After the nightmare of my first practice days trading last weekend, I made a decision earlier in the week to look to go back to my initial idea of Dutching on Betfair. I also made the decision earlier in the week to only train with very small stakes until The Experiment starts.
One further point that needs to be made is that Dutching can only truly be successful if you follow a staking plan to recoup some earlier losses as Dutching involves backing at short odds most of the time, so unless you hit a very high strike rate, you will be unlikely to make a profit from level stakes. As I’ve said previously, my training at the moment is all about learning and I’m not too concerned about trying to make a profit, so I decided to play for level stakes today (attempted to win circa £2 a race) and I chose not to follow a staking plan.
So, how did I do? Well, being honest, on the surface, the results would appear to be quite disappointing. I Dutched on 20 races, winning on 9 and losing on 11. A strike rate of 45% is abysmal. My average odds were around 2/5 across the day, so I would have been looking for a strike rate of 60%-70%. My results are below:
Even though I don’t think I should judge today on how much profit/loss I made, I expect that some people will always judge things by how much someone wins or loses. Over the course of the day, I lost £28.82. Again, this would seem to have been a bad day at the office for some but I am quite pleased with what I learned today.
So, what I have learned today? Well, today is the first time I’ve Dutched on Betfair. I found the Bet Angel Pro Dutching function very easy to use and I’m fairly comfortable that I can use this full-time for Dutching. I also found Dutching much less stressful than Trading and I feel I’m more suited to this than Trading. So, how did I only manage a strike rate of 45% and how did I manage to lose £28 if I did so well?
Well, as I mentioned above, it’s nearly impossible to win at Dutching from using level stakes. You need a staking plan and a bank size that allows you to implement your staking plan appropriately. I started today with a bank of £30, so I knew that by attempting to win £2 in every race, I was trying to win a disproportionate amount every race relative to the size of my bank. As I got off to a bad start, I reduced this to trying to win £1 a race, so that I didn’t lose my bank too quickly.
One of the key things about today though is that my average odds were only 2/5. There were 5 losing races where I had narrowed the field down to 3/4 runners and I looked to Dutch these runners. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I had a very small bank, I chose to drop 1 or 2 runners of the runners I had hoped to Dutch as it was costing too much to cover the bet. I think this may have happened 8/9 times but in 5 of the races, one of the horses I dropped out managed to go and win. You can call this bad luck but I’d like to think of it as a learning experience. If I had a bigger bank, I would have not suffered these 5 losses. So, I would have won 14 out of 20 races. (70%).
However, there was further good news. In two of the other losing races, my selections were involved in races that were clearly down to 2 runners from a fair way out. Both times, my chosen horse went on to lose the race but both times, my horses traded in running at around 1.2 for a fair amount, so I could have easily laid them off for a guaranteed profit. As I’ve said before, I was more interested in working out how Dutching worked on BA Pro and trying to understand movements in Betfair odds a bit better, so I chose not to.
Another thing to bear in mind today was that I had numerous opportunities to trade horses that I hadn’t Dutched in order to minimise my risk. In a good number of races, I had chosen to deliberately not Dutch the favourite as I thought it was too short a price. On a number of occasions, the favourite did drift out as I expected, so I could have then added that to my Dutching selections to reduce the risk of having a loser. I chose not to.
Lastly, there were many occasions today where one of my Dutched selections had shortened markedly in the Betfair market. Obviously, this would have been an easy opportunity to then lay the horse for a small amount to reduce my exposure. In 2 of the races, my horse had drifted in by around 10 points, so I could have easily laid it off to generate a risk free bet on the horse. I chose not to.
For anyone who is purely interested in generating a profit, this blog is probably driving you mad. How can I not care about losing these amounts of money? Being honest, I do mind at the moment as I don’t have that much disposable income but once The Experiment starts, I will have a betting bank of £15k. As I’ve said previously, for this project to work, I need to earn a decent amount every month. Losing £28 today (£50 last weekend) is not too big a deal in terms of The Experiment. As long as I feel that I am learning things quickly, then this may well end up being money well spent.
The next stage for me now is to put more thought into how I can combine my Dutching with my trading. Clearly, some of the things I touched on above are just the tip of the iceberg with regards to how I can use Dutching and trading together to minimise my risk exposure and increase my profits.
I will also put today’s results through my proposed staking plan that I will use for my Dutching when The Experiment starts. I lost on 6 straight races today and 8 out of 9, so I don’t think my staking plan would have helped me make much profit. Obviously, in the future, I will use trading to help minimise my exposure and reduce my losses from Dutching, but it is too early in my training to be considering doing this at this stage of my Betfair development.
Overall, I only have around 3/4 weekends left to practice on Betfair before The Experiment gets underway. Clearly, I’m learning all the time and I’m still devising my strategy for The Experiment but I still feel that 3 days experience and practice on Betfair is not enough before I get let loose with a £15k betting bank……..
I’ll hopefully post later this week once I have had more time to think about today’s learning experiences.