Sunday, 17 February 2008

Practice Day 4 - Trading in Running

Well, I think this is the day that I finally completed my induction to Betfair as I looked at trading in running. I’ve never really spent much time on trading in running during my Betfair training as I didn’t see why it would help me out my with my betting strategy. I don’t think I could have been more wrong…….

Before I discuss what I learnt today, I better cover the subject of profit and loss. As I keep reiterating, I’m not caring at the moment how much I win or lose and simply due to this reason, I decided to keep my stakes down to an absolute minimum today. I played with £2 stakes all day. Subsequently, I didn’t need to add to my current Betfair balance of around £15. Obviously, this limited my laying opportunities but I’m not a fan of laying and then backing, so it’s not a big deal.

I played in 34 races, winning on 10, losing on 5 and breaking even on 19. I chose not to opt for a hedged profit on most of the races as the profit would have been less than 50p in most cases. Obviously, if I was trading with £500 stakes, I would be taking the hedged profits but I’m not too bothered about profit/loss at the moment, so I didn’t waste my time trying to earn a profit. Overall, I made a loss of £2.15 across the day which is not really indicative of the day’s gambling but I’m not too bothered. Apologies if this annoys some people reading this blog but be assured that I am totalling up my ‘training’ losses as I go and I will include these in my returns from The Experiment.

So what did I learn today?

Well, I definitely felt a ‘Eureka’ moment at one point this afternoon. As you know, I’m still trying to work out what betting strategy I plan to implement during The Experiment. So far, all I know is that I’m going to use a Dutching technique with a bit of trading thrown in which I hope to reduce the risk exposure of the Dutching. Well, I think I found the missing piece of the jigsaw today…….

During my first 2 practice days when I was learning to trade, I was always closing out my trades as soon as the race started. As you know, this resulted in some hefty losses and a bad first experience of trading. However, one of the things I pointed out was that there were numerous horses where I had created a liability on due to my poor trading skills. However, the horses then went on to win the race. Clearly, if I had let the liability run, I could have laid it off in running quite easily for a decent hedged profit but I didn’t know about this at the time.

When I was practicing my Dutching last week, as I said, there were numerous times when I could have laid off some of my Dutching selections quite easily before the race started. This comment obviously applies to laying off the horses in running also. There were a few times when my horses were a very short price during the race and I could have laid them off. Again, the key is to know when to do this but with more practice, this would get easier.

Today, I was trading a little bit before the races started and when my bets were not matched at the off, I chose to let them stand. I was absolutely amazed at the number of times that they were matched within 30 seconds of the off. Obviously, I could have then hedged to get a profit but I didn’t bother in most races. I just moved onto the next race.

So, I think there you have it. A betting strategy has evolved before your eyes. All I need to do is Dutch, trade before the off and trade during the race. Clearly, I need to develop trading strategies to ensure that I minimise the Dutching risk exposure and increase my profits in the best possible manner. I have the option of trading the Dutched selections to increase my profit on these selections or I can choose to Dutch the horses which I haven’t backed in order to minimise the risk. A trade-off between the two is probably the way to go but I’ll give it more thought.

Clearly, combining trading and Dutching will make the Dutching calculations much more difficult but I should be able to manage them OK. Time will tell……

Next Saturday will be the first day that I will attempt to implement my betting strategy for The Experiment. I will also increase my stakes again, so it should be more fun than today!

Lastly, I should hopefully get a date from my work this week concerning when I can reduce my hours. I have also had confirmation from my bank that my £15k betting bank has been approved, so I will get my hands on this money soon also. As soon as I have this money, I will effectively be able to start The Experiment for real. I may choose to start The Experiment even though I’m still working full-time as I can look to gamble in the evenings and at weekends until my hours are reduced. Whatever happens, I’ll keep everyone informed through the blog……


Anonymous said...

Graeme, please be very careful with in-running trading. Some of my worst nightmares have come true this way.

I am very interested in your blog as you talk about dutching. I am deeply involved with the dutching and more importantly bookmaking functions of Bet Angel. I am a naturally modest person but hear this. I KNOW HOW TO MAKE A REGULAR AND SUBSTANTIAL INCOME USING THESE FUNCTIONS. Guess what? I'm currently losing money. What's my problem? Self Discipline. I may need therapy here but every race I get involved in I have to win. If bookmaking the market and running into a problem rather than accept a loss of £5, £10, £15 I have to do something rash and expose myself to a large loss. Sometimes this has involved me trying to 'put things right' in-running!!

I am carrying on and trying to adjust my frame of mind because I KNOW I am on to something good if I can change this.

Graeme, why not look at dutching or bookmaking the entire field? This is what I do. If you have the self discipline you could get into profit very quickly. I have runs of 20 to 25 winning races on the trot but I ALLOW this profit to be taken from me and it is this aspect I am currently working on.

I would be delighted to discuss this. Let me know through the blog if you do. Having said that you will be offered lots of help so you may not need tips from this bull in a china shop!!!! Seriously though look at the whole field!!

I wish you all the very best whichever method you choose.


leonthefixer said...

Good to see that you are back into things but may I just add my word of caution with regards to in-running. It is a very very risky area!!! The one time your order does not get filled can wipe out a lot if not all of your profit, I have had experiences of this and always try my best to never let anything go in-play, it is just to damn risky, one mistake and a day or even a weeks profit for me can go.

I hope you have better luck than me when trading before a race and letting the position go inplay but I am sure if you ask most traders one of their first rules is to never let a position go inplay.

Imagine this scenario, you are trading the fav at 1.98 and you lay it hoping to trade out at 2.00, before the off it doesn't go above 1.98 again but you decide to leave it to go inrunning. I assume you are using £1k to trade so your liability is £980. The horse jumps out in front and is never headed and as such the price goes to 1.8 as they jump and is soon at 1.7 and before long is 1.5 with a furlong to run but something is coming back at it. What do you do? Your mind will be running at an unbeliveable rate, you will be mad with yourself as you are facing a huge loss if you get out now. You panick and decide to leave it as it looks like the horse in second is going to get up. It doesn't and with a 3 second delay to your pictures compared to the on course punters you don't have a chance of bailing at 1.5 for a £300 loss, instead the horse goes on to win and you lose £980. It will take a lot of one and two tick profits to get that back!

I don't want to put you off the idea but just want you to think about the one time the price doesn't come back out, you will have mainly been doing jumps racing on Saturday which are obviously long races where time is on your side, move on 5 furlong races and time will not be your friend!

Look forward to your next update! All the best!

Mark Iverson said...

Hi Graeme,

The scenario Leo describes happened to me a few years ago when my approach was mainly punting.

I thought I'd give trading a go but rather than take a small loss before the 'off' I thought I'd get my money back 'in-running'.

The horse was never headed and I lost £400 in 4 minutes as the price fell and fell. I refused to accept that it 'could' win by making excuses that it had started too quickly etc. and before I could think properly it was too late to bail out.


All the the best,


Graeme Dand said...


Thanks for your comment. I'd be keen to exchange emails concerning our Dutching techniques as I'm relatively new to this technique but I can see the potential that it has. You're the first person to write on the blog who uses a similar technique, so it would be good to catch up with you. Drop me an email if you'd like to share views.


Cassini said...

I wouldn't recommend borrowing 15k to fund your experiment. I would recommend starting with a sum that you can afford to lose, and slowly build it up from there. I started back in 2004, and like you, felt that this was something that I could do well at. However, I was not willing to risk a large sum of my own money, so I started with 100 quid intending to build my bank up from there. After turning that 100 into 1500 into a few weeks, I then reduced that to about 20 over the next year before I finally had my 'Eureka' moment in September 2005 since when I have turned that same 20 into over 70k. There is a huge amount to learn, and it takes time. I don't think you have enough experience yet to be quite honest, and I would rather see you start with a small sum and work up to bigger sums than try learning with borrowed money. But good luck anyway. I have a feeling you'll need it. It's a rocky road.