Monday, 16 February 2009


Most of the blogs I come across are written by those who describe themselves as Betfair/Betdaq traders. There seems to be a fine line between 'trading' and 'educated gambling'. I certainly fall into the latter camp. From what I read, the effective and profitable traders are using specialist software to look for mathematical sequences and anomalies. Whilst a decent knowledge of sport is required, an analytical mind and objective calm seem to be the essential tools needed.

The process of trading seems quite dull and requiring of intense concentration. Like city trading, it seems likely that young minds would be most effective. A twenty-something is more likely than I to have the patience to create the numerous charts and analysis required, and also be able to keep concentration for long periods of trading. Whilst I have no idea how Adam Heathcote ( makes such huge amounts consistently, his profile ( twenty-something graduate ) seems to me to be just right for succesful trading.

My own Betfair methods owe more to a love of sport and a belief that I'm smart. That's probably why my P&Ls don't look like Adam's. Yes, I do use trading techniques, and often look to get an all-green position or reduce risk by monitoring changes in odds.

But it matters to me that I think Feyenoord may not win another game this season. It matters that I think that Alisa Kleybanova should cut down her pie intake if she wants to get into the world's top twenty. Like most sports punters, I have plenty of opinions. That's why pure trading isn't for me. I like to back what I think is going to happen. And I'm just going to have to find a way of making a profit that allows me to keep having an opinion.


  1. Yes this is very true. Having an opinion on the race is seen as a distraction, and any distraction from analysing the trends could potentially affect your judgment. Strictly speaking, it would be better to not have any opinion at all, and make all your decisions based on the price movements. Of course there are exceptions where having an opinion can be beneficial, but all in all being detached and maintaining focus on price movements will always yield more profit. We all have opinions. I think one distinction between a great and average trader isn't having the opinions, it's being able to put them to one side and focus on the data to make all their trading decisions.

  2. I'm not sure Rob, most very successful people are the ones who love doing what they do and their occupation is more of a hobby rather than a chore.

    If watching live sports is something that you would normally do and you can make a living out of it, then over time I suspect you will do really well whilst the traders have burnt out.

  3. I should perhaps of mentioned that I was referring solely to pre-race UK horse race trading. The only event I have enough experience to comment on. I'm sure with other events, opinions on the outcome are of much more importance.