Saturday, 9 August 2008

Trading update, the future and the blog!

As the title states, I’ve got a few things to catch up on……

Firstly, how has my trading learning been going? Being honest, it feels like I’m going through pain trying to learn to scalp but I know it will be worth it in the end, so I’ll stick with it.

I’d also like to say a huge thanks to Ben. Ben is basically a fairly sophisticated horseracing trader who uses excel robots amongst other things to help him trade. At the start of the week, I was looking into setting up an excel spreadsheet to graphs trends from Betfair using BA Pro and Ben kindly sent me through a spreadsheet which I can hook up to BA Pro to give me a full size streaming graph in excel. Cheers Ben.

So, have I learned much? The first thing I’ve got to say is that I can understand why I lost on Betfair last month. Trying to trade using the BF interface is so difficult compared to BA Pro and I’ve probably cost myself fortunes over the past few month by not using BA Pro. Last month, I was caught on the end of some bad drifters and part of this is that it is very difficult to exit the bet using the BF interface.

One thing I’ve found using the ladder function in BA Pro is that it’s very easy to exit the bet when it goes against you and it’s also great to not have to refresh the screen every few seconds! Traders are probably laughing when they read this but I used to have to click the refresh button on Betfair to see the way the odds were moving. The auto refresh in BA Pro makes this much easier!

Being honest, another great advantage of the ladder is simply the fact that I can see where there is money sitting and where it has been matched. When I traded using the BF interface, I used to bring up the odds graph and see the ladder at the right hand side to see the amounts matched at each side. It was much more difficult…..

OK, even allowing for the fact I love BA Pro now, how has the scalping went? Andrew asked how it was going during the week and I said to him “It’s like a London tour bus, I’m hoping on and off of steamers and drifters all the time!”

One problem I’ve had is that I’m using very small stakes at the moment to learn. Hence, every tick I win or lose is worth pennies to me, so I’ve fallen into the trap of getting involved far too much every time I trade! I know part of this is a lack of discipline on my part but it’s also the fact that I do find scalping quite boring. I get more fun trying to guess which way the odds are going to move rather than wait for the 100% trade.

I think the way that scalping works is that you use a massive stake, wait for a definite trend and then jump on the trend and get off fairly quickly. I understand this but as I’ve said before, I’m never going to be a real scalper since I don’t have the patience!

However, I really believe that I need to learn these skills to enable me to progress on Betfair. I managed to skip learning these skills at the start of my Betfair experience and now I’m just filling in a gap in my knowledge.

OK, the second part of the title states “The Future”. Well, it’s early days obviously and I’ve only had 1 week of learning to scalp but I feel like I’m 10 times the trader I was previously. The fact I managed to turn a profit on Betfair for a few months without any trading skills is more due to the fact that I have a great knowledge of horseracing than anything else. Now that I’m learning to trade properly, I can’t wait to get back into combining my knowledge and trading skills and adopting my trading strategy again.

For those of you who are not familiar with my strategy, it is simply to trade pre-race to get a riskfree bet on a horse and instead of greening up as other traders do, I’ll leave lays in running to hedge for a profit and a riskfree bet. Obviously, I use my knowledge to maximise my chances of making a decent profit in running by trying to find the horse most likely to trade lower in running. This is usually by trying to find the winner but in many cases, it’s simply a case of finding the horse that will lead or the horse that will travel the best and lay these IR to green up.

Now that I’m learning to trade properly, I can even look to trade a favourite in a race and then green up pre-race. I will then use my green profit to generate the riskfree bet on the horse I want and then I’ll leave lays in running.

For example, if I can get to the stage where I can earn a green £5 on every race, I’m sure that I can make about 3 times more every race by using my knowledge. Obviously, if I can increase that £5 upwards, I’ll earn more profits and as I spend more time on form, I can maybe increase this factor to 5 in the long-run. That’s the ultimate aim in the long-run.

One thing I’ve always said on here is that I want a strategy that is scalable. I don’t want to get to the stage where I’m using a £500 stake to trade a race to win £5 every race. In my opinion, that’s too hard work and I wouldn’t enjoy that. I want a long-term trading strategy that I will enjoy and have fun with.

One thing that’s probably clear to everyone is that my passion is reading horseracing form and trying to find winners. That’s what I’m passionate about. Obviously, to make money long-term on Betfair, I need to learn to trade properly. So far, I’ve did OK with no trading skills but once I learn these skills, I’ll do much better IMO.

I’m going to spend the remainder of this month learning to trade. Obviously, it’s not going to do much for my P&L but as I said previously, I’m a little short of cash at the moment anyway, so it’s a good time to be learning!

Once I’m back from my holiday next month, I’ll look at the money situation and decide where I go. Assuming I’m still confident my trading skills have improved, I’d be inclined to start trading again with a decent size bank and start trying to earn some real money again. Another thing to bear in mind is the fact that night racing is finishing soon, so my opportunities will be limited to trade.

However, I got an email from BF last week which said that BF Mobile is changing from Monday and you can now let bets go in-play. Hence, I could back horses on my Mobile at work and leave IR lays, so I’d still be able to use my horseracing knowledge to make some money during the week! Sounds fun…..

Lastly, I wanted to mention the blog!

I’ve been absolutely amazed with the popularity of the blog recently and the interest and number of comments I’ve been receiving has been nothing short of phenomenal. I now have more readers of the blog than ever and last week was actually the record week for the blog with regards to page loads.

I’ve had about 70 comments to my last 4 posts and even allowing for the fact half of these are from me replying I think, it’s still 35 comments to 4 posts which is amazing!

Due to the fact I’m learning to scalp and I didn’t have much to say, I decided to do a post last week regarding a race. For people who have been reading since the beginning, you will know I’ve analysed races in the past and even though I read the races near perfectly, there was barely any interest in the posts.

I think part of the reason for this was because I didn’t have many readers then who were interested in horseracing. I think I probably get two types of readers who read the blog. I obviously have traders who trade horseracing or other sports and they keep an eye on the blog. However, I’ve probably got some readers now who are interested solely in horseracing and since this is where my passion lies, I may look to do some more horseracing specific posts in the future.

I think this is probably another long post from me and I’ve barely mentioned trading which may upset one of the readers who left the comment last week “u're such a piece of crapola..enough with the stupid self analysis..just trade and make it work..all talk and no action!! what a waste of reading time!!!”

With regards to comments, can I please ask everyone to leave a name with their comment. I’m going to start deleting any abusive comments like the one I received on the last post which was bang out of order to be honest and if everyone can leave their name, it makes it easier for me to put a name to the comment and understand what they think.

Hope you are all having a prosperous time trading and gambling while I’m learning the basics!!!!

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