Thursday, 25 November 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Some thoughts on attitude and mindset...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 19 November 2010

Trading with green.....

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wish me luck....

Friday, 12 November 2010

Any Unquoted - Correct Score 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until later, over and out!

Two successful Scatter Guns tonight..

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

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

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

A mouthwatering prospect tomorrow evening....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 8 November 2010

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

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

Hello troops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The mighty Any Unquoted - in all its glory!

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

Friday, 5 November 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Until the weekend....

A mixed night in the Europa League

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Thank you everyone for sticking with me!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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