Monday, 10 March 2008

Golf Update, Review of 1st Week, Cheltenham 08

Daily Profit £38.15

As you can tell from the title, I’ve got a little catching up to do today.

Golf Update

I’ve still got over £100 return on Sean O’ Hair to trade with so this profit may increase but I’m currently up £38.15 on the golf for this weekend. This is made up from laying Ernie Els at the start (£20) and from profiting on some of my initial bets (£18.15). Overall, a good second golf tournament for me.

Review of 1st week

It’s been a bit of a strange start to The Experiment for me. At the start of the week, I didn’t have a clear strategy for the next 12 months and I was desperately searching around for some ideas. After the nightmare of last Monday, I decided to ditch all my ideas of Dutching, Bookmaking, gambling etc. and just concentrate on trading. I was initially against the idea of just trading as I was unsure if it would play to my strengths but after the last week, I think trading is the path I have to follow over the next 12 months.

I’ve learnt an unbelievable amount during my first week and hopefully I can learn from these mistakes and improve as time goes on.

I think I need to quickly look to increase my stakes as I’m conscious of the fact that I am trading far too much in every race and making too many errors but part of this is simply due to the size of my stakes. If I see a horse that I think is getting backed, I’ve got to click that mouse a fair amount of times to get my bets matched to generate a decent return. If I just added a zero onto my stakes, I wouldn’t have this problem!

I’m going to keep my stakes low for the time-being though as I wouldn’t feel comfortable using £500 stakes just yet. I was using £20-£50 stakes on Friday and I felt OK with these amounts, so I’ll only look to increase my stakes as I gain more experience.

I suppose the bottom line from the first week is that I am around £59 in profit. I’m pretty pleased with this profit but I’m not too pleased with how it has been generated!

Golf - £54
Horses - £5

Clearly, the whole point of The Experiment was to use my horse-racing knowledge to trade on Betfair, but so far, I haven’t done that great. However, after my practice attempts on Betfair, I’m pleased that I’m in profit and haven’t suffered a large loss!

I’ll continue to use my strategy on the golf. For anyone who doesn’t know, my strategy on the golf has been to pick 5-10 players at massive prices and back them all for small stakes. I’ll then look to lay them off for profits as the tournament progresses. If the opportunity arises, I’ll also look to lay a short-priced favourite at the golf at the start of the tournament as I don’t think short-priced favourites represent value in golf tournaments. I’ll lay Tiger when he plays and is a short price. This week I laid Els after he won last week’s tournament and it has won me an easy £20, so I’ll continue to use this strategy every week also.

Cheltenham Week

After giving it a bit of thought, I’ve decided to exclude Cheltenham 08 from The Experiment. The main reason for this is because like most keen racing fans, Cheltenham is the one meeting that I love to watch and gamble on. I’ve found that trading on races spoils my enjoyment of the racing a bit as trading is purely a numbers game to me. Therefore, I don’t want to trade at Cheltenham this week.

In addition, I have adopted the same betting strategy at Cheltenham and other large race meetings over the years. I always look to do a Placepot every day which will be a high multiple bet for low stakes. I think Placepots represent great value at large meetings as a large part of the pool is made up from punters who don’t do their research on the racing and who only follow the favourites in every race.

Over the years, I have had great success with Placepots at Cheltenham and Royal Ascot and have had a few four figure wins. My strategy is pretty straightforward for these meetings. I will look to get the short priced favourites beat as often as possible. On most days at Cheltenham, the Placepot will pay over £500 and on some really difficult days, the Placepot can pay up to £5,000 quite frequently. Obviously, I will be using stakes of 5p, but depending on how many runners I get placed, I can make a decent return.

A few years ago, a Placepot at Royal Ascot paid £10,000 and I got a 20p share, so I ended up with £2,000 return. This was from a bet which came to 288 bets @ 5p each, £14.40! A nice profit…..

One issue I do have with my strategy is that when the favourites are all placed at a meeting, I am likely to not win back my initial stake and in many cases, I won’t actually win the Placepot as I will have not chosen the favourites. This doesn’t bother me as I know that my strategy will win more in the long-run.

In case anyone is wondering, the reason that I don’t do Placepots all the time is simply due to the fact that they are too much hard work. There have been times when I have spent 4/5 hours coming up with my Placepot selections, staked my £20-£50 and then have got beat in the 1st race as the first 3 in the betting fill the places! Also, Placepots can be the most annoying bets of all time when you lose in the last race or when you get 5 races right. That one race may have cost you a few hundred or a few thousand and it starts to affect you and how you pick your selections.

I still figure I can make consistent profits from Placepots but not sure if they are worth the effort that I put into them. I don’t mind spending time on Placepots at Cheltenham or other big meetings as when I get it right, it’s definitely worth it. However, trying to sort out handicaps at Southwell or Lingfield every day would be enough to drive me up the wall!

Every night, I will continue to give an update of my day’s gambling at Cheltenham but I will exclude the P&L from the 4 days from The Experiment’s P&L. I don’t mind losing a few quid at Cheltenham as it only comes around once a year and therefore, that’s why I’m not going to include any profits and losses in The Experiment.

I have worked really hard to generate my £59 profit in the first week of The Experiment and I could easily lose this if I don’t get a Placepot up at Cheltenham over the 4 days, so you can see why it makes sense to exclude this from The Experiment.

Good luck to everyone for Cheltenham and I hope you all manage to make a few quid across the 4 days. If anyone has any strong views on any of the races, feel free to post up any tips by way of a comment.

C’mon Denman (or should that be Kauto?)

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