Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Cheerio 2008

Since Last Post P/L: £641.21
Monthly P/L: £1,053.89

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With all the pre-tournament anticipation and media build-up it's very easy to get carried away during the first few matches of the PDC Darts World Championships, and that's exactly what I did. I should've known better as by the end of Day 2 I'd traded in 6 matches and dug myself a loss of just over £250. Needless to say my confidence wasn't very high and a different approach was needed. Yep, it was time to cut back on my stake sizes and to just concentrate on making a profit in each market. It sounds easy to say but in reality it's much more difficult to practice, so I had to remind myself that my strategy was sound and that it had produced good results in 2007. That's the problem with Darts - there are not an awful lot of televised events, and when there are the format is often different to the one before. Not ideal conditions when you're trying to perfect entry and exit points!
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Anyway, the following 28 events were a grind but I stuck to my guns and ended with a profit in 22 of them. The temptation once I'd started winning was to up the ante, but I resisted the itchy feelings and thanks to this discipline am now able to post a profit of over a grand for December. Here are my final results for 2008:
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Darts
Jenkins v Smith : £42.86
Painter v Clark : £86.72
Priestley v French : £4.01

Bates v McBrearty : £55.42
Tabern v Beaton : £120.19
Van Gerwen v Young : £146.77
Walsh V Cavern : £40.74
Dudbridge v Fulwell : £17.21
Mardle v Fatum : £24.04
Manley v Sulijovic : £25.35
Mason v MaGowan : £27.38
Kantele v Ilagan : £57.58
Lewis v Stewart : £13.51
Lloyd V Klaasen : £6.03
Baxter v Kantele : £30.40
Osborne v losper : £20.07
Sulijovic v Dudbridge : £63.57
Taylor v Van Gerwen : £6.46
Mardle v Thornton : £38.71
Davis V Bates : £151.70
Baxter v Ovens : £11.97
Klaasen v Van Der Rassel : £91.12
Van Barneveld v Newton : £18.07
King v Walsh : £90.32
Priestley v MaGowan : £35.10
Osborne v Van Der Voort : £5.42
Wade v Eccles : £82.26
Taylor v Painter : £36.99
Bates V Dudbridge : £29.53
Nicholson v Priestley : £76.33
Smith v King : £67.65
Mardle v Stompe : £75.09
Hamilton v Klaasen : £117.40
Van Barneveld v Baxter : £22.52
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From reading that lot it may seem that Christmas was cancelled in our house but I promise you that wasn't the case, as in total there's only about 24 hours work there. After the stress of Caden's operation we were determined to enjoy every minute of the holidays and that's what we did. Seeing his face on Christmas morning was magical and it really made us realise how lucky we are. No trading experience could ever beat that feeling.
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So that's it then, the end of 2008 and if I'm honest I won't miss it! But from a trading viewpoint how have things gone?
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My hope at the beginning of the year was to achieve a profit after commission of £15,000, but unfortunately I fell short. With the final figure ending on £11,938.86 I'm a little disappointed, but after all that's gone on I can't be too hard on myself. Afterall, I'm still only trading part-time and it does mean that I've been able to generate over £20,000 from my original bank of £250 during the course of the last 29 months. That's not a bad effort. However, the most satisfying bit of all this is that I haven't spent the lot! As some of you may be aware, I've always been keen to re-invest as much of my winnings as possible to enable me to play with bigger stakes as I move forward. This has continued throughout the year and my trading bank now stands at £18,216 - a healthy increase on the £8,346 that I started with last January. In case any of you are concerned that I may blow that lot in one go I'll make it clear that I only use a portion of it at any one time. My current maximum exposure is just over 13% which equates to a stake of £2,459. These trades only happen on sports where I feel I have my biggest edge e.g. Cricket, and when the odds fall between a certain price range e.g. 1.01 to 1.50. Managing my risk is vital if I'm to continue making money.
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So what does 2009 hold in store? Nobody knows, but I do have a few wishes and resolutions that I'd like to see come true from both a personal and trading perspective. First the serious one:
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1. That all my friends and family stay healthy. It's true what they say - without your health money means absolutely nothing. I'd really like a normal, uneventful year.

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Then the rest:
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2. Is a £20,000 target after commission being greedy? Probably, but I won't beat myself up if I don't get there. The important thing is that I keep growing. I have a few exciting ideas up my sleeve that I'd like to see turned into reality so watch this space ;-)
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3. I start using my blog more like blog. As I now I sound like I've lost the plot let me explain. Everytime I write a post I feel the need to go into detail about everything and write a bloomin' novel! I need to calm down, post more often and just record my thoughts. I don't want to record drivel but there are other things I'd like to get off my chest apart from my profit and loss. Watch out for me going into a 'Dear Diary' mode though!
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4. This last wish is something which is out of my control. Please, please Betfair don't look to extract any further fees from your successful customers. Just in case you're wondering. I don't class myself in this bracket, but I understand the damage that would be caused if these big fish left. I've gone into these reasons before so I won't repeat myself - so please Betfair, just don't do it.
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Okay, I think I've said enough :-)
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May I wish you all a Happy New Year and may the coming 12 months live up to your expectations.

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Ciao for now.
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Monday, 15 December 2008

Miracles Do Happen

Since Last Post P/L: £412.68
Monthly P/L: £412.68
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The last few weeks have been hugely demanding and extremely stressful but I’m very happy to report that Caden has had his heart repair surgery and is now on the road to recovery. However, there’ve been many highs and lows and I wouldn’t wish an experience like this on my worst enemy.
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To begin with we were told the night before the operation that due to a lack of beds within intensive care, the operation would need to be postponed with there likely to be a 1-2 week delay. After travelling to Bristol you can imagine our despair – his condition was becoming more noticeable and we were now ready, we needed this to happen.
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Fortunately the surgeon could see our determination and agreed for us to stay at the hospital in the unlikely event that a slot became available. Luckily for us one did and the operation took place on the 20th November. For what seemed like the longest 5 hours we lulled around shopping centres and restaurants waiting for the phone call telling us everything was okay and when we were told that everything was over we all shared a huge sigh of relief. Apparently he had suffered 2 : 1 Heart Block when coming out of theatre but this was something they were able to treat quickly and in general things had gone well.
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It was at this point I thought the worst was over. What I hadn’t considered was the possibility of any setbacks.
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The first day after the operation went to plan but when he started to show signs of deterioration on the second day panic started to set in. It turned out that fluid had started to collect around his heart and lungs and that another operation would be needed to drain what was there. The risks weren’t as great but I still had to sign the consent form and whenever that happens there’s always an element of doubt. A stark reminder of this was the 6 month year old boy in the next bed. He’d been admitted for a similar heart operation but following complications during the procedure he’d suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain. Unfortunately there was no way back and he passed away whilst we were there.
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With these thoughts fresh in the memory it was practically impossible to remain completely calm but I shouldn’t have worried as he sailed through. Even though this complication did set him back he started to show signs of improvement pretty quickly afterwards and within a few days he was fully conscious and trying to become more mobile. He was discharged a week later but within 48 hours were back in hospital. His temperature was spiking for no apparent reason and with the risk of infection high on the radar the doctors wanted to be safe rather than sorry.
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That worry has now died down and since then he’s been gradually on the mend. As of today the progress he’s made completely astounds me. He’s nearly back to being normal and if any of you reading this want proof of a living miracle then you’re welcome to visit :-) The little guy’s been through so much we’re now going to make sure he has the best ever first Christmas!
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At this point of my post I’d love to be able lift the mood but unfortunately I can’t as I was deeply saddened this week to read of the passing of
Richard Wildman. Richard was a fellow blogger who fought a courageous battle against cancer throughout 2008 before finally succumbing on the 5th December. If medals were awarded for having a ‘positive outlook’ then Richard would have been at the front of queue as anyone who has read his posts would testify. At the age of 36 he leaves behind a wife and two children and my thoughts are with them at this desperately tough time.
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What I’ve mentioned above really does highlight how precious our time is in this life and this is something I need to make sure stays fresh in my mind. If in future I ever take Caden or any of my family for granted I need to stop, take stock and think about how much others who are less fortunate would love to swap places.
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For what it’s worth I’ve now also been able to start trading again. The Heineken Cup Rugby has been the main focus of my attention and here’s my full results for the month so far:
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American Football : £95.91
Horse Racing :
£25.55
Rugby Union : £368.55
Special Bets :
£8.26
Poker : £34.49
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The highlight of December always seems to be the PDC Darts World Championship and this year appears to be no exception. Things kickoff on Friday and even though Phil Taylor has had a phenomenal year I’m not sure if the tournament being hosted at Alexandra Palace suits him. The Circus Tavern was his territory but last year he looked a little lost in the new surroundings so it’s difficult for me to get too excited about his chances when his odds are hovering around the 1.60 mark. He’ll surely reach the latter stages but I’d be surprised if you aren’t able to get better odds at some point along the line.
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Either way, the 13 days of competition will determine how I finish the year – will I be a ‘star’ or a ‘turkey’?
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Thanks again to everyone who’s left supportive messages during the past few weeks – they meant a great deal.
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Merry Christmas to you all.
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Mark
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