Firstly, apologies for the length of this post as I’ve a feeling it could be very long but I have a fair amount to write this morning.
As you can tell from the title, yesterday didn’t quite go to plan (again!). I’ll quickly get the loss amount out of the way as it’s a fairly large loss. In total I lost £47 yesterday! I gambled on 31 races (I don’t intend to do this every Sat by the way – just playing around at the moment!), 10 wins, 20 losses and 1 break-even. For my strategy to work, I need to win in around 60% of races although I'm aiming for 70%. Clearly, a 32% win rate is very poor and has to lead to a large loss. The summary:
Over the course of my training on Betfair, I’ve lost around £140. That’s an average of £28 per day of gambling, so it doesn’t make very good reading.
So, what happened yesterday? I think to be able to fully understand the context of this loss, I need to make clear what strategy I actually employed. Clearly, if someone lost this amount from trading, they would have a problem. However, I didn’t actually lose much from trading. I lost all of it from Dutching and from bad lays when I was trying to trade.
Being honest, I got off to such a bad start yesterday, I should have quickly accepted the fact that I was going to have a losing day and then look to minimise the loss as much as possible. Instead, I did try to chase losses slightly to some extent and things didn’t improve too much.
My strategy yesterday involved me Dutching on nearly all of the races with a little bit of trading thrown in. One point I feel I need to make is what I mean by trading. When I refer to trading, I effectively mean gambling on odds movements. Trading is probably a misleading term as I’m not trading in the sense that other’s do (such as Leon). I’m basically placing back and lays into the market and hoping for 1 or 2 point swings. e.g 7 to 5, not 7 to 6.6! Clearly, this increases the risk and returns greatly.
So, I’ll quickly give an overview of how yesterday went…… (I kept detailed notes for my own post-mortem)
(I did an analysis of the 6 races below before racing as I wanted to get off to a good start!)
1.50 New – I decided to dodge The Whisperer. It was being ridden by Rose D who I’m not a huge fan of. Also, it was its first run of the year and I noticed Dobbin had another ride in the race. I Dutched 3 in the race (Alli, Hock and Uno). Loss of £6.57.
2.00 Ling – Clearly a 3 horse race as the betting knew. I didn’t want to Dutch all 3 as too short a price. I decided to take the Hills horse with the best backed horse in the race (whatever it proved to be). Always Bold was well backed so I plumped for that one. Loss of £3.50.
2.05 Kemp – Disaster in the 3rd race of the day. Pigeon Island was easily the most exposed horse in the race. It had the form in the book but surely it would come up against an improver? I laid Pigeon for £2 at 7 (subsequently backed to about 4!). I Dutched 3 in the race and none were in the first 3 in the race! I did manage to reduce the loss by placing a small back on Pigeon in running. Loss of £8.16.
2.15 Chep – A huge gamble on a horse called Krackatara. Didn’t fancy it myself, so Dutched another 3 in the race. Loss of £3.09.
2.35 Ling – Dutched 3 but none in first 3. Loss of £1.80.
2.40 Kemp – How I lost on this race I’ve no idea! I didn’t like Hobbs Hill, so looked for alternatives. Thought Lead On and Pur De Sivola were best bets. I should have just laid Hobbs Hill but no, thought I’d Dutch the other two. Pur De Sivola had Hobbs cooked at the time but fell when Hobbs fell. Left Oslot in the lead and Lead On hampered when Pur fell. Loss of £2.
So, after the first 6 races or so, I had a loss of £25.
I then had lots of small wins and losses (mostly wins tho) before disaster struck again twice in 2 races (although the Newcastle race was well after the Lingfield race)
4.15 Ling – It was 15 minutes to race time. This race only concerned 1 horse, Dansant. Looked a class apart and would probably win. I was shocked when I checked it’s odds on Betfair. Was about 2.9. This was a competitive 12 runner race and I couldn’t believe how short it was. I put a lay in the market for £10 at 2.8. I was happy enough to gamble that it would drift out as it was too short.
Checked odds just before off. Trading at about 2.2! I’d also had a look at the race in depth and decided that Dubai’s Touch was overpriced at about 9. So, put £2 on this and took my medicine on Dansant and placed a win bet at £2.2 for £10. Had a £9 liability on this and £16 profit on Dubai’s Touch. Dansant beats Dubai’s Touch by a head (was value for more). So, a £9 loss.
4.05 New - Not a huge fan of Striking Article as too short a price for what it had done. Sweet on Kalahari King and a few others. Dutched 4 in the race trying to get a £5 profit but somehow, no idea how, managed to miss Riguez Dancer. Was 3rd favourite and all I can think is that I missed it somehow…..
Riguez pips Kalhari King by Neck. Riguez was only 8/1 so it should have been one of my Dutching selections. Loss of £6.07.
At this point, I then decided to stop Dutching and just start backing horses that were value on Betfair (overpriced compared to starting price). I was looking to generate some riskfree bets for £2 stakes. I chose 2 horses in each race and after I’d backed each horse, I’d put a lay in the market. Again, my luck was out and I had 6 £2 losses in 7 races!
I’ve used this strategy a number of times on Betfair and it’s usually fairly easy to generate riskfree bets. In 3 of the races, the horse I’d backed walloped the first the 1st or 2nd fence and was never going to shorten or it started very slowly at Lingfield. The closest I got was in the 4.45 at Lingfield. I had £40 profit on Mr Lambros which was just beaten. At that stage, the £40 would have put me in profit for the day!
Lastly, the day ended with another loss. The biggest of the day! In the 5.05 Newcastle. This was purely down to some research I’d done a few years ago on Bumpers. Basically, horses who win their first bumper are always terrible bets to follow it up next time. Obviously, lots of horses do win their first 2 bumpers but over the course of the season, it will generate a loss to level stakes. I think the main reason is that the horses are always very short to follow up.
I was brought up with the saying “If you’ve missed the wedding, don’t attend the funeral”. This meant that if the horse won its last race at a decent price; don’t back it to follow up at a much lower price. This saying has definitely left its mark on me as I’m always put off horses which have won their last race. Obviously, sometimes I’m wrong but I’m sure it’s a profitable strategy over a sustained period of time.
So, we had a horse in this race which had won its last race, Touch of Irish. It was against a Howard Johnson horse bought after running in an Irish Bumper for a huge amount of money. I put £10 on the second fav and it was well backed just before the off. I didn’t watch the race but the favourite won quite easily. As an aside, I’m sure that there may be something wrong with the Howard Johnson stable at the moment as I’ve noticed a few of their short priced horses have been getting beat too easily for my liking.
Overall, another disaster of a day on Betfair for me. I’m thinking of changing the sub-title of my blog to “the story of a gambler who blew £15k on Betfair in 12 months!”
One thing that struck me today is that I seem to have developed a great knack of having a large risk exposure when I lose and only a small risk exposure when I win! Clearly, if this continues, I’ll go bankrupt quite quickly!
I’m starting to think that Saturday’s may not be my lucky day. I’m hoping that once The Experiment starts, I’ll do better during the week. Time will tell.
Lastly, I’d like to say thanks for all the comments and support. In particular, thanks to Andrew for the advice lately. I’ve been having some email correspondence with Andrew to try to develop my betting strategy and so far, it’s helped get my thinking a bit straighter although today was a large loss, so I’ve got a fair bit to learn.
I’m going to have a week off from The Experiment blog this week as I’ve got to get my continuous assessment coursework finished for my professional qualification by the end of this week. Once I get this out of the way, I’ll be able to concentrate my efforts on trying to make The Experiment work although at the moment, I’m struggling to see where I go from here………….. back to full-time work in a month?