Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Slow and steady

When I first set up this blog at the start of 2009, my January trading was less than spectacular. I was putting in a lot of effort but actually ended up that month down by £10. This year, I am five days into the month and am somehow showing a profit of £136.43 despite feeling like I have put no real “work” into my trading.

Maybe his is due to my previous efforts paying dividends, maybe it is luck or maybe it is just the size of my bank which is helping me to achieve my current progress but it sure seems odd to several people that I can come home from work, turn on my computer and earn enough money to pay for my addiction to Ted Baker.

On Saturday, I initially benefited from a lucky break as the Cardiff v Bristol City FA cup match was postponed. I had tried to duplicate the strategy I employed in the Stevenage v Cambridge game but had got caught out and was looking at a £4 loss before I decided to close my book and head out into the January sales. (Is it just me or are “Sales” just a way for companies to sell items which would never have been sold at their full price) Anyway, the match was postponed and my loss erased from my balance sheet.

I then followed that up by attempting to trade the Reading v Liverpool match on the Correct Score market. The key lesson I learned from this is not to get involved in such markets before team news is announced as certain prices drifted fairly substantially once the Liverpool team was announced with the inclusion of Fernando Torres. Not that it mattered much as Liverpool once again were held to an awful result.

As for my trading, well I nearly had a panic attack at the start of the game when Betfair crashed. Interestingly, judging by the forum, it appeared that it crashed for some people and not others. Either way, I had taken a heavy position on 0-0 before the match went in play as the score drifted just before kick off and had attempted to submit a lay of 0-0 once the market opened so I had ten minutes or so of not knowing whether my 0-0 lay had been submitted correctly or not which caused the explosion of a few nerves!

When I finally got the market loaded, my 0-0 lay had been submitted and taken but I was understandably hesitant to get involved in anything but the smallest trades until half time when I was satisfied that the website had started behaving itself and that with some small second half trades lead to a profit of £16.35.

On a related issue, it does appear that Betfair’s website is becoming more and more unreliable which is of great concern given that they are taking more and more commission through the Premium Charge. It is rather inconsistent to look to take more money from traders (I know that punters are also affected by the Charge) and then not be able to provide a consistent service. It would be impossible to seek to reimburse traders who get caught through the downtime of the website mid trade but something more than a half hearted acknowledgement and apology on the forums may be appropriate although it is more apparent than ever just how much disregard Betfair have for their customers these days.

My Saturday evening trades were then followed up with me once again trying to trade pre match markets in Spanish football and I lost £1.86 on the Valencia v Espanyol market but gained £9.57 on the Atletico Madrid v Sevilla market. I also popped into the Correct Score market for the latter game before the game and at Half Time and a late goal from the home side helped me to a £13.47 victory which was quite astonishing really considering the little effort put in.

The key thing to take out of this is once you have a strategy that you are confident in, you can look to apply this in other areas which are out of your comfort zone. It won’t always work but on occasions it can.

With Sunday being the last day off before the return to work, I was keen to do as little as possible and just put my feet up and there was enough football on to even allow me to look to dip my toes into the Correct Score waters again.

Now before the turn of the year, one of the areas where I had recognised a significant weakness was in poor preparation and a tendency to rush into things and unfortunately, I carried this into the Leeds v Man Utd market. I had been out for dinner before hand and then upon returning home ten minutes into the match, launched myself into the market without a true appreciation for how the market was behaving. (Whilst I have been putting little “effort” into my trades recently, I had been keeping an eye on any market drifts and the general liquidity on certain scores.)

So, whilst a Leeds goal probably could not have been predicted, the fact that I got caught with a lay on 0-2 probably could have been predicted. However, my relatively small stake size allowed me to exit with just a £13 red. Whereas in previous months, I would have probably got agitated by “going behind” and looked to make stupid trades, I accepted my errors and walked away from the market.

Until Half Time. By which point I had familiarised myself with the liquidity and the way the market was behaving and I was subsequently able through trading at both half time and in the second half to turn my £13 red into a profit of £12.25 which was as pleasing as any profit I had made from Betfair in a very long time.

Buoyed by this, I then took a look into the Hearts v Hibs game and was perplexed by the lack of liquidity given that there was no competing football. Either way, whereas I had been caught out by a goal in the earlier game, I benefited from a goal of sorts in this game.

I had been matched at 3-3 and was in the process of trying to lay off (but the liquidity was such that there was no takers) when a goal went in which gave me a total profit of £6.77. Not bad for a £3 stake.

I then followed this up by trading the Arsenal v West Ham game which saw the 0-0 price come in from 16.5 allowing me to scalp the 0-0 scoreline in 0.5 increments as per my preferred approach when West Ham scored just before half time. (There seems to have been several late goals in the first half this season,) The impact of the goal was largely neutral on my book as although I had a large red on 3-1, I had an equally large green on 3-0 which countered each other out.

However, where as in the past I had looked down on such goals because they tend to de-stabilise the market at Half Time, I looked to take advantage of this and managed to achieve a green book of over £30 which I largely sat on until towards the end of the game where I tried to equalise my book exactly on my way to an eventual £33.57 profit.

Over the weekend, I had made small but consistent profits from an approach that was incredibly laid back. Whereas my 0-0 scalps are usually made often, I was in the middle of re-organising some finances and therefore my bank was only at 50% capacity. (Which had meant that I was hesitant to use as much funds as usual.) Everything felt much slower as well and maybe this might be the way forward whilst I am becoming increasingly confident in my approach at Half Time which, whilst will never make a huge amount, is becoming increasingly profitable.

I had also looked into the Rugby Union game on Sky Sports and had tried to trade the market before kick off but got caught out and ended up with a red book before kick off (again, only for £2 or so) which I had been prepared to leave, but managed to use my Draw trading for two minutes at the end of the game to turn my red into a £0.07 profit.

Finally, after travelling a total of near 7 hours today in order to complete 5 hours work, I was in need of relaxation tonight and was disappointed that the Blackburn v Aston Villa match was postponed but was equally pleased that Sky used this to show the Stoke v Fulham game.

Despite 0-0 starting at a preposterous 8, I managed to scalp 0-0 before the goal to earn £10.50 before I then traded some more around Half Time to take it up to just over £20 but I was hesitant to trade any more as at 3-0, another goal could see the market end. However, I hadn’t properly balanced my book and the second Fulham goal allowed me to take £25 exactly. (£23.82 after commission.)

There are times where I feel I have to pinch myself and this was one of them. I have received £23.82 for pushing a couple of buttons on a computer whilst a game of football is on. It feels beyond absurd and it is a fact that any remotely successful trader should remind themselves of how fortunate they are to be in their current position.

It is also a complete world away to how I felt towards the end of the Rugby League season and when using the football strategy where I was possibly placing myself under too much pressure (and I have never been one to cope well with stress!). As much as I can make excellent earnings from this, I should always remember that fundamentally, this is a hobby and something I derive pleasure from. The day that ends is the day I will cease to trade.

Anyway, I am sure I have rambled sufficiently about my weekend’s trades. The intention of this blog is not to dialogue every trade I make but to speak generally and with particular emphasis on Rugby League as this is where my main interest lies.

To that end, and with the season set to kick off in 24 days, I will be looking to start making some Rugby League posts. Whilst my long term prognostication powers are less than impressive, I will hope to write some detailed previews on all teams as well as general articles on how I approach both Rugby League trading and how I often look to read games. I know that some of you are very keen to learn about Rugby League whilst maybe not having a great technical knowledge of the game, so if you have any questions feel free to ask them. There are far worse ways to spend your Friday and Saturday early evenings!

And with time running out, and the weather leaving me snowed in tomorrow (I opted to take a holiday rather than wait for a freezing train to crawl through levels of snow I have never seen before) I will have to start updating squad lists and pulling my thoughts together pretty soon!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, can you please elaborate the concept and process from which i can make profit from internet blogging business? That would be a lot of help if so.. Tnx..