Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Changing Seasons


Since Last Post P/L: £90.17
Monthly P/L: £451.28
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November comes to an end and all I have to report is an 8% growth to my trading bank. Was this low figure to be expected? Am I being greedy? The answer is yes on both counts but my performance wasn't just down to taking a weeks holiday, the truth is a little more complex.
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I consider one of the biggest challenges for any Sports Trader is the task of being able to build a portfolio of sports that can be traded successfully and for profit. It's possible for anyone to specialise in one area but if you look at the sporting calendar there's not many events that take place all year round. The table I've put at the beginning of this post illustrates this as it shows that nearly all sports take place in 'seasons' and this makes it very difficult for us as traders to rely on any one sport to provide a steady income.
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The conclusion I've made is that this month was always going to be tough as the number of events available for me to trade was limited. NFL and Rugby Union were the best candidates but apart from those there wasn't much happening. In an attempt to win more I could have looked elsewhere and delved into the soccer or perhaps the horse racing markets but by doing this both my levels of risk and my chances of losses would have increased and we all know what happens then - chasing losses starts and it's a downward spiral from there!
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So, what did I do? I decided to stick to the plan that I drew up at the beginning of the month and only got involved in the events I'd highlighted as being suitable and by doing this I resisted the temptation of being dragged into markets I knew little about. I admit that my monthly result of a £450 profit isn't going to set the world on fire and it's less than I would have liked but it's a profit and levels of success need to be judged over a much longer period. I'm happy for now with the way things are going, and even though I expect December and January to be similar I'm hopeful that things will start to turn back my way when March arrives but that seem like a long way off and patience has never been one of my strong points!
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Saturday, 24 November 2007

Ticking Over

Since Last Post P/L: £22.56
Monthly P/L: £361.11
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A very short post from me this morning to report that I dabbled in the Twenty20 game between South Africa and New Zealand last night.
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By the time I'd got home and switched on the TV I was disappointed to see that the 'Black Caps' had only racked up a feeble 129-7 off their allotted overs and on a pitch that's renowned for decent totals I found it difficult to foresee anything other than a South African win. Their price was balancing at 1.12 and to me these odds didn't look far off the mark but I didn't rush in and waited a while before picking up a few ticks here and there.
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Fortunately, I'd closed all my positions before the final overs as the Saffers ended up making a real horlicks of the chase and only ended up stumbling over the line with a ball to spare. That's the great thing about this format of the game - there's no such thing as a 'safe bet' and for traders that's always good news.
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Monday, 19 November 2007

No Easy Way Out


Since Last Post P/L: £76.33
Monthly P/L: £338.55
I'm writing this post to the sound of the Robert Tepper track from Rocky IV and as it seems to fit in with my current way of thinking I've decided to name this post after it.
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Okay, so it's been a good weekend but it's been hard work (especially today) and this has got me thinking about those people who believe trading/gambling is an easy way to make money. Reality check - it's not. If you listen to or read the blogs of those who are successful you'll notice they've many things in common but the one strength that sticks out is that they're not afraid of hard work. Whether you look at The Betfair Trader who also runs his own business, or Ray the Sports Trader who raises his kids as a single parent the trait is the same - they're committed and will do whatever they can to be succeed and this is evident when it comes to their trading as they're constantly researching their chosen markets, reviewing their performance and searching for an edge.
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I'd like to think I'm built the same way but don't we all?
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If you're making regular losses and don't know why then perhaps it's time to take a look in the mirror - are you giving it 100%?
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Would Phil Taylor only practice throwing darts for 20 minutes a day? Would Tiger Woods only practice hitting his 9 iron? No, and with trading neither should we - there are no shortcuts on the road to profits.
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Results round-up since Saturday:
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Cricket
India v Pakistan (5th ODI) = £71.22
South Africa v New Zealand (2nd Test) = £22.92
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Rugby Union
Munster v Clermont = £25.31
Toulouse v Leinster = £7.50
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Saturday, 17 November 2007

Kiwi Collapse?

Since Last Post P/L: £236.61
Monthly P/L: £262.22

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An eventful few days has allowed me to post some respectable results but it's not all good news as the Test Match cricket trading has proved to be a bit of a learning curve.
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When trading a new sport or a different format of the same sport (e.g. Test Matches instead of One Day Internationals) getting the timing right can often be a problem. It takes a little while to get a feel for the pace of the market and my impatience proved to be my downfall on Friday as I rushed in to trade the first day of the South Africa v New Zealand match-up. The outcome? Well, I'm now the proud owner of some mid-sized red figures that I need to turn around before the match finishes. With my eggs firmly in the 'opposing the draw' basket I'm hoping for no rain in Pretoria until Wednesday!
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The Heineken Cup rugby has proved to be my saviour but it hurts me to say that I profited out of the miserable Welsh team performances - they really are performing poorly at the moment :-(
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Here's my full results since Wednesday:
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Cricket
India v Pakistan (4th ODI) = £24.18
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Rugby Union
Newcastle v Brive = £32.36
Newport Gwent Dragons v London Irish = £47.47
Harlequins v Cardiff Blues = £2.93
Llanelli Scarlets v Wasps = £194.39
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Tomorrow will be my last day off before returning to work on Monday so I'll be trying my best to end the holiday on a high note by trading the 5th ODI between India and Pakistan.
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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

There's No Place Like Home


Since Last Post P/L: £6.64
Monthly P/L: £25.61
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It's nice to go away but it's also nice to come home. The holiday was fantastic and much needed but there's a certain comfort in making a cup of tea in your own kitchen and falling off to sleep in your own bed, although I'm already missing the delights of having a daily 'power' shower courtesy of a splendid hotel bathroom. Getting away and having a healthy dose of sun was just what the doctor ordered and thankfully I'm feeling much more relaxed.
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So what about the chromosone test results from Nic's amniocentesis?
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Did we get them whilst we were away?
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Yes we did, and the great news is that they all came back clear so the only thing we have to worry about now is the baby's heart condition. I say 'only' but I realise that many more challenges lie ahead and this is just one step along that path. I've said it before and I'll say it again, thanks to everyone for their support and goodwill messages over the last few weeks and in particular Kathy & Michael. Kathy left a comment to one of my earlier posts explaining that she had a daughter with Down Syndrome and although things were tough to begin with, it wasn't long before the charm of her daughter showed them how lucky they were and that you haven't been truly loved until you have been loved and adored by a child with DS. I totally understand her comments and I'm very grateful to her for taking the timeout to provide some very sound advice for me and Nic. On reflection, I hope I didn't upset anyone who has a child with Down Syndrome in my previous post as this was not my intention.
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With a brighter outlook on life I got involved in a tiny bit of soccer action last night by taking a look at Bournemouth v MK Dons in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. As many of you know, I've tried many times to figure out a way of trading this sport but I continue to draw a blank. On this occasion I can report a very small gain of £6.64 which is better than a loss but unfortunately I didn't stumble upon any revelations on how to make consistent profits.
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So, what next? I'm still off work until Monday so I'm planning an assault on One Day and Test Match cricket until then. I've done quite a bit of research into how Test matches differ from the One Day game so hopefully I can prove to myself that my hardwork has paid off by producing a few green numbers over the next week. If I can it will give me greater confidence and an extra string to my bow as I look to make it through the Winter.
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Any other news? Well, I've come across a new site called 'Betting Blogs' which provides a round up of everything going on in the trading blog world. A great idea and an ideal one stop shop if you haven't got the time to go round each one individually. I'll be keeping an eye on this site myself and have also added a link to it under 'Useful Links' on the right handside of my blog.
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Ah, there is one other thing - I'm now the proud stakeholder of a Football Club. Yep, that's right, I've coughed up the £35 membership fee to join the band of footie supporters getting behind Ebbsfleet United. If you haven't got a clue what I'm talking about then take a look at this BBC News article or the MyFootballClub website for yourself. It's an interesting idea and one that may or may not work but it'll be fun to be a part of it so why not give it a go? The more supporters that cough up some dough the better the chance the club will get promoted to the Football League and then who knows!
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Sunday, 4 November 2007

Up, Up and Away!


Since Last Post P/L: £18.97
Monthly P/L: £18.97
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We've decided to go - tomorrow morning, myself and Nic will jump on a plane heading for Gran Canaria to take a well earned week's holiday and I can't wait. It's a chance for us to recharge our batteries and forget about everything for a while although I have purchased some gambling books (The Smart Money & Bets And The City) just in case I get any withdrawal symptoms! We'll be staying at the Hotel Gloria Palace Amadores in Puerto Rico which looks just the job :-)
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My weekend on the whole as actually gone quite well. I've got quite a lot done which always helps to unclutter the mind so I'm now feeling quite positive. I'm trying to accept that some things you just can't control so worrying about them isn't going to help one bit.
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On Saturday I was up quite early to go for a haircut as I knew I had to be back by 11am for my appearance on the Man of Mystery's WUBT Ronbot Radio show. I think it went quite well but I'll let you be the judge of that, so if you missed it you can visit the archive here. This area also has access to previous interviews with John 'The Gambler' and Ray 'The Sports Trader' and both of these guys know their stuff so be sure to take a listen to what they have to say.
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My afternoon was then spent doing some research and development on the horse racing markets (where I ended up losing £17.55) and trading the Newcastle v Dragons rugby match (where I ended up making a £36.52 profit). My intention here was not to get too involved as I didn't want to take the emotional baggage of any big losses away with me.
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My time today has all been tied up with getting ready for tomorrow so I'm off to bed now but before I go I'd just like to say a big 'well done' to Joe Calzaghe. His performance last night against Mikkel Kessler was awesome and he deserves every accolade he gets. Odds on him winning the Sport's Personality of the Year have now shortened to 23 on Betfair and that price still looks very interesting to me!
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Have a great week and I'll back to business from 12th November.
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Friday, 2 November 2007

Not Good News

Just a quick update as the 2nd baby scan was yesterday and I know some of you have expressed an interest on how things went.
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I'm sad to say it wasn't the news we were hoping for. In short, the baby has four problems with his heart and this condition is known as Tetralogy of Fallot. This isn't great as it means that surgery is inevitable, with it likely to be 6 months after the birth before Doctors can operate as they have to wait until he reaches 6-8 kg. Unfortunately there is also another downside. Babies with this condition are also more likely to have Down's Syndrome or 22q11 Deletion Syndrome so with this in mind we agreed for Nicola to undergo an amniocentesis last night. Fortunately, the results should be with us within 4 working days for the Down's Syndrome so at least we won't have to wait too long but with us due to go on holiday on Monday our plans are now up in the air.
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Please accept my apologies for spilling my life story on the web but this wasn't the original plan as I was just excited about becoming a Dad. I'd also like to say a big thank you to all of you that have left goodwill messages over the last few weeks as it means alot to both me and Nic.
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Some brighter news is that I'm due to appear on the Man of Mystery radio show tomorrow afternoon which will hopefully take my mind off things a little. John has produced some cracking shows recently and has already had guests such as 'The Sports Trader' and 'The Gambler'. If you'd like to catch up with all of these editions you can do so by visiting his archive here.
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