Sunday, 30 August 2009

All I know is that I know nothing.

Could not find the time to trade much on Saturday and ended up only having enough time to try a couple of ideas out briefly. One style that I like and will be using much more from now on, is closing my trades in parts where possible. Basically using part of my entrance stake to lock in some profit as soon as the markets moves my way. This puts me in a stronger position allowing me to place the stop further back. It also gives me more confidence to hold onto the remaining net stake longer and close out at the end of the move. Typically after one/two ticks I would close a third or half of my stake, and if it looked promising I would allow it to move on until I could see adequate signs to close out fully. This is what I was doing today and it worked out well. Of course to do this I did have to raise my stakes slightly in order for me to break down my closures into multiples of £2. I was therefore using £2, £4 and £6 stakes today for the racing.

I did not trade every market and tried to be more selective in my trades. However I did try to trade most of them as I knew there would not be too many being a Sunday. I traded a total of 19 markets today, 12 horse racing and 7 footy matches, all prerace/prematch as usual. I was quite pleased with my results as I managed to not lose on any market.

Although promising signs I do feel that my style needs much improvement as many mistakes were made. The vids are really openeing my eyes to the errors as I had hoped they would. The only issue with the vids is that you need to make a lot of time to watch and analyse them properly. I speed them up with my media player and go over them a few times making brief notes on each market. This is proving effective and I want to do this after every trading session. However I do need about as much time to review as the length of the actual vid, maybe a bit more somtimes. So I have made a new rule which is to not start another trading session until I have gone over all of the previous session's vids. If I have not, then I would simply use the time of the next session to keep reviewing the previous one until I am upto date. I'm hoping this will drive me to do it as it can be rather monotonous at times, feels similar to what homework was like at school!! Improvements are already noticeable, in particular I am finding watching the graphs at high speeds is internalising some of the patterns and making me spot them earlier in their formations.

I might go one step further and record my thoughts via a mic, syncing it with the vids. I think this will help me identify when I am losing my focus and slipping into a weaker temprement. Sometimes when sitting in silence I don't realise that I am tiring and before I can prevent it, I've placed a couple bad trades and need to spend most of the remaining time trying to get the book green before the race starts. If I can slowly eliminate these instances I would be profiting much more. Will probably pick up a mic next time I'm in town. Training myself to say my thoughts out loud might be a bit odd at first but It shouldn't be too tough to get used to.

Should also note I moved my trading screen about a bit today to make more use of the space. I basically split the two widescreens in half, giving my 4 smaller sections. The ladder is on one of the central sections, this makes it much easier to glance right and left and use the other sections. The market overwiew is better for me when it is narrow, as all the price movements are easier to notice. The candle stick graphs for the 3 favs are now far left. On the far right I switch between the guardian or the undocked unmatched bets tab allowing me to monitor it at a glance whilst committed to a market. Switching between runners is very easy so I did not feel the need to have 3 ladders open simultaneously. No doubt I will probably move everything around again.

Got much footage to get through so I'll leave it at that for today. I'm hoping to trade tomorrow as I'm off work, but it all depends if I manage to get though the footage in time.


Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Blue Monday

Rather frustrating day today. First off I had a bit of a nightmare setting up my new PC to record effectively. Tested everything 2 hours before the racing and it was working just fine. I was encoding in Xvid giving me about 4.3MB per min of footage. I was happy with that. About 30 minutes before the first race I tested the recording for the last time and I kept getting an error message telling me that Xvid was busy, when closing the window I received a ‘Not responding’ message. I tried this several times. Needless to say the recording was not working. So I ended up installing a couple of other codecs to see if I could get something to work without using 14MB files per minute (which was what the standard setting was). Already quickly running out of time I settled for a codec called ‘ffdshow’ which seemed to work and gave me about 5.5MBs a minute.

I felt flustered and a bit uncomfortable with the whole new setup. This was to be expected though as it is the first time I have traded on this PC and with a dual screen. I also needed to spend some time setting up Bet Angel in the way that I liked it, and getting all the settings adjusted. I didn’t realise how much I had customised the settings until I was faced with the default settings again! Though this did make me appreciate how versatile BA can be. By the time I got everything working there was 5mins to go on the 3rd race so I skipped this race and moved straight onto the fourth.

I started off badly as you can see from the first couple of races. I really need to take more time to focus early on as this is not the first time this has happened. Not too sure how to help with this issue, it’s not as if I can reduce my stakes until I get into a routine! Evidently with the rush to get things working, I did not watch any videos before so I will need to make sure I do this next time. Rushing into it again probably didn’t help matters wither and I will probably stick with the ffdshow codec for peace of mind. The whole recording session was approximately 1GB, and that was for 3h20mins – that’s good enough for me. Just to give you a rough idea if it was encoded in Xvid It would have been about 860MB. So I’m not going to get too bothered over 140MBs, particularly as I have a dedicated 500GB hard drive for all my trading material. Besides it is likely to be a conflict and I’m definitely not going to spend hours trying to figure which codecs are conflicting, life’s too short!

I soon got into the rhythm and had a solid run making £1.98 from the next 15 markets and then promptly lost it all at the Wind 17.05. I made a schoolboy error and placed two poor trades, but only had one close in the market with Take SP set, when I thought both had been set to this. Of course you can guess what happened next. Race goes off and I realise near the end of this 7f race, by that time the favs price was so long I couldn’t close out. Poor error on my part and although it’s not as bad as going IR intentionally I really should have checked my closure settings properly. At the end of the day if an error like this has the potential to wipe out all of my daily profits, I will need to make note and double check everything at 1min to go and once more at 30secs and finally at 10secs. I was quite mad at myself as it could have so easily been avoided and I was in the red not due to my poor trading selections.

On a more positive note, I picked myself up quite quickly and was determined to get in profit for the day. I knew I needed about 61p from the last 2 races and I pushed myself to make 66p in the end! Granted we’re not talking about huge amounts of money here but I am happy none the less with my mental attitude in the last 2 races. I was in the red on both at one point but I closed out quickly and made some good trades in to push things in my favour. Have not had the time to review the video footage properly but I do have the next few days to go over this. Next trading session looks like it will be Saturday so I have some time to watch it all beforehand. Will update the blog with anything I feel might be useful to include in this review once I have finished watching it.

Other observations include the new screen setup mentioned briefly earlier:

No doubt I will move things around a bit once I get accustomed to the space. I found at times I almost forgot about the second display and needed to remind myself it was there! On some races I found having the market overview larger was much easier to pick out the moves. And today for the first time I did jump on the 2nd or 3rd fav when I felt the price was going to come in a few ticks. This did make me think about trying to have the 3 ladders open at the same time. Might give this a go next time. I did not swing trade as much as I would of liked but I did see many opportunities today. I am hoping the videos will help me identify these opportunities better. Also I did not get around to using Green UP radio but I will give it a go next time, sounds like a handy tool particularly for me as I am trading without pictures at the moment.

That’s it for now. I will leave you with a quote from the one and only Albert Einstein which I found inspiring this morning:

‘In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity’

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Eagle Has Landed!

I must say I was rather optimistic to think I would find the time to trade two full days this week. Monday was supposed to be the first, however come 13:50 I was sat down ready to place my first trade when 'ding dong' there goes the doorbell. Who could that be at this time? The new PC has arrived! So there I am signing and accepting the delivery feeling completely distracted by about 2pm. Thought about resuming trading immediately but felt too distracted and could not focus on the markets. After about 10 minutes of agony I decided that my mind was somewhere else. I switched off my retired old PC and focused on setting the new one up. I couldn't argue with the logic that I would need to spend some time setting it up anyway.

Took me a couple of hours to get it all up and running. I decided to test Bet Angel briefly and traded the last two races of the card. The difference in performance is striking to say the least. For instance, I usually trade on 500ms refresh on the ladder (which seemed sluggish but bearable on my old system). I decided to try 200ms to see how it would effect the performance, and it seemed like Bet Angel was on speed! So fast, but too fast I thought, I felt it was taking more effort and energy to monitor market information at this speed. After 5 minutes I switched back. My old system struggled to keep up with anything under 500ms.

One important factor was the recording whilst trading, so I tested this for a while and I was happy to see no noticeable slowing in performance whilst recording BA. I then recorded both monitors simultaneously and again no noticeable difference in performance. No doubt once I figure out a comfortable set up with the dual widescreens display it will help me make quicker decisions.

Quite looking forward to my first proper trading session with this PC, I feel it will make a huge difference for me, not only to the speed but having the videos to review afterwoods is what I am most looking forward to. So when is the next trading session likely to be? I'm planning to trade the whole card on Monday, will be my last weekday off for a while and after that it will be mainly the weekends. No evening racing but still 20 markets for me to get stuck into. Will probably use the time in the evening to review the videos, so should be quite a productive day.

On a final note, I have been reading a lot this week, particularly some articles by Brett Steenbarger who has been a great inspiration to me recently. I am going to be very careful on my next session. There is much to be said about re-occurring bad habits. Not repeating them for a couple of sessions apparently is the easier first step, getting them out of my automated responses is another thing altogether. I need to be realistic and look at facts, to date I have only had one racing session where I have not succumb to going IR. Evidently this is a minor victory in itself but only the first step in a long sequence of reconditioning. I can forsee these next few sessions being a real battle but as ever I am going to go in as well prepared as possible.

Happy trading everybody and keep it green!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Sunday, not so bloody Sunday

I see myself having to get used to trading Sundays as the weekends are going to be the only full days available after next week. Hopefully I should be able to squeeze a couple more full weekday sessions in next week. Work has given me a mini-promotion, which is rather bitter sweet as although I warmly welcome the move, it also means 9-6 Mon-Fri hours.

I feel my mental attitude has improved no end this week. It’s almost remarkable to think I am the same trader who blew 80% and then 75% of my bank a couple of sessions ago. My stricter approach to re-occurring errors has already begun, even before having recordings to review, and I can see some of the bad habits that seemed at first impossible to confront starting to fade. I can see the videos helping me pinpoint specifics that are easy to overlook when focussing on market data.

Today I continued to use the minimum stakes for both racing and footy. Let’s start with the racing.

The liquidity and money movements did feel different today, however I appreciate I have limited experience, so this could have been due to my perception. It could also be down to being a Sunday. I did miss out a few races where the liquidity was poor (not for fear of not getting filled!!) but the price movements seemed different, so I will need to watch closer for familiar patterns in these less liquid markets, or just avoid them altogether for now (I noticed they were mainly at Tram & Curr).

Start was much better, did not feel nervous or rusty as previously experienced. Very much felt on autopilot early on, looking out for good entrance points and monitoring them carefully until close. I managed to stick to the rule of 2 max trades open at a time for most of the session, which was also encouraging. I feel this is the next rule I need to focus more on as there were a couple of noted races where I had more than 2 open.

The first one was Sthl 15:20. Here I got caught out by a huge back bet moving the price down about 5 ticks or so. I was gutted and I gave it a couple of seconds to see if the market would recoup, I then closed quickly on the descending price. Was looking at -£0.85 red across the book at this point. I then quickly looked for opportunities and could see the price stabilising at a range. I started to scalp aggressively to reduce the red and was getting filled very quickly on both sides. I kept repeating this and had about 5 trades open at a time for a couple of minutes. It worked out well and I ended up profiting from the race. In hindsight I feel that breaking my 2 open trades max rule was not warranted. I stand firm that it should never be broken unless I have evidence to prove otherwise. It could have easily gone against me and I would have been looking at a much larger red. I reckon sticking to 2 would of limited my risk and would of left me with about a -£0.40 at market close, an acceptable outcome considering the circumstances. I anticipate my views to change as my market experience grows but for now limiting my risk to only 2 open trades seems like the best way forward.

I know these things will even out over time and I am very much looking forward to the day a huge bet gives me an instant 5 tick profit!

Two other losing races stick out and they are the Sthl 15:50 (-£0.35 close) and the Ponte 17:10 (-£0.34 close). At the 15:50 I simply read the market completely wrong and placed poor quality entrance orders. At one point I was over -£1 red across the book on this market and I once again broke my 2 max rule to trade it down to -£0.35 at the off. At the 17:10 I recall feeling tired and should of taken a moment to re-focus. I pushed myself and once again made some bad decisions and remember feeling almost on tilt. As soon as I realised I closed and managed to reduce the deficit slightly (but this time consciously managing to keep the 2 max rule). This race gave me a bit of a boost, and I decided to trade the last few races rather than calling it a day. It’s funny how an incident like this can wake you up and refresh your batteries. I felt determined and ready to trade better for the last 5 races. It went very well and it took me 3 races to make it back, with the final 2 adding to my profit.

Swing Trading
I also should note the increased swing trade attempts made today. I have consciously been trying to evolve my style and feel that today I scalped much less than before. At many points during the session I felt comfortable with the way the markets were moving. If I had a piece of chocolate for every time my entry was beaten by a millisecond from a £1K-£5k order I would be a very fat man! I was very close to making many more small swings to be beaten by a fraction of a second. This only gave me more confidence though as my strategy and entrance points are mirroring some of the bigger players – which can only be a good thing. Also my swing trading has quite literally just started and I expect to get faster and more assertive with my entrance points as my experience grows. I have highlighted one race where I caught a mini-swing. I was a bit nervous and should of had more confidence in my initial entry @ 1.73, but I re-entered @ 1.81 to close on the peak of 1.87. I will undoubtedly be looking out for these swinging opportunities more.

In total I trade 22 racing markets making £0.61 with the £2 stakes. It’s apparent that my errors are costing me too much. Without my 2 poor races highlighted above I would of profited over double. Although I am happy to still be profiting there is much to improve on. My consistency was also good again but I need to make more of an effort to notice when my concentration is wavering, and immediately re-focus. At the moment a costly error seems to trigger me back into place but this is obviously far from ideal! I should also mention that there was only 1 race where I entertained the notion of going IR. That thought lasted for about 2 seconds before I kicked myself for even considering such an idea.

Trading footy markets has always been tricky for me. Every strategy I have looked at involves IR tactics, which seems more like a gamble. I think I am finally finding some rhythm now with the pre-match match odds markets and can see myself trading them often throughout the season. Plus much of the games are scheduled in the evenings and weekends when I am not due to be at work. The scalping tactics here are very simple and for anybody with scalping experience on racing, scalping the footy markets pre-match will seem like everything is in slow motion. I would say patience is the most important skill for me on these markets and using the market overview is great for noticing the tiny movements. In total I traded 10 footy markets making £1.65 with £2 stakes. I did often have multiple positions open at one time, and because the markets move much slower and are so stable, you can easily trade two markets at once using the guardian. I did this for the two matches with 13:30 KO times.

Finally finished the post! I feel an apology is in order for such a long narrative, one reader did highlight this as a potential issue for not getting many readers. This blog is basically my trading journal so much of it is for me to read back and help me remember certain incidents, rather than trying to get loads of readers. But at the same time I am very happy to receive any comments and if you have got this far then a congratulations is in order! You definitely should make a comment now as you have quite clearly earned the right!!

Seriously though, once I get the recording setup sorted I will not need to write quite so much, as most of it is to trigger memories of what happened. With the vids it will be much easier and all I will be doing is watching and making a few key points (much more effective way to learn IMHO).

Thanks again for reading my midnight ramblings!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Trading Review 14/08/09

So let’s cut straight to the chase, did I go IR intentionally today?

Two races out of the 31 were closed IR. One was not intentional and I closed out immediately for a scratch. The other was not so straightforward. I got to the 30 secs reminder, felt the need to close, the 30 seconds then passed in what seemed like a second. Market suspended and taken IR, I then hesitated to close and what seemed like another second (which was in fact another 30 seconds) I then snapped out of the ‘rabbit in headlights syndrome’ and clicked on close.

Depending on your perspective you could say today was a success or a failure. I am inclined to see it as a failure as my previous review outlined one main objective, and that was not to close any trades IR on purpose. 1/31 is still not 0% which is what I need to achieve. Looking at it form a different perspective though, today was also a big improvement. My consistency in decision making was much better and I felt my concentration levels and emotions were under better control. I also felt more of that flow feeling when trading, the price movements made more sense and I did keep my average trades per market down. I often used to have 3 or 4 open trades at a time whereas now I tend to have 1 or 2 open at one time. Also I did make an 83p profit in the end which is not too bad considering I was using £2 stakes throughout and made a few costly errors along the way.

For long periods of the session I did not make any big errors, there were some bad decisions and although rarer and less severe, they are still there and I feel by pinpointing these, and thinking about how to prevent them from reoccurring, is key to eliminating them.

Looking at the P & L there is a -£1.00 figure for the Newb 15:30 that stands out. What happened here was bad trade after bad trade. Again here I feel my bias to back first was evident. The trend was slowly rising and I kept re-entering the market with a back first, to just see the price drift and for me to close a tick higher. I also had about 6 trades open at one time, so my poor trading decision was multiplied. Prevention of this is straightforward and I already did implement this in the races I traded afterwards. I simply need to limit my exposure to 1 or 2 trades at a time and close them before opening up a third. I feel this rule will not only limit my exposure, but force me to focus on closing rather then opening more trades. I have mentioned this before and will highlight this as something to focus on strictly for my next session.

I was happy though that I redded out without any hesitation and moved on quickly. In fact I then started a run, with the next 22 markets collectively producing a £1.45 profit, with no losses. This is the sort of consistency I am trying to achieve and seeing glimpses of it today was quite satisfying.

Another positive observation was in regards to concentration levels. I had a bit of trouble warming up as usual, as you can see from my first few races on the P & L. After this though I felt much more focussed and didn’t really change my trading screen layout much as I have done in the past. I got quite comfortable with it and it seemed to work once I got going. The only change was that I prefer to use the 2 seconds candlestick chart (with 5 minute history) over the 5 seconds one as I found it better to have a faster moving graph there. I also noticed that in the more profitable races a habit which I intend to make part of my routine. It was simply to just load up the market and watch the price movement on the fav for at least 2 min before doing anything else. This gave me time to identify potential support and resistance levels, and also make a few judgements on what I feel will happen in the market.

I am also waiting for a new PC which I ordered about a week ago from Mesh Computers. Feels like it is taking forever to arrive and I suppose it would feel that way for me! Looking forward to receiving it as it will be a much better spec system (quad core with 8gb ram etc) which I can use to record all of my trading sessions. This will help me pinpoint the races where I make loses and see exactly what happened. I think this will help my reviews become much more effective, as at the moment I am basing everything on what I remember and I know no matter how neutral I try to be I am bound to overlook something. Might even put some videos up if I feel there is something worth displaying. Also I will have the option to have a dual widescreen output which I will undoubtedly put to use for trading. They did inform me today that it will be with my next week so not too long now!

Points to consider for next session:
- Multiple signs to justify Entrances & Exits
- Max 2 open trades at any one time
- Min 2 minutes review of market before placing any trades
- Close all trades manually 30 secs before the off
- Warm up by reading this review and watching a couple of vids before trading
- Whenever I feel I am losing focus take a moment to re-focus. Take a break if necessary.

I feel I need to start getting stricter on myself in regards to any re-occurring errors. No doubt once I have the new PC and video evidence (lmao!) I will be capable of being more precise as to what specific bad habits are reducing my profitability, and of course more importantly how to minimise/eliminate them.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Trading Review 12/08/09

Oh dear where do I start today. I suppose I will go through the P & L in time order. Needless to say after yesterdays loss there was no increase in stakes.

Started off by looking at a couple of vids and reading my review from yesterday. I felt confident and better prepared and jumped straight into the first trade. First race was a disaster, ended up going in running with 8 unclosed £2 scalps. Of course it went tits up and £16 was lost. Relatively speaking this is a complete catastrophe. My learning bank is roughly £20 so putting this into perspective I lost 80% of my bank! The fact that I had 80% of my bank at risk is just ridiculous thinking about all the principles and rules of money management. But it was risked in-running which is the most disappointing flaw of them all.

This was then followed by 3 losing races where I traded poorly, still frustrated from my decision to go in running, I was reading the market very poorly and made bad trade after bad trade, it seemed to never end. On a positive note no matter how bad the red was I did close all trades pre-race and did not feel the need to going in running. However, this discipline wore off gradually as the day went on.

Fourth race onwards I actually started trading properly making more successful scalps then unsuccessful ones, and making steady profits throughout the card. I was feeling more and more in flow with my decisions and this lasted for about an hour or so. At some point I noticed I was feeling tired and it was becoming harder and harder to keep fully focussed and maintain these seemingly foreign and awkward disciplines. Indiscipline eventually caught up with me and I made some poor trades, instead of closing and accepting this I did go IR a couple of times and managed to get away with it – cannot remember the precise races but it was on at least 2 or 3 around 5-6pm (two of the 50p gains).

At the 19:45 however I was caught out again risking and losing about 75% of my bank in running. Felt like I was really going backwards at this point. Was already tired and finding it hard to keep focussed, and once I had started to take races in play again I was almost repeating it until it KO’d me out of the game. I knew deep down that it would catch me out eventually (felt much like my rational and irrational minds were fighting and my old rational – now evidently becoming the little devil on my shoulder – was winning this duel when I was tired and unable to focus on maintaining consistency).

I then proceeded to trade one more race mainly to show myself that after such a catastrophic error I have the ability to get stuck into the next race without letting the emotions affect my focus on the next race. I actually traded it well making 5p, about one 300th of what I had just lost on the last race. Putting it into perspective like this is making me realise just how damaging going in-running is. 300 races with a couple of good scalps per race will be needed just to break even for that one error. Going-in running is quite simply suicide in this game.

However instilling this discipline and completing this reconditioning phase is proving really difficult. I know it is possible though, as if it was not I would of taken all reds in running. I recall quite a few occasions where I was fighting with myself and won the duel and redded out, so beating this bad habit can be achieved. Achieving this consistently however is where I am failing at the moment. Roughly speaking I am taking about 25% of my races IR. I know to succeed this has to become 0%. The task here is to make this discipline part of the routine. Automating this rule and to never have to fight it, and just do like any other natural reaction.

I initially felt I could overcome this by adding it to the list of other disciplines I am trying to implement, and slowly enforce them into my routine. However it is evident from today that psychologically I am not strong enough to overcome this particular discipline with this alone, especially when I am losing focus. I have noticed now that I only seem to take trades IR when I am either not warmed up properly (not into routine yet) or tired and not able to maintain rules constantly. Notably though I do manage to win the duel when I am in a flow and trading well. Also when I have the energy to maintain focussed, even if I am not in the flow, I do manage to overcome the IR temptation at these times. I think focussing on my mental attitude on these occasions and replicating it when necessary is key to overcoming this IR issue.

The need to place more energy on removing IR closures is apparent. I am now dedicated to this cause and if I lose money all session, without taking a closure IR, I would consider this a successful session. This aim has been elevated to top of my priorities, sort of a primary mission objective as opposed to a secondary one as it has been viewed in the past.

What I intend to do now in order to achieve this?
- Close trades early if they go against you. (Ideal and the best prevention action)
- Have only 1 or 2 open trades at any one time in each market
- If 30 secs to go and closures are not met use Take SP all function.
- Edit audio in Bet Angel to state ‘Take SP All’ at 30 seconds to off
- Whenever I feel I am losing focus take a moment to re-focus. Take a break if necessary.
- Think of the specific example of 300 races needed to just break even whenever you feel tempted to go IR

Final observations for the racing include the slight change in the trading screen.

I have moved the clock time nearer to the ladder, to be more aware of the time as I am starting to notice money movement patterns at certain times and am trying to build up a better understanding of this. I have also starting using the ‘Trading Profit Calculator’ to close trades, although effectively the same as the ‘Trading profit’ closure option on the ladder, I find it quicker sometimes to just click on ‘Current Close’, particularly when I am in the red and need to kick myself and snap out of any indecision to red out. Also I am using the back price, long average and envelope on the enhanced ladder real time chart. I find this provides more appropriate information for catching swings.

Observations in my trading style: I am still approaching almost every market with the view to scalp. I know this is just not the way forward and I need to learn how to swing trade, or mini swing trade range bound markets. I did catch a couple of mini swings today and am trying to look out for these more and more rather then just automatically scalping.

At present I do not preview the racing card and try to trade every race as I need the experience. Once I have a good sample size of results I intend to analyse this closer to see if there are any patterns in regards to which races I tend to profit from and what tactics seem to be working. However to do this I need an adequate sample of races where no IR tactics are used. This is notably another annoyance of IR closures, as it effectively ruins any potential unbiased results analysis for the whole session. The sample has to be purely pre-race for it to be accurate, and contain redding out closures for me to see which races are truly profitable pre-race.

I have also noticed that I had a bias to enter a trade with a back first, sometimes I even did this when the trend clearly showed otherwise (looking to catch a tick or two of the resistance). Today I felt comfortable laying first, and profiting on each occasion has given me more confidence to lay first when the signs are there. This is good as I know I need to develop a more diverse style if I intend to profit from all available opportunities. I’m also noticing that favourites do drift more often than I had initially anticipated, and sharper than they come in. By catching these moves you can open and close most trades within seconds to profit quickly, minimising market exposure. Also trading blind (no pictures or commentary) did used to affect my confidence, but after thinking about this for a while I am now realising that laying first can actually be safer when you don’t have pictures, as most of the time these drifts would catch out those who back first, whist everyone with pictures is laying taking the price out quickly. Add this to my reasons why I want to back first and I feel I am starting to approach the market with a more neutral perspective.

A brief mention of the football is due, and this was a silly error on my part. Have successfully scalped a few matches pre-match I was looking to get more experience doing this whenever possible. Added a load of International friendlies that seemed appropriate candidates to my market guardian. Liquidity and activity was poor however instead of scraping this idea for these matches, I decided to continue until the England vs Holland match as I felt that this match would at least have descent enough liquidity.

What happened in the Malta vs Georgia was that I didn’t check whether the game was going IR or not. This was not to trade IR, but to allow me to trade to kick-off comfortably and close in the first few seconds of play if I happened to have any open trades. Assuming it was going IR I traded close to the kick off, and off course it went off about a minute early! This of course left me with a £12 bet on the favourites Georgia who evidently went onto lose the match 2 – 0. Silly error on my part as I had no backup exit strategy. I did not let this affect me too much as I knew it was just bad preparation on my part. Was seconds away from getting closures and my trades were actually good. I now know I should always use this scalping strategy on matches where the liquidity is good and for matches that are scheduled to go IR if I intend to trade to kick off. This is much easier to implement and I will continue to scalp footy matches pre-match only if these 2 conditions are definitely met. Sods law I actually missed the England game scalping opportunity as I was focussing on a race at the time!

So in summary I intend to focus now on implementing the points highlighted above to eliminate any IR closures for racing. That is my main aim for my next session and achieving only this will decide whether it has been a success or not. Profiting and ROI are not feasible for analysis when IR closures are responsible for any part of my P & L.

On a more positive note, my flat will be sparkling clean by the end of the week if I maintain this relentless display of indiscipline!

Trading Review 11/08/09

Stakes for all back/lays £2

I was almost exclusively scalping for 1, 2 or 3 ticks on the favourite with a couple of exceptions.

All races upto Lingfield 15:30 were not traded well with a couple taken in play to get a tick or two. I was feeling rusty and took a while to warm up. I got away with those races however the aforementioned race produced a huge relative loss due to the fact the race was again taken in play (with double staking tactics not working pre-race). After punishing myself by cleaning the toilet I sat down and traded very well for almost every other race until the 19:40 Muss where I did take another trade in play. This time I got away with it managing to scratch.

Felt very silly and confused, as if I was fighting an almighty force determined to indiscipline me. I then traded the remaining races well knowing that I will be doing all the dishes once the racing had finished.

Looking at the races where I traded badly:
At the 15:30 Ling I was in a -£0.11p position after a couple of poor entrances, looking at it for a few seconds I was hoping it would move up, the price quickly steamed leaving me at about -£0.50. Here I had another opportunity to red out, instead I increased my stakes in an attempt to scalp my way out of the deficit. Price did not go my way and I ended up with a larger red at the off.

In hindsight it is obvious where the mistakes were made. Should of redded out at -£0.11, but to have done this I would have had to have been very quick. There is no excuse though for not redding out at -£0.50. The opportunity was longer and I should of taken it. If I have had I would have been in profit for the day easy.

At the 19:40 Muss I had a similar experience, although the chances to red out were not so clear cut. My entrance points were poor and I should have killed the bad trades early. The race went in play cancelling my closures. I quickly placed an order in running and was matched in seconds for a -£0.05. I think the worst red pre-race was -£0.50. If I had taken this, even with the -£0.50 from the 15:30 I would have still been in profit for the day.

All the other races were traded well. I have taken great encouragement from today as I managed to keep disciplined for long periods and identified and accepted my errors. The next step is to maintain the discipline for the whole session. This will be tough but I’m sure I can pull it off with a little bit of positive psychology and reconditioning. I also felt more and more comfortable reading the markets the more I traded, which was a relief as I was feeling rusty when I started.

I think identifying the negative/undisciplined thoughts early and having a method to get rid of them quick whilst staying focused is key. There are breathing and other relaxation techniques that I have read about which I will be using in my next session to try and achieve this.

Other observations include the comfort with the graphs the longer I was trading. I appear to have them positioned in a way which is much easier to setup and read.

Betfair graph with 10sec refresh – top
Advanced candle stick chart with 90 data points - last traded price 10 secs – middle
Market overview with all runners under 20.00 – bottom
Trading on enhanced ladder with 1 tick intervals and colours adjusted accordingly.

I did use stop losses for a bit but developed a style from the middle of the session onwards where I preferred to manage the positions manually. I will stick to this as it is ultimately what I want to do. Also the stop loses do cut you out early sometimes when the market is making mini moves. Psychologically I do not feel the stop losses are doing much for me, and I am getting better and faster at closing at the right times (with the two highlighted races above being the exceptions to this).

Site was noticeably slower for last 2 or 3 races. In the last race I gave up about 2 mins before the off as the lag was really bad. Not sure why this happened, there are a few possible explanations (including my ISP connections, poor PC performance and Betfair response times). It does make scalping almost impossible. It is better not to trade at all then to try under these conditions.

Points to remember for next session:
- Regular breaks when I feel hot and my concentration is fading
- Relaxation techniques for when I feel emotion creeping in
- Look for multiple signs to justify entrance and exits
- Be confident with decisions as they are justified
- Warm up by reading this review and watching a couple of vids before trading
- Never go inplay intentionally
- Identify negative thoughts early – say them aloud if necessary
- Always punish these negative actions accordingly
- Do not trade in anger, fear or greed.
- Remember the bigger picture – longterm profits are only achieved with consistent performance over a large sample size.
- Always try to stay positive no matter what has happened in the last race/trade

Come into my trading room...

Hello and welcome to my Betfair trading blog. I am just starting out and am trying to develop my skills to become a consistent and profitable trader. I currently have a week off work and have decided to start the blog, and will be posting my trading experience for any days I decide to trade during the week. After returning to work I will trade whenever I can find the time in the evenings and weekends. If this goes well I might go part time at work to focus more on trading, but I appreciate any aspirations of trading full time are miles away from the reality at the moment and it is solely a part-time pocket money (maker or loser!) until I have solid results to prove otherwise.

Being quite new to the markets I will warmly welcome any feedback or comments as I am very much at the beginning of the learning curve. My posts will mainly be my reviews and observations in each trading session. I use Bet Angel Pro and will strictly stick to minimal stakes until my results show otherwise. To start I will be using a £20 bank and intend to increase my stake to reflect 10% of that bank. If I reach a £100 bank I will construct a more specific list of targets. My only target at the moment is to maintain my rules and discipline consistently whilst positively evolving my decision making processes. Profiting or ROI are not particularly important at this stage, however I will undoubtedly monitor them in the background.

Hope you enjoy my journey.



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