Monday, 30 June 2008

Time Flies


Since Last Post P/L: £65.98
Monthly P/L: £701.24
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Making a loss at the end of the month is starting to become a very frustrating habit. I know the reasons why I'm doing it but I just can't stop myself. It's all about thinking or taking for granted the money I've got in the bank and adding up the figures before the finish. As a result I'm not fully accepting the potential losses before I enter a trade or sit down to start a trading session. This is vital flaw because what I end up doing is being timid in my approach and not having the conviction I need to turn a profit. This previous post describes perfectly how I should be acting but those feelings are just not there when the last few days of the month are in sight. Then the inevitable happens - I make a loss, then another one and before you know it I'm out of my comfort zone with the prospect of an unbearable loss is on the horizon. What I should be doing is holding back and only getting involved when I'm convinced that things are in my favour and then go in hard. Please remind me about this the same time next month :-)
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Elsewhere, the hot topic on other blogs seems to that of recording and keeping track of trading results. Even though I do review my progress regularly on a weekly/monthly basis, after reading Matt's excellent post at Punt.com I also feel I should be doing more in this department. I can see this process taking at least a few days to complete but as soon as I'm done I'll let you know the results. Not sure what the outcome will be but I can tell you now that I'm just not spending enough time at my desk. What with making dinner, bathing the baby, writing the blog and being a part time Project Manager my time is well and truly tied up. Something sooner or later will have to give and I'm in no doubt that without dedicating sufficient time to my trading my results will suffer. If this trend continues then some tough questions may have to be answered. Pete Sampras didn't win 14 Grand Slam men's singles titles from hitting a few balls every other night.
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But it's not all doom and gloom. Let me take a minute to reflect on how far I've come. Okay, this month hasn't been great with only a 5% growth to my trading bank but I was away for a week in Ibiza which meant I missed a few events I would have otherwise got involved with. If you look at the bigger picture - I've already made over 6k profit this year which is not far away from my total profit in 2007. If I can continue at that rate of growth I'll be more than happy and 2008 will end up being another fantastic year. I just have to continue looking forward and not dwell too much on the negatives.
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Something else which has been playing on my mind has been what sports should make up my trading portfolio. Some sort of prioritisation needs to take place but what criteria should I use? A past history of profits? The sports I'm most familiar with? Sports with markets that have the most liquidity? The list gos on but Mike from the Slipperytoad blog reviewed the issue recently in this post. Historically, Cricket, Rugby Union and Darts have been my most profitable sports but I can't help but feel that Tennis and even Horse Racing should figure more prominently. Getting involved in these events will take time to develop strategies (reviewing statistics/past results etc.) and if I do this my monthly profits are sure to stagnate so you can understand my reluctance to change. Any advice on how to handle this situation from those of you who've experienced this in the past would be much appreciated.
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My final results for June were:
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Cricket
West Indies v Australia : £0.30
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Tennis
Vaidisova v Chakvetadze : £48.93
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In my last post I did also forget a market that had been settled in my Australian Betfair wallet :
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Rugby Union
New Zealand v England : £17.35
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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Top Gear


Since Last Post P/L: £449.73
Monthly P/L:
£767.22
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After experiencing an initial setback I was able to recover this week and finally managed to ‘build the lead’ that I described in my last post. I’m delighted to have what I would describe as a decent total ‘on the board’ but not everyone is pleased. The comment I had from Nic on Monday said it all – “How can you go from making £2800 in one month to £750 the next?” I could see her point but replied in a flash, “quite easily!”
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That’s one of the problems with this gambling lark – managing expectations. It’s so easy to get ahead of yourself and to start spending the money you’ve yet to earn. Even if you’re able to control those thoughts you then have the issue of reigning in those close to you who are only too eager to start jumping the gun. I keep reminding myself that this is a marathon and not a sprint but now that she’s had a sniff of my winnings I think I’m in trouble – she’s not going to let up!
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Here’s a list of my results for the past week:
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Cricket

Worcestershire v Somerset : £155.59
Lancashire v Yorkshire : £298.78
Northants v Glamorgan : £16.86
Hampshire v Surrey : £28.58
Essex v Sussex : £23.25
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Horse Racing
Redcar : £3.87
Ascot : £0.49
Wolverhampton : £0.08
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Formula 1
French Grand Prix : £217.84
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Tennis
Hewitt v Haase : £15.69
Kanepi v Williams : £0.04
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With Wimbledon underway I decided to dabble into the tennis markets and had a brief but positive experience. Lleyton Hewitt versus Robin Haase was the focus of my attention and with the Australian’s price trading at 1.17 before the start I was quite confident it would trade higher in play. It did. I wasn’t exposing myself to large amounts so gradually traded my way out of my position as his price rose to 1.55 within the first couple of sets. In the end the match went the full five sets which makes me believe that no one except Federer and Nadal can be considered as shoe-ins.
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You’ll also notice that a nice green figure came from the French Grand Prix. Prior to the race, the market made it a two horse race between Raikkonen and Massa due to Ferrari’s dominance. With the Scandinavian trading as a strong 1.50 favourite it didn’t look like he’d have much competition and within a few laps his price had crumbled to 1.28. He was in control and extending his lead – what could possibly go wrong? Thank heavens for a dodgy exhaust. I latched onto the fact that Massa was catching him through each sector pretty quickly, and nudged in a lay for a conservative amount at 1.20. Sure enough, every man and his dog then realised the severity of the situation and within minutes his price had shot out to above 30! I’m gutted that I didn’t lump on the mortgage but I can’t be greedy – there’ll be plenty more opportunities throughout the rest of the Championship and I’ll learn from this.
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I don’t usually like to end my ramblings on a sombre note but I’d like to mention how saddened I was to learn that John Lovell (page 33) the Cardiff bookmaker had died recently. I’d met John a couple of times during some Betfair Education evenings and he seemed like a very likeable guy and a genuine person. My thoughts go to his family at this difficult time.
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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Holiday Hangover


Since Last Post P/L: £152.80
Monthly P/L: £317.49
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I survived – just! Apologies for not posting sooner but it’s taken a while for me to recover and with the Twenty20 Cup kicking into action I haven’t had much spare time on my hands. It was a great trip but the 4am start on the Friday took it’s toll and by the time I got back at midnight on the Monday I’d consumed enough alcohol to last a lifetime! Reluctantly I’ve had to admit that I’m not as young as I used to be. My days of dancing the night away until the early hours are now officially over.
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Positive gains have been difficult to come by recently and a little bit of indiscipline has crept into my trading. After having such a good month in May I suppose it should have been expected! The plan as they say in rugby circles is to now ‘build a lead’ and not get involved in any rash trades. Little and often needs to be the motto for the next week so I’ll be playing things tight with the aim of growing profits gradually.

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Here's a full list of my latest results:
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Rugby Union
Australia v Ireland : £56.30
New Zealand v England : £20.92
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Cricket
Kent v Sussex : £61.79
Worcestershire v Gloucestershire : £4.56
England v New Zealand (T20) : £70.65
Somerset v Warwickshire : £43.77
England v New Zealand (ODI) : £209.35
Middlesex v Surrey : £301.34
Lancashire v Durham : £64.06
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Golf
US Open - Winner : £129.31
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Tennis
Nadal v Djokovic : £2.45
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The highlight out of that lot was undoubtedly Tiger Woods winning the US Open on one leg - the guy's a freak. The winner market had more swings than a kiddies play park and even though Rocco Mediate was a gallant loser was the result ever in doubt? Tiger's putt on the 18th during the 4th round seemed destined for the hole and you just knew when it dropped that there'd only be one winner. News has broken today that Woods will be out for the rest of the season and whilst you have to feel sorry for him it should make for some competitive tournaments during the rest of the Summer.
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Elsewhere, it’s great to see the Betfair Trader back and posting on his blog. He and Matt from Punt.com have been an inspiration to me over the last 18 months so I hope he continues to let us know his thoughts.
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That's about it for now and I promise I won't leave it as long next time!
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Thursday, 5 June 2008

Hitting It For Six


Since Last Post P/L: £164.69
Monthly P/L: £164.69
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Everything must come to an end and this is what happened to the inaugural Indian Premier League on Sunday. The final didn’t disappoint. The tournament was decided on the last ball and the Rajasthan Royals were crowned unlikely champions. In reality, Shane Warne’s men had been the best team throughout the competition so in the end they got what they deserved.
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For me, the conclusion of the IPL signalled a stop to a gravy train that had been yielding consistent profits over the last six weeks. It was fun, entertaining and lucrative but now it’s time to look forward to what the rest of the summer holds in store.
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June will see the start our own domestic Twenty20 Cup and with Wimbledon on the horizon I may even look to dabble in the shark infested Tennis markets. I’m feeling a growing urge to get involved with this sport and with more time on my hands this seems like an ideal time to try.
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Here’s my latest result:
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Cricket
Rajasthan v Chennai : £164.69
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BUT…before any more trading happens I have a more pressing matter that I need to deal with first – a 4 day stag do to Ibiza! We leave first thing tomorrow morning and before you start thinking I’m mates with Wayne Rooney I’ll make it clear that my friend looks more like Wayne Sleep :-)
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It’s going to be a messy one, there will be burnt holes in my pockets and I will inevitably incur the wrath of Nic on my return but the question remains…..will I last the pace?
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