Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Like Buses

Yep, three weeks without a post and then two come along at once.

Having spent three and a half hours in the car due to the snow today, and achieved little work wise, I now have a long evening on my hands, back in the Basildon Travelodge, so a good opportunity to get in a November review. I’ll try to remember to put anything I achieve ( or, er, cock-up ) tonight into December’s sum up.

Firstly, the sanitised version, in the style of Robert Maxwell.

A final P&L of +£490.71. I had wagers on four sports, and all were profitable. Tennis was straightforward – one bet, +£2.21! Football finished at +£301.89, Greyhounds at +£154.05 and Horse Racing at £32.56. With considerably less time spent in front of the laptop, a good month. My profit per hour rate was certainly as good as any month this year.

Er, now the slightly amended and ‘audited’ version.

Well, same as above except that on one weekday mid-month I happened to be sat in my car awaiting a delivery. Slightly bored, I opened iBetmate on my iPhone. Checking my bank balance, in a moment of brain fade I decided that it would be nice to get a nice rounded up bank balance by making a quick £23. Having spent the last couple of months nudging away at £4 and £5 wins, then with hindsight ( both immediate and long term ) it seems pretty stupid to go for £23 in one go on a horse lay. It doesn’t seem any cleverer to stick this liability on an outsider in a handicap. But, hey, I’d be damn unlucky to hit a 21/1 shot, particularly one with shocking form……

You guessed the rest? So amend two figures above. Horse Racing came in at (£431.44), and total P&L at a small but worthy +£26.71.

It’s hard to understand how the thought process can be so inconsistent. I generally only use the iPhone to monitor bets I’ve put in place with the aid of a multi page laptop screen. But, hey ho, I’m not the greatest learner in the world ( ask my teachers at Royds School, Leeds ’77 – ’82 ), and I do seem to be prone to these occasional meltdowns.

Sadly, I’m not the only one. Crotig has been battling away for a couple of years with small stakes, struggling with discipline. But his blog has shown a definite improvement of the last few months, to the extent that he had built up a £1k bank. However, his most recent post reports a major blow-up. My advice would be to review his recent P&L’s. There’s enough green there to show that he can be profitable. Just avoid the brain-fade. Easy, really. Umm.

Monday, 29 November 2010


A record three and a half weeks since my last blogging effort, consistent with what I suggested in the final paragraph of my previous post - work taking over potential Betfair time.

I'm currently sat in a McDonald's in Basildon, Essex. If things go to plan, then East London and Essex may be my new place of work ( and home ) in the long term. For the moment, home is a Travelodge, but I'm hoping to find a rental pad shortly. Logically, with potentially lucrative income available ( albeit with longish hours ), then any Betfair time I have should be used as a relaxing hobby rather than income generator. I would, however, note that my most profitable punting spells in the past were made at a time when I had a good income - the combination of no pressure to win and a healthy sized bank worked well for me at that time.

I'll do a November review shortly, but I have a small green at the moment after a limited month, and would have had a decent month but for one brain-fade.

Obviously, the blog seems to have taken a back seat. I started writing at a time when Betfair dominated my days, betting full-time. Whilst I returned to work a month or so afterwards, I've generally had something to write about on a regular basis. With sport ( and Betfair ) taking up less of my thoughts, the blog has suffered. I'm finding that I still have plenty of ideas to write about, but most are off the subject area. Regular readers will have noticed my tendency to wander from the 'designated' subject, and it's been noticeable that I get little feedback when I do stray. This suggests that the 'betting blog' community is really only interested in reading about sport and gambling. So what should I do? :-

i. Carry on the blog and say 'sod it', I'll write about whatever I want.
ii. Keep the blog for occasional posts when I do find something worth saying in the betting/sports field.
iii. Start a new blog, hoping to find a new audience for a more random 'popular culture' themed blog.
iv. Go back to Lichfield and get that Betfair screen working for me.

I'll have a think about it in the next few days. ( I'm not seriously considering iv. )

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

October - Cut And Paste

You don’t have to go too far back through this blog to find a month with a profile approximating to the following :

Start badly
Become frustrated
Lose focus
Lose money
Reset head mid-month
Recover steadily
End up close to where I started.

A regularly occurring theme, and October was no different, albeit that I remained £150 or so in the red come Halloween. The month’s main frustration was that I allowed a couple of chases to wreck the P&L of a potentially profitable system, and in the process made Greyhound Racing this month’s big loser ( see September ! ). The horse racing bets have been moderately successful, whilst analysis of my football bets in the month shows that I would have been considerably better off if I had placed my original selections and let them ride, rather than trade during play. The word ‘tentative’ has been regularly used in this blog, and years of football betting have knocked a little bravery out of my mindset.

I’m glad I’m not reliant on football betting for my income. It seems a tough sport to prevail in, with pretty efficient markets. The guys at Trading Football Markets seem to have it sorted, but their type of trading looks like extremely hard work to me, and not how I wish to spend my evenings after a day at work – too much concentration required. Maybe that’s the point – as a recreational trader I firstly want to enjoy my pastime, and if a profit arrives, great. As a full time career, the effort and concentration just have to be put in, and if that means time-consuming multiple trades and constant monitoring, so be it.

Any impulse I may have had to get back into tennis trading has been put aside by the recent dodgy betting patterns in the East European tournaments. As numerous blogs have pointed out, if the ATP remain as toothless as it currently seems to be in situations where warnings have been received in advance, there is little incentive for anyone to bet outside of the grand slams and ATP1000 tournaments. Maybe some guys will see it as an opportunity, but I still have the bruises from last year’s Kim/Istomin game. More importantly, the sport’s reputation will go the way of cycling and track & field unless something is done quickly.

Things are looking interesting on the work front, so Betfair action is likely to be low key in the coming month. I’m currently sitting at (£7.57) for November, so that’s my first target!