Wednesday, 8 April 2009

An encouraging start

If you are going to be successful, you will always need some luck, and this is especially true when trading football. Whether a novice or an expert, I don’t think anyone can say that they know when a goal is going to be scored, and whilst you can take advantage of this, it can also bite you on the backside when you least expect it.

I traded the Birmingham v Wolves game on Monday evening with an initial outlay of £20, although I would look to use £25 to trade 0-0 in the short term. My initial strategy was to cover Any Unquoted and the higher scores (where both teams had to score once) and to focus most of the £20 onto 2-1 and 1-2. The main rationale behind this is that these are scorelines which require both teams to score, and therefore regardless of who opens the scoring, the trade won’t be completely killed off after one goal, whilst it is always useful to have green on higher scores; for a minimum outlay they can prove pretty useful later on.

By trading 0-0, any profit that I gained I primarily used to cover 2-0 and 0-2, knowing that a goal would bring these odds tumbling down, whilst I also began to eat into 1-0 and 0-1 as the first half went on. However, I was more lucky than anything when I laid my profit on 0-0 one minute before half time, only for Birmingham to score in injury time, even if this still left me with a larger red on 0-1 than I would have liked.

As the second half progressed, I kept the green on 1-2 and 2-1 largely in tact, and looked to cover 2-0 and 3-0. The problem with this however, was that I was ever increasing my 1-1 liability, which was now up to around £28 and knowing that the odds would plummet on 1-1 if a goal was scored by Wolves with less than 15 minutes to go (so much so that my green on the next scorelines would not really cover), I got myself ready to trade out for a £5 loss on 1-0 and 1-1.

However, just like the initial goal, I got very fortunate when Birmingham scored literally seconds before I was planning to back 1-1. I could have then greened up for around an £8 profit, but decided to push my luck further, re-arranging my book to around £20 on the next scores of 3-0 and 2-1, whilst only keeping a couple of quid on 2-0. After all I have mentioned below, I would have been far more annoyed had there been another goal and I was level green, than I would be if there was no goal and I only ended up winning a couple of quid; after all this was substantially better than the loss that I almost accepted.

Obviously, there were no more goals, and my total win of £2.02 after commission probably doesn’t sound much, but it was an encouraging start, and a reminder of what patience can achieve.

I then looked to trade the Man Utd v Porto game, and aside from a mistake on the Unquoted scoreline, which drifted from 7.4 out to 9 before the game, I had a decent book, with an outlay of £40 and £160 on 1-2 and 2-1, a small cover of the higher scores, and I had also traded the Porto to nil scorelines to give a nice profit on 2-0 and 3-0 in the unlikely event Porto scored first. The Any Unquoted of £30 was probably less than I would have liked, however.

Exactly because I was trading 0-0, which was substantially higher than 1-0, I opted to place a lay of 1-0, knowing that an early goal would see this price drift massively, and although no goal would see this come in, I knew that the 0-0 trading would at the very least, cover this.

What I did not expect, was an early Porto goal, which left me in a far nicer position than I could have ever expected, although I did have £10 on 0-0 when the goal was scored.

However, whilst I have spoke of in the past, the need to be bolder and more patient and logical, the goal took me aback and caused slight panic. Whilst I was handsomely green on 2-1 and 1-2, the game seemed ridiculously open, and my small green on Any Unquoted was making 3-1 look very worrying. I knew I could green up for £20, or risk having -£40 + on 3-1, with very little in the way of Unquoted to support it, and this was heightened by Man Utd making it 1-1. (Again, I had placed £5 or so on 1-0 which was now gone.)

One major mistake, with hindsight, that I had made, was to back 1-1 at 5.7 to clear the red when it was 1-0. What I failed to remember was that whilst 1-1 would only decrease, the rate of decrease made it a poor idea to back it then. If a goal was scored, the price would shoot out, and it did. Meanwhile, if no goals had been scored, then my enhanced green on 1-0 would allow me to use that and the excess green on 1-2 and 2-1 to more than cover 1-1. It was a panicked response to a situation that I had not expected.

Throughout the rest of the first half, I did move around my green, leaving me with over £30 on any scoreline, albeit at the expense of the very large green on 1-2 and 2-1. The fact is, I find it very hard to play with green when a large percentage of profit as against the initial stake can be locked in. Maybe, if I had included Any Unquoted in the 1-2 and 2-1 mix, and not just attempted to cover it, I could have left my green on 1-2 and 2-1, but at 1-1, knowing that another goal would see 1-2 disappear and 2-1 lengthen considerably, I felt it better to take the profit now. A decision I don’t regret, even if having left it would have been more profitable in the end. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but such a decision would have been pure gambling, and could have left me with an overall red, which would have been truly ridiculous.

I avoided the second half with a profit locked in, aside from looking to back 3-1 and Any Unquoted when Man Utd scored a second, as I had still slightly more green on 2-1 than on the higher scores, although unlike yesterday, my timing was slightly off as I was just trying to back 2-2 when the goal went in. Still, a profit of £39.62 before commission is one I would have happily settled for before the match, and one that has given food for thought with regard to the need to maybe increase the green on Any Unquoted.

With more than £40 gained through two events, it has been an encouraging start. I may look to trade tonight’s Liverpool v Chelsea game, but having looked at the odds initially, they do not look great and therefore I may just miss this game, or use small stakes, especially with four Rugby League matches to trade on Thursday and Friday.

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