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!


Paul290603 said...

Thanks for the comment JS, and good luck with your challenge, I have added your blog to my list!!! I would be grateful if you could add mine.


JS said...

Thanks Paul. I have added you also, best of luck with it all.


TraderGray said...


Good luck with your trading and the blog. I have added you to my list and will keep an eye on how you are doing.

Unfortunately I'm so busy at work atm that I'm finding no time trade myself.

Anyway, good luck.


Balloon Jockey said...

Good luck fella, will add you to my blog, as I too am dabbling with 2 squid stakes.

Would be interested in any extra info you can provide on pre-soccer trading - was all that profit made prior to KO?

JS said...

Hey Andy,
Thanks for the comment mate. I'm in a similar position at the moment with finding it difficult to get the time to trade. I hope you find some time soon.

The Soccer trading was all pre-match using £2 stakes. However I did often make my market rather than open, get matched and then place my close. It makes more sense to do this as you need to be in the market as long as possible to get matched. The risk/reward ratio is something I love about pre-match footy trading, as at worst you can only lose a couple of ticks and have plenty of time to react in comparison to the pre-race markets.

António said...

Just using my right, as I red the whole post. I am startig too, using €2 stakes, I find it very interesting to notice you're having the same kind of issues you do.

Always learning, anyway!

Good luck!

JS said...

Hey Antonio thanks for the comment, best of luck to you too mate.

Completely free Betfair trading software..

Other software I have found useful so fa..

Soccer Mystic - Betfair trading software