Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Licking My Wounds


Since Last Post P/L: £336.08
Monthly P/L: £525.03
..
The picture above is a current snapshot on the state of my head. Ouch! With hindsight, I'd say I was very very lucky. If I'd hit the radiator head on, then I'm sure the outcome would have been much worse and at least when the staples come out, my hair should cover any scarring.
.
The bad news is I'm a 4/6 shot to go bald!
.
On the trading front I've dabbled in the Stanford Super Series and enjoyed every minute. It's so nice to get back to trading a sport I can rely on. The Middlesex v Trinidad & Tobago game was a classic with both teams trading as exceptionally low favourites at different points of the match. Swings like this suit my style and as they offer so many opportunities there's a good chance I'll catch one of them. In this case that's what happened but the England v Trinidad & Tobago tussle was a different kettle of fish, and even though that one ended up going down to the wire my involvement had already ended with a loss.
.
As I'm keen to finish the month on a decent score I'm going to call it quits for October and save my energy for the $20 million game on Saturday. I haven't got a clue who will win but as long I make a profit I don't really care.
.
Here are my final results for October:
.
Cricket
Middlesex v Trinidad & Tobago : £422.98
England v Trinidad & Tobago : £86.90
.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Please...No More Drama


Since Last Post P/L: £42.75
Monthly P/L: £188.95
.
On Saturday night myself and Nicola were invited by my best mate to a Cancer Aid Charity Dinner that was being held at the Millennium Stadium. Finding it hard to turn down a freebie and as it was for a good cause we jumped at the offer and got dressed up for the black tie event. Bob Champion was the guest speaker, and even though I wouldn't describe him as a natural comedian, his story about how he fought back to beat Cancer before riding Aldaniti to victory in the Grand National was inspiring.
.
After several drinks everyone was enjoying themselves and it wasn't long before it was time for home. Our group was one of the last to leave and it was at this point the stupid behaviour started. My mate (the one who'd invited us) thought it would be apt given the surroundings to rugby tackle me as I walked down the corridor to the exit. Needless to say this wasn't a good idea and following a brief scuffle my head cracked into the side of the only radiator within 50 yards! I knew it was quite bad as people came rushing to help me, and with Nic crying in the background I guessed my head was in a bit a of a mess. Fast forward a couple of hours and I'm lying in the local A&E Department whilst a nurse puts 9 staples into my scalp to try and close the gash. We finally left at 6am and after inhaling enough gas & air to see most women through labour crashed off to sleep with a headache as soon as we got in.
.
Yesterday was then meant to be a day of doing 'nothing much' in order to aid my recovery but after picking Caden up from his Nan's, he experienced another 'tet spell' that is to be expected from time to time with his heart condition. These spells aren't nice things; he has a screaming fit, he turns blue and whilst this is happening we're supposed to keep him calm and hold his knees into his chest to increase the flow of blood to his lungs. This is what we did but after a few minutes he seemed to be getting worse rather than better so it was time to call for an Ambulance. As you can imagine, the longest 6 minutes passed before the paramedics turned up and it was only then that he started to come around. To make sure he was going to be okay the decision was made to take him to the hospital and after a thorough examination I'm pleased to say we were on our way back home.
.
Phew! I guess that when it rains, it pours :-)
.
With all of this going on I haven't been able to take a look at the Stanford Super Series yet. From what I can gather the pitch is proving to be a rather difficult one, so if I'm up to it tonight I'll take a look and hopefully get my month back on track.
.
Greyhound Racing : £2.36
Horse Racing : £2.56
Poker : £37.83
.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Just Ahead


Since Last Post P/L: £302.07
Monthly P/L: £231.70
.
The experimenting has continued and it must be due to this and the fact that I've used Betdaq wherever possible, that I've managed to avoid the dreaded Betfair Premium tax. Over the last couple of weeks I've dipped my toes into practically everything with Test Match Cricket, Greyhound Racing and Poker all seeing some action but it was from following John's advice that I decided to give creating my own Bot a go by using BetBotPro.
.
The early signs were good - for little effort I was making £30 to £40 a day but it wasn't long before a string of events shook me out of my comfort zone. I'd made some calculations and knew the probability of incurring lengthy losing streaks but even I didn't expect to lay 4 consecutive winners at average odds of 7.40 within the first few days of trialling a recovery staking system!
.
It took quite a lot of stupidity for me to risk losing £800+ on the fifth selection - a dog running at Crayford! He made me sweat too as the bloody pooch led for 3 bends before eventually tailing off. William Hill Radio is a great service to catch commentary but I'm not sure if listening to the race helped on this occasion! I haven't given up on the idea of automating some of my betting but let's just say my enthusiasm has cooled for the time being :-)
.
Here's a full round-up of my latest results:
.
American Football : £22.58
Cricket: £134.99
Greyhound Racing : £137.55
Horse Racing : £77.45
Poker : £23.60
Rugby Union : £108.00
.
The Stanford Super Series is the only serious stuff I intend to get involved with for the rest of the month and it'll be interesting to see if England choke under the pressure. Will the huge amount of money on offer make a difference? I have a feeling it will and if I'm right expect some very volatile in-play markets.
.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Bet Angel For Betdaq


Excellent news - it's been released!
.
A big pat on the back to the guys at Bet Angel for getting this software out in remarkable time considering the position they found themselves in at the beginning of last month. I've had a quick look and on the surface things are almost identical to the Betfair version, apart from the lack of market depth on the ladder interface and the refresh rates being slightly slower. For a first release though it looks very good and I'm sure over time added functionality will be made available. Even better news is that the download is completely free so all you non Bet Angel Professional users have the opportunity to see if this type of thing can help you turn a profit.
.
I'm not sure how long this offer will last so make the most of it now by downloading it here.
.
Good luck and I'll see you at the purple place.
.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Over The Moon


I haven't been as happy as I was yesterday for a very, very long time.
.
The Doctors weren't keen on performing a cardiac catheter operation on Caden unless they really had to, so the decision was taken to try and get all the information they needed from a sedated chest echo scan. He's had these before during regular check-ups but they haven't been fully happy with the results so sending him off to sleep first seemed a good idea.
.
And guess what? It worked! The pictures and measurements the Doctors were able to get look to have done the job and although the next big step is to go straight to the heart repair operation the fact he doesn't have to go under general anaesthetic twice is fantastic news due to the increased risk of his other condition.
.
There's still a small chance that this plan could change when the results are passed over to the surgeons at Bristol's Children Hospital, but from the way the main man was talking yesterday the outlook looks good.
.
You can imagine the sheer relief for Nic and I. We hadn't let ourselves get sucked up in the idea that he wouldn't have to have the operation just in case we were disappointed, but as soon as the penny dropped that we'd be going home you couldn't keep the smiles off our faces!
.
I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone that left good will messages following my last post - it brings a lump to my throat that people care so much and just goes to show the goodness in human nature. You guys are the best!
.
Many many thanks.
.
Mark & Nic.
.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A Quick Message


Thought I'd leave a short note to let those of you that read my blog regularly know that tomorrow sees my son (Caden) go into hospital for the first of his 2 heart operations. This isn't the full repair - just an exploratory mission to get a good feel for what lays ahead but I'm exceptionally anxious as he'll still need to go under general anesthetic and I don't think that mixes very well with his other condition (Long QT Syndrome).
.
So I'm making my apologies now for the blog not being updated for a few days. Every bit of energy I have at the moment is concentrated on him getting better as soon as possible which I'm sure the majority of you will understand.
.
All thoughts and prayers are extremely welcome and appreciated as we'd like as many people in our corner as possible.
.
All the best as always,
.
Mark
.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

In The Lab


.
Since Last Post P/L: £70.37
Monthly P/L: £70.37

After all the recent events and with expected quiet periods around the corner, necessity has demanded that I start looking at additional ways of generating a profit. American Football & Horse Racing were likely candidates but my efforts so far have drawn a blank and it’s clear my strategies need to be reviewed. However, there is a glimmer of hope. Online poker is now so accessible that I’m beginning to think just maybe I can turnover a small consistent revenue stream from playing cash games.

This could be a silly idea but I’ve played the game on and off now for the last few years and I seem to be getting a little better. Maybe it’s time to make a serious effort and approach the game in the same way as my trading? With decisions needing to be made constantly I’m expecting my discipline to be severely tested but the early signs are promising and if I set aside a small starting bank then I won’t be risking the world if things go tits-up. A mate of mine recently appeared on the TV show 'How To Become A Poker Millionaire' and this got me thinking - now what did someone once tell me about big things being possible from small beginnings?

Here’s a list of my losses for the month so far :-) :

Poker : £12.24

Horse Racing : £3.55

American Football : £79.06

.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Wind Of Change


Since Last Post P/L: £319.53
Monthly P/L: £867.85
.
If you want to blog interactively, open this in another window.
.
Unsettled Betfair customers will never have a better excuse to explore other options. The Premium Charge fiasco has rumbled on over the last week and now that the gate has been left open the question remains, "how many will walk through?" As many have said, the barriers preventing people from moving elsewhere are slowly coming down and I still can't believe that Betfair have remained silent on the issue. Heads seem firmly buried in the sand at Betfair Towers and short term thinking now seems to have clouded a once visionary company. With news circulating that Bet Angel are due to release API software for Betdaq within days, the time has come for us to join the exodus. Already websites are popping up to protest at the shoddy treatment and it should be of no surprise that the Betfair forum has gone into meltdown since the first debits were taken from qualifying accounts yesterday afternoon. The whole affair reminds me of what we often do in Wales when it comes to rugby - shoot ourselves in the foot.

So what have I been doing whilst this this has all been going on? Well, my strategy over recent days has been to do very little (apart from withdrawing another £2242 from my Betfair account) and to wait for the dust to settle. The incentive to trial systems on markets where I have little or no edge has gone, as the prospect of getting charged if I get 'lucky' doesn't appeal. However, fortunately for me, October and November are expected quiet months so I can afford to stand back and wait a while but once Betdaq becomes a real option, Betfair will become an expensive second option in my eyes. Bad feelings take a long time to dissolve.

Here's my final results for September:
.
Cricket
Glamorgan v Worcestershire : £378.00
.
American Football
San Francisco @ New Orleans : £3.52
Carolina @ Minnesota : £12.82
Arizona @ Washington : £21.46
.
Golf
Ryder Cup 2008 - Winner : £7.71
.
Horse Racing
Ascot : £20.00
.
In case you haven't already read them, here are a few recent stories in the media regarding the ongoing situation:
.
.