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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Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Sod's Law

Since Last Post P/L: £9.83
Monthly P/L: £839.97

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Ha! A few developments this week - I'm back in work, my brother has to gone to visit friends scattered throughout the UK and I've had a busy but unproductive trading week. Talk about coming back to earth with a bump!
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In the long run I'm convinced that these times are just as important as the winning ones. If you can keep your head, not get greedy and not make too much of a loss you can count it as a success. After my big win last week I feel I've now ridden the wave of euphoria and can hopefully get back to securing small wins over the next couple of weeks...but...if I'm honest, I do have one eye on finishing the month with £1000 profit as it's a milestone I've had on my radar for some time. We shall see.
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If you're interested in knowing my full list of results since last Thursday then here's the details:
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Twenty 20
Australia v England : £170.20
New Zealand v India : £7.71
Australia v Bangladesh : £24.58
Pakistan v Sri Lanka : £33.39
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka : £33.05
England v India : £42.07
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Rugby Union
Fiji v Canada : £43.40
Samoa v Tonga : 25.33
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Thursday, 13 September 2007

Hello Big Time!


Since Last Post P/L: £703.03
Monthly P/L: £849.80
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How can you explain what we do to people in the normal world? It's practically impossible! The conversation I had with my Dad this afternoon is a prime example - it went something like this:
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Me: Hi Dad
Dad: Oh hello, how are you?
Me: erm, pretty good thanks
Dad: Been up to much?
Me: Not really, ummm, well I did just make over £650 trading the cricket!
Dad: ........(SILENCE)..............
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It's bloody ridiculous! Fortunately my Dad is better than most as he understands gambling and my involvement with it but I don't think even he was expecting that, so what chance do I stand with the average Joe Bloggs off the street? As soon as they hear the 'G' word they automatically associate you with being a loser so I normally avoid saying anything but I still have the urge to let people know about trading on Betfair. I just can't understand why everyones not doing it!
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South Africa v West Indies
What a game and what a cracking way to start the Twenty 20 World Cup! The atmosphere at the Wanderers stadium was second to none and this must have helped motivate the players as they put on a hell of a show. Chris Gayle was simply sensational and his 117 off 57 balls looked likely to give the Windies an unlikely victory but the South Africans refused to lie down. Despite taking a whack to the back of the hand off the first ball, Graeme Smith recovered and propelled the home team forward but the key to this match was the number of wides bowled by the visitors. They gave away 28 extras which is simply too many in this format and were made to pay the price. In the end the Saffers made it look easy and they cantered home with 14 balls to spare. I made a gain of £105.90 on this one.
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Pakistan v Scotland
I was always looking for something that was unlikely to happen and this resulted in me losing a few ticks here and there. Not my best trading performance as I lost £55.86 and I need to look at how I trade one sided matches in more detail.
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West Indies v Bangladesh
What can I say about this one? I ended the match with my biggest individual win since I started trading - a whopping £652.99 - can it get any better than this?!? For those of you who are new visitors to my blog please understand that this is a big deal to me, especially when I put into context that this win alone is over two and a half times the amount I started with as a trading bank just over 12 months ago. Back on the 29th January, Matt from Punt.com left me a comment after reading this post and as part of his advice he said that "big things are possible from small beginnings". This thought has stayed with me ever since. It's helped me stay motivated through some of the tough times and it was so nice at the time for someone to back up what I thought was possible. So thanks Matt - I'm now starting to get a feel for exactly how big things could get if I can keep disciplined. I realise my progress won't continue in a straight line but if I can ride the trading rollercoaster and keep my head who knows what could be possible?
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So how did I make a profit on this match? Well, without giving too much away, the short and long of it was that I was keeping an eye on the Windies performance. As Twenty 20 is a completely different game to even 50 over ODI's the teams are far more evenly matched. I was able to identify when they were struggling and opposed them at numerous times throughout both innings. Their score of 164 was nothing more than 'par' and I knew that if the Bangladesh team could make the most of the fielding restrictions they'd be in the box seat. The Bangla's lost a wicket almost immediately and the Windies price dropped to 1.19 but the batting team recovered well and it's at this point I made a significant move. I rode my position as the market started to latch onto the fact that the Windies were in danger and the rest is history. Needless to say, I'm chuffed to bits and I can't wait for Australia v England tomorrow!
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Monday, 10 September 2007

Taking A Back Seat

Since Last Post P/L: £94.68
Monthly P/L: £146.77
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For the last few days I've had to put trading on the back burner as I've spent a lot of the time being very drunk. As I explained in my last post, my brother is visiting from Australia and as he's a bit of a beer monster he's always in need of someone to keep him company! I dread to think how much I've consumed so it's probably a good time to ease up and prepare for the start of the Twenty 20 World Cup.
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Middlesex v Derbyshire
I did have a little look at this one last night but ended up getting it all wrong (the 6 pints I'd swallowed during the afternoon probably didn't help my judgement). I couldn't have entered the market at a worse time - Derbyshire were in a weak position at 179-4 but my thoughts were that they had enough wickets in hand to post a target of around 210. If this happened I was confident that the price would drift to around 1.42 so I laid Middlesex for £852 at 1.31. What do you think happened next? Yep, three Derbyshire wickets fell in the next over and it wasn't long before the score read 184-8. A dramatic collapse and I had no choice but to bail out of my position.
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Fortunately, scenarios like this don't happen everyday so I'll pick myself up and get ready for tomorrow.
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Thursday, 6 September 2007

Beginning Of An Exciting Month

Since Last Post P/L: £241.45
Monthly P/L: £241.45
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What a month we have ahead! The Rugby World Cup kicks off tomorrow and the Twenty 20 World Cup follows hot on it's heels on Tuesday. As my top two trading sports are Rugby and Cricket I'm keenly rubbing my magic lamp and wishing that September turns into a bonanza. I've booked a week off work too but my time can't all be spent watching the markets as my brother comes back from Australia for a 3 week holiday. He lives in Sydney and as I haven't seen him in 2 years neglecting the opportunity to have some drunken nights out maybe a step too far.
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The debauchery is due to start in line with the opening ceremony so if I haven't got too much of a hangover then my next trading activity should be on Saturday. There's no rush though as fortunately I've already got the month off to a decent start through racking up a profit of £305.89 on Essex v Gloucestershire (a big win that I'm delighted about as it all happened within 25 minutes) and £88.03 on the 5th ODI between England and India. The loss of £152.47 on the Warwickshire v Lancashire game has been the only down point of the last few days but I've been able to forget about it pretty quickly with everything else going on.
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As I predicted in this post back in June, I still feel confident that Australia will make at least the semi-finals in the Rugby World Cup, so I hope you got the 18.00 that was available at the time (their price is now 12.50). If, like me, you failed to take my advice then don't worry, the next 4 weeks should provide more than enough entertainment to make you happy.
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