Wednesday, 31 August 2011

What a difference a half makes - now £12k matched

Wherever the money was, it came back! The match ended 1-1 - my earlier post about silly starts refers! As you can see by full time over £12k had been matched on Correct Score, and I made over £20 from my original £9 stakes - with a nice wad sitting on 2-1 and 1-2 should it have gone either way.

Perhaps the lesson to be learnt here is that there are occasions where it is better to get involved in the second half of matches - I wouldn't mind betting that most of that £8k traded in the second half was people scalping the 1-1 having decided the draw was looking likely.

A sure fire winner!

Here's the half time Correct Score screenshot for the Depo Cali game mentioned below. I said 1.01 the matched amount would be less that £5k and it hasn't even made £4k!

If you look closely you, like me, will be wondering why I should be finding it relatively difficult to secure a sensible green with the score at 1-1 at half time! The reason, simply, is that no one is trading the game. This is becoming  a much more frequent occurrence lately and I for one hope it rectifies itself soon.

I wonder where all the money has gone....

I'm fairly sure it's not just my imagination but there doesn't seem to be anywhere near the liquidity in the football markets (outside the big games) compared to last season. I don't remember it being a drama getting my scatter gun stakes matched in even the most obscure matches before kick off. Often this season I've seen markets with less than £300 matched with only minutes to kick off. Here is a screenshot from tonight's must trade Columbian tie between Deportivo Cali and Once Caldas. With 6 and a bit minutes to kick off only £600 matched. I appreciate this isn't a Manchester derby, and with a 9.30 BST kick off it might be late for some to trade - but, really, where is all the money?

If I remember I'll screenshot it at half time, but 1.01 it'll be less than 5k matched.

Is it the new 60% 'tax' Betfair are charging their big players? Has lots of liquidity moved to the PC free environs of Betdaq? Are there too many live games on the coupons diluting liquidity? Are Betfair or the big players no longer 'seeding' markets? Is it the same story on the nags? (No good asking me - I'd be just as well dropping £20 notes into the drain as trying to trade our four legged friends!).

It's not just pre match either. A chatroom colleague was bemoaning his fate in an English Championship match (I forget which, but a game you'd think would attract money) last Saturday afternoon, all the money apparently left the market at kick off and stayed out until 15 mins or so had gone by, leaving him with an unhealthy and inescapable position on 0-0!

Fortunately for me, trading scatter guns with £9 stakes rarely means liquidity is too much of an issue. If your trading comprises trades requiring more outlay, such as laying the draw for example, I think I'd be checking liquidity very carefully in all but the biggest games if I were you!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Take advantage of silly starts

There was a local derby in the Croatian city of Split yesterday. Hadjuk, the away team, scored after 2 minutes. By four minutes the home side, RNK, were level. Taking into account a little bit of injury time it is fair to say there was still 90 minutes of football left and two goals already scored. There is an obvious market to take advantage of in this situation - namely the Under 2.5 goals market.

I entered a back on Under 2.5 at 12, investing the interweb equivalent of a crisp brown ten pound note. More of a punt than a trade, but I've been trading correct score football matches for long enough to know that these frenetic starts often fizzle away to nothing and a stalemate. I took a sizeable green at around 60 minutes when the price had dropped to 3. You can probably guess the result... yep, 1-1!

Had the two goals been to the same side I would probably have laid Any Unquoted in the Correct Score market.

The point is that when silly starts occur the prices in certain markets offer loads more possibilities for profit than was ever going to be the case pre match. Sure it's a risky trade, and not one I'd enter in a match with a very strong favourite, but if you are looking at a game with relatively evenly matched teams you can often make a nice profit because the prices are so tradeable.

Opportunities like this happen surprisingly frequently, so good luck in sniffing them out and in getting green from them.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Stats, figures and opinions

For me, an important part of deciding on a strategy to employ before a match starts are the facts and opinions available to me. I might look at, amongst others, or the bbc, and I might consult one of the many on line forums. But I also rely quite heavily on the odds being offered on Betfair and traditional bookmakers. As a sense check for other sources of information you can rely quite well on the collective informed opinion that causes  markets to be priced as they are.

But what about when the game turns in play and the real trading begins?

I have said before that I seldom watch or listen to a game that I'm trading. The reason is that my opinion (i.e. conclusions made in my head) is far too easily influenced by what I can see and hear. Many is the time that I've lumped on high scores in a game that finishes 0-0 or exited a trade at half time because the match has been slow and boring only for there to be four or five second half goals. I find it suits me much better to rely on what I know - ie. the current score and the current time elapsed / remaining. It is, afterall, these two factors that drive the prices in all markets.

Some of the people I trade with on line put a lot of store in the stats available on sites such as flashscores, using things like shots on target to decide if a particular course of action is viable or not. This approach doesn't suit me, so I take no notice of it usually, but tonight it came up again and I got wondering who decides what a 'Shot on Target' actually is? Are headers included, for example? What about a shot destined for row Z that flies off an outstretched boot into the goal? If it ended up in the net, it must have been 'on target' in one sense! Or a scuffed shot right heading right for the far corner but at such a pace that even I would stand a half sensible chance of keeping it out?

I know the guys you use these stats are generally speaking successful with their trade - and I'm in no way knocking or mocking it! I just wondered, that's all! Answers on a postcard, please!

Monday, 22 August 2011

No need to wait until the end of the game..

.... 4-0 at 75 mins - trade dead and buried - but the idea is sound!

Another tweakette .. if there isn't such a word, there should be!

Live trading a Scatter Gun on a French match between Nantes and Guingamp. In my opinion 1-1 was a very reasonable estimate for this game, the away team favourites pre match at about 2.5 and U2.5 starting at under 1.7. A classic low scoring French affair!

When Nantes, the underdogs took the lead the 1-1 price steamed in quite strongly so, on the basis that it wouldn't go much lower for quite some time even if there were an equaliser, I took £3 of my £5 stake on 1-1 out of the market. At this stage I am -£6 on all bar the three sg scores.

By half time Nantes had doubled their lead, resulting in a substantial steam on the 2-1 price. I could now get out of the game for a £2 ish loss and move on.

But lets's think about it for a second....if it finishes 2-0, or goes 3-0 I'm £6 down. If Guingamp get a goal I'll probably be able to get out for a small profit, or let it run to increase my green as time passes by. Taking a look at the Match Odds market I can lay Nantes at 1.05. Put it another way, laying  Nantes for £100 will take me to a massive £11 red overall! I can afford to lose that - it will neither stop me trading or get the house repossessed!

Let's suppose Guingamp get a goal back.... Nantes match odds spring out to say 1.18 - 1.2 - I can green for £11 in match odds at 1.18 - so I then can't lose money on the whole match and can afford to take my time greening up on 2-1.

A simple use of another market to buy leverage. Let's see if it pays off - update later on!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Profiting from being 'nearly right'

Having paper traded qualifying matches for 4 days, with 92 qualifying matches I think I can start pulling some conclusions together. Below is the summary page from my spreadsheet:
With a strike rate of nearly 36% and a return on investment of just under 25% this little experiment tells me, first and foremost, that my simple selection criteria are actually quite accurate and reliable. The frequency of our scores, in all three instances, is above the averaged frequency figures for the major European leagues (i.e. in our games 1-1 has been the result in 13% of matches against an average of just over 12% in the leagues.). This is just what I would hope and expect to see as we are actively trying to seek these results out!

Whilst it would be interesting to continue with this exercise over a more meaningful time scale I am going to leave that to others more motivated than me! I am convinced that I don't need to tweak my match selection criteria too much to produce a workable mechanical trade, although in reality I often so this trade with favourites a bit shorter and dogs a bit bigger than the limits I set myself here. When I look at some of those 92 games I am convinced I would have made more trading them - the 2-2 matches for example - must, by definition have passed through 1-2 or 2-1, and some of them would have passed through 1-1 as well. The green opportunities were there!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

What a difference a day makes!

The paper exercise on Scatter Gun set and forget punts (I can't really call it trading, can I?) is looking very interesting.

This screenshot shows the results from the first two days:

After Day one, you'd scrap the idea. After day two you'd remortgage your house! Seriously, for me, two things stand out - firstly yesterday saw an abnormally high incidence of 0-0 scores, and far too few 1-1's ... BUT, secondly, a strike rate of 30% saw a tiny profit.

This screenshot shows the running totals so far:

It's too late and I'm too tired to write more about this tonight, but again look at the return from a modest strike rate.

More tomorrow....

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Set and forget Scatter Guns..a follow up

The idea of trying the set and forget SG's on the opening day of the Premiership was mainly just a bit of fun. There was, however, another factor which made me want to try it. There is a small group of traders, calling themselves the Argy Bargies, who occasionally trade the late night / early morning (UK time) Latin American matches in Brazil, Chile and Argentina, with the occasional foray into the USA and the smaller South American countries. As I do need to sleep I have been using set and forget SG's on the later matches quite a lot recently with positive results, and, as always, that got me wondering...

In last night's post I asked for mathematically minded people to give their thoughts on the outcome and on my analysis of it. This generated an interesting response from Pete, whom I forgive for his gentle jibe at the sporadic nature of my blogging :-), which is well worth a read.

One of the points Pete makes is with regard to the returns from the three scorelines:
your profit over the different outcomes isn't uniform, currently if you get 75% of your winners at 1-1 you'll win far more than if you get 25% of them at 1-1. Had all your winning matches finished 2-1 to the home side you would have finished with a £7.20 profit, had they all been 1-1 you would have made £110. As it is by betting on all 6 games you would have made £62 not the £10 quoted (I believe you averaged rather than summed the games) From Qualifiers only it was £27 profit. 
The reason I stake the SG at multiples of 5 and 2 if trading the game is because the key to the SG as a trade is the 1-1 scoreline, so I want a larger profit on that to provide me with options after the first goal is scored. As a set and forget, would it better to adjust these stakes? Dutching them, to give an identical profit across all three is an option, and on the average odds used in the Prem games would have given an even profit of £23 bar a few coppers. That would have resulted in less profit than was actually generated (£42 against £62).

Some basic research on confirms that in all the major leagues 1-1 and 2-1 are much more frequent results than 1-2 so after playing around a bit with the stakes I have concluded that a better way to stake this as a set and forget would be £4 on 1-1, £3 on 2-1 and £2 on 1-2 (or multiples thereof).

Pete also refers to the issue of match selection:
I think the main issue before you can contemplate an edge is game selection obviously blindly backing 1-1, 2-1 and 1-2 in either every game or game with teams who are close in the markets isn't going to work. As you're rulling out straight away games like man utd on the road where they do tend to draw alot (50% of matches last season) yet will likely be an odds on favourite.
Hard to argue against that! When trading the SG, particularly in the top leagues, I would rarely ignore some  odds on favourites. In the prem, I wouldn't ignore ANY of them - the league is so competitive now that 1-1 is frequently hit at some point during the match and provides options even if the final score represents a rout!

With my trading hat on, when I first started playing around developing this, I researched the games thoroughly. I looked at the form, head to heads and the prices on M/O, CS and the goals markets on Betfair prior to deciding whether or not to enter a trade. I rarely bother now! Using such small stakes together with various other enhancements (for example scalping some 0-0 cover pre match and entering the U2.5 goals market immediately after a goal to get cover - live example as I type, Kilmarnock 1-0 against Hibs after 3 minutes - entering U2.5 at 3's) means this trade is so generally successful that I can afford the odd wipeout.

I am now confident and comfortable enough with the SG that given relatively evenly matched teams (even if I've never heard of them or know little about their respective recent form, league positions, team selection or anything else for that matter) and decent liquidity I will enter a trade.

Going on from here this is what I'm going to do, again as a paper exercise. With neither team below 2 or above 4 in match odds I will paper 'punt' the SG scorelines. I'm not patient or motivated enough to look up the CS odds so will use 7.2 for 1-1, 12 for 1-2 and 10 for 2-1 as the odds, staked £4 on 1-1, £3 on 2-1 and £2 on 1-2. Just for fun..... unless the results start suggesting otherwise....

As an aside I entered U2.5 in the Killie game at 3 and got out at 2.84. It is now 1-1, after 18 minutes so I've exited the trade for a small loss on 1-1 and small greens on the other two. The goals came too early in this instance, but a profit ensues. 1.01 the bloody game ends 1-1 now!

You know I said I was no mathematician??? I'm no Excel expert, either!

Doh! Due to Pete's comment on last night's post, more about which later, I realised I had had a major calculation fcuk up in my analysis of yesterday's trades! The Summary column for the results, was, as Pete noted, set to calculate an Average result, not the sum of the profit and loss! So a profit of £62 was the reality, not the £10 mentioned. The corrected spreadsheet is pictured below:

Thanks for pointing that out Pete.

That's what comes of writing posts after a hard day's work and an evening's trading! It completely changes all the figures, obvioulsy, and gives a return of over 100% on stakes. Can't be bad, can it?

Therefore please ignore most of last night's post as the ramblings of an idiot!

I also owe an apology to the other Pete, my TF chatroom friend RedImp. You won the competition mate! Your prediction was closer than mine. Unfortuantely Mrs Gun spent the prize money last night on a new kitchen so I'd refer you to condition 7 sub clause iv) of the rules regarding prizes.... which basically says 'tough luck' !

Saturday, 13 August 2011

It was only a game....

.... but nobody wanted to play!

Below is the screenshot of the result of our little play around with Scatter Gunning the opening fay of the Premiership. As you can see this paper trade would, if played for real, have secured a £10 return on a £54 investment - my simple maths suggests that's nearly 20%.

I certainly didn't have Newcastle v Arsenal down as a 0-0! Fulham v Villa is no great surprise, but the best win of the lot of course was Liverpool. A missed penalty and 1-0 after 15 minutes or so would almost certainly have caused me to at least think about exiting the trade for a loss in the first half had I been actively managing the game. Then again, I made a lot of money last season opposing Liverpool and if I'm honest the gambler in me would almost certainly have talked the trader out of exiting the game at 1-0 - I would almost expect Liverpool to struggle later in the game. It seems to me, for all King Kenny's summer signings, that they are a rudderless ship when a certain Stevie G is on the sidelines.

Interestingly the Strike Rate for these six games was 50% - as was the SR for the 'qualifying' games. But if I had restricted it t 'qualifiers' the £36 invested would have returned £45 or an £11 profit (30%). Six games is obviously far too small a sample to draw any meaningful conclusions from, but it sort of backs up what I expected - i.e. that game selection is more important that getting better odds.

The other thing that strikes me, talking about odds, is how broadly similar the odds on offer are, and the 'Summary' cell at the bottom of the individual columns gives the average odds on offer for the 3 scores. If we take them in turn.... 1-1 Ave Odds 7.8 - implied probability just shy of 13% . For 1-2 its 15.92, 6.25% and finally for 2-1 it's 11.02 with implied probability of 9%.

I've said before that I'm no mathematician and I'm certainly not a statistician but to my simple mind we are betting on three scores with a combined implied probability of 25ish % and getting a return in 50% of trades entered. Does this mean the humble old SG has a 50% edge??? Perhaps some of you more mathematically minded folk could explain (in English, please :-)) if this is the case or am I barking up the wrong tree???

Friday, 12 August 2011

A little bit of fun now the 'proper' season is starting...

Fortunately for me Saturday is usually a busy day in a prestige motor dealership. Unfortunately this means I can't trade the opening games of the new Premiership campaign. So, as a bit of fun, I thought I'd paper trade the six games on tomorrow's coupon with a scatter gun on each in a 'set and forget' mode.

The screenshot below shows prices for the six games at twenty to eleven the night before.

I will update the spreadsheet tomorrow night after the gooners have surrendered another 4 goal lead at St James's Park!

As a bit of light relief, no prizes on offer, it would be interesting to see what people think the outcome will be. The outlay  is £9 per game, or £54 in total - so if interested please place a comment with your best estimate of the amount I would see back in my Bf account if this were for real.

Mentions in dispatches for the nearest guestimate!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Ever scalped a free green on 0-0 and then wondered what to do with it?

As the stats tell us that a 0-0 result occurs between about 8% and about 12% of matches, depending on the league, it stands to reason that the odds on this score usually start relatively high. In a game with 0-0 'written all over it' you could probably get 9 pre-match. Evenly matched games between frequent scoring sides will see 0-0 at between 11 and about 14. There is usually a bit of pre match activity on this score, and if you back at 12 for £100 and lay at 11.5 for the same amount you will have a 'free' £50 on 0-0. You can either hedge that £50 for a whopping £4 on all scores, let it go in play and green up later - assuming there have been no goals - or use it as the basis of another trade.

Here are two simple ways in which you might use that money...

1) Use all or some of your 'free' green as the liability on a lay the draw trade - or as partial cover if you prefer. If the favourite scores first you can almost certainly green up pretty quickly and move on to another trade. If the underdog scores first, depending on the timing of the goal, you will probably be looking at a scratch or small loss.

2) Use  75% of your 'free' money to lay U2.5 goals. This works best after 30 minutes, so there will be games when your free green goes west. Assuming it's still 0-0 at 30 minutes, laying U2.5 at (depending on the game) between 1.3 and 1.5 will give you an immediate green if the first goal arrives before 60 minutes. What you do then depends on how you read the game...if you think more goals are likely you might let it run, scratching at break even point if there are no more goals. If you think the game is spent, take your money and move on. If unsure, remove your liability from under 2.5 and let the trade run - a no lose situation.

The danger with this one is a late goal which wipes out the free 0-0 but doesn't move U2.5 sufficiently to green up. That is why I suggest you use only 75% of your free money. The 0-0 odds will fall more quickly than U2.5 - after all it's a lot further to go! I personally would exit this trade if 0-0 at 65 minutes.

Two simple but effective uses of a one tick fall in the price of 0-0 pre-match. How you chose which games to try to get this free 0-0 is down to you - but be warned! There will be matches where 0-0 drifts a tick or two before kick off.

Best of luck with it if you try it!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Just a quickie...

... sitting here at midnight waiting for something, nay, anything, to happen in the Palmeiras game in Brazil so thought I'd pen my thoughts on a  speculative but profitable trade I quite often do, and why I didn't but should have tonight!

Driving home from work tonight I was listening to 5 live commentating on the Saints v Leeds Championship game. It was 2-0 to Saints at half time, and by all accounts it could have been loads more. By the time I'd fired up my PC and logged on to everything at home it was 3-0 and Saints were set fair for a romp to the line.

Ordinarily I don't watch or listen to matches that I trade. This is because I convince myself there's going to be more goals than usually is the case and bottle out of trades. I've concluded that for my particular style of trading that ignorance is bliss. Because I allowed myself to be unduly influenced by a gushing commentary I chose not to lay Any Unquoted at 1.6 at 3-0.

Any Unquoted is a scoreline which tends to over react massively - especially where a 3 goal to one team situation arises. In part this is because most people ignore it when setting up correct score trades as 4 goals to one team is a rare event, so if a game nudges toward a four goal score for one side people start frantically covering their bases. In  other respects it just reflects the human condition ... fight or flight in a way!

But let's get a bit analytical about it....odds of 1.6 imply that there is a 60% probability that the game will have one team hit four or more goals. Really???? In the Championship, season 2010 - 2011 roughly 10% of games finished with four or more goals to one or both teams. Looking at matches where one side had scored 3 by half time, then 58% finished four or more - ie close to the figure represented by 1.6. This match was 2-0 at half time, and using that matrix the figure is closer to 30%.

I haven't looked at other leagues, and this was a Championship match, and of course it would require a lot of patient digging to establish when the fourth goal was scored. What I do know is that used as a  time limited strategy this little trade has made me a lot more than it's cost me. Judiciously covering liability in small lumps as the price begins to move out ensures that you rarely, if ever, get caught for the whole amount.

There is a large risk with this trade - the faint of heart need not apply! But, when you hear people talk about finding 'value' in a trade this is the kind of thing I think they mean. The odds on offer are clearly light of the actual probability, and therefore in my humble opinion this is a lay begging to be laid!

So, what of the game? You can probably guess from my title that the fourth goal didn't come - Saints 3 Leeds 1. And I bottled it because of listening to other people's opinion instead of thinking logically through the situation in a cold, mathematical sense!

In case you were wondering, absolutely sweet felicity arkwright happened in the Palmeiras game - a 0-0 snore draw!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

One of the strangest games I've ever traded....

Sometimes you find yourself involved in situations that make no sense - things happen, or don't happen, that seem to defy all rational explanation. Such a situation arose last night in Argentina as Banfield took on Athletico Rafaela. Looking at the game early in the evening I had come to the conclusion that it would finish u2.5 and the most likely scores were 2-1 or 1-0 (I know that sounds contradictory, but I know what I mean!) - with Banfield pre-match favourites. A trade was set up accordingly and I decided to scalp 0-0 as I also thought it would be a 'slow fuse' match taking a while to get going...

So, there I am, confidently scalping 0-0 and building up a reasonable green when a goal is scored! To Athletico... no major drama, a £20 loss but the rest of the trade looking reasonably good and under control - a set back, yes, but not a catastrophe. At 12 minutes they go and get a second!

With the script now in tatters I had to do something to bring the trade back into some semblance of recovery, and regular readers will know that I usually favour a 'get in deeper to get out sooner approach' in these situations. So I put £20 on U2.5 at 7 point something and laid O2.5 at 1.17 for £35. I also laid Any Unquoted at 4.6 for £30 so I was really now quite exposed. To further dig into the mire I laid Athletico - this harps back to earlier discussions about teams chucking away a two goal lead. I know this could be seen as the epitaph of a man committing financial suicide, but my intention really was to merely stay in the goal and cs trades for as little time as possible to reduce my liability on the original trade and then get out of the whole match.

The CS and goals markets were moving steadily in my direction when the suspended sign came on - bit of a heart in mouth moment with a boatload exposed on an AU lay! Red card to Athletico.

To briefly re-cap the situation, the underdogs were 0-2 up and down to ten men with about half an hour gone. And then,  as if someone somewhere had turned a tap off, all the liquidity flooded out of the markets. I can only assume, like me, that people's scripts were also in ruins and they had exited and gone off in search of easier markets. Didn't really help me though! I sort of scraped around laying and backing the odd £2 off here and there, but still things were ok.

A sigh of relief at half time, and a green up on both the goals trade and the AU lay left me a small overall profit after taking into account my lay of Athletico at 0-2. I was still of the opinion that the pre-match favourites would nick at least one goal back and that would spin a losing position completely round.

The next suspension, a few minutes into the second half, heralded the second red card for Athletico. Were they TRYING to throw the game a way?? At this point the whole thing became quite surreal. I often lay teams after they take a two goal lead, especially if they are / were the underdogs or if the team name begins with an 'A' and ends with an 'l'. But I have never been able to green up on such a lay without the other team getting a goal. I was able to in this game - never seen football markets jumping around all over the place like they were last night. This effect was probably exaggerated  as the lack of liquidity was allowing people to ask for, and get, silly prices.

I honestly can't recall much beyond that  point, other than that somehow the nine men held out at 0-2 against all odds. It was an interesting experience, and I think in some ways shows some benefit to working with small stakes in low liquidity markets - ask for silly prices  - there might be someone so desperate to escape from a bad position that you might get matched! I didn't really maximise my trade in the game - but as a learning curve it was brill! Just hope this rambling write up doesn't send you all off to sleep...

Until next time.. stay green!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Had a little touch last evening, but the gambler beat the trader, again :-(

During the 'closed season' traders can either have a break or get involved in leagues they might not be too familiar with. I have used the six weeks or so to practice and try out new things in Iceland, Norway, Russia and other Scandinavian leagues - and have built a reasonable knowledge of those leagues in the process. In simple terms you can take it that the Russians don't do goals and the Scandinavians don't do 0-0's!

Anyway, having finished trading the Europa League matches with mixed fortunes I noticed that in Norway Sandefjord were a goal up at half time away to Honefoss. I had glanced at the game earlier and made a mental note that Honefoss were heavy favourites, so decided to monitor the game. Sure enough, Sandefjord got a second.

As an aside, a little tip, if ever you see Arsenal take a two goal lead, especially against inferior opposition, lay them heavily! Arsene's boys have a habit of leaking games they should win easily. As a Chelsea fan, and a trader, you can imagine that the Gooners giving up a good lead is 'double bubble' for me!

Back to the Arctic - I laid Sandefjord at 1.38 for £50 and sat back awaiting the fightback. After only a few minutes the 'Suspended' sign came up and I readied myself for a swift profit. 0-3! Marvellous!

In situations like this one can either take the red and run for cover or get in deeper looking for some leverage. I was convinced that at least one goal would come from Honefoss so I laid the underdogs for £300 at 1.03. Sure enough, after only a few minutes the goal duly arrived. But I found myself, once again, unable to green as the market suspended again seconds after re-activating. This time, it was in my favour, game on at 2-3! As the market settled I was able to green up at 1.48 ensuring a healthy profit across all outcomes.

So why do I say in the post title that the gambler beat the trader again? Because, of course, I was convinced of an equaliser and started drip laying Sandefjord as their price lowered. My initial exposure on the trade was just under £30, and at 1.47 I greened up for just under £160. I won't bore you with the gory details, but the bloody game finished 2-3 and I finished with £60 in round figures.

Why, why, why, why do I do it???

Thursday, 4 August 2011

How far into this trading thing do you want to delve?

There is a wealth of freely available advice and opinion out there in blogland, and since starting this blog I have spent literally hours reading loads of postings on various blogs. Many blogs, like mine, are essentially documenting 'the highs and lows' of trading full of (semi?) success stories and tales of woe with a P&L analysis along the way. These are my favourite blogs as they reflect, I suspect, the experience of the vast majority of traders.

If you want to delve a little bit deeper into the subject there are also lots of blogs that analyse trading / betting in a lot more detail. Some of these are VERY heavy duty reading. I'd like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent man, but I am certainly no mathematician. Despite reading some of these blogs many times I must confess that I still don't really understand all the maths! One thing that does come across though is that to succeed long term you need to study the markets, study the way in-play prices move, and actively seek trades that represent 'value'.

If, like me, trading is nothing more than a hobby for you, you might find these blogs heavy going. But my advice is to persevere with them - these people give freely of their time and expertise - it would be foolish not to consider what they have to say. To get you going, three which I have found really interesting and worthwhile to read are Cassini's Green All Over, Graeme's The Football Analyst (very intense but stick with it!) and a relatively new kid on the block in Paul's Betting Algorithms - particularly if you have an interest in building and developing bots.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Twice in a row - it's just not fair!

Traded a number of games tonight, but got caught not once but twice by un-greenable situations which lost me a load of money! I'd backed 3-0 2-1 and 3-1 in a game involving Andra in Austria. Sitting pretty at 2-0 I reduced my exposure by taking the profit on 3-0 (fortunately!), when Lustenau got one back. Fantastic, I thought! Lovely green on 2-1 and let 3-1 run for a while...No such chance! Before the market reformed and the 'Suspended' sign disappeared it was 2-2!

These things happen every now and again, and at least it didn't cost me any real money - just lost profit. But, to add insult to injury the exact same thing happened in the Kalmar game! 0-0 at half time I had backed 0-2 2-0 and 1-1. Time ticked on by and no goal came. So, convinced there would be at least one I laid U1.5 at 1.08. The away team, massive underdogs, scored! The market had reformed, and I was looking at my position deciding what to do when the 'Suspended' sign came up again! 0-2! Bingo - u1.5 lay is home and 0-2 was a £100  plus green for me. It stayed suspended for ages, and you can imagine my surprise and horror when it did reform to see the magic 1000 odds available on 0-2 and 1.18 on 0-3! The underdogs had taken the match from 0-0 to 0-3 in about 5 minutes, and had pickpocketed over a hundred quid from yours truly in the process!

There are two positives to take from this experience:

1) I was skillful enough to get myself into nice positions on both games
2) It is highly unlikely to happen twice in one evening to me ever again!