Sunday, 6 September 2009

Review of the weekend to date.

I was looking over some of my initial blog posts earlier and this reinforced the progress I have made. I probably would not have believed that eight months later I would be looking to pay the premium charge for the first time but that looks a 1.01 shot given my weekly results.

The two SKY Rugby League games this week were very different yet very similar in so far as a home favourite yo-yoed to begin with before coming home in the second half. However, anyone looking to trade the draw would have been stunned by the difference in the draw prices.

In the Saints v Leeds game, the draw struggled to rise above 30 in play in the first half which was a surprise. Now, I have always advocated backing the draw early on, and I do get uncomfortable when I don’t have a very large green on the draw as aside from the trading opportunities, it is also good insurance for a poor trade.

Recently however, I have become more comfortable with taking on red on the draw and this game was the perfect illustration of when to lay the draw. For whatever reason, the draw could be laid at 14 at Half Time. Now, the market seems to panic when the scores are level at Half Time as latecomers to the draw look to build up some green on the draw. However, a long term view is that the draw will not reduce in a linear fashion in the second half; and even if it does do given that the draw very rarely enters single figure territory until 60 minutes have gone, it is a fairly low risk trade and whilst the draw never exploded until very late on, it did rise enough to allow me to trade most out in the high teens and low twenties whilst also backing some back at around the laying price.

As for the game itself, it was a heated affair which resulted in one of the most ridiculous sin binnings of all time. Put simply, Keith Senior should have been sent off for his punch with two minutes to go, only for referee Phil Bentham to sin bin him. The colour of the card was irrelevant; Senior would be off for the rest of the match but he should have walked given the touch judges’ report on his punch whilst Leeds’ other tactics, including a disgraceful chicken wing tackle on James Graham, should also see one or two players take an enforced rest next week when they wrap up the Minor Premiership.

The rest of my trading was unspectacular; the only point of real note being my decision to oppose Saints when Leon Pryce was sin binned, only for that to not work out real well although I did at least manage to cut my losses before Saints’ first try although I was quite frustrated by the lack of liquidity on the game but Friday games won’t be the same without me whinging about liquidity!

Saturday’s game was quite the opposite with much more liquidity available which was quite bizarre given that the game conflicted with a cricket match, the US Open and England’s friendly! Still, that may have been helped by someone, or some people, strongly opposing the draw as the draw drifted from 30 to 40 in almost one movement before the match, and the draw was also heavily laid throughout the game early on which did allow me to build up several thousand on the draw which, at 16 – 12 to Hull KR, I felt very comfortable about whilst I even thought that Hull KR’s try on the hooter could be a very good thing, as it would ensure that I did not trade out too much at too high odds! However, a second stray Warrington pass, ensured that Hull KR went three scores up and that my draw bet was effectively over, although the increased liquidity and my draw trades did help me to my best result of the week at around £130.

I also got involved in the other games, with my strongest game being Wakefield v Catalans and whilst a draw lay and a back of Catalans being taken just before kick off did make me slightly nervous and disappointed (I really need to exit non TV games 15 minutes before kick off) I did end up earning a not inconsiderable £30.

A draw lay was also taken in the Wigan v Hull game which again made me slightly uneasy, especially given Hull’s first half performance, and I ended up with a very small £2 loss on the market.

Huddersfield v Celtic also saw Huddersfield start at 1.06 which, even for a layer like myself, was ridiculously high and I only wish I had been strong enough to take some of this and / or take more of the absurd 1.07 in play when Huddersfield were 6 – 0 up. As it was, I ended up winning around £2 from the main market, whilst Celtic’s late comeback allowed me to take around £5 from the handicap market.

Meanwhile, this weekend has fastened up two further strategies which I will look to commence next year. The fact that they could be heavily affected by one result means that I won’t look to implement them next week but I will outline them now.

The first is to lay the draw in non in play games. My draw backing in SKY games comes from the trading opportunities they offer; very few games will end up in a draw. Still, being able to lay the draw in the low 20s would seem to offer value although obviously I will need to strengthen my nerves to follow through on the strategy!

The second relates to handicaps and my reluctance to enter handicap markets because whilst a team will fight tooth and nail to hang on to a victory, they probably won’t always display the same commitment to win by 16 as opposed to 12. So, and whilst I acknowledge that liquidity may make this a non starter, I will look to consider laying handicap favourites in play at the end of games. As I mentioned, very little money gets matched on handicaps in play, although I may look to put out some prices towards the end of matches although this is something I will look to investigate more in the close season.

And the close season is rapidly approaching with just one more round of Super League and just a further 16 televised games remaining. Never fail however, because the NFL is starting up. I had limited success trading this last year and will need to look to reintroduce and refine my strategies for the upcoming year. I will look to outline my thoughts on the season and trades next week although one thing I have noticed is the amount of markets available before the season commences with the Superbowl market, Division markets, Conference markets and Team Win markets all looking to hold some value.

Still, I am unsure whether to get involved in these markets or whether this is too much like straight gambling. (Would this also interfere with my trading of individual matches?) Any thoughts from anyone would be greatly appreciated!

Still, that’s another matter for another day with slightly more pressing issues for today! The first is the premium charge with a £50 - £60 bill looking likely. I was tempted to look to possibly trade between Betfair and someone else to avoid the charge (even if there was little profit, at least it would avoid the premium charge!) but with Betdaq having no introductory offers and most Bookmakers limiting accounts these days, it probably is something that needs to be saved for another day.

Secondly, there are a further two SL matches today and whilst Quins v Cas looks to be priced fairly appropriately (although the draw is too short), I do feel that Bradford v Salford may offer some value and will look to possibly carry some liability in play on Bradford. 1.2 is too short and whilst Bradford stand on the verge of making the top 8 which would be a terrific achievement, I just think the current price is too short given that Bradford have struggled with consistency all season and that Salford have managed to beat both the top two teams this year. Still, that’s just my thought; anything can happen but we will know the outcome this afternoon!


  1. Dude U coming back on the Racing traders forum??
    IO know there has been some shit slinging lately but your copntribution were very highly regarded + you still have to teach me how to trade rugby..


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