Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmas Strains

One of the benefits of being a student trader is the large sum of capital which arrives in my bank at the beginning of each term. In October, I invested a small portion of it into my Betfair account and have used it to trade with since. As this has been my first 8 weeks or so at proper trading, and by that I mean trading with rules, strategies and proper targets, I am pleased that I have (with the small exception of last week) kept my discipline and not blown my entire bank. I can't remember whether I said before but if I was to blow my entire bank I wouldn't be able to start again (for financial reasons), so it is likely that my trading would come to a complete halt for a significant amount of time. In this time I have won myself over £400 in 6 weeks, an average of over £70 per week, which is pleasing given my £50 starting weekly target. Last week I had my first losing week, but given the previous week's profits it has not hurt me too much, as long as I draw from my mistakes to prevent such losses again I should be alright. I have also had many ideas for strategies and systems in this time, and some of these I am researching and perfecting as we speak, so hopefully they will prosper in the future.

The negative side to being a student however, is that it isn't strictly real life. Some weeks I will be more busy than others, I travel frequently to see friends/family/girlfriend and because of this I cannot always trade regularly. Due to the fact that I have no other form of income other than trading, money does tend to get tight towards the end of term (i.e. now). Not only this, but I have a very large family as well as a girlfriend and Christmas is definitely going to be a pricey one this year! Due to this, I have decided to temporarily downgrade the scale of my betting, as I am not in the business of betting my bottom dollar. I have withdrawn all my of Betfair bank but for £50, which I shall continue to trade with over the Christmas period. My hope is that I will preserve and build this £50 up so that come January, when I will return the money back to my betting bank, I will not need to invest as much. On top of this, I will be trying to win very small amounts with this money, so it will help me to re-establish the importance of small and gradual accumulation. If anyone thinks that I have copped out in any way, I am sorry but I genuinely am just skint! And I'm sure any of you would agree that your betting bank size should never be 100% of your actual bank size (which is almost was!)

Tonight I won't be doing anything, there isn't much on and I would just like to enjoy the Charlton-Huddersfield game to be honest. It's too tight to call for me and I am always wary of teams on long unbeaten streaks as it is too easy to get caught up in the hype of 'they will never lose'. I will have a look at the tasty Carling Cup ties tomorrow though. Why sky have scheduled Chelsea-Liverpool and Arsenal-City on at the same time is beyond me, a shame from a viewing perspective.

Lastly, I would just like to join the masses in sending my condolences to Gary Speed's family. I've always admired him as a player and manager and always thought he was one of football's good guys. Like anyone else, I really saw no clue that he was in anyway troubled which makes it sadder the thought that he was suffering in peace, whilst feeling as if he had to put on a brave face in public. It just goes to show how pathetic it is that we scrutinise and judge all of the players and others in the public eye, but really we know so little about their lives. It truly does make our everyday 'sufferings' (cold weather, work due in, a £100 loss) seem entirely pointless. R.I.P. Mr Speed.

Good day.

Friday, 25 November 2011

A few things to ponder

I've been doing a spot of reading this week and have stumbled across a couple of interesting things. Firstly, I came across a £2 to £1million challenge blog ( I'm not normally that interested in this kind of thing but this one took my fancy, mainly due to the appealing betting plan ( - nothing too complex but you know how it goes; it looks like a piece of piss when it is set out in 19 easy steps. So I think I'm going to give it a whirl, see how it goes. It's very similar to the 86p challenge I did a while back and I enjoyed that immensely, so this one should be a bit of fun too. It's (horrendously) unlikely that I will succeed but I will only begin a new go at it once a week, meaning a maximum loss of £2 per week. Saying that though, I'm not in the business of chucking my money away, so I will be cheating (is it even cheating?) somewhat. I will look at trading my selections in order to be a bit safer, and I will also maybe go below the evens boundary, though I'll try and stick arouunndd the evens mark. I'll post my selections weekly before the games if I can so you know I'm not cheating, not that I would anyway; claiming to be a millionaire when I'm not would be not only sad but extremely depressing.

Secondly in my findings, I discovered an interesting idea on Sports Trading Life called 'The Mug' (, some of you may have seen this before. Bascially what the guy is doing is betting on who he thinks will win every week, as well as which side of the 2.5 goal line it will be, in order to see how effective it is. In this case, however, he is hoping that the selections over time will produce negative returns, so that he can just lay the games he picks. I've always thought how often the market is wrong, and in future I might start doing a similar thing of just laying the market's opinion on certain games.

Lastly, a shameless plug for myself as I have restarted my old blog ( I'm going to try and update it at least once a week with general footi related stuff so give it a look, tell your friends yada yada yadaaaa. Any link exchanges will be appreciated to get the blog up and running.

This week's trading has been a bit of a nightmare and as a result I have temporarily suspended myself from it. Monday kicked it off as I traded the Spurs game and made a loss of about £28. Tuesday was the killer though, as I took my total loss for the week up to £98.43 - my worst ever, and my first losing week since I began. This all came about because I made a number of fundamental errors and chose to disobey my rules. Firstly, I bet on my team - Man United - and did so whilst watching them, two awful errors and all three of my trades on the game were losing ones. I made a number of losses on some other Champions League games too and I was betting far more than my usual amounts, hence the bigger losses. I'm not really sure what caused this loss of discipline but I think it was mainly due to my desperation for Tuesday to be a big night profitability wise. I will take the rest of the week off and re-evaluate my losses to try and prevent a repeat occurrence. The P+L sheet shows a £46 loss on the winner of Group A also, but this was from a long time ago but was only settled on Tuesday. I took a punt on City to win it before the competition started but they have strangely failed to impress in Europe. I'll let them off though as I still have a £300 green all-round on the Best of the Rest market thanks to them. Good luck to you all, hope you have a good weekend.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Goals Galore

Trading wise, this week has been an absolute disaster. Due to a huge and well-timed stroke of luck, however, I have more than scraped through. I'll talk about that in a bit but first we shall start with the trading:

The ASP system
This week has been the worst I have ever had when using the system. The total loss from this week is £86.20, leaving me with only £34.20 profit after using it on 59 games - an average of £0.58 per match. As I said last time, I made a huge mistake in the week which led to a 70-odd pound loss, and under normal circumstances the loss would only have been around £20, so this should be taken into account. But even so, the week has seen 13 losses and 13 profits, certainly the worst ratio since I started, and a lot of the losses have been big ones too. My match selection could be queried, I think maybe I got too cocky with the system and looked to take on tougher games and it has come around to bite me in the ass. I think what must be realised here is that it isn't really possible to try and achieve big profits in individual games, and that making an average of £3 or £4 per game is the best you can hope for. Because of this, I am beginning to question whether it is worth the large amount of time and care it consumes for each game.

Total Football Trading
Not a lot to say about the Paper Chaser this week, it was a bit of a non-event. Several games were chosen and they went different ways to accumulate a loss of -£0.87. Nothing else really to talk about on this one.

My own trading
This is a bit of a vague category (it is listed as 'other' on my P+L), but it mainly means things like laying the draw, trading goal markets and trying other different things which I think of along the way. It also includes the odd punt every now and then, but that is quite rare these days (and I will mention punting below). Due to the decline in the fortunes of the ASP and the very consistent nature of my own trading over the weeks, I think I might choose for this category to take more of a leading role in my trading. This week, this category (partially) helped to save the day as it accumulated profits of £60.33 which would have achieved my weekly target on its own.

I said last time that I had won a £50 free bet from Betfred for 'guessing' the attendance at Wembley on Tuesday. I thought about attempting to do matched betting with it, and I would have but for the fact that it had to be used on a Goals Galore coupon, which allows for a minimum of three selections. I'm sure there is a way which I could have done it to secure profit from every angle, but I couldn't think of one (not that I put too much thought into it) and decided to have a big punt for a change. I picked three games, 2 of which were 12.45 kick offs on Saturday, so that if they came in I could lay the third game. It has to be said that I picked a good weekend to be using Goals Galore as there were so many games in which both teams scored. In keeping with the flukiness of how the bet was acquired, the bet came in and I took a total of £160. Before the third game, I chose to lay both teams to score for £40, meaning a loss of £33.60 but a total profit of £126.40. Not bad.

This week hasn't been great for trading, nor has it been a great week in general, and my mood has been rather sour. Throughout, I haven't really felt like trading and this could well have effected how it went. I'm not one for believing in good luck or bad luck, or that the universe evens itself out over time, but I do believe you make your own luck, so perhaps with my mind not entirely focussed on trading I have made some mistakes that I normally wouldn't have. As well as this, the internationals didn't help me (or anyone really, who even likes them!?), neither did the flurry of goals in yesterday's matches. Today I felt much better and recorded a profit of £20. Maybe something for me to consider in the future. Had I not had the free bet, my total for this week would have been -£25.87, which is really not too bad considering how bad it seemed at times. As it went, my total for this week was a profit of £107.19, strange old life ey?

I hope you all had a good and profitable weekend.

Results for week 5: Total - £107.19 (TFT - -£0.87  ASP - -86.20, Other - +£194.26)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

0-0s, Mistakes and Goal Fests

What an odd couple of days I have had. Seeing as this week is painfully slow football-wise, I thought I would take advantage of Tuesday as it was the one day this midweek which had a good number of matches. I now kind of wish I hadn't. I say kind of, because although it turned out pretty crap, I have learnt a few things along the way which will help me in the future.

The day began pretty slowly, I was using the ASP on a few early afternoon games, mainly U21 qualifying and Asian World Cup, and the games were really struggling to find goals. It wasn't too much to worry about though, I made a few small losses but managed to win a bit back before the evening games. The main body blow though was the game between Slovenia and USA where I managed to lose myself a whopping £72.50. Now users of the system may be wondering how I managed to lose such a sum, but the answer is quite simple: I am an idiot. The actual loss was acquired when using the system, but wasn't it's fault at all really, had I acted normally the loss would have been about £20 maximum. What should be said here however, is prior to this game I thought I had pulled off a worldy of a steal, but all that happened was I ended up with a big loss. Basically I was looking at the 'To Score' market in the England Sweden match, and there was money on Welbeck to be layed (shortly after he was announced withdrawn from the squad). I quickly snapped it up and it would have meant a profit of around £50 (eating up around £300 of my bank in lays), only to later read the rules and find that should any player not play, the bets will be void. Too late. I thought I had a comfort blanket of £50 and with this is mind, I decided to play a risky game in the USA game and gamble my liability in the hope of coming off with a profit. It didn't come off and I lost it all.

Evening came and I began to claw back the money I was down. I acted slightly more aggressively than I would normally have done, so in hindsight I should probably have quit for the day after the big loss. Thankfully the evening went okay and I managed to make some big profits. The biggest coup came in the Portugal-Bosnia game where I took £35.19 using the ASP, my biggest ever by a long way. Before the game I expected the game to be a tight cagey affair, with hardly any goals. It finished 6-2 so I was spot on... Luckily I was watching the match and could see that Portugal were in a blistering mood and was able to turn around what could have been a large loss into a large win.

To finish my odd 24 hours, I awoke to find I had won a £50 free bet with Betfred for having the closest estimate to the England-Sweden attendance. I don't mean to brag but I knew I would win this after I spent hours and hours researching the average attendances for England in friendlies against second-rate teams, then cross-referenced it with attendances when England played an experimental side... Or maybe I just took a guess and got very lucky.

I had tried a bit of Paper Chaser during the day on Tuesday, but it came to nothing really and I think I just about broke even. I also trialled a new system I created, though I'm sure it has been thought of before as it is a version of laying the draw. You'll see in my P+L I used it in the Montenegro-Czech match, hence the large losses and wins. It worked quite well this time, but I think a bit more research is due before I go bigger. In total then, my current P+L is -£18.19 which is easily salvageable with a good weekend. Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Bored of the ignorant punter

I'm currently on a train to Nottingham to see the other half, so I thought what a lovely idea it'd be to update the world on my thoughts. Often the most ramble-y of posts are caused by me travelling to or from somewhere, so don't expect much.
What I wanna chat about though, is something that I'm sure all traders can sympathise with - the ignorance of non traders. I live with 4 other lads at uni, and they all like a Saturday punt, normally on accumulators. Fair enough. No harm in spicing up a boring fixture list with a bit of gambling, I used to love that once upon a time. But what bugs me is their insistence of making their multiples a 500/1 shot and then being angry when it doesn't come in. 'Can we go to a different bookies because this one hates me', 'I only missed it by 2 goals', 'a potential win £30 is shit and boring' - some of the things frequently heard at around 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon. The last one really gets me, as if you would say no thanks if someone offered you £30 in the street. On the other hand, on the very rare occasion that their bet comes in, you have to handle their smug ecstatic selves as they collect a wad of cash. This might sound all patronising and condescending but it isn't really, at the end of the day its their money and they can do what they want with it, I'd just like them to be less greedy so they would win more often.
It also helped me realise the true differences between trading and punting: traders expect to win long term whereas punters hope to win long term, or in some cases they know they won't, but enjoy it anyway. The thrill factor is also eliminated from trading, its more like a job (it is a job to some people of course) whereas punting is purely for excitement. I still get a buzz from trading, I love doing it, but its more of a buzz from making money than the thrill of winning a bet.
This all might sound pretty obvious and simple to many of you, but I just thought it was fairly interesting, and I do love a bit of pyschology. I'm sure many of you will also have shared my painful experiences of trying to explain sports trading to those who don't know about it, as well as talking to the most painful of beings who claim 'its just a posh word for gambling'. Everyone seems to know someone 'who was addicted to gambling and lost everything', which also doesn't help matters, especially if they get wind of the size of your betting bank. If gambling has a bad rep, its only because of these morons who are creating it. It must be a lonely world for a professional trader, I'm not sure if I could be one. Stupid really, because if you told people you were a stock broker they'd love it. Only one word to sum up these people, and it comes from the unlikely source of Joey Barton: #helmets

I did say this week that I wouldn't trade due to being away at the weekend, work, and the boring (and of course unnecessary) international break, but I couldn't help myself when I saw the 2.14 on Spain to beat England at the weekend. In hindsight, maybe I jumped on it too quickly, as I lumped £200 on before they released their squad, but thankfully it went alright as they announced a full squad. I topped up another £240 at 1.98 after the squad news and let it get down to around 1.92 before I traded out for around £30 profit on all outcomes. In addition to this, the work I had to do took less time than I thought it would, so I played with the ASP on Tuesday night. The co-creator of the ASP, John Duncan, has started a Twitter account this week where he posts all of the games he is going to use and this is extremelyyyyy handy. @profmagnets is his name and he's open to any questions or queries you might have, kind of like a live help feature, certainly an excellent addition to the extensive service. ANYWAY, I traded with the games he selected and made a tidy little profit of around £25 (haven't got the exact figures due to being on the train). Not bad at all. This will be the last bit of trading I do this week though, honestly this time.

So have a good weekend people and stay green.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Week 4 success

For the fourth week in a row my £50 weekly target has been reached. After my last post on Thursday night I had a loss of -£28.06, but a big Friday night coupled with a solid Saturday resulted in a win of £81.40, meaning my weekly total is £53.34. As this is the fourth week in a row that I have successfully achieved the target I set, I will stick to my initial plans and raise the weekly target to £60 per week, it will be interesting to see whether this makes it slightly harder or not.

So Friday kicked things off as I took on a few ASP games and tried out something new as well. The ASP games didn't affect much however, as I won £5.27, before losing £6.50 shortly after. I then tried something a bit new which worked as well as I could have hoped to be honest, due to the ridiculous amount of goals scored in the Dutch leagues. As there was a full bill of Dutch 2nd league games, I picked 6 of these out and laid the AUQ correct scoreline before the game, hoping for early goals. As it was an experiment I only laid for stakes of £5, but after twenty minutes I was already out of three matches with a good profit. The amount of goals scored were pretty ridiculous and even I was shocked at how well it worked. By the end of the half I was out of all the trades, taking two £1 losses but securing a £14.81 profit in total. Whilst it worked very well, I'm not sure if I will be doing it again however, as it surely can't happen every week.

Today I took on a number of games and I am now beginning to use slightly bigger stakes with the ASP system, in order to maximise profit. After six successful games I won a total of £38.04, not without a bit of worry though! In the two Championship games I used, both of the correct score markets collapsed, despite having more than the required liquidity, and I had quite a lot of liability left in the pot. If either of the games had finished with an AUQ scoreline I would have lost £40, so I had a very nervous ten minutes as the scorelines were 3-0 and 3-1! Luckily they stayed like that. In addition to these games I took a further £28.55 by laying the over 3.5 and 4.5 goals market in the United-Sunderland game, laying the draw in the Newcastle game and backing the overs in the QPR-City game. Over on Paddypower I tried a couple of trixies on the anytime goalscorer market (Van Persie, Ba, Van Der Vaart - Unsettled), and the over 3.5 goals market (Wimbledon/Barnet, Villa/Norwich, Newcastle/Everton) which lost a measly £2. To cover these two I also had a successful over 1.5 treble, which left me with a loss of 23p if Van Der Vaart doesn't score tomorrow.

Overall another superb week and I'm very happy with how things have gone since I began my challenge. I knew that I had the ability to do it consistently but I did think that my discipline would let me down at times, but so far I can only think of one occasion (when I bet on the X factor). Due to a build up of work at uni and the fact I am going away next weekend, I will be taking a week off before moving onto my new target of £60.  My betting bank is now on £440 and the rest of the weeks profits were withdrawn.

Good luck to you all this weekend and in this coming week.

Results for week 4: Total - £53.34 (TFT - -£4.75  ASP - +£16.73, Other - +£41.96)

P.S. I know that Mainz was Friday but I forgot to put it down so I have only just done so.

Friday, 4 November 2011

The ASP System

The ASP system is something which I have been covering for a while now, and as my review of it has been pretty patchy, I thought I would set the record straight. As it happens, during the midweek I have used it on a number of games and it has thrown up some completely new things to say about it, such is the nature of this system. I have read a lot of reviews on it and they have all been mixed, some people love it, others hate it and the rest don't really understand it. The best review which I have been following is this: where the reviewer Richard outlines how the system is more of a core strategy, and each individual should adapt it and change it how they please. This is probably the most accurate description of it I can find, as this is exactly what I have done, by adding in a few techniques of my own, whilst ignoring a couple of the instructions laid out in the manual. To begin with I did try to follow the manual word by word, but even the creator says that it is not necessary to do this, and it certainly didn't suit me to do so. Interestingly, despite finding a way of using the system which seems to provide a regular profit, the reviewer Richard does not really like the product personally, as it is a huge time drain for a very small return. This is something I can sympathise with as, not only does it usually take the full 90 minutes to complete the trade, but it also uses a huge proportion of your bank during this as you do not receive your liabilities back until the end of the game.
Up until this week, regular readers may have noticed the upsurge in ASP profits, particularly last weekend, as I went on a 19 game run with no losses. In this time I had been trying something different but it would leave me highly exposed if the game ended up with no goals, something which I experienced midweek, where things turned for the worst. With 2 games finishing 0-0 and one finishing 1-0 after a late goal I recorded some big losses, with the addition of another big loss from a game which threatened to see too many goals. The latter of these I could not do too much about, although I could have recorded a smaller loss had I remembered an extra thing I should have done (too many games without a loss was the cause of this memory slip), but the first few games gave me an idea which I think should help reduce deficits in the rare case of a goalless game.
I shall persevere with the system as I am determined it can work, particularly as it is perfect for someone like me who is just looking to make small but regular amounts. It can be frustrating at times, very frustrating, and I wouldn't be altogether surprised if I knocked it on the head one day, but that certainly wouldn't be without trying! It certainly has a good theory and the manual is very extensive so I would recommend it, but be warned it isn't for everyone!
As for this weeks trading, it has been another poor midweek but tonight's shift certainly helped matters slightly. I am currently sitting on -£28.06 and am slowly clawing it back as the weekend gets closer. The majority of this was caused by the ASP system, though the Paper chaser hasn't been bringing in great profits either. Tonight was a better night as my new strategy on the ASP took two large wins and a small loss. I will look towards the weekend as I did last week to recoup my losses and hopefully make a profit. Below is my P+L for this week's trading as well as my P+L sheet for the ASP results.

I hope everyone is well.