Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Another Nearly Week

Seem to have plenty of these so called nearly weeks where it could have been a fantastic one but ends up turning into a minimal profit or loss, this week I ended down £20.92 for week and I'm more or less break even for the year so far.

My horse racing system still seem to be going a slow rate, I did however enjoy some decent profit from the Snooker Shootout, by betting pre-match. It is a simple one frame knockout competition but with certain time limits on shots and the frame as a whole which means generally the players have to play quicker than in a normal match of snooker. Clearly evident from what I've seen it is a little like a lottery, because one small mistake could cost a player and the majority of the players in the competition are capable of getting a 40+ break, which is usually enough to win a frame. It was fun to watch, not quite the World Championships but an interesting concept I think.

Meanwhile on the cricket I traded both Australia v India and the Pakistan v England test matches. Which wasn't really good for sleeping patters, I never stayed up all night and watched both tests. Just usually tried to catch the sessions that I deemed important. I was with Australia from early on against India and my position never really changed. The Pakistan/England game was a bit different, started off by being against the draw and then backed England when they went out to around 2.50. Ended up leaving my book with massive red on the draw, medium red on Pakistan and Big green on England. Funny thing was if England had around 200 or more to chase in the final innings I'd have almost definitely traded out. But as it was I let it run and well the rest was history really. I actually couldn't get onto the computer at the time England had collapsed to around 30-4, I really wanted and should have laid my bet off there. Apparently I found out after England where 1.50 something at the point, which surely was a big lay given how the top order fared. Then again I really should have laid at the start of the innings with England @ 1.20, I was actually considering that and would have overlaid to ensure bigger profits on Pkaistan had I choosen to do that. Which makes the fact I didn't lay off at all sound even more stupid. Overall was down £30 on the week, but a wise decision or a non-England collapse world could have seen that be a comfortable £160+ profit

Didn't trade any on tennis this match, But I imagine trading was fruitful if you know what your doing. If the final was anything to go by, simply laying who you think was going to win at given point in time would seemingly have been the best strategy. So many swings in that game made for great entertainment. Wanted Rafa to win slightly more, but fair play to Novak two gruelling matches in the space of a couple of days. Think he probably earnt the title and a little rest maybe.

My poker challenge is still on going (think I'll stick something in the side bar about my running totals). This week I netted a profit of $8.08, which is decent considering I never played that many games with me being busy with the cricket and all. Much more time to play this week so hopefully I'll yield a greater profit.

Monday, 23 January 2012

You cannot lose if you don't play

Anybody recently taking up watching The Wire will recognise this quote from the second episode of season one. I think it can be a perfectly applied to the world of gambling, but is one sometimes I don't adhere to. By sticking to betting or trading purely on sports you know about you give yourself a better chance at success. But I'm guessing there's plenty of people out there who have bet on sporting events they know little about, a class 6 seller at Wolverhampton? A Belarusian football match? A volleyball match (because there was some hot females playing)? A match where you see no value but bet anyway because it happens to be on TV?

Easy traps to fall into at times but one that needs to be avoided at all costs. By simply keeping a track of your record in each individual sport you should see which are profitable and which are not. One would think the sports you know most about should see you perform better, might not always be the case because sometimes it's easier to find an edge in a obscure sports markets rather than more popular ones where the bots and professional traders lurk. I know for certain that my football betting and trading has been profitable, it's my horse racing trading and other sports trading that has let me down time and time again. Therefore I'm putting an end to trying horse racing trading from now on. Seems so tempting to trade the horses purely because it takes place a time when nothing else is going on, but I've shown I'm useless at and should really just give up. Other sports I haven't really had a large enough simple to judge whether I'm good or bad but I didn't really feel that comfortable trying to trade the tennis this week. Snooker I found a little better, but I was mainly just outright betting rather than trading. My cricket betting/trading went a little balls up this week with the Pakistan/England test, got into a good situation by laying the draw quite early on but managed to get myself into a mess by backing Pakistan at low odds but then switching to lay them as England came to bat second time round. Should really have got out after first couple of wickets tumbled, but didn't and suffered a double loss as I'd backed England to get 250+ runs as well.

So more or less I did exactly what I said I shouldn't do last week and lost £535.15 this week. My Betfair P/L is very mis-leading because I was hedging a lot my bets with better bookmakers odds this week especially on the snooker, true figure was about £50 up over the week and not £350+

To conclude sometimes the best bets you can ever make are the ones you don't make. Same goes with poker, a pivotal moment in a poker tournament could be the fold of marginal hand pre-flop that could have got you in all sorts of bother had you played it. Didn't mention my poker this week, well that's because I've hardly played and was down a small amount. I will try to play more next wekk.

Monday, 16 January 2012

A New Beginning or Another False Dawn?

Believe it or not last week (week#2 of the year) I made a profit of £610.06 that's right, no typo involved that's six-hundred-and-ten-pounds-and-six-pence. The title of the blog just about sums up my feeling on this matter. Is this me finally turning a corner or merely a very lucky week. The large profits came largely from my horse racing and football trading. Things just seemed to go well and maybe I was experiencing the so-called unconscious trader's mind, where you don't really think about what you are doing it just comes naturally. My horse-racing trading and a few bets where largely in-play and on national hunt races. There is an obvious time delay between the horse racing pictures and people obviously betting in-play on course but I find that it doesn't matter too much when it comes to races over longer distances especially if you take a position early. My football trading was largely on the under/over 2.5 goals and match odds markets which I feel I've become adequate at trading. Although I've not kept a full record over the years I'm pretty sure my football trades in these areas would show good profit. I've sensibly now decided to track every single trade I make on Betfair. (the same Betfair which went down yet again Tuesday I think it was last week).

I'm also looking at trying my hand in other sports trading this week with the tennis and snooker featuring heavily. Only going to play with small amounts to test my skills in this area. Overall it's surprising what a good week's performance can do for your confidence. Although it's also important to stay true to yourself and not carried away by one week's results. I know I have made mistakes this week and possibly over-staked on occasions and it's important to recognise this and correct it, because in the long-term it doesn't pay. Meanwhile my poker career took another small step forward as I played a lot more SNGs this week, overall I was $16.99 up for this week playing around 30 $1+$0.20 SNG. Which is a decent return no doubt. I'm looking for five weeks of constant profit at a given buy-in level before deciding on moving up to the next level.

All things considered this has to go down as a superb week of course, but very important to not get carried away and I'll do my best to remain grounded and calm. A nice solid week this week would be ideal to follow on from this "monster" week.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Week#1 update

Well the first week of 2012 has been and gone. I actually managed to forget to note down my profit/loss for the week, I worked it out and I vaguely recall it coming to a small loss of about £30 for the week but I've made change to the amounts in my accounts since then and updated my spreadsheet according, so I'll just have to leave the week as a loss of £30, not accurate I know but any error will be correct when I record the second week's P/L figure.

It was my two remaining horse racing systems that performed so badly at the start of the year which was the main cause behind the loss. My main success of the week had to come in my FA Cup bets, I really liked the look of Ladbrokes' offer of betting on a lower league team and having your bet count for the replay should it go to one. I ended up picking out the four mostly likely "upsets" in my opinion and ended up with three wins and one going to a replay (with my bet being carried over).

FA Cup bets

I did however manage to get my poker P/L for the week. I have myself a target to play a certain nuber of SnGs and cash games each week, I fell short of that target this week but managed to net myself a profit of just over $8 (that's about £5 I think). Not huge but a decent start, poker is very time-consuming but I can confirm there's surely money to be made given the nature of some of the players I've come up against so far.

Bit of a heart-warming moment last night in the FA Cup, I'm not even an Arsenal fan but I found myself happy at the return goal from Thierry Henry. One of the greatest ever Premier League players without doubt and it's good to see him make a return to English football.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

End of 2011 Update - Part 2

This update is more to look ahead to the next Gregorian year rather than reflect on the last (see part 1). This is going to be more or less just a list of personal goals and resolutions for the year, but since the new year always seems hectic I'll be starting these rules and goals proper from the 7th January. Although the first week of year for all my stats will run from the beginning of the year.

Right seeming as this is a gambling blog I thought my aims in regards to this should go first. I've done my best to shorten it to five, could probably include a lot more but five things is comfortable to remember and I can keep it fresh in my mind and hopefully then practise what I preach.

  1. Discipline, Discipline, Discipline - Did I mention the word at discipline at some point. Whatever the situation or monetary amount I shall do my best to stay disciplined at all times. That means no chasing and sticking to my own rules.
  2. Follow my systems and staking plans religiously and keep detailed records - I've got my set systems and a sensible staking plan in mind, in someways that's the easy part. The most important thing to do is to stick by this at all times. By that I mean no mistakes and no ill-discipline. In addition keeping good and detailed records is important to determine whether a system is worth continuing with or not.
  3. Take advantage of bookmakers offers and arbing opportunities - may not be the most exciting or glamorous type of betting but I've shown that it can earn you a decent profit if done effectively. I made over £200 last year taking advantage of such situation and I know for certain there was other offers and arbs I could have got involved in to earn myself a much bigger profit.
  4. Try my hand at poker more often and read poker/trading books - I've decided that this is the year I try and take poker more seriously, usually play for a bit of fun. But considering putting some serious effort into this and treat more like business than pleasure. Also to read and re-read a few recommended poker books I've got as well as other gambling literature including e-books on trading psychology.
  5. Try to break-even - That's it quite simple really, my aim is to try and break-even for the year. May think I sound crazy here, but after the year just gone by a break-even year would be an improvement. I feel like I've been gambling for years upon years but I'm sure there's plenty more experience I can gain over the course of the next year. The profit in a sense is a by-product of having an edge and also having the mindset to cope the variance that comes with gambling. I'm hoping understanding greater the game of poker can also help me with my mindset when it comes to gambling.

Right there are my gambling aims for the year. I was going to post a list of my personal resolutions but I think I'll spare boring people with the usually eat healthy, exercise more speech. My one main aim in my personal life is to try and get on the job ladder, which I'm finding increasingly difficult. In addition my main motto or though going into the new year is to try and enjoy myself more. I can admit to being a bit negative at times, I'm determined to have a more positive outlook on things.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

End of 2011 Update - Part 1

Well hello there. It has been a long time since I last updated my blog but it was after all fully intended. December is always a busy month and 2011's was no different. This is the first of a two part special (makes it sound special doesn't it) as I firstly look back at my December performance and my overall yearly performance and the second part will focus on 2012 and my aims for this year.

So December, the beginning of December brought about the news that the great Denman would be retired. Very sad news for me, Denman was the main reason I became so interested in horse racing and it's sad no one will every get to see him race again. But his legacy and memories will remain with many people for a long time, I was going to rename my blog in his honour but I've kind of already got the base covered. Mid-December that proceeded to drag on and on in the build up to the birthday of christ. The day it self seemingly goes down in a very similar way each year and if not for the effects of aging I'd find it very difficult to separate one year's Christmas photos from the next. I do like eating and drinking a lot, it is one of few times in the year where it's basically okay to be a fat slob and drink and eat as much as you like. I'm not a big drinker anyway and I don't like to over do thing as Boxing Day is a very big for sports fans and gamblers alike. Enough top-class horse-racing and football to meet the everyone's demand. So between Boxing Day and New Year it was basically a case of watching all this wonderful sports and trying to make some money in the meantime.

Unless your happen to be a gambler that lives under a rock (some perhaps do) you will I'm sure have heard about the Voler La Vedette fiasco on Betfair.

"Too good to be true"

Maybe some people thought Christmas had come a little late this year and that one person's major mistake could earn them a big payout. But the sheer size of the lay almost immediately renders it some sort of Betfair malfunction unless Bill Gates has suddenly decided to take up horse racing trading. I was actually casually watching the actual race as well as the darts at the time but didn't actually have the race market open it wasn't therefore until afterwards I heard what happened. Was a void market in the end unsurprisingly so I never missed out thankfully.

To round off the year and December I finished with a profit of £112.78 for the month which brought the cumulative loss for the year to -£3,903.45.

The monthly breakdown where as follows:
January: +£1,232.87
February: -£2,220.18
March: -£12.80
April: -£294.23
May: +£1,145.58
June: -£2,271.20
July: -£1,289.22
August: +£376.51
September: -£781.24
October: +£233.82
November: -£136.34
December: +£112.78

I've also put my weekly figures into a graph, the bars represent the weekly P/L and the line is cumulative P/L.

Whether it's in figures or on charts there's no hiding away from the fact my year has been very bad, losing just short of £4,000 in one year is never ideal but especially so when I had such high plans for the year ahead (my look forward to 2011 looks a bit deluded on reflection).

One more graph to show the damage can't do any harm can it. Well here's my P/L for the year with each separate bookmaker account. Thanks to the fine folks at Boylesports who I profited around the £2,300 mark, meanwhile all my other accounts where either a very small profit or ranging losses from medium-sized to rather big.

My Different Accounts P/L 2011

One bright note I suppose is that my accounts are unlikely to be limited, A few of my accounts already are to a degree but on the whole I'm not too bad on that front. But then they are always happy to take your bets if your a loser I suppose, it's when you start winning the problems occur.

Well that just about sums up 2011, pretty bad year I guess. The loss of Adrian Massey's ratings was a big blow as my betting year was largely focused around those very ratings. I'd like to think I've evolved into a better gambler with me having to change my approach and try and find new ways of betting. Not going to really talk about my plans for 2012 in this part (that's for part 2). After I did so well in 2010 to turn a profit it is obviously highly disappointing to give all that back plus more, but hopefully I'm now older, wiser and better placed than I was at the beginning of last year to go into the new one with better plans and attitude to make 2012 a success. Please do tune in for part 2, which I hope to post up tommorrow or sometime later this week.