Sunday, 29 July 2007

Busy Times

Since Last Post P/L: £91.81
Monthly P/L: £452.90
.
Apologies for the lack of updates this week but life has been very hectic. From my last post you'll know that on Wednesday and Thursday I was in Prague and on Friday I went to see the semi-finals of the Stan James World Matchplay in Blackpool. Both trips were good for different reasons but at the same time both were very tiring. One of the highlights of my trip to the darts was having a 5 minute conversation with Adrian Lewis' missus whilst we waited for him to come on stage. I don't know her name but she was very pleasant so I offered her a space next to me so she could wish him good luck as he walked by - I'm such a nice guy :-) Unfortunately, all these cheap thrills and jet-setting adventures mean I've had limited time for trading but given my recent results this is probably a blessing in disguise.
.
Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire
Here I demonstrated a classic example of 'fools rush in syndrome'. I'd dashed home from work with an eagerness to catch up on the losses I'd incurred from trading on the British Open golf and regretted it very quickly. Warwickshire were batting first and even though their innings wasn't going to set the world alight I thought they'd post a score that would be under-estimated by the the market and set about laying the Outlaws. Through a lack of patience and by not looking at the worst case scenarios in enough detail I was caught napping as the home side lost wickets and their tail end crumbled. I was in a losing position I couldn't get out of and Nottinghamshire coasted to victory. Silly me and a silly £91.81 loss.
.
So what do I plan to do for the last couple of days of July? Chase my losses? Scramble around various markets looking for hidden opportunities? Nope - I intend to do nothing, count my winnings for the month and then get ready for August. It's hugely important to me that I continue to grow my bank and the risk of turning a decent result into a loss just isn't worth it. By reporting a 15% growth over the last four weeks I can still tap myself on the back and walk away happy.
.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

A Day To Forget

Daily P/L: £155.57
Monthly P/L: £544.71
.
Oh balls! In particular - golf balls. Today was not a good day and it wasn't helped by the fuzzy feeling hangover I was nursing or the row I had with my old man. Throw into the mix the most topsy turvey Open Championship for years and you have a recipe for disaster. Okay, it wasn't quite that bad but I felt very deflated at the end of it all.
.
The British Open
Sergio Garcia is a great golfer but for as long as I can remember he's been thought of as a bit of a bottler when it matters - but - surely not today? When he began the final round he was 3 shots ahead of Steve Stricker and a further 3 ahead of the field and a score of 71 (par for the course) would surely be enough to take the title? Yes, it would have been but it didn't happen. Garcia faltered but I missed the signs of his demise and started to go down with him. I was never ahead and the drama over the closing holes just made things worse. My loss was £121.49 and I should have turned the computer off then but couldn't resist a look at the...
.
Stan James World Matchplay
I'm going to Blackpool to watch this on Friday so I thought I'd take a look to get a taste of what lies ahead but I should've known better. Darts has been a bogey sport for me recently and my only guess as to why is that I must be having difficulty in switching between the volatility of the slower trading sports (golf & cricket) and the quicker ones. I only traded the one match - Painter v Gray - but did so very badly. The outright market has definitely changed since my success at the World Championships in December, and my failure to adjust with it has led to my problems. To cap off a miserable day I lost £34.08 on this match.
.
I'm not going to get too down though. I still hold a healthy profit for the month and because I want to keep it that way it's likely my only large trading activity left for the month will be the Pro 40 game between Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire on Tuesday. I'm then going to Prague with work on Wednesday so it's all go. Busy weeks ahead are normally not good for trading as any distractions can lead to lapses of concentration.
.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Going Green

Daily P/L: £102.98
Monthly P/L: £700.28
.
What a refreshing change - a full game of Twenty20 cricket without a dash of rain in sight and boy did it feel good. I can't help but think how unlucky we've been to have such poor weather recently or do you think these global warming campaigners have got a point? The potential for profit during the cricket season seems so good at the moment that I'm half tempted to ban the missus from buying hairspray :-)
.
Sussex v Yorkshire
I've said it before and I'll say it again - Hove is not an easy place to score runs. Sussex did an amazing job to post 193 from their twenty overs and Yorkshire were always going to be up against it. Light was fading fast and with Mushtaq and Saqlain the Sharks had the spinners to strangle the life out of the game. The first Yorkshire wicket fell quickly and from then on there was only going to be one winner. I managed to get on Sussex at 1.40 towards the end of their innings and rode their price down as the visitors fell away for me to net a profit of £102.98.
.
July is shaping up to be my best month yet but I must remember not to get greedy - small wins here and there between now and the end of the month and I'll be happy.
.
It's Nicola's (my Fiancee's) brother's wedding on Saturday so a couple of quiet trading days lay ahead. I may take a look at the British Open golf on Sunday but that'll depend on how bad the headache is.
.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Almost Laughable

Daily P/L: £108.93
Monthly P/L: £597.30
.
Unfortunately, the weather played another huge role in tonight's Pro 40 clash and I can only hope that the sun decides comes out for the second half of the British summer.
.
Derbyshire v Glamorgan
As I got home from work I was very surprised to see it was already the mid inning interval. I'd expected to tune in and see Glamorgan bat out their final overs but after suffering a middle order collapse all they could muster was a total of 165. On the surface this looked an extremely average score and the market had reacted by installing the Phantoms as 1.26 favourites. I didn't agree that their price should be as strong and as soon as their first wicket fell I lumped on a lay for £644 @ 1.30. With hindsight this was a great move as their second wicket fell a few balls later leaving them in a pickle at 11-2 and myself in a very strong position. The Derbyshire price was drifting but seemed to peak a few minutes later so I decided to back them @ 1.46 and re-assess.
.
I'm not sure that getting out and re-evaluating the market is a strategy that makes my trading the most efficient but I'm certain it's allowed me to miss plenty of losses through indecision. This all adds up in the long run and once I'd convinced myself that the Dragons were close to flip flopping the market I laid Derbyshire again. I'd only managed to get £296 matched (most of it at 1.62) when the rain started to belt down and the market began to spiral out of control. Glamorgan were comfortably ahead on the Duckworth Lewis scoring system and with this in mind plenty of punters were trying to bail out. The bad thing for me here was that only 9 overs had been bowled meaning that unless another over could be fitted in it wouldn't be classed as a 'game' - so what do the umpires decide to do? That's right - take the players off! I hate leaving positions run in these situations so I greened up by placing a back at 2.00. I was looking at a healthy profit but only if the players came back on and another 6 balls were bowled. For an hour and a half I twitched in my seat until play resumed but it was worth it in the end. I'd wasted £11.67 on the completed match market taking out some insurance but finished with a profit of £108.93 on the match overall.
.
Hopefully the Twenty20 Cup Quarter Finals can now dodge the rain and give us some action.
.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Wet Wet Wet

Daily P/L: £61.18
Monthly P/L: £488.37
.
It was my works Summer Ball last night and even though I had a hangover from hell this morning, I'd recovered enough by this afternoon to take a look at the cricket. I'm getting a much better feel for the game these days and it seems to be paying off. If the weather could improve I'm sure it would have a positive effect on my p/l but the forecast unfortunately is not good. More rain is scheduled to arrive and with Pro 40 and Twenty20 games due to take place this week it would seem they're destined to be washed out. This is hugely frustrating but what can I do? Not much is the answer except be patient, not rush into things and concentrate on picking up small wins when they come along.
.
Leicestershire v Kent
In all honesty, this was quite a poor game to trade. Leicestershire won the toss and on the basis that they felt the pitch would slow up later, decided to have a bat first. The decision might have been the right one but the Foxes were unable to construct any decent partnerships and with only Nixon making a stand their score of 175 was always going to be reachable. The Kent price at the turn was around the 1.48 mark but this dropped very quickly after the first ball when Kruger bowled a no ball and conceded a 4 on the free hit. The Spitfires then started to make the chase look easy by knocking up 79 runs off the first 15 overs which meant the only chance for Leicestershire lay with their spinners - but it wasn't to be. Kent kept their wickets and sprinted to their target with 39 balls remaining. All too easy for them and due to the game lacking any major drama I was only able to finish with a profit of £61.18.
.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Throwing It Away

Since Last Post P/L: £43.97
Monthly P/L: £427.19

A busy trading weekend has left me feeling very frustrated. Why? Well, put simply it's because on Saturday and Sunday I let reasonable green figures end in a loss when I knew on both occasions that the right thing to do was turn off the computer and do something else. I think most of us have experienced this feeling before and I'd rank it as one of the worst feelings you can get. If I try and put this loss into perspective then all I have to do is realise that I'm ending the last few days with more money than when I left work on Friday afternoon, but with a quiet week ahead it's going to be a while before I can make up for my mistakes.
.
England v West Indies
After the Windies had posted a huge 289 off their 50 overs it could only have been blind optimism from England backers that led to the visitors' price hovering around 1.60 at the change of innings. I could tell the price was screaming "value" and can only regret greening out early. The gain should have been bigger but at the time I was happy with a decent £61.67 profit.
.
Desert Classic Darts
My demise over the weekend was down to the darts. I was wasn't feeling confident (maybe down to me not trading it for a while) and it's not the type of sport that you can trade with any trace of hesitancy. To cut a long story short I was gobbled up as I chased losses and cut winning trades short. I should have figured what I was doing sooner but by the time I did it was too late. My results were; Smith v Part £68.75, Barneveld v Scholten £0.29, Manley v Jenkins £84.09, Part v Barneveld £58.46.
.
British Grand Prix
All was not lost though, a ray of sunshine did shine during the British Grand Prix. All the pre-race hype focused on the new golden boy Lewis Hamilton but being in pole position didn't mean he was a shoe-in for top place on the podium. As it turned out, he finished third and he even though he may have been disappointed I was very satisfied with how things had gone. A great race to trade with plenty of twists and turns (no pun intended) allowed me to finish with a good gain. Maybe I need to focus on Formula 1 a little more as a Raikkonen victory earned me £105.95.
.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Viva Las Vegas!

Since Last Post P/L: £185.78
Monthly P/L: £471.16
.
With the British weather continuing to ruin all the Twenty20 cricket thank goodness for the Desert Classic Darts. The action started on Wednesday night and within a few minutes I'd racked up a nice green figure on the first match but I was a little worried about the liquidity so I decided to stop there and leave it a couple of days until the second round started. Tonight I decided to take another look and as there seemed to be a bit more money about I decided to get involved. After a few legs I soon remembered how volatile the darts markets can be but fortunately I called more decisions right than wrong which means that July is shaping up to be a very good month. I'm aware that things can turn around quickly though so I'll be trying to keep my feet on the ground.
.
I've listed a brief summary of my results over the last few days below.
.
Wade v Osborne
£72.55
.
Scholten v Beaton
£75.20
.
Newton v Jenkins
£1.59
.
Barneveld v Mardle
£36.49
.
Lewis v King
£3.13
.
As I'm ahead of where I thought I'd be I've decided to treat myself to a round of golf in the morning instead of trading the Australia v South Africa match. A wise decision? I'm not so sure, but it's important to break the routine now and again and have a break.
.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Great Start

Since Last Post P/L: £219.30
Monthly P/L: £285.38
.
The start to July has been the complete opposite to what I experienced at the beginning of June and with plenty of action scheduled for the rest of the week long may it continue!
.
Paraguay v USA
I very rarely make straight up bets anymore and will only do so if I feel the price on offer is significantly better value than what I perceive to be the true odds for the event. As the cricket was called off on Monday evening I decided to scan the Betfair markets to see what was going on and I noticed this little beauty. Paraguay are a team "on the up" and after their 5-0 drubbing of Colombia I was surprised that 2.08 was on offer for them to beat a USA side crushed 4-1 by Argentina in their previous game. As the USA side were also missing several key players I decided to take a punt of £35 on a Paraguayan victory. When I woke up on Tuesday I was greeted by the news that they'd won 3-1 and I was £35.91 better off.
.
Sussex v Essex
Can you believe that the groundsmen at Hove could forget to fill up the floodlights with petrol before a SKY televised game? I couldn't either, when at the turn of the innings the umpire declared that this was the case. Despite the Sussex Chief Executive back tracking with some other excuse a little later, it was a very embarrassing situation for all concerned as the Essex reply to Sussexs' 163 was delayed by 45 minutes. Hove is a deceiving ground - it looks like a great pitch but teams always seem to struggle to post massive scores and the Sharks' total was always likely to be a challenge under the conditions. Essex looked in control for much of their innings with Bopara leading away but they started to crumble in the last 7 overs and in the end fell considerably short of the target. The match was a bit a of a trading dream for me as I constructed an all green position of £193.39 on the outright market but lost £10 for covering myself on the completed match market just in case they couldn't solve the floodlight problem. So overall a profit of £183.39 can declared for the match.
.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Out!

Daily P/L: £66.08
Monthly P/L: £66.08

.
A good start to July has left me with a smile on my face - being on the right side of the p/l at the beginning of the month is always nice and as it puts me in the right frame of mind for the coming weeks.
.
England v West Indies (ODI)
Fair play to England, they're starting to look like a decent 50 over side! Shame they haven't quite got the Twenty20 format sussed just yet but there's no denying that if they continue to bowl like they did today they'll be taking some major scalps in the near future. Okay, I know the Windies aren't great but it still took a good effort from the England attack to knock them over and with the likes of Broad and Mascarenhas sure to learn from the experience things should only get better. From a trading point of view I was happy with the way I performed but I missed out on a big win by a matter of seconds. I was keen to get on England just after the Windies 2nd wicket fell but only managed to get £188 matched at 1.60 before Anderson took Samuels out on his next ball. The price crashed to 1.33 immediately and I had to settle for a smaller gain than I'd have liked. I'm not complaining though, these things happen and I'll settle for a profit of £66.08 on the match.
.
There's plenty of cricket to look forward to so it should be a busy week.
.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

All Black For New Zealand?

.
Daily P/L: £73.93
Monthly P/L: £480.17
.
Another month ends and I'm very happy that I've been able to grow my trading bank by 20%. It was slow going at times but it just shows the importance of being patient and waiting for the right conditions to come along. The end of June also signifies the half way point of 2007 and it's a good time for me to evaluate my performance so far. By scanning my records I can see that since January I've been able to chalk up a profit of £2376 after commission, which all bodes well for the future but I'll try not to get too far ahead of myself. The most positive point is that I now have four sports (Rugby Union, Cricket, Darts & Golf) that I feel very comfortable in trading and it makes such a difference when you have confidence in every decision you make.
.
Australia v New Zealand
Have the wheels fallen off the the All Black bus? I don't think so. They may have let a 15-6 lead slip but I sense this defeat will put them in the right frame of mind for the World Cup and it's definitely not good news to anyone they come up against in the next few months. The fact is they're still the best side in the world (by a decent margin) but it doesn't mean they're unbeatable. The Aussies showed today that by taking the game to them it's possible to score points but stopping the New Zealand team from scoring more is the hard part. Stirling Mortlock had another great game in the centre which reemphasises to everyone how good he's become - I just wish he had a Welsh Grandmother! From a trading point of view it was a hassle free match - I got in and out of the market at the right times and in the end I finished with a profit of £73.93.
.