Saturday, 31 January 2009

Moving Target


Since Last Update P/L: £253.03
Monthly P/L: £1,008.37
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Apologies for the lack of updates this week but it’s been a busy few days. Not so much for my trading activity but more to do with some odd jobs that needed taking care of.
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However, the I’m glad to report that January 2009 has developed into my most successful beginning to the year since I started this trading lark. In 2007 my winnings totalled £137.22 and in 2008 they only went up to £304.01, so to post a figure over £1,000 this year signifies that I’m continuing to move in the right direction. Okay, it didn’t all go to plan (Ulrika did win Celebrity Big Brother) but overall I’m happy with the return and with the rest of year promising plenty of cricketing action things are looking good.
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Looking back though, it’s funny how my thought process has changed over the last two years. Back then my goals were to pay the monthly telephone/electricity bill etc. and now I’m dreaming of new cars and fancy holidays! I guess there’s a lesson in there – targets should always be within reach but far enough away to keep you driven.
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Here’s my final results for January:
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Rugby Union : £138.13
Cricket : £132.81
Special Bets : £5.14
Poker : £1.48
Premium Charge : £24.53
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So what does February hold? Well, I’m generally expecting it to be another quiet month with the occasional highlight brightening up the wintry gloom. Most notably the Six Nations commences and my views on Wales defending the trophy haven’t changed. A lot will depend on their first game against Scotland – a win and momentum will rocket, defeat and 4th/5th position beckons. With their odds at around 3.25 to win the Championship I wouldn’t be tempted just yet.
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In keeping with the Rugby theme it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Super League starts on Friday. Leeds face new boys Celtic Crusaders in the first televised game and although I’d love the Bridgend based team to do well I can’t see it happening. If anyone disagrees, you can get 140 on Betfair for them to go on and win the Grand Final.
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Then there’s the Superbowl. Arizona have surprised everybody and although I’m already on Pittsburgh I wouldn’t put it past the Cardinals on taking the prize. I have an ‘icky’ feeling in my stomach that the underdogs may just come through so there’s a good chance I’ll hedge my bets at some point. Either way you can’t fault the event as a spectacle, and I’ll be staying up late to watch it.
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Thursday, 22 January 2009

Daylight Robbery

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Since Last Update P/L: £76.14
Monthly P/L: £755.34
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I'm not in the best of moods right now following the discovery of my Betfair Premium Charge for last week - £76.14!
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So that everyone that reads this post understands, let's make this clear. This is a charge that Betfair make even after they've taken commission AND one which incurs no risk to themselves!
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To make that £400 profit I had to put big sums of money on the line (to me at least) and back my own judgement. I could have lost, but because I don't very often (through skill and hard work) I'm victimised and left feeling like an employee. The graph above shows all of my wins and losses for the month so far and you can see that the Premium Charges (the dark red columns) are currently clocking up most of the negative figures.
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I know there are many other traders out there paying more than this but I still find it unbelievable how a company can change their business ethics and hike their charges up so much (and get away with it) practically overnight.
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Until now I vowed to myself that I'd give Betfair the benefit of the doubt until I could at least judge for myself, but after the last couple of weeks I'm now convinced they're totally taking advantage of their position in the marketplace and extorting the people they've previously gone out of their way to attract! I'm not a happy bunny and with the cricket season fast approaching I really need to consider my options.
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I'll change topic briefly. Tomorrow sees the final of Celebrity Big Brother and I've gone 'All In' on Coolio. For some reason I've got a feeling Verne won't win, so it's seems a straight shoot-out between Terry and the American rapper.
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Monday, 19 January 2009

A Premium Pressie


Since Last Update P/L: £333.97
Monthly P/L: £831.48
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It had to happen sooner or later. Last Wednesday saw me incur my first Betfair Premium charge and even though I thought I'd prepared myself, it still left a sour taste in the mouth. I know it's only £15 but when there are no tools/warnings to help predict what this charge will be then it's very difficult to budget for. Being a successful trader/punter is all about control. From stake sizes to discipline it's all part of the big picture, so not having a clue how much Betfair will take at the end of the week tends to go against the grain of things. With this week providing a decent profit, I've got a funny feeling that the size of my gifts are about to start getting bigger.
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Okay, rant over.
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Here are my latest results:
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American Football : £119.79
Cricket : £21.46
Greyhound Racing : £10.22
Horse Racing : £2.88
Rugby Union : £195.55
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Premium Charge : £15.93
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The NFL playoffs have so far provided a mix bag. I've been able to make surprisingly good amounts on trading individual matches but a lot of my picks for the big prize have fallen by the wayside. My top seeds Pittsburgh will now have to deliver if I'm to finish the Superbowl Winner market in profit.
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What about the rest? The 2nd ODI International between Australia and South Africa was fun to trade and helped me get back into the swing of things but once more I made too many wrong decisions. That's the beauty of cricket though - you get so many opportunities to put things right.
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The Heineken Cup has been great entertainment (how good were Cardiff?) and my mouth is now watering at the prospect of the Six Nations. From a Welsh perspective I'm confident of another good show but I wouldn't be backing them at 15/8 for the Championship. Scotland will be a tough opener and a lot rides on that first result.
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Best not to ask about the Horse and Greyhound Racing ;-)
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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Caught Out

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Since Last Update P/L: £306.13
Monthly P/L: £497.51
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We've all played Monopoly and we've all been saved by the 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card. Up until Sunday morning I'd forgotten how sweet that feeling was.
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Yet again, I'm kicking myself as I should know better. Twenty 20 Cricket is a high octane event and whilst I'd call it my specialised subject, I'm prone to forgetting that it takes time to adjust to the speed of the game - especially after not trading it for a while. So it shouldn't really surprise me that this is exactly what happened when I settled down to watch the Aussies take on the South Africans over the weekend. After being extremely hasty to get involved I was licking my wounds at the turn of innings and staring at a near maximum loss. It was time to steady the ship and fortunately after playing things tight I was able to recoup most of the deficit. Not an ideal way to start the season! However, I do find it comforting to know that even when I get multiple decisions wrong, I'm still able to make just a small loss. The ability to do this when things aren't going my way ends up saving me a hell of a lot of money over the course of a year and it keeps on reminding me that if I can keep to big wins, small wins and small losses I'll end up being a pretty successful trader.
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Which leads me onto my next subject - Million Dollar Traders. The idea for the TV Programme that was screened on BBC 2 last night is similar to that described in the book, 'The Way Of The Turtle'. Give ordinary people some money, teach them to trade and watch them succeed. At least that's the idea, but any of you who caught the first show last night will vouch that it didn't look that simple! What made me laugh was how similar the experiences of the novices on the show were to when I started on Betfair. I'm sure many of you recognised the weaknesses; lack of discipline, too much emotion, hesitancy, bad timing, over analysis, reluctance to trade, laziness etc. The list goes on. All good entertainment and it'll be interesting to see how the volunteers fare in the coming weeks. One not to miss, and if I'm truthful I'm a little envious that I missed out on giving this show a go :-)
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One last question. I've been a big fan of the Bet Angel team since becoming a customer of theirs over two years ago, and have always been inspired when I watch any of Peter Webb's trading videos. So after reading various new blogs where the authors mention that they've attending Peter's trading course, I now believe the time has come to make a decision on whether I'm serious about trading Horse Racing. Progress on my own systems has been slow so perhaps it's time to gather some insight? This is where I need your advice. If you've attended Peter's course previously then please leave me a comment and let me know if you think it will be suitable to my style. All the testimonials on the site look good (as you'd expect) but for £400 I'd like some independent advice before moving ahead.
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Any help would be appreciated ;-)
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Here's my full list of latest results:
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American Football : £265.19
Cricket : £33.18
Horse Racing : £18.60
Rugby Union : £55.00
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Saturday, 10 January 2009

Green House

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The figures might not be the biggest but after making a series of small trades I've managed to make a green book on the Celebrity Big Brother market. Verne Troyer continues to lead the way and even though he's a justified hot favourite there's the risk that the Producers could still throw another contestant into the mix to liven things up. If they do it's likely to be one of them characters that you'll either love or loathe so be careful about jumping on the 'Mini-Me' train to early. One surprise is the price available on Coolio. Okay, he's controversial and a tad annoying but you can't deny that he's entertaining. With that kind of personality I wouldn't be surprised to see his price shorten quickly if/when he comes up with something unpredictable.
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Elsewhere, the 21st January sees a planned 'Betfair' protest organised by Dariusz from the blog 'Betdaq Revolution'. It's a chance for those of you affected by the Betfair Premium Charge to make your feelings known. Even though I'm all for increased competition in the Betting Exchange market I won't be taking part this time. This is my quiet time of the year and even if I stopped using Betfair for 2 weeks they'd hardly notice.
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Tuesday, 6 January 2009

From Another Planet


Since Last Post P/L: £146.04
Monthly P/L: £187.02
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Has anyone checked to see if Phil Taylor has the markings, 'Made In Taiwan' anywhere on his body? After demolishing Barney in a very one sided contest, the man from Stoke made it 14 World Titles and ended a glorious 12 months in style. He really is a freak and it baffles me how he can be so far ahead of the others. Okay, he practices - alot - but I'm sure most of the players do these days with the amount of prize money on offer, so what makes Taylor score 20 points more than the rest every 3 darts?
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It has to be the psychological advantage he holds and the way he uses it for maximum effect. The pre-final interview revealed a significant amount when he admitted that at the first sign of weakness he would look to bully his opponent. Do all the top stars think this way? I'm sure they do, and when they have the game to back it up they become formidable opponents. If ever there was a man who deserved to win 'Sports Personality of the Year' then you'd need not look further than 'The Power'. Sadly, it seems that prize is one that will elude him.
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Elsewhere, things have trickled along nicely. The NFL Playoffs results have so far edged in my favour and after adding LaToya Jackson to my Celebrity Big Brother portfolio I'm feeling a little more comfortable. An interesting few weeks lie ahead.
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Darts
Van Barneveld v Wade : £70.27
Taylor v King : £0.02
Taylor v Van Barneveld : £19.64
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Rugby Union
Leicester v Bath : £27.18
Wasps v Harlequins : £29.12
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American Football
Baltimore v Miami : £4.17
Superbowl Winner : £4.36
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Saturday, 3 January 2009

First Impressions

Since Last Post P/L: £40.98
Monthly P/L: £40.98
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Celebrity Big Brother got underway last night and even though it may seem a little sad, the thought of all these prima-donnas arguing over the milk gets me excited. The line-up is a good mix of personalities but one in particular looks to have stolen the show already.
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Verne Troyer is best known for the role he played as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers series of films, and even though he only measures 2 feet 8 inches it seems he's been keen to explore other opportunities since the last movie 'Goldmember' was released in 2002. Gus from the Tellybetting blog has already pointed out that Verne has some form when it comes to reality shows and as I'm a big believer in first impressions I've decided to make a play after just the first show. I'm opposing the female contestants as voting usually goes the way of the males when the decision on who gets evicted gets put to the public. Here's my book as it currently stands:
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Tonight also sees the start of the NFL playoffs and as usual I've tried to predict the eventual winner of the Superbowl. Last year I did quite poorly so I'm hoping to rectify things over the coming weeks and the following rankings are how I see the teams at the minute based on them meeting at a neutral venue. The latest Betfair odds are in brackets.
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1. Pittsburgh (6.4)
2. Baltimore (16)
3. Philadelphia (16.5)
4. Indianapolis (12)
5. NY Giants (4.1)
6. Tennessee (7.2)
7. Carolina (7.0)
8. Minnesota (42)
9. Atlanta (36)
10. Arizona (65)
11. Miami (55)
12. San Diego (22)
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With the way the seeding system works it's not just a case of backing the top team, so after trying to decipher the outcomes of each game I've dutched the following teams:
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The big gamble is opposing Tennessee. I think they've flattered to deceive this season and even though they finished the regular season with a 13-3 record I can't see them pushing past the likes of Pittsburgh at this stage. They have afterall, lost 3 of their last 6 games. Famous last words eh?!?

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The PDC World Darts Championships also now rolls onto the Semi-Finals and how good was it to see Barney take out a 9 darter last night? He was on fire against Klaasen and the thought of him versus Taylor in the Final is a mouth watering prospect. I can't see Wade causing him too much of a problem on current form.
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I blew a bit of profit last night but at least I've started the year in a positive way:
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Darts
King v Bates : £25.54
Taylor v Stompe : £44.97
Nicholson v Wade : £49.73
Van Barneveld v Klaasen : £79.26
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