Thursday, 29 March 2007

Beyond Expectations

Daily P/L: £38.08
Monthly P/L: £519.03

My day job has meant a lot more time has been spent recently doing the hard stuff but it doesn't seem to have affected my trading. A decent win tonight has turned March into a very profitable month for me. My trading bank has grown 44% in the last 30 days and since the 1st January I've made £1126.63 after deducting commission. I think most people would regard this as a decent part time income but for me the next 3 months hold the answers to quite a few questions - can I make an income when the rugby and darts come to an end? Can I make cricket pay? Will I come unstuck when I start trading tennis? All these questions are running through my head but I'm confident in my ability and hope there's plenty of good times to come.

If I'm totally honest, tonight I was fortunate to get away with any type of profit. I'm very tired recently but the temptation to trade the darts was too much for me to pass up.


Barneveld v Lloyd
I got into a very strong position in this match within the first few legs but got greedy and only ended up with a green screen after putting a few too many eggs in the Colin Lloyd basket. Never mind - it paid off but I've got to be careful - I made a profit of £29.55 on this match.

Jenkins v Scholten
By the time this one started I was half a sleep (I don't recommend trading in this state as watching the action is quite important in this game). Before I nodded off I settled for a profit of £8.53 and I still haven't got a clue who went onto win.

As I'm writing this, I've just realised that April doesn't start until Sunday so the rugby on Saturday offers me the opportunity to make March an even better month.

.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Fore!

Since Last Post P/L: £42.32
Monthly P/L: £480.95

Saturday was supposed to be a big trading day for me but the sun was shining, spring was in the air and the temptation of a round of golf was too much to turn down. I played terribly but it was nice to be out and about after the cold dark winter we've just had. The lowlight of my round though was hitting a 4 iron to the par 3 fifth hole - it went left of the green, bounced once and then hurtled into a woman standing on the next tee! Ouch! This distraction obviously meant I missed the EDF Cup semi-finals but I was home in time to take a look at the World Cup cricket.

Australia v South Africa
I nearly got myself in a whole lot of trouble here. When I got home and switched on the TV I was shocked to see the Aussies finish their innings for a total of 375 runs. I'd estimated a par score at 265! I checked the price available on them and they were still trading at 1.18 which left me gobsmacked - surely this price was too big? I turned out to be right in the end but I'd failed to realise that the market had a different opinion and as soons as the Saffers had knocked up a few boundaries the Aussie price started drifting at a canter. As you can imagine, I was now staring at a big red screen and the South African score had powered up to 130 for no wicket - the Aussie price was now 1.83. I thought at this point that if the South African partnership could last another few overs then they'd gain favouritism so I laid the Australians for £235 and went to make dinner. I was gone for 10 minutes and when I returned the score was 156-0 and the Aussie price had swung out to 2.90! I jumped at the chance to secure a green screen and finished with a profit of £11.30. This was a lucky escape and I need to learn from this.

Bristol v Northampton
Today was the chance to trade on a Guinness Premiership match which both sides needed to win. I traded well and made a nice profit of £31.02.

For the last few days of the month my strategy now switches to consolidation. The Darts on Thursday should round it off nicely and if I can finish with a profit of £500+ I'll be extremely happy. That would be a growth of over 40% on my trading bank during March.

If you've been reading my blog for sometime then you'll already know that the majority of my profits come from trading Rugby Union & Darts. They're sports which I now feel very comfortable with and confident that I can make a profit on. However, I'm also aware that these sports won't provide an all-year income and I need some advice on how to go about trading cricket and tennis. If you can help then please leave a comment - I don't expect you to give away any edges but if you can point me in the right direction then it'd be appreciated. Thanks in advance!



Thursday, 22 March 2007

A Good Check-Out

Since Last Post P/L: £43.85
Monthly P/L: £438.63

Just a quick post as I'm shattered! It's been a busy week, but even though my trading activity has been limited it's been successful. On Sunday I was only able to pick up a profit of £5.41 on the rugby between London Irish and Wasps but this was soon wiped out on Monday when I dabbled with small stakes on the FA Cup match between Man Utd and Middlesbrough. A scoreless first half ensured I lost £4.12, so I was relieved to end up netting a decent amount when trading the Premier League Darts tonight.

Lewis v Barneveld
'Jackpot' has lost the plot. Throughout his match with the Dutchman you could tell that mentally he wasn't right. Everything seems to be getting to him - the crowd, the cameras - everything! Has the loss of Taylor being his mentor unbalanced him? Has he the nerve to become a success on his own? I'm not sure I know the long term answers but there was no chance that Barneveld was going to slip up and my faith was repaid with a profit of £17.61.

Lloyd v Manley
These two are good players who have seriously under-performed during this tournament so before the match I couldn't really seperate them - it appeared that whoever gained momentum would go onto win and this is how it turned out. 'Jaws' took first bite and swam to victory to allow me a profit of £24.95.

It's been a great month for me so far, but will it continue? I intend to take a look at the World Cup Cricket on the weekend but if that doesn't work there's always some rugby to fall back on.


Saturday, 17 March 2007

On A Roll

Since Last Post P/L: £138.61
Monthly P/L: £394.78

I've woken up with a big smile on my face this morning - not only have I had a couple of great trading days but Wales beat England! March is turning into a very good month and there's still plenty of action to come.

England v New Zealand
Despite having a long and tiring week I couldn't resist having a look at this Cricket World Cup match up when I got home on Friday. New Zealand had already lost a couple of early wickets but were still trading at 1.58. Even though England's total of 209 would probably not be enough, I figured that if another wicket fell soon New Zealand's price would go shooting out so I laid them for £235. Sure enough, 8 minutes later they lost their 3rd wicket and I backed the at 1.75 almost straight away. I dabbled with some in and out trades before stopping shortly afterwards for a nice all green figure of £24.25.

Italy v Ireland
Bouyed by a good start weekend, I was bursting with anticipation for the glut of Six Nations matches today. Ireland were going for the title and a try fest was needed so it was always going to be an open game. Fortunately, Italy put up a fight in the first half and that allowed me to enter the market and make an all green profit of £63.46. Ireland are a very good side and even though things didn't go their way in their bid for the Championship they can still be proud of their performances throughout the tournament.

France v Scotland
By the time the teams took to the pitch for this one, France already new what they had to do to win the title. As you can expect from the French, this meant a slow and sluggish start and it was no surprise that Scotland took the initiative to get the first try. This is the beautiful thing about trading - France were almost a shoe-in to win the match but as they initially went behind, as a trader you get much better value than just taking a position before kick off. I gradually built my position as France came back into it and finished with a profit of £50.90.



Thursday, 15 March 2007

Bullseye

Daily P/L: £43.48
Monthly P/L: £256.17

The good run continues and I'm loving every minute. Tonight was Premier League Darts night and apart from losing my way briefly I recovered to post another good return.

Lewis v Jenkins
What did I say about Jenkins? He's definitely a contender not a pretender and his 8-1 demolition of Lewis is more evidence of his credentials. He's playing with lots of confidence and in this form will beat most opponents. His starting price for the match was around 2.20 and after a positive start the only way that price was going was down. I was fortunate to jump on the ride and made an all green position quite quickly - I ended the match with a profit of £31.16.

Scholten v Manley
Full of confidence, I marched into the second game confident that Manley could turn Scholten over. As can easily happen, my over-zealous approach proved my undoing. I'd accumulated a healthy green figure quite early on, got greedy and managed to escape with a small loss of £3.53. Manley lost but he's a better player than most people give him credit for.

Taylor v Lloyd
I think Colin Lloyd must have broken a mirror - the guy's getting no luck. He's throwing some good arrows but this will rarely be enough against the likes of Taylor. Taylor ended up winning convincingly and is on top form - if there World Championships were tomorrow then I think he'd walk it. I was starting to get tired but still managed a healthy green of £15.85.



Wednesday, 14 March 2007

I Don't Like Cricket - I Love It!

Daily P/L: £78.59
Monthly P/L: £212.69

Today saw the start of the Cricket World Cup and what will hopefully be a cracking couple of months. The opening match gave us a mouthwatering taste of what lies ahead but it's not until the Super 8 phase starts at the end of March that the tournament gets really exciting.

West Indies v Pakistan
What can I say? It's been an absolute dream start to the World Cup for me. As I was in work all day I missed the West Indies innings but I had been keeping track on how they were going via the Cricinfo live scorecards. When I saw they'd posted a score of 241 my initial reaction was that it was good enough to win. I'd done my research beforehand and had made a mental note that 230 should be a par score. On the way home I had to pop in to visit the future in-laws so I didn't get to sit in front of the box until Pakistan had knocked up 33 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. At this point the West Indies were trading at 1.93 and for me this price was too big. I backed them for £235 knowing that if another wicket fell soon their price would drop significantly. I couldn't have scripted it better - 2 balls later Hafeez was caught and the price hurtled to 1.57. I got out immediately and secured an all green position of around £53. A few smaller trades followed and a couple of hours later I'd settled for a nice profit.

It's been a good start to March. With the Darts on Thursday and the Six Nations climax on the weekend it should only get better.



Sunday, 11 March 2007

Super Sunday

Daily P/L: £68.53
Monthly P/L: £134.10

I had a great day today which has helped push me up to a decent total for the month. My trading day consisted of:

Gloucester v Leicester
Even though I'd finished trading the match by half time I was surprised that Leicester ended up losing - in my eyes they had enough to put Gloucester away but perhaps they didn't want it enough. Some trades at key times helped me to a £18.47 profit on the match.

England v France
Fair play to England, they did a job on France who never looked in top gear. I don't think England are a great team yet but there's no doubt that Brian Ashton has made a significant difference. For starters he's picked the right players. This is something his predecessor Andy Robinson completely messed up. France were trading as low as 1.20 in the first half which was a crazy price considering at the time they were only 3-0 up - I didn't lump on at this point but in hindsight I should have! Nevermind, I still managed a profit of £26.42.

PGA TOUR - PODS Championship
Who said that the older you get the worse you get? This doesn't apply to Mark Calcavecchia. He turned back the clock and ended up winning the tournament and all thanks to his putter - he sunk a few long ones to push himself ahead of the pack and never got caught. From a trading point of view I was starting to get a little tired so I called it a day once I'd made a profit of £17.56.


I also decided to follow David Stewarts HorseGraph again and he didn't fail to deliver. Sure enough, the race followed his analysis and 'Gidam Gidam' secured the win. I'm beginning to become a big fan of Dave's as it's obvious this guy knows his stuff - and the best bit? - his information is free (for how long!?!) to anyone who visits his site. Thanks Dave, I didn't win much due to my low stakes but I'll take £6.08 any day.

I plan to watch the Tennis for the next few days to try and devise a winning strategy. There's a lot of money to be made if you know what you're doing but it's also a sport that can turn against you very quickly if you don't. Therefore, I'll probably hold back and wait for the Premier League Darts on Thursday.



Saturday, 10 March 2007

Sick As A Pig

Daily P/L: £22.68
Monthly P/L: £65.57

Even though I can report a profit today some things are more important than trading - Wales lost to Italy!

This takes the shine off my day completely - how can we go from Grand Slam winners to big time losers in 2 years? A catalogue of errors over the last 24 months have all helped knock us off our perch, but our current predicament has to lay at the feet of Gareth Jenkins our coach. He's been exposed as just not being up to it and he has to go, but he won't walk now until after the World Cup in the Autumn. This means I'll have to sit through a number of other embaressing defeats before we see any progress - how depressing! It's just as well I don't trade when Wales play - I would have lost a fortune on them today.

The Scotland v Ireland game wasn't a classic but it made me a decent profit and I'm really happy with how I'm doing when it comes to Rugby. I thought Scotland did well considering their debacle against Italy last week so I'm sure they'll be fairly pleased with their performance.

I normally leave Horse Racing alone but I've been very impressed recently by the results of David's Stewarts HorseGraph's. He has a good background and a very logical way of approaching his selection process so today I decided to experiment and follow his advice. If I can make an income alongside my trading activity then why not? My stakes won't be very big for this sort of thing but any winnings will be welcome. Sure enough, 'Wild Pitch' didn't make the top 3 but one of the cover selections didn't pull off their side of the bet so I only made a small profit on the race. However, a profit is a profit so thanks Dave!

Tomorrow I'll be concentrating on the England v France match and it promises to be a cracker.



Friday, 9 March 2007

Keeping It Moving

Since Last Post P/L: £20.66
Monthly P/L: £42.89

The soccer strategy wasn't a complete success on Tuesday but it wasn't a complete disaster either. I ended up recording a small loss but as I used double the stake sizes compared to Monday it looked a little bit worse than it was. If you watched the Liverpool v Barcelona game you'll know that it wasn't the greatest spectacle and as the 90 minutes only produced one goal my trading opportunities were limited. Despite this, I'm confident that soccer may still have a future in my portfolio.

On Thursday night it was back to my beloved Premier League Darts. After a slow start, I ended up making a decent profit in the last game between Terry Jenkins and Colin Lloyd. Jenkins has a big future and is the real deal. I've been hugely impressed by him over the last few weeks and I don't think he'll be a flash in the pan - he's not far behind the likes of Taylor and Barneveld and he'll always give them a game. I have to feel sorry for Colin Lloyd though. His averages throughout the tournament would normally have won most matches but he just doesn't seem to be getting the rub of the green. This was typified by his very unlucky effort at a 9 darter, where he fell only an inch away from the perfect leg.


Monday, 5 March 2007

Please Forgive Me, I Have Sinned

Daily P/L: £13.95
Monthly P/L: £22.23

I feel extremely guilty but very satisfied. I traded a soccer match for the first time since my January setback and even though I swore I'd never do it again, right now I'm glad I did.

Why did I do it? Quite simply, I was having one of those anxious moments where I felt that my Golf money pit had hit the rocks and I needed another way of ensuring a steady income. Soccer ticks all the boxes in this regard as there's loads of it on TV and the liquidity is fantastic - there's plenty of money to be made if you get the right strategy. Up until now though this has been my problem. No matter how hard I've tried I've been unable to crack trading soccer. So tonight I took a long hard look at the markets and I think I may have spotted something. I tried to put this 'new way' into practice by trading the Preston v Southampton game with very small stakes. I escaped a £13 profit so I'm very happy and full of optimism.

However, I'm not going to get too excited just yet and plan to trade the Liverpool v Barcelona match tomorrow to see if my new strategy holds up.


Sunday, 4 March 2007

A Lucky Loss

Daily P/L: £14.70
Monthly P/L: £8.28

Well, the Golf didn't go to plan. This is especially disappointing as I'd been counting on it to be a consistent source of profits. It may turn itself around in the future but I'm going to have to re-evaluate my strategy as it's not working. It could also have been much worse than the small loss I'm reporting as every trade I made seemed to swing in the other direction. I therefore spent most of the evening digging myself out of a decent sized hole.

However, tomorrow is another day but I'll probably save myself until the Darts on Thursday.


Saturday, 3 March 2007

Which Direction?

Daily P/L: £22.98
Monthly P/L: £22.98

I've had a really hectic week and it's taken me until today to recover. My flight to Vienna on Wednesday night was cancelled due to high winds so this meant an early start on Thursday morning - I was literally on the plane, in a meeting and then back on the plane home and my body is just not used to it.

This fatigue meant that even though I'd got back home in time to catch half of the Premier League Darts I just wasn't up to trading. This is an important point - trading when you're tired just doesn't work. No matter how good the opportunity looks, the odds on you messing up with a 'slip of the mind' greatly increases and this can start a nasty downward spiral of events, so don't do it.

There wasn't a huge deal on today so I limited my trading to taking a look at Leicester v Harlequins and a small play on the Horse Racing. Horse Racing is a great sport and I know quite a bit about it but I don't find it easy to trade. It can be done, as many will testify, but even though there's loads of liquidity I just don't feel comfortable in opening up trades when there's only a few minutes before the start of a race. Why? The main reason is the thought of technical faliure - Betfair crashing, losing my internet connection, my laptop freezing etc. All these are possible scenarios and as risk management is high on my list of priorities, trading high sums of money on a market that will end shortly doesn't inspire me with confidence. So today I dabbled with in-running strategies. This can be suicidal if you don't know what you're doing, and may appear to go completely against what I've just said but it was a low risk experiment where I ended slightly up.

It's a good job for the rugby. Again I was able to trade the match well and make enough of a profit to leave the second half alone. I'm a little worried though. It appears that my Winter can be made up of Darts and Rugby Union but to be successful all year round I need to make Cricket and Golf work for me during the Summer.

This leads me nicely onto the PGA Tour Honda Classic. Tomorrow sees the 4th round and it promises to offer some very good trading opportunities. A lot of factors come into play; no Tiger Woods in the field (he's a machine and is way too reliable), a difficult course, inexperience/nerves from the leaders and the field is tightly grouped. All of these things point to potential big swings in the market which if approached correctly could lead to a nice profit.

This is the real start to my Golf season so I hope it starts well.