Monday, 5 October 2009

Disapointing Week

I was hoping to make some headway since my last post as things seemed to be getting better. I was even entertaining the possbility of upping my stakes, perhaps even as soon as next month. In those seven days I actually managed to make a loss of 66p. I felt rather disappointed at first but on reflection I have learnt so much from these sessions, and if somebody had told me on Monday last week that for 66p I could learn so much, I would have bitten their hand off.  

I'll start with the football as it is much simpler. This is the first P & L where I have been using my new rule of close @ KO no matter what. And sure enough the first match I traded (Man. City Vs West Ham), Tevez scored in the first 5 minutes, they could have been 2 or 3 up by then to be honest. If I had held on to my position IR I would have lost a large percentage of my stake. I was happy to see my new rule justify itself so quickly and can't actually believe I was so silly as to not have implemented it sooner.

The other match that stands out was the U20 USA Vs Cameroon where I profited with 67p by KO, there were so many gaps in the market here and I just kept putting in value orders at the front of the queue and got matched pretty quickly. The other matches were simple scalping efforts, as you can see I had a couple of scratch markets where at KO I just closed any open orders.

The racing was not quite as straightforward. As you can see I made an overall loss of £1.74. Taking a closer look at the P&L I actually profited on every race except one, and surprisingly this one race was not the race I was most disappointed with. The relatively massive loss of £7.95 was due to me having an open lay order in the market when the API temporarily lost connection about a minute before the off. Regrettably having no backup close strategy yet, I was helpless until I had been reconnected to Belfair. After a couple of attempts to log back in with Bet Angel I received a message stating that the API was having trouble and that I should try to connect with another connection mode. I decided to try to close with my browser but by the time I logged in and got to the race it was already over (7f). Although I knew it was bad luck that this sequence of events all seemed to happen together, It did bother me more than it should of and I felt deflated. I was amazed at how one event like this can change your whole perspective and I just couldn't find the strength to focus and trade well after that. I stopped trading and felt like I would try again later depending on how I felt, after a couple of hours I resumed and made a consistant profit on 6 consecutive markets. I was then forced to stop as I was planning to go out for the evening.

I know I would never be in such a desperate situation if I was using larger stakes. I would not only have adequate funds in a Betdaq and /or WBX account to hedge, but also have the option to close over the phone as my bets would not be under the minimum permitted. In addition a laptop with a 3G Internet connection would also be available in case my ISP was at fault. With minimum stakes I do not feel this is necessary but it was good to experience my first API crash as I did not realise how jutified it is to have a sound backup . As Leon has mentioned, having a laminated information sheet is a great idea, as that minute passed so quickly, every second saved counts.

Now onto the biggest disappointment of them all. I started to trade Sunday and things were going very well indeed, in fact looking at the P&L you would notice a clean sweep. Normally this would be great but what the P&L doesn't tell you is that I closed one of these races IR!! - Uttoxeter 15:05. I could not believe what I had done and within 10 seconds I was lucky and got matched. I then traded the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe as I had been looking forward to this race all day. While I was glancing at slow motion replays of Sea the Stars' magnificent performance, I found a moment to reflect and felt truly shocked and decided to stop trading for the day, at that point the card had almost finished anyway. My mindset had somehow clicked into a routine I thought was finally starting to fade.

Last time I closed a race IR I went a bit militant and repeatedly analysed my videos until I came up with what I called the escalating downward spiral, and a solution for each stage of the spiral. I feel that other factors were present this time that were not considered previously. In particular the large loss from yesterday was still somehow bothering me;  and also the fact that I knew I was not ahead for the weekend was always on the back of my mind. Psychologically I did not accept the loss on this market, as I would usually do, and before I knew it, I was getting matched IR. It's almost incredible how easily these traits dominated my decision making process so quickly having been dormant for so long.

I have therefore decided to devote sometime to work only on my mindset, and as a reward I will trade when I feel ready. There are quite a few exercises and other techniques I have come across whilst reading up on the subject which I will now structure into some kind of lesson plan. Had not tried many of them as I felt it was not necessary at the time, but after this weekends performance I will be be looking to use whatever is effective for me.

Ten-pound Trader
Peter's little experiment has been a real eye-opener for me. At the moment I'm averaging roughly 20p a market whilst using predominantly £2 stakes. In terms of ROT it works out to just over 1%. I felt this was good but should be improved before increasing stakes. It seems I was wrong about this. After 2 sessions he was averaging 11p per race with £10 and £11.76 stakes. Granted he was also trading with large stakes on another account and probably wasn't trying too hard, but even taking this into account my ROT is actually quite healthy and I should not be wasting too much energy on trying to improve this. I also had another experienced full-time trader comment on my Relections post about this. Collectively I can see that once I feel my discipline and mindset are better I should start to increase my stakes gradually. This will be done incrementally, something like 5% of my bank and will also go down if I have a losing day.

So in summary more work on my mindset is necessary before I feel I can progress. I started reading Mark Douglas' first book 'The Disciplined Trader' today and am finding it very good so far. After that I will implement some techniques gathered from a few different sources and review my progress before I start trading again.


Mind Games said...

Good blog! I know you're using small stakes but you can still close your trade using the BF telbet service if your internet has gone, "Our UK Minbet telephone betting number is 0844 871 5555 with a minimum bet: £2". They're really fast and you still stand a reasonable chance if the race has just gone in-play (tip: say your name first and then your TAN so they can get the initials first time). They won't calculate the green/red-up amount but at least you can close your position or make an approximation. Hope that helps. MG

JS said...

Thanks MG. Did not know that it existed! Definitely worth making one phone call if it could save me £8. Will make a start on that laminated sheet and test the phone service out this week :) Thanks again mate.

Ron said...

Yeah been there done that too . I always keep a browser with betfair just in case the API starts playing up it's proved useful on a couple of occasions . Enjoying the blog and have been impressed with you disciplined and considered approach .

All The Best


JS said...

Thanks for reading and commenting Ron, glad you're enjoying the blog. I will have to do this from now on as another backup. Although I was trying to not have the temptation of checking my P&L inbetween races, having a backup exit strategy is more important... you live, you learn!

Anonymous said...


Gary said...

Hi mate, juist found your blog and it echo's what im going through at the moment, i like the look of it and ill be a regular reader. I'm waiting for that book to arrive from amazon.

JS said...

Thanks for stopping by Gary, have also added you to my blogroll, good luck with it all mate.

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