Monday, 31 December 2007

A Great Year


Since Last Post P/L: £417.56
Monthly P/L: £1901.16


After a busy Christmas period I'm exhausted but hugely content. For me, 2007 has had it all and 2008 promises to hold even bigger challenges with becoming a Dad being just one! At the start of the year I'd only just begun my trading journey and my goal for the coming 12 months was simple - to take my results to another level. On the 1st January my betting bank stood at £821 and from the graph below you can see how that amount has grown into £8346.
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These figures are beyond my expectations and I'm chuffed to bits. Along the way there's been the temptation to spend some of the cash but at the end of each month I've been very keen to reinvest my winnings, with my only withdrawals being £280 to pay for an LCD television (to go into my trading office) and £18 to pay for the odd game of low stakes poker (these results I haven't included on the blog as I count these as 'leisure' expenses).

Why have I adopted this approach? Well, my hope is that by increasing my stake sizes gradually month on month (whilst reducing my maximum exposure at the same time) I can go on to even bigger and better things. I realise I'm not the finished article and I want to keep pushing to see how far I get - somethings happening out there and I want a part of it!

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So what are my expectations for next year? I'm not one for plucking numbers out of the sky so after reviewing my past results I think a realistic aim will be to grow my trading bank by between 10-20% each month but I'm very aware about not getting too far ahead of myself. It's not going to be easy so I'll need to continue refining and analysing my strategies to hit these figures and I can't allow myself to get distracted and lose track of the processes I need to follow in order to be successful.
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As I mentioned earlier, I've been working hard over the last few days so here's a roundup of my final trading action of 2007:
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PDC World Darts Championship
Shepherd v Bates : £21.04
Lewis v Eccles : £23.71
Wade v Dudbridge : £43.43
Manley v Van Der Rassel : £135.57
Van Barneveld v Painter : £33.41
Roy v Part : £39.45
Manley v Shepherd : £4.47
Part v Wade : £124.34
Taylor v Mardle : £19.04
Painter v Lewis : £24.03
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NFL
New England @ NY Giants : £12.85
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Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts and may I take this chance to wish you, and all the other betting bloggers a very 'Happy New Year' and all the success you can hope for in 2008.
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Friday, 28 December 2007

Putting Things Into Perspective


Since Last Post P/L: £425.32
Monthly P/L: £1483.60
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Every now and then I think it's hugely important to reflect, take stock and if things have gone to plan tell yourself 'well done'. This is all part of the psychological aspect of gambling. Too often, in all walks of life, we're quick to pick out the faults and as a consequence we continually fail to see the positives around us. By taking this step back it's possible to feel so much better about ourselves within a short period of time and I'm convinced this sense of well being allows the mind to be so much more productive. The benefits can be felt almost at once as as the 'brain' baggage is ditched and autopilot mode is able to kick-in when you most need it.
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As I knew today was my blog's first birthday and after completing a great day's trading, last night seemed like the perfect time to take a look back at the journey I've been on over the last 12 months so I started reading some of the first posts that I put up last January. After scouring through a few paragraphs the most noticeable thing which stood out was how committed I was even though the amounts I was making were so minimal. We all know trading can be frustrating at times and there must have been times when I thought "why bother?", so why was I so determined to carry on? Where did this outlook come from and why did I want it so much? It's only now I realise how results motivated I must be as I remember drawing up a chart at the time to show what my trading bank would grow into if I was to keep producing consistent monthly profits. The results were impressive and needless to say this snaphot has stayed with me ever since.
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Here's my results from yesterday:
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PDC World Championship Darts
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Maish v Eccles : £19.01
Hamilton v Roy : £194.19
Baxter v Dudbridge : £141.63
Barneveld v Clark : £53.75
Taylor v Tabern : £16.74
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A great day yesterday and this is the stage of the tournament I like the most; plenty of matches, good quality contests, a short format and fluctuating prices. All this means I intend to try and make the most of it over the next couple of days.
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Thursday, 27 December 2007

Scary Saturday


Since Last Post P/L: £114.50
Monthly P/L: £1058.28

From a trading perspective things got a little bit scary over the weekend. Saturday was a day where everything went wrong. After gaining some confidence from successfully using a new Darts trading strategy on Friday I came back to earth with a bump with a hefty loss on the Andy Jenkins v Tabern game. I just didn't see a 4-0 scoreline being on the cards and as this is exactly what happened I came unstuck - ouch! My state of mind must have been affected as I then turned to one of my most reliable sports (Rugby Union) and ended up turning a decent green figure into another sizeable red number. Now in most cases I would have left things there for the day, but instead I decided to take the dog for a walk to clear my head and it must have worked as when I returned I got stuck into the first match of the Darts evening session and made back the majority of my losses with some aggressive but controlled trading.
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Here's a list of my Christmas results :
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PDC World Darts Championship
Andy Jenkins v Tabern : £175.52
Scholten v King : £208.04
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Rugby Union
Bristol v Wasps : £59.98
Sale v Leicester : £64.78
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NFL
Cleveland @ Cincinnati : £94.19
Baltimore @ Seattle : £17.00
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Thankfully Sunday was kinder to me, so I was able to relax and enjoy myself for next three days without worrying about making money or missing opportunities :-)
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I hope you enjoyed yourselves too and good luck with your gambling for the rest of the holidays.
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Saturday, 22 December 2007

In The Line Of Fire


Since Last Post P/L: £200.01
Monthly P/L: £943.78


It's been a busy week as the PDC World Championship has kicked off and there's been plenty of action everyday. Initial impressions are that the money's back, with most games getting over £500,000 matched and it's only the first round! There's also been a list of incredible results and big name casualties with none bigger than what happened to Terry Jenkins. When 'The Bull' was leading 2-1 in sets and leading 2-0 in legs in the 4th set he was almost unbackable at a price 1.01 but the story didn't end there. During the next half an hour some amazing play signalled a fantastic comeback from underdog Kirk Shepherd and an early exit was waiting for one of the tournament favourites. All this is great news for traders and there's no doubt about it, the Final's going to be bigger and better than anything that's gone before.

With a bit more time on my hands, I've managed to get involved each evening this week but even though I've made a profit of £200 I haven't been too happy with my performance. Why? Well, my old strategy seems to have run it's course - from watching the markets in recent tournaments I've noticed that there are other people out there using my old approach and this means I can't make money from it. On Thursday I sat down and reviewed my recent trades and constructed an alternative method and from my results last night the outlook seems positive. My plan is to continue the trial over the weekend before getting too excited though :-)

Here a round-up of my recent results:

PDC World Championship Darts
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Tabern v Laursen : £42.72
Gray v Walsh : £12.63
Scholten v Clark : £30.57
Manley v Greebe : £64.88
Taylor v Van Gerwen : £92.87
Anderson v Clark : £47.37
Jenkins v Shepherd : £67.15
Mason v Brown : £22.53
Priestley v Maish : £7.76
Lewis v Askew : £46.49
Van Barneveld v Forde : £10.88
Van De Voort v Klaasen : £15.34
Baxter v Olsen : £55.91
Wade v Macarthur : £10.45
Part v Losper : £27.22
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On a slightly different topic, I'm delighted to see that the developers behind the excellent 'Bet Angel' software are continuing to push the boundaries by launching a specific API application aimed at the soccer markets. Aptly named 'Soccer Mystic' it looks very interesting and the well put together demo videos are almost tempting me to give it a go. If Peter Webb's reading this - any chance of a free trial?
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Good luck to you all over the weekend and if I haven't said it before, have a very Merry Christmas!
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Sunday, 16 December 2007

Bah Humbug!


Since Last Post P/L: £108.96
Monthly P/L: £743.77
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Christmas shopping this weekend has really disrupted my trading. Even though I'm able to report a healthy gain for the events I got involved in, most of today was wiped out due to a festive trip to Cardiff. It was freezing cold, the shops were packed, the queues stretched for miles and it all re-emphasised my dislike for trudging around the stores. I'm sure I'm not alone - there must be plenty of you reading this who share my feelings! Don't get me wrong though, I like this time of year but I much prefer to be inside rather than out.
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Here's a roundup of my results:
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Rugby Union
Cardiff v Stade Francais : £22.43
Edinburgh v Leinster : £40.40
Wasps v Clermont : £7.81
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NFL
Buffalo @ Cleveland : £53.94
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The Darts World Championships start tomorrow so I plan to take a look. Last year I was staggered at the amount of money traded on the tournament so I'm keen to see if history repeats itself.
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Sunday, 9 December 2007

King Calzaghe


Daily P/L: £43.16
Monthly P/L: £634.81

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The man went and did it and yet again I failed to follow my own advice! You may remember that in this post I mentioned that following Joe's demolition of the Viking Warrior, Mikkel Kessler, his odds to win the Sports Personality of the Year award were still a very tempting 23's on Betfair. Yet again though, I decided that my punting days were behind me so I let the opportunity pass me by. Skip forward a month and what does the champ go an do? He romps home by 50,000 votes! I suppose that's the way things go and it's my own fault for not having the courage of my convictions but the worse bit was that even after Hatton's convincing defeat to Mayweather he was still available at 14's yesterday afternoon :-(
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Well, you can't win them all so I'll have to console myself with a steady gain for the day. It was a mixed bag of results and despite taking an early set back in the game between Glasgow and Biarritz, I was able to claw my way back. It just goes to show that by keeping your losses small you have every chance of making them back on the next event you trade.
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My trading results for today were:
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Rugby Union
Glasgow v Biarritz : £74.06
Stade Francais v Cardiff Blues : £86.66
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NFL
NY Giants @ Philadelphia : £30.56
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On a completely different topic I've been highly amused recently by something a friend brought to my attention on YouTube - what would Star Wars have been like if the cast had been Welsh? Find out by viewing this but beware, the language is shocking but the sketch is very funny!
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Saturday, 8 December 2007

A Beautiful Day

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Daily P/L: £501.76
Monthly P/L: £591.65
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Listen to this song whilst you read this post if you want to 'blog' interactively :-)
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It's not often that I don't look forward to trading but as it was my works Christmas party last night today fell into that category.
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As to be expected, I drunk way too much, crashed out as soon as I got home and woke up like a bear with a sore head so it takes little to imagine how unenthusiastic I was about sitting in front of a computer for a few hours.....but .....with hindsight I'm glad I did! The warm tired feeling was with me all day and on more than one occasion my bed started calling me but I resisted the temptation and instead glued myself to the office chair for the afternoons Heineken Cup match-ups and it turned into one of those days where everything went right. Every click of the mouse seemed to channel my thoughts to the TV and as if by magic the players responded - it was so ridiculous at times it seemed even the referee was in on 'the action'! Derren Brown watch out...
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Here's my trading summary:
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Clermont v Wasps : £216.36
Leicester v Toulouse : £234.32
Llanelli Scarlets v Munster : £51.08
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So, after a couple of hours 'work' I can now report a great gain for the day and a healthy monthly P&L, which as long as I don't get too carried away should put me in a strong position for the rest of December. Tomorrow, there's some more Rugby Union and NFL so there's an opportunity for me to make this a very memorable weekend - Have I ever mentioned that I love Betfair!?!
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Monday, 3 December 2007

Step By Step



Since Last Post P/L: £89.89
Monthly P/L: £89.89
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Rome wasn't built in a day and by the look of things neither will my trading bank! It's been another tough weekend but the positive thing to keep in mind is that I've still been able to turn a profit. As December is another relatively quiet month I'll be more than happy to make a 10% growth on my trading bank (around £640) so I'll continue to try and pick up the gains wherever I can. Here's a brief round-up of my weekend trading:
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Llanelli v Saracens - EDF Cup
This 'winner takes all' match took a while to get going as the atrocious weather decided to play it's part but when things stepped up a gear in the second half it became nail biting stuff. As per usual I only traded the first half and after getting on the Scarlets before they took a commanding lead, I levelled out my position to take a reasonable £39.31 profit.
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Barbarians v South Africa
Easy come, easy go! My decent start to the day soon evaporated as the 1.35 South Africans got turned over by a very talented Baa Baas side. I missed a great opportunity early in the game to lay the Springboks as their price began to drift quickly once the market realised we had a contest on our hands. However, by the time I realised it was too late and I ended up evening out my losses to take a hit of £30.87.
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South Africa v New Zealand - 3rd ODI
This was meant to be the highlight of my weekend - a chance for me to put a positive step forward and cement a strong position for the month. What happened? The Proteas cantered to an easy victory and I whimpered to a gain of £6.12! Not much to write home about for 4 hours work! During this match I did check on Dip's Blog to see if his strategy for trading the first innings was similar to mine and I was very impressed with his approach. Dip knows his cricket and if you haven't read his blog you're missing out - take a look by clicking here and I'm sure you can learn alot from his style.
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Jacksonville @ Indianapolis - NFL
My Sunday had turned into a damp affair and I was determined to try and make some sort of success of the day so I decided to take the plunge and got involved in the NFL. I really enjoyed trading this sport last year and I'm glad I took another look today as I seemed to read the game well and was able to ride the price movements when they happened. It wasn't an error free performance but it was enough to make me a profit of £75.33.
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Not the most exciting few days I've ever had but I've got to take the rough with the smooth as it's all part of the game. The trading diary looks empty until next weekend so have a good week and be lucky!
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Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Changing Seasons


Since Last Post P/L: £90.17
Monthly P/L: £451.28
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November comes to an end and all I have to report is an 8% growth to my trading bank. Was this low figure to be expected? Am I being greedy? The answer is yes on both counts but my performance wasn't just down to taking a weeks holiday, the truth is a little more complex.
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I consider one of the biggest challenges for any Sports Trader is the task of being able to build a portfolio of sports that can be traded successfully and for profit. It's possible for anyone to specialise in one area but if you look at the sporting calendar there's not many events that take place all year round. The table I've put at the beginning of this post illustrates this as it shows that nearly all sports take place in 'seasons' and this makes it very difficult for us as traders to rely on any one sport to provide a steady income.
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The conclusion I've made is that this month was always going to be tough as the number of events available for me to trade was limited. NFL and Rugby Union were the best candidates but apart from those there wasn't much happening. In an attempt to win more I could have looked elsewhere and delved into the soccer or perhaps the horse racing markets but by doing this both my levels of risk and my chances of losses would have increased and we all know what happens then - chasing losses starts and it's a downward spiral from there!
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So, what did I do? I decided to stick to the plan that I drew up at the beginning of the month and only got involved in the events I'd highlighted as being suitable and by doing this I resisted the temptation of being dragged into markets I knew little about. I admit that my monthly result of a £450 profit isn't going to set the world on fire and it's less than I would have liked but it's a profit and levels of success need to be judged over a much longer period. I'm happy for now with the way things are going, and even though I expect December and January to be similar I'm hopeful that things will start to turn back my way when March arrives but that seem like a long way off and patience has never been one of my strong points!
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Saturday, 24 November 2007

Ticking Over

Since Last Post P/L: £22.56
Monthly P/L: £361.11
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A very short post from me this morning to report that I dabbled in the Twenty20 game between South Africa and New Zealand last night.
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By the time I'd got home and switched on the TV I was disappointed to see that the 'Black Caps' had only racked up a feeble 129-7 off their allotted overs and on a pitch that's renowned for decent totals I found it difficult to foresee anything other than a South African win. Their price was balancing at 1.12 and to me these odds didn't look far off the mark but I didn't rush in and waited a while before picking up a few ticks here and there.
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Fortunately, I'd closed all my positions before the final overs as the Saffers ended up making a real horlicks of the chase and only ended up stumbling over the line with a ball to spare. That's the great thing about this format of the game - there's no such thing as a 'safe bet' and for traders that's always good news.
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Monday, 19 November 2007

No Easy Way Out


Since Last Post P/L: £76.33
Monthly P/L: £338.55
I'm writing this post to the sound of the Robert Tepper track from Rocky IV and as it seems to fit in with my current way of thinking I've decided to name this post after it.
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Okay, so it's been a good weekend but it's been hard work (especially today) and this has got me thinking about those people who believe trading/gambling is an easy way to make money. Reality check - it's not. If you listen to or read the blogs of those who are successful you'll notice they've many things in common but the one strength that sticks out is that they're not afraid of hard work. Whether you look at The Betfair Trader who also runs his own business, or Ray the Sports Trader who raises his kids as a single parent the trait is the same - they're committed and will do whatever they can to be succeed and this is evident when it comes to their trading as they're constantly researching their chosen markets, reviewing their performance and searching for an edge.
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I'd like to think I'm built the same way but don't we all?
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If you're making regular losses and don't know why then perhaps it's time to take a look in the mirror - are you giving it 100%?
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Would Phil Taylor only practice throwing darts for 20 minutes a day? Would Tiger Woods only practice hitting his 9 iron? No, and with trading neither should we - there are no shortcuts on the road to profits.
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Results round-up since Saturday:
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Cricket
India v Pakistan (5th ODI) = £71.22
South Africa v New Zealand (2nd Test) = £22.92
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Rugby Union
Munster v Clermont = £25.31
Toulouse v Leinster = £7.50
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Saturday, 17 November 2007

Kiwi Collapse?

Since Last Post P/L: £236.61
Monthly P/L: £262.22

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An eventful few days has allowed me to post some respectable results but it's not all good news as the Test Match cricket trading has proved to be a bit of a learning curve.
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When trading a new sport or a different format of the same sport (e.g. Test Matches instead of One Day Internationals) getting the timing right can often be a problem. It takes a little while to get a feel for the pace of the market and my impatience proved to be my downfall on Friday as I rushed in to trade the first day of the South Africa v New Zealand match-up. The outcome? Well, I'm now the proud owner of some mid-sized red figures that I need to turn around before the match finishes. With my eggs firmly in the 'opposing the draw' basket I'm hoping for no rain in Pretoria until Wednesday!
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The Heineken Cup rugby has proved to be my saviour but it hurts me to say that I profited out of the miserable Welsh team performances - they really are performing poorly at the moment :-(
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Here's my full results since Wednesday:
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Cricket
India v Pakistan (4th ODI) = £24.18
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Rugby Union
Newcastle v Brive = £32.36
Newport Gwent Dragons v London Irish = £47.47
Harlequins v Cardiff Blues = £2.93
Llanelli Scarlets v Wasps = £194.39
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Tomorrow will be my last day off before returning to work on Monday so I'll be trying my best to end the holiday on a high note by trading the 5th ODI between India and Pakistan.
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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

There's No Place Like Home


Since Last Post P/L: £6.64
Monthly P/L: £25.61
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It's nice to go away but it's also nice to come home. The holiday was fantastic and much needed but there's a certain comfort in making a cup of tea in your own kitchen and falling off to sleep in your own bed, although I'm already missing the delights of having a daily 'power' shower courtesy of a splendid hotel bathroom. Getting away and having a healthy dose of sun was just what the doctor ordered and thankfully I'm feeling much more relaxed.
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So what about the chromosone test results from Nic's amniocentesis?
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Did we get them whilst we were away?
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Yes we did, and the great news is that they all came back clear so the only thing we have to worry about now is the baby's heart condition. I say 'only' but I realise that many more challenges lie ahead and this is just one step along that path. I've said it before and I'll say it again, thanks to everyone for their support and goodwill messages over the last few weeks and in particular Kathy & Michael. Kathy left a comment to one of my earlier posts explaining that she had a daughter with Down Syndrome and although things were tough to begin with, it wasn't long before the charm of her daughter showed them how lucky they were and that you haven't been truly loved until you have been loved and adored by a child with DS. I totally understand her comments and I'm very grateful to her for taking the timeout to provide some very sound advice for me and Nic. On reflection, I hope I didn't upset anyone who has a child with Down Syndrome in my previous post as this was not my intention.
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With a brighter outlook on life I got involved in a tiny bit of soccer action last night by taking a look at Bournemouth v MK Dons in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. As many of you know, I've tried many times to figure out a way of trading this sport but I continue to draw a blank. On this occasion I can report a very small gain of £6.64 which is better than a loss but unfortunately I didn't stumble upon any revelations on how to make consistent profits.
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So, what next? I'm still off work until Monday so I'm planning an assault on One Day and Test Match cricket until then. I've done quite a bit of research into how Test matches differ from the One Day game so hopefully I can prove to myself that my hardwork has paid off by producing a few green numbers over the next week. If I can it will give me greater confidence and an extra string to my bow as I look to make it through the Winter.
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Any other news? Well, I've come across a new site called 'Betting Blogs' which provides a round up of everything going on in the trading blog world. A great idea and an ideal one stop shop if you haven't got the time to go round each one individually. I'll be keeping an eye on this site myself and have also added a link to it under 'Useful Links' on the right handside of my blog.
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Ah, there is one other thing - I'm now the proud stakeholder of a Football Club. Yep, that's right, I've coughed up the £35 membership fee to join the band of footie supporters getting behind Ebbsfleet United. If you haven't got a clue what I'm talking about then take a look at this BBC News article or the MyFootballClub website for yourself. It's an interesting idea and one that may or may not work but it'll be fun to be a part of it so why not give it a go? The more supporters that cough up some dough the better the chance the club will get promoted to the Football League and then who knows!
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Sunday, 4 November 2007

Up, Up and Away!


Since Last Post P/L: £18.97
Monthly P/L: £18.97
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We've decided to go - tomorrow morning, myself and Nic will jump on a plane heading for Gran Canaria to take a well earned week's holiday and I can't wait. It's a chance for us to recharge our batteries and forget about everything for a while although I have purchased some gambling books (The Smart Money & Bets And The City) just in case I get any withdrawal symptoms! We'll be staying at the Hotel Gloria Palace Amadores in Puerto Rico which looks just the job :-)
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My weekend on the whole as actually gone quite well. I've got quite a lot done which always helps to unclutter the mind so I'm now feeling quite positive. I'm trying to accept that some things you just can't control so worrying about them isn't going to help one bit.
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On Saturday I was up quite early to go for a haircut as I knew I had to be back by 11am for my appearance on the Man of Mystery's WUBT Ronbot Radio show. I think it went quite well but I'll let you be the judge of that, so if you missed it you can visit the archive here. This area also has access to previous interviews with John 'The Gambler' and Ray 'The Sports Trader' and both of these guys know their stuff so be sure to take a listen to what they have to say.
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My afternoon was then spent doing some research and development on the horse racing markets (where I ended up losing £17.55) and trading the Newcastle v Dragons rugby match (where I ended up making a £36.52 profit). My intention here was not to get too involved as I didn't want to take the emotional baggage of any big losses away with me.
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My time today has all been tied up with getting ready for tomorrow so I'm off to bed now but before I go I'd just like to say a big 'well done' to Joe Calzaghe. His performance last night against Mikkel Kessler was awesome and he deserves every accolade he gets. Odds on him winning the Sport's Personality of the Year have now shortened to 23 on Betfair and that price still looks very interesting to me!
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Have a great week and I'll back to business from 12th November.
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Friday, 2 November 2007

Not Good News

Just a quick update as the 2nd baby scan was yesterday and I know some of you have expressed an interest on how things went.
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I'm sad to say it wasn't the news we were hoping for. In short, the baby has four problems with his heart and this condition is known as Tetralogy of Fallot. This isn't great as it means that surgery is inevitable, with it likely to be 6 months after the birth before Doctors can operate as they have to wait until he reaches 6-8 kg. Unfortunately there is also another downside. Babies with this condition are also more likely to have Down's Syndrome or 22q11 Deletion Syndrome so with this in mind we agreed for Nicola to undergo an amniocentesis last night. Fortunately, the results should be with us within 4 working days for the Down's Syndrome so at least we won't have to wait too long but with us due to go on holiday on Monday our plans are now up in the air.
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Please accept my apologies for spilling my life story on the web but this wasn't the original plan as I was just excited about becoming a Dad. I'd also like to say a big thank you to all of you that have left goodwill messages over the last few weeks as it means alot to both me and Nic.
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Some brighter news is that I'm due to appear on the Man of Mystery radio show tomorrow afternoon which will hopefully take my mind off things a little. John has produced some cracking shows recently and has already had guests such as 'The Sports Trader' and 'The Gambler'. If you'd like to catch up with all of these editions you can do so by visiting his archive here.
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Saturday, 27 October 2007

In A Spin


Since Last Post P/L: £13.11
Monthly P/L: £671.69
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It's been a tough week, I'm absolutely shattered and the hard work isn't over yet. The next 7 days are going to be challenging too. It all starts in the early hours of tomorrow morning as I'm off to the Netherlands with work and I don't get back until late Tuesday night. After that I'm on a 2 day training course and in between I'm scheduled to meet up with Nicola for the next baby scan. There is some good news though as if I can get through it then a holiday in Gran Canaria is just around the corner. When we first found out that Nic was expecting we took the decision to take one last 'couples' holiday before things changed and I'm glad to say it's nearly here. We're only going for a short break but I can't wait to lie next to the pool, get some sun and read a book :-)
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This all means that my trading activity for October has come to an end. My last bit of action was on Sunday as I took a punt of £13.11 (a strange amount to stake but one I made to tidy up the books) on Philadelphia beating Chicago in the NFL and needless to say they let me down. It's been a relatively quiet month which was to be expected after the joys of September but I can still declare a 13% growth to my trading bank and it now stands at over £6,000. If I can keep to a similar level of performance between now and Christmas I'll be delighted with my efforts for 2007 and will look forward to 2008 with a smile.
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Sorry this post is brief but I've got packing to do!
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Sunday, 21 October 2007

Hole In One?


Since Last Post P/L: £315.99
Monthly P/L: £684.80
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You may remember from this post back in August that I'm due to become a Dad for the first time in March. Well, this week was the time for Nicola to have her 20 week scan so we trudged off to the hospital on Wednesday to check that all was still in order. Now, I'm not a big fan of hospitals at the best of times as when I was younger I seemed to spend most of my life there for one reason or another and now whenever I return they always tend to leave me feeling a little queasy. This day was no exception.
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I used to think that this stage of a pregnancy was the exciting bit - the time when you could start looking forward to the big change on the horizon and to start buying clothes etc. but my vision took a bit of a knock as soon as we entered the dimly lit room. As soon as the lady explained that the scan would take up to 20 minutes as they had a checklist to go through my stomach started to churn - had I taken a wrong turn and parked my car outside Kwikfit?
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Sure enough, a couple of seconds later and we were off...legs...CHECK...arms...CHECK. The organs and limbs started coming thick and fast and it wasn't long before I felt close to shouting, "HOUSE!" but I resisted the temptation and bit my tongue.
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It was at this point I started to have sympathy for all those players that only ever get a line.
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The lady began to stutter when looking at the baby's heart. She went back and forth many times and after 10 minutes (it seemed much longer) she announced that there was a shadow on the screen that she wasn't very happy about and that one of the Doctor's should come and have a look. Our faces dropped. Excitement was swiftly replaced by fear and when the Doctor came even she couldn't ease our concerns. The diagnosis wasn't great - it appeared that the baby's heart had a possible 'VSD' which stands for 'Ventricular Septal Defect' and is a posh term for a 'hole in the heart'.
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This does sound dramatic but on the bright side apparently the size of the hole is the crucial factor in what happens next. As you would expect the larger the hole the bigger the issue but unfortunately due to the size of the baby and the way he was lying (yes, it's a boy) they were unable to tell how big it is. As you can imagine, this all leaves us in a bit of a 'no mans land' until we go back for another scan in a couple of weeks but after a bit of research on the internet I'm taking inspiration from Danny Swanson's story. If he can defy the odds and play Professional football then there's still a chance my son can end up captaining the Welsh rugby team!
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You can see it's been a testing few days so please forgive me for the title of this post - I had to try and put a smile on my face!
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In a bid to take my mind off things I've also got involved in a bit of trading and these are my results since my last post:
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Tennis
Murray v Nadal = £19.56
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Rugby Union
France v Argentina = £207.41
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Cricket
India v Australia = £128.14
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A shame about the Tennis but even though I only dipped my toes into the water I can see this as a sport you can make a lot of money from if you know what you're doing. At Christmas, I'll be conducting an end of year review and as part of that I'll be evaluating if I should invest more time in this sport and if so, which of my current portfolio should drop down the list to accommodate it e.g Darts?
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As a side note, I'd like to say well done to the English rugby team - you didn't win the World Cup but it was a fantastic effort to reach the final and you can be very proud of what you've achieved.
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Have a good week everyone and thanks for dropping by.
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Monday, 15 October 2007

Against All Odds


Since Last Post P/L: £200.35
Monthly P/L: £368.81


Who would have believed it? England are in the final of the Rugby World Cup and my jaw is on the floor. This is a team who has struggled to rise above mediocrity over the last 4 years but somehow they've battled to earn a seat at the highest table in the game. This is too much pain for a disillusioned Welsh fan to bare.....not only are we rubbish but our big brothers are going all the way (again!). So can they do it? Can they pull off a miracle and down the South Africans to become back to back World Champions (a feat that no other team has achieved yet)? The form book would say no but I'm not writing them off. They've already proved more than once that they've the game to grind out a victory and they've summoned up the team spirit to believe in themselves. In my opinion you'd be a brave man to take the skinny 1.41 available on the Springboks as the scene seems set - it's the 78th minute, the score is 15-15, Johnny sits back in the pocket, he receives the ball from a maul in the middle of the pitch, takes a deep breath and sinks a sweetly stroked drop goal between the uprights. Game over and the rest is history - ouch! :-)

Unfortunately I'll be missing the final as it's Nicola's birthday on Saturday so I've promised to take her out for a celebratory meal. If Wales had made it this far I would have needed to find an excuse, but for some strange reason I always felt quite comfortable that the call for a last minute bout of flu wouldn't be needed so I'll add it to Sky+ and watch it when I get back.

As expected the trading for October is moving along at a slow pace but the good news is that I'm still in profit. My results since my last post have been:

Cricket
Sri Lanka v England (5th ODI) = £264.86
India v Australia (6th ODI) = £48.98

Rugby Union
Bath v Harlequins = £0.79
England v France = £124.70
South Africa v Argentina = £0.42

NFL
Tennessee @ Tampa Bay = £10.84
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What's worrying about these results is the fact that I've made a significant loss on the Rugby Union. The England game was a bit of a nightmare as I found that I was a bit slow off the mark on a number of occasions. I'm hoping that this was down to others having quicker TV pictures through terrestrial television (I was watching through Sky) as it did seem that orders were going into the market quicker than the events were happening on the screen. I should have realised this sooner but I didn't. Nevermind though, it's not all doom and gloom as Cricket continues to deliver the goods.

That's about it for now. I've got a busy schedule for the next few days so good luck to you all for the week ahead!
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Monday, 8 October 2007

How Do You Like Your Stake?


Since Last Post P/L: £168.46
Monthly P/L: £168.46
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As the weekend offered slim pickings and after VJ had left an interesting question to my last post I've decided to finish off an old article I started back in March!
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One thing I deem very important to manage is risk. This is an area that a lot of beginners to trading get wrong and subsequently find it very difficult to make profits. I'm confident that any trader who has been successful will say that risk management and in particular money management is crucial so I've always tried to make sure my stake sizes correspond to the size of my trading bank and the odds at which I'm trading.
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If you're over-staking in relation to the size of your trading bank you're inviting a whole lot of trouble. If something goes wrong, sooner or later, one or two trades will wipe you out and that will be it - game over. You also feel a lot more pressure on how much you could lose which affects your perception of the market at any given time - these are all bad things which any professional can't have in their minds. You need to have a clear head, safe in the knowledge that you are not risking your livelihood and even if the worst happens you'll be able to come back tomorrow and start again. To use a poker term, "the trick is to stay at the table".
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So, what is the correct stake size? This all depends on a number of things but some include; the size of your bank, the volatility of the market and the price of your selection. When I made the jump from punting to trading, initially I would use/risk up to 40% of my bank in any one trade (as my bank was £250 the most I would trade would be £100) . This was a worse case scenario as obviously I didn't intend to lose that much. The complete breakdown looked like this in relation to the odds available:
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1.01 - 1.50 = £100 (40%)
1.50 - 2.00 = £67 (27%)
2.00 - 3.00 = £33 (13%)
3.00 - 4.00 = £20 (8%)
4.00 - 5.00 = £14 (6%)
5.00 - 6.00 = £11 (4%)
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If you adopt this approach then it won't guarantee success but it will set you on the right path. Once you have these blocks in place the challenge facing you will then change to remaining disciplined at all times! What's the point of having a staking plan if you don't stick to it?!?! As my bank has grown I've gradually tried to reduce my maximum exposure and my stake sizes now look like this:
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Trading bank = £5343
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1.01 - 1.50 = £1015 (19%)
1.50 - 2.00 = £677 (13%)
2.00 - 3.00 = £338 (6%)
3.00 - 4.00 = £203 (4%)
4.00 - 5.00 = £145 (3%)
5.00 - 6.00 = £113 (2%)
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As you can see, when the odds move so do my stake sizes. I believe this to be one of the fundamental reasons some new traders don't last - they don't manage their risk. For the record, I recalculate stake sizes at the beginning of each month and my aim is to get my maximum exposure down to 10%. I'm currently edging down by 1% a month so I should reach my goal in another 9 months!
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Okay, now back to the boring stuff - my results from the weekend.
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Rugby Union:
Leicester v Gloucester = £42.98
New Zealand v France = £33.51
Argentina v Scotland = £9.88
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NFL:
Detroit @ Washington = £20.43
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Cricket:
Sri Lanka v England = £102.52
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Without the Cricket on Sunday I wouldn't have had much to write home about and the rest of October looks pretty dire. The change in seasons always seems to bring uncertainty into my mind so I just need to bat it out and hope a big juicy opportunity comes along.
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From a personal point of view life is hectic with every minute of the day being eaten up. If I'm not doing out the nursery then I'm flying all over the place with work but I guess nobody said life was easy :-)
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Saturday, 29 September 2007

Rain Dancing


Since Last Post P/L: £84.30
Monthly P/L: £1,090.76
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Oh boy! I should have known after my bad start to the day that things could only get worse...and they did! Wales are out of the Rugby World Cup after losing (an enthralling game) to Fiji. If you're not Welsh then it will be hard to understand the pain. My head is spinning and I feel sick. This may sound a little extreme but I'm very passionate about where I come from and our National sport. How could we go from 6 Nations Champions and Grand Slam Winners to not even qualifying for the quarter finals of the sport's showpiece event in less than 2 years? Numerous reasons come to mind but the one that sticks out is that the players seem to have been over coached. When we had our success in 2005 the coaching staff encouraged the team to play 'heads up' rugby and it paid off - there was enough natural ability in the squad and this shone through when the players were given the opportunity to express themselves. This approach has self-eroded over the past couple of years into 'coaching by textbook' and the results speak for themselves. We need things to change and we need them to change now. Fair play to Fiji though - your guys were great and you can be very proud of them.
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From a trading perspective I'm sure you'll be glad to know that I always avoid trading when any Welsh team are involved - when there's too much emotion it confuses the mind :-)
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India v Australia - 1st ODI
My bad day started here. The Aussies won the toss and elected to bat. A good choice as the game was a day/night match and the chasers always have a difficult task if a decent target is posted but the visitors wouldn't have planned for losing 2 early wickets. First Gilchrist then Hodge for a duck - the Aussies looked like they were in trouble and the market reacted. Their price was now at around the even money mark and with India in the box seat I was taking a keen interest.
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Umm, okay so that's not strictly true. I was keeping one eye on the TV and the other on a spreadsheet I'd been working on and guess what happened next?
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Correct! The third Aussie wicket fell and I immediately tried to back India for a grand and get a piece of the action. This isn't a normal trading strategy for me but I felt this was a big wicket (Hayden) and I needed to get into the market quickly. So what went wrong? Well, to put it bluntly, I BLOODY BACKED AUSTRALIA INSTEAD!
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I'd forgotten to switch the selection on the 'ladder' screen of my trading software and immediately realised my mistake. I needed to take the loss quickly and the result left me with a big all red position of £250 - ouch! Angry with myself and resigned to the thought of finishing the month with less than a 1k profit I switched off the PC and headed downstairs to make a cup of tea. I was in no mood to continue and knew that if I did then bigger trouble would head my way.
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So if I stopped trading then how did I turn the £250 loss into just £84.30?
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Quite simply, a couple of hours later I flicked channels to see if India had won and was delighted to see that rain had stopped play. This was great news as the Aussies had only been allowed to bowl 2 overs of the 2nd innings and 20 overs were needed for this to be declared a completed match. Now I could have let my position ride and take a punt that the monsoon in Bangalore would continue but that's not what I'm about. I'm not a weatherman and would prefer to minimise my losses so I headed for the 'completed match' market to cover my position.
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This time I got lucky so please take note - always give trading your full attention. Mistakes like the one I made today are the ones that can throw you 'on tilt' as the feeling of being robbed (rather than stupid!) kicks in and it's then that you to start to chase your losses.
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I can't be too down hearted though as September has allowed me to grow my trading bank by another 26%. It really is unbelievable how quickly your trading bank can grow if you're not too greedy. Did you know that a £250 trading bank can grow into £7780 if it increases by just 20% per month over 2 years? Not bad eh? Naturally I've had a little play around with the figures and it's scary to see what a £5000 trading bank could become over the same time period!
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October looks as though it's going to be a difficult one as there doesn't seem to be too much going on so I'm going to have to be patient (again!) and be on top of my game to turn a profit.
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Sunday, 23 September 2007

Full Circle


Since Last Post P/L: £335.09
Monthly P/L: £1,175.06.
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It's funny how things work out. Back in March I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make a profit during the Summer as I didn't have a trading strategy for a sport I could rely on. Since then I've invested a lot of time in getting to know Cricket and now that it's paid off I'm worried that I won't be able to turn a profit during the Winter!
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Okay, so Rugby Union will be my bread and butter but the liquidity isn't as strong as the Cricket markets and as my stake sizes have increased significantly will this make a difference? I suppose only time will tell but I'm a little anxious to say the least, especially as I've found it difficult to trade Darts recently.
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The good news though is that this weekend has given me another couple of successful days and I've been able to break the £1000 per month target that I've been setting myself for sometime. The mission now is to make sure I end September still above this ceiling so I'll be quite cautious in my approach and only take positions I feel very strongly about.
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As a side note, I'd just like to say what a success the Twenty 20 World Cup has been. Some great batting and bowling has led to fantastic entertainment and surely this is the future for Cricket?
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See the screenshot for my results since last Wednesday.
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