Monday, 23 June 2008

No time, no discipline, no patience and no point!

OK, a quick word on that race where I lost £27 on Saturday. I was really short of time all weekend to trade but I managed to get 10 minutes to look at that race.

5 minutes of form study allowed me to narrow the race down to 2 horses, Silver Seeker and Parchment. Due to their respective odds, I was always going to trade Parchment.

It was 12/1 on Oddschecker and 14.5 on Betfair with 10 minutes before the off. It then drifted to 15 on Betfair with £27 available to back. I asked for £100 on at 15 and got my £27 matched straight away. I then sat and watched as it shortened to 14. I wanted to back it again at 14 but I resisted the temptation. There was over £100 available at 14 and it did look like it was weak but as I keep saying to everyone, well handicapped horses don’t drift!

Within a few minutes, it was trading at 10 on Betfair and had shortened to 8/1 in the betting ring. I was proved right and could have easily closed out for a £150 riskfree bet on it.

Something then took over me….I got really, really annoyed I didn’t take the £100 at 14 when it was available and I decided I was going to go in play with the £27 bet. I knew the horse was a hold up horse and would be held up for a late run, but I wanted to gamble.

I then left in a lay in running at 8. I was watching the race and my horse was cantering at the back of the field and was trading at 20. I then started to get these crazy thoughts of backing in running (I never back in running) but resisted the temptation. I then sat and watched as my horse came cantering behind the leaders, causing me to cancel my lay at 8, the horse then traded at 5 before finishing very late after being giving a diabolical ride again (3 times in a row the horse has been ridden badly!).

So, after backing a well backed horse and watching my horse trade shorter in running and running very well to finish 4th, I still managed to lose my £27 stake and this really didn’t sit that well with me. What happened?

After giving it a bit of thought, I came up with 4 reasons (hence, the blog title!).

No Time

At the moment, I don’t have much spare time to trade and I’ve been trying to squeeze in the odd race here and there. One big problem with this strategy is that I’m always going to struggle to trade in the right frame of mind. With my trading strategy, exiting the bet at the right time is crucial and I feel that when I’m trading a single race in isolation, I don’t have the right frame of mind. I tend to want to gamble too much as I don’t see much point in winning a couple of pounds. I usually then over-trade my horse, don’t lay off early enough, take too much in running, try to lay off too low etc.

No Discipline

When I’m trading the odd race here and there, I really lack discipline with my trading and I end up just gambling on price movements. For example, that trade on Saturday was a very good trade. However, it became a bad trade when I lacked the necessary discipline to close out for my riskfree bet and I wanted to gamble too much.

One of the reasons that I’ve been fairly successful with my trading strategy is the fact that I do like a gamble. When a trade goes against me, if I feel I’m still in with a chance of turning it around, I’ll continue down my trading path and get myself in deeper.

However, when the trade goes with me, I need to close the trade and take my riskfree bet! Don’t gamble with winning trades…

No Patience

When I’m trading a single race or a few races, I’m always too eager to get my money on my horse I fancy no matter what the price is. I’ve been caught out a few times recently and I really need to stop it.

Generally, I keep trading every race at the moment as if I’m trading my last ever race and I need to stop this. I also trade every horse I back as if it is unbeatable and will be backed and of course, I’m not always correct! I need to be more patient….

No Point

What is the point in me trading the odd race here and there? Apart from winning a few quid, it doesn’t do me much good and it doesn’t do my trading confidence much good.

Therefore, I’ve made a conscious decision to stop trading the odd race here and there. If I can get an hour or two to trade the racing, I’ll do it and do it well. If I can’t find enough time, I’ll just give the racing a miss.

Due to my continued indiscipline when I’m trading, I’ve again made the decision to reduce my trading bank further.

I read other blogs and I’m amazed at the discipline that some people show. I’d point any potential trader in the direction of Ali across at The discipline that Ali shows amazes me at times and I wish I had half of the discipline that he has or Leon has.

Due to my indiscipline and also linked to the fact I’m not in the right frame of mind at the moment, I’m going to ring-fence some more of my profits and transfer it to my bank account. I’ll reduce my trading bank to £500 and start from there again.

I want to get to the stage where it starts to hurt me when I lose money from bad trades or indiscipline. Having lost £280 last week on a trade and £27 on Saturday, I feel reducing my bank is the way to go. If I continue to throw away profits due to me gambling too much, I’ll just reduce my bank further.

I’ve waited all my life to find a strategy that can earn me consistent profits from betting on horse-racing. I now appear to have found the strategy but due my gambling tendencies, poor indiscipline, lack of patience and lack of time, I’m struggling to be able to implement it properly at the moment.

Good things come to those who wait….(I keep telling myself this but I won’t listen!)


Anonymous said...

Hi Graeme,

Sounds like you losing the stomach for it a bit. I reckon you've done well the last few months, those loses are inevitable and sometimes you have to just live with it, as you say you like to gamble and thats always going to mean losing sometimes but what counts is how much you make over a longer amount of time - trading out isn't always the answer. I think you're making a bit of a mistake dropping your bank, it's served you well and you could get to the point where the incentives go so low you can't be bothered - you've got a proper job so as long as your sensible you'll stop if you do start losing regularly but at least you gave it go. Don't want to encourage you to be reckless, but you've built a nice profit which you can play with.


ps don't get carried away with discipline stuff (Buddhist monks would be the only ones making money on Betfair). The bottom line is whether you make money or not, look at Koo's thread on the Betfair forum, he admits to making mistakes every day but it's alot to do with taking risks and that's how you make proper money (not scalping for a 10p profit every race)

Anonymous said...


I’ve been reading your blog for the past 2 months and in that time, the progress you have made has been substantial. A few weeks ago, it all seemed so easy for you and now you appear to be going through a sticky patch. I think the main thing is that you should keep using similar stakes and just try to ride the storm. I think decreasing your stakes at this time may not be a good idea and you may be taking a large step backwards by doing this. You need to spend more time trading and try to get back to the place you were a few weeks ago.


Alistair said...

Hi Graeme,

Sorry to hear you're having what appears to be a crisis of confidence. Been there and done that. LOL!

However, you've shown over the past few months that your strategy works. Indeed, it can be argued that that very strategy means losses are to be expected. You've got a very successful mix of trading and gambling - which compliment each other.

While I understand where Nick and Stan are coming from regarding reducing your stakes/bank, I would argue the other way. I've done it myself when I've had series spells of doubt. The lowering of stakes and by how much is irrelevant. It provides a bit of breathing space in order to get your confidence back again. As soon as it returns, bump the stakes back up again.

So much of this lark is in the head and one must use whatever means one is comfortable with to keep that in order.

I'm sure you'll get your discipline back again soon and we'll see that graph pointing upwards again.


Steve said...


From what I can make out, it appears to me that you are struggling for time to trade and therefore, you need to decide on where your priorities lie at the moment.

If you can’t find the time to trade properly, then don’t trade. When you do get the time to trade as you want, you need to increase your stakes again and get on with it. I really don’t see how trading with smaller stakes at the moment will help you in the long-run. I think you need to decide what you aim to achieve from your trading as you appear to be losing focus slightly at the moment and have panicked a bit after a large loss.

You appear to have stumbled across a strategy that is fairly successful given your inexperience and you now need to decide what you want to do with it.

If i’m honest, when you first started out with this blog, I didn’t think you’d get as far as this, so you shouldn’t be too down about where you are at the moment. You’ve came a long way.

Good luck.