Thursday, 26 August 2010

Sense Of Achievement

On the last day of July, I lost £168.29 on Betfair. It’s happened before, it will no doubt happen again ( although hopefully not as clumsily ). But, not for the first time, it put me in a position of holding a two figure Betfair bank. As documented previously, I chose to deposit £1,000 of my hard-earned income. As February was the last time I made a noteworthy profit, this may not have seemed my most sensible option. Particularly as my blog will testify to the frustrating time I have incurred over the intervening months.

Maybe it’s that period of failure that makes today feel better. Who gets the most satisfaction from a victory – Chelsea or Barnet? Following last night's Betfair session, I was able to withdraw £250. This follows a couple of previous withdrawals totalling £750. And I have a Betfair account balance of £1010.56. So all objectives achieved – fully refund my initial deposit, average over £50/day over the days I opened the Betfair screen, and create a decent bank balance to take forward. Tick.

The skill is of course to maintain this level, and not get frustrated when the inevitable losing run comes. But the confidence gained from a month of success, rather than a few days, reduces the likelihood of meltdown. It’s way too early to believe I’ve turned a corner, but hopefully I’ve stopped my slow slide down the hill. I’ve still been frustrated ( I think it’s an unavoidable side effect of gambling ), but my frustrations have been in not taking potential opportunities, rather than placing losing bets, and they are fairly easy to exorcise if you have a nice green P&L to check regularly.

I notice that John O’Dwyer has had a rare bad week on the exchange. I started following John’s blog at the start of the year, when his published P&Ls looked very similar to my own. The subsequent months have seen wildly different progress – John’s profit increasing exponentially as he has shown an ability to profit from a wide range of sports, whilst I’ve struggled to put profitable days together and have lost confidence in most of my previously successful strategies. I was struck by how his worst spell of the year has coincided with my best performance. At least he can console himself with a trip to the US Open. My September highlight will be a trip to the Moseley Folk Festival!

A good point to have a few day’s break from the Betfair screen. I’ll be back after the bank holiday.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

End of the Phoney War.

This is my new donate button. If I maintain August’s success, I’ll soon be posting tips which people will be flocking to follow. This obviously requires a batch of new readers who are uninterested in reading my previous 213 posts of woe and indiscipline, but here’s hoping.

The turnaround is due in the main to the old ‘D’ word*, added to my favourite ‘C’ word*, but I’ll save the regular mental analysis for a month-end post. Having ‘abandoned’ horse racing in a previous post, I’m actually in profit on the month on racing – a lesson in taking on selective opportunities, rather than getting into a groove of daily laying sessions. My tennis betting remains limited, if mildly profitable, with the WTA almost abandoned – not deliberately, I’m just not seeing value opportunities pre-match, and my days of following the women’s game in-play are gone.

I’m following my view from previous years that August is a month for watching football rather than betting ( apart from the Scandinavian stuff ), and getting my fingers burnt with my largest bet of the season so far only confirmed my opinion - a lay of ‘Any Unquoted’ in the correct score market in the Newcastle / Villa game! I scratched at 2-0 and took a hefty all-red at 3-0. Bah. I can’t see there being three 6-0’s each week once we get into the season, although the early games have already thrown Wigan and West Ham to the bottom of the PL, and I fear they may remain there throughout the season.

I’m away this weekend at the Leeds Festival, so for me September will bring a start to taking football seriously. Another couple of batches of games in the remainder of August should hopefully help to ease out the early season anomalies, and there are already plenty of clues for the season ahead. With my mates ‘D’ and ‘C’ in tow, I’ll be joining plenty of others looking to find that illusive edge in the footy markets. Good look to all.

*Discipline, Concentration.

Friday, 13 August 2010

But Seriously.......

I came across a blog post from the unoriginally named but consistently successful Betfair Trader, from which I take this excerpt, which rings a few bells with me at the moment.

It's one thing winning but holding onto those profits to let them mount to a decent profit is another kettle of fish. I've seen plenty of part time traders’ blogs who have a much better strike and ROI than me but soon get bored at winning small amounts and either start taking unnecessary risks to up the win rate or just get bored because they really don't need the money with a full time job. You'll see a lot of full time gamblers/traders make it work simply because they have to either thru losing a job or wanting to get out of their crappy job it's that single mindedness that will get you a long way in this business.

Like most things in life if you want something badly enough you'll do your best to achieve it, that's not to say you won't be able to make a few quid trading a few hours here and there but it's a damn site harder when all it is to you is a hobby and becomes a very dull one if you manage to make any profit from it. For a lot of people the fun is in the chase and you may find that fun disappears once you get close to cracking it so you'll end up subconsciously sabotaging yourself to get that fun back into it.

I can particularly relate to the last sentence. Just check how many times the word ‘frustration’ appears in my blog over the last six months. Also consider how my profits have disappeared over the same period.

The main relevance to my own trading is that my ‘Festival Summer’ (Glastonbury, IOW etc ) has had the side effect of reducing my work income. Welcome to the world of self employment - don’t work, don’t get paid. So having taken a quick look at my actual and potential income for June/July/August, it struck me that Betfair trading profit was now, if not essential, certainly advantageous. So August started with a £1k deposit, earlier than I suggested here, and a determination to get back into the mindset I had during my ‘full-time’ stint in 2008/9. The last six months have shown me the implications of treating Betfair as a hobby to take lightly. The only way to make profits, however sizeable, is to follow the rules you set yourself consistently, regardless of the result of the previous trade or the previous day’s trades.

Things have gone well so far. I’ve only had one losing day ( of £10 ) in the month, and there has been a definite reduction in my sense of frustration and the related overstaked bets. I’m aiming at making around £50 a day, and I’m probably limiting my potential profits by doing so. But the current aim is steady income over a period of time, not maximising profit. If I can turn a twelve day spell of success into a sixty day spell, I can consider freeing up my staking. For the moment, simply having any spell of success will help my confidence after the roller coaster of frustration and piss-poor decision making that has been my 2010 on Betfair. And ‘single mindedness’ has a big part to play in my success or failure.