Saturday, 18 April 2009

What Could Have Been - Part II

There are a lot of Super League players and coaches calling for the end of two games being played over Easter, and given how I feel after trading 7 games in the past 8 days, I can only begin to imagine their exhaustion!

It says something for the standards that I set and the run of success I have had that I look back slightly disappointed after making over £400 since last Thursday, a figure which I’m sure I would have gladly accepted before that. At the end of the day, I have ‘earned’ £400 for simply watching Rugby League, something that I have done for years without even considering that this interest could provide such a windfall.

Still, there is a long way to go I feel. Take last night and Warrington’s demolition against Bradford. I won £100 before commission after trading the game. However, a typical punter could have placed £40 on Warrington, gone to the pub, and emerged £100 richer, whilst I frantically traded the market via short term positions to achieve my goal.

And that’s the problem I am having. My positions aren’t long term enough and my stake size is smaller than it could be. Without wanting to toot my horn too much, in the 5 Super League games over the past week, I have advocated that the favourite was too short, although I should qualify that I always prefer to watch the opening few minutes to see how teams show up before making a definite opinion. The results? Wigan at 4+ into 2, Hull KR at 2.2 into 1.1, Bradford at 4+ (and then 10!) to 1.01, Wigan from 2.6 to 1.4 and then out to 1000 and last night, when Warrington last night from 3.4 to 1.01!

Now, is that a set of events that should produce a £400 win or more? It’s the same problem that I recognised I had after Week 3 of the season, when sticking to my pre-season goals would have earned me around £4,000. I managed around £250.

I am now at the position where a stake size of £100 is less than 5% of my bank, but I still dare not let £100 ride on a team for more than five minutes, and usually I make a lot of additional trades in that five minute period. I regularly have 60% of my attention on the market, and 40% on the game. The irony here is that of course the one time I let a bet run for more than a couple of minutes, it went pear shape. (Saints v Wigan) although I still managed to recover from -£60 to finish the game in profit.

The fact is that whilst my Ashes summer is now paid for, I may never have another opportunity to make this amount of money again.

Still, I can’t play the woe is me card too much. I am constantly improving, especially in short term trades, and have achieved a fantastic profit. I just feel that I am being vastly inefficient, and still leaving a lot of profit behind.

As for how I have had such a good spell, it is important to note three factors. Firstly, the draw is your friend. Secondly, Rugby League is a game where a random piece of brilliance or piece of rubbish can appear without a moment’s notice and drastically affect the market. Even an odd refereeing decision can have this effect. Thirdly and finally, it is important to note the recent schedule of teams. Take Bradford. In 12 days they had flown to France, played a match there in sweltering heat, come back to Britain, played two tense local derbies and then had to back up for a fourth game. Such a schedule reduces the overall talent level on account of the exhaustion of the players and levels the game up.

That was also evident on Thursday, when I managed to win close to £40 on account of Sheffield’s come back from 31-12 down at Gateshead to 35-30 with ten minutes to go. Heck, I would have had a much larger profit but for Gateshead’s ridiculously timed drop goal in the first half, which hampered my draw bets, and prevented me from backing Sheffield at HT, as I was pretty much already at my max loss on Gateshead.

As for tonight’s game, I don’t really have an opinion at the moment. For once, I almost agree exactly with the market. I do think that Leeds won’t lose their fourth game on the bounce, but Huddersfield have improved considerably this year and surely will produce another good performance in front of what should be a bumper crowd. I do think that value may lie in the draw however, and will look to probably trade the draw during the match, as well as any other value prices that come up during the game.

Finally, I can’t go without commenting on Rikki Sheriffe’s actions last night. Words fail me to comment further, except to say that I honestly believe that was possibly the most bizarre thing I have seen on a Rugby League pitch. I mean, he threw the ball forward to begin with!

As always, any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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