Sunday, 5 April 2009

The way forward. Press play.

Well I got my bank up to £2,000 after what could be best described as a tumultuous Sunday. Now, I am one for laying favourites, but when Bradford were 20 – 0 up against Catalans, and with my red on Bradford at the max loss limit, I backed Bradford as low as 1.08. I know anything can happen in rugby league, but Catalans were looking awful, and 1.08 seemed a crazy price, as I bit into my £200 on Catalans and near £2,000 on the draw. If I could near enough halve my max loss limit, it seemed a good deal. Otherwise, my aim for a £2,000 bank by the end of the day seemed destined to failure.

Then, everything seemed to go crazy. Catalans produced the greatest comeback since Wigan in the 2007 playoffs, and the API and even the Betfair website seemed to go very slowly, to the extent that I could not hitch a ride on the Catalans train, and could not even cancel my backs of Bradford and lays of the draw! The end result was £60 profit, and whilst it could have been so much higher, I was pretty pleased as this allowed me to trade out of the Saints v Leeds game, get my £2,000 bank and watch the game.

This followed an interesting Saturday where, in the pub with friends, I put three bets on the Grand National for £2 each. The results? The three horses I backed came 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively! I’m not sure what the odds would be on that, but I’m still laughing now, although I fear that the person who laid the eventual winner at 1,000 to 1 probably isn’t!

I’m one for constantly making fresh starts, so I guess it would be a good idea to lay out my strategy for going forward, even if it isn’t exactly rocket science, as I am determined to put into practice the past twelve months of learning.

The first issue to decide upon is what to trade. Sounds pretty simple, but over the past twelve months, I have traded several sports, and whilst general principles do apply amongst them all, it is certainly true that particular knowledge of particular markets can offer great assistance.

Obviously I will continue to trade Rugby League in the main. In play RL trading is definitely where my current edge lies, and to be perfectly honest, this has subsidised development in other sports.

The mass availability of football also lends itself nicely to being a sport to be traded upon. I even feel fairly comfortably in this market as well.

Looking forward, I watch Formula One and Cricket extensively. I therefore think that it would be wise to continue developing skills in these.

Horse Racing trading is an interesting option. It is something that I certainly feel could be profitable, and something that I will aim to develop. However, given my current daily schedule, I would be looking to trade this on a weekend only, when the API connection is poor to abject, and when there are also plenty of other sports to trade upon, so this is firmly in the “Possibly” category.

As are tennis and golf for the same reasons.

I was quite profitable last year trading the World Championships in Snooker and may look into this. However, again I would be limited to evening trading and given that this is only for a couple of weeks anyway, it may be something I have a go at, but it won’t be something I rely on.

“Special” Bets are another option, but given the randomness of Britain’s Got Talent and my dislike for Big Brother, this is an area that will probably be left alone until X Factor.

Finally, I would like to trade NFL, but obviously that has shut up shop for the next few months!

I think that’s everything covered, although if any opportunities emerge, I will certainly look into them.

I think the two main changes that I need to make are to increase both stake sizes and attitude to risk. There is no need to go high risk, but certainly I should start to trust my opinions more, and stop trading out too soon, although dealing with green is something that I really struggle with after locking in a profit. The fact is, I have doubled my bank alone in the past two months, and whilst trading out too soon has sometimes eliminated losses, it has probably cost me larger victories.

Two other options, given my bank size, are to set aside two £100 pots. One, for shots around evens. Using £5 to £10 stakes and on the understanding that if it goes, the challenge ends. The other £100 pot would be used to back low priced favourites, with the possibility that if the market moves the other way, I would try to trade out at evens, to leave something in the pot, but if that went, then that too would be the end of the challenge. Options to consider, but I won’t be rushing into that just yet.

Another main change will be relative to the concept of “value”. Put simply, I am a trader, but I will now look to back where I see value. I will probably include this in the main bank, and begin using small stakes, and predominantly on RL markets. The fact is that I have predicted too many outsiders this season, which I haven’t backed. For example, I recommended Hull KR against Saints, and recommended Salford today (In the interests of openness, I also recommended Barrow, and even that didn’t turn out too badly for a near to 50 to 1 shot!). Both could be backed at around 8 to 1, so laying the favourite to gain potentially £100, would allow me to be wrong quite often whilst still netting a nice profit!

Ideally, whilst absolute targets should be avoided, I would like to earn £250 per week, (Note, I will also start looking into free bets with bookmakers to assist me, a profit is a profit and it is especially sweeter coming from bookmakers!) although I will have to wait and see how well, or badly, I do.

Hopefully this blog will be updated more frequently (and far more coherently!), come win or lose, (and hopefully anyone who reads this far will start leaving comments or does no-one read this far!), beginning with an outlining of my strategies on the two sports I trade the most, football and rugby league.

Anyway, with an early start in the morning (5.30 am to be precise!) I will save them for another day.

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