Monday, 28 September 2009

Weekly check-up

I have 6 recent trading sessions to report. On the racing I decided to simplify the staking and use the minimum £2 and for the football £4. The first was an evening session on Friday 18th.

I had a really good session profiting an all 9 markets, 7 racing and 2 football. I felt much more in control and reacted quickly when the price moved against me. I recall thinking that I needed to remember the state of mind I was in, as it felt comfortable and I seemed to be making the right choices faster without much hesitation.  I also traded without any auto stop losses and opted to close out of all trades myself.  I did scratch noticeably more trades than usual.

I next traded on Wednesday 23rd, where I also managed to have another clean sweep on the 11 markets, 6 racing and 5 football. Again I opted for no auto stop loss and it worked out well. No major incidents I can recall, it felt more like a routine, one I would very much like to get used to.

Moving onto Thursday 24th where I traded 8 markets. I made a real hash of it on the second race where I was trying to monitor 3 positions on different runners at the same time, and they all rapidly and simultaneously moved against me. I tried to close out on all three as quickly as I could but they all kept moving and by the time I closed the third position the book was showing a red £1.63 with about a min until they were off. I took the loss and decided to just keep at it as I had quite a few more markets available. I was grateful for the 30 minute break inbetween the evening races on this occasion, as it gave me plenty of time to refocus. Profited on all of the remaining markets, and with a couple of good trades on the football I managed to make an overall profit by the end of the session.

Friday 25th was short, I only managed to trade just over an hour whilst  killing some time before I went out. Profitted on all 5 racing markets which was a nice result once again.

I was quite looking forward to Saturday as I knew I would have an opportunity to trade higher liquidity markets with Ascot being on the TV. I didn't actually watch the racing as I forgot to switch over to the channel! I'm so used to listening to music now whilst I trade that following it on TV did not occur to me. Should really have given it a go as I am curious to make use of any new opportunities. Am planing on having Sky installed in February/March when I move flat. The reason I haven't got pictures already is that there are too many trees surrounding my building preventing the dish from receiving a clear signal. If all goes to plan I will probably need a few more months before I'm using significantly larger stakes anyway, and I'm happy now knowing that there will not be any reception issues in the new area.

Saturday was another good day where I managed to profit on all 21 markets, 20 racing and only 1 on football. My preference was always racing whenever there was a clash and there were many on Saturday as you can imagine. I also used my new rule of 2 hours max trading on a full card (between 13:55-15:55). I then had my minimum 1 hour break and traded for another couple more hours until 19:45 where I decided to call it a day. I enjoyed the more liquid markets more than I thought I would. I have read mixed traders opinions and wasn't quite sure what to expect. Granted this was not one of the biggest festivals but still the liquidity was noticeably increased, particularly in comparison to the AW evening racing meetings I have been trading mostly recently. In general I found that the trends were more defined and that larger orders passed through the market without making a huge impact. I prefered this as it made identifying the patterns much clearer. This has motivated me to try and trade one of the big festival like Cheltenham or Aintree.

I did experience a little bit of lag on a few occasions, which I can imagine is a direct result of increased weekend traffic, but nothing serious enough to put me off.

I decided to give Sunday a go after a nice brunch and Hamilton looked to have the GP in the bag. Really wanted to make the most of the Ascot opportunity as I'm not too sure when I will have a chance to trade higher liquid racing markets again.

The racing went well considering I was using £2 stakes. I traded for just over the 2 hour mark as I felt focussed and wanted to try and finish the card if possible. Another clean sweap and overall I traded 30 markets. 15 racing and 15 football. There were a couple of occasions where things were noticeably slower than usual. I did see later that Leon made a post about this. There are some figures displayed at the bottom of the Bet Angel software, not sure what these should read when the API is good/bad, perhaps somebody could fill me in on this if anyone reading this knows, would be much appreciated. I did sit through it until things seemed better, and just carried on trading when bets were being submitted at an acceptable pace again. Did not really put me off, whenever this happens I now just take a short break and by the time I'm back things are usaully much better and as a plus I feel refreshed.

My prematch football trading has also been going very well and I decided to increase my stakes to £5, although I often had 2 scalps open at a time, so effectively it was like using a £10 stake . I think this is a good move as it is giving me a taste of larger stakes on a stable market. This will ease the transition when the time comes to up my stakes in the racing. Most of the trading was prematch apart from a couple of matches which went in-play for about 5 minutes before I got matched. I feel uncomfortable when this happens as the risk of a first minute goal could cause a huge dent in my P&L. I've mentioned it before and I will need to ensure I close in the first few seconds at the latest. I think I have a decent enough sample size to see that removing this risk at the expense of a few small red P&L figures is definitely worth it. I will expect to see many more small red figures on my P&L now as my new rule is to aim and close out at KO.

Racing Trading Style
Despite all my efforts to date I am still noticing a bias towards my old style of trading. This style is back first and scalp orientated. It is evidently working well but I feel I need to consciously push myself to lay first or go for more than a 1-3 tick profit. I'd say roughly speaking we're talking about 80% of my trades are initiated with a back and 90% are 1-3 ticks, with the majority of this being 1 tick scalps. Even when I see an obvious drifing opportuity I am more inclined to back one of the other favourites who are likely to come in then just simply lay the drifter. I think the removal of closing in parts has allowed me to slip into my old bias, but as it stands I feel lmiting my risk is my priority until I have adequate market experience. I'm at a stage where I am still learning on almost every market I trade. The incremental closures is a good idea and I will re-introduce this when I can break down my closures, but for now I think I am going to push myself to lay more and hold onto promising positions longer. I might even trade a few races with a strict rule only allowing me to lay first. I'll pobably missout on many opportunities but this should help me focus on laying opportunities. If anyone has any other ideas on how to tackle this I'm all ears.

I have of course been experimenting with my trading screen again and am starting to feel much more comfotable with it:

I am now looking at both screens more equally and do not sit as close to the monitors as I used to, which allows me to view as much information as possible (I noticed form my videos a bad habit where I was looking at the ladder far too much). I now undock the charting screen and place it next to the ladder. The market overview has moved to the far left with some handy information at the top. I then under pin the guardian and unmatched bets screens which can be easily accessed when necessary, with a longer term candle stick chart for the 3 favourites. Having short term 1 tick charts and longterm 10 min candlesticks is helping me get a good feel for the market at a glance, particularly with the overview being right next to the ladders. This is the set up I used for the weekend and it is unlikely to be refined much further unless I get another screen. I would actually like to see the odds displayed from the on a seperate screen but I dont feel an upgrade of graphics card and an extra monitor is warranted just for that. Definitely an idea to consider maybe for next year when profits can pay for it. Would certainly be a nice little reward to work towards.

Right I better get back to work!  Will update in about a week or so. Stay lucky.


Robbie Chicago said...

Wow, spectacular performance on the whole, JS, excellent stuff - keep it up!

JS said...

Rob thanks for the kind words and also the great spreadsheet! Looks really good will give it a whirl a bit later on. Will also add you to my MSN, I think I will have some time to trade a few markets this evening. Speak to your soon mate.

O2G2 said...

A quick question regarding running Camtasia on your new computer. How is the performance. Do you feel the computer and the trading software is a little sluggish while you are recording?
I have Core 2 Duo, 2.2ghz machine with 4megs RAM and I have found Bet Angel to be a little sluggish so was thinking of upgrading the processor to overcome the problem (depending on how its running on your new machine). Thanks in advance

JS said...

My PCs performance has been fine even whilst recording both widescreen monitors. However it is a new system - AMD Phenom II X4 Quad (3.20GHz)with 8GBS RAM. Bet Angel runs like a dream although it also was fine on my older system (soon to be backup laptop). The laptop (Intel Core Duo T2050 - 1.6 GHz with 1GB RAM) struggeled recording and running BA simultaneously, so much so I decided to not record whilst using it. If you're using a system exclusively for trading and are running Vista perhaps a downgrade to XP might do the trick as Vista is overly resource hungry and not even needed for Bet Angel & Camtasia. Hope this helps somewhat.

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