Sunday, 31 October 2010

Good Weekend, Good Month

It was a solid weekend reinforced by my consistent success in the Football markets.

On Friday I dabbled in the evening meeting without success but that was more than compensated by the nice result by half time from the Southport match.


Having returned from QPR on Saturday, I managed to catch the last few races at Wolverhampton and traded a couple of US races too.

Earlier today I capped a nice weekend with another decent profit.

October ends with a profit of £641 which is pretty good for me considering I traded on only 19 days. There was only one losing day on the football as Bingo and Adsters's strategies continue to do well for me.

With all these profit and loss figures that are constantly in my face it can be easy to forget that this is real money, so for the second consecutive month I have decided to make my months profit a reality by withdrawing so that my bank is now back to £2000.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Charts - Is The Geek now Toying with Bet Angel?

When I add to my blog I normally just type away without any hesitation about what to say and how to say it but tonight I have been staring at a blank text box, trying to think of the best way to making a balanced view between two excellent pieces of trading software. Of course there are many other trading applications around but we all have our favourites don't we.

The Geeks Toy (GT) and Bet Angel (BA) have both recently taken their trading product to new levels with the emphasis on charting. They have both evolved very differently and originally got my attention for very different reasons.

My comments are purely from a personal perspective so I have added a bit of my history. to understand where I am coming from.  I apologise in advance for the length of it.

I have always been looking at ways of making extra income. Like many people I started out trading shares the old paper way and then the whole process was made easier by trading online. However, there were always added costs making the margins tighter plus the need to sometimes take a long term view whereas I am an impatient person. I wanted a way of somehow making quick and easy money online and it wasn't long before I was arbing.

I was very organised and opened up at least 30 bookmaking accounts and although it was hard work, the thrill of creating a situation where I couldn't lose was fantastic. As the months rolled by there were more and more people jumping on the bandwagon and with the onset of services that emailed you with an arb opportunity, the whole situation got much harder. The bookmakers soon got wise as to what was going on and started restricting accounts where it was obvious that customers were arbing rather than just betting and I soon got fed up with hassle. By that time it was near impossible to find unique opportunities. There are many people that still succesfully arb out there but they must be very determined people with patience of a saint!

One of the accounts I was using for arbing was Betfair who were one of my very few unrestricted accounts. I had heard in the arbing circles about how money could be made backing and laying on their markets. There were a handful of services to aid this new way of making money and I tested many of them but Bet Angel stood high above the crowd. They had a top notch website which conveyed total professionalism, the product was sturdy and they had a clear roadmap and had the right attitude towards customer service. Whenever I would have a query, Peter would respond very quickly. The competitors couldn't even come close to the all round service that BA provided.

We all know that with any service maintaining your advantage is hard. Competitors wise up to what the consumer wants and offer similar services, sometimes at cheaper prices. Racing Traders were the new kid on the block but as the months and years rolled by BA just got better and better and in my opinion was always a step ahead in innovation and presentation. They weren't cheap but you got what you paid for.Their charting was worth the subscription on it's own. If you want to be consistent on horse trading then you need decent charts to help you predict when trends start and end.

They started doing trading courses and I attended one nearly four years ago having already been a customer for about a year. It cost about £400 and I thought long and heard about whether to go. I have to say that the decision to attend was the most important trading choice I ever made. It was an excellent and professionally organised day. The things I learnt on that one day are still vivid in my mind today.

I continued using BA and have never been unhappy with anything about them but for me fate took a turn. We moved house a two and a half of years ago from a town which had a broadband speed of 2mb to a village with 0.5mb. At first BA performed okay but as more and more functions were added and more villagers subscribed to broadband, it just got slower and slower. The first sacrifice I made was to change from API to Non API mode. There were a few things that I lost but the speed improved. However with BA's functionality continually improving I was suffering. The village increased the broadband speed to 1.5mb about 18 months ago which helped in the evenings but my main trading was at weekends and the response times were so bad that I just couldn't risk being caught with my pants down with large liabilities. Reading the forums there were many with Saturday/Sunday syndrome. 3pm on Saturday was the worst with the footie gamblers piling into their bets.

Last November, a member of one of the forums someone mentioned trying recently released free software called the Geeks Toy. They said it had no bells and whistles but it does the job and is fast throughout the weekend. 

With GT being free I had nothing to lose by trying it out. It was ridiculously fast and I vividly remember my first time using it. The great thing about GT was that almost all of it was customisable and I soon got it to look as close to BA as I could.  I did the stupid thing of using the same stakes as I had been doing on BA without getting used to the different way it performs. Having been used to BA for over four years I was still in BA mode and I lost about £200 clicking things by mistake.

So at this point GT had provided me with a quick product but I was trading blind as there was no charting to assist me so overall I was no better off. In addition to this I simply loved BA's unique Guardian facility where you can easily manage and monitor other markets at the same time. I decided to have both applications up at the same time making sure that the calls did not exceed the Betfair limit.  At first I had Guardian and charts running at the same time GT but it got too complicated so I just left the BA charts up. The other problem I used to encounter was I had to reset the charts for every race.

By the time I  started this blog, GT had evolved with a few 'luxury' features including fill and kill and tick offset. Their features were still well behind the competition but it started to feel like a more professional application. For me, the decision to switch from BA to GT was a necessity rather than the product being offered for free but for the vast majority the contributing factor of GTs huge success is that it costs nothing while providing an excellent and reliable product.

Up to last week GT had a massive achilles heel. No charting. This has now been addressed with the launch of 1.1 Beta. Cran has done a great comprehensive review which I cannot better so please take a look and judge for yourself.  The Drifter has also put up a video on You Tube  showing his simple setup but you can make it as complex as you like. It is not just the fact the GT has charting, it's totally customisable and the layout can be saved so you don't have to keep resetting it for every race. BA released a new update which amongst other things includes the saving of charts, however releasing it just after GT had just released theirs had put BA slightly on the back foot.

For me the charting has lifted GT into a very serious player in the sports trading software market and remember there is just one person maintaining it. The one feature which would allow me to trade from one vendor has arrived. I have had 1.1 for a little while and have spent time configuring it but the evening meeting at Wolverhampton was the first time I have really put it to the test and I am a very happy camper. The ladder seemed to be running faster than it has ever been.

With or without Stop Loss (which I have been informed is not too far away) I now cannot imagine how I would cope without GT.

Both BA and GT are super products and have their own postives but the GT's massive plus is that it's free, other positives are that it is fast for me on weekends and fully customisable and simple to use. BA's plus is the unique Guardian, excel botting, a Tennis and Football module.  If you want to know more just click on Geeks banner above the blog list and BA's banner at the end of the blog list. For some reason BA's banner makes my page mess up if I put it above the blog list.

As the old saying goes, you pays your money, you takes your choice. I will continue to subscribe to Bet Angel so I can play around with it's excel capabilities but my trading choice is firmly with Geeks Toy whether it stays free or not. What's your choice?

The evening racing went well and GT 1.1 helped me reach almost £80

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Getting Back Into The Groove

Trading has been very limited over the past week or so. Business commitments in France  between the 19th and the 21st meant no trading in the evenings due to the french gambling restrictions. It makes the evenings very boring. I even had to make do with watching the boring French or German Champions League games rather than being able to watch the exciting Tottenham match with Inter. I was feeling very groggy before I travelled but by the time I returned  on Thursday evening I was really layed low (no pun intended) and not had the motivation to do much until Monday night. Looking at the chart above I traded on 4 of a possible 14 days but the positive is that the last red day was on the 9th October.

I am about 75% of the way back to recovery and have got the trading 'buzz' back. I have had a tinker with the footie over the past couple of days and I am slowly getting back into the groove. There has been no trading on the horse front for a while but with limited opportunity during the week it was always going to be reduced.

As you can see from my monthly chart below my footie trading has made over £700 since I started subscribing to the Trading Football service. I am further enhancing my knowledge by signing up to the seminar that the Nugget Crew have organised in the next couple of weeks. If anyone wants more details on this just let me know.

Obviously I have had not had the opportunity to put the finishing touches to my football spreadsheet but will try to complete this over the next weekend. I still have a backlog of the main spreadsheet to email out too.

I will now put some extra effort in ensuring that I post at least once a day.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Back Soon

I am really sorry for the lack of a post for over a week. I have been on business in Paris where there is no access to Betfair and have been very poorly with a chest infection since I returned. I will make a more detailed entry tomorrow.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Where's Wally?

Right here!

After four days without a single back or lay, I returned to the lions den trading the two evening meetings netting me a profit of almost £40. 

This was all undone thanks once again to falling asleep on the sofa. I decided to get involved with the San Lorenzo v Tigre match which kicked off at the rather odd time of 11.10pm. Everything pointed towards a low scoring game but I decided to go against the grain and further practice my EGG skills.  

What a start! SL score within the first five minutes and even if it  remains 1-0 after 15 minutes then the rest of my strategy would ensure a half decent profit. Marvellous I thought, except falling asleep was not supposed to be part of the strategy. I woke up with about 5 minutes to go and the score at 2-0 so I was staring at a rather large potential red result. There was hardly anything I could do to salvage the situation other than hope for a goal. I took the opportunity of a Bingo Special to further boost my profit if a goal was scored with minimal risk. There were two  golden opportunities for both sides to grab a goal in the added time but it was not to be and the end result was a loss of £60.

I was not happy to leave it there and decided to do a handful of US races which enabled me to get back £22.  I won't be doing any trading until this evening as I will be travelling to London to watch the Hoops give the Canaries a lesson in football so as it stands I am £38 down for today and have this evening to turn it round.

Yet again I give sound advice of not trading when tired but don't practice what I preach. Anyway it is the sofa's fault as it shouldn't be so comfortable!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Not EGGstatic

A combination of work and family commitments has meant that the trading game has had to take a back seat this week. After what was a good start to the month, the inevitable sticky patch and careless moments has dragged me back towards my more usual average.

To bring me up to date, Thursdays evening UK and US racing continued on from the bad session the day before. I was still feeling rough yet I decided to trade so there was no suprise the I ended the night £49 lighter.

Friday saw the first batch of international matches and after much effort on two games I finished with a green of £7.63. I utilised my own EGG strategy on the Wales v Bulgaria game which didn't produce any goals by the 15th minute. I didn't mind this as it gave me an opportunity to practice the next phase of reducing my liability on the 2.5 goals markets and entering the correct score market. In the end I took a very small loss. I also made a small green on Ireland v Russia tinkering about but if I had used EGG then it would have been a far bigger win.

I did a full afternoon and evenings horse trading on Saturday and was only £25 up for all my efforts. I joined the boys for the evenings France v Romania game which resulted in a scratch of 86 pence profit. I used EGG which on balance was pretty stupid but again I came out with no harm done. However the aim is to have some kind of profit  more often than not if no goals are scored in the first 15 minutes and I am not there yet. If I can get this strat right I will provide the details.

I was so engrossed in the chat room, my lack of multi tasking skills came to the fore as I put two opening trade bets of £50 at 3.25 and 3.30 on Bushwhacker at the 20.40 Wolverhampton and then went back into chat and completely forgot about them. I had the sound off as the family were watching X Factor so not even the Simpsons (If you have GT you know what I am talking about)  could save me. What was so heartbreaking was the horse went as low as 1.15 so the £200 bonus was within my grasp. Had I greened up at 1.15 it would have guaranteed me £175.


Do I ever learn? No!

I got some of the losses back on Sunday when I made £53. I have not traded since.

Looking at my daily performance you can see how successful my football trading has become since I became a crew member on 6th September. Previously I had just been going around in circles.

I have spent the last week or so designing a trading spreadsheet specifically for Football and particularly the FT service. I have been trying to make it maintenance free before compiling it into a program so it looks as professional as my tiny brain can manage and then making it available to purchase at a token price to cover the compiler program costs. It is similar to my general spreadsheet but more automated and has a 'diary' where you can record your traded games with comments. The tabs interact with each other so data entry is minimal. 

Four of the tabs are shown below with sample data.



Finally, Adam Heathcote has made a rare entry to his blog. It's nice to see the guy well watered and still hanging around the trading scene so he can pay for his food and rent.  That should take him all of 5 minutes per month! However I don't understand why he would start a new venture when he was raking in £300,000 per year  trading unless of  course he never made £300,000 in the first place!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Doesn't Time Fly When Over 40

Another six days go by and I wonder where the time goes! I have been in and out of the markets the last few days which includes one of my whoppers. A month never goes by without a Handy Andy Whopper. Leaving (well forgetting actually) a £100 bet in play and the horse goes down to 1.15 before losing!

More later.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Mr Geek - A Mixed Message

I have been feeling rough over the last three days, so after the late football on Sunday which settled just after midnight I kept away from any trading until I caught some of last evenings Kempton racing. You really need to be 100% well and fully focused to trade the horses and I was very sluggish and wasn't in the zone. I only traded five races and managed to lose £67.06. It was straight forward pre-race trading with nothing going in play so at least I didn't lose my cool over the disappointment.

However, I made it up on the football thanks to a few minutes of the Mickey Mouse cup between Sheffield Wednesday and Chesterfield. I thought there would be early goals and used a strategy which I tested out in the Boca v Lanos game on Sunday night and paper traded two games on Tuesday.

It is called the EGG strategy with stands for Early Goals Gamble. You place a bet on over 2.5 goals and the key is whether goals are scored by the 15th minute. After this time if one or no goals are scored you then trade the correct score looking to reduce the immediate liability. I will share it with the Nugget Crew members once I am comfortable that the strategy consistently works but for now it's in test mode. It is not rocket science as the first 15 minutes instruction is to do nothing. The hard work on the CS starts in the 16th minute when the score is 0-0 but if one goal is scored during the 15th minute there is some ammunition to work with. Last nights game was 1-1 after a quarter of the first half and I just locked in the profit and there ended my football session. Obviously I was very pleased but the core of the strategy is what happens when it's 0-0. We all know that 0-0 is a football traders nightmare so I need to see more of the 0-0 after 15 minutes before I share the strategy. Naturally game selection is critical with a reasonable price for the overs essential but it is safe to say that EGG is strictly not recommended for Italian, French and Portuguese games.

I have a backlog of spreadsheets to email out so if you have been waiting for a week or so I will get to your request over the next couple of days.  I was asked by a fellow nugetteer to produce a  spreadsheet solely on football. I have produced it largely based on my overall trading spreadsheet but is split by strategy types so that it gives an instant overview of which strats are working and which do not yield the profits. I have added a mini diary tab so that records can be kept on what you actually did during each game. It's nothing fancy but if football trading is your main sport then it works! I am just waiting for feedback before making it generally available.

I logged into GT yesterday and was presented with a mixed message from Mr. Geek!. I hope he doesn't mind me putting up a link to his forum post but I am not sure of the message he is trying to convey so I will let you make your own mind up. Is it that he is just not posting on his forum? Or is he stopping the advancement of his product?   It was only a few days ago that he announced that the charting was in test and once that was issued he would concentrate on the stop loss facility. I am getting a mixed message! If anyone can add some clarity to the situation it would be appreciated.

If he is walking away, whilst I personally would be disappointed, no user should have cause for complaint for the free software that he has provided over the past year. My personal message to Mr Geek is that it is a shame if such a great product with a large and supportive customer base is not developed further. We have all had a very long and successful free trial and it's time that you, Mr Geek, made some money out if it and started charging us!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Strong Start Continues

I did a full session of Sunday racing which resulted in a total waste of four hours as I collected the grand sum of £1.44 over 33 races. Perhaps my mind wasn't totally focused on the job as I was flicking over between the Chelsea game and the Ryder Cup.

Then in the evening was the football. Now I have to be careful what I say here because I do not want to upset anyone that thinks I am plugging you know what too much. So all I will say is that action speaks louder than words as you will see below.

I also had a small win of £13 that carried over to the early hours.

Black Sunday is long forgotten.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Another Green Day

Just a quick post to say that my football trading continues to be a success along with decent Horse racing profits based on only a handful of races. I spent a large part of Saturday afternoon watching a live QPR stream.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Six Month Ramblings

When I started this blog six months ago I had planned to acheive a consistent profit of £1,000 per month netting me £9,000 by the end of the year. I have used the phrase 'easier said than done' on a few occasions recently and nothing is more apt than in this case.  £33 per day sounds an easy target but the losses soon drag me down and I'm left playing catch up.

Now let's look at the reality. The most important fact is that I am green, that's always a good start. There have been 184 days since the start of the blog of which 141 days were traded. 96 green and 45 red. 

11 of the 45 red days were losses of over £100 (24%) whilst I only acheived profits of over £100 on 21of the 96 (22%). 

As you can see from my Analysis tab, my daily average is just over £15 and at this rate I will reach £9,000 on the 17th November 2011 rather than the end of this year. To reach my original target I am going to have to make at least £68 every day.

Looking at the shorter term view my performance since the 4th September could have been exceptional had I not succumbed to the frustrations of an IT glitch on black Sunday! The Nugget Crew over at Trading Football have certainly helped me acheive my best football month by far with a healthy profit of £365. The £25 monthly membship and a further £80 on the videos was cash well spent. 

I have made no secret that the big loss last Sunday hit me hard and I have been quite low for most of last week and was not interested in any trading or contributing to the footie chat. So on Thursday night  I made a conscious effort to cheer myself up and turn things into a positive by deciding to turn some of my overall green into reality by withdrawing for the first time since the introduction of the blog. £15 a day may not seem much but looking forward to doing something with £1747.41 is a different matter. After withdrawing I was left with a bank of  exactly £2,000. It make's everything worthwhile and I am now full of beans and ready for the October challenge which incidentally got off to a modest start.

Keeping records is a must for any trader but blogging adds that little extra to help you recall the bigger moments of the past. It was upon looking at my bar chart that I noticed the big loss of over £350 in June. I couldn't remember exactly what happened but a few seconds later I was able to click on the post and it all came flooding back. It was a replica of last Sunday and £550 that could have been best served in my pocket rather than the drain.

The number of daily visitors to my page have always been more than I ever imagined but has particularly grown over the last couple of months. I honestly never thought that a diary of my journey would be so interesting to others. It was never meant to be anything other than a personal diary to aid my discipline. That objective is still questionable but if any of my ramblings has helped people make various decisions in their trading/gambling life then I hope I have helped to make the correct one's for them.

I would like to mention the spreadsheet. With more new hits to my site, the more requests I have been getting for it. The first time I made it available was June and the continued interest  over the months has meant that I have been spending time re-adjusting the layout and formulas to bring it up to date in addition to various bespoke requests. The past month has had considerable interest and taking up quite a lot of my time so it is only fair that I charge a small fee for my time. Therefore new requests for my spreadsheet with a start date different to the 1st October will be charged £5. The last version will always be available for free and anyone with reasonable Excel experience should be able bring them up to date. I have some outstanding requests which I hope to complete by the end of the weekend.

I have done some horse trading in between watching an excellent quality stream of the Crystal Palace V QPR match and will report my results in the morning.

Off to the Nugget room!