Friday, 29 February 2008

Mission Accomplished


Since Last Post P/L: £5.27
Monthly P/L: £856.13
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It's been a very hard week in work so the Darts last night was a bit of a non-event. I only took a look-in at the first match as I soon figured I wasn't "at the races". I was tired and distracted so I hung up my mouse mat after twenty minutes and went to watch a film with Nicola instead.
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A good decision I think, as I've hit the 10% growth target that I'd been looking for in February and the risk of making a big loss always increases if I'm not totally switched on.
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The graph at the top of this post illustrates how my trading bank has grown over the last 12 months and as you can see it's been a hell of a journey. I now see myself at stage 3 (intermediate) of my life as a sports trader and can only hope the trend continues.
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With a full cricket season ahead the summer promises so much....I just hope it lives up to expectations.
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Indian Premier League

Since Last Post P/L: No Trading
Monthly P/L: £850.86

My mouth's watering and it's not because I've been eating a spicy vindaloo. The reason for my excitement is that I've just found out that the much vaunted Indian Premier League (cricket) will be screened by Setanta Sports when it kicks off on the 18th April.
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The competition promises so much; great players, a Twenty20 format, a number of weekend games and not to forget the best cricket fans in the world.....the Indians. Add to the mix a big wad of Bollywood sponsored cash and you have all the ingredients for an amazing spectacle. Is it any surprise that I'm excited?!?

But hang on a minute...are there going to be any drawbacks?

Maybe.

As the tournament is being shown on a subscription channel I'm a little concerned that it won't get the coverage it needs to take off. Setanta took over the coverage of the PGA Tour Golf from Sky Sports last year and at best the service can be described as bland so there's a significant risk that only the die-hards will persevere, the liquidity on Betfair will be mediocre and I'll end up trading against the wise guys who'll make it difficult for me to profit.

We shall have to wait and see.
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Monday, 25 February 2008

Catching Fish


Since Last Post P/L: £299.33
Monthly P/L: £850.86
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Doing absolutely nothing can often be the route to profit as avoiding losses can be just as rewarding as making the gains. Why? Well, can you remember the last time you made a loss? It probably wasn't a nice feeling and I hazard a guess that the likelihood of you wanting to chasing the money you'd just lost increased significantly. This is what happens. People are generally useless at controlling their emotions and a topsy turvey rollercoaster of a trading ride can often end up in disaster. It can then take weeks to get back to square one and this all has a detrimental effect on the way we look at the markets.
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This is why I've decided to use the analogy of fishing. Over the last few weeks I've been trying to make things happen and I should know better. All this approach does is create added pressure and as the small deficits keep adding up the mind begins to boggle and the index finger gets a bit twitchy on that mouse button. Sometimes you've just got to wait....and wait...and wait. So in a bid to keep my discipline I've purposefully tried to hold myself back, wait for the real opportunities to appear and then go in hard.
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Here's my latest results:
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Darts
Part v Wade : £23.19
Mardle v Lewis : £32.92
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Cricket
Barbados v Trinidad & Tobago : £63.37
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Rugby Union
Wales v Italy : £27.26
Ireland v Scotland : £1.94
France v England : £288.85
Saracens v Harlequins : £43.06
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The Darts continues to keep me moving forward but due to the volatility in the Premier League matches I've decided to use stakes a lot smaller than I was using last year. It seems to be paying off with my results being a lot more consistent even if they aren't going to break any records.
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I was really looking forward to getting involved in the Twenty20 cricket on the weekend but the match on Friday night soon put me off! The liquidity was surprisingly poor and I ended up getting myself in a little bit of a pickle. My lack of knowledge in West Indian cricket didn't give me the confidence I needed and this factor alone was enough for me to mount up a sizeable red figure.
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Thank heavens for the rugby! Despite breaking my own trading rules throughout the Welsh match and after enduring a frustrating Irish and Scottish display, my redemption appeared at the Stade De France. The market was volatile, the game fluent and all this led to the right conditions for me to make my profit. My reading of the game was so much more on the button that it reminded me of what I need to do to keep winning. These thoughts stayed with me through to Sunday as I was also able to make the Saracens versus Harlequins game pay.
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On another note, I've decided that I'm going to try and post more regularly - even if I haven't been trading. My reasoning for this is that if you can be bothered to click on my link then I should try and make the extra effort to give you something to read. Granted, it won't be war and peace, but a few of you may find some of my ramblings amusing. Okay, my timing on making this change isn't great as I have some busy times ahead but let's see how it goes - it might work out alright.
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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Slow Motion


Since Last Post P/L: £27.22
Monthly P/L: £551.53
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The last week has been a case of moving slowly forward and then experiencing a decent sized loss to send me back to where I came from - a real life game of snakes and ladders! I'm not too disheartened though as I've been looking back at my posts from last February and a few things strike me on how I've changed over the past 12 months.
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The most obvious change is with my mindset. Back then I was in a rush to get where I thought I needed to be and as a result my thinking was clouded, but now I'm so much more relaxed and surprisingly patient. So much so that I sometimes feel like a robot and I'm secretly worrying that I'm losing my personality :-).
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Secondly, I've realised how much more experienced I am. It now takes a lot to shake my outlook and lose my focus which is incredible considering I knew so little a year ago. At that time I was still unsure which sports to trade so being able to concentrate on those that I'm confident will produce a profit makes a huge difference.
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Don't get me wrong though - I know I'm not perfect as I haven't even been able to make a gain over them last 9 days! But.....I feel I'm stronger and more prepared than ever....roll on the cricket season.
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Here's my latest results:
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Darts
Jenkins v Taylor : £33.05
Van Barneveld v Manley : £26.92
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Rugby Union
Bath v Wasps : £27.70
London Irish v Wasps : £114.89
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The Darts resumes on Thursday and there's also the possibility of some Twenty20 cricket on the weekend so February still promises plenty. I don't want to overstretch myself though so again small and steady will be my my motto for the rest of the month.
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Sunday, 10 February 2008

On Autopilot


Since Last Post P/L: £151.57
Monthly P/L: £578.75
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These are the times I find really difficult. It's just so frustrating to have a weekend free and not have many opportunities to take advantage of. Okay, I've still been able to keep the profit & loss ticking over but I feel I could be doing so much better. If you read my blog regularly, you'll know that November, January and February are my expected quiet months but that doesn't make it any easier - it's still boring! But...I guess this when the real pro's stand out from the rest - I'm convinced they sit it out and importantly don't get frustrated. Discipline at this stage is the big difference between getting it right and getting it wrong and the danger is to get dragged into random markets to stave off the boredom. Fortunately, my approach of creating a trading plan before the start of each month seems to have worked in avoiding these pitfalls. Put simply, I list every event I plan to trade and don't veer from the plan. I think it helps for two reasons; the need to chase any losses is reduced as I know when/where my next action is coming from and secondly it ensures I only stick to sports I know.
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Here's this weeks results:
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Cricket
New Zealand v England : £40.19
Australia v India : £52.88

Darts
Part v Barneveld : £32.16
Wade v Jenkins : £10.24
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Rugby Union
Italy v England : £121.86
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So what else is new? Well it seems the great blogging revolution could be over for the old guard as both Ray the Sports Trader & the Betfair Trader are yet to post during 2008. This brings a tinge of sadness as towards the end of last year it seemed we had the makings of a good community in the offing. It's unfortunate, but I also appreciate that people have other things going on in their lives outside of Betfair, so if you're reading this guys all the best with whatever you're up to.
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I wish the bad news stopped there but it doesn't. Lastminute are also ceasing their blog offering so the likes of John the Gambler and John the Man of Mystery are without a means for logging their daily thoughts. My message to them? Come to Blogger - it's a great service and it's run by Google who I'm sure won't be going anywhere.
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I don't like to finish my rant on a negative so I'll just remind you that it's only 4 weeks (and a bit) before Nicola's due date. I'm going through all the emotions; nervousness, excitement etc. but in all honesty I'm not sure how I'll feel on the day - I suppose the best thing to do will be to relax and try to enjoy it. Somehow, I don't think she'll be able to :-)
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Monday, 4 February 2008

A Lost Weekend


Since Last Post P/L: £427.18
Monthly P/L: £427.18

There are no prizes for guessing what my weekend mostly consisted of. If you guessed drinking (lots and lots) of beer, watching rugby and trading then you are spot on and what a fantastic time I had. Obviously, Wales beating England on their own patch instigated the mayhem and I'm really struggling today to explain what I did and where I did it on Saturday night.

Not everyone was as happy as me though. As you can imagine, Nicola had different feelings when I collapsed half-in and half-out of the doorway on my return home. Yes I was badly behaved but it has been twenty years since we last tasted victory at Twickenham so I had to make the most of it. The house ban that she's now put on me seems justified.

Somehow (and I really don't know how) I also managed to fit in some trading, and maybe the feeling of being on another planet helped me as the profits seemed to mount up without having to work too hard. Even the New York Giants won the Superbowl for goodness sake!

Here's a summary of my latest results:

NFL Season 07/08 - Super Bowl Winner : £147.49

South Africa v West Indies : £245.01

England Saxons v Ireland A : £63.21

Ireland v Italy : £28.53

We all know it works the other way too so I'm going to enjoy this feeling while it lasts and with a bit of luck the rest of February might turn out okay.