Friday, 29 June 2007

Flip Flop

Daily P/L: £64.59
Monthly P/L: £406.24
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A steady effort leaves me in a good place for the end of the month. If I can pick up some small wins from here on in and stay away from the big losses I'll be more than happy.
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England v West Indies
A much improved England bowling performance led them to victory in this second Twenty20 game but they didn't half make hard work of it. Once again the market refused to believe they could lose and despite the Windies posting a respectable 169 England were priced at 1.36 at the half way stage - a ridiculous price but no doubt the big scores from Thursday had left their mark. Then the wickets began to fall so I jumped in to lay England just before favouritism swung dramatically. A good move and it wasn't long before the Windies were in control - they had the batsmen in trouble and when Collingwood went the result looked a formality. The Windies price was 1.08 and at 104-5 England needed a miracle - enter stage right Owais Shah. A fantastic innings by the Middlesex man turned things around and the rest is history. A great match to trade and I finished with a profit of £72.91.
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Earlier today I played with some small stakes during the Wimbledon coverage and ended up losing £8.32. I don't mind writing off these small amounts if I learn something in the process but I'm not sure I did that today.
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Thursday, 28 June 2007

Sewn Up

Daily P/L: £41.07
Monthly P/L: £341.65
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I'm sure England are now ruing their decision to leave specialist Twenty20 players out of their squad to face the West Indies. The frustration for most England fans must be that a side filled with the likes of Maddy and Doshi would probably beat the Windies 8 times out of 10 so why can't the selectors see that this game is completely different to test matches and even the normal 50 over format? A team jammed with seamers and the absence of quality spinners is a complete mystery to me. The use of spin at the right time has been a pivotal part of any success in this game - just ask Leicestershire - but there was nobody on the pitch to answer the call when it was needed this evening.
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England v West Indies
I was hoping for the Windies to win the toss and when they did I had the feeling it was "game on". The market was full of England over-confidence so if the visitors posted a score of 160+ I was confident the market wouldn't react until it had given me a chance to make some profit. Even though the pitch was described as a "belter" by the commentators you still have to get the runs and the Windies did it in style to post a massive 208 from their allocation. Favouritism had swung full circle and the price of 1.46 on the Windies looked hugely attractive but a couple of things stopped me from going in heavy. I haven't traded on an England one day international before so even though I felt the price should be more like 1.25 the market to me was very unpredictable. My thinking was that if England managed a few early boundaries (which was likely given the fielding restrictions during the first 6 overs) then their price would drift to 1.70+ very quickly and I'd be in danger of getting stung badly. Therefore, I made the decision to leave my mouse alone and to wait for the right opportunity before lumping on as England started to collapse. Unfortunately, England put up a good fight. They lost wickets steadily but the run rate never got too far out of reach to reflect the odds on offer as value (the Windies were 1.1x for long periods of the England innings which weren't good enough in my book). Hence, I didn't cash in despite calling the result - a missed opportunity or the right thing to do? I think it was the right way to play it but it means only a small gain of £41.07 can be recorded for the day.
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The good news is we get the chance to have a second bash tomorrow - after today's performance it'll be interesting to see what price England open at.
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Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Relief

Since Last Post P/L: £313.50
Monthly P/L: £300.58
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It's been a tough week but I seem to have got through it okay. I was starting to get a little worried on Monday that I was going to endure my first losing month but fortunately I've worked hard and managed to put myself in a pretty strong position so unless I go and completely duff things up I should survive. I've also taken two days off work so I plan to take a look at the Twenty20 matches between England and the West Indies on Thursday and Friday.
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Gloucestershire v Worcestershire
Where did all that rain come from? I'm surprised they got this match on at all let alone 10 overs a side so a big well done to all those involved - some truly shocking conditions but surprisingly some well played cricket. Worcestershire batted first and racked up a very decent score of 101. To be honest I thought this would be enough - the conditions weren't good and it needed a good start form Gloucestershire to get close. As could be expected following my recent run I was quickly proved wrong as the home side won comfortably with 8 balls to spare. Luckily, due to the restricted overs I was playing with small amounts so I only lost £7.08 on the match.
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Warwickshire v Northamptonshire
I realised now that I was in a spot of bother - 25 days of the month were gone and I was still staring at a negative p/l. Drastic action was needed, I had to do some studying! With trading I've come to realise quickly that knowledge is power. It's no surprise that I haven't been able to make Tennis pay as I haven't spent time studying the sport but it's not completely the same for cricket (I have spent some time doing research) but I obviously hadn't done enough so I hit the books and I'd like to think it's paid off (at least for now anyway).
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When I got home from work Warwicks were finishing off their innings. The Maddy wicket had just fallen, their tail-end seemed to be collapsing and the market was reacting but they recovered pretty well in the last couple of overs and ended up setting a target of 174 for Northants to chase. This was a good score - Edgbaston is not an easy place for chasing a target and no Twenty20 score above 170 had been knocked over. Without spending time looking at the stats I wouldn't have known this and therefore I also wouldn't have known that the 1.96 that was available to back Warwicks was great value. I jumped in with £375 and rode the price down - in then out, in then out - until there wasn't much chance of a Northants comeback. The result was a £129.71 gain and I was back in business.
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Lancashire v Yorkshire
Buoyed by my win from last night I was very confident that I could make some money out of tonight's game. Gareth mentions it here in his recent post and he's right, there's no underestimating a positive mental attitude when it comes to trading. It gives you the strength to trust in your opinion and not make knee jerk reactions - these are always costly.
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Lancashire batted first and set the type of total I like - 143 sounds naff but it was a par score and although Yorkshire deserved to be favoured, their price of 1.40 at the switch of innings was way too short. I nibbled and then nibbled some more as White lost his wicket after facing 6 balls. Not a great start and I was just waiting for the right time to go in heavy on Lancs. A steady stream of wickets turned out to be Yorkshire's downfall as none of their batsmen were able to make a stand and I ended up picking this one right. My month now seems back on track but it's not over yet. I finished with a profit of £190.87 on this one.
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Monday, 25 June 2007

Soggy Spirits

Daily P/L: £52.45
Monthly P/L: £12.92
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What's with the British weather? It's the end of June and we have rain forecast for every day this week which puts a big dampener on the three days holiday I've taken. I was hoping to sneak a bit of Wimbledon trading in alongside the Twenty20 but it looks as if play will be hit with a string of delays which leaves me scrapping to end the month in profit.
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Surrey v Hampshire
Rain was also on the menu today but in a fortunate way it helped me make my profit. When coverage started at the Oval the forecast wasn't good - the umpires had been out and reported back that the start would be delayed by at least an hour and that if they did get started more showers were predicted for later. In Twenty20 if the game is put back then the number of overs per side is reduced. At just gone 3pm the call went out that it'd be a 4pm start with the match reduced to 10 overs each so my initial feelings were to back away from the outright market (it would be more of a lottery now) and look for opportunities elsewhere. On the completed match market there was some money available to back at 1.79. I'd taken a look at the rainfall radar and even though it was bucketing down in Sussex the clouds seemed to be moving over the Channel so I ended snapping up all that was on offer. I also knew that for the match to be deemed completed the second batting team only had to face 5 overs. This meant that as long as 15 overs could be bowled (10 + 5) there'd be a result and I'd be in profit. With every over taking on average 4 mins to bowl this equated to an hour's play with a 10 minute break between innings. Therefore, if no rain appeared between 4pm and 5.10pm I would be okay.
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I got a bit nervous when the clouds starting spitting just after the start of the second innings but the downpour held off and I survived. I did squander a little bit of profit whilst the match was in play but not enough to worry about and I finished with a green screen of £52.45.
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Let's hope the sun puts his hat on for the rest of the week.
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Saturday, 23 June 2007

Hello Square One

Daily P/L: £244.32
Monthly P/L: £65.37
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It's always harder to write about a loss - especially a maximum loss. A defeat of this size is always possible with Twenty20 cricket and today I caught the end of it.
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On the positive side, things can turn around very quickly so I can't pass full judgement until the end of the month but there's no doubt that the result I manage from tomorrow's match between will Surrey and Hampshire will determine my approach - will I be maximising profits or focusing on damage limitation?
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Nottinghamshire v Lancashire
On paper these were two strong sides. Both had cracking batting line-ups so my noted par score of 160 was gettable and so it proved. Lancashire opened at around 1.80 favourites but even though they started well they never really got going and neither did I. I was confident that their batters would eventually step up but as they gave their wickets away I ended up getting on the wrong side of numerous flip-flop situations. In the end they were fortunate to reach 163 but at this stage I still thought they had a better chance than the 2.30 given to them by the market. In my eyes it was more like even money so my view was to wait until Nottinghamshire made a good start before looking for opportunities during the Lancashire fightback. Unfortunately for me, Patel made sure this didn't happen as he hit a great knock to rattle up 84 from just 57 balls. I still think the odds were wrong during the last 10 overs but there were no reverses this time and the home team won comfortably with 3 balls to spare. All in all this left me with a hole of £242.96 in my account.

Oops - nearly forgot to mention that the South Africa v New Zealand rugby match didn't go my way either. The first half was very uneventful (that's bad for me) so I made a very small loss of £1.36..
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Friday, 22 June 2007

Wow!

Daily P/L: £72.77
Monthly P/L: £178.95

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A good effort this evening has left me in profit but it's also reconfirmed to me that Twenty 20 cricket isn't for the faint hearted! I knew this was the case before getting involved as I'd traded for small amounts on finals day last summer but it's really amazing how the odds can swing so much from just a handful of balls.
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Leicestershire v Yorkshire
Throughout today I'd convinced myself that this game would be a washout so I was chuffed to bits when I got home from work, knocked on the TV and heard that even though the start had been put back the players were due to come out in 10 minutes. It took me a while to realise that due to the delay, the match would be restricted to 16 overs but once I'd realised my mistake I made a few calculations before scribbling down that a par score should be around 135.
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The Foxes won the toss, decided to bat and got off to flying start. After just 5 overs they'd scored 53 runs and it was of no surprise that they eventually notched up a target of 154 for Yorkshire to chase. At this point the market made Leicestershire strong favourites and their price was hovering around 1.40. I made them strong favourites too. It was going to take something very special from Yorkshire to win this one so my strategy for the second half was to wait for the right opportunity and then lump on the hosts but this where the opportunities come in Twenty 20.
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Okay, so Leicestershire should win and probably win comfortably but did their price of 1.40 offer value? The answer was no. I got this one wrong - I thought it did and got stung as within the opening 5 overs Yorkshire rattled up a score of 57! The price on Leicestershire had swung from 1.40 to 2.20 within 30 balls but fortunately I'd managed to get out at 1.56. This is how volatile this market is but even though it's extremely scary, it's great at the same time! Was Twenty 20 invented for exchange trading?!?
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Things started to go my way again when Yorkshire lost a couple of quick wickets and I jumped on the Leicestershire band wagon. I gradually rode their price down from 1.62 until the result became a formality.
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The good news is that this week everything goes Twenty 20 crazy - there a game on every day and if you're serious about trading you can't miss getting involved. It can be dangerous but if you apply some thought the rewards can be huge.
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Saturday, 16 June 2007

Timing My Run


Daily P/L: £157.98
Monthly P/L: £106.18
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That's more like it! It's nice to be back in profit and maybe this is the kick start I need to set-up the rest of the month. I only traded on one event today but it was enough - I suppose quantity isn't the important thing it's the result at the end that counts.
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South Africa v Australia
After thumping England twice recently, South Africa have been built up as likely challengers to New Zealand in winning the World Cup later this year. Even though they're a very good side I thought they'd been talked up a little too much in the build up to this one and my gut instinct was that the 1.24 available was a little short. Australia are no great shakes but with a more balanced backline there was no doubt that they had the ability to cause the Saffers problems if their forwards could gain some sort of parity. With this outlook I watched very closely as the Aussies defended bravely during an opening 10 minute onslaught by the Springboks and when they'd cleared their lines I managed to lay the hosts a number of times just prior to the Wallabies scoring a try through Matt Giteau. This meant I was able to green-up my position nicely and get out by half time - if only things were this simple all the time!
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Watch out for Australia later this year though. They never have a bad World Cup and if things go to plan (e.g. they play England in the quarter final) they should make at least the semi-finals. Their current price of 18.00 on Betfair will probably be around 7.00 then.
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You may notice that my monthly profit/loss is a little bit more than it should be compared to my last post - this is because I forgot to report a small win on the New Zealand v France match last weekend. When looking at my Betfair figures I forgot to take into account my Australian wallet as I rarely trade on these events - an easy mistake to make but maybe I should take a look more often!
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Spread & Splutter

Since Last Post P/L: £28.80
Monthly P/L: £57.15

Another quiet week has come to an end and I have to admit I'm getting a little anxious. I'm starting to get the feeling that June will either fall into a 'big win' or a 'big loss' category as most of my scheduled trading activity is due to take place in the last week. Obviously, if things go wrong I won't have the time or trading opportunities to bail myself out which all leads me to feel a little nervous - I don't want this to be my first losing month!

This anxiety led me to have a look at the European Under 21 Championships on Thursday. England were up against an Italian side licking their wounds after a first match defeat to Serbia and the game seemed poised to be an all out attack affair. In the 2006 World Cup I'd identified a very good spread betting market that seemed to offer good returns in situations like these so I decided to take another look. The market revolves around corners and in this case I was interested in the number of England corners in the first half multiplied by the number of England corners in the second half. The spread was 5.50 - 7.00 and with England sure to try and take to the game to the Italians out wide I fancied there'd be a strong chance of at least getting 3 corners each half so I bought the spread at just over £7 per point. Things started well with the first England corner coming within the first 10 minutes and the game flowing from end to end, but then something unexpected happened.....England became ruthless in front of goal and slotted two chances away to give themselves a very early 2-0 lead! The normal outcome of the keeper getting a slight touch or the defender clearing off the line had deserted me so after 30 minutes with only one corner on my side I decided to close my bet early and accept a £28.80 loss. Italy were on the comeback and England were trying to close the game out which was not a good sign when you need them to be attacking from all angles!

So what's the plan to get me into profit? What events am I looking to trade to get me on the winning trail?

Here are the likely suspects:

Saturday 16th June
South Africa v Australia (Rugby Union)

Friday 22nd June
Leicestershire v Yorkshire (Twenty 20 Cricket)

Saturday 23rd June
South Africa v New Zealand (Rugby Union)
Nottinghamshire ve Lancashire (Twenty 20 Cricket)

Sunday 24th June
Surrey v Hampshire (Twenty 20 Cricket)

Monday 25th June
Gloucestershire v Worcestershire (Twenty 20 Cricket)
Wimbledon (Tennis)

Tuesday 26th June
Warwickshire v Northamptonshire (Twenty 20 Cricket)

Wednesday 27th June
Lancashire v Yorkshire (Twenty 20 Cricket)

Thursday 28th June
England v West Indies (Twenty 20 Cricket)
Wimbledon (Tennis)

Friday 29th June
England v West Indies (Twenty 20 Cricket)
Wimbledon (Tennis)

Saturday 30th June
Australia v New Zealand (Rugby Union)
Leicestershire v Nottinghamshire (Twenty 20 Cricket)
Wimbledon (Tennis)

So there's plenty of action still to come and the Twenty 20 normally offers some great opportunities but when it comes to cricket the weather becomes a major factor - here's hoping for a heatwave!
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Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Treading Water

Since Last Post P/L: £16.82
Monthly P/L: £28.35

The darts on Sunday didn't really go to plan and even though I made money on the Jenkins v Van De Voort match I threw a bit of it away on the Barneveld v Taylor game to end the day with a small green. It's very rare to see Taylor get beat let alone thrashed, so it'll be no surprise for you to hear that I was reluctant to believe what I was seeing and that I held on to my losing positions for too long. Fair play to the Dutchman though, he was in great form and deserved to take the title.

The trip to see Colin Fry was enjoyable but a bit disturbing at the same time. I'd liken the experience to playing bingo. You sit in the audience and as he tries to connect to the other side you quickly realise that you are 'in the game'. A bit of nervous tension then starts to appear as he starts describing who's talking to him - I was left scratching my head a few times thinking, "Is the crazy woman he's describing my Nan?" or "I'm sure my mother's middle name was Doris!" but these thoughts turned out be unfounded as no messages came through for myself or Nicola. In all honesty I was a bit gobsmacked as to how much detail he went into and I left pretty sure that he wasn't a hoaxer - he was too specific to get lucky and if the people in the audience were in on it I'm sure somebody would have sold their story to the papers by now. If he's ever in your neck of the woods it's worth taking a look.

Back to trading - Today I arranged to take a few days off work at the end of the month to tie in with a couple of the 20/20 cricket matches. I'm trying to be patient and wait for the right opportunities to come along and I know that this format of cricket can reap rewards so hopefully my cautious approach can pay off. I need to get the show back on the road and I need to do it soon!
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Sunday, 10 June 2007

Crossing Over

Since Last Post P/L: £44.24
Monthly P/L: £45.17

It's been a crazy couple of weeks and all the travelling has taken it's toll. I really enjoy visiting new places but as it's been combined with work it's all been bit non-stop which means I just haven't had the chance or the energy levels to commit to any serious trading.

I've dabbled here and there on the UK Open Darts and as you can see the result has ended in a loss (and Sky switching their coverage of televised matches hasn't helped!) but with the 20/20 cricket season, Wimbledon and the Tri-Nations rugby due to kick-off soon there should be plenty of opportunities to make June a prosperous month. Hopefully, as I'm not due to go away again for a while, some kind of normality can be restored and I can start building up some profits.

I won't be able to trade the finals of the darts tonight as me and the Fiancee (her names's Nicola by the way) are off to experience something a little different. As a Christmas pressie my sister bought us 2 tickets to go and see Colin Fry (the medium from the Sixth Sense programme on Sky) as he's in Bristol tonight and even though I don't really know what to expect it should be interesting.
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Sunday, 3 June 2007

Lots Of Work For No Reward

Since Last Post P/L: £0.93
Monthly P/L: £0.93


Don't you just hate it when that happens? You spend hours by your desk staring at your computer following the numbers up and down and then at the end of it all when you check your account balance you find it hasn't moved. Well, that's what happened to me this weekend but in truth I'm very relieved that my performance today didn't turn into an action reply of the 2nd May.

Surrey v Essex
Surrey were strong favourites prior to Essex winning the toss but when they were ordered to bowl the market reacted and pushed their price out to around 1.80. A potential score of 300+ was being banded around by the pundits but I'd done my homework and had noted that the biggest one day score at the ground was 298 so I levelled a par score at 265. With this thought process firmly in my mind I got off to a decent start and mid way through the Essex innings I had a comfortable all green position of around £30. It was at this time things started to go wrong. Essex fell short of what seemed a sure 260+ score and finished with 248. My green position had vanished and I was now staring at a small loss. The market felt that with the strength of the Surrey batting line up, the Brown Caps would only have to play out the 50 overs for a comfortable win but as per usual, the cricketing Gods had other ideas.

To sum things up, Surrey lost 2 early wickets and I jumped in to lay them. My thought was that if Ramprakash or Butcher lost their wicket soon then the odds would flip-flop. As you may already know they didn't and their partnership built itself so quickly that I ended up in a spiral of losing trades which lead me to an all red position of £270 - ouch! The Surrey price had crashed and as they were trading at 1.11 the match seemed more or less over. Now what do you do when this happens? Yep, that's right, I switched off the PC and went to watch Big Brother! Forty minutes later I flicked back to see the score and Surrey had lost 3 wickets! I decided to give things another go and fortunately I was able to claw myself back to end with a beautiful profit of £0.51. If I was a cat I'd now be on my last life!

Yesterday I spent a little while trying out a few tennis trading methods in readiness for Wimbledon and I lost £1.44.

I was away in Belgium last week and tomorrow I'm off to the Netherlands - all of this travelling means that I haven't had much time for trading recently but I intend to get things moving again when the UK Open Darts starts on Thursday.
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