Sunday, 31 August 2008

The Grinder


Blue :2008
Pink : 2007
Orange : 2006
.
Since Last Post P/L: £85.15
Monthly P/L: £1,267.17
.
It's been a steady if unspectacular end to August but it's left me with a decent return for the month. I was hoping to do better but the important thing for me now is to remember how my results this year compare to where I was 12 months ago. Growth is the name of the game and if I can continue to earn more than the equivalent month in 2007 then I'm continuing down the right track. However, my mind has been wandering lately though so I'm aware I need to buck up my ideas. This could be easier said than done as September now looks a bit bare after the Champions Trophy cricket tournament being postponed and the ever unpredictable British weather threatening to wash out any scheduled cricket. With my trading portfolio now relying so heavily on the bat and willow I'm once again feeling anxious that my good form won't continue as I'm forced to explore sports I'm less familiar with. To this end I'm going to make a concerted effort this year to make the NFL pay and just hope that these weekly match-ups can keep me ticking over until February.
.
Here's my latest results:
.
Cricket
Worcestershire v Gloucestershire : £77.87
England v South Africa - 4th ODI : £3.33
.
Rugby Union
South Africa v Australia : £26.04
.
Horse Racing
Barth : £16.03
Market Rasen : £1.88
Ripon : £2.00
Chester : £0.12
Sandown : £0.43
Newton Abbott : £0.92
Chester: £4.47
.
As you can see, the Horse Racing trading still continues to fail!
.
On a much brighter note, Caden has recovered well from last weeks escapade much to Mam and Dad's relief, so many thanks to all those who gave their best wishes :-)
.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Dodging Bullets


Since Last Post P/L: £309.10
Monthly P/L: £1,182.02
.
Last Friday turned out to be a great laugh - I just wish I could say the same for the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend.
.
On Sunday, Caden was taken ill and admitted to hospital following a bout of diarrhoea, violent vomiting and a soaring temperature. With his heart conditions also a factor, a view was taken that it was better to be safe than sorry so we grabbed our things and got there as quickly we could. Needless to say, the next few hours were pretty horrendous as they had to give him a thorough going over - the poor bugger was still awake at 2.30am as the Doctors tried 8 times to get a blood sample out of him. I've never felt so distressed. It was excruciating to see him in pain and be absolutely powerless to help him. I've always been a bit of a protective type so to subdue my natural instincts I had to keep reminding myself that it was for the best. This wasn't so easy to do on Monday though, as his lack of wet nappies indicated that he was dehydrated - the solution was to have a feeding tube put down through his nose and into his stomach. If the previous night had been bad this was ten times worse. As they began to pass the tube down, his body began to contract and vomit at the same time - it was horrific. He was screaming, Nic was starting to have a panic attack and I didn't have a clue where I was.
.
I'm glad to say that after a few minutes things started to get back to normal. Another night of observation followed, but after clear blood test results were received he was discharged on Tuesday. Looking back, I must have come across as being a bit pushy but I'm sure the nurses understand that parents are just worried sick. The thought of him having his heart repair operation is now weighing very heavily on my mind.
.
As you can imagine, my trading performance over the last week pales into significance compared to the other stuff that's been going on but for those of you still reading here's the full list of my results:
.
Rugby Union
South Africa v Australia : £2.01
.
Motor Sport
European Grand Prix : £20.08
.
Cricket
Middlesex v Hampshire : £259.17
Gloucestershire v Middlesex : £27.84
.
In all honesty, these figures don't tell the whole story.
.
On Wednesday, I successfully blew a £250 profit and last night I was staring at a £435 loss on the Somerset v Worcestershire match before a miracle happened.
.
What saved me?
.
The tie! Can you believe it!?!
.
Worcestershire were chasing Somerset's score of 298 and off the last ball required 4 runs to draw the game. Only a boundary would do if I was to escape unharmed and unbelievably that's what happened! I definitely used up one of my nine lives here so I'm planning to have Friday off, take Caden around his grandparents and take Nic out for a curry. I think I've pushed my luck enough for one week.
.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Vegetating


Since Last Post P/L: £93.29
Monthly P/L: £872.92
.
I'm going to try and keep this short for two reasons - it's been another quiet week and because I have to get ready to go out on an all day session :-)
.
Being given a day-pass from Nic doesn't happen very often so I intend to make the most of it!
.
So what have I been up to? Well, not a lot. I really haven't had the time to get involved in the Olympics and jumping in without getting a feel for the events is something I've been reluctant to do. Instead, I've tried to stick to the tried and tested but even then things haven't gone my way.
.
Last night for example I'd forged an all green £50 position in the Pro40 game between Derbyshire and Yorkshire. As I wasn't feeling 100%, I decided to finish earlier than normal and whereas I'd normally take out some insurance against the tie I decided not to bother. What happened next? Yep, low and behold both teams finished on 213 runs and I woke up this morning with a Betfair account balance the same size as it was yesterday. It's very frustrating when that happens, especially as I've wasted quite a bit of my profits covering the tie on previous matches this year.
.
On Wednesday I also decided to follow one of Graeme's picks as it seemed a good opportunity to pick up an in-running profit. The selection was 'Icannshift' and whilst I agreed that the price of 7.80 was a little short, I was confident it would trade lower than during the race as it was a proven front runner. I backed the horse before the off and submitted a lay at odds of 4.00 to be kept in-play but although the horse led at one point I didn't get matched. No luck this time but that won't put me off following Graeme's thoughts in future - take a look for yourself and visit his blog over at the 'The Experiment'.
.
My involvement in the Big Brother market has also come to an end and the final picture now looks like the screenshot I've included below. My thoughts on Darnell have changed during the last few weeks. He's not my preferred winner but the British public might just see him as the best of a bad bunch and I could end up with just a £14 profit.

.
Here's a full list(!) of my latest results:
.
Rugby Union
New Zealand v South Africa : £53.84
.
Cricket
Essex v Kent : £16.95
Nottinghamshire v Durham : £47.50
.
Horse Racing
Folkestone : £25.00
.
On a more positive note, things should change a bit next week as there's Cricket on almost every day and the US Open starts. The latter should provide me with the chance to further my Tennis education and hopefully not lose too much money!
.
Right....now where's that first beer......
.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Argy Bargy


Since Last Post P/L: £185.47
Monthly P/L: £779.63
.
For a game that appears to have been resoundingly one sided, how the heck did I manage to suffer such a big loss? You've probably already guessed, the match I'm talking about was the South Africa v Argentina Rugby International which took place in Johannesburg on the weekend. The scoreline ended 63-9 in favour of the Springboks so surely this was a 1.01 train?!?
.
No!
.
The South Africans pre-match price was 1.05 and although it probably reflected their chance of winning the game, it probably didn't represent value as the Argies are normally a tough nut to crack. Yes, they'd been been buoyed by a recent win over the All Blacks but the situation was different here - this wasn't a Tri-Nations game and the boys in blue and white were fielding a decent team.
.
So what did I do wrong?
.
My first mistake was that I didn't really have a strategy before the match began. I find taking a view on what I expect to happen - even if that changes later on - extremely helpful. Without that view I can be prone to indecision, which (for me at least) is usually fatal when quick decisions are needed.
.
My error was compounded when Argentina started strongly and my lack of control began to breed - a number of heavy tackles were putting the home side on the back foot and following a few infringements the South Americans were able to convert 3 penalty opportunities to open up a 9-0 lead. With 20 minutes gone this was starting to look more of a contest and with memories still fresh in the mind of Argentina beating France on their own patch at the World Cup, the likelihood of an upset began to increase. The odds on the favourites had now drifted to 1.30ish and this is where it went pear shaped.
.
The South Africans were attacking so I lumped on and got matched within a second. I'd convinced myself that a score was on the cards but a dropped ball and a 60 metre kick ahead saw the visiting team counter attack and myself rushing for the lay button. A try for Argentina here would have put them 16-0 ahead and the market would have flip-flopped straight away. I admit I panicked, and looked to get out of my position at the nearest possible price. My lay was matched at 1.56.
.
I hadn't followed my usual trading plan, had succumbed to indiscipline and as a consequence paid the price. I was staring at a maximum loss and should have switched off the computer to do something else. Another bout of poor decision making led to me staying in my seat, but fortunately over the next 10 minutes I grafted successfully to lessen my loss by £150. This could have gone tits up though, so grafting when you're down is not something I'd recommend, but it does show that I'd completely lost the plot by this point.
.
Here are my latest results:
.
Rugby Union
South Africa v Argentina : £202.10
.
Golf
US PGA Championship : £24.32
.
Cricket
Hampshire v Sussex : £363.25
.
With the weather and other factors (even floodlights!) conspiring against me it's been a quiet week, so to make any profit after all that mess is a minor miracle. Putting those thoughts behind me is now crucial in order for me to keep moving forward.
.

Friday, 8 August 2008

MISSING: One Fat Lady


Since Last Post P/L: £594.16
Monthly P/L: £594.16
.
Her dulcet tones have been heard a million times, but for some reason, this week she's decided to make herself scarce.
.
Felipe Massa was the first victim of her vanishing act. After beating Lewis Hamilton to the first bend of the Hungarian Grand Prix he looked a shoe-in to storm to an unlikely victory, but it was not to be. With only 3 laps to go, his engine failed and he was out of the race. Ouch - with 18k matched at 1.01 there's a few people out there now patching-up the holes in their pockets. Luckily, I wasn't one of them but I remember thinking at the time that those lumping on the cash must have been mental.
.
In the Pro40 cricket the twists and turns continued, as Middlesex and Essex both managed to defend low scores when facing Somerset and Northants. The graph below shows the Middlesex price throughout their match and provides a great illustration of why I love trading cricket. The game goes through many peaks and troughs and you don't have to be too concerned with how quickly you can click the mouse button. Not many sports allow you to see a selection open at 1.90, drift to 8.00 and then go on to win!
.
.
It really is amazing how many 'sure things' get turned over, but spotting a real 'cert' from a dud isn't an easy task. This isn't to say I don't think it's possible or profitable, but in my opinion putting your hopes in animals or machines at such low odds is asking for trouble. Odds of 1.05 on Phil Taylor winning a Darts match and odds of 1.05 on 'Dirty Dobbin' winning the Derby just aren't the same in my book :-)
.
Here's my results from this week:
.
Rugby Union
New Zealand v Australia : £15.77
.
Cricket
Middlesex v Somerset : £233.09
Essex v Surrey : £205.39
Warwickshire v Northants : £1.65
.
Tennis
Moya v Murray : £23.69
Karlovic v Kohlschreiber : £7.74
Murray v Djokovic : £8.76
.
Motor Sport
Hungary Grand Prix : £115.59
.
I'm very happy with those figures and with my focus now completely on becoming highly consistent I just want to keep things moving. I'm aware that with Caden due to have his operation at the beginning of October, trading time will be at a minimum so making the most of the summer will be crucial if I'm going to post a decent total for 2008.
.
The Olympics also kicks off today and although my knowledge of the various events is limited, it may pay to take a look at the more liquid markets. I'm not pencilling anything in yet but I'll keep my eyes peeled for anything of interest. With the Games guaranteed to generate a lot of media interest, over-hype and national pride may lead to inefficient markets.
.