Friday, 19 June 2009


Person A read this blog this morning. He decided to risk £100 opposing Huddersfield at the generally available price of 1.29. Person A is now over £300 better off.

Person B wrote this blog last night. He not only opposed Huddersfield at the off, but recognised the value in laying Castleford when they reached 1.2 and backing the draw in the mid 20s. Person B is now £112 better off.

Now, I don’t know if Person A exists. I doubt so, but I equally recognise that there would have been at least a couple of people who profited using the above strategy. Alternatively, I do know that Person B exists because it is me.

If I was to list my positives and negatives in RL trading, I would identify that I have a good grasp of the game and an excellent grasp of the market. However, it is clear to anyone that I really struggle with the mental aspects of trading, and if you don’t have that, then you will always underachieve.

How the hell can I accurately predict the flow of the market and end up with just £100. Let’s be honest. That’s downright pathetic. In fact, it’s worse than that. A casual punter could have strolled up to the market, placed a £25 bet on Castleford at kick off, gone to the pub and he would have received more money than I did.

Reviewing the game, I entered with -£40 on Huddersfield, £130 on Castleford and £450 on the draw thanks to Huddersfield drifting just before kick off. I re-adjusted to -£60, £190 and £440 before Castleford’s first try. I then was at -£50, £150 and £625 when Castleford scored their second try. At the start of Half Time I was £25, £55 and £800. At the start of the second half, I was around £10, £40 and £1,300. Just before Huddersfield scored I was £80, £70 and £700 and I ended up £123, £118 and £498.

The low number of tries make this a pretty easy game to analyse, so I will try to fathom out where I went wrong.

My opening position looks weak. Whilst Huddersfield never dipped into the mid 1.2s like I thought they would, given my strong belief that the price was crazy, I should have started with a larger red on Huddersfield. I would not want to be in too deep in case Huddersfield got off to a good start, but really I should have been -£100. On a related note, only £25,000 was matched in total prior to kick off which is pathetic. Liquidity is declining sharply in the RL markets and it is a huge concern now. Even Lumpy appeared to be elsewhere tonight.

My position after the first try shows how illiquid the market was, as I struggled to get out of my Castleford back. I would usually look to use the initial shift to remove more red than £10, although maintaining a liability of at least £50 would have been a good idea, although I did feel extremely nervous at this point, which I will come back to.

The rest of the first half went okay. I possibly traded out of Castleford too soon, but moved money gradually across to Huddersfield as their price became more and more appealing, and the half time draw trading was also fairly successful.

My next major mistake came in the second half. Castleford could be laid in the mid 1.2s, which was a gift price for trading. However, I failed to get involved, which I will again come back to.

After Huddersfield’s try, I attempted to trade to maximise profit based upon who was attacking, given that a score would sway the market far more than the number of unsuccessful switches made. I also was caught between using my draw excess to build profit and wanting to keep profit in case of a Huddersfield try, and it was a balance I actually think I achieved well.

However, there is a key point (beyond my initial refusal to be a deep red) that needs to be addressed.

When Castleford scored, my initial thought was to achieve green. I did not wait for the market to reflect the match, or take a long term viewpoint. Furthermore, in the second half, I was equally short sighted. I did not want to lose any earnings given my work up to this point, although I recognised that over the long term, such an approach will only decrease profit.

The battle between red and green is one that I struggle with. My natural instinct is to take profit. I am fine re-arranging green, but I struggle with having red on a green book. I always have, and have never been able to address this. If anyone can offer any feedback, it would be great. This also explains my refusal to back Huddersfield later on, even though I acknowledged the price as being a gift.

Games like tonight honestly make me want to give up. I call it perfectly, and earn less than a lucky guess for £30 does. It makes me feel like all my hard work is in vain. It is also getting to the point where the same issue is holding back as it was at the start of the season, but yet nothing is changing. I may have a good grasp of RL, but I don’t always read games as well as this. The risk was minimal at all times and therefore I feel I should be making at least five times more from a game like this. A stronger lay at the start and more aggression when trading would easily have achieved this.

For example, a £300 lay of Huddersfield at kick off (-£300, -£1,000, followed by a £300 buy back at 1.5 (-£150, £700) followed by a £300 lay of Castleford at 2 (£150, £400, £1,000) followed by a £100 lay of Castleford at 1.33 (£450, £300, £1,300) followed by a 1.5 back of Castleford (£350, £350, £1,200) and a £100 lay of the draw at around 7. (£450, £450, £600.)

I don’t think that is unreasonable or after timing, but a sensible strategy which would have been even further improved by my market trading.

Instead, here I am, achieving £100 which probably doesn’t reflect the effort I put into trading.

I know I have the ability. The question is the mentality, and I am starting to feel like this is something that I may never be able to crack. There is no reason for me to trade so scared. I have always been a cautious person, but this takes the piss. I do this for fun, I am not in desperate need of the money or anything like that, so there is no logical reason for me to not take risks in line with how I see things. Indeed, if I had done so this season, my profit would have been at least doubled and I would feel far more comfortable about my performance.

In Rugby League, you see plenty of players with superb ability, who never make it due to their mentality. I am starting to feel like I am falling into this trap.

That ends what has been a pretty disjointed rant but one that sums up my feelings perfectly, and its feelings that probably equally apply in almost all areas of my life. Any comments or advice would be gratefully received as usual.

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