Right! Good move, Dave! In your dreams old son! I actually ended up losing a fiver as I had all but 80p of my total stake covered with a simple £2 back of 0-0, but obviously had to cover the possibility of a 'little pea' winner in Fergie time. They couldn't even manage that! Robbie Savage very nearly fell asleep in the 5 Live commentary box, by all accounts!

Fortunately there were some proper games tonight. The West Ham v WBA game finished 2-2 via 1-1 and 2-1 so a nice winner there from £9 stakes.

Opportunity of the night, and thanks to the boys in chat for giving the heads up, was presented by Hibs going 0-2 up against Rangers. After the SECOND goal Hibs were, unbelievably, backable at 2.86! Lump on! It tumbled very quickly and was under evens by half time. If ever there was an example of a team being artificially high this is it. Even with ten minutes or so left Hibs were STILL available at 1.3 to back - closest thing to free money I've seen for ages! Ironically they eventually dropped to 1.01 .... but only after they'd got a third goal!

Finally we come to Everton v Bolton. This game always had the potential to be 0-0 and so it proved until the 80th minute when Bolton took a lead against the run of play. Fellaini was then sent off, and it looked as if the toffees were toast! The fourth official somehow found 4 minutes of injury time, and I laid 0-1 at 1.03 - just for a tenner - with a massive 30p liability. With almost literally the last kick of the game Beckford equalised and I won. Apparently quite a lot of money backed Bolton at 1.01 - only to get turned over! Why, oh why do they do it? Fortunately they do - if they didn't I wouldn't be able to get these low liability lays!

Until later, over and out!

Two successful Scatter Guns tonight..

What an excellent trading card tonight - couple of Prem matches and a full complement of Championship as well! With plenty of goals all over the place there were many opportunities to earn good money.

I liked the look of Stoke v Birmingham and Aberdeen v Thistle - and both came in. Aberdeen was a classic - 0-1 then 1-1 and finally 1-2. The Stoke game was a slow to boil affair - Stoke taking a first half lead before the floodgates opened in the second half. Fortunately for me I'd covered 2-2 pre-match and the game passed through both 2-1 and 2-2 on its way to an eventual 3-2 victory for the Potters.

There were masses of goals in the Championship. Yours truly waded into the market with some low liability U3.5 games, but,as usual, picked the wrong ones, which somewhat diluted the good work done by the two matches outlined above. But, a £50 profit give or take so a worthwhile evening!

A mouthwatering prospect tomorrow evening....

Speaking of worthwhile evenings, tomorrow's card leaves the trader spoilt for choice! Great matches in prospect in England and on the continent.

The most interesting game from a footballing perspective has got to be the Manchester derby. City are marginal favourites, and Fergie would appear to have selection problems, although someone did once say that he's a wily old fox and this might be an exaggeration! City with home advantage, possibly tingling with anticipation at the thought of getting one over on their rivals, United with the grit and determination that saw a very late, Fergie Time winner against Wolves on Saturday....

Arguably the best thing to do with this game is to leave it alone! It literally could be a tight, tense 0-0 or it could be a goal fest! Before you move on to Chievo v Bari, do have a look at the Correct Score odds. The  1-1 is currently at 7.2, 1-2 at 13 and 2-1 at 11.5. Under 2.5 is sitting, at the time of writing, at 1.84. The game has got Scatter Gun written all over it, and in my opinion the key factor in deciding the outcome of that trade is all dependent on the timing of the first goal. As long as the first goal does not come too early I reckon anyone trading the Scatter Gun could green up to a small profit at 1-0 or 0-1 - the market will almost certainly favour an equaliser no matter who scores, seeing the 1-1 odds steam in. The 1-2 or 2-1 (depending on who scores the first goal) will also steam considerably whilst the other score will drift a bit or steam a bit depending on the market's consensus about the game - but I don't think it will move much.

Dangers? There are three obvious dangers as far as I can see.

Firstly it could end 0-0! Whilst I think this unlikely the possibility needs to be considered. But with a game like this getting a free bet on 0-0 is almost impossible as there is going to be so much money being bet on a game of this magnitude. I'm going to try to get £100 backed and laid a tick lower to give me some cover, but the 0-0 could just as easily drift out a bit over the coming hours as come in a tick or two.

Secondly we could get an early first goal - anything in the first twenty minutes could play havoc with the trade, but I think if goal number one is 21 minutes on we should be ok.

Thirdly, and this does worry me a bit, we get some idiot with a rush of blood to the head and an early red card. A red can, and usually does, play havoc with the markets - great for scalping but not so good for a nice relaxed and balanced trade like the SG!

The only other danger, and one that falls into the 'shit happens' category, is that two goals are scored within such a short space of time that the market doesn't reform in order for you to take any necessary action. If that happens I'm afraid you've just got to forget about it, put it down to experience, and move on!

My plan for this game is a slightly modified SG. As well as the standard three scores, I'll add 2-2 and 3-3 to the mix! £2 on each of those scores, and £14 spread on the traditional 3 leaves a total stake of £18 - and if I can get my £100 0-0 back and lay matched I'll have enough on 0-0 to mean it doesn't play on my mind during the game! The point behind the two higher scores is twofold ... it buys 'leverage' should the game go crazy and also it means that if it's 1-1 at say 70 minutes I can consider laying the draw knowing I've got 1-1, 1-2, 2-1 AND 2-2 covered....and if 3-3 comes in I'll have hit the jackpot!

Whatever you decide to do with this or any other game - good trading and 'stay green' !

Monday, 8 November 2010

I took a (bit of a) merciless ribbing last night....

Below is a snippet from an email sent out to members of Trading Football by Bingo, co-chief trader, earlier today:

Hello troops

A disappointing trading Sunday which was enlivened later in the evening as first Gundulf
led us through his Scatter Gun strategy on the PSG v Marseille game. Altrhough we
appeared to be in trouble as PSG took a quick 2-0 lead, the banter in the chat room
was pure English comedy. Our thick skinned humorous car salesman asked us to keep
the faith and we duly rewarded with a small profit. Community spirit once again in very
strong evidence - a vital aide to the often lonley nature of trading.



Well, it was, as Bingo says, pure English comedy - the problem was I was the fall guy! If anyone can tell me when a French Ligue 1 game last had three goals inside 25 minutes I'd be grateful! This match had 1-1 or possibly 2-1 written all over it  and so I was invited to lead the chaps (don't think there were any chappesses) through the trade. Massive amounts were staked (all of £18 - £10 on 1-1 and 4 each on 1-2 and 2-1).


Trouble was the French footballers showed no inclination whatsoever to stick to their scripts! It was 2-1 by 23 minutes and the trade went tits up....I'll admit to not being 100% comfortable in telling people how to trade a live game - I'm decisive when trading my own money but the idea of potentially making a bad situation worse with other people's money doesn't sit well with me. Basically I froze up a bit - should have been decisive and told everyone to draw the 1-1 stake out at 1-0 but didn't...By 2-0 that advice was obviously redundant - at that point I basically capitulated and told people to red as best they could on 2-1. Before any bets had been matched, I believe, the score was 2-1! The irony, of course, is that the bloody game finished 2-1 - all that frantic 23 minutes blew itself out and very few subsequent chances arose for the remaining 67!


Gentle reader - I was set upon! Like a pack of Cape Hunting Dogs the boys in chat circled their victim, slavering at the jowls and scenting blood! Horrendous pun laden taunts pinged across cyber space one after another. Egging each other on the taunts became so intense that for a few seconds I considered faking a terminal internet connection failure! In desperation I made an impassioned plea for mercy - I remember squeaking at one point 'It's OK - boys - it's gonna end 2-1 - trust me, I'm a car salesman!'. That just caused them to re-double their efforts - 'rabbit in the headlights' , 'we're gunner (get it?) send the boys round!', 'My spreadsheet can't take this £11.21 loss!' - pathetic it was, pitiful to observe...


Of course, as the game went on and the shot count fell away to next to nothing, it became increasingly obvious that my read of the game was 100% accurate. The fury of the mob subsided and I began to get the impression that a certain respect was descending on them - albeit reluctantly. 'Gun's the Messiah' became the call (cue a host of Python-esque postings) - and 'All hail the mighty hero'...


Two things came out of this experience as far I'm concerned. 


Firstly - when something doesn't go according to plan DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT - don't sit there like the 'rabbit in the headlights'. Your first priority is to protect your bank! Remember that and you'll not go far wrong.


Secondly, Bingo is right! Trading can be a lonely existence. The heavy handed wit I was subjected to was actually brilliant fun and I don't think anyone meant me too much any harm. Bingo, Razor, JB, Mon, Dev, Jambo and anyone else I've forgotten (those mentioned were the most cutting :-)) I make this solemn vow to you. I'm NEVER gonna lead a trade in chat again! I promise! I'll leave it to the pro's and resume my status of amateur observer and comedic commentator.


Anyone reading who fancies the atmosphere of the chatroom - believe me you'll pick up plenty of tips and picks - and, as long as you've a thickish skin you'll enjoy the banter. You will also, along the way, make a bit of money (as long as you steer clear of my trades!).

The mighty Any Unquoted - in all its glory!

All of the in-play football markets that I can think of, without exception, respond to two things: goals and time decay. There are also marked interactions between various markets - especially between the Correct Score market and the goals markets - in many ways the Correct Score market drives the odds in most of the other markets - after all it reflects more accurately than the others the trend of the match. Differing liquidity in some of these markets mean it is sometimes possible to get a sort of arbitrage or no-lose bet by backing in one market and laying in another. As traders, rather than gamblers, our aim is to exploit price movements in markets rather than to 'pick a winner'.

In my opinion one of the most interesting scorelines in the Correct Score market is the Any Unquoted (AU)- ie any result where one or both teams score 4 or more goals. In certain matches there is a Correct Score 2 market, with an Any Unquoted scoreline. This is  a completely different animal, and the subject for another day.

The AU can be used and traded in many different ways, and this little discourse will only cover some of its uses - I'd be glad to receive comments on other areas and thoughts regarding this scoreline.

Firstly, let's look at two obvious, but simple, possibilities from the start of the match

BACK FROM START

One thing I've noticed is that in some leagues, Spain for example, there are quite a lot of early goals. A goal in the first twenty minutes or so will see AU half in price - so back at 12 say, lay at 6 after an early goal. Two early goals and it will nearly half again! This is a bit of a punt, but you can red up quite cheaply if no goals are scored.

LAY FROM START

AU is one scoreline that drifts quite quickly if no goals are scored. If you have a sufficiently large bank, one tactic I sometimes use is to dutch scores from 0-0 to 1-2 2-1 for say £20 and at the same time lay AU for £20 - effectively giving a free bet on those other scorelines. Depending on how the game goes you might not choose to green the AU - but I'd be looking to get about 1/2 my stakes on the other scores covered if possible.

The better possibilities offered by this scoreline, in my opinion, come just after a goal has  been scored, especially if there is an early goal or two...

BACK AT HALF TIME

Fantastic odds can be available on AU at half time if there are no, or 1 goal, but you need to look at the U/O 3.5 and 4.5 goals markets to establish which is more likely to provide the movement you seek in the event of a goal. However, backing AU at half time can form a valuable part of a broader Correct Score strategy - you can buy considerable 'leverage' at low cost this way.

LAY AFTER A GOAL

The AU price drops like a stone after a goal is scored... the market tends to over react. I'm talking about 1-0 or 2-0 - 3-0/3-1 etc needs a bit more consideration...Allow the market to settle for a couple of minutes and lay AU for a liability that is comfortable for you - don't overstretch yourself or you'll pressure yourself into acting too early out of fear. How long you stay in is a matter of judgement and nerve! Time remaining, whether or not you are watching the game, and pre-match likely result analysis will all play a part in helping you decide. One thing I would say is that a lot of games go off at a hectic pace with an early flurry of goals and then settle into a  relatively predictable slower pace - and the AU will slowly start to drift outwards, picking up speed as time decays.

LAY AT 3 GOALS

At a casual glance this might seem like financial suicide! But, stop for a second or two and consider the situation. One team has scored three goals, or it might even be 3-3! In the first instance my belief is that there is a degree of a 'job done' mentality that pervades the game. One team is reasonably confident it has won, the other reasonably confident that it has lost. Sometimes a spirited fightback begins, and the losing side nick a goal or maybe two back - suddenly our three goal heroes have the choice of defending their now diminishing lead, or trying to extend it. This is not a trade I would stay in for long - depending on timing of the third goal - but liability is usually low.

At 3-3 obviously laying AU is the same as backing No Next Goal - so you might want to check the odds there first! Again you'll need to ask yourself if the 'job done' is the prevalent attitude, or whether one team or the other is going hell for leather to win the game - and don't stay in for too long - set a target price and get out!

USE AU AS INSURANCE

A while ago lots of people were backing Under 2.5 goals and covering the bet in the Goal Time Market - i.e. looking to make enough from the falling U2.5 odds to cover the bet on, usually, a goal in the first ten minutes. I preferred, and still do this from time to time, to back AU as insurance. Let's say U2.5 is at 2 and AU at 10 at kick off - you back £100 on U2.5 and £11 on AU - i.e a cover for your £100 unders bet. At 20 minutes you can probably green the U2.5 at about 1.6, but AU might only be at 20 - green on Unders £25, red on AU £5.... If a goal goes in at say 11 minutes you could probably red Unders for a loss of £32 or so and green your AU bet for about £22 - giving a guaranteed loss of £7. Alternatively, letting the bet run the AU price will rise as the U2.5 price falls again - the main danger here being that an equaliser is scored rather than a second goal for the leading team.

Assuming you take the green on U2.5 at 20 minutes my inclination would be to let the AU bet run for a while...after all you'd be in a no lose situation - and a couple of goals before about 60 minutes would at worst enable you to lay AU at  a price similar to its starting point...

CONCLUSION

Hopefully this will give those of you newish to trading soccer a taster for the delights of trading the Any Unquoted. More seasoned campaigners will, I'm sure, have their own views on this. It would be interesting to hear them!

My firm opinion is that this scoreline has a multitude of potential uses, and it is useful in so many ways because of the initial over-reaction to a goal that occurs - if you decide to dip your toes into AU trading tread carefully and you should be OK!!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Normally the words United and Manchester don't sit well with me...

.... but not tonight! Returning home late from work I noticed the FA Cup game between Rochdale and FC United of Manchester was 0-0 with approaching half an hour gone. Confidently expecting Rochdale to walk this one I laid 0-0 in the HT score market at evens. The lay paid, but, to my surprise, it was United who scored first and went into the break with an unexpected lead. Shortly into the second half they got a second! At this point, in my opinion, they were prime lay material - so I laid them for £50. Within a couple of minutes Rochdale got a goal back to make it 1-2. I could have greened then for £20 but my instincts were telling me to hold fire...I also toyed with laying 1-2 but at 5.4 thought it a bit too high.

The minutes ticked by, and slowly my £20 green was evaporating before my eyes - after discussion with some of the guys in chat who had pictures of the match I decided to let the trade run until it was a scratch, and at the same time I laid 1-2 at just over evens. Sure enough the equaliser came - so it was decision time - with about 12 minutes left to play. I laid 2-2 and laid the draw with some of the green I'd already got - at this stage I was +22 if a draw or + 114 if not a draw, with £6 on 2-2 and £42 on anything else. Almost unbelievably, with what must have been nearly the last kick of the game, United won it! Over £160 before commission, and the nice thing is that at any one time the most I had exposed was about £40!

I also had a nice £50 lay of 0-0 in a Polish game - which was also won with the last kick of the game, and a small profit from the Metz v Le Mans game in France.

The screenshot below is of my profit and loss account from Betfair for this period...


Until the weekend....

A mixed night in the Europa League

For all the millions of pounds spent on players I remain far from convinced by the credentials of Manchester City. Today, having travelled to Poland they took on Lech Poznan. Some clubs, by the nature of their actual prowess, command low prices. Others, by the nature of their perceived prowess are too highly priced by the markets. Manchester City are an example of the latter and when I saw them priced at 1.82 at kick off I couldn't resist a £20 lay. They came out of the blocks at double time, and in short order my trade was looking dodgy with nasty red figures dancing alongside their column on my Evo screen. I steeled myself for an uncomfortable start to the evening but I needn't have worried as Lech took an early lead. I greened up immediately, and then, after City equalised sat tight waiting for the draw odds to drop away before submitting a lay using half the profit I'd greened earlier as the liability. Lech took the lead, and I greened up, with typically bad timing, a second before they put the game to bed by going 3-1 up!

A Scatter Gun on the Ghent game, and a speculative low liability lay of 0-0 in the Villareal games ensured a profitable start to the evening's trading.

For round two of the day's Europa ties I ran five simultaneous Scatter Guns, one of which involved Liverpool (incidentally another team you can often lay at far too low a price due to their reputation!). I should have known that a game involving Paris St Germain had 0-0 written all over it, but I failed to secure cover on that score and paid the price! Similarly the matches between Getafe and Stuttgart and Hadjuk Split and Zenit both went to 3-0. I was able to reduce liabilities in both games as the goals went in and actually made a small profit on the Split game by laying Any Unquoted for a while after it went 0-3. The Liverpool game was a classic SG - the underdog scoring first and the favourites coming from behind to secure a victory. I'd increased my exposure slightly during the second half by backing 0-2 and 2-2 - ignoring the 3-1 scoreline! Anyway I was just able to green up on 2-1 before Gerrard knocked the third goal in. The match between AEK and Anderlecht ended 1-1 so I got a small profit - despite being one of the three key scores backed in this strategy, if 1-1 is the result the profit is usually modest because, if you've any sense, you'd have laid some of it to cover stakes and to load the 1-2 and 2-1 scores. Nevertheless a profit! The downside of the 8 o'clock kick offs was me laying U3.5 goals for £100 in the Sampdoria game which ended goalless - so a £6 loss there!

I actually lost money in the evening session, so ended the day a respectable £15 ahead of where I'd started.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Thank you everyone for sticking with me!

It's been a while since my last post - I've been on holiday, returned really chilled out and full of good intentions! Holidays are a time for relaxation and reflection, for re-charging the batteries and re-focusing the mind. I came back fully intending to give up smoking, start a proper exercise regime and keep my blog bang up to date. You can probably deduce how successful the other two 'resolutions' were by the fact that this is my first blog post since before I went away - and I've been back for 9 days!

Quite a few people have asked me whether I had quit the blog and I must admit to being quite surprised by how many people were asking me to carry on, saying they enjoyed reading it! My attack of 'couldn't-be-bothered-itis' suddenly made me feel a bit...guilty! So, a big thanks to all who've stuck with the old blog - hopefully I'll keep it more up to date now I've recovered from writer's cramp!

The picture below shows where I am to date - helped massively by last night's trades - detailed below:



On the back of my most profitable single trading session (bar the fortuitous Man U lay a few weeks ago)  last night when I made £248 I was cajoled and bullied into posting again! So, Razor, Lamb, Dak and co - you know who you are - I've brought the blog up to date!

Last night was sensational in all respects - I couldn't have planned it any better! My old favourite the 1-1, 1-2 and 2-1 has now been dubbed the 'Scatter Gun' and was employed to devastating effect in the AC v Real tie - a perfect game for that strategy - enhanced significantly by a back of 2-2 at 18.5 pre-match! How valuable was that last minute goal for the Special One? Quite a lot, I suspect, but for me it turned a £25 green across all scores into a £80 odd green! The stakes? The princely sum of £15!

I had looked at laying Arsenal, but to my mind laying a quality side like them at 3.4 pre-match, even with a weakened team, seemed a tad.... dangerous! I was, however, more than happy to lay them after Walcott scored that great breakaway goal! Green by half time, although I did re-invest some of that by laying Shaktar at 1.17 in the dying minutes as Arsenal sought the elusive equaliser, thus diminishing my profit a bit.

A similar story in France, Auxerre going 1-0 up at home to Ajax. Razor (trading football chat stalwart) suggested the game was all Ajax so I laid Auxerre and was able to green up when the Dutch team equalised. I was being greedy, waiting for the draw odds to slip below 1.4 when Auxerre re-took the lead, so the sensible lay of the draw eluded me in that game but still a healthy profit!

Then we come to Chelsea - my team! I've a Blue since the 1970 FA Cup final - which I watched with my late uncle - a lifelong Blue - the heady times of Peter Bonnetti, Ron 'Chopper' Harris and Peter Osgood - those were the days! Any way, after a dire goalless first half, during which Spartak threatened more than Chelsea I laid 0-0 at 7.2 for £10 and put 2 quid on Any Unquoted at 8.9. I also laid Any Unquoted on the Correct Score 2 market at 1.07 for £100 - a liability of £7! I don't know what Mr Ancelotti said, or in which language he said it, but after the half-time team talk Chelsea ran out 4-1 winners ... paydirt!

I'll do a little write-up with my thoughts on the trading possibilities offered by Any Unquoted if people are interested? It's a score I dabble with quite frequently in lots of different ways and is an interesting phenomenon.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Holiday

The family and I are off to sunny Devon for a week's relaxation and enjoyment of the English countryside. I am leaving the lappy at home.

No trading.

No blogging.

But hopefully refreshed when I come back and will pick the mantle up again..


Thursday, 14 October 2010

Sometimes looks can be deceiving...

The Goias v Penarol game resulted in a small profit of £8 after commission, which from a £100 total stake is not that brilliant!

Watching the match on Betfair TV it was extremely quick paced and Goias were all over their opponents in the opening exchanges. In fact to me, as an 'innocent' observer, that is I know next to nothing about either team, it could easily have been an embarrassing whitewash. The ball was in the net after fifteen or so minutes but was adjudged to have been offside, but such was the dominance of the home team that I was wondering how to play it.

My instinct was to take the by then reasonable green on 0-0. This is always a risky thing to do... it would have left me over £80 exposed had it remained 0-0, with the only possible escape route being to take the green on 0-1 and 1-0 at about 70 minutes - but still a considerable loss if I'd taken that option. As I was dithering the matter was settled for me when Goias scored to make it 1-0.

At that point I only had £50 of my stake covered on the U3.5 market, and I was so convinced there was going to be a goal rush that I felt I had little option but to cover the other fifty in its entirety as soon as the u3.5 market settled. I therefore ended up laying at 1.58.

I didn't have to do anything else - despite all the early warnings the game ended 1-0! Absolutely bloody typical!

HOW YOU CAN SOMETIMES GET CHEAP INSURANCE!

Normally if I do this kind of Correct Score trade I would have done something completely different, which normally pays off in the event of an early goal. This move takes advantage of what might be considered market over-reaction to a goal.

Having laid the value of half my total CS stakes in the U3.5 market, and then an early goal is scored, I would normally have greened up on U3.5. Green up insurance? Why? In the case of this match my U3.5 insurance to the time just before the goal had cost me about £15. The goal caused u3.5 to spin out from 1.28 or so to 1.7. Remember I've got all scores up to 1-2 and 2-1 covered on CS - so by greening up on the goal I am leaving my entire stake on CS exposed (minus the green on the goals market) but there would need to be another three goals for me to be in serious trouble. But, if the game settles down reasonably quickly with little or no sign of another goal, the odds on U3.5 tumble back quite rapidly. By dripping small lays back into that market it is sometimes possible to end up with either completely free, or substantially discounted insurance on your main trade.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I know I said I wasn't going to trade tonight, but....

I've a day off tomorrow and there is an enticing Copa Sudamerica tie between Goias of Brazil and Penarol of Uruguay at 11.30 BST. There are no recent head to heads between the teams, and I've a suspicion that the fact that Goias are trading at twice the price of their opponents is based on little more than the notion of home advantage. The reason I'm interested tonight is that the game is 'live' on Betfair tv - and that gives relatively safe scalping opportunities.

The correct score and goal markets don't really shed any light on the game either - 1-1 being the favourite on CS and u 2.5 trading at 1.9 ish and O2.5 at 2.1 ish - with 50 minutes or so to kick off.

My initial reaction was, wait for it, 1-1 1-2 2-1! But I'm going to try something a bit different. I am Dutch backing all scores to 1-2 2-1 and am intending to scalp 0-0 0-1 1-0 for the first 15 minutes, slowly reducing my red on the non covered scores, and increasing my green on the covered scores. I'll make use of the hedged tick offset tool in Evo to do this automatically for me.

I've invested £100 in this trade - which is way too high in proportion to my bank. Don't fret - I haven't taken leave of my senses! I am prepared to lose £20 if it all goes completely tits up, so will be looking to cover £80 of that exposure in other ways - primarily by laying U3.5 in stages as the game goes on...

My goal in this sort of trade is what you might term 20/20 - as in vision! In other words I'm looking for a 20% return, and am prepared to lose 20% if it goes wrong...If it goes well and it's 1-2 or 2-1 by 70 minutes I could find myself in the fantastic situation of having a huge green on CS and a similar figure sitting on o3.5.... we'll see...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I'm in danger of letting this slip....

It pains me to say, but since re-entering my professional role on  a full-time basis, my trading and blogging have been suffering horrendously. Most evenings I'm not getting in before 7 - 7.15 and with the majority of games kicking off at 7.45 or 8pm there is little time after I've eaten to prepare properly.. The net result is that in the rush to pick a game my whole modus operandi has been nuked! I'm making poor decisions, and compounding those poor decisions in-play by putting myself under too much pressure to make a profit. Inevitably, my average profit is therefore lower than it was, and I'm staying in too long or getting out too early. The nature of the job I do, retail main dealer vehicle sales, means that I work every Saturday and every other Sunday. So I find myself questioning where to go from here...

A glance at the last few day's results sheds some light on what I'm talking about...


With two days not traded at all, and mediocre results on the other days since my last update you can see what I mean! On a positive note, I am still marginally ahead of the game, massively so when the withdrawals already made are factored in. The goal is still achievable within the time frame, and I genuinely believe the 1-1 1-2 2-1 trade will continue to work for me more times than it goes against me. 

I am also conscious that after trading late and tired the last thing I really want to be doing is writing a detailed but downbeat blog post! The quality and frequency of my posts have dropped off, and many fewer people are reading my missives now! 

So, what to do??

The easy thing to do would be to say 'sorry folks, I've fcuked it up and am quitting whilst I'm ahead!' But I'm not a quitter by nature. So we're stuck with each other, like it or not! 

Having said that, I've got to be realistic - I can't trade as I was doing up to three weeks ago. Simple - can't be done! But, as I said at the beginning, fortunately I don't rely on trading for an income, and don't really need the extra money badly enough to enforce self-discipline on myself - which was why I came up  with the whole idea of both the compounding concept and of writing all this lot!

So this is what I'm going to do...

I will continue to trade toward my original goal, but my emphasis is going to shift away from the stated aim and if I fall short of the target so be it. I am not going to trade every night, but will probably do two or three evenings in mid-week with the occasional Saturday evening and Sunday trade thrown in. I'll focus on the 1-1 1-2 2-1 strategy, but, as much for variety as any other reason, will throw in the odd full blown correct score trade as well. I will update the blog only when I trade, and the post will be detailed, as they used to be. My aim now is to head in the general direction of £2000 by NYE but the emphasis more than ever will be on trading correctly and bank preservation.

I've read through the above and think it makes sense, but I've just got back from a 500 mile round trip with a day's training squeezed in as well so it could well be gobbledegook - I'll let you decide!
 

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Keep an eye open for low liability lays....

Starting Bank: £286.01

2 Day Target (2.5%): £14.30

Sorry guys - another multi day results posting!

As traders we spend a lot of time bemoaning low or, worse, no scoring games. It also seems that of late I have been bemoaning a spate of very early goals! A second minute goal in the MK Dons v Charlton JPT match on Monday came before I was fully matched on my 1-1 1-2 2-1 scorelines, resulting in a less than optimal trade. Again this was due to my getting home and fired up literally seconds before kick off! The annoying thing is that, once again, the match finished 1-2 and got there via 1-1! It should have paid handsomely! The early goal does present other opportunities - in this instance I was able to make a few quid by laying O 2.5 goals at low odds. Of course, in doing so, you run the risk of another early goal so this needs to be done cautiously!

Never mind, the match between Mansfield and Wimbledon in the Blue Square Premier also fitted the profile. Wham, another very early goal! In fact, Wimbledon were 0-2 by 9 minutes leaving little option but to get out for whatever I could - which was a small red. This crazy game finished 2-5 where the pre-match analysis and 'gut feeling' suggested a tight relatively low scoring game!

Last night's match was the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie between Burton and Rotherham. The result was 1-2 but unfortunately this came via the 0-2 scoreline which limits profits because at 2-0 or 0-2 another goal to the leading team kills the trade. If the game goes 2-0 or 0-2 you then HAVE to decide whether to stick or twist! I can't afford with this experiment to take unnecessary risks so I got out for a very modest profit.

 The first goal in this game didn't arrive until the 65th minute, yet it finished 1-2. I had been tracking the odds of U2.5 and U 3.5 from half time. In fact I laid U3.5 at 1.04 for £35 - a liability of £1.40. Unfortunately I greened up after the second goal, but had I waited just a few minutes the third goal sent the odds spinning right out!

These low liability lays in the goals markets happen very frequently. I intended to trade the Fluminese v Santos match which started at 11.30 BST  last night but fatigue got the better of me. The match ended 0-3 and the first goal came at 57 minutes. I would guess that a lay of U2.5 at about 1.2 would have been possible at 55 minutes - so a £2 outlay could have netted £10 .... and so on. Of course, if you lay a minute or two before a goal, you can take an immediate green or at the very least cover your liability to give a 'free bet' if the goals continue to flow.

2 Day's Profit: £17.38

 Bank to carry forward: £303.39

Monday, 4 October 2010

Three day's updates in one go!

Saturday was an OK day, made all the better by Man U dropping points again. Working all day somewhat cramped my style and I was only able to trade in the evening. Two games traded, Sociedad / Espanyol and Valencia / Ath Bilbao. I traded the correct score markets and was able to come out ahead - I'm sorry - I can't remember how it all unfolded and I got interrupted by some friends turning up unannounced half way through!

Sunday I was working again and got home in time to lay 1-2 in the Liverpool / Blackpool game as the commentary on the radio in the car suggested there was no way the Tangerines were going to hold on!! Not the best of starts to the day's trading. My mood was significantly brightened by Chelsea beating Arsenal and although I didn't trade the game I had been sorely tempted to do a scorecast on 2-0 Drogba - but didn't! I then lost money on the Inter v Juve game, made it back on Rennes v Toulouse and again made a small but welcome profit.

Onto tonight, and a fraught session trading the rather unpromising encounter between Tours and Metz. The game was dire for large periods (it was on betfair TV) with Metz parking the bus after taking a surpirse early lead. They doubled their lead after about 60 minutes, and Tours almost immediately pulled it back to 1-2. I was ahead now no matter what, as by way of a change I'd backed all scores to 2-1 1-2 at the off and took progressive cover on by laying U3.5 as the odds dropped. The early Metz goal allowed me to back to lay stake on U3.5 and then take my cover back out as the price dropped. This is an excellent technique, especially if you're reasonably confident that another goal is not imminent, as it allows insurance to be taken at a reduced price. The match finished 2-2 and I cleared over £30. Great!

BUT I then spent £27 on a dripped lay of the draw in the Valladolid v Albacete match. Valla were massive pre-match favourites and went behind at about 60 minutes. The equaliser came in short order, and in my opinion the decision to lay the draw was a valid one. The problem with 'dripping' lays in £5 at a time, although you are laying odds-on prices, is that it becomes mentally very difficult not to let it run (or at least it is for me - even now with my new discipline!!) because you are convinced by the validity of your decision. So a fat £3 profit for two hours 'work'!

To save breaking the bank progress down into each day here's the spreadsheet!



3 Day's Profit: £24.49

 Bank to carry forward: £286.01


Friday, 1 October 2010

A month has flashed past - time for a performance review


I have got to say that I am generally very happy with the way this is going overall. Despite a recent 'blip' I am still ahead of the model AND have withdrawn over £250 against an original stake of £100.

Who knows what would have happened had I not drawn that money down? Would I have continued trading in a calm, sensible way, taking the green and the red at the right time, or would I have become reckless again and blown my advantage. Fortunately we'll never know - which says to me that I did the right thing!

Bearing in mind that I have 3 full months only left, that £2000 still looks a VERY long way off, but I am confident that I can get myself back on track and conquer it.

I am conscious that since starting my new job that my trading has become a bit more erratic. I think this is because I am trying to trade every day, no matter what time I'm getting in, and am getting a bit gung-ho over the trades I'm taking on. When I trade the right games, and trade them well, my daily target is usually busted by quite a margin. I have therefore decided not to trade every day - I will try to look properly at the cards the night before and only trade those games which I have over 60% confidence in.

Some nights ... you just pick the wrong ******* games!!!

Starting Bank: £264.97

Daily Target (2.5%): £6.62

What can I say? I chose to trade BATE and PAOK using the old faithful. Bate won 4-0 and the other one was 1-0. I managed to get out of both games for a modest loss of £3.45. What is annoying is that two games that LOOKED wrong but FELT right, Rosenbourg and Villareal both finished 2-1 via the 1-1 scoreline, and Manchester City, which I discounted because City were heavy odds on favourites finished 1-1!

Day's Profit: -£3.45  

Bank to carry forward: £261.52

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Ryder Cup

Due to a piece of monumentally bad organisation on my part I am working for all three days of this wonderful competition, and as it's in the UK so there's no time difference I won't be able to actively trade it.

I am, however, convinced that this tournament will offer fantastic trading opportunities for those more fortunate with their life arrangements than me!

Without wishing to offend any American readers, I don't think the Yanks will particularly relish the thought of playing in the chilly, windy and wet weather forecast for tomorrow morning! The greens will be considerably slower than they like, and the fact that Monty has not chosen to set the course up to favour the Europeans is, in mind, a mental masterstroke.

Looking at the overall markets two take my eye. Look out for some big swings in the Winner market. The Wildcard market also intrigues me. A year or so ago there is no way anyone in the world would have put money on Tiger playing for the USA as a wildcard. But there he is, sitting pretty at 3.35 as favourite. I have made a fair bit of money laying Tiger in the past, and I've a mind that I'll do the same here (but not from my £100 - £2k bank - from my 'main' bank). Tiger is anything but a team player - he's an individual, and an individual who is out of sorts at that. Of the others in that market the two I would think you can get some value from are Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari - Donald playing out of his skin at the moment and Molinari a man from nowhere in some ways, arguably picked over Paul Casey, playing with his brother and playing well.

The individual match markets will provide huge price swings over 18 holes and for those of you not working tomorrow in my mind the juicy one is Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher against Tiger and Steve Stricker. The Americans are slight odds-on favourites - but I've got my doubts about that...

It'll be great if Europe can beat the auld enemy, and it will be a great tournament to trade - wish I could take a more active part. Good luck to any who get involved - stay green!

A mixed night in the Champions League

Starting Bank: £260.22

Daily Target (2.5%): £6.51

The group stages of the Champions League throw up surprising results every year. This week has been no exception and I would guess that loads of people lost a packet on the assumption that Barca, Real and Man U would be involved in high scoring matches. And who would have thought Spurs and Twente, 0-0 at half time, would produce 5 second half goals between them?? It's a funny old game, football!

I did two trades last night, losing £10 on one and winning £15 on the other for a commission paid profit of £4.75. The Shalke v Benfica game had the old favourite written all over it, but because I was late home and couldn't get any pre-match 0-0 cover I modified the trade slightly, favouring the 0-0 0-1 1-0 technique for the first half. I took 2-0, 2-1, 1-1, 1-2 and 0-2 at half time at enhanced odds for very small stakes which left a £5 green on 0-0. Good job, as the game remained 0-0 for ages before Shalke came in with two late goals.

The other match was Valencia v Man U. I must admit I thought the game would produce goals, but didn't expect them until later. So why not do 0-0 1-0 0-1 for the first half there? No idea, but I didn't - would have paid handsomely! So, I laid U2.5 at about 55 minutes having previously backed 0-2 and 2-0 just before h/t. The only goal in the match came too late to do much about, so I let it run on the vain hope United would get a second. This might seem 'undisciplined' as there was a small green available on 0-2, but by then the Shalke profit was secure so I treated it as a conscious punt!

I know I have alluded to some of the good things that come out of the tradingfootball chatroom before, and don't want to harp on about it too much but let me just relay two recent examples of 'spots' by members:

I think it was on Sunday that someone spotted a 55 minute 0-0 in a game involving Anderlecht where the opponents had just received a second red card, and were therefore playing with 9 men. A few people laid u3.5 at something like 1.05 and Anderlecht ran out 4-0 winners in half an hour. Talk  about 'fill yer boots'!

And then jb last night suggested laying the same market in the Spurs game at h/t - he laid £500 at 1.03!!!! I don't know if anyone else jumped on, but jb made a nice profit, greening up after the third goal. After watching the highlights of the game (how was it ever 0-0 at h/t????) I'm not surprised he suggested this - great call jb!

The service costs £25 a month, and involvement in either of those trades for a liability of pennies on a £25 stake would easily have covered a month's membership. The two spots mentioned are far from unique, although the returns, to be fair, are not usually that spectacular!

Day's Profit: £4.75

Bank to carry forward: £264.97

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

I don't want to become a one trick pony....or do I?

Starting Bank: £273.22

Daily Target (2.5%): £6.83

I really am caught in two minds at the moment. I am convinced that given the right match the 1-1 1-2 2-1 can be traded successfully for fairly low stakes more often than not. As such I am also pretty close to being convinced that I can accomplish the aim of this whole escapade pretty well exclusively using that trade. How boring would that be?

On the other hand, does it really matter if it is 'boring'? I wanted to bring discipline into my trading, and if that comes in the form of a simple, low risk, easily repeatable trade is that a bad thing? I know that I, my family and probably my bank manager could live with the idea that a boring trade regularly drips £30 - 50 TAX FREE into my household coffers!

I still have regressive moments, such as last night. A trade goes against me - in the case of Malaga in a pretty quick and irretrievable fashion - and I KNOW I should just take the red on the chin, protect my bank, and move on to tomorrow. And I am doing this most of the time. Last night I managed to turn a small red into a bigger red - and that's just plain stupid!

With a trade like 1-1 1-2 2-1 (I'm going to have to come up with a name for this - it gets tiresome typing that out all the time!) it's rare that the whole of my stake is at risk, particularly if I am able to get some free cover on 0-0 before the off. I reckon I lose a bit approximately every four trades - so it's a 'no-brainer' really.

I did one simple, but losing, trade today. I imagined the Special One's multi-millionaires would smash little Auxerre into the middle of next week. OK they played out a boring 0-0 first half, but surely Real's quality would shine through in the second?? It was on that (flawed) premise that I laid U3.5 at 1.13 for £100 at about 30 minutes. I went out to play badminton at half time and decided to turn that 'trade' into a punt! A 1 goal win by Real cost me £13 tonight!


Day's Profit: -£13.00

Bank to carry forward: £260.22

Monday, 27 September 2010

It had to happen one day I suppose

Starting Bank: £310.78

Daily Target (2.5%): £7.77

Two matches that looked ideal for 1-1 1-2 2-1 this evening with very different results! I was home late tonight and unable to scalp 0-0 pre-match, so took on York v Darlington and Malaga v Villareal.

The first game was a dire 0-0 and the second was 2-3 within half an hour of the start!!!

Sorry for such a short post, but am dog-tired and cheesed off - not only did the results go against me but I started 'chasing' my losses - something I thought I'd cured myself of! Onwards and upwards tomorrow people!

Day's Profit: -£37.56  

Bank to carry forward: £273.22

Wow! What a day!!1

Starting Bank: £244.80

Daily Target (2.5%): £6.12

Sunday's trading couldn't really have gotten off to a worse start! For some strange reason I convinced myself Bolton v Man U was a 1pm kick off. Convinced the game was ideal for the old 1-1 1-2 2-1 I logged on to Evo to prepare my trade to find the game was 1-1 at half time! I decided to just enjoy the spectacle of the mighty reds struggling in the good company of the chaps in the tradingfootball.eu chatroom. Sure enough Bolton went 2-1 and, inevitably I suppose, Man U equalised. Convinced there would be a winner the old punter in me re-emerged momentarily and laid the draw, laid 2-2 in fact laid everything I could see! Enough said!

Fortunately, the disciplined gun re-emerged, phoenix like, from the ashes of that trade and conducted the trade detailed in  the post below.

Later in the evening I tried something similar to the 1-1 1-2 2-1 trade in a match between Lens and PSG. The tweak I made was to trade 0-0 pre-match and then back 1-0, 0-1 and 1-1 - based on the predominance of those scores in the table describing the 1-1 ... trade. The game was 0-0 at half time, at which point I backed 2-0, 0-2 and 2-2 for £2 each. My intention was to green 0-0 1-0 and 0-0 at leave the rest, hoping for a goal to green out the rest with. Unfortunately PSG took the lead before I could execute the lays, but I think that would have paid handsomely. As it was I had a nice result as again I laid the current score in the 90th minute at very low odds and PSG made it 2-0 with what must have been the very last kick of the game!

Day's Profit: £64.98

Bank to carry forward: £310.78

Saturday catch up

Starting Bank: £242.49

Daily Target (2.5%): £6.06

A very tired attempt at trading a couple of evening games failed to do much - won on one and lost the other for £2.31 after commission. Obviously hadn't got over the shock of Chelsea and Arsenal both losing!

Day's Profit: £2.31  

Bank to carry forward: £244.80

Sunday, 26 September 2010

1-1 1-2 2-1 - it does what it says it does on the tin!!!

Starting position:

I backed 0-0 pre-match for £100 but the lay was not matched - I wasn't that concerned by the prospect of an early goal so was reasonably happy to let that go into play, laying £35, £35, £20, £5 and a final £5 up to 10 minutes to give a green of £56 on 0-0. Total 1-1 1-2 2-1 stakes are £18.

27 Minutes - Aston Villa take the lead:


You can see that I had reduced my liability a bit by laying £2 from my 0-0 green - I had more lays waiting in the queue but the goal came too early.... I think the game is quite evenly matched, and am prepared to take a bit of a chance by doing nothing (unless there's another goal!) until half time...

Half Time


No further goals before half time -so have a cup of tea, and a fag, and then re-assess. At the moment I can hedge the entire market for the figures circled in green.... for a total of  £22.81 - leaving a green of £6.81 on all scores less commission.

I am prepared to lose £10 on this trade... so I can lay 1-1 for £6 which would reduce my profit on 1-1 to leave me with £17.60 green on 1-1, and over £50 on 1-2 and 2-1 red £10 the rest. Or, with Villa 2.66 in the next goal market I can back Villa to score next for £3.61 - so if Villa score next I win £6 on that bet, and would still be able to green 1-2 on CS....if it stays 0-1 I've increased my liability totally by £3.61....

The decision I have taken is to lay £6 off 1-1 but to do it in drips - the 1-1 score odds will continue to come in as the game goes on at 0-1...

1-1 - It's all starting to come together beautifully

Just after the Wolves equaliser...


This screen was taken after I'd sorted out my position after the Wolves equaliser had gone in. You can see that I have completely hedged the 1-1 scoreline, and have also taken a £5 lay on both 1-2 and 2-1 to give a green overall of about £18 with £50 odd sitting on the other two scores.

I am effectively laying the draw here with absolutely no downside - I have a number of options. I can stand my ground and hope for a winner. I could look to green totally on 1-2 and 2-1 or i could wait a few minutes before deciding. The latter is what I'm going to do - I'm happy with £18 as a profit but will enhance it if and when I can. In fact, I also took advantage of 2-2 being at 40 to put a pound on that as well...

I love it when a plan comes together

A text book trade - everything worked as it said on the tin!


If you are wondering why the prices are all over the place.... it's because I laid 1-2 in the final few minutes at 1.15 for £20 in case of a last gasp goal.

I am so glad this trade worked out this way; but in a way it would have been better and more instructive had it not been so swimmingly easy! Having said that, in my view just under £40 from stakes of £18 represents great value for a simple strategy like this....

An Experiment - Sunday 26th Sept 2010 1-1 1-2 2-1 potential matches..

I really am no good with imaging software, but those garish green marks on the picture below are supposed to be ticks! I've marked the games which look promising for 1-1 1-2 2-1 - will revisit scores later on to see how we would have got on with these matches.

I think the game this afternoon between Wolves and Villa is plum for this strategy and I will trade it and record it in pictures (video software I've got slows my pc to a crawl for some reason).

The results:

As you can see, 2 direct hits, and a 2-2 - which to my mind is a direct hit as well from just 9 games - and no 0-0 draws amongst them!

Interestingly all three Premiership games this afternoon would have paid handsomely for anyone following this strategy!

The anatomy of the 1-1 1-2 2-1 Trade....

Have a look at the following table:

These figures are based on the entire 2009 -10 season, across several hundred games and are therefore reasonably reliable. You will see that between 55 and 60% of all matches played in these top quality leagues finish with the result coming from those 7 scores detailed above. The Betfair Correct Score markets cover 17 scores in total...You will also see that 1-1,1-2 and 2-1 account for about a quarter of those matches. That is the underlying background to this trade.


What matches to look out for

When assessing matches for this strategy I check two markets first before looking at CS. First, I'm looking for match odds of no lower than 1.8 for the favourite, and I'm also looking at U2.5 being around 1.9 - 2.1. If these criteria are met you will find more times than not that 1-1 is trading at between 7 and 8.5 and the other two at about 11-13. I would then usually back 1-1 for about 1.5 the amount I'm backing the other two for - so £3 1-1 £2 the others, £5 1-1, £3 the others or thereabouts. If the game is still 0-0 after half an hour I normally look to put a small amount on 2-2 at 25-30.

What can go wrong?


When assessing any Correct Score trades I think it's sensible to look at what might go wrong and by so doing to assess your 'danger scores'. We can then work out how to deal with them.

The first, and most distressing, danger is the dreaded 0-0! The easiest way I've found to alleviate this score is by backing and laying the same amount pre-match trying to make 1 or 2 ticks. By trading pre-match your stake itself is safe - the only danger is that the price moves against you rather than for you. My experience shows that if you back 0-0 with about 30 to 45 minutes to go you will usually get at least one tick movement. There are no guarantees - but often I can get between £35 and £50 'free' sitting on 0-0. In-play you can either just leave your money sitting on 0-0 or lay some of it off as the price of 0-0 drops.

There are only really two other main dangers; first that no goal is scored until very late in the game and the 1-1 price doesn't come in enough to lay it off profitably, the second that two goals come very early in the game resulting, again, in insufficient price movements. An absolute goalfest is always a possiblity, if you are nervous about that why not look at taking some cover in the U/O goal markets?


In-play trading


There are a number of ways this strategy can be traded in-play. In an ideal world the game would play out thus: dogs score first, bringing the 1-1 in. Favourites equalise at about 60 minutes - enabling a green of 1-1 to cover all stakes and give a profit on all scores. Then you can either green up across the board, or wait for a 1-2 or 2-1. At this stage you are effectively laying the draw with absolutely no downside! If you'd had the foresight to back 2-2 as well as the other scores you'd be laughing all the way to the bank if 2-1 or 1-2 comes before  the 80th minute! That's the ideal - and they happen surprisingly often.

There are danger points to consider and you need to have a plan...

Two quick goals bringing the score to 0-2 or 2-0 can be tricky as two thirds of your trade is gone in a flash. There's little you can do here - except to hedge your remaining bet and walk away - or you could stand firm if you're prepared for the fact that 3-0 or 0-3 (or staying the same until the end) will lose your entire stake. Another precaution might be to take a small bet on the Next Goal market - or if those goals are early in the game you could lay O2.5 goals at a very low price to guard against the game staying the same.

The game is 0-0 at half time...and you have no 0-0 cover as discussed above. Two choices really - hedge for a small loss or stand firm and hope for goals second half. You could consider backing 0-0 1-0 0-1 maybe to cover your stakes... use the 'what-if' on BF to see how to stake - but it will eat a lot of your potential profit!

The game is 0-0 at 80 mins and you have no 0-0 cover - consider hedging for a larger loss, and maybe lay 0-0 for the red amount - it obviously increases your exposure but if the game is won 1-0 or 0-1 puts you in a scratch position.

There are other banana skins - but the beauty of this trade, when it works, is that the return is generally pretty good.

SUMMARY


  • Evenly matched games - home side no lower than 1.8 U2.5 around evens
  • Set an amount of money / % of bank you are prepared to LOSE - work the rest of your plan out with that figure in mind.
  • Try to get some free money on 0-0 pre-match
  • Stakes should be around a straight dutch on 1-1 1-2 2-1
  • 0-0 25 - 30 mins put a small amount on 2-2
  • If a goal is scored I would usually try to lay half my total stakes on the 1-1 scoreline UNLESS the dog scores against the run of play
  • 1-1 is where the paydirt starts. Green completely on 1-1 - will probably give an overall green on all scores. Then you can either let the other 2/3 ride for a while, or hedge all bets and go down the pub / move on to the next game!
  • 0-0 HT - a) hedge for small loss or b) stand firm or c) cover 0-0 1-0 0-1
  • 0-0 80 mins hedge for larger loss (unless 0-0 1-0 and 0-1 covered) and maybe lay 0-0 to cover that loss..
The most important thing to remember is this:
If a trade goes against you - DO SOMETHING POSITIVE to reduce / minimise your liabilities and losses. Don't sit there like a rabbit in the headlights - think outside the box - are there any other markets that might come to your rescue? 

Friday, 24 September 2010

No trading tonight - going to go to the pub!

Thanks for all the comments guys, I'll write up a full explanation of my take on the 1-1 1-2 2-1 over the weekend sometime.

I'll just  reply, toungue firmly in cheek, to Last Chance Trader who wrote:
Would you apply this trade for the Man City vs. Chelsea game tomorrow?
The answer should be 'probably' but I'm going to say no - the Blues are gonna spank 'em!!!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

I'm finding it very difficult to .......make this interesting any more...because

the 1-1 1-2 2-1 strategy is working so bloody well!!!!!!

Starting Bank: £207.48

Daily Target (2.5%): £5.19

My original intention of completing this mission via a wide variety of strategies and tactics has been slowly eroded away as I increasingly have come to the conclusion that it is very difficult to make a mess of this 1-1 1-2 2-1 business if you pick the right matches.

AFC Wimbledon was plumb for this trade. The match odds suggested a fairly tight game, one that could go either way. I backed 1-1 for £3, 1-2 for £2 and 2-1 for £2. I am finding with matches priced tightly in match odds that 1-1 is between 7 and 8 and the other two around the 10-11 mark - hence the need to slightly stagger the stakes. Another decent trade tonight, £13 ish after commission, added to which there was the profit from a cheeky (and speculative) lay of U2.5 - see the 'smoking' post...

I am tired tonight and need to sleep, but at the weekend I'll do a write up of how I approach this trade and the thinking behind it if people are interested....let me know.

Day's Profit: £35.01  

Bank to carry forward: £242.29

Smoking can be good for your wealth....

Just a quickie - was trading the Wimbledon v Crawley Town game and got a £3 green on correct score at 0-1 with a nice chunk on 1-2 and 2-1 (more of which in a later post). I saw U2.5 at 1.13 so laid it for £23.08 which as you can see from the screenshot below gave a liability of £3 - so in other words I was prepared to 'gamble' my green position on one market for a potential win on another...
Then I decided to go and have a cigarette. Mrs Gun years ago banned me from smoking indoors (yes, she does wear the trousers!) so I have to go out into the back garden chez nous. When I came back, Wimbledon had gone from 0-1 down to 2-1 - and my lay had won! Now, being a disciplined trader, had I been sitting at my desk when the equalising goal went in I would have greened up for a few quid!

Proof positive - smoking can increase your wealth! Still wish I could give it up though!

Carling Cup - meaningless trophy? Or exciting and unpredictable?

Starting Bank: £203.61

Daily Target (2.5%): £5.09

Well - Chelsea turned over at home 3-4, Merseyside down and out to lower league opposition, and Scunny take the lead against United! What a competition this can be! In a way there was too much opportunity and I ended up making the mistake of trying to cover too many games in too little detail.

I won't go into all the gory details, but I made the princely sum of £3.87 from about 7 games last night - average win about £14 - average loss about £10 - so you can deduce from that that I again did some pretty amazingly daft trades! Obviously, if you've been stupid enough to lay Man U against Scunthorpe and Scunthorpe score you surely aren't stupid enough to ask for a price 3 or 4 ticks above the trading price, are you? I was! Man U equalised - and I took the green then (what little there was!). Then, you lay Newcastle at 1-3 at a price of 1.15. Chelsea bring it back to 2-3 - you're listening to the game - and you convince yourself an equaliser won't come. So you green up. And, a minute later, 3-3!!!!!

It was one of those nights that offered so much, but, again, the lessons are there! When I concentrate on 1 or maybe two games I do better that when I try to multi-task. So, that's what I'm going to do from now on! I have decided that I'm more of a Windows 3.1 trader than a Windows 7 trader! I function best on one or two markets - leave the multiple trades to younger and more nimble minds!


Day's Profit: £3.87  

Bank to carry forward: £207.48

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Small stakes can produce a good result

Starting Bank: £197.12

Daily Target (2.5%): £4.93

There was a match earlier between Frankfurt and Aachen in Germany, which again looked plum for 1-1 1-2 2-1. I backed 0-0 pre-match for £50 and got £20 laid off two ticks lower before kick-off. I was reasonably confident that there would be no early goals and was able to green that 0-0 scoreline after a few minutes for about £5. I then put £4 on 1-1 and £2 on both 1-2 and 2-1 - so my total exposure on the match was a massive £3!

It looked horribly like a 0-0 bore draw until the home side took the lead in the 63rd minute (by which time I'd added a £2 back of 2-2 to my portfolio - total exposure now £5!). Everything went to plan as Aachen equalised 4 minutes later. I greened up on 1-1 and allowed the other three bets to ride. Aachen went 1-2 after a further four minutes or so, so I greened up on that score.

At this point I was faced with a choice - I could (should???) have taken a further healthy green of another £8 on 2-2 - or I could let that run as I had about £70 on it. I chose to let it run. There was another goal - but unfortunately (and, I suppose, predictably) it went 1-3. Anyway the final position is shown below - for those of you unfamiliar with it this is the settlement screen that BetTrader Evolution displays once a market has been settled.

As you can see, from CS stakes of £10 a profit of £23.04 was achieved (ignoring the 0-0 stakes - that was a bonus -  for this exercise) which netted down to £21.91 after commission was taken.

Unfortunately, after a good start, a couple of speculative trades went awry, and a totally speculative lay of the draw between Hoffenheim and Bayern came good leaving a profit for the day of £6.49.

Day's Profit: £6.49

Bank to carry forward: £203.61

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Why you should have a plan 'B'!

Starting Bank: £183.15

Daily Target (2.5%): £4.58

Another salutary lesson for some people last night. I wasn't personally affected by all the drama, but some people failed to maximise a trade through no fault of their own.

I had a long trip down to Wales yesterday and was quite late getting back thanks to the glorious M25! The only match still to go in-play on the coupon was Deportivo v Getafe. A quick summary of the form led me to conclude this was begging for the old 1-1 1-2 2-1 strategy to be implemented. I quickly secured a couple of ticks on 0-0 to take that score out of the equation and backed those three scores. After about 20 minutes I added a small back of 2-2 to the mix as well.

Getafe took the lead just before half time and I laid some of the 1-1 off. I decided to give it a few minutes into the second half before deciding on whether and how to cover 2-0, but this proved unnecessary as Depo scored from a penalty to make it 1-1 - I was able to green up for an overall profit of £13.97 after commission.

However, loads of people in the chatroom hadn't completely greened - and Depo took a 2-1 lead. Then, for lots of people, there was a nervous 20 minutes or so when Betfair failed to un-suspend the markets! One guy, Handy Andy (check his blog for his take on it here) had a load sitting on 2-1 and a fair amount on 2-2 - but he was unable to take a green position! He was far from alone, but he did suffer! When the market was eventually turned back in play the score was 2-2 and loads had missed out on a potential massive greening opportunity on 2-1! In my pre-disciplined days I'd have been one of them, but (mind the halo doesn't slip!!!) I was sitting as an interested spectator whilst people were going berserk all around me!

There are two things at least to be taken from this episode. The first, and this is an old motor trade saying, is 'your first profit is your best profit' - in other words take the green as soon as you can. Secondly, have a Plan B - be it Betdaq, Bet365, Betwin or whatever but have a means of covering yourself if Betfair have problems because one thing you be assured of is that Betfair will be as much use to you as a chocolate teapot when it goes wrong their end!

Day's Profit: £13.97

Bank to carry forward: £197.12