Friday, 31 December 2010

My Supermassive End of Year Review

Well 2010 draws to a close (well in around 22 hours time or so), I shall be busy on New Years Eve so thought I best post up my end of year results now. Firstly I'll close with December's P/L figure which ended up as a loss of £1,033.51, not ideal obviously but as I've alluded to in my previous posts it could have been a lot worse. That brought my P/L for the year to +£1,592.59. They do say profit shouldn't be frowned upon but I can't help but feel I could have done an awful lot better than that. I was over £4,500 up for the year at the end of July, but poor months in September and December has reduced that figure considerable. Below is the spreadsheet I keep with my records for each individual P/L with each bookmaker/exchange, no surprise to see the bookmakers I place most of my horse racing bets with having the larger profit figures.


P/L broken down by bookmaker

This monthly break down below is in my sidebar at present but I shall probably be changing it soon, so this sits as a good reference to my record this year.

January: +£364.44
Feburuary: -£160.34
March: -£185.26
April: +£717.67
May: +£1,249.70
June: +£633.64
July: +£2,093.55
August: -£402.67
September: -£4,319.16
October: +£43.06
November: +£2,626.10
December: -£1,033.51

Also below is a graph outlining these monthly figures, or rather the cumulative P/L figures at the end of each month during the course of the year. Possibly doesn't show much, just that it is exactly the opposite of what I'd be striving for, i.e. a nice steady profit each month would be desired. Whereas my P/L has been up and down and a bit all over the place.

Mountain range P/L graphs are not desirable

Like I said I'm a bit disappointed with my overall performance I was hoping for a much better year in terms of outright profit. But hopefully the experiences of this year, both in mistakes and success stand me in good stead for 2011 and my continuing gambling ventures. Bit of a cliche, to learn from your mistakes but I think it definitely rings true in my case. I keep slipping back into similar mistakes hopefully I can avoid that for the future. I was going to consider setting myself targets in respect to my trading on Betfair (which was lets be honest shocking this year) and also in terms of my overall P/L for each month and the overall year. But I feel that's the wrong thing to do for me, gambling doesn't work to set targets and you have good days and bad days but what I want to avoid is massive variances in P/L from month-by-month which is what happened this year. I firmly believe it is possible to make profit every single month of the year, it's understandable to have a few bad days maybe even a week but your providing you have sound methods, which I believe mine are, you should be able to turn a profit every single month. Therefore in the reasoning for not setting a target I've almost set a target in itself, thou shall try and make profit every single month. Seems a perfect good plan or motto to go with.

I think this year is going to be a major one in my life, it contains my last semester in University and I'm still not entirely sure what I want to do after I've finished yet. Uncertainty is sort of scary and exciting at the same time, sort of like gambling really I guess. But it would be quite apt if I started this year really brightly and could start to realise the dream of perhaps going full-time and thus ending uncertainty in my life via the means of the aforementioned gambling world which is riddled with uncertainty. I'm not target setting here, I'm just pushing some figures out as they say but I feel £10,000 profit for 2011 is well within my means, I would also argue that I could perhaps push more around the £15,000 - £17,500, maybe even £20,000 if everything goes swimmingly well. I know I may sound a bit deluded here, a guy who thinks he can make £20k in year after making just £1.5k this year? sounds like a plonker and will probably end up bankrupt and working in Tesco. The beauty is that nobody knows what the future beholds, I can honestly say I don't have a clue where I'll be a year from now. I hope, I dream I'll have had a joyous and highly profitable 2011. Hopes, dreams, optimism and positivity cost nothing, these help form a good mindset which is what is needed to achieve anything worthwhile in life. I'm focused and I'm determined, I don't want a normal run-of-the-mill job and having to answer to people. I want nothing more than to be a full-time gambler, to work in my own time at my own pace and be able to make a living betting on sports that I love. Maybe just maybe 2011 will be the year my dream starts to become reality (if not it will be at least some journey).

Have a great New Year everyone!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Ashes glory and festive cheer

"and that's it England retain the Ashes" are words I thought I would never here. I've grown up in an era where England losing down under was a given, so it was great to see the celebratory scenes from Melbourne has England destroyed the Aussies for the second time the series with a win by an innings to spare. Remarkable stuff, the England team has been superb for the past two years or so and they've to go into the ICC world cup and the Indian test series in the summer in great spirits. Plenty of cricket left in Australia though, the last test as well as ODI & T20 games. This Austrialian team looks vulnerable at present it will be interesting to see how these matches go. Managed to back England @ 1.34 during Australia second innings in this test, which I thought was I cracking bet given that I could see past an England win and was expecting a much shorter price. Also my series bet is in (my lay of Australia which I then greened out for a free bet on England to retain the Ashes).

Elsewhere not been to busy on the betting front, watched plenty of Premier League football and ate plenty of food. I shall post again tommorrow with my intentions for the year as well as a summary of 2010. Haven't totalled up my p/l figure for December but I think it's going to be better than I expected considering the rush of blood to the head I had for two days earlier in the month that cost me badly.

Friday, 24 December 2010

The beauty of in-play markets

For me there's no really competition I do much better betting in-play than I do with my pre-match football bets. The very invention of in-play is rather genius I think, it works for the bookmakers because they increase their overall takings and it also works for betting exchanges because they get increased commission. There is however some situations where betting in-play might be difficult, i.e. Saturday 3pm games when there's numerous games on at once. But whenever a game is on television or streamed on a site you are able to bet in-play at your own free will. I've done rather well betting in-play, and that's both by simply outright bets and also quick trades. My trading techniques varies but mostly evolves backing unders when I expect a drop in the price of a unders goal market. Likewise laying something on the outright match odds (usually the favorites) when I expect a sudden drift. I always like placing a back bet on a team when they get a free-kick in a dangerous area or a corner. If a goal goes in you can guarantee yourself a nice profit and if not you can trade back for a minimal loss or maybe even break even. I know these techniques are probably not revolutionary or anything but I find the work well for me and I hope to be Even more profitable using these techniques next year.

I'm also planning to set myself a few targets next year in regards to my Betfair performance and as well as my overall P/L for the year. I know setting targets can sometimes be a bit of distraction depending on where you've set them and how your currently performing. But more on that to come in the new year. Nothing much else to add here, no horse racing in the lead upto Christmas and no racing on Boxing Day either by the looks of it. Looks like I'll be concentrating on the football then, providing the games go ahead that is.

Have a Very Merry Christmas everyone, here's a Christmas song from The Futureheads:

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Perception and a clear mind

I firmly believe that people's perception and opinions of certain sporting events are biased by the very nature of encounters they may have during the day. Bit of a over-exaggerated example next but it proves the point. You may wake up on a Friday morning open up the tabloid newspaper and read about the terrible run Club A is on and how the dressing room is falling apart. You go into work and listen to a pessimistic workmate who supports Club A going on about how he reckons his teams going to get beat 5 or 6-0 by Club B on Saturday. Another workmate who supports Club B and who apparently knows one of the player's uncle's cousin reckons that Club B is in good spirits and playing some brilliant football at present and he reckons Club A could be on the end of a big scoreline. On the way home from work your have a sport radio station on and you hear the manager of Club B press conference claiming everyone's fully fit for the clash against Club A and he sounds very confident. You get home from work and look at the fixtures and automatically your going to have quite a big bias towards Club B winning the match in question. But in likelihood everybody has caught onto the factors mentioned and Club B probably won't be any value for this game although the stuff you may have heard throughout the day may influence your outlook of this game.

I'm not saying don't talk to people or don't read the football news. Although what I will say is keep a clear mind and form your own opinion, probably the worst thing you can do is take an opinion on a match based on what other people think (I include "pundits" in this). This can be very difficult to do and I'm sure my judgement has been slight effected sometimes. But I like to think I keep a clear mind in my decisions and I like to price up markets myself based on my own judgements for each outcomes. This doesn't guarantee profit okay but if you have belief in your own judgement of value you could go far.

I use this time also to show my performance of my pre-match football bets on the Premier League. Not exactly been brilliant although it's worth noting I operated a £25 level stakes staking plan at the beginning of the season which covered both Asian handicap bets and under/over goal markets. I also had a few really poor weeks which have made the performance look a lot worse. As you can see from the graph my performances has improved recently where I've focused more on Asian handicap bets only and varied my stakes from £15-£25. Not exactly ideal of course but I feel there's been definite improvement over recent weeks.


Pre-match PL picks performance

I emphasis the pre-match element here because I know for a fact I've done an awful lot better in-play with my football bets. I'm going to discuss the topic of pre-match Vs in-play in my next post tomorrow. Meanwhile here's another Christmas song (one that I actual can stand!)


Sunday, 19 December 2010

It's Snow Fun

Amazing how a little bit of snow can bring so much havoc across the country. Only two Premier League matches got the go ahead on Saturday and all today's fixtures have been postponed. Add to that dozens of horse racing meeting have been abandoned everywhere with only some A/W meeting surviving. All this leaves me with very little to bet on. Oh yes and England got spanked by the Aussies in Perth just when we thought we might have this series wrapped up you can always rely on England to come undone. On a bright note at least this keep the series alive and everything is still left to play for with two tests left.

I may have been a little harsh on the whole christmas celebrating thing in my last post. To make myself get in the festive mood I'm going to be posting up some alternative christmas songs, i.e. not the same old pop drivel they play ever year that drives you mental.


Thursday, 16 December 2010

Managerial departures and hello christmas holidays

It's probably not gone unnoticed that two Premier League managers have been sacked in recent weeks. Firstly Newcastle sacked Chris Hughton, after he had guided them back into the Premier League and had started the season well for a newly promoted side. Apparently Mike Ashley wanted someone with more experience, so Alan Pardew may not be the biggest name but he has got experience be interesting to see how he goes. Secondly this week the news that new Blackburn owners Venky's decided to sack Sam Allardyce based on the style of footbal he operates. Given the limited financial resources available at Blackburn in recent season it's widely known the Big Sam has been during a reasonable job result wise in keeping Blackburn comfortably in mid-table. They are apparently looking for a young, energetic, British manager who plays attractive football as a replacement. Not many obvious candidates from that description although I hear that Diego Maradona's name as benn mentioned, which would probably be the most entertaining managerial trainwreck of all time.

Lastly I've finished my university work for the year and I'm now officially on my Christmas holidays. Not a huge fan of Christmas itself, after all I am an atheist and I think the day has just become to commercialised for my liking. The sending of Christmas cards is another thing I don't understand, I've seen people send cards to people they haven't seen in years, where's the sense in that? Whilst family is important to a lot of people I think it's only close family that really matter for me. The rather infrequent meetings with distant relatives around Christmas time always seem a bit staged and repetitive to me. I'd love to spend Christmas abroad one year, preferable in a country where it's warm and where nobody celebrates Christmas, so myself and maybe a few close friends could escape the whole thing and just have a nice relaxing break doing things we really enjoy rather than opening your third present that turned out to be yet another pair of socks. Not quite 'bah! humbug!' but I definitely think Christmas is over-rated and the build up and everything that surronds it does my head in.

Just remembered that this is suppose to be a betting journal so I better start talking about my betting adventures. To be fair I've been fairly quite on the betting front at the minute largely due to the fact I was concentrating on my assignments and exams which are thankfully all over for now at least. I've still got my pre-tour Ashes lay of Australia running, England continue to impress and surely they'll retain the Ashes and make my bet a winner. Crazy timings in Perth, 2:30am start is harsh even for someone who likes to stay up late like myself. However last weekend was a fairly successful one on the back of that massive hit I took. Used a much more sensible staking plan, although I choose to deposit more money back into my account because I needed it for my horse racing bets. Profit for last 7 days is decent but dwarfs in comparison with the loss I suffered. Although I think my trading as been going a lot better I've also mixed that with outright bets occasionally, all of which went rather well I thought. Hopefully a reason to be positive for the future.

Road to recovery?

With me being on my Christmas holidays I have a lot more free time so will probably be able to post more frequently on my blog here up until Christmas at least. Can almost class myself as a full-time gambler now, well for two weeks or so at least.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

What A Plonker

Apologies for not updating my blog for a while I have been busy with university work and there was a major blip in betting quest earlier this week which caused me to have a little time off. Stupidly in hindsight I got involved in an Argentina Premier Division football match whilst watching it on Betfair Video. It was one of the most craziest, open games I have ever seen. There was literally about thirty or so brilliant goal-scoring chances in the game. Needless to say I had backed over 2.5 goals with the score at 1-1 at half time, somehow it stayed this score with some unbelievable misses, post-hitting and world-class saves thrown in there somewhere. However I made the mistake of backing too large a portion of my Betfair balance on it, I lost around 40% of my Betfair balance which was pretty big since I hadn't withdrawn any of my winnings for a while. The few days that followed I noticed I continued to lose bets and put in really poor trades. In danger of losing more of my November profits I decided to take time away from Betfair until my return today. I also installed a neat free software trading tool called The Geeks Toy with use with Betfair. It enables much quicker trades and lets you green up equally on all outcomes with one click, really useful in my opinion and also comes with the ladder layout which I've heard is the preferred layout for the "proper traders".

It's difficult to determine what I am at the minute, an outright gambler or a trader? there's obviously an overlap in these terms because a trader is a gambler of sorts it's just that a trader gambles more on price movements than actual outcomes. The two can also be combined, for example what might have originally started out as a bet can turn into a trade and vice versa. I do find trading difficult I admit but I've been reading a few e-books and websites with good information, they are obviously not going to tell you how to make money trading but they'll for sure point you in the right direction. The danger occurs when one things he's trading when he's actually outright gambling, this has been part of my down fall in the past.

I suffered a £1.5k loss as a result of my madness in the aforementioned days above. I've now purposely withdrawn from my Betfair account and left myself just £100, I think sometimes the amount shown on your balance can effect your thinking (psychology I believe they call it). I had over £3,000 in my Betfair account at the time and I was on a really good run, maybe I was just to confident in my judgement and got carried away and totally disregarded sensible staking rules. It was almost like it was a lucid dream but one which I wasn't able to take control of. I probably sound a right loony here. But anyway yes just the £100 left in my Betfair account going to treat it like it's my last £100 in the entire world. I vaguely remember reading in one of George Soros books that he used to treat his hedge funds like they where his children, in the danger of sounding crazy again I think a similar thing needs to be done here with me. The attitude of risking money because it's money that I've won anyway is the wrong attitude to have I say, you should treat every pound to every pence in the same way. This gambling malarkey is hard enough without chucking money away with inappropriate staking. That's just about rant over, but to end on a brighter note some of my non-Betfair football & horse-racing bets have given me some really nice winners. This somewhat softens the blow of my little Betfair adventure but I'll do well to turn Decemeber into a profitable month of the back of that £1.5k loss in the space of a couple of days. The term like a roller coaster is rather cliched but I feel it's somewhat appropriate to my betting adventures this year.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

End of November Update

I'm glad to report back some very nice figures for the month of November. It got off to a great start and it continued fairly steadily throughout the month. The main profit has come from in-play trading on football on Betfair.

November Betfair P/L Figures

As you can see over +£3,400 profit on football betting on my Betfair account unfortunately some of my betting on other sports haven't gone so well. The horse racing betting has been a bit up and down not helped by the weather conditions which has abandoned a lot of meetings recently and looks set to do so for the rest of this week.

But overall my profit for the month comes to a not to shabby £2,626.10 which brings my yearly profit back up to a reasonably level after the mini-crisis in September and makes November my best performing month to date. I doubt December will be as profitable but you never know, my football betting has improved and even some of my Premier League pre-match selections have started performing better. But the horse-racing outlook doesn't look so clever with the heavy snow that has descended on the UK this week. But there's the C word to come later this month (don't care for mentioning it so early though) and I've also got a few tests and coursework assignments in relation to my university work, so I really should be concentrating on these but I'm sure I'll find time for my betting exploits.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

What a weekend!

A whole host of superb sporting action to enjoy this weekend shame there just isn't enough hours in the day to watch it all. One of the events I didn't have chance to watch fully was the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Managed to catch the Murray/Nadal match though and Andy ran him pretty close I thought and Rafa looked a little tired for the final which would have been tough regardless against Federer which he went onto lose.

On Saturday there was the Hennessy Gold Cup which unfortunately for myself and many Denman fans wasn't the fairytale outcome with Denman only managing third. To be fair he was carrying and giving away ridiculous amount of weight to some up-and-coming novices and a few proved too good for him. Although I think his run was still admirable given the weights.

Made a good profit on Betfair today with my lay of Liverpool pre-kick off combined with a further Liverpool lay @ 1.71 at half-time plus a little extra on Tottenham @ 6.8 also at half time. Felt this price was just too big since Spurs have comeback in numerous games this season and the game was quite even and I felt Liverpool had squandered some very good chances and it was only a matter of time before Spurs created some good ones for themselves. Even with the missed Defoe penalty, Tottenham managed to win the game with a goal in injury time that made my Sunday Roast taste an awful lot sweeter (well not sweeter as such just more enjoyable I guess.)

Thank you Aaron Lennon!

If that wasn't enough sports for you The Ashes have been continuing through the night and I've been watching most of it. Stayed up and watched until about 4am this morning with England coasting at 210/1, much more easier to stay awake when England are enjoying a good spell in the game and when you've laid Australia @ 1.48 before the day's play. I'm not overly familiar with betting on cricket but I do watch nearly all England game and have a good knowledge of the sport. It was clear the pitch wasn't doing much and if England could survive the initial morning spell I felt there would be good opportunities for England's batsmen to post big scores, and that proved just the case with Cook & Strauss getting tons.

Clever me!

Now the match looks destined for a draw, although a look at the graph (below) just shows how there's a massive scope for trading in cricket if you know what your doing. Although I salute anyone who's managed to stay up all night and remain focused enough to trade. I probably should trade out my bet for a whole green screen but I think I'll watch the opening stages of today's play and see if there's any early England intent or indeed wickets. Can't see either team looking to force a result to be honest, Strauss is not going to want to get in a position where he'd risk losing the game to win it after coming back strongly in the second innings. That's of course unless the pitch dramatically starts turning sidewards of something in which case Swanny could come into play. But in all likelihood it should end a draw.

A trader's dream?

Also a small shout out to the Ashes coverage on Sky which I think has been very good and they manage to provide that little bit of humour when the cricket is going through a slow period. Although last night's (or this morning's) scream of anguish from Lord Gower made me jump slightly, thankfully he'd only hurt his toe as a result of Nasser Hussain's chair. Pretty funny clip though...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Come on Denman!

Tomorrow sees the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury as Denman tries to make it a hat-trick of successes in this race. Backed ante-post at 7.00 was expecting the price to shorten slightly more, think I'm going to let it run and hopefully cheer Denman home. His performance last year was simply remarkable and one of my favourite sporting moments of recent history.

Come on Denman!

Elsewhere the Ashes got under way, I've managed to stay up to watch both days play till lunch so far and catch the rest of the highlights later in the day. Slight edge to the Aussies so far but still think England have a very good chances in this series. Placed a bet prior to the first day and that was simply a LAY of Australia to win the series. More on that as the series develops.

To conclude on the football, there's not too much that takes my fancy this weekend but Everton to beat West Brom and Wolves (+0) at home to Sunderland are my only two bets so far.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Champions League and referees

Arsene Wenger does have the tendency to talk absolute nonsense a lot of the time but thought he was spot on with his comments in the press after their defeat to Braga. Arsenal clearly should have had a penalty but instead Vela, the player involved, was booked for diving. Wenger branded the five-official UEFA system "useless" and I don't disagree with him. There always seem to be a reluctance even with normal linesman to over-rule or make independent decisions during the game. Part of the reason could be that they don't want to undermine the referee in charge by going against one of his decisions and secondly, probably the main one in the eyes, is that if these extra officials happen to make a decisions (correctly or wrongly) against the home side they are going to get stick for the remainder of the game. These extra officials aren't going to be perfectly unbiased in their decision when they've got the Stratford End (at Old Trafford) or The Kop (Anfield) breathing down their neck.

For this reason alone they should scrap this system, to some extent referees already seem biased towards the "bigger clubs" this system just seems to favour that even more. The video referee much like a third umpire in cricket is the only way to go in my opinion if decision-making wants to be improved. Whether that could be implemented successfully is another matter and I for one wouldn't want to see a lot of decisions being reviewed and thus slowing down the game. Part of the fun of football is the controversy and a lot of the controversy comes from poor referring decisions taking this completely out of the game may seem a good idea but it would definitely reduce football talking points and I happen to like talking about football.

I wonder if the UEFA officials run a 5-a-side league...

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Oh Dear Arsenal

Crazy game at the Emirates with Arsenal seemingly totally in control at half-time with them being 2-0 up and totally dominating the game. Second half Tottenham just came out and played well and with a helping hand from Fabregas they came back into the game and ended up winning 3-2.

Mr.Wenger wasn't too happy it seems...

Friday, 19 November 2010

Dirty little arber

I've been undertaking in a bit of arbitrage betting (or arb betting for short) over the last couple of days. From my general observations this practise is generally frowned upon and you'll get your bookmakers accounts closed pretty sharply if you undertake it to any great degree. But I personally favour the Back to Lay arb which is taking a bigger price with a bookmaker and then laying it for a shorter price on Betfair (even with the commission charge taken into account). Essentially it's much like any trade on Betfair but instead you've guaranteed yourself a profit before the event as even started, this is where the great competition in the bookmaker industry comes to your advantage as they will generally try and compete on price where they see fit now that there's various odds comparison sites out there that punters have become aware of.

The typical arb for me at least is usually only around the 2% mark, but it is totally risk free money providing you place the bets correctly and use a reliable bookmaker(s). Don't know whether I could see myself doing this long-term because there's limits and the highly likelihood of accounts getting closed which don't make it appeal to me, then again there's no harm in the occasional arb that will cover the cost of your lunch or go back into your betting bank. Read more about arbitrage betting here

I actually had a poor day trading on Wednesday which was part of the reason why I decided to do a few arbs and step away from the trading for a while. November performance still looking good but a couple of poor trades knocked me a bit and I think I'm better stepping back from the trading for a while.

My football bets are up on my blogabet page for this weekend, main fancies are in opposing West Brom at home to Stoke and betting Man City with a draw no bet away at Fulham. My Premier League picks have gradually improved over the last couple of weeks hopefully another decent profit can help me reduce my overall loss so far this season.

I think Sparky's Fulham will find it difficult up against his old employers.

My Tip of the Weekend: Man City (DNB) @ 1.72 (Coral)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Mid-November update

Glad to say at the mid-point of November the profit figure is considerable won't reveal the figure now but I'll go as far as to say if I have a half-decent second half to the month it will be one of my best months for the year. A lot of the profit as actually come from my football trading and my amazingly lucky £1k profit week on Betfair, since then I've toned down my trading down a bit. I've actually placed a few long-term bets on the horse racing one on Denman for the Hennessy at 7.00 on Betfair for £50, price already dropped but not much liqudity since it's ante-post market, Expect him to be much shorter come the day of the race all things being well I'll be able to lay off for a free bet probably. Also had a few smaller bets on the Grand National antepost, a long time off the race itself but just backed a couple I liked the look of from last year's race and providing they run they'll surely be much shorter come closer the time.

I've actually lots of Uni work and assignments I really should be getting on with but the weekend is always spent watching sport whether I happen to be betting on it or not. Plenty of drama this weekend from the not totally unexpected demolition of Harrison by Haye to the climax of the Formula One season. Glad Alonso didn't win it can't stand the guy, decent season for Jenson and Lewis hopefully they'll have an improved car next season and therefore have a better chance of the battling for the title. But well done to Vettel he was the fastest man throughout the season and probably deserved it on balance, would have won it a lot easier had he not had the habit of knocking himself and other competitors out of various races.

To finish I can't miss commenting on the remarkable scenes from Stamford Bridge. I've watched plenty of Sunderland away from home and they have been nothing but average at best this calender year. But a superb, energetic display saw them beat Chelsea quite comfortably in the end and the 0-3 scoreline did not flatter them if anything it could have been more! Don't buy the whole Chelsea had lots of players missing excuse, every team has players missing and there's no sympathy for Chelsea who should have quality squad depth with their resources. Fair play to Sunderland, didn't help my fantasy football team much though, thought Ashley Cole should have at least got an assist for the third it was a brilliant cross...

A good impression of what a Sunderland 3-0 layer might look like

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Once a thug always a thug

Just a quick comment on everyone's favourite footballing personality Joey Barton. He's had more "chances" to redeem himself than I care to count. For the record I actually think he is a decent footballer when he doesn't resort to the sort of behaviour we saw against Blackburn last night.

Clear punching an opposition player straight in the stomach for no apparent reason in front of dozens TV cameras that have ever angle covered is just plain silly. The referee or his officials didn't spot this but he'll surely be in for a 3 match ban (should be more in my opinion) with the aid of the video evidence.

It was more suited to a boxing ring than a football pitch. Maybe we should let Barton take Harrison's place for the big fight on Saturday I'd love to see how tough he thinks he is then.

David "The Hayemaker" Haye

Monday, 8 November 2010

Miserable Mondays

Don't know whether it's just my perception but I definitely seem to think that Mondays always seem to bring the worst of the weather. Howling wind and rain crashing against my bedroom window this morning when my alarm clock goes off at 8am, would have been so easy just to stay in bed and forget Uni for the day. Somehow managed to get myself up and into my lectures on time. Although my heart really isn't in it that much anymore. I'd much rather be at home analysing bets and trading market on Betfair. I've had a very good run on Betfair recently, mainly on football trading matches available to watch on Betfair Video. I can't help but think I've been highly fortunate in the process, maybe sometimes ignorance is bliss. Betting purely on what you see on the pitch rather than any pre-made presumptions about each team may be the way to go. My Premier League bets have been awful recently and I'd consider to have very good knowledge of that league yet I've been trading highly successfully on obscure South American and other top European league that I don't pretend to have a great knowledge about.

Here's my quite remarkable Betfair P/L for the last 7 days. Luck or skill? I'd be leaning towards the former that's why I've withdrawn a large chunk of the profits (nicely boosts my horse racing system funds for the new year) and am going reduce my stakes slightly for future trades. But for the first time ever I feel I've been trading really well, think I mentioned my 1.03 lay in a previous post I've had a few similar ones since then but not quite as short as that. Had some lucky escapes also though the Setbul v Rio Ave game comes to mind with a last minute goal from the visitors turning a £200+ loss into a £200+ profit.

How to net yourself £1k in a week (the unorthodox way)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Kauto back with a win

I've decided this blog as become to football-oriented so a little entry on the horse racing here.

Nice to see Kauto Star back in action after he of course crashed out of the Gold Cup in his last race. You'd never have guessed that with his performance at Down Royal today, he jumped perfectly and showed his class to overcome the field. Although the one to take out of the race is definitley Sizing Europe in opinion, always been a fan of this horse and glad to see it stay the trip. Be interesting to see where they go with it from here, worth an entry into the Gold Cup based on that performance. Everything for me is always building upto Cheltenham which is the only major time of the race calender where a waiver from systemtic approach and get out my form studying hat. Could be in for a very good line-up for this year's Gold Cup with old boys Kauto Star and Denman as well as last year's winner Imperial Commander plus the up-and-coming younger horses. However plenty of big races before then including the Hennessy in which Kauto may run in according to Paul Nicholls.


Will Kauto run in the Hennessy?

Monday, 1 November 2010

Football Madness

Today for me summed up why I love football so much. That can sometimes be forgotten briefly among the process of betting, but football at his best is pure entertainment or the highest form in my opinion.

Firstly I'll start with a game most people probably won't have witnessed. An amazing game in Serie B between Sassuolo and Siena which saw four goals in the opening twenty minutes. The away side Siena scored shortly before half-time to go 3-2 ahead. The second half was still lively despite no goals being scored up until injury time that is, when the home side Sassuolo scored not just once but twice to win 4-3! What makes it even sweeter is the fact I had laid Siena at around 1.50 and then laid the draw after it went 3-3 at my lowest ever successful lay price of 1.03.

Just when I think I'd seen enough football entertainment for the day I watched the Premier Legaue match between Blackpool and West Brom. I actually expected this to be a good game with two attacking sides and the game didn't disappoint what with nine men West Brom battling hard in a thrilling end-to-end game. Had a small lay of West Brom in this game pre-kick off as well as my over 2.5 goals bet I took earlier in the week. So overall very good day, made more money today than in the last month put together, crazy stuff really. Making money is a lot more fun than doing my boring Uni work I must admit.

Good day's work

Sunday, 31 October 2010

End of October Update

Thought it would be apt time to post my thoughts on my October performance since it is the end of October today and we all have the benefit of having an extra hour today.

My profit for October was £43.06, whilst this is a profit I can't help but feel a little disappointed that all my hard-work in respect to placing bets and analysing data as come to such a small profit. Truth be told I think I've suffered from the fact that I currentley have only one of my major systems running at present and therefore I've not had as many bets as I would have if they were all running. To be honest I can't wait till the new year when I'll have all my main system running at the peak of their powers. For the time being it's a case of the occassional horse racing bet whilst trying to make a profit from my football bets, which I'm finding increasingly hard. Especially since the majority of my bets are placed pre-match and before line-up announcements. I'd love to be involved more in-play on football matches but unfornately the television with Sky is downstairs and my computer upstairs, so therefore unless I watch some live streaming on the internet I'm unable to place in-play bets without running up and downstairs like a maniac. Today's late game was probably a prime example I'd laid Liverpool pre-kick off but they scored a late winner and my bet lost. Had I been able to bet in-play I could have traded out to an all green screen. On a sidenote what a result and performance from Newcastle to win 5-1 against Sunderland, bit of a horror show for the Mackems (had to get a halloween pun in there).

So moving onto November I expect it's going to be a very similiar month to October in the sense of number of bets and focus on football bets. Hopefully I'll be able to improve on the small profit I achieved this month, on the bright side at least I'm back in overall profit for the year now after a shocking September.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Premier League Review (Week 9)

Some sense of normality returned to this weekend some would say with all the "original" top four winning. But for me it was just as hectic and unpredictable as always. That being said I managed my first profitable week in four on the betting front. I've changed from my normal level stakes to more flexible stakes now, also decided under/over goals bets will be lower stakes from now on as these things are much harder to predict than actual outccomes and my record of these bets as been poor. My new staking plan is more flexible in the sense I give the selections a rating out of 1 to 10 based on how strong the selection is and the value on it, although I plan to rangebets between 3 and 5 out of 10 for the majority of the picks.

Next week's Premier League fixtures at a glance look really tough, think I'll have my work cut out this week. The league is ridiculously close this year although the obvious top teams appear to be breaking away with Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United & Man City making up the top four and I fully expect Tottenham, Liverpool,Everton and Aston Villa to make up the same top eight come the end of the season. But the remaining 12 clubs in the league are very evenly matched in my opinion, Blackpool would obviously be considered the weakest but even they've shown signs of being able to pick up wins against good Premier League side. Then there's a split I suppose you would say between teams who usually operate more defensive systems and rely on keeping games tight, I would class Stoke, Blackburn, Birmingham & Sunderland in this bracket whilst you've got the likes of Fulham, West Ham, Bolton, Wigan and West Brom who try and operate more offensively and enjoy possession of the football. I've left out Newcastle and Wolves, both teams like to mix up their style, although Wolves would be more likely to fall under the first whilst Newcastle could be considered under the second.

The difference in approach from the teams is very interesting to watch, and funnily enough the teams with British managers tend to have the tendency to operate with orer emphasis on defense. Some people call teams like Stoke and Blackburn because of their styles of play. But I say there's not only one way to play football, not every team can play like Barcelona or Arsenal. Part of the thing that makes the Premier League so interesting is the contrast in styles and the mixture of physical stregth and techincal skill. I've not really reviewed the weekend in much depth but I think an overall view of the Premier League serves as an interesting topic of thought.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Handicap Hurdle pick

Anybody who follows me on the Adrian Massey forum will know that I have a handicap hurdle system topic that I post up selections on. The forum appears to be down at present so I'm posting my selection for today up on here:

3:45 Ludlow - HALLING GIRL

Monday, 18 October 2010

Premier League Review

I've come to the conclusion that it is very difficult to make a profit betting on Premier League football taking outright prices pre-match. Yesterday's matches just about sums that up for me, in the Merseyside derby their was value to be had in backing over 2.5 goals in my opinion some would argue Liverpool were value considering the historic closeness of these games. Result 2-0 Everton, maybe the actual outcome wasn't that much of a suprise (I expected an Everton win) but the fact that game remained unders was a bit fornate, in my opinion the best bet in that game was overs but it was a losing one.

Probably an even bigger injustice was Man City's win over Blackpool, the people who backed Man City at around 1.66 (4/6 in old money) got very lucky in this game and in my opinion the right bet in this game would have been Blackpool on the handicap (think they where +1 on the asian handicap when I checked). So overall what I'm saying is that there's fine margains to deal with in football, a poor decision by the referee can change everything and you can make the correct bet but still lose. The value concept apparentley states that if you continue to find "value" in your selections then in the long-term you'll be profitable. At the minute I'm either not finding this "value" or I'm just becoming increasingly unlucky. If my performances doesn't improve by the new year I think I'll put my Premier League tipster career on hold.

I'm also feeling a little under the weather at the minute. Another poosible negative of being a full-time gambler, even when you are feeling a bit ill you still have to go about your daily routine whereas if your in normal work you can just call in sick. Then again as long as it's not serious illness (i've only got a bout of man flu I think) you should be able to work perfect fine from home with all the neccessary items to make you better, chicken soup, ice cream, paracetamol and throat lozenges usually does the trick for me.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Weekend football

My picks for the weekend Premier League are as follows:

Fulham v Tottenham
Fulham (+0) @ 2.12 (Pinnacle) high confidence
Fulham remain unbeaten this season with one win and six draws to their name. In their latest game away at West Ham I thought they acquitted themselves well especially since they have been poor travellers in the past and were missing a lot of their striking options. Fulham’s strength lies in their home record at Craven Cottage (last season’s record: W11, D3, L5) and they’ve continued that so far this season with draws against Everton & Man United and victory over Wolves.

Tottenham come into this game on the back of a 2-1 home win over Aston Villa. However their away form this season has been mixed with one win, one draw and one defeat. Tottenham still have a big injury list with plenty of players out and that must be a major worry coming into this game especially with their big European game in Milan on Wednesday, it would be understandable to presume that players not at full fitness may miss out of this game in hope of playing on Wednesday.

I really like the look of Fulham in this game. Fulham have a strong home record and have yet to be beaten this season against a Spurs side that may have half an eye on their Champions League interests, happy to take the Fulham (+0) here.

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Man United v West Brom
Under 3.25 goals @ 1.84 (SBObet) medium
Man United by their usual high standards have hit something of a sticky patch in recent weeks with just one win in their last four. Man United were somewhat disappointing in their last game away at Sunderland and very rarely threatened to score. With Rooney seemingly still out of form the pressure falls heavily on the likes of Berbatov and Nani to provide the goals.

West Brom have undoubtedly made a very impressive start to their Premier League campaign which was identified remarkably in their win against Arsenal at the Emirates. They come to Old Trafford hoping to do something similar; however I think they’ll find it more difficult against Man United who generally are a very sound defensive unit. West Brom also look likely to be without Odemwingie and Thomas who were their star performers at the Emirates.

On balance it’s difficult to see past a Man United win here, although I expect West Brom to make it tough for Man United. Their defence has improved rapidly since their opening game defeat at Chelsea and they operate a 4-1-4-1 formation which can be difficult to break down. Therefore I’m happy to take under 3.25 goals in this game because I feel West Brom will struggle to score against a Man Untied team that don’t tend to concede many goals at Old Trafford and because Man United haven’t looked as lethal in front of goal recently.

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Newcastle v Wigan
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.85 (188bet) medium
Wigan (+0.5) @ 2.06 (Ladbrokes) small
Newcastle have had a mixed start to the season with impressive wins against Aston Villa and Everton but home defeats to both Stoke and Blackpool. I thought Newcastle played okay in their last match against Man City and it took a moment of inspiration from Adam Johnson for City to break through a very resilient Newcastle backline in the second half in that game. Newcastle will probably look back at both the Stoke and Blackpool games and say we had the chances to win those games we just weren’t clinical enough in front of goal.

Bar the win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane Wigan haven’t really played brilliantly so far this season. Draws against Birmingham and Sunderland could go down as decent results and performances but by no means spectacular. They won their most recent game against Wolves 2-0, but they did play against ten men for the large majority of the game and despite all their possession it took a free-kick to break the deadlock.
For me this game should be low-scoring, Wigan have played only two away games so far this season which have ended 0-1 and 0-0. Martinez favours playing five across midfield in a 4-5-1 formation which both Tottenham and Birmingham have failed to breakdown this season.

Whilst Newcastle do usually play an attacking game they also have effectively five across midfield when defending (Nolan drops back from his supporting striker role). Only one of Newcastle three home games as gone unders but because of the way Wigan set-up I think under2.5 goals is a good option here. I’m also inclined to have a small bet on the Wigan (+0.5) as a feel the price is too big especially if you consider Wigan are unbeaten away from home and Newcastle have lost their last two home games.


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Hopefully it will be a profitable weekend on the football bets. Had a few nice winners this week in my horse racing bets which makes my figures look a little better, currentley in profit for October at the mid-point of the month.

Monday, 11 October 2010

End of the week update

Decided to post a little end of the week update. But my main reason for posting is to say I'm taking some time off from Betfair, I've withdrawn a £100 from my account and left in just the £20 which I will use for small bets but only on rare occassions. I don't consider myself skilled or disciplined enough to trade on Betfair daily. I've mentioned it before but I've not got much going on at all betting wise, the occassional horse racing selections and football tips. Although finding the football not so successful so far this year I think I definitely prefer horse racing betting as for me at least it's proven to be the most profitable. Football is a very difficult game to try and predict largely because there's usually only a small difference in terms of goals between the teams and finding value can be difficult especially on the well-known leagues. Plus the majority of times I'm betting around the evens mark meaning a strike rate of 50% needs to be attained whereas Horse Racing system tend to have higher average odds but require a much lower strike rate. However I'm going to continue with my PL picks and review my results and situation in the new year.

Anyway here's my overview page which I use to keep track of all the money I have in my various bookmakers accounts as well as my overall year profit. Still working at a loss for the year after September's disaster but the real damage as occured in my Betfair account which is a large reason behind my decision to take time away from it.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Bye, bye laying system hello trading time

On the back of the really poor performance last month and the equal poor start to this month I've decided to ditch my laying system for the time being, need to inspect why such a massive downturn as occured over such a short period of time after it appeared to be working perfectly fine for the previous four months.

In the meantime I've only got £100 left in my betfair account left to play with after the losses incurred by my laying system. I've decided i'm going to opt for trying my hand at trading, hopefully discplined and successful trading. But I haven't been to successful in the past at trading but this time I'm going to focus soley on football matches. I'd like to try and average 1% per day in profit based on bank size at the beginning of the day, although I don't plan to trade every day. All my trades are going to be in-play mainly across the match odds and over/under goals markets. I had a decent start tonight by locking in a decent profit on the Israel v Croatia after Croatia went 1-0, they've actually gone on to score another before half-time. Therefore at half-time my biggest green looks the most likely, I'll of course keep you updated on how my betfair trades are going as well as all my other bets. Although it's all a bit quite this weekend with the international football.

A successful trade by me!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The magic of the Johnson's Paint Trophy

Doesn't have the same ring to it does it? But the Johnson's Paint Trophy definitley provided a wonderful, magical game of football tonight in the form of Sheffield Wednesday Vs Chesterfield. Probably made all the more sweet by the fact that I profited well from this game, firstly on my original over 2.5 goals bet and secondly a much bigger win on the match odds market. These are the sort of games that all traders out there love, one like tonight's which keeps changing in outcome from draw to away win to draw and back to away win again. Thankfully I managed to be on the right end of all the swings tonight and got the feeling of what it's like to be a successful trader (don't get that feeling very often I must say).

But the night very much belongs to football, as it was a very entertaining game that ended in dramatic penalty shoot-out which ended with Chesterfield's goalkeeper missing their 11th spot kick and seeing Sheff Wed progess through to the next round.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Europe win the Ryder Cup!

Got to love the Ryder Cup, undoubtley one of the best sporting events around. I myself managed to get back in to watch the final stages on television. Pure sporting drama as the USA forced it down to the final game with McDowell thankfully holding out and meaning Europe win the Ryder Cup!

Ole! Ole! Ole!

Back to my betting adventure and I thought it would be a good time to display a graph of my horse racing laying system which went totally off the rails in September, although my aggressive staking plan is probably partly to blame for the downfall, but I'm now operating with a more conservative staking plan due to uncertainty, the system seems to have steadied itself over the last week or hopefully the upward trend which I witnessed from May up until August will return. Graph show cumulative P/L over the number of selections.

Click to enlarge

Sunday, 3 October 2010

September Review and lots of rain!

Just a fairly brief September update from me, in truth there's not much to say apart from that it's been a terrible, terrible month in terms of betting performance. My laying system is down over £900 for the month and a few of my other horse racing systems are down for the month combine that with a few lapses in discipline and you get a rather painful loss of over £4k for the month, wiping out all my profit for the year so far. In part I've only got myself to blame my lapses in discipline and using a much bigger % of my bank on Betfair on bets than I should be has been the primarily reasons for this, possibly born out of frustration by the way my systems have been performing. Glad to say I haven't been placing any silly bets or attempting trades with big % of my bank since a few Sunday's ago where I lost big after three goals in the space of five minutes in a Serie A. The full damage (not for the fainted-hearted) in exact figures is shown in my P/L sidebar.

Obviously a big set-back but I like to take everything a month at a time my aim now is to make a profit for October. A lot of my horse racing system don't run during for October because I find it is very tricky to find good horse racing systems for this period of the year. Therefore my main focus at the minute is football, both my own bets (which have been average so far this season) and other football tipsters I follow. There's two new bets up on my blogabet for today's Premier League games by the way.

Finally the subject of weather, it can be crucial in decision-making for your bets. For horse racing I suspect everyone knows the significance of changes in ground, heavy ground can make races a lot more unpredictable and can making betting a bit of lottery. I also recall a Brazilian football game I bet on last year I think it was, there was a complete downpour of rain and the pitch was barely playable as the ball kept stopping in puddles, they continued though and I managed a nice trade on under 2.5 goals on that game which dropped by around 0.50 in the space of the first fifteen minutes due to the state of the weather and pitch. I also mention rain because it annoys me highly, was looking forward to watching the conclusion on the Ryder Cup today but it appears another downpour of rain has meant that the Singles won't be played till tommorrow (at which time I'll be stuck in some University lecture).

Monday, 27 September 2010

Suprise, suprise or no suprise?

This weekend’s Premier League results would probably have surprised quite a few people, I beg the question where the results really such a surprise?

I’ll take the Saturday early kick-off first with Chelsea coming unstuck against big spenders Man City. Chelsea where seemingly in great goal-scoring form and definitely looked the team to beat, represented by the fact they are odds on to win the title this year. But Man City have lined up the same in every league game so far in a rather conservative 4-5-1 formation which teams have found very difficult to break down so far this season. Chelsea’s midfield consisted of two defensive minded players in Mikel and Ramires as was as Essien who’s a good all-round player but not exactly the attacking creative midfield force that Chelsea needed in this game. I didn’t bet on this game but my instincts told me unders on this game and I was perfectly correct in the end. The outright Man City win offered great value as well but Mancini’s tactic heavily relied on getting the first goal in the game, and that they did. So overall it was probably a slight shock but Chelsea’s form maybe was over-rated since this was their first game against a “top team” this season.

Secondly probably the biggest shock of the weekend and a blatant “coupon buster” as it was referred to as West Brom beat Arsenal at the Emirates. I actually took Arsenal on the handicap in this game, I had reluctance pre-game about this bet and the actual game itself just confirmed I’d made a poor bet. The main logic for my bet was that West Brom where unproven away from home in the Premier League having been walloped by Chelsea and having got beat at Anfield. However I did mention in my preview to this game that West Brom have been highly impressive since the Chelsea game and were unlucky not to get anything from that aforementioned game against Liverpool. Then you have Arsenal, who had to go through extra-time in the Carling Cup and who had and still do have a rather long injury list. Plus you should always remember to factor in the Arsenal defence go AWOL phenomenon that happens on numerous occasions during the season. Overall this game was probably a no bet all round due to the issues mentioned, you couldn’t really see West Brom scoring three but the West Brom (+1.75) was probably the bet to have if you put their recent form into perspective.

Tottenham also suffered a defeat at the hands of West Ham. I had West Ham (+0.25) in this game so this is where I can pat myself on the back. Again the reasons were all fairly obvious, West Ham coming into the game off the back of a good point at Stoke and a morale boasting away win in the Carling Cup. Whilst Tottenham where/still are ravaged by injuries especially in defence and with half an eye of the Champions League the bet on West Ham made perfect sense.

Finally Man United could only manage a point at Bolton. I was tempted by Bolton on the handicap in this game but decide against it. Bolton have been impressive so far this season and held Villa the week previous. For Man United you have Rooney who’s clearly still out of form completely and therefore a lot of reliance of Berbatov to produce the goods. Bolton also always line up 4-4-2 which was the formation Liverpool switched to which got them back in the game at Old Trafford and which Man United seemed to struggle against. Man United odds looked much too short in this game.

So the entire top four from last season could only muster up one point between them, but I’d say no great surprise at all. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Back to normal life and my weekend picks

I was in a strange way looking forward to going back to university for my third and final year but just three days of boring, tedious, mind-numbing lectures confirmed to me why my real ambition in life lies in trying to become a full-time professional gambler. Don't get me wrong i'm glad to have had the opportunity to study at a university, although truth be told anybody with half a brain cell can seemingly get on some sort of university course these days. I study business and finance foremost which I was extremeley interested in a couple of years back but my passion for that has seemingly passed and I know my real passion now lies in horse racing, football and gambling in general.

That makes this month of September with my own ill-advised lapses in displine and the decline in a number of my systems all that more harder to take. It's basically rendered the year to date a pointless waste of time. I have been considering the option of taking the rest of the year off away from gambling and come back next year fresh and with my capital still intact. But I'm only dealing with small stakes on my own horse racing laying and football bets at present with slightly bigger stakes on some reliable football tipsters picks. Therefore I decide i'm going to be continue since in general ity's going to fairly quiet on the betting front from now until the new year. Not until March through until the end of August do all my big-earning horse racing systems start. Like I've mentioned before I had hoped to be backing these selections with stakes somewhere around the £100-£200 mark to really start profiting significant amounts. But at the moment my betting funds are running low and I can only hope that from now till the end of year I can manage a decent profit which will add to my fund for next year and thus increase my ability to raise the stakes on thoose horse racing system bets that I have so much confidence in.

My football weekend bets for the Premier League are up on my blogabet for thoose interested. Now there's something I don't mind watching and studying, some high-class Premier League football, if only lectures where this entertaining!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Foolish, foolish me

Sorry to say I slipped into the slippery slope of trying to do what I refer to as a "quick trade" i.e. bet a large proportion of your bank on something with the intention of trading off nearly straight away. The typical example of this would be to Back Under X.Xgoals and then lay off as the price drops one or two ticks. But I fell victim of just this tactic in a Serie A game, I won't go into further details but fair to say I blew a fair chunk of my Betfair funds by doing this.

September has been absolutely terrible and I'll post an update at the end of the month so everyone can see the damage with their own eyes. I feel like such an idiot for continuing to do stupid things like this, betting more than say 2-3% of your bank on a regular basis is only going to end in tears. Think part of it as got to me being bored over the summer months, ironically enough Sunday night was my last night of the holiday and I was back at University today. I've had to reduce the stakes in my laying system which is my main use for my Betfair account. I've made a deal with myself that if I ever try and go trading again on Betfair I will immediately remove all money from my account and close it leaving just my bookmakers accounts. My Betfair P/L is terrible especially compared with my bookmakers P/L which is actually quite good. Shame I'm such a sucker for in-play betting, another £800 loss is sizeable damage. My plans to go "full-time" next year look to be unlikely now. Which is a real shame because I firmly believe I have a good number of horse racing system between March and August which could spring myself profit given the right amount of investment. My job now for the remainder of the year is to try and raise some funds for my horse racing system plans next year.

Not a huge Green Day fan but I do like this song and I feel it's quite fitting after what has happened so far this month: