Monday, 18 October 2010


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!


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