Thursday, 26 July 2012

Happy bloggerversary

I am very pleased to say that I have survived a whole year in the blogging world, and I am still as enthusiastic as I was when I started. When looking back to my first post exactly a year ago today, there is a distinct innocence in the piece and it is extremely difficult to not end up being condescending towards myself, as I began my journey in blogging my betting life. I do feel however, that amongst my naivety is a necessary development path which I have slowly trudged along this past year, vastly expanding my knowledge and understanding of the industry along the way. From 'tipping' over 1.5s to throwing money at moneymaking systems, I have matured as the year has passed and I hope this is something which I have been able to express in my posts. I know full well that I am far from the finished article, as I doubt anyone is, and I may look back in a years time and laugh at myself further. But, to quote myself, the fact remains that 'I am not a professional gambler, far from it, I just do it in my spare time to raise some extra cash. Mostly however, I do it simply because I enjoy it immensely and get huge satisfaction from researching a result which comes up trumps.' And this is all that really counts. I love the learning curve, and I love telling you all about it, and this has made for a half-decent blog.

I want to thank every for reading and commenting on the blog, to date I have had 8450 views over the past year, and this is more than I ever dreamed when starting up 365 days ago. I would particularly like to thank the guys at Centre Court Trading and Green All Over as, according to Blogger's stat monitor, they have directed a lot of traffic my way over the past year. Of course, I am also pleased to have recorded a profit of over £1000 since October, and I hope this coming season I can push on and achieve even greater profits. 

I have really enjoyed this year, so much so that I am now seriously considering trying to get a job in the betting industry after my degree, (so if anyone can give me any help on that front, that would be great!)

Here's to another good year, best wishes people.


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Review of updated Android Betfair App

Something a bit different today, but something which I'm sure is relevant to many of you.

The updated app has undergone a significant makeover as Betfair looks to increase their stake in the mobile empire. Mobile betting is undoubtedly the future, and 2012 has seen the emergence of many bookmakers attempting to utilise this technological innovation by improving their apps and offering free bets for mobile users. In their press release Betfair claimed that 44 million mobile bets had been placed in FY12, an increase of 122%, totalling £2.2bn worth of bets being placed. Despite this, I think the mobile industry boom is best summed up by the statistic that 10% of customers claimed to have traded a bet whilst on the toilet, along with 20% who admitted to using the app whilst at a wedding. The figures did not disclose how many of those users was the groom.

New Layout 
The new skin and design of the app is sleek and sophisticated, especially when compared to apps from various bookmakers and exchanges. Betfair claims to be revolutionising the betting industry and the new interface certainly gives off that impression. Smooth and easy to navigate, the home screen presents you with most of the options you should need, without bombarding you with information. The slide-along option bar at the top of the screen allows easy access to the most popular sports, as well as an in-play and casino option. Other options are easily accessible from a drop-down list in the top corner. When in your account, all your information is neatly laid out for you making it easy to check existing bets and deposit or withdraw.

New Features
Whilst making it easier for the casual punter to place and review bets, the app has made basic steps towards helping traders utilise mobile betting also. Giving the user greater amounts of information seems to be the theme of the update, and the market depth and liquidity information is a simple yet crucial addition to the app. Furthermore, the market graphs provided are a more than welcome addition. Whilst it will be difficult for the app to ever truly replace the computer for serious traders, it does now allow them to do improved research and study the markets whilst on their travels. The press release boasted other minor new features such as bookmarking facilities and landscape mode, yet the update which I have so far found the most useful is the live bet 'what-if' and P&L feature. Since using my mobile to trade I have continuously become frustrated at the need to manually work out how much I need to lay or back in order to green up. The new what-if feature allows you to enter your stake whilst seeing how this will affect your bet, exactly as it would if you were to use your computer. This is extremely useful and will no doubt save a lot of skewed green books.

It is difficult to assess this particular part of the app due to differing network coverage and internet speeds, but on the whole I have found this to be a particular downfall of the software. As a Vodafone user it is not fair to compare the internet speed against other networks, so I can only compare the app to the mobile edition of the website. Whether it is because it has more data to load or any other reason, I don't know, but so far I have found the web version of Betfair considerably faster than the app, and therefore find this a considerable deterrent from using the app. Although using the app in-play has considerable benefits when compared to the mobile site, the distinct lack of speed is a serious problem for traders as timing is one of the key assets needed to turn a profit. At times I have had to reload pages on the app a number of time before they have appeared or updated, particularly with games which are in-play. I have not been using the app for too long, but at many times I have already found myself referring back to the web version for quicker access, and this does not bode particularly well for the future.


It is only fair to compare the app to those of other bookmakers, as well as Betdaq's and other exchanges. On this front, the bottom line is that Betfair's app is miles ahead of any other on the market. It is smoother, prettier and more detailed than any other, and should certainly help to maximise Betfair's profits from the mobile market in the future.

Speed is a distinct problem for the Android app however, in more ways than one. Betfair claimed the majority of their mobile bets last year from Android phones had been placed largely through the web version, due to their inefficient app. As one of those who didn't get on with the previous version of the app, I can say that the update has not done too much to dispel these demons. I feel an update is needed to reduce the loading time, because in every other aspect the app is sound. As a devout Android user however, my biggest qualm is with the timing of this new edition. Iphone users have long been enjoying an app of similar capabilities, and were also able to enjoy the special Euro 2012 app which was not available on Android. Considering the similarities in the mobile market share between Apple and Android, in the app download market Android actually dominates with a 44% market share compared to 31% at Apple, I find it particularly disappointing that it has taken Betfair such a long time to develop an app which brings both platforms level.

Overall rating: 7/10 - Miles ahead of similar apps but not yet up to high standards expected

Monday, 16 July 2012

It's been a while

It has certainly been a while since my last post. Maybe not in terms of chronology, but certainly in terms of sporting events. The Euros seems like months ago now, and Wimbledon came and went before anyone had any time to digest the woes of British sportsmen. On we march to the Olympics, and I am refusing to bow down to the typical British pessimism (despite the Summer's weather being the worst on record, significant security concerns, and David Beckham has been scandalously left out of the 'Team GB' squad ) and fully believe that our wonderful country can pull it off and do us all proud. One thing I would say is that the Scots should consider their bid for independence, I'd like to see them be any way involved in any Olympic Games in the next 1000 years if it wasn't for their trusty neighbours. Of course, should the whole thing be a disaster, their bid will be stronger than ever.

Enough sporting politics, onto the betting. I did promise a P+L of my Euros experience and I shall fulfill this as always. I have a few observations from my betting during the tournament however, and despite turning a good profit, I am not really satisfied with how it went. My largest source of income during the tourny was matched betting, and whilst there is nothing really wrong with that for it is a great way to earn free money and any person ignoring such opportunities is an obvious mug, I'm never really satisfied for it to be my main source of profit. Quite simply because it isn't real trading. The general theme was my matched betting paid for frivolous losses elsewhere in the tournament, which isn't necessarily how I would like to run things. But I cannot moan too much, I did still make a profit and I did make some good choices throughout. My outright winners market trades were a particular disaster as I have alluded to in previous posts, as backing France, Holland and Germany didn't pay very well surprisingly. The difference between doing it in a tournament and in, say, the Premier League, was that I was essentially backing them to win one or two games, and may as well have taken the match odds, whereas in the PL I would back over a specific period. Maybe it was a way for me to trick myself into thinking I wasn't a mug by betting on the Germans to beat Greece at odds of 1.3 or so, because that's essentially what I was actually doing, just in a different market. The France bet was slightly different because I hoped they would top their group with sexy football and drop to around 6.5ish, but it wasn't to be. Knockout football is quick and ruthless, and I need to remember that before backing wildly in Europe next season. On the other hand, my trades in other outright markets, such as bottom of the group and straight forecasts went very well, with no losses. Nothing really to note for the in-play betting, it was disappointing as a whole but I only made a minuscule loss overall. As for my discipline, I think it was good. I made the odd mistake here and there but overall I don't think discipline was the reason for big losses, just poor planning/decisions. It was my first major tournament after all, so I think i'll cut myself some slack.
Here are the results: 

  • Outright winners market trades: -£45
  • Ante post bets with bookies: -£8
  • Other outright market trades: +£30.17
  • In-play trading: -£0.51
  • Matched betting: +£108.22
Total: +£84.89

I say this at about the same time every year, but I wish I knew how to trade tennis properly! I can see the potential for good profit there with the markets flipping how they do, but I really don't think I have the time to dedicate enough of myself to fully understanding it and taking a good profit. It would probably involve giving up trading on football if I did, which is stupid. If it ain't broke don't fix it and all that. In the coming weeks I will be coming at you with my preview of the upcoming season, detailing how I intend to attack the markets in the opening months. Only one month and two days to go now, better get researching.

Enjoy your evening.