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 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.


  • 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

Monday, 20 September 2010

An interesting Sunday night's trading...

Starting Bank: £171.70

Daily Target (2.5%): £4.28

I made a nice £4 green on Athletico v Barca trading 0-0 pre-match - hedging the minute it went into play as I didn't think 0-0 would last long!

Then onto Sampdoria v Napoli - and a bit of a frustrating affair. Went with my favoured 1-1, 1-2 and 2-1 strategy, the right one, as it transpired! But it took them so long to do anything that I'd hedged for a medium red just after half time. When I saw that U2.5 had shrunk to 1.05 I put a brave lay of £20 on it. The inevitable happened - three goals in ten minutes - finishing 1-2. Could have made boatloads! But, on reflection, taking the red at 0-0 was the correct TRADING decision - the most important thing to get inside your head when trading is when to take the loss!

So, a modest profit of £11.45 after commission for the day, and I've one other thing to be proud of.... the old punter in me was itching to lay U4.5 in the Chelsea Blackpool game - knowing I wouldn't be around to trade it. That was at 1.76 pre-game, so I'd have suffered a major blow had my new disciplined self not shone through. It defies belief that there weren't more goals - Blackpool came bloody close and there were loads more Chelsea chances, but, as someone once said, 'Football's a funny old game...'

I have made no secret of the fact that I am a member of trading, and one of the many benefits of that is the occasional blinding 'tip' of a decent trading opportunity. Adster, one of the two owners, pointed out to a bunch of us in the chatroom that U4.5 in the Banfield v Independiente (Argentina - if you didn't know!) match was at 1.09 pre-match. I wanted to watch Match of the Day 2 so left it - but apparently some of the guys made a good easy profit as two goals were scored early on in the game - food for thought!

Day's Profit: £11.45

Bank to carry forward: £183.15

Tomorrow's proposed trade

As some of you will know I was recently made redundant, and have therefore had quite a lot of time available during the day / early evening to look at trading possibilities. That situation has now changed and I start a new full time post on Wednesday. I will not therefore be writing up tomorrow's trade as I just am not going to get the time to do it!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

That's a bit better!

Starting Bank: £163.83

Daily Target (2.5%): £4.10

The gooners came good for me yesterday evening - eventually! I thought Sunderland might put up a decent fight, and I don't know whether the stats bear this out or not, but it seems to me that when Arsenal absolutely demolish a team in Europe mid-week they are incapable of playing well the following Saturday in the prem!

Anyway my staking for this game was 1-1 1-2 2-1, but the equaliser came too late - I'd already taken a small red on Correct Score. My saviour was in laying Arsenal in match odds - although unfortunately not for much money!

A modest profit for the day pushes me back slightly ahead of target.....

Today's Profit: £7.87  

Bank to carry forward: £171.70

Today's proposed trade

Family commitments mean I won't be able to trade until this evening and the matches between Bordeaux and Lyon and Benfica against Sporting take my eye as likely candidates for a correct score trade.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Old habits creeping back into my trading... need to change tack

Starting Bank: £178.29

Daily Target (2.5%): £4.46

I traded two matches last night and made a complete mess of both of them. Frankfurt v Freiburg and Doncaster v Leeds both, on paper, looked like good candidates for a 1-1 1-2 2-1 trade. I staked accordingly, and had managed to get a £50 free bet on 0-0 in the Frankfurt match. Lots of chances early on led me to believe my take on the game was correct, and I greened the carefully created insurance on 0-0 at the same time as laying U2.5 goals. The game finished 0-1, with the goal coming in injury time!

The Doncaster match finished 0-0 - the Correct Score trader's nightmare.

The problem is simple enough to understand.... no goals in games where goals were expected. Both trades could have been covered easily enough by backing U2.5 or laying O2.5 at the start of the match. But, I didn't do it. I was so convinced by my read of them both that I failed to cover my bets.....except of course that nice £50 on 0-0. Which I greened for £8.


Today's Profit: -£14.46  

Bank to carry forward: £163.83

Tomorrow's proposed trade

The stand out games for me today are Sunderland v Arsenal and Arles v Marseilles - I'll be around and about for the 3pm prem games, but will actively trade these two later on. Tactics to be decided - but rest assured cover will be taken.

A quick recap...

There is no need to panic just yet, and let's not forget I've withdrawn double my initial investment. BUT, I've dipped into negative territory with respect to my original target - although 4p is not causing me too much concern! It does, however, highlight the damage a couple of loose day's trading can cause. I definitely need to tighten up and re-consider some of the trades I'm taking on.

Friday, 17 September 2010

A small backward step.... onwards and upwards tomorrow!

Starting Bank: £187.57

Daily Target (2.5%): £4.69

Anderlecht and Zenit let me down badly tonight. One of the problems with a plan involving using First Half Goals as a covering market can be a lack of liquidity - as was the case this evening. With so many matches in-play at the same time hardly anyone wanted to play in either the FHG market or the Correct Score market.

Zenit's opening goal came before I'd managed to get any cover in place - partly my fault because I was being a bit ambitious with the odds I was asking for! I then compounded my problems by not taking a small red there and then and they got a second. The only way to recover then would have been to spray money around covering all sorts of things and potentially making the problem worse, so I decided to cut and run.

I did four u2.5 lays as yesterday, but only one paid tonight, so I took three small losses and one small profit there. A loss for the day, which was disappointing. The basic problem was caused by inactivity - which is, frankly, unforgivable in this situation.

Today's Profit: -£9.29

Bank to carry forward: £178.29

Tomorrow's proposed trade

Another long trip north tomorrow - depending on what time I get back I might trade the Luton match but I'm not going to commit to that now as I don't want to be trading it when I'm knackered!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Is there such a thing as a 'Risk Free Trade'?

No - there isn't - but you can get damn close!

A little tactic I've been using recently involves backing 0-0 pre-match and laying one or two ticks lower for the same amount. Not a ball is going to be kicked - so there's no danger of a goal, and the upsides are good. I looked at tonight's Europa League match between Juve and Lech Poznan. At midnight the 0-0 odds were 20, and I could have matched £100. I thought they might slide a bit so put a back of £100 on at 21. Imagine my despair when I logged on this morning to find 0-0 trading at 18! Had I taken the 20 on offer I could now be sitting on a free green of £200 should the game finish 0-0!

Of course, the odds are 18, and were as high as 20, because the chances of this game ending 0-0 are slim. So how  can the free green be used?

The most obvious thing to do would be to hedge the 0-0 scoreline, which would give a green on all scores of £11.11. That then would be job done - 11% return on investment with no risk whatsoever! Not, perhaps, the best use of the money though in my opinion.

With the 0-0 odds that high you will probably find that they will start steaming pretty quickly - so you could take the view that you could wait say 20 minutes into the match for a better hedge figure... but the hedge figure won't improve that much because of course you've no money left at risk. And if there's a goal then phhht ... all gone with nothing to show for it!

The odds on goals in this game tells me the market is expecting a high scoring match - U2.5 is at 2.28 at the time of writing. With my 'normal' bank I'd be looking at a number of different markets, but working with this small bank I'd spread about £40 around various correct scores all in Juve's favour and then lay Juve in match odds for £30 (currently trading at 1.34) in case they blow it! If by any chance the match remained 0-0 into the second half I could look at laying the draw using the remaining green on 0-0 to cover the liability (but, of course a 0-0 result would earn £30 anyway through laying Juve!)

So, some great upsides - what about the potential downside? There's only one, really, and that is that the price of 0-0 drifts out pre kick-off - leaving you with a choice of either hedging for a red, or laying off say £80 of the £100 originally backed and looking to lay off the remaining £20 in-play, keeping fingers, toes and everything else crossed that there isn't an early goal!

Just wish I'd done it! I've left a back bet there at 20 - as it might drift back out a bit as kick off approaches - we'll see.

An International audience!

When I started writing this blog the purpose was to aid me with my discipline - I thought writing down my trades would a) focus me on constructing good trades in the first place and b) enable easier retrospective analysis of what I do well and what I am not so good at!

I thought I might get a few people that I've met along the way in my trading life reading the odd page.

I've just had a look at the stats - and am absolutely amazed at the number of people looking at these ramblings and at the geographical distribution of those views!

I'm a typical Englishman! I can just about say 'Hello' and 'Can I have a beer, please' in French, German, Italian, Greek and Spanish. I figure if you can accomplish those two things you'll get by almost anywhere in the world!

So for those of you reading in Brazil, Slovenia, Poland, Romania, UAE, Sweden, Kenya, the far east, the Balkans and anywhere else - I'm afraid I can't say 'Hello' in your language, or answer your questions unless they're in English - but thanks for reading and I sincerely hope you find the stuff I write interesting!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Bit hit and miss by a dog tired trader!

Starting Bank: £180.82

Daily Target (2.5%): £4.52

It's a long way to Aberdeen from Kent, but even further back again! A staggered journey, over-nighting in Durham meant I eventually rolled in tonight at about 6pm having left home at 4.25am yesterday morning, so maybe I'm being optimistic in expecting another good night tonight!

As it happened it wasn't bad, but the MK Dons v Saints match didn't produce the result I'd expected or staked for. Once again, gaining a free bet on 0-0 pre-match proved my saviour as I was able to more or less cover my stakes by half time. When Dons eventually found the net I was able to lay 1-1 to give a reasonable profit.

Four of tonight's Champions League matches were 0-0 at half time, including those involving AC Milan and Bayern Munich. I laid u2.5 goals for £20 in all four games, for a total exposure of about £20. Two reasonably quick goals in the AC and Bayern matches gave healthy profits, whilst I settled for small losses in the other two as only one latish goal came in both - a small overall profit but a profit none the less.

I like these low liability lays - they are low liability for a good reason - they rarely completely come off .In trading we are not necessarily concerned with the final outcome. I look for opportunities where I think there will be sufficient price movement to give a profit. I'm not always right, of course, but because I'm laying odds-on (generally with this sort of trade I'm looking at odds of about 1.2 - 1.3) I've only got to be right about half the time!

Today's Profit: £6.75  

Bank to carry forward: £187.57

Tomorrow's proposed trade

I'm not a great fan of these Europa League matches - I find them unpredictable. Of those on offer tomorrow night only the potentially low scoring game between Anderlecht and Zenit catches my eye - and my thoughts are a first half weighted trade around 0-0 1-0 0-1 and 1-1 with a bit of cover on the First Half Goals market. For the rest of the matches I'll be keeping my eyes open for low liability lays such as those detailed above...

Monday, 13 September 2010

Today's proposed trade.... and the result

Starting Bank: £147.36

Daily Target (2.5%): £3.62

Keep it simple tonight, a bit of O2.5 in the Stromsgodset v Molde game and trade around 1-1 2-1 1-2 in the Stoke / Villa match. But after watching Birmingham and Liverpool thrash out a 0-0 yesterday I will probably cover that score as well...

With two early goals in the Strom match I didn't manage to get on the trade at the price I wanted. I did however get a free £35 on 0-0 pre-match which I was able to hedge (just before the first goal :-)) for about £3.

The Stoke Villa game was a classic for the 1-1 1-2 2-1 strategy even if Stoke did leave it late!

I laid U1.5 H/T at 1.04 at about 30 minutes for £20 and was able to hedge for about £3 after Villa's goal. Some of the guys in the chatroom preferred to lay 0-0 in the Half Time Score market at about 1.6 I think. With the bank I've got, a £20 lay at 1.04 costs 80p and provided a goal is not too close to 45 mins will always give a tradable position.

At 0-1 I took half the total liability of £9 out of 1-1 leaving about £9 on that score. I hedged that score at 1-1, and also hedged 1-2 and 2-1 to give a £14 green across the board. As the final whistle approached I dripped £2 lays onto 1-1 from 1.2 down to a £10 - leaving £10 or so on 1-1. Last kick of the game and Stoke scored, giving me a profit of some £28.

Today's Profit: £33.46

Bank to carry forward: £180.82

It seems I'm back in the position I wrote about below - busting my daily target ten-fold - but I can assure you that my maximum liability at any one time during this trade was a massive £9.70! This is well within the 20% of bank that I've discussed previously and goes to show how a good return from a small, non threatening, outlay is possible if the right trade is selected and it is properly executed!

Tomorrow's proposed trade

No trading for me tomorrow - up to bonnie Scotland with a mate to pick a couple of cars up, hopefully back in the loop on Wednesday evening to have a look at the European matches.

Any Excel experts reading please?

The spreadsheet I'm using to track this endeavour has an annoying anomaly, and I can't figure out how to work around it:

The column entitled Goal Target calculates the next day's target for me. The two cells Sum and Average at the top calculate those two sums - what I need is a way of doing that WITHOUT counting the bottom cell - as that is obviously a matter for tomorrow and not today! I've mucked about with Offset, CountA and all kinds of other formulae and it's doing my head in! I'm sure I could come up with a VBA function to do it but that seems like cracking a nut with a sledgehammer! Any help gratefully received...

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Been thinking......

...about Neil's comment. I've absolutely no idea who Neil is, unless I know him by a forum name, but what he says has struck a chord with me.

Neil said...

Well done, this is going well.

I would add that I do disagree that it it other people's money thought, it isn't it is you rmoney and you need to treat it as such as to treat it any other way may lead you to take risks that you wouldn't normally take.

Good luck
I have revised my spreadsheet, and included cells to sum and average the 'Goal Target' and 'Achieved' figures.

There is an enormous difference between the two, caused in large part by the £190 winning trade on Everton / MU. Even without that there is still a large difference.

The whole essence of this experiment, and therefore this blog is disciplined trading. I am now of a mind that thus far I have probably been trading too aggressively - in a sort of 'look at me' or 'Charlie big bollox' fashion; trying to smash that £2k by the end of October.... not what I set out to do.

I have, therefore, taken a decision. I have withdrawn a further £55 from my account, leaving me a small amount ahead of where I should be at 2.5% per day. I'm not afraid of going over my daily target - but will now stop as soon as I have achieved it rather than riding the crest of a wave the size of which I don't know...

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that I've also bought the spreadsheet up to date - I didn't trade on 31/8/2010 but only noticed that the sheet was running a day behind when making the above changes..

No trading on this account at all today, but tomorrow's trade will be a simple one looking to make in the region of £3.50... more later.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

I'm playing with OPM now - and it feels good!!!

Starting Bank: £164.80

Daily Target (2.5%): £4.12

I'll be quite up front here.... nothing gives me greater pleasure, as a Chelsea man, to see Manchester United lose. Until today! I was over the moon to see them throw away a two goal lead in injury time today! Having just banked about £10 by laying the draw in the last few minutes of the Hamilton v Rangers game, I noticed MU available to lay at 1.02. I duly laid £200 - using four pounds of that profit... you know what happened next! I was already about £11 to the good from trading the correct score in that match, and by laying U3.5 this lay was already covered by profit already in the bank so to speak.

I got involved in correct score trading in the WHU v Chelsea game, and the Arsenal game. Lays of U2.5 and U3.5 showed mixed results in different games, and a flurry of late goals also made some money. I'm not going to itemise all the day's activities but the lesson is to keep an eye on low liability opportunities, and to try to use profit to take on some more speculative trades...

Overall, taking Betfair commission into account I finished the day with £227.56 profit. I have withdrawn £190  which brings me to the post title ... Some readers are probably wondering what OPM means...  well, it means 'Other People's Money' - in other words I have now withdrawn all my original investment and some. The balance of this exercise will now be continued with no exposure of my own cash! What a lovely position to be in after 13 days!!

A quick review of the position:

Compounding a bank at the rate of 2.5% per day will double it in 23 days - you can see that my bank has now more than doubled, and I've taken nearly £200 out! So I'm extremely happy with things at the moment.

I was going to trade the Porto v Braga match tonight, but I think I'll quit whilst I'm ahead and take Mrs Gun out to dinner!

Today's Profit: £227.56

 Bank to carry forward: £202.36 (£190 withdrawn)

 Tomorrow's proposed trade

Family commitments mean no trading during the day tomorrow - so I intend to have another look at dutch laying with the Marseille v Monaco match tomorrow evening. I've downloaded some recording software but haven't got my head round how it works yet - but I'll have a go....

Friday, 10 September 2010

Something different today - approach from behind!

Starting Bank: £156.34

Daily Target (2.5%): £3.91

For some time I have had a spreadsheet I've developed to work out dutching back strategies, and have been banging my head against a wall trying to do the same for a dutching lay strategy. Then Mr Traderman on the Racing Traders forum came to my aid and pointed me in the direction of some help..

It's been an idea of mine to approach the Correct Score market in reverse as it were for a while now, but the maths was defeating me. When backing a dutched selection you are looking for the percentile chance of your selections winning to be below 100%; when looking to do the same thing by laying you want the book over 100%. Betfair's markets are so efficient that whichever you look at one the book percentage will usually be just over 100% on the back side, and just under 100% on the lay side - in other words you can't guarantee a win from a standing start by backing or laying all outcomes.

For today's little exercise I traded two games for miniscule stakes as I wasn't quite sure of what I was doing...

The first was Polonia v Lubin. For this match I dutch laid all scores from 2-1 1-2 up - in other words leaving the 0-0, 0-1, 1-0,1-1,2-0 and 0-2 scores uncovered. This gave me a return of about £15 with a liability of £36. I fully covered the £36 with a back of O2.5, but dripped the back in over the first half hour of the game. Fortunately it was 0-0 at half time, and that was when I really should have laid 0-0 in hindsight. But live and learn...Polonia scored at about 50 minutes, and 1-0 came into 2.7 immediately. Had I laid 0-0 at half time I would have had close to my 100% book and could have closed out for a profit later... As it was I had to let it run. No drama, but they then got a second at 69 minutes - at which point I could have made a handsome profit on CS AND greened up on my insurance of over 2.5 goals...PAYDIRT!!!! As it was a small profit ensued.

The second game, using the analysis done on my last post, was the Salamanca v Gimnastic game. This time I dutch laid all scores over 3-0, and was able to get cheap insurance via the O3.5 goals market to cover my liabilities of about £40. I used a similar approach to the above, again for a small profit.

There is mileage in this technique, but it's a long way from smooth at the moment. It's a theme I will return to, and, conscious that it must be difficult to follow the above, I will TRY to video the session.. no promises though!

Also in the mix today, although I'm not going to itemise them, were a couple of  late draw lays, one successful, one not and a bit of racing. All in all a profit of £8.46 against a target of £3.91. I'm getting more confident that this slow and steady approach will work - as long as I don't blow it by doing something daft...

Today's Profit: £8.46

 Bank to carry forward: £164.80

 Tomorrow's proposed trade

At this stage of the day, I honestly haven't got a clue! The boss has plans for my time tomorrow morning, so it will probably be a case of trying to get one or two of the 3pm Premiership games covered, followed maybe by a bit of Porto v Braga tomorrow evening.

Flexibility is the key...

Starting Bank: £151.47

Daily Target (2.5%): £3.78

I did manage to get back in time for the Orgryte v Sundsvall match, and, against all the form and stats it produced a 0-0 draw. Fairly confident that there would be goals I'd gone for 1-2, 1-1 and 2-1 with a view to trading out in-play. Fortunately I'd also secured a free £10 on O/U 1.5 pre-match, so apart from being a boring game to trade, I was able to come out with a modest, but target hitting, profit. This was aided by a small back of 0-0 at half time.

Today's Profit: £4.87

Bank to carry forward: £156.34

Tomorrow's proposed trade

It's fairly safe to say that normal service can be resumed tomorrow - with a full card of decent looking matches on the horizon. This Segunda Division game looks interesting...

And the recent form:

My immediate thought is that over 2.5 looks high, and therefore under looks low. The stats point to a game with over 2.5 goals, and that is where my staking is going to head I think. I'm toying with backing over 2.5 progressively to take advantage of the inevitable time influenced drift outwards, whilst at the same time covering 0-0 1-0 0-1 and 1-1. The prices for 2-0 and 0-2 will either not move much or will drift as time passes, but with this kind of trade you must keep and eye on the 'danger' scores. I'll mull over it during the day, and see if I can get a free U1.5 bet ahead of kick off so I haven't then got to concern myself about 0-0, 1-0 and 0-1. That would leave a simple dutch of 1-1 2-0 and 0-2 to say 75% of my overs stake for a reasonably sensible trade...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

The trouble is .... the player's don't read your analysis of a game!!!

Starting Bank: £147.46

Daily Target (2.5%): £3.69

Life as a soccer trader would be oh so much simpler if the teams involved gave you the courtesy of reading your pre-match analysis. All that careful dissection of the form and the market's take on the Granada v Betis game was turned on its head by Granada taking a two goal lead, getting a man sent off, then eventually drawing 2-2!

The strategy outlined, with the insurance  resulted in a £4.01 profit after commissions. I'm a bit short of time today so I'm not going to do a 'blow by blow' analysis...

Today's Profit: £4.01

Bank to carry forward: £151.47

Today's proposed trade

I doubt I'll be back in time for the Orgryte v Sundsvall match, and there's no way I'm trading a ladies U17 international! No offence to lady footballers, but I know nothing about it, liquidity will be poor and the match is a potential minefield! To trade it would be to trade for the sake of trading.

A day off for me today. Be back later with some thoughts on tomorrow's card as we get back to 'normal' service!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Covering Correct Score positions with O/U 2.5 goals or similar

In a comment on one of my posts jdt199 wrote: "Would you mind explaining your staking of "insurance" on today's trades. I'm more of an under /over 2.5 scalper or LTD draw man myself and never use insurance bets, but would like to become more useful in the CS markets but I'm not sure how to go about it, as juggling CS stakes is hard enough without insurance. Is the reason for insurance with CS markets because you cant really have a stop loss in all or nothing markets?"

People will have differing views on the validity of insurance, as discussed on the 'Fully Comp...' page. In my previous, non-disciplined, trading life I tended to not bother with insurance, because in my view if you've called the position correctly all you are doing is eating into your profit. However, by necessity, with a bank of £100 or so and a goal to turn that into £2k in about 4 months means that I can't afford too many days like Sunday....

Here's a screenshot of the markets available on the Granada v Betis game tomorrow night discussed in the post below..

I'm not saying it works all the time, but my approach to this kind of game (after having looked at the various stats sites) is as follows.

1) Look at the Match Odds - in this case the suggestion is that Betis will win, but it is far from overwhelming a suggestion.  A quick check of recent head to heads show Betis spanking Granada at home 4-1 last time out - but this is a cup game and Granada are at home. In my mind I'm thinking 0-1 to 1-3 as possible scores.

2) Look at the O/U 2.5 market - suggestion is just on the side of unders, meaning the Overs price is not odds-on.

3) Look at the correct score market - 0-1 and 1-1 are the stand out scorelines.

4) Decide on total stake - I'll commit £15 to the CS market here - all spread across scores up to two goals - i.e none over 3

5) Decide how much 'insurance' you want - I'll insure from the outset to 50% of stake. To cover £7.50 with O2.5 at 2.28 will 'cost' me £5.85 if I back overs, BUT, and be sure to do this sum, only £5.77 if I LAY U2.5. It's only 8p - but imagine if you wanted £200 cover.......

Something I've recently got into the habit of doing is trying to get a green position on 0-0 without having a 'live' stake on it. With 0-0 currently at 10 I'd ask for 10.5 with £50 tonight. If the bet gets matched I'd put  a lay bet of £50 in at 10. If that gets matched I'd have a green of £25 sitting on 0-0 - a score I would not therefore need to factor into my staking on the other scores. Just remember to make sure the lay bet is matched before kick off! Take a small red on it if need be. Read my 'Disaster' post to see what can go wrong if you don't do this!

Once the match goes in-play you can of course adjust your position. This looks like it could be a slow to boil match, so by 15 minutes you could probably top up to 100% stake insurance at about 1.5 to lay - so for another 3 quid or so...

There are many other ways you can use one market to offset a risk in another, but, jdt199, hopefully this has given you some insight into one possibility for you.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

So close....yet so far

Starting Bank: £95.49

Daily Target (2.85%): £2.72

What a pity! The calls of fatherhood put a significant spanner in the works today. Had to unexpectedly go and pick number two son up - and had to leave at about half time in the Russia game. For some reason Betfair Mobile refused to fire up on my phone so I was unable to trade out of my position or to improve on it. Fortunately 0-1 was a score that I had covered, so I made about ten pounds on the game.

The rescue took longer than I had thought and it was nearly half time in the England game before I got back. I was listening to the game in the car and it would appear that had Mr Defoe taken his shooting boots to Basle that my u4.5 and AU trades could have been done and dusted by half time! Anyway, time to reassess. I took a very small profit from the AU back, and as the U4.5 was at the same price as I had laid at I decided to let it run. I also went completely against the whole principle that I set this project in motion with (no punting!)... I laid U3.5 at 1.17 for £40 so I at this point had a total liability on the game of £16 ish. Obviously a 1-3 final score made this a winner so I finished the day with a profit of £51.97 net of commission.

Had I been around for the whole match I am confident that my result would have been much better, and I'm happy that my read of the game pre kick off was pretty much spot on..

Today's Profit: £51.97

Bank to carry forward: £ 147.46

A quick recap of progress so far - ahead of the game again now. Therefore I've decided to revert to the original 2.5% per day compounding target (mainly so I don't have to keep re-writing that blasted spreadsheet !)

 Tomorrow's proposed trade

A completely useless coupon tomorrow with only one game catching my eye - a Spanish Cup tie between Granada and Betis. Wednesday night is often a beer night in my area, and with such a poor coupon, and as I'm a few days ahead of where I need to be, I might decide to have the night off....

Switzerland v England Euro Q'rs

There is absolutely no sane or rational reason for what I'm going to do... but I've got one of those feelings in these old bones! It's quite possible I'll end up with egg on the chin - but if I wrote this after the event (assuming I'm right!) you wouldn't believe me :-)

A great weight has been lifted off Rooney's shoulders.... you've got to wonder if all the pressure was the reason he was cack in South Africa. You've also got to assume his team-mates knew some or all of it as well....and rumour has it some of them have skeletons rattling around in the cupboard underneath a load of super-injunctions! He has a point to prove and  will go about it in 'bull in a china shop' style. This means, to me, he'll either get sent off or score goals!

The market is not expecting goals. 0-0 at the time of writing is 9.2, u1.5 at 3 and u2.5 at 1.68 and Any Unquoted at 16.5.

To me this game is crying out for a contrarian trade - going against the market.

My trade? Lay u4.5 for £100 at 1.1 pre match, back AU £2. Simple. Going out at half time so it'll either leave me three days behind target or put me way ahead! Might even get a decent green before half time...

We'll see!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Back on Track...that'll do nicely

Starting Bank: £76.85

Daily Target (2.85%): £2.19

After yesterday's totally unnecessary setback I had a good evening's trading from an exceptionally poor card. Having said that it didn't start too promisingly - I had an unsuccessful lay of 1-1 in the Hammabby match. I laid at 1.33 so lost £3.30 to a ten pound stake. This is something I do regularly as the stats say an awful lot of goals are scored in the last fifteen minutes of a game. As long as you achieve at least a 50% hit rate you will be ok overall as you are laying odds-on prices.

The main event for me was AGOVV v Eindhoven. My reading of the game as a draw could not have been more wrong - the underdogs won 0-3! But, there were goals! I successfully backed and laid both 0-0 and U1.5 pre-match and so was able to have 'free' bets on 1-1 1-2 2-1 2-0 and 0-2. When the score got to 0-2 I was able in a nice position and was able to back both 0-3 and 1-3 for an overall profit of £15 nett.

One of those off the cuff moments occurred during the evening when one of the nugget crew chat room boys noticed an Italian game at 1-0 with 52 minutes gone. We got on 2-2 for around the 20 mark and two quick goals took the score to 1-2 bringing the 2-2 price crashing in. I was able to turn £2 into £6.94 after commission in about 10 minutes! Thanks, Sinc, good spot! That probably sounds like a punt... well, it was! But I only did it because my day's target was already safely in the bag by that time.

An overall profit of £18.64 smashed my revised 2.85% daily target and has returned me to a steady course...

Today's Profit: £ 18.64

 Bank to carry forward: £95.49

 Tomorrow's proposed trade

It's those pesky internationals tomorrow and I have my eye on one and a half trades. Tuesday night is my sports night so I can only trade until half time. I'll be doing a low scores tradewith cover on O2.5 in the Russia game and will back 0-0 1-0 0-1 in the England game with cover on O1.5 first half goals. I think Switzerland will 'park the bus'. They seem to have no real ambition going forward and we know that at least one member of the England attack is.... distracted. I think England will prevail but do not expect early goals.

A stupid, stupid, stupid thing to do - disaster strikes!

Starting Bank: £130.08

Daily Target (2.5%): £3.25

A frustrating day, Sunday. And a lesson learnt - more of which in a moment - let's look at the positives first.

Scandinavia is a wonderful place to visit, and sometimes the football there produces lots of goals. I got involved in a little correct score and goals trade in the match between Syrianska and Osters in Sweden. A 3-0 home win, perhaps a little shy of the expectation but still a trade that netted a small profit. I backed a couple of scores in correct score with some cover on a lay of u4.5 goals.

By way of a small diversion I traded the England / Pakistan 20/20 cricket match. I love trading 20/20 - the game moves so quickly, and price swings can be enormous. With a bigger bank I'd have really cleaned up, but made a tidy £8 after commission laying England then backing them later, wit a bit of scalping the prices in between.

Early in the evening Tenerife entertained Salamanca in the Spanish Segunda Division. A trade based around 1-1 2-1 and 1-2, together with a lay of U2.5 goals produced a healthy profit. So, at about 9pm I was sitting pretty for the day, and made the decision to get involved with a Brazilian game between Athletico MG and Sao Paolo. And that is where it all went pearshaped!

I backed 0-0 at 14, getting £37 and some coppers matched, which I was able to lay off two ticks lower before kick off - giving a green of £37 on 0-0. For a correct score trader that is an ideal position to be in - you don't have to worry about the nightmare of a 0-0 result! My thinking was that the game would be 2-1 maybe 3-1 to Athletico, and my staking was based around that. To help cover the stake I put a £50 back and a £100 lay on U1.5 and O1.5 goals respectively about 1/2 hour before kick off. The corresponding lay bets were placed. My goal was to have a healthy position on U1.5 - to take the 0-1 and 1-0 scores out of the equation for later. Great strategy...... as long as you remember that you've done it and check that the lays had been can probably guess the rest.

A goal by Athletico at about the 10 minute mark killed both those trades. The lays had not been taken! And I hadn't noticed....why, I don't know. With a £160ish bank as it was by then you'd think you'd notice an £83 hole wouldn't you?? The correct score trade itself was a scratch - Sao Paolo ran out 2-3 winners, but I managed to come out clean.

So, a £53 loss on the day - hard to take when the actual trading itself for the day had actually been quite profitable - and the whole enterprise was four or five whole days ahead of schedule at the start of the day.

Today's Profit: -£53.23   Bank to carry forward: £76.85

Today's proposed trade

I am thoroughly disappointed with myself for making such an elementary mistake... but am a resilient character and will overcome these little distractions! A quick re-visit and recalculation of my spreadsheet reveals that the damage is not as severe as I had feared. My goal is still eminently achievable, but I need to now increase my daily target to 2.85% of my bank.

The first step toward redemption is the hard to read match between AGOVV and FC Eindoven in the Jupiler League tonight. With two very well matched sides my suspicion is a draw. The goal count is harder to establish, but the market is expecting goals.....but then it was on Saturday as well.....

We'll see how it pans out - you might want to wish me luck :-)

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Saved by the whistle...and a little bit too much 'punting'

Starting Bank: £116.07

Daily Target (2.5%): £2.90

Another strange and in some ways frustrating day. Starting with MK Dons at just after mid-day. The expected goal-fest, surprise surprise, failed to materialise and a thoroughly un-inspiring game ended as a 1-0 home victory.

My staking was geared very much toward a comfortable two or three goal home win, and luckily my insurance on 0-0 paid dividends. It didn't cover the entire stake however, and I decided at around 65 minutes to take the green on 0-0 and then lay it again by enough to cover the outstanding stakes plus a bit. When I say a bit, I mean a bit! The 77th minute winner netted yours truly just over £2 once Betfair had taken their 5%.

Onwards to Carlisle v Swindon and Exeter  v Charlton. Suffice to say the first one ended 0-0 and the second one was 0-0 at 92 minutes when Exeter were awarded, and scored, a penalty. Practically all the other games in League 1 bar these two had more than 2 goals - but I managed to pick the two dodgy ones! Net result from both of them? £1.75 nett....

So from 3 games, 3 hours of football I'd made under £4! I could earn more stuffing envelopes! BUT I'd made my daily target.

The saving grace for me was the match between two former League clubs - Grimsby and Luton - both of whom now reside in the Blue Square Premier league. Bloody international breaks!!!

Thinking this would be a win for Luton staking was biased around scores to and including 1-2 and 2-1 with cover on over 3.5 goals. Luton duly failed to live up to their billing as favourites and lost 2-0. Which is where the 'too much punting' in the post title comes into play. Thinking the goals lay had tidied all loose scores up I was horrified when Grimsby went 2-0 up to 'suddenly' discover I was totally exposed to 3-0! Talk about not paying attention! A sweaty few minutes ensued before I was able to cover that score - which turned out to be unnecessay - and a profit of around £15 was mine

Today's Profit: £19.01  

Withdrawn: £5.00

Bank to carry forward: £130.08

Tomorrow's proposed trade

Today's forays into the lower leagues of English football has made me a little circumspect about tomorrow's card. So I might well cut the grass tomorrow afternoon and return fresh of mind and body for some of the later Italian and Spanish matches. Nothing certain yet - will ponder which matches tomorrow.

Roll on the return of the Premier, La Liga and Serie A - at least we might get good quality soccer!

Quick progress check:

Despite the trials and tribulations of the past couple of days - everything seems to be working. I love it when a plan comes together....

Friday, 3 September 2010

Slight set back today...

Starting Bank: £121.31

Daily Target (2.5%):  £3.03

A frustrating day today, for a number of reasons. Firstly my read of the games involving Italy and France were spot on and I didn't trade them! France actually lost to Belarus, and Italy were behind for sufficiently long to have had a nice return from laying them even though they ran out as 1-2 winners!

Of the games I did trade the Republic of Ireland went according to plan, finishing 0-1. £10 staked in total, a portion of which went on a stake on Over 2.5 goals as insurance gave a return of £2.98 after commission. So far, so good....

I talk elsewhere on blog of the chatroom of Trading Football - and a couple of the wise old hands in their warned me in the strongest terms to leave an 'un-managed' market well alone. I, of course, knew better and laid Russia £100 at 1.05. There was no liquidity, and Russia taking the lead after 14 minutes killed that trade stone dead. £5 lost.

Never mind - I can make that up on England! I laid England for £10 at 1.8 in the First Half market - intending to green up my position after 15-20 minutes. Then the Bulgarian full back had a rush of blood to the boot and allowed England to nick an early goal. My normal response (pre my newly 'Disciplined' style) would have been to lay again at very low odds and pray for an equaliser! This time I dejectedly took the red - £6.90 lost. I did recover a massive 3.68 after commission by laying any unquoted at 1-0 - but wisely (as it happened) took the profit just after half time. So a loss on the day of £5.24 after commission.

The reason is simple - I had two completely un-insured trades and it hurt both times. This endeavour is never going to succeed if I keep doing that .... so it stops. Now. No more un-insured trading - because that is effectively punting... and that's what I want NOT to be doing!!!!

Today's Profit:  -£5.24  

Bank to carry forward: £116.07

Tomorrow's proposed trade

The blasted international break means no big leagues tomorrow, but there are still some interesting games that I'll be trading. At 12.15 MK Dons take on Hartlepool. At 3pm we have a number of intriguing games and I shall look at options on them in-play rather than going into them with a fixed plan in mind now - i.e. trade what I see. Then later in the evening, if I'm still awake, it'll be Grimsby / Luton.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Euro Qualifiers - Traders's heaven or a banana skin?

There are some .... interesting games tomorrow, and I'm going to try to pick a couple of trades from amongst them.

Firstly, what about the two World Cup round 1 casualties, France and Italy? Odds on favourites in their respective games. Have they shaken off their dismal performances in South Africa and are they now safe bets? They both SHOULD be but I, for one, will be leaving well alone - unless an opportunity presents itself during play.

From the rest I am looking at 3 games in particular. There will be a load of patriotic, or 'fan' money on England - and there is a strong argument that they are under priced. A strange looking team (in terms of a lack of 'regulars') and a question mark over the manager....Having said all that you've got to think the team will have 'something to prove'. The question, for me, is how long will it take them to score? I think they'll win the game, but wonder if it'll take them a while to gel. So my intention is to lay them for £10 in the First Half market - looking to take a small green after 15-20 minutes. I won't be insuring that trade so it's a tad risky....

The Republic of Ireland get their campaign off the ground earlier in the day away to Armenia, and are odds-on to win. Over 2.5 goals is currently at 2.44 so it seems to me that a trade on 0-0, 0-1, 1-1 and 1-0 for twenty minutes, covered by a bet on overs, will work out quite nicely...

Now for the riskier one.... Andorra v Russia. Betfair, for reasons best known to themselves, have put this game on the un-managed in-play coupon, and Russia are available to lay at 1.05. I'll lay them £100 - so a fiver liability. I don't expect Andorra to win, or even to draw. But I do expect them to 'park the bus' in a quite physical way and expect to be able to nick a few ticks here.

There are a number of excellent 'Lay the Draw' opportunites on the coupon, and I'll be keeping a watching brief on those games, but have no plans at the moment to get involved with them. Anyone interested in Laying the Draw as a long term strategy can do a lot worse than having a look at RB's blog "The Dream is Still Alive" - link below.

That all looks quite a lot, but remember my target for tomorrow is a mere £3 and some coppers, so my exposure need not be massive...

The Great Escape....or Lady Luck

Opening bank: £116.05

Daily target (2.5%): £2.90

Sometimes things happen that cause us to change our plans... such an event was a call from a mate to go out last night to watch live music - something I rarely turn down! Being picked up at 8.15 meant another evening of first half trading only!

I had placed a back of £50 on 2-0 in the Sheffield Wednesday match and it had been matched by lunchtime. I placed my lay bet 1 tick below, the aim being to achieve a 'free' £25 on 2-0.... Team news from the two camps before kick off  suggested resting lots of players, and Wednesday were going into battle without two key centre-backs. Inevitably the 2-0 price drifted, whereas my expectation was for it to come in a bit, and my lay wasn't matched prior to kick-off.

My plan then was to jump straight in after the lifting of the k/o suspension, but unfortunately someone put a massive lump of money 1 tick higher than mine! I was in the process of moving my bet up a couple of ticks to take a small hedged loss and WHAM! SUSPENDED....1-0! Phew! A goal the other way would have left my £100 to £2000 experiment looking a little bit sorry for itself unless I had been able to conjure something up...

Because the opening goal was so early in the game the effect on the 2-0 price wasn't fantastic, but I put my lay bet in to give me a £35 free profit on 2-0 leaving zero on all other scores, and waited a few minutes for the price to drop a bit further before greening up. Just after I greened up Wednesday went 2-0! Too late for that trade but an ideal opportunity to nick a few ticks by laying Any Unquoted at 2.60. My friend called for me as promised at 8.15 so I left home relieved to have exceeded my daily target with a somewhat fortuitous £5.26 net of commission! I hadn't touched the Betis game at all, which is a shame as although it ended 2-1 the first goal wasn't scored until the 40 minute mark, and the game would have been ideal for my intended trade!

Profit: £5.26

Bank at end: £121.31

A quick look at my progress so far:

After four days, I am where I should be after 8 days - that's a situation I can live with...

Today's trade - or lack of!

The International Break has left an absolutely awful In-Play Coupon today, and one of the rules of Gun's new disciplinarian regime is 'Don't trade for the sake of it...' so a day off for me today.

Be back later with some thoughts on the internationals tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Slow and steady wins the race..

Opening Bank: £109.91

Daily Target (2.5%): £2.75

A successful trade again tonight, although not without a few minutes of worry...

I backed 0-0 1-0 and 0-1 for a total stake of £15 in the Johnstone's Paint tie between Southend and Gillingham. My intention was to insure the stake, or a large part of it, in the First Half Goals market. The concern with some of these lesser matches is that they don't always attract a huge amount of money, and that can make getting matched on some of the less popular markets a tad difficult. The flip side to that is that sometimes prices fall or rise considerably more quickly than in a market with good liquidity, and you can ask for better prices with a fair chance of getting matched. That proved to be the case in this game, and I was able to lay £15 in the Under 1.5 in the FHG market at 1.15 - a liability of £2.25 - at about the 17 minute mark.

Therein lies the 'gambling' aspect of a trade like this - had a goal been scored in those first 17 minutes I would have been left with only one active bet, and would have had no choice but to 'red up' and take a loss on the trade because I wasn't going to be around to trade the second half. But, no goal was scored and I felt the 'premium' paid for the 'insurance' was more than reasonable - I could now relax a little bit secure in the knowledge that I had some cover in case of one goal, and total cover if two goals were scored in a short space of time.

I allowed the 0-0 to run to 30 minutes and then took the profit on that scoreline. To have left it much longer would have denied me the opportunity of greening up on the U1.5 lay in the event of a goal. At the 40 minute mark I submitted the two lay bets to green the other two scorelines - then ensued the worrying period I referred to above...

The lay of 0-1 was matched pretty well immediately. However someone had offered a lay 1 tick higher than mine on the 1-0 scoreline and my bet was in the queue to be matched... then... SUSPENDED!! Let me assure you I am not a lucky person... and was convinced that it was Gills who had scored - and I'd laid that score off!! Luckily, for once, this was another of Betfair's long suspensions and when it was lifted the score was still level. The lay on 1-0 was matched just after the half time whistle and I went off to play badminton secure in the knowledge of a profit of £8.39 nett was already in the bag. Subtract the liability of £2.25 on the U1.5 lay leaves a profit of £6.14. I'll roll all of that amount back into the bank.

Profit: £6.14

Bank at end: £116.05

Tomorrow's proposed trade:

I must confess to actively disliking these blasted 'International Breaks'! They don't consider us soccer traders when they interrupt the major leagues for a fortnight just after it has all started up again! That said, tomorrow's in-play card looks ok and two matches have caught my eye.

The Johnstone's Paint tie  between Sheffield Wednesday and Notts County screams 'goals' at me. I have placed a £50 back on 2-0 at the time of writing and would expect that price to come in a tick or two prior to kick off - so I'm hoping for a free bet there! If it doesn't get taken, fine. If it does and I can't lay it prior to kick off at a profit I'll just scratch or take a small loss on the chin. My main angle on this game will be to back 1-1, 2-1 and 1-2 and trade the scores as the goals go in.

The other match I'm considering is the Spanish Cup tie between Betis and Salamanca. This looks like a straightforward home win, but doesn't have the appearance of a goal-fest to it! I think this is a contender for 0-0 1-0 0-1 1-1 with some cover on the O2.5 goals market taken in play as the price rises.

Thoughts on the Ryder Cup

I don't envy Monty's job in picking his three wild cards, and only time will tell if he's done the right thing in leaving the likes of Casey and Rose out for Harrington, whose form has been indifferent of late and Luke Donald. What is interesting is the inclusion of both Molinari brothers whose golf this season has been extremely impressive.

Corey Pavin will be announcing his wild cards on 7th September. How amazing that Tiger is one of those waiting for the call....I'm not convinced Woods is a team player, but it would take substantial balls for Pavin to leave him stateside. The bank in my experiment is too small to have money tied up until early October, but I've put a few quid on Europe from my main account as I think the price will steam a bit between now and the first week of October. There will be masses of trading opportunities over the tournament weekend and I for one have already told the missus she needs to make alternative TV viewing arrangements!