Monday, 17 August 2009

Is an e-book the best way to profit and a review of Sunday

There seems to be a lot of people offering training courses or e-Books or tipping services at the moment, it definitely seems the new thing to do and I had my first experience of tipping this week!

Well, not really, except that someone happened to misunderstand my analysis of the Salford v Harlequins game which culminated in them backing Harlequins and losing money although with 5 minutes to go, they would have looked to be in a pretty position.

Firstly, this is entirely my fault. Regular readers of the blog will be familiar with both my general trends (Away underdogs) and writing style (Streams of consciousness before sleep!) but for a new reader, it is very easy to see why they thought Harlequins would be the tip.

Being a rare Saturday with no Rugby League and Cricket, I had actually ventured over to Sheffield for the day and can honestly say that after receiving the comment via e-mail, I felt like genuine rubbish. Here was someone who had placed their faith in my analysis and had ultimately lost. Maybe I shouldn’t have. After all, no-one forced this person to follow my analysis, but that is the type of person I am. Loathe to take any risk even when the odds are massively in my favour, my DNA is simply incompatible with that of investing.

So I don’t think there’s any danger of me releasing an e-book or promoting a tipping service anytime soon. Heck, I was sweating on Saturday over my £20 on Salford, desperately trying to trade out only to find the liquidity skinnier than a supermodel. That is clearly an irrational reaction and one that I need to look to change but again, as regular readers know, I have been trying without much success for a long time now!

As for the whole concept of e-Books and trading courses, my own opinion is largely against them. Not because I think the promoters are conmen (in the main) but because I started out on Betfair with nothing except the blogging community and my own thoughts and latterly the Betfair forum (Rugby) and the Racingtraders forum.

Put frankly, I don’t think I would be in the position I am in today if I had access to an e-Book or trading courses. The fact is that the best strategies are the one you learn yourselves. You need to learn the markets and learn how to react. I have obsessively studied Formula 1 Markets, Rugby League Markets and Correct Score Football markets to get to where I am today.

Now, obviously having a helping resource is a great thing and one that can really help, but I find they help best once you have knowledge of the basics. You don’t want to be blind to one person but to take their advice on board and use it in conjunction with your own opinions and that is partly why I always advise people never to follow my tips. I am pretty decent at knowing when things are going against me and bailing out and switching positions. You probably won’t be. If you study the markets or know the games, then my comments will help a hell of a lot more but if you blindly rely on my comments, you’ll likely be stuffed. (The other reason is my nervous DNA. If I sweat over £20 on a market given my profit to date, imagine how I would feel if I had people’s holidays riding on my comments!)

There are definitely enough free resources out there at the moment to use in connection with your own study before then accepting the professional help. For what its worth, through the free resources, I have happened to get to know a couple of people who I know are not only genuine but also very good at what they do. Still, it would be wrong for me to recommend them, especially as I do not use their services! All I will say is that they aren’t charging £55 per month despite reportedly earning a six figure sum, somewhat berating people recently for wanting too much money and then offering such ingenious advice as the price may go up but could also go down. Subscription services to the initial target must not be going as well as planned.

Anyway enough of that, I never used to be so cynical! I wish I wasn’t, nothing like the wide eyed naïveté of youth.

It is another sign of greediness / my current ability that I was very disappointed to have only earned around £100 on Sunday. I made around £60 on Hull KR v Saints after the initial spike when Saints went 4 – 0 up but once again traded out too soon. I lost on the 1.01 train that was Wakefield v Catalans but then managed £75 on Huddersfield v Bradford.

It is that £75 which is the most annoying. Not only did I call Bradford as the value selection but I called saving money back if Huddersfield got the first try, and then the 1.1 rule also came in good use as Bradford drifted out to 1.3. After all that, £75 is clearly a disappointing return.

So what went wrong?

Well firstly the liquidity was poor. I didn’t want to get on the wrong side of a 1.01 so used smaller stakes than usual. That was sensible. Secondly, I traded out too soon, after Bradford scored their first try in fact and once I have green, I do tend to go more conservative. This was not so sensible. I have mentioned before my quandary in SKY games of backing underdogs. As a market trader, I know that any comeback will lend profits that way so it always seems sensible never to overload in case the favourite storms clear, but possibly I should be using my judgement more. Anyway, with another 22 TV games to go this season, I won’t dwell too much on my mistakes but rather look to rectify them in the close season.

A final comment on my RL trading. I reviewed my mid season projections and once again, they seem very poor. Goes to show that whilst I can identify value and read games in play, I am definitely less able at predicting long term events!

A quick note on my football trading which continues to disappoint. My major issue at the moment is with pre match trading. I laid 0-1 and 1-1 in Man Utd v Birmingham expecting them to drift. (0-1 did in the Chelsea v Hull game) and 1-1 was around the bookies price and whilst there was large amounts to back, small amounts were available to lay. Ultimately, both went the other way so much so that if I had doubled my stake when I bailed, I would have still had a nice profit by kick off. Obviously late team news played a part, but once again I got the pre match direction totally wrong, and the effect of this limited me to a £5 win in the game.

I had a similar experience in Liverpool v Tottenham with any unquoted, and eventually bailed at Half Time for around a £10 loss although had I gone out, I would have won a nice amount. I am struggling to read the likelihood of a goal and the market reactions thereto, but have started scalping 0 – 0 reasonably well. Maybe I would be best served by just doing the 0 – 0 whilst observing the market in the interim. Something to definitely consider this week.

Finally, to end on a non trading note, I was left relieved by the England squad but disappointed. Relieved at no Mark Ramprakash, but underwhelmed by Jonathan Trott and Monty Panesar. If a rookie can be relied upon, there is little reason for not going with Adil Rashid over Monty Panesar who had an excellent performance in the County Championship at the weekend. Rashid looks to be getting more turn, bowls with greater variation and can chip in with the bat. He is also more of an unknown quantity. Quite simply, I don’t get England’s plan with Rashid. They are disrupting his 4 day season, where he does need experience, to turn up and play one day games, something which he has never even performed to a mediocre level at.

As for the batting, I called Ravi Bopara flopping at 3 before the Series began and was sad to be proved correct. That said, I would have gone with the experience and know how of Rob Key. Admittedly, I have never watched too much of Jonathan Trott so I cannot be 100% certain but I am not sure that he is the answer. I am also sceptical of moving Ian Bell about. Bell is a player who I really rate, unlike most. However, I believe his future does not lie at 3 but 4 or 5. Bell can score runs and the questions about his mentality, whilst justified, are overblown. Bell has performed admirably in comparison to Alistair Cook for a while now but whilst Bell always appears to be the scapegoat, Cook seems to be the golden boy? I am also undecided about getting tickets for day 5. I have to return to work on Tuesday so am faced with a dash up to Leeds on Tuesday AM or a dash through London on Monday evening to catch the last train. Neither seems an attractive proposition, but missing England winning the Ashes seems even worse!

As always, feel free to leave comments. Like other bloggers, I always really appreciate any comments!


  1. Hi Craig,

    Another great post! Re the guy who followed your "tip" and then emailed you to complain when he lost money...New traders (and lets face it he must be new to act like this )are always looking for the holy grail. they want profit without the work. We are all grown ups here. if we dicide to follow a tip we do so at our own risk. Sure, if we have paid for that tip and it goes tits up we may have a little more cause to complain but he was well out of order.

    I agonise daily on the tips i put up for the tennis and always watch the scores if i can't trade them myself. If things arent going the way i predicted I almost feel like i am trading it and losing myself ( although ofcourse i have a strategy to deal with that situation and recommend to others that they have the same if they choose to follow the tip )

  2. First of all, apologies for posting under anonymous last time.

    Well, what can I say?
    My house is up for sale, the wife is working the streets, and I've sold the kids for scientific experiments, all because of your lousy tips. Six tips you gave and you got just one right. Never mind all that about how I read it wrong, or misconstrued your comments, because that's crap!

    Only joking honest! :-)

    I've been trading full time for 4 months and the few two months were slightly shaky to say the least, but just recently things have got a lot better. Anyway, someone suggested I branch out from trading purely on pre-race horse markets, and look at some other sports. I like Rugby so I thought that'd be worth a try, and then I came across your blog and thought hmmm, this guy knows a lot more about rugby league than I do, so it makes sense to follow his advice. It didn't work out this time, so what! As I said before, your comments were offered in good faith, and that is good enough for me. You cannot win sometimes when you offer advice. I know from experience that if I pass on a tip and it loses, it's my fault they lost, and if I don't pass on the tip and it wins and then they find out, my names mud as well. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't, so don't beat yourself about me losing the house and kids and I’m sure the wife will enjoy meeting new people. :-)

    Keep smilin' and keep bloggin' - I for one enjoy reading your posts. Oh and Paul, I wasn’t that upset.

  3. Fair enough :-) There'll always be more kids, houses, wives etc anyway. Best not to get too attached :-)

  4. Ostlers - I will offer a full refund on the cost of any losing tips and I have already despatched your cheque. :-)

    Pleased that things are looking up for you. It takes a long time to get to grips with this game but hopefully it will come. It's a pretty good feeling once you finally work out what you're doing!

    And Paul is absoloutely right about exit strategies. If you don't have one in any market, then any trade should always be the maximum to which you are willing to lose and in most RL games (non SKY) sadly there are usually no exit strategies available due to the liquidity.