Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Opportunities where you might not have looked...

The Scatter Gun trade continues to provide me with the vast majority of my soccer trading profits, although it has to be said the Premier League has been disappointing thus far with lots of wins to nil. Wins to nil are, of course, of limited value using this strategy as the lynchpin of the whole trade is the 1-1 scoreline.

To avoid creating a mind numbingly boring post of screen shots of the various leagues that I trade I have posted just two. I was surprised by the frequency of SG scores in the two leagues pictured below. Intuitively, and from experience of trading them, I'd certainly not have had the 1-1 and 2-1 frequency in either as high as they actually are!


Even if your detailed knowledge of these two leagues is, like mine, sketchy at best you can see from the percentages that both these leagues present massive opportunities for this trade. When you take into account the number of 2-2, 3-1 1-3 etc it is clear that profits are there for the taking even if the end result isn't one of the standard scorelines.

Ligue 2 in France, Serie B in Italy, Segunda in Spain, our own Championship and League 2 and the leagues in Argentina and Brazil (if you've the lifestyle and stamina to trade in the early hours!) have consistently been happy hunting grounds for me.

The Latin American leagues also seem to throw up many more situations where  the underdog takes the lead than happens in Europe- ideal for the SG - and I'm in the process of looking at that in more detail to maybe throw up another trading angle involving laying an odds on favourites.

If you would like to have a look at the figures for other leagues get over to choose the league you are interested in and select 'Trends'. It's a mine of information and completely, utterly, free of charge.

Speaking of free of charge, the ever optimistic Cassini says he's waiting for referral commissions as his blog has to date driven more people to my blog than any other source bar google. Whether he is waiting for that to come out of my pocket or direct from Blogger isn't really clear...but I will propose to him the I regard my trading profits as being essentially 'free' money I currently donate 10% of my winnings to a local charity that I support. If he's happy for me to continue to do that I'll put the referral commission in a pot and pay him in a lump sum once I start paying SPC (minus the amount he owes me for the masses of page views generated for Green All Over from here, of course!) As I believe Cassini to be, like me, a half centarian (at least) I wouldn't advise that he incorporates any referral commission in his net worth spreadsheets just yet. If at all. :-)

Monday, 27 August 2012

A milestone reached, and missed

After an unusually busy period at work, with many late nights and early mornings means that I haven't posted or checked my blog 'dashboard' for a while. In that period of time my pageview stats have tipped the 100,000 mark.

On delving a bit deeper into the stats I was surprised to see that the country with the third highest page views is the USA. This surprises me because I am under the impression that in-play betting / trading is not possible Stateside. Perhaps they know something that I don't? The only other non European nation in the top ten page view stats, surprisingly to me, is New Zealand. Wherever you are in the world, thanks for looking at my little corner of the net, and I hope you continue to do so.

Moving on to referring sites, top of the tree, no surprises here, is Google. Cassini's Green All Over is top of the blogs for referring, by some margin but A Football Trader's Path, Centre Court Trading and my old muckers over at are all worthy of a mention in dispatches. There are many sports trading blogs out, and a lot of the 'challenge' style seem to come in a blast of newly found enthusiasm only to splutter and die. The three mentioned, along with most of the rest of my blog roll are very definitely worth reading if you are serious about sports trading, and the authors have all helped me find and refine my trading over time. Perosnally I wish Lamb would blog again, I can't believe he's completely hung his trading mouse up now he's back with his limbs embracing the greasy pole!

Anyone reading this who trades  as a hobby should consider blogging. It's fun, therapeutic and interesting - give it a go! It might even help your discipline!

I still find it amazing that so many people have found their way here. This exercise started out as little more than a means to try to help with  the thorny issue of discipline, and I little imagined back in 2010 that I'd still be around writing the occasional missive two years later.

In that time I think it's fair to say that I have learnt a lot from other bloggers and commentators, even if I still struggle with certain aspects of, if you like to put it this way, the 'intellectual' side of trading. As you know I'm no mathematician and certainly the idea of compiling and updating football statistics holds little or no appeal to me. Fortunately the world wide web is full of people who thrive on this kind of thing and most of whom are prepared to share the fruits of their labour for free.

One thing I do now do, religiously, is to keep detailed records of my trading. This is probably the single most important step forward that I have taken since starting blogging. I always 'felt' that I knew what worked for me and what didn't, but being able to see it in black and white (or, perhaps more pertinently, in red and green!) has enabled me to focus on the good areas and either improve or discard the bad areas.

Discipline, however, remains my Achilles heel. Only yesterday I three away a three figure sum in the belief (and that's all it was - that old 'gut feeling' that so many have castigated me for!) that the Gooners couldn't possibly go two consecutive Premier League games with no goals for or against. I was doing that kind of thing in 2010 so it is more than a bit disappointing to note that I still, occasionally, tread the same slippery slope despite receiving many warnings and lessons along the way.

It seems, therefore, that I am destined to continue blogging, as the original raison d'etre of the blog still persists. So, you're stuck with me. I missed this landmark by a few hundred page views. I will try not to miss the next one - 250,000 - but I suspect that's more than a few months away!

Monday, 20 August 2012

All that effort designing a new page....

..and on the second really big afternoon of the new season for soccer trading it all goes up the swanny! Football matches were left high and dry from just before 4pm until about 5 pm by a massive server failure.

Many people were left with big trading exposures on the City game, and probably other games as well. I'm sure some turned out well, and others lost. But the whole point of BF, for me anyway, is that it is supposed to allow the trader to adjust positions in play. I really can't understand how such a company continually gets away with this kind of user experience. Well, I can. They have no real competition. The forum is full, on these occasions, with people threatening to take their banks over to the 'Purple Place' but few do so.

For the past few weeks I've been having to change from the wonderful new BF footie page to the old one. Cookies don't seem to work! I don't want or need them to change it! I never trade from BF anyway, so all I ask is that the entire In Play coupon for that particular day is available for me to scroll down. I don't want to have to look at 2 or 3 different pages thank you BF! My little voice won't change that but I do find it irksome that they spend all that time, money and effort fixing something that wasn't really broken and yet still suffer a massive server failure and have no Plan B.

I suppose the best we can hope for is that one of the big sports books buys BetDaq and puts some money into marketing it so that it can become a proper exchange alternative for us all. Then that might galvanise BF into correcting their mistakes.

Speaking of mistakes, X-Factor springs to mind. I have no time for it personally, but Mrs Gun loves it for some reason. I know some people make a lot of money trading such things but I've a word of caution for you if you do this time round...

On my way through the living room last evening, coming back from a smoke break, I saw one of the Spice Girls on the judges panel. She was telling contestants that they couldn't sing. The mind boggles.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Well, it would have been a winner!

Unfortunately Mrs Gun had me busy doing something as the 3pm games kicked off. Nothing exciting, you understand, just something I'd rather not have been doing.

As a result I managed to miss East Stirling's three minute penalty against Rangers, and therefore missed the opportunity to green my bet off at 1.2 ish.

Such is life, but I've told her the beer's are on her next week as I now can't afford to buy any myself.

The trader who can't resist a little punt every now and again!

I've been experimenting with a bit of kit that's new to me this evening, with some modest success. I'm talking about the Draw Inflation tool available at Trading Football. Essentially this piece of software highlights potential imbalances in some of the markets pre-match, and, used correctly enables the trader to have green positions on one or two outcomes before a ball is kicked.

I used it to get some free profit on the draw and a Nancy win earlier today, and it worked as advertised, enabling me to back three Lille winning scores for what was effectively a free trade. Spurred by  that initial success I've just been looking at it again and noticed the price on Rangers at home to lowly East Stirling tomorrow afternoon.

I'm no massive fan of Scottish football, and certainly no expert on it. I've not really followed the shenanigans surrounding this once great and proud club, and from my state of ignorance feel sorry for its legion of long standing supporters. I wouldn't wish this turn of events on any football club, even United!

However the still stirring punter in me cannot be brought to leave a lay price of 1.07 pre-match standing on the shelf. It has to be taken, and at present my BF account balance is £14 lighter than it was a couple of minutes ago. I don't expect Rangers to draw the match, and certainly don't think they'll lose it. But I am absolutely convinced that I'll be able to turn a wee profit from that price - and if I'm wrong I'll have to  forego three pints next week!

The DI tool is exclusive to Trading Football members - check it out via the link on my blog - yes, I'll get a modest commission if you become a paying member, but nothing's for nothing!

Friday, 17 August 2012

The season is upon us, at last

The domestic English football season got under way tonight with a 1-0 home win for Cardiff City, pinched in the dying embers of the game. For me the close season has provided poor cards, carrying poor liquidity, but has nonetheless been profitable over all. I have come to really enjoy trading Scandanavian and particularly Icelandic football, but am glad to be returning to trading 'normality'.

I think the new season offers another close run thing with the Premiership, and although it pains me as a Chelsea man to say it, think the two Manchester clubs will slog it out to the end. Of more interest in many ways is the Championship - that has all the hallmarks of a very close race, particularly at the 'business end' of the season.

Turning briefly to the European leagues I think the two that are of most interest to my style of trading are Ligues 1 & 2 and Serie A as my preferred trade relies a bit more on low scoring games than high scoring ones. I will doubtless do lots of trades in those three leagues, and indeed started with the Lille match this evening, which ended a useful and profitable 1-1.

I reviewed the blogs on my regular reading list today for the first time in a while, and was drawn to the discussions between SoccerDude and Cassini. Before anyone points it out I know that 'regular reading list' and 'for the first time in a while' are at odds with each other, but I've been busy at work! Both write humourous and informative blogs and it strikes me that in many ways they epitomise two different approaches to trading football.

Eddie prefers trading the in-play markets, and by trading I mean that he takes and adjusts positions in play, actively managing his exposure and the outcome.

Cassini prefers to arrive at what he considers a value bet, place it and then leave it to its fate, relying on getting the value right and, presumably, a good strike rate to make his money.

My preference is undoubtedly the former, and I'll share the reasons for those interested. Trading football is a hobby for me, that happens to make a modest amount of money. I have no real desire to spend hours building rating systems or researching statistics to come up with  a stand alone bet; but more than that I haven't the confidence to place and go. You could argue that if I did the former I'd probably gain the latter, but I'm not convinced. I (and long term readers) know that I'd end up 'chasing' and getting frustrated and that it would soon cease being fun. It might even get expensive!

I'm much much more comfortable trading one single market most of the time - the Correct Score market. It's one that I know and understand. Yes, I get caught out - who doesn't? But it's happening a lot less frequently now, so I suppose in a way I have spent hours coming up with a rating system, albeit one that's largely in my head, and place my trades accordingly.

The one thing that I have noticed this close season is that I do considerably better when I concentrate on one match, and working it well, than when I am trying to manage four or five live situations. Which leads me to a bit of a dilema. I much prefer trading mutliple games - it's a hobby, remember? It's supposed to be fun! But I'm more effective when I trade just the one or maybe two markets at a time. So I suppose I need to prioritise - fun or money?


Decision made!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Crazy low liability trading this evening....

After a fairly dismal start to the evening with a 0-1 win for the masters of the 1-1 otherwise known as Djurgardens the blue touchpaper was lit in what proved to be two electrifying games. I use the word electrifying in a trading sense - I was watching neither.

Someone spotted that the Kaiserslautern  v Union Berlin match was 0-0 at half time, so I decided to enter a second half SG trade, backing 0-2, 1-1, 2-0, 1-2, 2-1 and 2-2. I invested £6 on 1-1 and a whole two quid on each of the other scorelines.

I've traded the lower reaches of German football for some years now, and it's fair to say that Union are one of those teams that in the past have cost me dearly. I don't know about other traders but I seem to have 'bogey' sides dotted around the globe! I keep promising myself, for example, never to trade Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon or PSV ever again and generally look suspiciously at any matches involving several other sides, Valerenga and Godoy Cruz to name two that spring to mind. Oh, and Spurs now I think about it!

Tonight, however, I was able to back 0-2 to Union at 43 at half time - fancied they most certainly were not. I was therefore more than pleasantly surprised that they took, indeed, a 0-2 lead after about 54 minutes. I must admit to being a bit greedy there, and didn't get all my hedging bet matched before Kaiser got one back, but Union went a long way to paying their debt to me. The game went 2-2, 3-2 and finally 3-3 on the stroke of 90 minutes and by trading the scores I'd set at half time, followed by a judicious low liability lay of 3-2 I was able to turn that £16 into a tidy three figure profit. My only regret, and I don't why I didn't, is that I didn''t lay Union at 0-2 - something I nearly always do with a second half two goal lead to the underdogs.

Whilst all that was happening I was aware that Canada were 1-0 against the strongly fancied USA in the ladies Olympic competition. I had opened the market to look at laying that score and was in the process of so doing when the yanks equalised. I then laid the current score of 1-1 and watched with amazement as the game went 2-1, 2-2, 3-2 and finally 3-3 with me laying all those scorelines at ever decreasing odds.

Speaking of the Olympics I've got to say that my initial cynicism about and indifference to the whole event has, I'm glad to say, been completely and utterly turned upside down. I can't believe how good the whole thing has been, and obviously Team GB's success has had a large part to play in this.

I have watched sports I'd normally never watch, and found them interesting. In part I'm sure this is due to the excellent job the BBC have done. When people moan about the salaries of the 'stars' and bureaucrats of the BBC,  and about the licence fee, I think they should spend a few hours watching a big sporting occasion  and thanking their lucky stars that a) there are no awful adverts b) there are generally speaking knowledgeable 'pundits' and c) something very 'British' and proper about the way the whole thing is done. Give me Gary Lineker, Hazel Irvine, Peter Allis et al any day over the best that ITV can throw at it - and I won't even start to compare Sky's blingy coverage.

Rant over. Looking forward to the 18th!