Monday, 28 December 2009

The past few months

So, where have I been for the past few months?

As I mentioned yesterday, I have had some personal issues to deal with and it's fair to say that these impacted upon my trading. I have mentioned previously that the concept of trading is one that I enjoy as much as the financial rewards it brings.

However, not only did I start to not enjoy my trading, but I started trading very poorly. Put simply, I wasn't preparing as I should and I wasn't thinking as I should. Maybe the best example of this is in the Castleford v Wigan playoff match and the Four Nations final where in both matches, I ended up with over £10,000 on the draw.

You might wonder what the problem with that is. However, it illustrated my muddled thinking. I was gambling on the draw rather than trading the match. I was also starting to feel pressure when trading. As opposed to welcoming any win, I became unduly concerned at losing trades. I have always been a largely risk averse person but I became a person who would take undue risks and then severely beat himself up when they didn’t come off.

But I can’t say it was all bad as I managed to earn over £1,000 on The X Factor although this was also increasingly frustrating as I lost effectively £500 in the last two weeks through bad trades and, most conceringly, just getting my maths wrong when trying to hedge between two markets. (Namely laying Olly for elimination and the win.)

I also never really got into NFL trading this year due to the games being on at the same time as The X Factor elimination show.

The biggest problem however was with regards to football trading where I basically adopted an investment plan on the Correct Score market. Now, I had a large enough bank to successfully pursue this strategy. However, I didn’t stick with this. The upshot of it being that when my selected scoreline looked like coming in, I would start to lay off. However, this belied the investment plan and basically things went horrendously wrong and the losses that I started to experience really started to affect my enjoyment.

This all came to a head on Boxing Day when whilst pursuing the strategy, I clicked the wrong button and ended up costing myself over £200. However, whereas previously I would internally beat myself up over this, I just laughed and resolved to kill the strategy.

It’s true that this strategy had indeed cost a lot of money but that was all down to my implementation and not the strategy itself. How much did it cost? A lot is the short answer but the long answer is that I have still achieved a ridiculous profit for 2009 from trading, will help me out with regards to the Premium Charge and has also possibly altered my approach to risk in trading which should have a huge impact upon my trading in 2010.

I also need to point out what whilst the financial rewards have been extremely generous and welcome, I am not reliant upon the earnings that I derive from trading. All they do is provide extras to allow me to shop non stop at Ted Baker, to provide beer money for watching England Test Cricket and to allow me to buy luxuries (The latest being a Tag Heuer watch). I already have a well paid job and am young enough to not have any major financial commitments.

Ironically, since then I have actually started to enjoy my trading a lot more and have even managed to earn over £250 on the four Premiership TV games just through trading the Correct Score market. At times, you need to place things in context, and those earnings are the equivalent of one week’s work for some of my friends which I have just been able to produce through watching football which is just incredible and hugely fortuitous.

So, that’s a brief run down of my trading exploits since my last blog update and now I feel the need to briefly comment on some developments in the trading world.

I started trading in 2008 but stared taking things seriously in 2009 when I joined the Racing Traders forum and became an obsessive user of Bet Trader Pro.

Obviously, Bet Trader Pro no longer exists which presents me with a very large problem which I will address below.

However, the first point I want to address is the demise of the RT forums. Trading can be a lonely hobby and one in which newbie need a lot of help and advice to succeed. Sadly, whilst the RL forum on Betfair is fantastic, the same can’t be said for most of the forums on there so the RT forums were really great as people helped each other and also provided a social community.

Sadly, they went the way of Bet Trader Pro as more and more aggressive squabbling, ridiculously antagonistic posts and people looking to help only themselves appeared. The community and a very valuable learning resource disappeared.

Thankfully, there now appears to be two replacements. Firstly, Tradeshark has set up an independent forum with the aim of helping others and setting up a community. It’s fair to say that it probably hasn’t taken off as envisaged and hasn’t attracted as many posters as you may hope, but the intentions are the best and there’s no doubt there are some very good and helpful people over there, especially with regards to tennis trading.

More generally, The Geek of RT fame has set up his own application and forum and that place has become a safe haven for the more intelligent, helpful and co-operative RT users. The forum has seemed to really take off and what was initially a place for people to validly criticise the events at RT seems to have developed into what The Geek’s initial aim at RT was. Namely, a community of traders who seek to help the less experienced out.

Once again, this is something that I hugely benefited from. I would not have developed my trading the way I did but for the RT forums and I am extremely hopeful that The Geek’s forum will carry on the initial work that was carried out by RT but it can only do so if people join and contribute so if anyone is reading this who is not a member of The Geek or Tradeshark’s forums, I would strongly advocate joining.

Without wanting to comment on the politics of the Racing Traders demise, the way that Bet Trader Pro has been discontinued has left me with a massive problem with my trading as I was a massive user of the system and it really suited my trading style. Put simply, I use the grid interface and need a program which allows for multiple back / lay windows open at once. (Especially in Rugby League where I assign a tick value to most events and look to trade the draw incessantly - I probably make / cancel 10 trades a minutes and the same is true of my F1 trading.)

The only program I have so far found with this capability is Bet Pod Pro which is a tremendous application and one that is being continuously developed. However, I have to say that it does have its limitations in terms of speed, cancelling bets and other issues which are solely caused through my style of trading. So, if anyone is aware of any programs which allow for multiple back/lay windows open at once please let me know!

So that is a brief run down of the past 3 months and 2010 looks like being a year very different to 2009. I’ll look to post my hopes for the blog and my trading in 2010 before the end of the year with a view to closing down and drawing a complete line under what has been a very eventful 2009.


  1. Look forward to seeign you over on The Geek's forum.

  2. Good to have you back Craig

  3. Hello mate, nice blog have added a link to it, would you mind linking back to mine ?


  4. How much did you make in 2009 ?

  5. Hi Craig,
    Good to see you posting again.

    Our forum has been quiet over December but that will (hopefully) change as the tennis kicks off again. Also I don't have a trading application to draw people in. Only got my wit and charm to drag them in ( when you think of it like that.....I'm doomed)

    Good Luck

    Paul (TradeShark)

  6. Thanks for the well wishes guys and have added a link Talkbet.

    Anonymous - I lost track towards the end of the year. Not because it was so much but because I lost track of my records. I think I was on around £7,000 at the start of the 5th Ashes test.

    I then used the 5th Ashes test to hedge against needing to get Day 5 tickets from a tout and generally seeing us winning the Ashes and started my football strategy and started focusing on the draw in RL. The net result being that my earnings decreased from there until the end of the year. I recently re-inserted some withdrawn money to take my bank upto £5,000 for the new year so I'm probably looking at a profit of just over that for 2009. I need to stay on top of my records like I did at the start though!

    Hi Paul. The forum has been quiet but I just thought that was as I stopped my one man rant on the X Factor and NFL. :-)

    I'll look to drop by again soon and give it a good kicking to get it going again!