Thursday, 21 March 2013

Free money? Don't be so hasty, Gun!

I've just had the strangest trading experience in four years or so tonight. Regular readers will know that I like trading Latin American soccer, and there was an Argentinian cup game between Patronata and Tristan Suarez. Or was it between Tristan Suarez and Patronata? Confused? You will be... but in my erudite prose I shall attempt to shed some light on it for you.

In hindsight there was something strange going on in the market before kick off - and young Mark and I in the Green Room were thinking 'FIX'! I was able to lay 1-0 at 5.6 before kick off, and got matched at 8.8 on 0-0 a few seconds into the game. So the market thinks 1-0 or 2-0 highly likely - yet Any Unquoted is trading at 10.5! The market is all over the place in many ways.

Anyway the game gets under way and after about 15-20 minutes there's a goal. Futbol 24 said 1-0. Now, I should have twigged then, but put it down to misreading the screen. I could have sworn that after the market reformed I could have laid 0-1 at 5. something. No matter, within a minute or two it was 1-1, so at least we now know it wasn't a 1-0 fix!

Then came the third goal. Imagine my surprise when the market reformed.... 1-1 at 75 or similar - 1-2 at 5.8, 2-1 at 6.2........

Futbol 24 says it's 2-1

I can lay 1-2 - so ... thinking there's a bot run amok somewhere in I go! Three f'g times! Then Mark casually comments that he's glad it's 1-2 as it suits his trade. 'It's 2-1!' I say... then watch in disbelief as the 2-1 odds shoot out to 1000 in front of my very eyes! Flashscores have the score at 1-2, my trading screen has the score at 1-2 yet Futbol 24 has it as seems that I wasn't the only one caught out. The apparently 'free money' sat there for some minutes whilst muppets like me nibbled away at it.

Meanwhile, presumably, those looking at Flash and other score services who had the scores the correct way round were laughing all the way to the bank by laying 2-1! What this does illustrate perfectly is that when working correctly the Betfair website really does allow customers to offer and accept their own odds. Even if some of the backs and lays being offered are 100% not accurate to the live position!

 Unfortunately I was too pre-occupied to grab a screenshot, but if you look at the picture below taken from Google it becomes apparent that I was not the only person unsure of who was playing at home tonight!

As I write I am pleased to report that  all is now well as my blushes have been saved by an equaliser. So it's now 2-2. But I don't know who to :-)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

'Ow's yer luck?

Wow! What a night! I'd laid the current score on every game on tonight's in-play coupon for £1000 stakes and look at the screenshot! Every game bar one in Switzerland  had a goal at exactly the same time! Unbelievable!

Before you conjure up images in your mind's eye of me sitting, Scrooge like, wearing a pair of fingerless gloves calculating how many years' sabbatical I could take on the strength of this unprecedented event - it's all bollox!

What you are in fact looking at, is a graphical representation of a mass suspension. Betfair at its indomitable best. I have no real beef with losing trades through my own actions. Sure, they disappoint and annoy in roughly equal measure, but my trading successes and failures are mine, all mine! I'm proud of them! However it goes beyond the pale when I lose money (and to be fair, make money) in unplanned ways such as the whole f'g coupon getting suspended.

As I write (with smoke a similar colour to that seen in Rome recently coming out of both ears) the entire in-play coupon, bar  games on Sky or major radio networks, have been suspended for nearly an hour. According to the seemingly knowledgeable people on the Betfair forum, if you can pick out the sense from the expletives, this is because Betfair and other in-play players get their feed from the smaller games from a third party provider. I suggest that they have discovered what some managers describe as a 'training issue'. Best they act on it.

I read on Sultan's blog that LadDaq are slowly starting to get their act together. Please hurry up.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Other Peoples' Money

Those who've been following the developments over at The Sultan's place will be aware that he was hoping to get an investment from a pro gambling syndicate to fund a trading bank that he would work in return, presumably, for a cut of any profits. It would seem that negotiations have stalled, and the poor chap is really quite down about it, to the extent that he is thinking of quitting trading. I hope he finds the resolve to keep going, as it seems to me that he trades his chosen sport well enough, and his blog is one of the more thought provoking and interesting ones out there imho.

Despite my views about the Sultan's trading and blogging I must admit I am puzzled by his apparent despair at being unable to secure a funding deal. A while ago a friend of mine, interested in the potential upside of trading but unwilling to go to work at the coalface, gave me a few hundred quid to work on. The deal was that I would trade that as a separate bank from my own, but do the same trades from both, keeping 50% of the profits but bearing no loss. 'I don't really care if I don't see it again, but if we can make some money all well and good!' were his words. I somehow didn't believe him totally. It was a short lived experiment, the sums relatively small all round, but if someone said to me 'Dave here's ten grand to trade with, you keep 50% of the winnings  and if you blow the lot we'll put it down to experience' I'd tell him to jog on. Seriously. And if a similar offer were made with some kind of joint responsibility for any loss, I'd tell him to sprint on. I really don't need a pile of someone else's money, and neither do I see any mental value in having it either. If I lose my own money on a trade I'm not happy, but it's my money, my decisions that caused the loss and I feel aggrieved enough as it is without having to explain myself to a third party. Likewise, I don't really want to be handing over 50% of any winnings - I pay tax at work thank you, and there's always the outside chance that I'll make Super PC one day - although I doubt it!

Everyone trades for different reasons and with different end games. It is, honestly, a hobby for me and I treat it as such. The Sultan openly says his trading profits don't really contribute to his general living expenses but are pursued with another, undivulged, purpose in mind. Fine and dandy. But I reckon he'd be better paddling his own canoe personally.

I've made no secret of the fact that I belong to and have been a member since day one, whenever that was. The chatroom is fantastic - good banter, knowledgeable traders, keen newbies and a generally pleasant place to be especially when working a busy card. Occasionally I 'lead' a trade in there which means I am responsible for, effectively, investing other peoples' money. In a way this is a good thing in that it externally forces discipline on me. I try to make sure that any trades are well reasoned, well explained and have some kind of a 'Plan B' if the carrier pigeon entrusted with the scripts can't find the dressing rooms in time. It's a great feeling when a trade is successful and makes people money. It's far from pleasant when you know that a failed trade has cost those people money. No one complains, I think most realise that I (and other trade leaders) are not in possession of magical powers, but it is still a responsibility that weighs heavily with me even though those people enter the trade willingly and (big assumption here!) are trading with money that isn't needed to put food on the table. But that's as far as I want to go.

Looking at the matter from another angle, would I entrust my hard earned to The Sultan, Cassini or anyone else willing to take an investment? Errrr ....NO! I'll stand or fall on my own, ta very muchly.