Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Happy Holidays

Just a quick post to wish you all a happy last couple of days in 2009 and a joyous stumble into 2010. Have had a relaxing break from everything and will be back in the UK to resume things in a few days. It has been great having some time away from my desk to reflect on everythng and get a decent opportunity to refresh my batteries.

Have a good one whatever you do, see you all in 2010.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Hybrid platform

Horse Racing
Unit stake: £8.44
Session P&L: £16.68
Average market P&L: £0.93
Racing Bank at end of session: £101.07
Unit stake for next session (10%): £10.11

What a difference proper focus and motivation can make. About this time yesterday I was posting about how dissapointed I was in regards to my performance. I would of been happy with just making back my loss but I almost doubled it without breaking my rules. It's certainly nice to be back on track.

Having used both Bet Angel and The Toy to trade the racing I felt they both had great features. I decided to combine them to make use of all the things I liked and make one optimal platform. I had to change the data requeste on BA to 2 and leave TT on the default of 15, so I'm not expecting any charges. First time I tried this and it worked very well, I think I will continue to use this from now on.

Friday, 18 December 2009

How to lose a tenner in the middle of the night

Horse Racing
Unit stake: £5/10
Session P&L: -£9.70
Average market P&L: -£0.46
Racing Bank at end of session: £84.39
Unit stake for next session (10%): £8.44

A mixture of insomnia and boredom led me to trade at 4am in the morning. In hindsight not the best of ideas, not necessarily because of the time, but more to do with my state of mind and approach. That is, I had no tact to my approach whatsoever, and this meant no graphs or even a site like (which I had bookmarked but just couldn't be bothered to monitor) and of course no pictures or feed at all. Basically I just went in blind, tired and demotivated expecting to profit. Very silly of me indeed and I paid for this on the last race where a huge order pushed the price 9 ticks the wrong way to never return, I finally took this as a hint to stop. I got caught with my net stake in a market and lost about £11 near the beginning, as the race went off exactly on time, again my fault as I should of hedged at 10 seconds but held on for that one tick. Without that I would of actually made a small profit in the end, but still the whole session was based on boredom and really shouldn’t of happened. The fact that I was so tired was just making it worse, as I usually need extra energy to trade well and that was evidently severely lacking.

After I finished trading I still couldn't sleep and had to be back at work for 9am, rubbish. So here I am knackered and I thought the best thing to do would be to write a post. Blogging my progress gives me a feeling of relief, psychologically as soon as I publish each post I feel I can put it to bed much easier and move on. Also I have said from the beginning I would post all session P&Ls, no matter how good/bad.  My unit stake has been reduced due to the slight decrease in my bank and I feel that is scant punishment for my stupidity. Will need to work to build it back up and I'm hoping this post will serve as a reminder of how not to trade!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A bit of midweek footy

Unit stake: £10.27
Session P&L: £2.73
Average market P&L: £0.38
Football Bank at end of session: £54.10
Unit stake for next session (20%): £10.82

Had time to scalp a couple of matches after work just before KO. Not much done but still I guess it all adds up and gives me another slight increase in unit stake.

Messing around with The Toy

Horse Racing
Unit stake: £2/£8
Session P&L: £10.69
Average market P&L: £1.07
Racing Bank at end of session: £94.09
Unit stake for next session (10%): £9.41

Today was a day of experimentation, I only used The Toy and started with £2 stakes to get a feel for it at first. As with the last post I will include today's result into my racing bank, as I would like my stakes to increase sooner rather than later. After the first four markets I was feeling very comfortable with the software and increased my stakes to £5-£8 as things continued to go well. This has added to my confidence and I will continue to use The Toy along with Bet Angel. The fewer charting options and market overview are planned to be included in an upcoming release, this is great news as I feel without these features my market awareness is slightly limited. This might also just be a reflection of how accustomed I am to using BA. I think it is fair to say though that BAs charting options are second to none at the moment.

However the good points are plentiful with TT. The custom layouts and almost endless array of options are really impressive. I do pay a lot of attention to details and these options have allowed me to make many little changes that for me make all the difference. You are even able to edit the font formatting and cell size on the ladder (I found this particularly useful in prioritising information, for instance putting info I want to stand out in bold and in larger cells etc.).  I also find the financial bar layout on the ladder really useful. You can see by glancing at the ladder how the money waiting to be matched relates proportionally to the rest of the price bands. I could also spot abnormalities easily, like spoof money or relatively large orders. This is similar to the market depth shading which I mentioned in my previous post and also found useful. The speed of orders hitting the market also seems very fast with TT.

Probably one of the most important features that I forgot to mention last time, is the ability to add as many ladders as you wish. Although my two widescreens could accommodate more I have settled for eight (five more than before). If you order your book by price you have no surprises and will always have the top 8 in your sights. I still don't think this is a substitute for the overview feature mentioned, but with the overview included I could easily sacrifice a ladder or two and have everything I need at my disposal.

I also messed around a bit on a footy match in-running by placing orders well out of the money to ensure I didn't get matched. There is a countdown feature which shows you exactly how long before your order hits the market. This was a nice touch and the great thing here is that if after 5 seconds you change your mind you have the option to cancel it even before it has hit the market. Some great features which I'm sure an in-running trader would find very useful indeed.

I'll include a couple of screenshots below of  my current racing layout if anyone wants to have a look. I am changing things around a lot so no doubt it will change again soon - I think I sense a bit of deja vous...

Friday, 11 December 2009

Bonjour The Geeks Toy

Horse Racing
Unit stake: £7.77
Session P&L: £6.19
Average market P&L: £0.88
Racing Bank at end of session: £83.40
Unit stake for next session (10%): £8.34

I only had an hour to trade today and managed to fit in 7 markets. I will include it though as it did contribute positively to my bank and will warrant a slight increse to my unit stake.

Today was also the first day I installed and had a play around with The Geeks Toy. I'm sure most of you have all heard of it by now, but just in case you haven't yet, this is a relatively new free trading application for Betfair which has been getting some good feedback from the trading community.

I do think it's important to have experience on multiple applications, not only for backup purposes but it also gives comfort to not be overly reliant on one application, plus I was curious since its release to see what all the fuss was about. The fact it is free is not really a big deal for me, although its great to not have to pay for an 'no capped' trial. I will gladly pay for something if I feel it is value, and I can only assume there will be a charge introduced at some point in the future. The most important factor for me is which application is providing me with the most effective trading platform.

Of course this is not a review of any sort, just my observations from my first couple of hours. I really need to use it for a sustained period of time to give it a fair trial. I didn't trade any of the races with it today, I only really had time to fire it up and go through all the options and place dummy orders to get a feel for it. I will probably start using it to scalp on the footy as this is very easy compared to the racing and will give me plenty of time to get accustomed to the set up.

I should add I am a very happy Bet Angel customer and have been for a few months now, but of course I am always open to trying new things.  Bet Angel are also on the brink of releasing an update which apparently has quite a few changes, so this is also something I am looking forward to.

So far though I've been impressed with The Geeks Toy. There are plenty of options and as with Bet Angel you can move everything around and customise your screen fully. I would say at a glance there are more details that could prove useful if used effectively. Having the longterm graphs opened and positioned automatically is a nice addition - although the fewer charting options is something I didn't like and I do miss the overview screen as I have been using it much more recently. It also seemed to be running very fast and feels smooth. I do like the shading used on the market depth column which makes it very easy to see at a glance where the money has been matched. I'll leave it at that for now, I intend to give it a good test run over the next couple of months and I'm sure I'll have plenty to say once I've had more experience with it.

Am working all weekend and with a busy week following that, will not have too much trading time but I will try and squeeze in whatever I can before Christmas.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Champions League Night

Unit stake: £9.57
Session P&L: £3.39
Average market P&L: £0.34
Football Bank at end of session: £51.37
Unit stake for next session(20%): £10.27

Monday, 7 December 2009

Monday night football

Unit stake: £9.18
Session P&L: £2.09
Average market P&L: £0.21
Football Bank at end of session: £47.98
Unit stake for next session (20%): £9.57

Couldn't help myself and scalped a couple of matches after work. Got one market completely wrong but ended up with an overall profit. Will probably do the same after work tomorrow on a couple of Champions League matches.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The Sunday Post

Unit stake: £7.44
Session P&L: £9.58
Average market P&L: £0.25
Football Bank at end of session: £45.89
Unit stake for next session (20%): £9.18

Traded football on Saturday, and one game on Sunday. First day with my increased 20% of bank stake and I made about £7. It felt more laid back and quite boring at times. Perhaps it was just the mood I was in but I mustered up the energy anyway to finish the matches I picked in the morning.

I experienced my first ISP disconnection today, just after I had finished the racing. This was about a minute before KO in the Everton vs Tottenham game and I had positions open on both the match odds and the under/overs. It panicked me a bit as for some reason I decided to call my ISP first to try and get back online rather than call Betfair and close my positions! After about 10 minutes of getting through the seemingly endless standard questions I put my ISP on hold to call Betfair! To be fair to them they did wait patiently until both my positions were hedged. I was fortunate as the positions I had open were counteracting eachother, a goal would have lost me a swing on one but gained me on another. As it turned out no goals gave me a net profit anyway as the draw price had come in more than the over1.5 had come out. It did make me think about in-running football tactics and what combinations could be used to profit from this sort of thing, definitely food for thought. Also got me thinking about getting a backup ISP at some point (like a wireless dongle I could run off my laptop).

Horse Racing
Unit stake: £6.73
Session P&L: £10.68
Average market P&L: £0.43
Racing Bank at end of session: £77.71
Unit stake for next session (10%): £7.77

I was undecided on whether to trade the football or horse racing today. I think what clinched it in the end was that there were four meetings on, plus how bored I got yesterday with the footy - it was nice to switch trading styles and catch a few swings.

I felt as if the liquidity was more inconsistent today. Started OK went through a lull midway through the card and picked up towards the end. I would of thought this was due to other events starting such as football matches. Seemed to be plenty of higher prices favourites, particularly towards the end where I ended up scalping more than I would of liked.

That ends my five day stint of trading and I'm feeling quite positive about how well it went. I managed to find time to trade each day in the end which was also pleasing. I'm now due to work six of the next seven days so regrettably there won't be much time to trade next week. Hope you all have a good week.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Oh well

Horse Racing
Unit stake: £6.47
Session P&L: £2.29
Average market P&L: £0.38
Racing Bank at end of session: £67.03
Unit stake for next session: £6.73

As predicted not much done today, after the first 3 races I had to stop for 2 hours and by the time I could get back to it again Exeter had been cancelled only leaving me with a total of 6 markets in the end. Shouldn't of bothered really, but then again it wasn't too long ago when I traded the full card to make a pound so I suppose I shoudn't turn my nose up at today's result in a hurry.

I've also made the decision to use 20% of my bank for the football's unit stake from now on. This should give it a boost in the right direction. I was hoping on building my bank up to use more significant stakes by the World Cup and this should help move things along. Tomorrow I'm giving racing a rest and will be trading all the football I can click my mouse at.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

A bit better

Horse Racing
Unit stake: £5.66
Session P&L: £8.19
Average market P&L: £0.37
Racing Bank at end of session: £64.74
Unit stake for next session: £6.47

Bit better today. Took a long break after the 14:25 which was definitely beneficial. I really liked the Wolverhampton meeting, mainly as I was steadily feeling more comfortable the longer the session went on, and by that time I had found a good rhythm. Also having 30 minutes in between the races meant I got plenty of time to reflect and refocus inbetween races. Might not trade tomorrow as I have a plumber coming round to fix a few things that I need to get sorted before Christmas. Will try and get some markets in though if I find the time. Unfortunately my football trading will have to take a back seat again as I've got big plans for this evening - to relax!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Horse Racing
Unit stake: £4.96
Session P&L: £7.30
Average market P&L: £0.37
Racing Bank at end of session: £56.55
Unit stake for next session: £5.66

A good start to December. Traded listening to Timeform radio (thanks for the suggestions Rick) for the first time today and it gave me the confidence to trade right up to the off. I broke one rule of having more than two trades open on 3 separate occasions which made me mad at the time. Looking back though these errors were all made in the last 5 races, and it is obvious to me that I was tiring and consequently losing my discipline. I'm accepting losing trades much better than before but I'm determined to keep drilling in these rules and not let up just because I happen to make a profit on the market. At the same time though I'm also aware of the dangers in having a perfectionist's mindset. As with many things it's finding the right balance. Overall though I feel slightly fortunate, as although I worked hard, I did break a rule more than once and got away with it. Up until that point things were going pretty smoothly. My focus time has improved as I managed three and a half hours trading with no proper breaks. I think if I had a couple of breaks I might not of tired and made those errors towards the end. Something to put right tomorrow.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

November review

November has been a really positive month for me. At the beginning of the month I was quite uncertain about my edge, or even my style, however I do feel the few days I took off work to focus more on trading, coupled with the more frequent sessions, has finally started to make an impact. The time I spent researching and learning about trading psychology in October has also been important, particularly in helping me to understand much about my reactions and how to deal with them more effectively.

I'd also like to say thank you to Rob (Cash or Crash blog) MG (Mind Games blog) and and Steve (Pro trader tip blog)  for sharing their analysis spreadsheets. I have found them very useful in analysing my results, particularly as I wouldn't have a clue how to build a decent one myself!

Horse Racing

The racing started with a £20 bank and £2 unit stakes. At the end of the month the bank stands at £49.25 using the progressive 10% bank staking plan. I did not have any losing days but I will reduce my unit stake accordingly on losing days as I do think it's important to earn each new staking level. I managed to squeeze in a total of 144 markets on my part-time schedule where I averaged £0.20 a race. My style seems to have changed particularly towards the end of the month, with me not scalping half as much as I used to. I was aware of my high strike rate but it does seem rather too high averaging 96.5% per market. I think this has a lot to do with me just scalping for most of the month, and also in relation to my stake size, as it is very easy to get filled with £2 stakes. I'm expecting this to drop next month. As long as it's high enough and my average loss is similar or lower than my average win then I'll be happy.

I'm quite looking forward to December although as the weather gets worse the opportunities will surely dry up. As long as I can continue my rate of progress I'll be happy.


Similarly with the football I started with a £20 bank and £2 unit stakes, the bank now stands at £37.24 using the same staking plan. Most of this profit did come from one fortunate win of £14.34. Disregarding this, I managed to fit in 40 markets averaging £0.09 per market. My strike rate was also quite high standing at about 96%. I would expect this to not drop too much considering the low risk scalping tactic used for the footy. It is good to have another sport to get involved in as the racing slows and I would like to trade more football markets in December providing I find the time. Towards the end of the month I found trading a few markets at the same time more interesing and productive and will continue with this approach.
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Other software I have found useful so fa..

Soccer Mystic - Betfair trading software