Sunday, 3 May 2009

Day 2 of the Magic weekend.

If you would have taken my offer of £100 in exchange for my profits today, you'd probably be pleased that I had doubled your money, as I earned £202.18 when all was said and done. This gave me a total income of over £310 for the weekend, which is a figure that I am struggling to judge.

On the one hand, I comfortably exceeded my intended profit of £250 per week. On the other hand, with 7 games of Rugby League, I would have hoped for more. Including pre match trading, I probably earned around £15 per hour although I essentially received £310 for watching Rugby League, something which I would have done regardless of whether I was trading or not.

My pre-season hope of £100 per televised match now looks unrealistic, although stepping back for a moment allows me to see that I have earned £3,500 in the past eight to ten months. This is an outstanding amount considering that my initial hope was that my trading would pay for my Ashes summer. It's clear now that, barring a disaster, not only will that be paid for, but that a trip to America to watch Arizona Cardinals is also a conceivable option, given my current earnings.

As for today's games, the £100 wanted at the start of the day, probably didn't look so likely after the first game. I had identified Huddersfield as a possible 1.01 train, and they were exactly that although I did continue to lay Huddersfield throughout the first half, although some market trading despite poor liquidity and the bizarreness that was the Giants at 1.03 at HT. (Definitely the best 1.03 shot I've ever seen) allowed me to get out for a £5 loss, which was tempered by some small handicap betting to produce a total loss of £1.70.

The game illustrated a fundamental flaw in my trading. I recognised value in Huddersfield but rejected backing them for what reason? I suppose it could be because I recognise the fact that a random refereeing decision or piece of skill or rubbish can produce a swing, but that swing would not cause much more of a loss than it would if I had laid a favourite, especially when you consider that the further away from a 1.01 a match gets, the more opportunities I have to trade the market. Maybe it could be because of the initial outlay or possibly because backing favourites does not produce a big win, but that would be a poor line of thinking long term, as the only effect it would have is in reducing my long term profit.

On to Hull v Castleford, and this was the only match of the weekend that I was unable to watch. The game was hidden on the red button, away from Cable and Virgin viewers. However, I found an internet radio stream through the BBC and was able to listen to the game, albeit significantly behind the action.

The plan going into the game was simple. Back the draw and look to lay the leader if and when the market clearly over-reacted. The latter only happened once, namely following the first try when Hull could still be laid at 2.3. However, at Half Time, the score was 6-6, and I had £500 on the draw for no liability.

In the second half, I commenced laying the draw to guarantee a profit although my actions were far from sensible. I laid the draw in the teens for £35 all in all, but considering the closeness of the game, this was me giving away value, partly through the lack of liquidity on the game, and partly due to my desire for any profit. However, such an approach will cost in the long term, and I was thankful that my mistakes were not punished severely, as whilst I did miss the opportunity to heavily lay the draw in the single figures, when it was value, I did manage to achieve a nice profit for a game which did not end up as a draw.

Onto Leeds v Catalans, no rest for the wicked, and again I identified value in Leeds, believing that another 1.01 train was a strong possibility, and so it was in the first half as Leeds leaped out to a 30-0 lead, and this should have seen a loss of around £20 for me, but for some people offering extremely generous lays of Catalans and the Draw which left me with a £5 liability at Half Time, and a nice green on Catalans. Catalans' two early tries even allowed me to secure a profit of over £5, which was definitely a return which I was extremely fortunate to secure, and would lead me onto Hull KR v Warrington.

Straight away, I knew this game would be different. Whilst the other three games had struggled with liquidity, this game seemed to have more traded before the game than the others did during their games! Indeed, I was able to trade the market very well before the game commenced, giving me a sizable three figure green on the draw.

I'd love to say that I went onto trade the game very well, combining market trading with well thought out positions, but in the first half, I was very poor. The amount of liquidity in comparison to the previous games, made me feel like I was trading a market with the fast forward button jammed in. Thankfully, the amount of liquidity did compensate for my mistakes and at Half Time, I was in a reasonable position of around £50 on either team, with a larger amount on the draw.

The second half started out much better, as I was able to use my market trading to support my thought that first Hull KR were too large, before Hull KR went too short. Now, I must say that I still didn't get on board to begin with as much as I should have. Now, if I have no green, and I think a 1.2 shot should be 1.3, I have no hesitation in laying them and creating a large liability. However, when I already have green, I fail to take full advantage of this. It can only be that I become wary of throwing away already earned profit as opposed, but yet again this is another simple failure which will only cost me in the long term.

I also have to say that this was without doubt the most ridiculous market I can recall trading on Betfair. With an 8 point lead and twenty minutes to go, Hull KR could be laid at 1.2. What??? That price was simply ridiculous beyond belief, but the whole market in the second half seemed to be exaggerated at all times. Looking back on things, it would appear that there were new people in the RL market who were using large stakes but frankly did not understand Rugby League.

Now, I don't wish to insult these people, heck I want them to come back, but they were offering some ridiculous odds, although the speed at which some of the prices seemed to disappear indicated that they may have had some inside information. Despite this, they did seem to be using it in a poor way as Warrington came back and I remember seeing Hull KR as high as 1.83 with less than ten minutes to go, which was another exaggeration. Yet again, I managed to miss the bulk of this as it quickly disappeared and I was wary of committing too much money at such a late stage in the game.

In the end Hull KR did win, but only after crashing to 1.01 before the try being disallowed, pushing the market back out to the high 1.0s, doubtless creating some brown pants!

Amongst all this frenetic happenings, I somehow managed to earn my second biggest win of the season, with over £160 post commission. Frankly, I made a load of mistakes, but the increased liquidity and ridiculous prices sure helped me out!

I am not too sure what to make of the weekend in review. £310 is a very good profit considering all the difficulties I encountered and mistakes that I made, although I had started the weekend with much higher hopes. Hopefully, every mistake I make now will turn out to be a lesson learned for the future. I am very self critical of myself, and am aware that I did leave a lot of money in the market, but even I am pleased with my recent results although they do pose several questions.

As for Rugby League in general, it was a very encouraging weekend, with good local ticket sales. However, it must be said that a lot of the matches did seem to lack intensity, partly due to fatigue, partly due to the number of empty seats, and possibly due to declining standards. The move to 14 teams and the equalisation of the competition has many positives, but at the moment, the quality doesn't appear all there, although I have no doubt that this will come in time.

Back to the trading and I have now earned more than £1,500 in the past four weeks, which is a phenomenal amount although it does raise several questions as to the future direction of my trading, largely to what extent is this a hobby and to what extent is this a profitable exercise which I should take more seriously. Obviously, at the moment, all my efforts are concentrated on Rugby League, which is not a bad thing, but I am sure that there are other areas which could also be used to produce a profit which I am presently just not finding the time to investigate.

Hopefully, that time will come soon, although I am hoping to have a day of relaxation tomorrow. My method of trading can be slightly tiring, and I am looking forward to watching the snooker, and hopefully completing things on my to do list, one of which has been there for years! Procrastination is a powerful foe, but tomorrow I am hoping to slay the

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