Thursday, 31 July 2008

No Boundaries


Blue : 2008
Pink : 2007
Orange : 2006
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Since Last Post P/L: £540.23
Monthly P/L: £1,663.86
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Rebecca went! I suppose it was to be expected but after having a pretty successful evening at the races (I won £60) it was a bit of a disappointment to hear that she'd gone. Darnell and Mohamed can count themselves lucky - this is the most open Big Brother there's been and with no certain winner, I can foresee a few shocks and surprises before the series ends. The show seems like it's been on the box forever but there's still another 5 weeks to go!
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Saturday was sublime. With the sun scorching and the fans licking their lips, the scene was set for some serious action and the players didn't let anyone down. After 119 overs of pulsating entertainment the tournament went down to the last 6 balls and by this stage I was absolutely knackered. Is there any wonder why this format of the game is attracting so much interest? Everyone loves it! The sooner they scrap the County Championship the better :-)
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Fortunately, all this cricket has allowed me to finish the month with a bit of a flurry and with a 12% growth of my trading bank during July, I'm quite happy with how things have gone. By analysing my trading activity in more detail it's helped me to concentrate at a level higher and for longer periods than in recent times. One glance at my key statistics backs this up with my win % particularly pleasing:
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Average win/loss per market : £41.60
Average win : £73.43
Average loss : £24.53
Win % : 67.50%
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Here's my final results for July:
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Tennis
Gonzalez v Berdych : £6.61
Robredo v Soderling : £77.73
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Cricket
Essex v Kent : £67.63
Middlesex v Durham : £109.56
Kent v Middlesex : £464.16
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Special Bets
Big Brother - 6th Eviction : £30.00
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Attempting to teach myself the tennis markets has been a little costly but I get the feeling it'll be worthwhile in the long run. I keep reminding myself that twelve months ago I didn't have a clue how to trade cricket and it was only after spending a lot of time studying the game that things started to turn the corner. I'll keep plugging away as I don't want to become a 'one trick pony' just yet.
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Before I go, I'd like to say thanks to those who have voted in my current poll. The results have given me plenty of food for thought and I think the direction on where I'm heading is now a little clearer.
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Ciao for now!
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Friday, 25 July 2008

YOU Are Evicted


Since Last Post P/L: £402.31
Monthly P/L: £1123.63
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To be honest, I haven't got a clue how to start this post. It's been a strange week. There's been some highs, some lows and a few non events so I'm at a loss as to which I mention first.
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Okay, let's start with the bad stuff which all stemmed from the events of last Friday night. It was our works Summer Ball and as expected I got quite drunk. Now this hangover business is bad at the best of times but add a newly born baby into the mix and the following day can become an extremely long one indeed. However, Saturday morning started well - after slipping down a few paracetamols to get rid of the headache, 40 minutes later I'd traded the Tri-Nations game between Australia v South Africa for a profit. I should have stopped there as about midday that all too familiar warm, tingly feeling starting to come over me - you know the one - the achy, eye shutting, roll up in a ball sensation that feels like your body's shutting down. So did I do the sensible thing? Of course not - instead I thought it would be a great idea to give the horse racing markets "another go". You'll see from my results below that I lived up to the old adage that a fool and his money are soon parted. It got so ridiculous that by the end of the afternoon I was 'laying' any horse I didn't like the look of!
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Sunday saw the start of my recovery (a combined profit of £0.49 on the Golf and Grand Prix!) but it was from Monday onwards that I started to get back into the swing of things.
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I've mentioned many times on this blog about my desire to get more involved with Tennis and as the ATP Masters Rogers Cup began in Toronto, and with not much else happening, it seemed a good opportunity to take a look. Fortunately, the experience was a pleasant one and even after reducing my stake levels considerably (compared to what I use for Cricket) I was able to make over £50 for around an hours work. The only drawback here is that I see Cricket and Tennis conflicting when it comes to scheduling, so I'll really have to think how I structure my weeks to get the best from both worlds. With Cricket again being my saviour over the last few days there's just no way I can consider dropping the sport from my trading portfolio.
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Here are my full results from the past week:
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Rugby Union
Australia v South Africa : £26.13
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Golf
The Open Championship : £0.44
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Cricket
Durham v Glamorgan : £79.57
Durham v Somerset : £64.56
Glamorgan v Surrey : £294.72
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Motor Sport
German Grand Prix : £0.05
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Tennis
Llodra v Gasquet : £45.79
Canas v Soderling : £13.28
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Horse Racing
Newbury : £99.90
Ripon : £24.67
Market Rasen : £2.05
Yarmouth : £0.29
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So what about this weekend? Well my first involvement is in tonight's Big Brother 6th eviction market. Rebecca, Mohamed and Darnell are the individuals in the mix and after watching the programme regularly I'm convinced that Rebecca's price is a little off. Following last night's programme (she did have a bad show) she was trading at 1.15 and whilst I agree she should be favourite I don't think she'll get 87% of the vote. In the hope that I'm right, I've entered a £200 lay with the view of it being a straight up bet - I'm getting 13/2 that either Mohamed or Darnell will get evicted instead, and I'm happy with those odds.
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Tomorrow then promises to be the best day in the cricketing calendar - it's Twenty20 Cup Finals Day! The Rose Bowl in Southampton is the venue and with 3 matches played in succession it'll be a feast of 4's, 6's, wickets and wonga! Even if you're not a cricket fan it's hard not to enjoy all the razzmatazz.
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But.....before that all happens, myself and Nic are off to Chepstow races tonight with a gang of people from work. It should be a laugh and I won't be taking it too seriously. I've only given myself a £30 betting budget to play with, and as I'll be counting this as 'leisure time' I won't be recording any wins or losses in my results.
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If you're watching on TV, keep an eye out for me, I'll be holding a Betfair umbrella :-)
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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Monitoring My Markets


Since Last Post P/L: £220.44
Monthly P/L: £721.32
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Inspired by my recent analysis, for the last week I've been meticulously tracking my performance against the key indicators I mentioned in my previous post. My approach has been consistent; look to improve my win %, grow my winning trades, cut any bad decisions short - quickly . This formula seems to be working as my win % is now up to 72% whilst I've still been able to maintain an average win per market of over £40. This is also not taking into consideration that when I trade cricket I often take out 'tie' insurance just in case the unlikely happens. The graph at the top of the page shows that I've been involved in 18 markets and you'll notice that I've been able to make gains in 13 of them. The most surprising bit (to me at least) is that I only make a significant amount a small percentage of the time (around 25%) and quite a lot of time not making much at all (also around 25%). It just goes to show how important it is to make clear targets in order to help maintain focus during the long periods of mediocre results.
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The one frustrating thing has been the lack of trading opportunities. With Yorkshire sending the Twenty20 Cup into disarray and the weather finally turning for the worse, most of my time has been spent sitting on my hands. Fortunately, this has given me plenty of time to think about practically everything and it's always good to de-clutter the mind every now and again.
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So what thoughts have passed through my mind?
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For starters, my hat goes off to anyone doing this full time as when things are quiet....they're quiet! With so much time on your hands it's very easy to get distracted, get lazy or just take your finger off the pulse. Staying disciplined is not something that can just be turned on and off for those who rely on trading as their only source of income - it's an essential ingredient that must be applied 24 hours a day. Easier said than done I'm sure as I've already noticed a considerable difference in my own mindset since cutting down my working hours.
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The other thing I've been mulling over is the importance of having a dream. Does it have to be realistic? It certainly helps but the point I'm trying to make is that you have to have a vision of where you're heading. Myself and Nic try to write a wish list at the end of every year which contains things we'd like to do during the coming 12 months and I definitely believe this helps us live rather than just exist. It's often too easy to get blinkered by circumstances around us that we tend to miss what's really important.
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Okay, I've started rambling now but I'm sure there's something in that last paragraph that relates to trading - I guess you're going to have to pick it out :-)
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Here's my latest results:
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Rugby Union
New Zealand v South Africa - 2nd Test : £40.60
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Cricket
Essex v Northants : £56.23
England v South Africa - 1st Test : £16.97
Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire : £102.06
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Golf
John Deere Classic : £4.58
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My interest in the Big Brother Winner market continues although I've now traded out of my 'Darnell' position following news that he had become 'head of the house'. I'm expecting his reprieve to be temporary and will be watching his progress closely as I still can't see him winning! I'll leave you for this week with a snapshot of my current position in this market.
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Monday, 7 July 2008

Doing The Math

Since Last Post P/L: £500.88
Monthly P/L: £500.88
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The last few days have been challenging. Not so much because of the trading but because I've had to take a good hard look at myself and delve into my past results to see if I can pick out any weaknesses in my methods.
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I mentioned in my last post that I felt that something wasn't right and boy am I glad that I've done this analysis. To start the ball rolling I decided to just go back over my last 3 months profit & loss and review the same statistics that had been mentioned by another blogger (you know who you are!)
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The results were interesting even if they did take a few hours to digest:
  • My average win/loss per market : £41.94
  • My average win : £102.15
  • My average loss : £39.16
  • My win % : 57%

Just taking the time to sit down and go through each market has been hugely beneficial with nowhere to hide but the bare facts - it really has been an eye opener! Okay, so what do they mean - what's the big deal? The key thing to remember here is that each of the above are all linked to each other. You can have a great win % but if your average win/loss per market is a negative figure you don't have to be a genius to work out you're losing money etc. From my stats it seems my main strength is cutting my losses quickly as there's quite a big difference in my average win and average loss figures. This is hugely positive and shows that I must be dealing with the psychological aspect of this game pretty well. If I'm looking to pick holes then maybe it's my average win/loss per market. To make a significant and consistent amounts each month this needs to be higher but Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm sure that this number's on an upward curve. Granted, these statistics are only representing my results for a short period of time so I'm now attempting to go a step further. I've already been in touch with Betfair and requested a full list of my settled markets since the 1st January 2007. This will allow me to build a better picture of how well I'm really doing and hopefully help me construct a road map for the rest of the year.

With all of this fresh in my mind I've found it a lot easier to focus over the last few days and it seems to have paid off:

Cricket
Durham v Kent : £170.91
Essex v Yorkshire : £154.96
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Darts
Mardle v Gray : £40.45
Jenkins v McGowan : £0.66
Priestley v Stompe : £1.51
Convery v Klaasen : £21.83
Lewis v Thornton : £28.62
Hamilton v Brenneman : £24.67
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Rugby Union
New Zealand v South Africa : £118.89
Australia v France : £7.61
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Motor Sport
British Grand Prix : £16.87
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On Friday, I was also moved to get involved in the Big Brother 9 winner market. I've not ventured into this area before but after noticing Darnell was a strong joint favourite I felt compelled to shove in a lay at average odds of 3.59. I just can't see him winning and with news that another 3 housemates were going in I was sure his price would drift over the next 9 weeks. At the time of writing he's drifted to 3.80.
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I know, I know, it's a TV show - but if you play it right I'm sure there's plenty of money to be made here. Let's hope I'm right!
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