Sunday, 15 July 2012

I'm Moving!


After hosting my blog on Blogger since December 2006 the time has come for me to move to pastures new and I'm very pleased to let you know that I'm moving to a self hosted site.

Why?

Well here's a few reasons:

  • I can't control Blogger. If they wish, they can turn my blog off at any time, and after having the blog for so long it leaves an uneasy feeling.
  • It's quite difficult on blogger for people to find and read my historic posts.  As the history of the blog grows it's a shame that some of the decent stuff (in my opinion) has got lost.
  • It's a chance for me grow. I've had interest from other traders recently regarding the possibility of holding cricket trading courses and if this is to happen I need somewhere better to promote them. 
Okay, so now you know that I'm going I'd really like you to come with me on the next part of my journey.

My new blog address is http://www.markiverson.com/blog/blog/ so please bookmark it or sign-up to my RSS feed.

If you currently link to my blog from your blog/website I'd really appreciate it if you could re-direct the link to the new site.

Here's to the future and I'll see you on the other side!

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Monday, 9 July 2012

Glum


With the sun not shining and with no end in sight to the lousy weather this promises to be a very uninspiring summer for me. Seriously, how can we have so much rain? In June, Wales saw 205mm of the stuff which surpassed the previous record of 183.1mm quite easily.  When you consider that the UK average is only 72.6mm that's a lot! As you'd expect with all that going on, cricket matches have been called off all over the place which hasn't been good news for me, but I've always understood it to be a risk.  That doesn't make me feel any better though, so the only thing for me to do is reflect and make plans for when things take a turn for the better.

Talking about reflection....

I finished Quarter 2 31.94% up on last year.  A good result mainly down to an improved IPL, but as July and August have a knack of promising more than they deliver I'll just need to make the most of events as and when they come along.


On the bright side, I'm currently working on two side projects that I'm quite excited about.  Will they come to fruition?  I hope so as I've spent quite a bit of time and energy on them, but as they're not quite there yet I'll keep them under my hat for now.  Watch this space over the next couple of months!

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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Increase Betfair Profits - Do A Good Turn

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I feel bad - I've been back from holiday for 3 weeks and I have posted on my blog once! A poor effort but if the truth is told, all of the rain we've had over the last couple of weeks has dampened my mood. It's one of the major drawbacks of being a cricket gambler/trader - you just can't control the weather and this can have a big effect on your monthly p&l.  Fortunately, things have started to pick up over the last few days so I thought it was about time I jotted down some thoughts.
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Here goes...

During the IPL I took to tweeting and conversing with other traders on a more regular basis and I found it very interesting to observe how each person would interpret information in a different way. It also became clear very quickly that a lot of us have different approaches to how we manage our positions during a game. This doesn't sound very enlightening, but when someone mentioned that after they took an initial position they normally stuck with it, it made me realise that some may not not appreciate the value of 'turns'.

Turns? What the hell are they? In short a 'turn' is when you've successfully been matched on both the 'back'  and 'lay' sides of a selection.  The beauty of Betfair is that you're able to do this many times during an event for no additional cost, so by 'turning' my money over and over and taking advantage of the market fluctuations it's possible to generate bigger profits whilst keeping the risks low.

Time for an example. The Betfair graph below shows the in-play price of Somerset in their recent match against Northants (click to enlarge).

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You can see that they started the match at around 1.60 favourites, so had I looked to back them at this point then the most I could have won had I held my position throughout would have been 60 ticks (1.60 to 1.00).  That's a fair return, but I would have had to stuck to my guns throughout the match, Somerset would have needed to win the game and I'd have had to go through the unnecessary stress and self doubts along the way. Alternatively, by entering the market many times and conducting many 'turns' the amount of ticks I could have won would have significantly increased. A rough estimate following each peak and trough on the graph would give an indication that at least 330 ticks were possible if it was traded perfectly. That's obviously very unlikely, but even 20% of that would have returned 66 ticks which would have been more than the back and hold approach.
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Still with me? Good. To clarify, I'm not saying "become a scalper" - I'm saying be flexible and have an open mind when it comes to the market.  Turns can last for seconds or hours, but the length of time you have an position open doesn't matter, it's being aware that being active in the market can be a good thing and can offer up more opportunities.
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Friday, 25 May 2012

IPL - The End


After what seems like an eternity, today's IPL game between Chennai and Delhi signalled the end of a challenging 2 months and the beginning of my holiday. It's been a long tournament and tough at times but has it all been worth it?

To make things straightforward, I'll use some graphs :-)  First up, my completed IPL comparison (click to enlarge images):


You'll notice I didn't hit my target but I'm delighted to even get close to it after drifting off the pace in the mid-stages.Some serious lapses of concentration in the final games (which I'm blaming on thinking the job was already done) caused the blip but a nice win in the last match helped me finish on a high.

That's the overall picture but what about my key stats - what went right for me to improve so much in 12 months? How about my win %?


Not sure how I did it but from the 73 matches I played, I managed to win 65 and only lost on 8. That means my win % rose from 78.87% to 89.04%. That's quite a jump and the only answer I can give is that I knew when 'not' to get involved this year. After doing my homework before the tournament, I'd highlighted scenarios when I'd stay out of the market and fortunately it seems to have paid off. This shows that by sometimes being inactive, you can really have a positive effect on your results.

How did my average win (dark purple) and average loss (light purple) compare this year?


Well, my average win increased by 46.97% whilst my average loss went up by 43.34%.  At this point, some  of you maybe thinking how I could improve my results if I lost 'more' when I lost?  Simply put, with my win % rising and my average wins also going up I could afford bigger losses when I did lose.  In this case, the net result is that the average value that each event was worth to me went through the roof:


In total, each match was worth 97.49% more to me than 2011. The devil is in the detail and I honestly believe that if I hadn't changed my approach for this years competition then my results would have continued to decline. The moral of the story?  If somethings not working, make sure you highlight what it is and don't be afraid to change things.

You'll remember from this post in March that the IPL was proving to be a thorn in my side, I'm hoping now that I've turned things around.

Right, time for a break....pass me that sangria!

Adios for now amigos!

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Friday, 18 May 2012

IPL - Week 6

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With just 9 games of the IPL left before I set off on our family holiday, I'm starting to wish the competition wouldn't end.  For me, the last week has been nearly perfect and has produced results far beyond my expectations, with the winning streak continuing (now up to 26 wins on the trot) and a return per game that's averaging more than my pre-tournament target.  My graph has now taken off and unbelievably considering where I was a few weeks back, I'm getting close to the white line! (click to enlarge)


In the past, I'd be expecting a big slap in the chops about now - the type of one that sobers me up and brings me back to earth - but this time it feels different. Why? I can think of two reasons.

Firstly, now that I've made enough for me to class the last 2 months as a success, I've started to relax more. I specifically targeted the IPL as a focus for my year and with such lot riding on it, it's no surprise that my form dipped midway into the 2nd week. Of course it's not over yet, and yes I can lose money from here (touch wood), but unless something catastrophic happens I should be able to manage my risk so that any losses I incur from now on don't do too much damage.

The second reason is I believe my foundations are now stronger than ever before.  The extra time I've had to study and research events has allowed me even more capability to squeeze a few extra ticks out of the market, and believe me, over time these add up. Could I have achieved this had I not done this full-time?  I doubt it. The workload combined with sharing my time elsewhere would have left me deflated, distracted and happy to settle. Urrggghh...and I hate settling.

Even though it may sound like it, this is not meant to be a tap on the back session. I'm still very aware that the road ahead is a very long one to get to where I want to go, but I think it does show that hard work pays off. This game is not an easy one and to stay ahead over the long term is an ongoing battle.  Without doing the donkey work I'm 100% sure I wouldn't have got this far.

So what about the cricket?  Well at times it's been like watching an episode of Eastenders, but overall there's been more big hits and karbonn kamaal catches than you can shake a stick at. This weeks highlight?

No competition for me - just take a look at this....

CLICK FOR OFFICIAL VIDEO

And one last thing before I go.....a question that's been floating around in my head - what T20 ground do YOU think is the best in the world for batsmen?  Let me know and I'll include the consensus opinion in my next blog:

VOTE HERE

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Friday, 11 May 2012

IPL - Week 5


5 weeks down and only 2 to go! It seems like I've been harping on about the IPL for ages and I apologise if you're getting sick of it, but I promised to keep posting updates throughout the competition and I'm a man of my word ;-)

So, what's the latest? Each day is a bit like Groundhog Day at the moment ; get up, get Caden ready for school, breakfast, shower, IPL - you get the picture. It's a little boring at times and it does get a bit repetitive but the big positive is that I've had a storming start to May and I'm currently on a run of 15 straight wins with each match returning what I was aiming for at the beginning of the tournament. More importantly, I feel very settled in what I'm doing and have a clear picture of where I'm heading (click graph to enlarge).


You can see from that picture how things have started to pick up, but with 20 matches to go before I jet off on the family holiday there's still time for many ups and downs. Everything comes at a cost though, and you might remember that I mentioned back in January that I'd be tracking my working hours throughout the year. Well, nothing comes for free so it's no surprise that I've had to put in extra effort to get these results (click pic to enlarge).

 
April saw me averaging 55 hours a week, whilst May is banging on 50, but so far the return has been worth it so I'm not complaining. I've known for a long time that these months tend to be my busiest of the year, so although it's tricky to manage a young family at the same time, there's also some light at the end of the tunnel.

To be fair, the cricket itself has been mostly entertaining too and I'm sure I'll be having withdrawal symptoms in a few months if this gloomy weather continues throughout the British summer. The highlight for me this week was undoubtedly a fantastic bit of fielding from Australian Steven Smith.  Was it a bird, was it a plane?  Take a look for yourself...

CLICK HERE FOR OFFICIAL YOUTUBE VIDEO

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Thursday, 3 May 2012

IPL - Week 4


Week 4 of the IPL was good to me and this has brought about a change to my demeanour. I'm feeling more relaxed and assured going into every game and this as you'd expect seems to be paying off. Going back to basics once again seems to be doing the trick and it's amazing how much confidence stringing a few good results together can bring.

Eight weeks ago I explained how I needed to target this tournament as it can make such a difference to my year, so as we're now past the half way point what do I need to aim for over during May to make sure I finish it on a high?

Let's look at my performance statistics to date. Firstly my comparison graph (click to enlarge):


Maybe targeting a 100% increase on last year was a bit ambitious (!) but the good thing is I'm ahead of 2011 by just under 50%. How? Well my win % is very similar (83.33% v 84.13%) but the difference is the amount my average wins and average losses are worth. My average win is 31.76% more and my average loss is 36.44% more (so I'm actually trading slightly worse) but it doesn't matter as the figures I've been playing with have been bigger than last year.

By re-investing in my trading bank over the last 12 months I've been able to gradually use bigger stakes month on month for the same level of risk. The result of this is that I will make more money as long as I keep the 3 performance indicators roughly the same level (win%, ave win and ave loss).

So there's a simple message there to any new sports traders - keep re-investing into your betting/trading bank. Don't spend all your winnings at the end of the month if you want the potential to win more over the long term.

It's great to have such a good strike rate and for things to be improving overall but this does make me ask another question - am I going hard enough?

Should I up my stakes even more? Be more aggressive at certain times? How do we know if we need to put our foot to the pedal or ease off and press the brakes? Here's a very simple diagram that I've put together this morning (click to enlarge):


The x-axis illustrates the level of risk and the y-axis illustrates the level of reward. How would you describe your betting/trading style?

For me, I feel I'm towards the upper end of the 'too cautious category'. I much prefer to have a plan and have a steady stream of positive results to keep my mind balanced and my emotions in tact. Too much risk and that's where chasing can come in, but because of this I rarely enjoy the big rewards that a risky position can bring.  On the other side I don't experience the very low points of big losses too often either.

So how does this help? Well, I need to continually strive to find those 'ideal' low risk but high reward opportunities. This year the IPL has thrown up a few but I'm sure there are plenty more that have passed me by.  I'll keep looking though and just maybe I'll find the holy grail of gambling.

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Thursday, 26 April 2012

IPL - Week 3


It's not just the markets that have been swinging during the third week of the IPL - so have my moods! From elation one minute to despair the next, it's been am constant struggle to stay on my preferred path of being balanced as each match has thrown up twist after twist.

It only takes one small lapse of concentration and a whole days work can go down the drain so it's no wonder that I'm feeling worn out. Is anyone else feeling the same? I'm guessing there's a few of you out there in the same boat, but there is some good news - we're nearing the half way point of the tournament! Crazy to think that after 34 games there's such a long way to go and I'm now very glad that I booked a family holiday for the last week of May. I'll definitely need time to recover.

Anyway, enough whinging - it hasn't been that bad - has it? Well, it's been profitable but I seem to be vulnerable to Tuesdays as I once again fell foul to another large loss in the match between Pune and Delhi.  Opposing Kevin Pietersen and Virender Sehwag (again!) just as spin bowling was due to slow them down seemed a good idea at the time, but alas it wasn't to be as a flurry of 4's and 6's smashed my book and gave me little time to soften the damage. Ouch.


Luckily, yesterday was better and I recouped the loss and a bit more in the game between Punjab and Mumbai. It was a strange one, with large amounts of money wanting to oppose the supposed favourites at different stages, and the bowlers seemingly happy to oblige with very helpful bowling.  Here's a few snippets courtesy of Cricinfo and their ball by ball commentary (click to enlarge images) .



Maybe it wasn't their day, but with Mumbai needing 32 to win off the final 12 balls surely that could be defended.  Unfortunately not for Punjab as the 19th over was dispatched for 27 runs and the final over became irrelevant:


Week 4 for me was going to be about getting back to fundamentals, but after reading that lot again, maybe I shouldn't bother?

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Thursday, 19 April 2012

IPL - Week 2


In comparison to week 1, for me week 2 of the IPL has been a struggle with lapses of concentration more frequent amongst the seemingly constant stream of matches. With at least 1 game a day until the latter stages of the tournament there's little room for downtime so it's of no surprise really that I suffered a maximum loss on Tuesday. These things happen and even though most of the loss has been recovered in the two wins I've had since, it goes to show how gruelling a test this is and that you're only ever a short distance away from making some costly mistakes if you're not on the ball 100% of the time.

So after 15 days of the tournament this is how my progress now compares to what I did in 2011 (click to enlarge):


Even though I'm ahead of last years figures it's uncanny how each line is following the other. A self fulfilling prophecy or is it just that I trade each segment of the competition in the same fashion?  I don't know the answer, but I'll be monitoring things closely to try and make sure I remain in front. My rather optimistic target figure now seems a long way away so I'll just try and focus on each event as it comes and hopefully my p&l will take care of the rest.

From a cricketing perspective there was one standout highlight this week - Chris Gayle hitting 5 consecutive 6's against Pune Warriors.  In their quest to chase down Pune's total of 182, Bangalore had been wallowing at 76/3 from 12 overs before the assault came.  Incredibly, despite needing 107 off the last 48 balls to win they did it.  If you missed the carnage here's a glimpse of what happened:
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Thursday, 12 April 2012

IPL - Week 1

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It may sound daft considering how much I go on about it, but I've really started to understand the importance the Indian Premier League means to my year and I'm so glad I concentrated on how I would treat things differently this year before the tournament started.

We're only 1 week and 12 matches into the 76 game tournament but already it's been clear to me that trades need to be handled with careful timing and I need to be alert to other factors which I may have previously missed.

I alluded to this on twitter this week and got accused of 'dick waving' when I advised others who were trying to use normal cricket knowledge to think about this. That wasn't my intention as I was simply trying to point out that things can turn around very quickly (more than the usual T20 match) and it can pay off to be alert to what the players are intending to do.  Confused?  Well I was accused of being cryptic too so to help take a quick look at this clip from the 2nd innings from match 9 - in particular the last over of the match (skip to 4.40mins):


I had a good inkling who was going to bowl the last over and I was confident on how the finish would pan out.  The result on this occasion went my way but this is only one example from a smorgasbord full of opportunities that have arisen.  With so many matches left there will be plenty more.

Now a post of mine without a graph wouldn't be right so to finish off here's one of my progress to date in comparison to 2011. It also has quite an audacious pre-tournament target on there that I'm trying to keep up with.  So far to go, but a good start (click to enlarge).


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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Geeks Toy v1.2 Released

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The Geek has put version 1.2 onto general release this morning and has retired all other versions with immediate effect so give yourself some extra time if you're planning on trading today.

With 2 IPL matches ahead I'm lucky that I noticed this early this morning as I wouldn't have wanted to have to mess around too close to the beginning of the games, so if you're in the same boat then don't leave things too late.

Due to amount of work that's gone into this release he's also planning to start charging for the product if users don't plug the toy in the next 48 hours.  In his words.....


To be fair, the software is extremely good and especially valuable (in my opinion) for in play betting so I'm more than happy to give it a strong word of recommendation although if he did start charging I'm sure I'd pay.

So, what are you waiting for?  If you're not already using it you can download it here.

If for some reason this is not your thing then you could give Bet Angel a try.  Another very good product.  The try or buy page for that can be found here.

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Monday, 2 April 2012

Over The Line


Am I glad that's over!?!  It was tough but after going back to basics half way through the month I'm glad to say I ended the month in profit.  It was still well below what I'd set out to achieve but much better than what it could have been, so I'll take what I've got and move on.  My last pieces of action for March consisted of two T20 internationals on Friday which ended with one good win plus one small loss, and also 2 Aviva Premiership rugby matches on Saturday which finished with the same results.  My break even p&l graph therefore ended looking like this:


When I was struggling, one of the anonymous comments I received focused on monthly targets being too short a period to measure of results.  Of course, on their own they are but long term readers will know that I monitor the bigger picture closely too. Now that Quarter 1 of 2012 is complete I can compare it to 2011 to see if I'm still moving in the right direction.  How better to do this than by showing another graph? (click to enlarge):


All in all, for the same period my p&l is showing a growth of 24.89% when compared to last year. As January 2011 was when I turned my attention to gambling full time this is a relatively direct comparison, so it's even more pleasing to see that I'm ahead when I consider there was no Cricket World Cup.  But how important has cricket become to me? Cue graph.... (click to..blah blah):


By the looks of it - very!  But again the pleasing thing is that over the last 3 months I've traded less matches for more profit - 54 in 2012 versus 67 in 2011.  With there being 76 IPL matches over the course of the next 2 months it all get very busy so it's crucial I concentrate on doing things right and not lose momentum.  It's something I tell myself every year but it doesn't make it an easier - it's a huge test of stamina and the IPL needs to be treated with more caution than with other matches (make of that what you will).

Now that my March recovery is over I'll probably go back to my infrequent posts due to time restrictions (Nic has me on a curfew) but I hope you've enjoyed my worried rambling over the last couple of weeks.  I really did think I was in a hole but getting my feelings out on here helped like I hoped it would.

I'm sure I'll be dropping the odd comment on twitter over the course of the next 9 weeks so if you'd like to follow me you can do so here.

EDIT
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Some of you maybe wondering why I'm not including every sport (inc my shares) in the comparison graph above. The reason is that my activity in other markets is very small, but if the curiosity is too much here's a graph comparing it all...
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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Overview


Okay, it may not be that exciting but since I committed to posting updates on my progress when I was struggling, here's what I've been up to for the last couple of days...

Sunbathing...errr...apart from that?  Hmmm, okay...let's start with the 1st T20 between the Windies and Australia on Tuesday which ended with a positive result. The home team just didn't look comfortable setting a target and the standout statistic for me was the knock from youngster Nkrumah Bonner - just 24 runs from 33 balls.  He could well turn out to be a decent player in this format but on this occasion he looked a little out of his depth and chewed up too many deliveries. With the St Lucia pitch playing well recently the innings total of 150 was always likely to be a few short against a quality batting lineup, and a set of inexperienced bowlers wasn't going to help.  The key then was to get a good price on an Australian win and the opportunity presented itself when David Warner lost his wicket in the 1st over of the reply.  The market over-reacted and the Aussies went on to win comfortably.

Wednesday saw a chunky wedge taken by Betfair's Premium Charge (15% of my previous break even target) but I was able to claw a bit of this back on the 1st Test between England and Sri Lanka in Galle.  I only dipped my toes in the water over the 4 days but a win is a win especially when approaching the end of the month.

Finally, tonight was a slow and steady one with 4 out of 4 wins on the Darts.  Nothing spectacular, just small grounded out results but the monthly picture is looking much rosier now than it did a couple of weeks ago:


With the end of the month only 2 days away it's important that I don't make any big mistakes so the plan is to tread carefully in the 2 T20 Internationals tomorrow.  Some interesting match-ups there (SA v India and WI v Aus) which have ignited my interest so I may have to sit on my hands at some point especially as I don't want to go into the IPL on the back of some losses.

Talking of which....

After doing my diary for April today I realised there are 41 scheduled games during the month!  It really is a mammoth of a competition with it running for the best part of 8 weeks.  For all you tennis traders, could you imagine how you'd feel if Wimbledon lasted that long?  A huge test of stamina with every 4 and 6 looking the same after about the 4th day!  To reassure myself that it is possible to just rack up a string of steady IPL wins, I dug out my results from the 2011 edition to analyse how my results had fluctuated.  Here's a progressive graph showing my cumulative p&l throughout the tournament - let's hope I can repeat the feat this year!:


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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Fully Charged

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Buoyed by breaking even I had a new lease of life over the weekend as I started to realise that there were still enough events left this month for me to make some money.  After taking a second to remind myself that this was the time I needed to be careful I got stuck into a couple of Aviva Premiership rugby matches.

First up was Harlequins v Bath at a sun drenched Stoop.  Great conditions for the fans as they downed their beers but maybe not that great for the players, as after an energetic start you could see it was going to be a long day.  The game itself didn't really do the occasion justice but after opposing the home team (who were strong pre-match favourites) during the first half I was able to book a better than expected win as Bath made a game of it. 

Northampton v Wasps followed but that turned out to be a bit one sided as Wasps just weren't up to the task. On a personal level it's sad to see a once dominant side going to the dogs.  Financial troubles at the club this season have really taken their toll as well as an astounding number of player injuries - 2 things which are making life very difficult for Dai Young.  Anyway, I threw in towel after 30 mins and accepted a very small gain.

With an enjoyable Saturday out of the way, the plan for Sunday was to concentrate on the 5th and final ODI between the Windies and Australia but after accidently turning on the Malaysian Grand Prix I became engrossed.  I don't know the finite details, but after watching for 10 minutes one thing was clear - these teams have become alot more competitive of the last couple of years!  Long time readers will know that I've traded the sport before, but after returning very average results I decided to concentrate my efforts elsewhere, but on hearing the team order given to Sergio Perez that he needed to "be careful" and that they "need this position" I couldn't help but lay him when he was threatening for the lead towards the end.  It was a position I took with limited downside and sure enough is price flew out from 1.60 to 11's within seconds a few corners later as he spun the backend of the car.  He would have to settle for 2nd place and I would settle for a pleasing result.  Maybe I should check my lottery ticket?  I did - I'd won £10!

By now I was bouncing and with the sun still shining not even the realisation that the ODI would start an hour later due to the clocks going forward could dampen my mood.  Why can't things be like this all of the time?

Now I'm sure there's a few of you getting a bit sick of all this positivity - time for me to come back to earth? Sorry to disappoint  - here's my p&l graph for the cricket (click to enlarge):

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Pride can come before a fall (as I've experienced many times) but I couldn't hold myself back from being a bit more aggressive in this match and luckily it paid off.  If anything, I guess the negative was that I wasn't able to kick on after such a strong start but it turned out to be one of those 'what could've been' games instead.

With a few T20's still to go before the end of March I'm now up to 148% of my previous break even target.


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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Back To The Future

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Hurrah! I made it back into profit for the month but it wasn't an easy ride. After trading yesterday's ODI the final result was a 15% gain towards my target (I am now 5% over it) but as my p&l graph for the match testifies, I had to turn things around after a sticky start (click to enlarge):










My thoughts prior to the match were that I wanted to be with the bowling team. There was a chance of rain and previous ground statistics pointed towards only a marginally better playing surface than in St Vincent, so I was more than happy to side with Australia when they won the toss and opted to bowl.

In turned out to be an incorrect assumption and as you can see, things didn't go quit to plan as the Windies launched an impressive opening salvo by bashing 56/0 off the first 10 overs.  It's at this point I started to realise that conditions were not what I was expecting.

Over the remainder of the innings I continued to nibble at the Australian price at different intervals but to no avail. The Windies were by now on for a good score and it was time to switch - the Aussies were in trouble.  Fortunately for me I did so just in time. Pollard and Sammy exploded with some mighty power hitting in the last 10 overs and a score of 294 was posted.  In my opinion it was too much for an Australian batting lineup containing a few inexperienced players at this level. The question now was all about getting a good price for a Windies win. To make sure I didn't miss out on an early batting collapse I took a half stake position  at odds of 1.66.

It was the right move as the Windies took David Warner's wicket in the 2nd over, but I should have taken this opportunity to reduce my position and improve my average. In the belief that things would only get worse for the batting side I didn't and it came back to haunt me as they rallied and I was once again into negative territory. Doh! In my bid to get over the line I'd been greedy again and gone against what I know I should have done.

Undettered I once again waited for another entry point - still believing the Windies had enough.  The Aussies were hitting boundaries, the market was jumping and they'd become favourites. Surely an overreaction chasing such a high score despite the conditions?  Yes, it was, and it was my entry at this point that sealed my win.  Multiple wickets fell in the coming overs and by the time the visitors were 112/5 I'd decided to call it a day.

This is why I love betting on cricket.  I can be wrong so many times, but as long as I manage my risk it's often relatively straightforward to get into a positive position at some point throughout a match.  I hear alot about people wanting winning strategies but the truth is a lot more simple - stay clear from greed and concentrate on making the right decisions.

My mission has now changed - I need to hold onto this profit until the end of the month!  With 5 cricket matches, a night of darts and a couple of games of rugby to go, there's plenty of time to blow it.

 

Friday, 23 March 2012

Relax - Don't Do It


After not participating in the markets on Wednesday, it was back to normal yesterday with the the Asia Cup Final between Pakistan and Bangladesh plus a night of Premier League Darts.

I've a list of things which make me feel uncomfortable in cricket markets and the words Pakistan, Bangladesh and the scheduling of a tournament just before the IPL kicks off are all on there.  It's nothing personal - Pakistan have some cracking players and likewise Bangladesh seem to have come on leaps and bounds but despite this I can't help feeling a lack of trust when they're involved.  Was yesterday any different?  No, but I adjusted and kept my stakes relatively small. I also went against the crowd quite a bit and opposed low odds at different times which appears to be the way forward in these types of matches.  I wasn't laying for the sake of it, but instead tried to choose my moments for when the market was jumping on the 'winner' and pushing the price too far. My belief was that there would be many more ups and downs along the way and so it proved as Pakistan held on to win by a slender 2 run margin, and I bagged another 12% towards my break even target.

A few hours break was squeezed in during the afternoon before it was time to tune into the darts being screened live from Dublin. The first thing to hit me was the crowd - 9,000 crazy fans getting ready to cheer on a bunch of dart players!  Astonishing and something special.  It also helped motivate the players and there were some great performances on display but unfortunately mine wasn't one of them.  Despite winning on 3 out of 4 matches, the one loser cancelled out most of the wins to leave me with just a further 1% gain.

It's funny, but I can feel my mindset changing now that I'm up to 90%. I'm looking to get over the line and starting to lose sight of the goal. I'd have bitten your hand off to be in this position just a few days ago. This is the dangerous time then when complacency can set in and a greedy moment can see me endure a big loss.

Time to concentrate even harder.

Friday sees me tackle the 4th ODI between the West Indies and Australia.

Here's my break even graph :


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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Split Personality


Yesterday saw the third ODI between West Indies and Australia and that was the focus of my day.  As it was also the third match to be played in St Vincent it was no surprise that the teams were tested once again with tricky conditions but I much prefer watching a game like that than others where it can become a run fest with nothing in it for the bowlers.

Whilst having 3 matches at the same venue can often be helpful for identifying trends, it doesn't take long for the market to catch on and this can make it more difficult to spot opportunities.  My P&L graph for this match sort of tells the story (click to enlarge):


You can see that during the first innings I didn't hold a strong position at anytime and my plays were generally small.  I  often find this as the downside to trading an ODI as over 8 hours things can get a little slow and then.....BANG....in the second innings after a brief lapse of concentration (as highlighted) I find myself staring at a loss when things get a little more volatile.

Fortunately I was able to pull this position back but in the end it didn't matter as the match ended in a tie!  Now a lot of cricket traders tend not to cover themselves in the 'tied match' market but I always do and after looking at that graph you should start to understand why.  Yes, I often take bad value (aren't all types of insurance?) but after experiencing all those ups and downs I want to make sure I get paid.

So it's an additional 10% from the cricket towards my break even target but a Premium Charge being taken today will reduce that by 2%.  The total is therefore now 77% - I'm within touching distance!


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Monday, 19 March 2012

Marching On

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Saturday was a good day as Wales clinched the Grand Slam and the Six Nations Championship but it was back to pressing matters yesterday as I shook off the hangover to continue my trading recovery.

Luckily the 2nd ODI between the West Indies and Australia wasn't due to start until 1.30pm and with an added delay due to rain, I was feeling a lot better by the time the teams took to the field.

This was a potential banana skin as the match ended up being shortened to a 40 over per side game with a threat of further showers.  Add to this a market with little confidence in a shaky Windies batting lineup and a tricky pitch and things were always going to be volatile.  All the more pleasing then that I came out the end of it with a decent win, but it was the way I controlled my gain that gave me more satisfaction.  In an additional attempt to drag my way back to profit, I've decided to go back to monitoring my in-play profit/loss position and yesterdays graph showed that it's helping as my progress was very steady (click to enlarge):


Always pleasing to see a graph like that as it identifies no major swings to my position.  If you're a Bet Angel customer you can pick up a copy of my monitoring tool here.

So the overall result was an additional 13% profit towards my break even target.  In total that's now 69% of the way and there's still a decent amount of cricket scheduled in the diary before the end of the month.


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