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!


Friday, 18 May 2012

IPL - Week 6

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....


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:



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...



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.