Friday, 27 February 2009

Artificial Intelligence


Since Last Update P/L: £2.10
Monthly P/L: £1,007.43
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It's funny what you can find by trawling through the recesses of unused folders on your hard drive. Yesterday I stumbled upon one of those forgotten files - a Classic IQ Test that I'd taken when visiting the old Tickle site a couple of years ago.
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I wouldn't have described myself as a 'Visual Mathematician' previously, but after re-reading my results a lot of things seem to make sense:
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"You have a strong ability to process visual-spatial and mathematical information. These skills combined with your strengths in logic are what make you a Visual Mathematician.
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You're able to understand patterns visually and in numbers. That means your mind can create a mental picture for any problem. In addition to that skill, you possess an intelligence that allows you to apply maths to that picture, too. That helps you manipulate multiple parts of the picture (or problem) to come up with a solution.
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You have many skills that are critical to success and problem-solving. Your talents help you understand the "big picture," which is partly why people may turn to you for direction -- especially in the workplace. You flourish in environments where tasks are clearly defined, and you excel at improving processes and making things more efficient. Like Einstein, your ability to detect patterns and your skills in maths and logic, make it natural for you to come up with ideas and theories that simplify processes for everyone."
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All job offers and public appearances considered - LOL! Seriously though, is it my ability to recognise patterns that make me well suited to trading? It seems a reasonable explanation, and as I'm also a Project Manager I'm glad to see that improving processes and making things more efficient should be one of my strengths.
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Now, back to the usual stuff...
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Trading has been slow over the last week and as I haven't been feeling too clever I decided to close the book on February to secure a profit of over a thousand pounds for the month. Achieving little milestones like that (especially in my off season) are important to me and allow me a pat on the back before concentrating on new challenges ahead. As it won't be long before I'm over-whelmed with a number of events to trade, this small break has been more than welcome.
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Mr. Plod (my adopting name for the 'PC' - get it?) has continued to rear his ugly head so the losses on soccer and horse racing mentioned below are mainly my attempts at trying to duck the deductions. Here's my final results for February:
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Darts : £66.10
Horse Racing : £4.06
Rugby Union : £14.48
Soccer : £18.87
Premium Charge : £59.75
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Elsewhere, rumours are rife on the forums regarding Betfair's latest intentions. Allegedly, they are due to release a new product called 'Mini Games' very soon. Not content with enticing people via the casino and arcade, they are now internallly testing a product which will add fruit machines to your betting slip! So where you see Place Bet, My Bets, Rules & Help, you will also now see 'Mini Games' - just in case you were so addicted to losing money that you can't get a fix for another three minutes to the next race! I'll let you decide the ethics behind this one but it seems so bizarre how a company can change it's corporate strategy so quickly and purposefully turn full circle on it's loyal customers. Of course, this could all be 'hear say' but I wouldn't bet against it. If it does happen, then in my opinion Betfair must be struggling to fund their worldwide expansion.
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Monday, 16 February 2009

Tugging Heart Strings


Since Last Update P/L: £245.79
Monthly P/L: £1,009.53
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I've never been able to figure out why some people always bet on their favourite team. After all, should your team lose you not only have to get over the reality that they're perhaps not as good as you thought, but your pockets are also a bit emptier than when the game started. A double whammy. Correction, a triple whammy, as if you follow a high profile team such as Man Utd, Chelsea etc. then the chances are your bet didn't didn't even offer value as the odds on offer were reduced by other casual 'blind' fanatics.
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So what's the answer? Well, "don't bet" would be an acceptable one, but if the temptation is too great then how about backing the other team? This does sound a bit hard to swallow but it's exactly what I did on Saturday when Wales packed down to face England in the Six Nations. I had sweaty palms that England would put in a strong performance and thought that Wales' match odds price of 1.27 was way too short. A quick scan of the other markets then allowed me to notice that England were available at even money with a 10.5 point head start. My decision was made - I'd oppose Wales for the match and back England to cover the handicap. If Wales won by over 10.5 points then I'd be out of pocket to the sum of £65 (a loss that would be worth it!) but if England won or lost by less of a margin then I'd at least break even. A no lose situation in my eyes! By full time, the winning margin of 8pts fell exactly where I wanted :-)
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Here's my latest results:
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Cricket : £134.53
Darts : £264.02
Rugby Union : £16.72
Soccer : £95.87
Premium Charge : £73.61
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Monday, 9 February 2009

Rewind?


Since Last Update P/L: £132.77
Monthly P/L: £763.74
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A question I've been asking myself recently is, "If I rewound the clock and only had £250 available to me, would I start this trading journey all over again?"
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At this point I could just give you a quick answer, but let me pause for a moment to consider where I was then, and if I can, recall what my aims were at the time.
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Gaining a steady income from gambling had long been a dream and I was getting fed up of winning, losing and then repeating the cycle for a small profit. It seemed as though I'd explored every system and I was a whisker away from declaring that it wasn't possible to make money (at least a reasonable amount) from this game. Then the 'Eureka' moment came when I realised that I didn't have to predict who would win a contest but just what would happen next. Whether this was during the next 30 minutes or 30 seconds didn't matter, as long as I called it right more often than not.
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This saw a huge shift in my outlook and after spending some brief time putting together some strategies everything started to fall into place. I remember thinking at the time, "Why haven't I thought of this before?"
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Over the next few months my initial feelings were proved correct and my extremely modest bankroll began to grow....quickly. Suddenly, everything felt possible and I could see a huge opportunity in front of me. How could I let it pass me by? Even though my gains were quite small at the time I always had a plan for where I was heading. By re-investing my winnings I'd be able to place bigger trades and make bigger profits - right?
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To a degree this is how it's worked out, but it hasn't been easy. Sacrifices have been made as Nic will testify, but I feel it's been worth it as I'm continuing to make progress. However, I'm by no means at the destination yet. The carrot is still dangling in my front of my face and the window of opportunity is yet to close, but to answer my initial question, "Would I do it all again?"
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Probably not. The Betfair Premium Charge has ended dreams before they've begun and with only a small amount of cash in my back pocket, I probably wouldn't have bothered putting in all the hard work. Unfortunately, I'm guessing that those of you reading this who are where I was then, will feel the same.
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My recent results:
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Cricket : £114.29
Horse Racing : £18.48
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Saturday, 7 February 2009

Losing It


Since Last Post P/L: £630.97
Monthly P/L: £630.97
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Caden has suffered from a bout of sickness and diarrhoea this week so with looking after him, fighting the snow and coping with the launch of a new product in work it's surprising I've been able to make any profit at all!
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Following a nice win on the 1st ODI International between Australia and New Zealand I decided that I needed to investigate ways of lessening the Premium Charge burden. My initial thoughts were to put together a horse laying system that over a period of time returned a break even p&l with an even percentage of winners of losers. My first foray into this strategy ended in a small loss of £28.43 (which is more than I would have paid in terms of PC) but it's not an approach that can be judged on one day so I won't fret just yet. It is a sad state of affairs though when you have to consider how to lose in order to keep hold of profit.
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With 'losing' firmly in my mindset I then thought to myself, "Hey, what the heck, why not take another look at Tennis?" and proceeded to spend a good few hours going through some simulated scenarios. Although the Movistar Open currently being held in Chile isn't Wimbledon, it served it's purpose and provided some enlightening moments. Although I'm still paying for my education I'm beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
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Here's a round-up of my results for February:
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American Football : £12.60
Cricket : £434.79
Darts : £94.10
Horse Racing : £28.43
Rugby Union : £249.35
Tennis : £53.82
Premium Charge : £77.62
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