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.