Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Top Man

I’ve never really taken to Jonathan Trott.

When Kevin Pieterson qualified as an English player, there was a sense of anticipation – a star to add to the Test lineup – as there had been a decade or so earlier with Graham Hick. But Trott, Cape Town born, slid into the Test side off the back of some decent county performances without creating a dent in public awareness. He’s subsequently become an effective part of the England line-up – stubborn, level-headed and tidy with an ability to compile big scores. Not too exciting then. Off the field, we’ve never really had much opportunity to find out if he had a personality.

But Mr Trott has risen hugely in my estimation. I know exactly how I’d have felt yesterday morning if I was an England player. And I’m sure it would have involved a wish to throttle someone from the Pakistan set-up. So top marks to Trott for having a whack at Wahab Riaz, and for showing an element of passion and aggression that we’ll need in spades this winter in Australia. Whilst I’m not condoning ‘Joey Barton’ style fisticuffs in most sporting situations, in this case I’m with Trott.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Missing in Action

Best laid plans........

So August was excellent, as my P&L headed upward and a calm (and profitable) betting routine took hold. The onset of the footy season could only improve matters. Well, theoretically.

The day after posting my last blog, I came across a couple of decent work opportunities. One of these involves Saturday work, but at an income level I can't afford to refuse. The major negative is that Mrs B, whilst happy to see additional income into her purse, is less than chuffed to see me then spend Sunday in front of the Betfair screen. So after last weekend's 'false start' on the footy betting, this weekend saw not one bet placed. I have no problem with limiting my trades to weekday evenings with a little weekend top-up, but I'm irritated that after months of struggling, the rhythm and routine I found last month has ground to a halt.

Whilst I dislike target setting, to see your P&L increase at a fairly steady rate on a daily basis is comforting. With my available hours limited, I think my preferred mindset moving forward should be to protect my bank balance, and let the P&L look after itself, for the moment.

An interesting post from Stephen Maher regarding whether successful Betfair trading is a good career choice. Most full-time traders have dropped out of their previous career, generally because they were unhappy in their role, and I'm sure appreciate the flexibility of their lifestyle, and not having to answer to anyone but themselves. I find self-employment has similar benefits. Stephen's issue is that he's never had a career. Personally, I would go back to college, finish my course and find work if at all possible. Even if that job isn't the 'big money, stress' type. In life, I think you need as many 'strings to your bow' as possible. Unforseen things happen, and a decent back-up plan is worth having. Five years ago, if I'd have been asked how I saw my coming years, I'd have been miles off in my prediction. Stephen has learnt the skills to be profitable on the exchanges and at the bookies. That's a useful tool to have. But I'd rather have it as one of a portfolio of skills in my pocket.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Poor Start

Having built up Saturday in my head as the notional start of a season of profitable footy, I was quickly brought down to earth with a bump. I suppose I should be grateful that I wasn’t involved in the games at Everton, Burnley or Barcelona, but I still managed to pick out a batch of games which didn’t go to plan. My major difficulty was that my strategies tend to involve scratching out early if things start to go against me, particularly on a Saturday when there is so much happening. And time after time, the first goal went the wrong way. Man City, Newcastle, Copenhagen, Moenchengladbach. All offset. The killer was my error of the day being punished – I left a position on the Newcastle / Blackpool game where I had a £50 risk if Blackpool scored a second goal, and I could have easily covered this for little outlay with five minutes to go. I didn’t, they scored.

The remainder of Saturday didn’t improve. I’d expect to have a few results go my way to counteract the losses, but nothing. I should have been profitable on the Fulham/Wolves game, having tipped up Wolves in my last post, but I didn’t back my judgement with cash. They scored first of course! As the evening wore on I realised I’d forgotten how difficult I’ve found Saturdays in recent seasons. The accumulation of negative moments leaves me open to chasing, particularly in the evening. Fortunately, a spell of decent results over the last few weeks has helped my attitude, so the laptop was turned off at the point where I felt vulnerable to the chase ( and left off on Sunday ). I will take forward the need to be a little more selective on Saturdays, and hope it was just one of those days.

Yesterday I watched the first episode of Alan Davies’ Teenage Revolution ( ‘taped’ from during the week ). I had read a review in the papers before watching the programme, and the reviewer thought the programme was boring – just Davies’ ramblings on his teenage years. However the reviewer was probably born sometime in the seventies. I was born on 2nd March 1966, Davies on 6th March 1966. So for me it was fascinating viewing. So many of his reminiscences matched my own memories. His first bedroom wall poster, as was mine, was Debbie Harry. Paul Weller was my idol, and his. Whilst there were plenty of differences ( his public school was hated, I quite enjoyed my comprehensive ), many of the experiences rang a bell. I particularly related to his description of the skill required to flick through albums in a record shop at high speed, and the fear of the skinhead gang from the rough side of town.

So that’s my Thursday evening viewing sorted for the next three weeks.

There’s a decent amount of European football on tonight, so I’ll hope to put my September P&L back onto an even keel.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Risky Business

A quiet start to September for my Betfair exploits, caused by a two day trip to London, followed by my final music festival of the year over the past weekend. At least UEFA had the grace to put the international games on Friday evening, which gave me a weekend free of I-phone checking . My P&L for the month is currently showing a small green, and tonight’s sparse football fixture list means it will stay that way until tomorrow evening at the earliest. My involvement in the US Open tennis hasn’t really taken off. I’ve no Sky Sports at the moment, and I haven’t had the enthusiasm to get involved.

So the festival summer is over. Boo, hiss. A summer that began with on the Isle of Wight in early June with a fair performance from Doves, and ended with an entertaining set from the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain on a chilly September evening in a park in Moseley, Birmingham. Glastonbury was the highlight ( helped by a magnificent five days of warm sunshine ), and no festival disappointed.

Think you like to take risks? Spare a thought for Leeds/Reading Festival organiser Melvyn Benn, who booked both Pete Doherty’s Libertines and Axl Rose’s Guns N’ Roses for his main stages. This seems a little like taking Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate as your central defensive pairing to a World Cup final with no back-up. In the end, Doherty was a success, Rose a slightly embarrassing failure, and Benn a relieved man. I’ll soon be working out next year’s festival itinerary. Although Mrs B has given me a nudge to suggest that annual holidays do not have to consist of six weekends sat in a field eating takeaway food. Umm.

So I’ve no excuses now for not buckling down to the footy season ahead. I’m looking ahead to the coming weekend. As I noted previously, I expect the season to settle down now. So time to profit ( hopefully ). I like the look of Bolton and Wolves in the Premier League, and think there may be value in following them through the coming months. The remainder of my bets will rely heavily on Soccerway.