Saturday, 24 February 2007

Festival Of Rugby

Daily P/L: £77.30
Monthly P/L: £208.77

What can I say? I'm a little lost for words as everything went to plan for me in the Six Nations and the Guinness Premiership match between Leicester and Northampton. I can now safely say that Rugby Union is my trading bread and butter. It's great to have a strategy that you know for the most part works. It gives me huge confidence at the beginning of a match to understand that if I follow my pre-set trading rules then I'm very likely to end the day in profit. My only concern now is that the rugby season only runs until April/May time and unless I make cricket and golf work it's going to be a difficult summer.

There's not too much on over the next few days so that's the end of my trading activity for February - I was able to grow my trading bank by 22% this month and I'm now really looking forward to all the action lined up for March. The Cricket World Cup starts, the Premier League Darts continues and the PGA Tour events enter timezones I can stay awake for!

Following Ray's recommendation, You'll have noticed that I've added a new link to the menu bar. If you write your own trading blog please add it to - it's a place where we can all list our sites under a central reference point and this can only be a good thing.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Greatest Show On Earth

Daily P/L: £35.62
Monthly P/L: £131.47

Does any sport at the moment provide the spectacle and excitement of Premier League Darts?

After a tiring week of travelling around Europe I was relieved to finally lay back on the sofa and switch on some sport, and what a treat it was. Everything is just great about this sport right now. The players are all at the top of their game with every 180 being followed by another big score. The Barneveld v Jenkins game was a perfect example - each player averaged well over 100 and the Dutchman took out a 170 outshot! It just doesn't get any better than that. The competition is very competitive with every player capable of beating each other and they're now playing in front of 4,000 + crowds which makes for a fantastic atmosphere - it's pure theatre! I'm gutted that as I'm going to Vienna on Wednesday I'll miss next weeks matches. Taylor is due to play Barneveld and there's sure to be fireworks - you just can't afford to miss that one.

You may think I'm going a bit over the top, but compare this to soccer where they play for an hour and a half and score the odd goal and there's no comparison.

I stayed away from trading the Dennis Priestley match and the tactic worked. A healthy green figure can now be reported. I stuck to what I know works and this makes me have a nice fuzzy feeling for the weekend ahead.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Rescue Mission

Daily P/L: £16.29
Monthly P/L: £95.85

After getting myself in a sticky situation yesterday, I had to try and turn things around today.

At 8.58am I made my first steps - I logged onto my laptop, accessed the Setanta Sports website and subscribed to a years access. It will cost me a total of £165 over the next 12 months but to trade the PGA Tour successfully I need access to television pictures. Even if they're slightly delayed, they help bring important information to my attention. I won't rely solely on Setanta though, as I'll still continue to use Tourcast and hopefully the combination of them both will ensure I make some sort of profit throughout the year. The good news is that the access to Setanta paid off immediately for me today. I was able to reduce the large red I'd accumulated on the Nissan Open to a very manageable small red, and this in itself has paid the access fee for the month.

This was the second bit of success I had today as I also traded the Wasps v Sale rugby match and made a profit . If it wasn't for rugby I'd really be struggling, so I have to hope that my darts and cricket form pick up - I don't want to be a one trick pony!

I'm going to Sweden on business during the week but I'll be back for the Premier League darts on Thursday.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

2 Steps Forward, 3 Steps Back

Daily P/L: £33.47
Monthly P/L: £79.56

I got involved in three events today; the 4th One Day International between India and Sri Lanka, the Worcester v Leicester rugby match and the Nissan Open Golf. For reasons that will become clear, despite my green daily profit & loss figure I'm feeling extremely frustrated at the moment.

When I got out of bed Sri Lanka were coming to the end of their innings. Despite a shaky start where they'd lost 4 wickets in quick succession, they'd rallied and were producing a reasonable target for India to chase. Or so I thought - I'd failed to notice that the match had been reduced to a 47 over game so my calculations were a little out. Even so, I thought the Indian target of 260 to win would be a challenge. At the start of the India innings I had a nice green position and looked to improve on this by laying them at 1.51 - I thought the price should have been more like 2.00 - surely the price was too low? Nope - the price turned out to be way too high! Terrible bowling by the Sri Lankans allowed the Indians to gain momentum and they never looked back. I bailed out of my position after 7 overs when it became apparent that India weren't going to be denied but it wasn't soon enough to hold onto my green position -my screen at this point was all red.

What happened next I can only describe as extremely fortunate. After a lovely off-drive by one of the Indian batsman (Virender Sehwag) he ambled up the pitch to claim his one run. However, what he failed to do was ground his bat within the crease and a moment of quick fielding saw a hearty appeal from the Sri Lankans. With the price on India at 1.14 I took a calculated punt and laid them without too much thought and got matched. Within seconds their price had drifted to 1.16 but with the commentators advising he was 'out' I held onto my position and decided to wait for the verdict. He was rightly dismissed, the price rocketed out to 1.25 and I cashed in to finish the match in profit. I know I was lucky. I'd traded the match badly but had got away with it.

The rugby in the afternoon was a pleasure to trade and a welcome distraction to the strains I'd experienced in the morning. Leicester were without the majority of their England Internationals but it was quite obvious they'd be too strong for Worcester. I got in and out of the market at the right times and made a good gain on the match.

Then came the golf. If you read my previous post then you'll be aware that I'm very much looking forward to trading on the PGA Tour this year. Last year, it proved to be an area where I was able to make a good profit so my hopes were high for 2007. That was until Sky Sports lost the television rights and Setanta Sports took over. I haven't got access to Setanta but I do have access to Tourcast which is a very nifty tool for anyone serious about trading the PGA Tour. Therefore, I decided tonight to try and trade the Nissan Open from Tourcast alone. If this was possible then Setanta would not be needed and I'd save myself another additional subscription fee. Needless to say it wasn't a successful experiment and I'm now sitting with a red position that will wipe out today's profits if I can't produce a salvage mission tomorrow when I trade on the 4th round.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Priestley's The Problem!

Daily P/L: £47.58
Monthly P/L: £46.09

I felt good tonight but fell down badly. A great start unfortunately ended in disappointment and I'm left feeling a little baffled.

It was all about the Premier League Darts and I'd been looking forward to it all day. Phil Taylor was back on form and it was nice to see. I'm sure that after his victory tonight he'll be back to his dangerous self for the rest of the tournament. He was looking healthier, more relaxed and hungry for success and as I noticed this quite early I ended his match with Terry Jenkins with a nice profit.

I traded badly in the Barneveld v Manley match. I was slack in my attitude and began holding onto trades for too long. I've been reading a lot about trying to 'let winning trades run' but this philosophy doesn't work for me - mines more like 'get out quick'. I finished the match with a small green figure but it could and should have been a lot bigger.

The Lewis v Lloyd game went to plan and I was never in trouble but then it all went wrong. Did I rest on my laurels? I don't think so - my problem was Dennis Priestley. I think he's a great guy, a gentleman of the sport, but his slow style hinders my trading. Last week I thought my problem lay with trading Taylor. How wrong I was - it was his opponent that got me into trouble not him. My edge with Darts is being able to think 6 darts ahead - this advantage normally allows me to scalp successfully. Unfortunately for me, Dennis is the Terry Griffiths of the oche and his style allows other traders the chance to see the bigger picture. Needless to say, I got myself in a hole I couldn't get out of and as this was the last match of the night I had no other opportunities to make up my losses.

I feel pretty sick, especially after sitting with a nice green figure after the first 3 matches. I'll take this as another lesson, take comfort that I'm still in profit for the month and move on.

One thing's for sure though - I won't be trading on 'Dennis The Menace' next week!

Monday, 12 February 2007

Surprised By Snooker

Daily P/L: £8.35
Monthly P/L: £93.67

I took a look at the Welsh Open snooker tonight and was pleasantly surprised. There was no frame betting available as it was the first round so I had to make do with the match odds market instead.

Perry was up against Parrot and he started the match as a strong 1.30 favourite. As I'm a novice when it comes to trading snooker I kept my trade sizes relatively low and took a very cautious approach. It seemed to pay off as I identified a few opportunities where the price had moved a bit too far, which allowed me the chance to do a bit of scalping. It's amazing how much the market reacts though - an example was when Perry lost the first frame and his price traded as high as 1.59, when he won the second frame his price shot back down to 1.28! With the score only at 1-1 in a first to 5 frame contest you can see that the market was prone to over reacting. All this is good news for us traders.

I'm away on business for the next couple of days but plan to get involved with the Premier League Darts on Thursday. I'm hoping that I can hold my discipline and make a good profit as each match should be competitive.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

A Cracker At Croke Park

Daily P/L: £37.35
Monthly P/L: £85.32

Irish eyes will definitely not be smiling tonight. They were very unlucky today and only a bit of sublime skill from the French could shatter their Grand Slam dream.

From a trading point of view it was a fantastic game with flowing moves from both sides making the markets swing frantically. Within the first 20 minutes I'd made some good decisions and was already sitting in front of a nice green screen. One of my rules of trading Rugby Union is to only trade for the first 40 minutes - if I'm down at half time then I'll extend it to 60 minutes but by no means will I go any further than this - if I'm still down at this point then I'll take the loss on the chin and wait for another day. My reasons? Well, if you were trading the Ireland game today you'll already know the answer - emotions run wild, you get too involved and a late score can send you to the poor house. Hence, my profit from today all came from the first 40 minutes.

My success this afternoon was just as well as my dabbling with the India v Sri Lanka cricket match this morning didn't go to plan. I'm still searching for the best way to trade these one day games and need to get something in place for when the cricket season starts. I'll have to figure something out as Rugby Union, Golf and Darts won't be enough to hit my targets.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Super League Starts

Daily P/L: £2.42
Monthly P/L: £47.97

Tonight saw the start of the Engage Super League with Wigan and Warrington squaring off. I haven't as much knowledge about Rugby League as I have with Rugby Union so I decided to keep my stakes very low and observe for most of the game.

It became apparent that whilst it's exciting to watch, Rugby League is more predictable than a lot of sports- I knew this already but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing a trick. You'd think this would be good for a trader but I find it the opposite. To me, my speciallity is studying a sport so I can find opportunities that others will mostly miss - with Rugby League every man and his dog seems to know what's likely to happen and it becomes a competition of 'fastest finger first'. I hate this, as the skill of trading then gets replaced by who has the fastest internet connection. Whilst this is very important, to me it should only be part of the picture.

Maybe my early judgement is wrong but I'm not sure this sport will provide me with much success this summer.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Un-Typical Taylor

Daily P/L: £0.45
Monthly P/L: £45.55

What is it about top sportsmen? Whether it's Taylor, Woods or Federer I really struggle to trade matches when they're involved.

The Premier League Darts action tonight was a classic example. Phil Taylor was up against a rejuvenated Dennis Priestley and I got in all sorts of bother by firstly supporting the 'Power' and then opposing him. I ended up inviting too much action and stayed in the market way too long. My reluctance to believe what I was seeing led to my troubles, but what was obvious is that Taylor isn't himself at the moment. He's lost loads of weight since Christmas and it would appear some of his energy has gone with it. I hope this is just a blip as the guy is a freak and an outstanding ambassador for the sport.

I was disappointed with my performance in this match as I traded the other 3 matches very well. A nice green figure would now be sitting in my account if I hadn't lost the plot - but I suppose that's all part of the game.

The positive news is that I'm now very confident I can make good money from this competition and my strategy is still holding up - I let myself down tonight but to be honest I've had a pretty tough week and maybe that's taken it's toll - hopefully the weekend will offer some respite.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Is This Blog Boring?

Daily P/L: £38.95
Monthly P/L: £45.10

I really enjoy updating my blog and letting the world know my thoughts but it's main aim is is to keep me focused by documenting where I make mistakes. My thoughts are that if I minimise making poor decisions then I'll make bigger profits. Despite this approach I'm also keen for everybody who takes the time to read what I write to either learn something or at least find it entertaining. With this in mind, I've had a look at some of my previous posts and I'm aware that they're hardly a laugh a minute so please let me know if there's something you want me to cover in my articles.

Moving on -

My target for February is to make a trading profit of £357, so I'm happy with today's results. My attention was on the two Six Nations matches and even though I expected wins for France and England the anticipation of an upset was always in the back of my mind. The Italy v France turned out to be a very drab affair and I was only able to make a small green position on that one, so I'm thankful that at least England and Scotland made a game of it. Unfortunately, I just missed a very good opportunity to cash in when Simon Taylor went through for the first try but despite this I'd still made a decent profit by half time.

No trading for me tomorrow as I'll be at the rugby. I'll probably take a look at the Super Bowl when I get back but I'm not going to count on it as if Wales win I might have to celebrate.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Off & Running

Daily P/L: £6.15
Monthly P/L: £6.15

Okay, I might not be sprinting out of the blocks but I've started the month in the right way. Not much action, just a little dabble into with the Malta Cup Snooker and the Premier League Darts.

My involvement with the snooker was more of an education. I'll often play with small stakes on events I'm not overly familiar with. Don't get me wrong - I always devise a strategy before trading but if my thoughts are unproven then I'll always edge on the side of caution. To me, good defense is even more important than good offense (and yes, I pinched that from the book Market Wizards).

I was cautious with the Darts for a different reason. The Premier League format is completely different to normal tournaments so matches need to be approached in a slightly different way. I wanted to see if my strategy would hold up and I'm happy to report it did. Although the liquidity in the markets isn't great, I'm confident that if I pick my spots, I should have a profitable campaign.

The Six Nations will be my main focus for the weekend. I'll only be trading on the Saturday as on Sunday I'll be going to the Wales v Ireland game and unfortunately, as I Welshman, I'm very pessimistic about our chances. Too many injuries, a dodgy coach and a lack of strength in depth leave me cringing that this could be a good day to be Irish but you never know. If you plan to watch on TV then please keep an eye out for me...I'll be wearing red!