Sunday, 30 January 2011

Week Four Update

First of all might I add what a refreshing sight it was to see the lower league sides in Southampton, Huddersfield & Notts County put up brave battles against the top Premiership sides this weekend in the FA Cup. Never fails to amaze me how well some of these lower league teams play in these matches, they can't usually keep it up for 90 minutes but the fact that they can out play the teams in question at any stage is admirable in itself. There wasn't actually a "giant killing" as such but the teams can sure be proud of their effort, I was hoping one of the big teams would get knocked out if only for their arrogant approach of not playing their full strength side in this competition.

Back to my betting adventure. I'm proud to say another nicely profitable week to the tune of £497.04, my horse racing bets continue to do surprisingly well considering this time of the year, which usually isn't their strong suit. Meanwhile my Betfair £100 challenge as started promisingly enough netting a profit of £39.45 in my first week, may not sound so big but considering I started with a £50 starting balance, I think that amount is exceptional. Although I must admit the way in which I gained some of the profit was rather fortunate, still often find myself stuck between trading and outright bets. Did a few outright bets on today's cup games for a little interest for example but then again there's matches where I've been trading and ended up just letting bets run and ended up in a bit of trouble. So definitely still areas for improvement in my trading aspect but overall can't grumble too much with my first week performance of my challenge. I've updated the figures for this challenge in the sidebar.

My next update will be tomorrow, where I shall be rounding up the month of January. Only likely to be a few bets for Monday so if anyone's that dying to see my cumulative profit for the month they can simply add up the first four week totals I've posted up. Although I can say with confidence that the figure will make for very nice reading and was just the start to the year I was looking for.

Not exactly what a trader's P/L should like with a starting bank of £50

Friday, 28 January 2011

Sky Scandal

It appears this week's news coverage has been dominated by the "sexist" comments made by Andy Gray & Richards Keys in an off air conversation. I for one don't condone this sort of attitude but I feel, as usually with the news, it's been blown totally out of proportion. For one, these where off-air comments, and somebody clearly within Sky decided to leak the audio for whatever reason (enter you own conspiracy theory here). I'm not a particularly big fan of Keys & Gray, they do a decent job but I just think they where fortunate to be in the right place at the right time at the start of the Sky Sports revolution. Just seems a bit harsh to me that somebody should lose their job on the back of comments which weren't actually broadcasted and presumably where only meant to be a conversation between the two of them. Certainly seems harsh in that light but I do look forward with interest to see who they are replaced with.

Meanwhile this news story gives me a chance to post up this very good impression of the two doing tactical anlalysis. Quite old I know but I still find it funny.

I just realised I haven't talked about betting at all, this week has been going okay so far I'll update fully with figures on Sunday as usual. Also got to mention Andy Murray here, can he do it? will he bottle it? I for one shall be cheering him on in the final. Not every day you see a British player in a Grand Slam Final., Come On Andy!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Week Three Update

End of the third week of my betting year and I'm glad to say it went okay. Ended the week in a nice profit of +£336.16, which sort of cancels out my last week's loss plus a little extra to take my cumulative profit for the year to a new high.

Majority of the profit again came from my horse racing bets which seem to be consistent in performance so far this year. Especially encouraging is the fact that the best months of the year are still to go and not all my systems are operational yet. My football betting once again has been a bit of a mix bag, been trying trades with small amounts on Betfair just to try out various techniques on the football in-play. Betfair P/L for the week however is only small, although there was quite a lot of up and downs during the week with a few outright bets thrown in there as well. My Premier League bets were rather shocking this week I must admit, some bad picks and some others were just plain unlucky. Was on Man City to win, as well as a laying Aston Villa on Betfair in that game. Not quite sure how Man City managed to lose that one to be honest, I stand by the fact that there was huge value on the Man City win and indeed in laying Aston Villa. Just seems at times that everything is against you, especially when the ball skims of a players backside and hits the post and then City's £27million striker misses a header from about 2 yards out. Just have to accept that these sort of things can happen, however annoying they might be.

I've decided on quite a simple plan for my Betfair account from now. I've withdrawn all my money but £50, and I've decided to set aside just £100 to use for my trading experiment as it is. I'll start with the £50 and allow myself to top-ups of £25, should my bank drop below say £10. I've limited my account to a maximum £25 deposit also, to fit in with this. My other plan is to withdrawn half of any profit made at the end of each week. For every £50 profit I withdraw (probably optimistic) I gain one extra top-up of £25. Think this plan suits my style more as I seem more focused when my balance is reasonably low in monetary terms whereas having a large bank often causes me to be reckless. This will sort of be my last chance at trading properly, If I blow this £100 I will no longer use Betfair for trading at least. I shall update my progress in the sidebar on this sort of £100 to ??? challenge on Betfair.

Elsewhere I notice the Australian Open has been going in the early hours of the morning. Can't say I've watched too much of it myself. But I hear Maria Sharapova just got knocked out in the fourth round, I'll take any excuse to post a picture of the lovely Ms. Sharapova.

...Don't worry, I still love you Maria

Thursday, 20 January 2011

"Service Unavailable"

Was the message displayed on Betfair yesterday at around five o'clock or so. I myself had been dabbling in a little bit of experimental trading, with £2 stakes only and noticed the Betfair site go down during the second half of the Asian Cup game I was trading on. This made me think about how bad the possible consequences of the site going down whilst in-play could have on some of the major traders out there. Think you may be trading in the thousands and then all of sudden the sites down and you can't trade out your position. Well there is the possibility of using bookmakers accounts to hedge your bets, but this is obviously not ideal especially if someone deals primarily on Betfair.

Okay i'm probably not alone with my Betfair bashing here. But I really do think it's time they improved their service, i'm no technical expert but surely back-up servers and systems should be easy to implement for a site accessed all over the world which sees millions upon millions of pounds pass through it each day. I think there was around five or six football games actually in-play and on Betfair live video when the site went down, that leaves a lot of people and particularly traders in open positions which should really happen.

The liquidity on Betfair is unrivalled with other exchanges hence why it is by far and away the most popular betting exchange. People always seem to suggest a major migration to Betdaq or the purple one, in protest of such flaws in services from Betfair. But I somehow doubt that will ever happen, we can only hope that Betfair gets its act together for the sake of fairness. I only lost £2 as a result, but my attitude would have been just the same had my intended trade bet gone onto win. It's not the fact that the bet lost, it's the fact that Betfair's site went down with so many in-play markets running that was the major issue. I feel for people who where adversely effected by this service downtime, you won't get any compensation from Betfair just a worthless apology. Although I agree Betfait can only settle the markets as appropriate in such cases, voiding markets would just cause further outrage. The main point is that the site shouldn't go down with in-play betting advertised, if you can't guarantee the reliability of the site then don't offer in-play betting. Rant over.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Busy day, busy week

Apologies for not updating at all this week. Main reason is I've been rather busy both on a betting front and with me being back at university for my final semester. Today was particularly busy, I say busy if you can call watching football busy that is. Three live games on Sky Sports starting from 12pm almost non-stop till 6pm, and then there was the NFL play-offs which are actually still going on as I speak. Whilst watching all that I had to place all my bets for the day and just now I've been updating all my records to work out my P/L for the week (week two of the year).

My horse racing bets have been rather mixed this week, but it's my betfair trading on football that contributes a large portion of this week's unfortunate loss. The total loss for this week came to £313.39, which is obviously not great but I can't help but feel I've been a bit unlucky with some of my bets this week. Ben Foster's howler cost me in the Carling Cup tie midweek when I'd put in a good lay of West Ham after Birmingham equalised I thought. Instead of looking at a profit of around £40 for a draw or a Birmingham win I ended up having to accept a loss of around £100. One little moment like that can make a big change in your overall P/L figures. I did however play some other game including Asian Cup games and my trading was poor I thought, and I made further loss on some of those game.

Got lots of University assignments and work to be doing next week, so even if I wanted to do I don't think I'll have much time for trading. Think it's best I take a little time away from it, that being said in the last few days I've reduced my stakes and have begun to put in better trades. Decided to avoid the under/over goal markets where possible because that's where I often come unstuck.

Halfway through January already, one superb week, one poor week hopefully I'll have two good weeks to finish January with a nice profit. A lot will rely on my horse racing bets to determine whether that will be the case or not. I'm not to disheartened by this week like I've said before bad weeks happen it's the overall picture that matters.

Bit of a shocker this week

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Pretty good week as it turns out

Bit of a reversal on my previous post, my horse racing bets went into nice profits after a couple of nice priced winners over the weekend. Whilst my football bets went into a loss overall, got caught out trying to trade football again unfortunately. I'm proud to say the week running from 3rd January upto today (9th January) as netted me a nice profit of £671.34. Very good start as it turns out, but still don't think it was a perfect week as my previous post indicates. I have upped my stakes regarding my horse racing bets and I'm glad to see that it paid dividends this weekend. Still think my trading needs improvement, although I am only playing with small amounts in comparison to my horse racing bets. I will try and improve my trading but as long as my horse racing bets are going well I should be able to turn over a decent profit. With the increased stakes of up to £100 a selection maybe a profit of £671.34 is slightly above average but I'm confident I'll have even better weeks later in the year, where I plan to increase my stakes further from March onwards. Although I'd more than happily take £670 a week from now until the end of the year, that would leave me very close to £35k profit mark. Which is very much dream world at present. but sort of puts just how good a week it was into perspective.

I mentioned new year targets but never new year resolutions as such. My personal non-gambling related resolutions involve the not so original trying to keep fit resolution. I'm not exactly over-weight but I do think I could be healthier, need to get using my own dumbbells and exercise mat as well as generally eating a little healthier. Amongst all things in your life, your health should always come first. Another one from me is to try and get out and about a little more, I'm not exactly a socialite and I usually prefer a day in watching the football or the races rather than venturing outside where it's often cold and miserable. Takes a lot of concentration to trade as well as sort all my bets out and I think more time out and away from the computer could do me good and help me clear my mind. That brings me nicely onto the subject of university, I start my final semester of my final year at Uni from tomorrow. I have enjoyed it to a degree (didn't mean that pun!) but it's more about the banter and social side of it that I enjoy. Can call me a snob if you like but I find the course incredibly easy, I haven't but my full effort behind my work, I'd say I'm running at 70% my potential or so on a lot of the work. The lectures are tedious to say the least also, usually end up learning more from the text books than the lectures to be honest. Could say it's foolish of me to take this attitude with my course but I feel happy enough with my overall grades (still possible for me to get a first if I do well in the final exams this year). Although I'd take making good profit in my gambling ventures over any type of degree any day. I do spend more time on my supposed "part-time" gambling than I do on my university work, which tells it's own story I suppose.

That also brings me onto the topic of disclosure about my betting. A lot of people know I bet, a few of my mates say I'm a wealth of information regarding betting, although I think they just think that because I'm good at maths. But I've told absolutely no one about the extent of my betting adventures. Don't know whether that's wise or not. Sometimes I'd just love to respond to someone asking what I did over the new year with a "I made £700 watching sports I love" comment. I still get accused of being lazy for not having a job at times, when the truth is I think I have a workload to compare with anyone if you include all the time spent analysing and watching sports for my bets as well as balancing my university work with that. Then again at other times I like to keep it quiet, I firmly believe people act differently if they know you have money in addition people tend to have a negative attitude towards people who gamble. Plus I don't really want to be known as the wannabee professional gambler. I'm happy being known as a lazy student for the time being at least. Although I'll have to approach the issue soon because I'm suppose to be job hunting very shorty but of course I'm still holding out hoping I can make it full-time with my gambling. Don't really like keeping secrets and I'm definitley going to correct that at some point, hopefully with news of good success in my gambling. I think that just about covers everything, promise all my weekly updates won't be this long.

To conclude a brilliant touchdown from the NFL here, do follow the NFL a little but obviously don't follow it as closely as I'd like (so many sports going on at the same time). Here's the team I support the Seattle Seahawks matching any FA Cup upset with a win over last year Super Bowl champions the New Orelans Saints. Amazing TD! and got to love the commentary.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Mixed start to the new year

Was away for the new year so didn't have any betting action bar a few pre-match football on the first few days of the new year. Since then however the start to the year has been a bit mixed, my Premier League football bets on New Year's Day weren't so good yet I had a good round of fixtures this midweek. Proudest achievements of the year so far was laying Charlton when the went 1-0 up against Swindon, Charlton promptly went on to lose 3-1. Think that match was on Monday (lost track of days over the Christmas period). That nice lay ensured I'm in profit with my football bets but my horse racing bets haven't got off to a great start but then again there's a long, long way to go yet in this year. I've no reason to doubt my methods, I have full belief in them at present. I plan to do my weekly updates each Sunday evening, best time for me really and it is when I usually tally up my performance for the week. Next update will probably be Sunday then (with some weekly P/L figures). There is a round of FA Cup fixtures this weekend not fully looked through the fixtures yet but the cups are not something I usually get involved in that deeply. Do like the occasional flutter on the outright markets if I think a certain team(s) look too big.

I also did something I don't usually do with my bets and that is bet against something that you think will happen. I thought Arsenal would beat Man City (should have done as well really) but I took the value approach and had Man City (+0.5) at over evens, which was definitely the value in that game in my eyes. It does feel odd betting against something that you think will happen but you need to remember you should be betting on something that is value and not actually what you think will happen, because let's face it the majority of the time you are going to think the favourites going to win. That's where most people are let down in my opinion they bet on what they think will happen and not on what represents value. I'd like to think my grasp of the sometimes vague "value" concept is improving as my Premier League football bets have been fairly steady for a number of weeks now (see my previous entry on this topic).

To end on a joyous note, England to wrap up the series 3-1 tonight, Aussies in total disarray and they just can't handle this England side, who just keep going from strength to strength.

On yer bike skip!