Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Stuck In A Rut

Anyone who has read my blog for a little while will have spotted that I have been unable to maintain a consistent profitable spell for any length of time. I started a monthly review for my own benefit, but it has become a marker for detailing the up/down rollercoaster that each month has brought – decent March, May, June and August, crap April, July and September. Now a tough start to October means that I’m glad that this week’s lack of evening football gives me a chance to spend a little time away from the Betfair screen. One of my strengths over the last year or so has been my ability to reset my head and start again after a calamity. My problem at the moment is that, even without self-induced calamities and with discipline generally intact, I’m still not making a profit. Bah!

The weekend just passed was one of the hardest I’ve been through in the last couple of years. My main chosen weapon was a lay of away teams, and a few outright backs where the favourites looked solid. There were plenty of successes, but United’s performance against Sunderland ( an equaliser way too late to trade out my back of the home side ) and Sunday’s defeats for Marseille and Juventus took away most of the profits gained. My mood was also severely damaged by the large amount of scratched trades as a batch of home favourites went behind, and I lacked the conviction to hold out for a home equaliser ( which usually appeared just after I’d scratched ).

I finished Sunday with a kick in the teeth – a lay of mid-table IK Start in the Norwegian top flight away at Rosenborg ( season’s record – played 26, won 19, drawn 7, lost 0 ). Rosenborg led 1-0 and 2-1, so I saw no need to green up. That Start scored in the 89th and 90th minute to win 2-3 should just go down as a reminder of why sport is so interesting, and a warning about the pitfalls of gambling – there’s no such thing as a certainty. But after the frustrations of the weekend, I was in no mood for philosophical amusement at my downfall. ‘Pissed off’ does not convey my thoughts. And October started in the red.

So what strategy do I have in my locker to bring things back on course? That hackneyed old phrase – ‘back to basics’. Yep, the only way to succeed in the long term is through discipline, bank management and waiting for opportunities, rather than forcing issues. So I’ll plug away with football betting and any random opportunities which fall at my feet. Horse racing and tennis bets are limited at the moment ( for an 8 till 6 worker ), but that’s hardly disastrous, based upon a glance at my recent P&L’s.

I did have an interesting play with one of my old spreadsheets, one that was used at a time I had a percentage-based daily or weekly target. These targets proved to be unhelpful , causing inconsistent staking and chasing to meet an artificial goal. But using the sheet simply as a guide as to possible profits gives a worthwhile example of what can be achieved with steady and modest gains. Think you can make £10 a day with a £150 bank? Think you can make £30 a day with a £1,000 bank? £50 a day with a £2,000 bank? Doesn’t look impossible, does it? Achieving this regularly can quickly add up to a substantial profit. My past error was to be too ambitious with my targets, and to allow daily losses to affect my medium-term strategy.

Less greed, more patience – a recipe for getting out of a rut.


  1. great post - the exact same thing is happening to me at the moment but it could be due to the lack of footbal and boredom meaning i trade on games i know little about. good luck

  2. I know the feeling, but you are spot on about being patient. You need to find an edge, just focus on what you know best whether it be tennis, spanish football or the premier league. I would avoid areas like Scandanavian football just for the sake of betting.

    Patience is the key, I used to find myself backing tons of different events in a day and now I just stick to Football - teams and leagues I know very well.. it has ended up in me having much fewer bets but my strike rate has increased ten fold.

    Sometimes opportunites just present themselves, I would rather have a no bet day then usually something comes up the next day which is worth waiting for.

    Good Luck and keep plugging away!