Monday, 28 April 2008

The Deal


Since Last Post P/L: £530.66
Monthly P/L: £1326.94
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It seems like a lifetime ago but way back in this post I mentioned that I wouldn't look to make any withdrawals from my Betfair account until I'd accumulated a £10,000 trading bank. As I've now reached this total it's time to take stock and I can't let myself forget how important it's been to have Nicola's support along the way. Without her patience and understanding that I wasn't a drop kick who liked to gamble I wouldn't have been able to make it this far. The hours I've spent glued to the computer whilst she's been alone downstairs have always been accompanied by my shrieks that "I was doing this for us" but I'm not sure she 100% believed me. With this in mind it should therefore not surprise me that she now wants proof. I've hit the long awaited milestone and now she's very keen to cash in her chips and remind me of the deal that we made when I first started this trading odyssey - a monthly % of my winnings!
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What could I do? What woman in their right mind would let their other half gamble as a hobby!?! I was desperate and in a moment of weakness agreed that I would withdraw 50% of any future winnings for our joint use after hitting the target. Naturally, now that I've managed the feat my instinct has been to horde my stash and to renegotiate.
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It wasn't easy - she's a tough nut to crack is Nic - but I'm very pleased to say that we've now mutually agreed to reduce this figure to 20% under the guise that "I need money to make money". I believe this to be the truth but my suggestion of luxury villas and diamond bracelets may have sweetened the deal in my favour.
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Oh bugger....I've gone and done it again....!!!
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My full results for this week have been:
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Darts
Manley v Lewis : £16.73
Mardle v Taylor : £18.15
Van Barneveld v Wade : £29.05
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Motor Sport
Spanish Grand Prix : £0.63
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Cricket
Chennai v Kolkata : £223.69
Bangalore v Rajasthan : £360.37
Punjab v Delhi : £430.10
Mumbai v Deccan : £172.64
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Rugby Union
London Irish v Toulouse : £41.86
Saracens v Munster : £77.40
Heineken Cup - Outright Winner : £11.00
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Some nice big green figures in there but I'm not too happy about some of the large red ones. My cricket trading has been good but I should have been able to control my losses much better so this is something I'm going to have to work on during the course of May.
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Switching subjects - If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that until now I've traded part time due to having a full time career. Well, things are changing. My employer has given me the option to reduce my working hours and after a little deliberation (it really wasn't much!) I've decided to try and address the work/life balance. From next week I'll be working 3 days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday) and hopefully spending the rest of my time either with my family or on Betfair. We're in the fortunate position where we should still have enough to pay the bills so this seems just too good an opportunity to pass up. I may be making a mistake but at certain times in life a door will open and you've just got to walk on through it.
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Monday, 21 April 2008

Start Of Something Big

Since Last Post P/L: £268.53
Monthly P/L: £796.28

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Some events come along and you know that things won't be the same again. Just as the Premier League has transformed the popularity of Darts in recent years, so to will the Indian Premier League transform the game of cricket. It's inevitable. You only had to tune in to the start of the tournament over the weekend to see that Twenty20 cricket is here to stay and that it has much more appeal to the average Joe Bloggs than the traditional Test Match or mundane 50 over equivalent. Why? That's a simple question to answer - it's just so much more exciting!
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The Kolkata Knight Riders versus the Deccan Chargers match on Sunday was a perfect example. A dodgy pitch, top players struggling to make runs and floodlight failure all added to the drama - in short, it had it all! Below is a snapshot of Kolkata's price throughout the game with the green line their price before the start and the blue line indicating their price at the change of innings. Look at the swings! I know it's a coined phrase but this was a "traders dream". Opinions seemed to change following each ball bowled, the market was filled with money and the atmosphere at the grounds electric - fantastic stuff!


So the taste buds have been stimulated and I can't wait for the weekend. On Thursday, Darts will be the appetiser but I've already got my eyes on what promises to be another great Saturday & Sunday. With four IPL games in two days we really are being spoilt.
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Here's a list of my latest results:
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Rugby Union
Bath v Leicester : £61.87
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Darts
Jenkins v Mardle : £1.06
Manley v Wade : £11.97
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Cricket
Punjab v Chennai : £66.78
Delhi v Rajasthan : £64.40
Kolkata v Deccan : £265.31
Mumbai v Bangalore : £59.50
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Monday, 14 April 2008

Making Par


Since Last Post P/L: £19.30
Monthly P/L: £527.75
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A frustrating week has seen me make hardly any progress with greed stunting my growth once again. After a consistent performance in the first 3 Premier League darts matches on Thursday, I totally crumbled in the Taylor v Barneveld matchup. The market hugely favoured Taylor and I was always looking for a swing the other way. The result? My false hopes allowed me to get my fingers burned and it was only after a concerted effort in trading the Masters that I've managed to get back to where I was.
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I'd done my homework and before a ball had been hit I was confident that Tiger's price of 2.42 was way too short. The guy is a machine and he'd been in great form but I'd noted that since the course had been lengthened in 2006 his best round had only been a 70. I accepted that if he hit 70 four days on the trot he'd probably win but I thought that it was unlikely and so it proved. Friday and Saturday I struggled to make a slight profit but my strategy remained the same going into the last day - to lay Tiger at the soonest opportunity and for the lowest price possible.
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I jot down my thoughts as I trade to help me understand why I'm doing the things that I'm doing and I followed this process again during the 4th round. Here's a snip-it of my ramblings just in case you're interested:
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19.29: Price on Tiger too short at 5.30. Two easier holes ahead but if he pars both he should drift very quickly. A big 30 minutes ahead. Need Immelman to get off to a steady start.
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19.38: Bugger - Immelman bogies the first!
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20.18: Tiger drops back to -4 and I can't see any way back. Too hard a course and too many players in front of him. His price is now 12.50.
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20.32: Tiger birdies the 6th and his price crashes back to 8.00 which is surely too low. Not getting involved...yet!
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20.42: Opposed Tiger at 7.60 and sure enough he drifted back to 8.80 pretty quickly - did I get out of this one too early? His price is now 9.20. Will I get another chance to go against him?
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20.54: Time to switch my attention to Immelman - 2 shots clear - can he hold on?
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21.18: Thoughts about who will win have gone out the window. Immelman's price is so volatile I'm just chasing the movement.
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21.43: Immelman is 5 shots clear and it looks like the others are throwing it away. Time to call it a day.
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By just reading my thoughts back on that 2 hour period it surprising how useful I find it as I can almost picture each trade in my head and my thoughts at that time. Okay, it may not be Camtasia but it seems to be a useful tool that's working so I'll continue to use it with the slower moving sports.
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Here's a list of my full results for the week:
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Rugby Union
Heineken Cup - Outright Winner : £12.00
Gloucester v Saracens : £6.51
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Darts
Wade v Mardle : £21.39
Part v Lewis : £15.90
Manley v Jenkins : £23.99
Taylor v Van Barneveld : £137.93
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Golf
Shell Houston Open : £68.24
US Masters : £169.68
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Some great sporting action in there and the week ahead looks great too. It's the start of the Indian Premier League cricket and I really hope all the hype lives up to expectations. I have a feeling the tournament will either turn out to be great television or utter garbage - I've a feeling there won't be an in-between.
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Sunday, 6 April 2008

Being Clinical

Since Last Post P/L: £508.45
Monthly P/L: £508.45


That's more like it! I've felt a great deal more relaxed over the last few days and this seems to have made a huge difference to the way I've been trading. I can feel the ambition coming back (which may have been lacking recently) and I'm more determined than ever to get stuck in and get the show back on the road.
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Controlled aggression has been the name of the game and this is where I see similarities between sports trading and poker. Those who play poker will know that if you enter every pot you're almost certain to lose in the long run. It's a case of being patient, playing the premium hands and when the odds fall in your favour being hyper-aggressive. By trading with this mindset (especially yesterday) I've been able to command my emotions and ensure that I'm the one who's dictating my results. The lesson here isn't surrounding the market, it's about taking responsibility and being highly responsive to what's happening around you.


Here's a full list of my latest results:
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Darts
Lewis v Taylor : £55.53
Manley v Van Barneveld : £7.21
Part v Mardle : £13.92
Wade v Lewis : £19.68
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Horse Racing
Grand National : £34.41
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Rugby Union
Heineken Cup - Outright Winner : £14.50
London Irish v Perpignan : £167.59
Gloucester v Munster : £244.61
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Soccer
Blue Square Premier - Winner 2007/2008 : £20.00
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There's some nice figures there which is very pleasing but the number of different markets I've been involved with may concern a few that I'm starting to charter into territories I know little about. I'll explain. The Grand National was a bit of fun (for low stakes) and my loss on the non league soccer was the outcome of some blind optimism at the end of last year that Ebbsfleet would win the league following my £35 investment in becoming a stakeholder! That one was a total waste of money and as it's now impossible for them to reach top spot the market has been settled.
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I'll be sitting back to relax and watch the Welsh teams in Heineken Cup action this afternoon so the only trading I'm likely to take a look at today will be the Shell Houston Open Golf this evening. I'm confident that I can keep my Golf form up to par as I warm up for the main course - the Masters @ Augusta which starts on Thursday. I can't wait!
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