Sunday, 30 August 2009

My first four figure day

Whenever you start a new project, you always envision the heights it may reach and the possible end results. And I am sure that when all of us started trading, we had impossibly high expectations. Then there comes the crash where you realise that things are not going to be as easy as you thought before, for those who demonstrate the necessary persistence, things do start to take off.

Whilst my initial expectations may have been that I would achieve several four figure days (and I am aware that plenty of people achieve this regularly) it is fair to say that I am still picking up my jaw from the floor after my first ever four figure day yesterday.

Now, this £1,000 day needs to be qualified heavily. Two of my wins came from bets which I had possibly hedged previously to give a return on an associated market whilst the other came from a long standing strategy and the winnings from today will undoubtedly enter me into the Premium Charge which will further reduce the £1,000 day. Still, I could look at my Profit and Loss for 29 August 2009 for a long time yet and it is still worthy of celebration.

The first event was Qualifying for the Belgium F1 Grand Prix which I technically start working on from Friday mornings, throwing out possible entry points should prices move substantially in the Free Practice sessions which bear little resemblance to the Qualifying results, usually.

Now, one of my lays was Giancarlo Fisichella. In fact, I laid £11 at 400. However, that was only possible because of an earlier highly speculative back of £3 at 900. I also backed Fisichella for 66p at 1,000 before Qualifying as well which I will come back to later. I made several other trades, on other drivers as well as Fisichella, which were largely motivated by the fact that I traditionally like to lay front runners in the In Play section but often find myself with a wasted large green on the traditional backmarkers so I like to try to get one or two lays in before the professional high layers block out 1,000 on these drivers.

Anyway, whilst I enjoy watching Formula 1, I have no great understanding of Formula 1 in terms of predictions. However, this seems an atypical season where the grid can often go in reverse even without rain. Now, this has been useful in trading usual mid-grid runners such as the Toyotas or Fernando Alonso or Nico Rosberg who are capable of experiencing massive price drops (As did Adrian Sutil last week) after a light Saturday Free Practice before fading in Qualifying 2 or settling for a high fuel load in Qualifying 3. Such a strategy has assisted me to regularly earning around £100 in the Qualifying session, including £30 last Saturday despite only having my mobile internet connection whilst having lunch in London at Starbucks!

However, believe me when I say that in trading the Force India and BMWs, I had no expectation of them mounting a challenge in Qualifying 3 and I was more than happy to lay the (what turned out to be) smart money; at the time expecting the trades to provide nothing more than a couple of pennies. I also did the same on the Race market! Uh-oh!

Right from the start of Qualifying, there was significant interest in nearly every car as the BMWs and Force Indias dropped to the 20s which seemed too low and opened itself up to some neat gap trading, especially as the overall book percentage was so high, although given my pre-Qualifying position, the amount next to these cars did not look very impressive and when they sailed into Qualifying 3, the market seemed to treat them as serious contenders as opposed to just making up the numbers.

Now my usual tactic in Formula 1 Qualifying is to try to lay cars on good laps, look to lay the field in general, but to try to use the heavy layers (people who will happily lay a car believing that he has no chance at odds which are out of sync with market prices but in tune with current reality).

Given the rather strange results of the session to date, the layers had only really been focusing on the high end cars, and my speculative value backs of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton had gone nowhere! However, it seemed that nobody was willing to drive the price out on most cars until they appeared in Qualifying 3 and someone very kindly offered me £8 on Giancarlo Fisichella at 150! (I also managed to get bets on Rubens Barrichello and the BMWs above market prices, whilst offering such a bet on Nico Rosberg myself after backing him at 900 when he looked out in Q2)

Now, by this time, somehow I had managed to achieve £100 green on all the remaining contenders and was on course for over £200 - £300 which would have been my best result yet and left me very happy given my initial positions on the BMWs and the Force Indias!

However, as Fisichella commenced a good lap, I started to lay off; laying £30 off in the 20 – 30 range, before he went to P1 and I laid £40 off in the 12 – 5 range. At this time I still expected Jarno Trulli to get pole, but he failed and by this time, I could not believe my eyes, and with Fisichella dropping to 2 and below, I tried to equalise my book before the market suspended and my BetTrader screen said over £600 on Giancarlo Fisichella.

Now, I am not sure how, but when Betfair settled the market, I ended up with a win, after commission, of almost £750. Clearly something miscounted, but when I look at my trades, and see that my turnover was in excess of £4,000 it is easy to understand how something may have gone wrong. (The more I examine my bet history, the more I become confused.

Looking back, my trading on the market was probably okay to poor. That sounds absurd when I have won so much, but a lot of it was just down to luck. I definitely traded poorly at the end as I did not keep count of what was going on track, although I guess that is understandable given the amounts involved but even during the end of Q1 and Q2, I did not feel in control of the market. It is hard to keep track of 15 cars on track, knowing who is where, the sector times etc… but this was more about luck than anything although it is said that the harder you work, the luckier you get…

And that is the key. I approached F1 Qualifying this year with no strategy but have quickly learned. Now, it is unlikely to carry on into next season, and my guess would be that liquidity will decline for the non European Grand Prix, but from 10am on Saturday, I settle down and trade the market until the end. I initially was losing £5 or so a Qualifying session, until Formula 1 entered its European season and I think the win is just reward for the effort I have put into this throughout the year.

One final point; when Fernando Alonso won Pole this season, I had laid at the peak. How appropriate therefore, that I back Giancarlo Fisichella at his peak. In both instances, the one trade was only a part of the end result, but it sure feels neat to have my first ever 1,000 winner.

With my jaw still on the floor (maybe for the 4th time as a Betfair trader), and having reached for a beer, I then settled down to watch the Challenge Cup Final and in the drama of the F1, I had forgotten about my open position on the Rugby. And Huddersfield had drifted from the 1.9s to the low 1.8s, taking several of my Warrington bets. However, given the above success, I decided to keep my Warrington position open for longer than usual and their early try rewarded me.

From then on, I decided to equalise my position for around £150 on either team and to keep my draw trade open having backed the draw heavily pre match and having over £3,000 on the draw. (The £125 profit was largely on the CC Winner after the Semi Finals had been played. Betfair had opted to settle the Saints and Wigan bets which saw nearly £200 come out of my account (I had hedged these positions for effectively no loss during the Semi Games) but was now showing around £80 green on either remaining finalist. Thankfully my bank was large enough to cope with this, but it seems beyond stupid that in settling bets early you can effectively turn even an all green book into a heavier green but remove a user’s funds!)

As for trading the game, I opted to only trade the draw given that I was still hyped up from the Formula 1 and that there was enormous liquidity on the draw. (I wish it was always like this!) And at Half Time, from trading the draw only, I could have taken out an additional £100 profit. There isn’t even that much matched in some games!

I opted to push my luck and largely kept my green on the draw, although I did trade bits out on the way to earning over £200 after commission.

As for the game, it has been a while since I called a game so perfectly. I guess I stepped up for the big game! I pinpointed that I expected Huddersfield to have stage fright, and they looked incredibly nervous early on whilst I also pointed out that Kevin Brown would have to be influential for Huddersfield to succeed, and when he went off injured it is fair to say that the Giants turned to headless chickens.

The only disappointment was the Man of the Match. I would have loved to see Lee Briers get the Man of the Match. I remember Lee getting Saints to Wembley almost by himself in 1997 after Bobbie Goulding was suspended only to be dropped for the final. 12 years later at least he got to play at Wembley, but given that Michael Monaghan was hardly sensational, I would have liked to see Briers get the Lance Todd trophy. At least he did get his drop goal though!

The other point about the game was how nice it was to see real joy on the faces of the Warrington fans on the final hooter. As a Saints fan, you don’t see that joy so much anymore. It is almost expected, and we are so used to it that it dilutes the occasion. However, Warrington had not even been to the final in nearly 20 years and it showed as the Wolves celebrated the victory in a manner fitting of the occasion.

So, almost £950 up and in need of £50 for my first £1,000 day ever; where can I find £50?

It came from my 0-0 strategy as West Ham and Blackburn played out a stalemate. I ended up laying off some at 1.03 and 1.01; I wanted the £1,000 figure and was not going to risk it for an extra £2! Especially when I had been looking to hedge the Birmingham v Tottenham and West Ham v Blackburn 0-0s only for Tottenham to score as it was becoming a possibility.

So again, the real profit was not the amount shown in the Profit and Loss but as you can understand I am not really too bothered about that! The one downside is that this will almost certainly open up the Premium Charge for me but I guess that is a concept that anyone who is successful at this game will have to face.

I was also going to post on my Sunday activities, including possibly my best trading performance (for less than a tenth of the profit of the above!) but given the, as usual, ridiculous length (over 2,000 words - is anyone here? Comment for your free prize!) I will save that for another post where I will also outline my brand new e-book, available for £54.99.

Finally, there is no free prize, or e-book. But I’d still love it if you comment!


  1. Well done mate, a great weekend for you!!

    Don't mention ebooks or anything on the forum ;-)


  2. Cheers mate. Hope things are going well for you too.

    Sadly, the forum is going rapidly downhill. :-(

    Will be calling in UN Peacekeepers next!

  3. Well done, a profit of four figures is a decent result for the month let alone a day! Enjoy reading the blog, keep it up. :)

  4. Dont talk about e-books, it causes resentment.
    Just look at the forum and what t w a t head badger as done for himself.......
    Looks nothing but a CONMAN.

  5. Tbanks for the comment bigdavestar.

    Anonymous - if you are going to potentially slander someone, it might be a good idea to at least leave a name?

    I have already stated that I am staying out of the whole issue. It is very sad that it has degenerated into such a farce but sadly that is the way of the world these days.

    And for the avoidance of doubt, this blog does not consider The Badger to be a Conman but nor does it endorse its services.

    It is taking a very Swiss approach.