Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 Review

Apologies to all for the lack of blogging and trading activity over the past few weeks, but I am still waiting for my laptop to be returned to me in a usable condition. At present I am using my very old laptop, which can take up to 20 minutes to load a browser (no exaggeration), so surprisingly it is not the best laptop for trading on. The past couple of weeks have been slow but gradual. The £50 bank which I left myself to use over Christmas is now standing at £82.64, which means it has increased by around 65% in about 4 weeks. This has been with very conservative trading and also very limited, as I have only really been using my phone to trade on the odd occasion. If I had been using my normal bank of £450 I would have returned profits just under £300 with these figures; impressive, though not entirely true perhaps, as I'm sure I would act slightly differently with larger sums. The majority of this profit has been produced by using a new dutching method which I am experimenting with, where I trade a number of scorelines throughout the game in order to produce a decent green at the end. I will fiddle with it a bit further and give a bit more info if it is any good. I have been doing a bit of punting over the past few weeks as well, but no profits to really write home about as yet! I lost £10 on a Goals Galore coupon last week, but won £25 on a double over on Bet365.

There is still one betting day of this year still to go of course, but I can't see things drastically changing so from the 9th October 2011 (since my new leaf was overturned) my total profit is £495.02 (or £41.30 per week), a figure which I am extremely pleased with. My original target was £50 per week, something which I reached every week but one with my full bank, and had I not been slightly hampered this last month I'm sure my average would have been well above £50.

So I was thinking how I could review this year in concise and simple terms for you all, when I stumbled across this old but effective article called 'The 5 Stages to Betfair Trading' ( I found it interesting to read as so many of the things it listed were things I saw in myself, particularly over this year. At the beginning of this year I had no real plans when it came to trading. I was mainly doing hopeful accumulators with no targets, no knowledge of how much I was spending and dabbling only occasionally on Betfair. I was following the tips from a paid service by a 'Professional Gambler' who you will have heard of but I won't name for embarrassment's sake, as he lost me a lot of money in January and February before I decided to stop following him (incidentally I still receive his tips and he is still doing poorly - something which brings a little joy to me). I was definitely on stage one at the turn of 2011. As the year progressed however, I moved on to stage 2: I really wanted to become a 'proper' trader, but I knew that I didn't yet know how, so I began to read and read about it. Towards the end of the English football season I began lumping drastically huge amounts of money on what I thought were 'dead certs' - (odds of around 1.2) and got lucky in that I wasn't burnt too bad, and made quite a lot of money from it (around £700 I think). I told myself it was trading because I was doing it on Betfair, but deep down I knew that I wasn't trading really, and that I was letting my trades run for maximum profit. Luckily for me, the season ended which meant my betting did, and I withdrew all of my profits.

As the summer went on I began to think about my betting activity before the season ended, and I think my actions scared myself a little as I was gambling away such gigantic sums of money, which I really couldn't afford to lose (though I had told myself I could). This led me to be more intent upon finding trading methods and systems and I stumbled across an opportunity in the U21 European Championships early in the summer. The system I came up with was all my own thinking, and I thought I had struck gold; I would soon find, however, that my inexperience would cost me dearly. Spain, England and the Czech Republic were the three favourites for the tournament, and, being only 2 groups, they were all in the same group. So looking at the odds I worked out that by dutching them all to win the tournament (as well as Uruguay, the other team in the group, at very long odds), I would be able to green up when one of the favourites went out and the odds of the other two shortened greatly. Simple? Not so much. What I hadn't accounted for was both England and the Czech Republic to play awfully in the group stage (with the Czechs sneaking through), whilst Switzerland in the other group breezed through their group becoming second favourites in the process. I still reckon that had England and Spain both breezed through the group then my idea would have been profitable, but given the chance I would definitely not do it again. I lost about £500 from that.

As I continued on with stage 2 I was desperate to find a 'winning system' when I bumped into arbitrage betting and I thought that I had finally found the thing which would I could master. I read a lot about it and then dived into a couple of arbitrage services which would produce arbs for me regularly to make a good profit. I ignored the advice about paper trading for a few months to get the hang of it, as I was sure I knew enough already to bother with all of that! I started using all of my bank for this because I knew that it was risk-free, so what could possibly go wrong?! I also decided that it was a waste of my time fussing around with 2 or 3% arbs, and that I would just wait for the big ones before pouncing (I was clever like that...). To be honest I am extremely glad that I was burnt when I was, because otherwise I would have wasted a lot more time, and invested a lot more money into something which I was not ready to do. My immaturity was highlighted immensely throughout this entirely process, and lucky I realised my errors soon after and took stock of myself. I ended up losing about £400 backing outcomes of a baseball game (something I had never done before, and have not done since). I did not and do not know the rules of baseball or how the betting works for it, and I am also not very familiar with the American betting format, so I really am not quite sure why I thought I could do it.

The collapse of the foolproof arbitrage adventure took me up to around July, and about the time that this blog started. The early stages of this blog saw me betting small amounts on the odd thing, slowly developing the idea of trading rather than gambling in my head, but I still didn't have any real target or limit and every now and then I would be known to blow a large portion of my bank on a stupid whim. It was at this point that I decided to purchase the ASP system. I'm not quite sure why I picked this one, particularly as it is such a pricey package compared to other, but it just happened to be the one I found and fell in love with. The sentence 'Every time you come upon a new tipster, software or trading guru you'll be ecstatic that this is the one that will make all the difference' from the article could not be more true when it came to the ASP, you only have to read my blog posts on it in August to see this. But on the other hand, I think it really helped me progress as a trader, even if it didn't turn out to be the most successful system for me. It taught me to handle liability, as well as learning the art of small profit gains which would build up over time. It also helped me to learn more about the Betfair market - how it all works and what I had been missing before.

October, I would say, was my stage 3 'eureka' moment. As I started a P+L on this blog, I also set myself a number of rules, targets and loss limits, as well as outlining a specific betting bank. I began to take charge of my betting and I found that it evolved quite naturally into trading, with a much more disciplined approach being the key. Before I was wanting to make hundreds in one go, but now I realised that that was highly unrealistic in the long run, and that a slowly slowly approach would be much more profitable. Over the past couple of months I have had excellent moments, as well as very poor moments, but I am proud that I have been able to exercise a large amount of control over everything; my emotions, my winnings/losses and my bank. I am still trialling systems and trying to find the thing which is right for me, so in a way I guess I still have elements of stage 2, but I have a larger understanding and maturity than I did before. When I look back to this time last year, or even this time 2 years ago (I have only been old enough to gamble for 2 years), I find my ignorance and immaturity laughable. At the same time however, I recognise that what has happened is a natural progression to where I am now, and that no one can automatically become a profitable trader overnight; it takes time and hard work. I'm not really sure how quickly I have progressed in terms of other traders, to me it seems like I have come an awful long way in a very short space of time, especially this year, but maybe this has happened with everyone?

I still have a long way to go before I reach stages 4 and 5 I feel, but if I continue with the same amount of ambition and discipline I should be able to progress to a good level over the next few years (hopefully). This year has certainly been a rollercoaster with many ups and downs and I am under no illusion that I am at a loss for the entire calender year. If the last three months are anything to go by though, the future looks pretty bright.

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me throughout the year, particularly the people who gave me support and advice through the low points. I would also like to thank you all for reading this blog, I never imagined (though I did hope) that I would be getting this many viewers per week, so I am very pleased that so many of you keep coming back to read my ramblings! 

I wish you all a very happy new year, let's hope that 2012 is the most profitable yet.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A barren spell

Not too much to report this week as I am still without laptop. Last night was pretty successful though, as I managed to win about £50 through a number of different methods. I won a few quid on Chelsea to win in play - I was always confident they would in the end, and the red card just sped things up. In addition to this I had £20 on both teams to score at 1.62 so decent profit from that also. Lastly I won around £30 thanks to the guys at Bonus Bagging and the offer from bet365. They showed me a way to ensure the refund offer ensured profit so I made sure took full advantage of that.

Not much else to report on really, though I have been having a few thoughts about next season already. At the beginning of this season I said that I would like to trade the outright premier league winner market throughout the year, but that hasn't really materialised as I'd need quite a lot of capital and would have to not mind it being tied up for a while. Had I been trading however, I reckon I could have a decent amount of green on the top 3 teams by now due to the topsy turvy nature of this league. It has amazed me today to see how differently people are viewing the title race following Chelsea's win last night. To me it seemed highly unlikely that city would go unbeaten all year, and it is also the case that everyone has a bad patch, no matter how well they appear to be doing. After just 4 games united were 1.8 to win the league (now 3.4), and city were 1.7 going into last night (now 1.88). I am seriously considering my trading for next year to be solely focussed around the long game. Obviously the down side of this is that I won't get a payout until May, but as long as that doesn't bother me then it could be a good moneymaker. I shall think about it a bit more over the year, it'll probably depend how much I make with my regular weekly trading.

Anyway bloggers, no other news for now, time for some Christmas shopping. Good luck with anything you do or try.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Technology meltdown

Just a short post to say that I will probably be out of action for a little while, as my laptop had decided to break, despite being less than a year old. At the moment I'm desperately trying to get it fixed, but until that happens I will be neither blogging or trading. This also means a temporary suspension of the soccer betting hq trial, so sorry for any inconveniences.
Last week I had a successful weekend after a poor midweek (often the case) and I managed to recoup my losses and just about break even. I was pretty pleased with the trading as I found myself being very protective over my bank, and was at times furious to lose as little as £2, which was precisely what I wanted. Sometimes I think it is easy to lose the value of money when it is in your betfair account, so it is good to remind myself from time to time.

This week I have only had two trades as I've been using my phone and that can be quite difficult. Both trades were on the snooker and both were losses totalling about three quid, so not too bad. I also have a small amount on Judd trump to win it at 13s, so hopefully he will progress today and I can trade out. Although I normally say stick to football, snooker is probably the sport I know 2nd most about, so I will allow myself to trade it. From the small amount I've done this week I've noticed there could be a huge chance of large profits if it had a larger liquidity, so it is really frustrating it doesn't. Anyway, come on Judd.

Hopefully the laptop will be fixed soon and ill be back before you know it. Good luck with this weekends trading.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Here's to the freakin' weekend..

This week has been a bit quiet on the trading front as there weren't too many stand-out opportunities in my mind. Monday started off with a small loss in the Charlton game, but Tuesday was successful as my discipline was good and helped me to make really small sums at a time. Keeping stakes low in order to take little profits is exactly what I am looking to do at the moment, as it will certainly help me to keep my discipline when I return to bigger sums. Wednesday went the other way as my stake was a bit too large and the bet ended up being a loss, and it was not helped by my stop-loss method which was well too late in the game. I incurred a loss of £12 that night. Total for the week so far is -£13.75, though I have a £5.37 green resting on Martin O'Neill, so if he would just confirm the appointment that would be handy.

In addition to this my £2-£1m challenge (details can be seen here began in poor fashion and fell at the first hurdle first time around. I had a fourfold on over 1.5 goals but it only managed 3/4, Arsenal-City being the let-downs. I will try another go at it next week.

I have also been thinking about another experiment based around something which has always been a keen subject of mine: the draw. Those of you who are familiar with Pete Nordsted might have seen his blog on last year, where he picked three draws out each week with the idea that only one needed to come in to cover stakes (and make a tiny profit). I followed this method for a while and it was certainly something which caught my eye, being particularly effective as the bookies rarely know how to price up the draw. I used to place £10 singles on each of his picks, along with a £1 treble on all three, and I think the treble came in about 3 times over the season, at odds of around 35/1. This week I have decided that I will run a small experiment, where I will back three draws in a treble each weekend for £1 only. Should a treble come in, I would then take the profit (probably around £30) and back 30 different draw trebles, in the hope of hitting two at least. Should this be successful, I would continue in the same fashion and back 60 trebles, etc etc. Should it be unsuccessful, I would start again. In addition to this I might also do a £1 trixie on three draw selections, but I'm still to decide on that. If you wish to follow my progress with this I will post my draw tips each week and let you know how I get on. This week my three draws are: Blackburn vs Swansea, Blackpool vs Reading and Cardiff vs Birmingham.

Also, days 11,12 and 13 of the Soccer Betting HQ review are now up and can be found here: And for those of you who are in the mood to read today, have a look at my other blog post concerning David De Gea:

Good luck for the weekend everyone.