Friday, 28 December 2012

Season Half Way Point - How's It Going?

Seeing as we are 19 matches through the Barclays Premier League season I thought I would do a review of my trading, and bring you up to date with my positions thus far. Firstly, as the section to your left tells you, I had intended on attempting to trade the markets each week to make a modest £500 in order to cover any losses elsewhere. I never really anticipated needing to 'cover my losses' though, which is quite handy considering my trading has been rather poor these last few months! I have made a profit of just over £70 but it has been quite inconsistent profit, due to poor trading or lack of trading each weekend. I realised the other day that I have been quite poor at showing P+Ls this season, particularly compared to last year, but this is mainly due to lack of activity, or the P+Ls being distorted due to matched betting. I am also trying to move away from that side of the blog and have therefore decided to withdraw the P+L from the site. I originally had it up more as a record for myself than anyone else, and also to encourage myself to report every loss with my readers, but I don't really need it for either of those purposes anymore, so it is getting the chop! Aside from trading I have made around £170 from matched betting since August, so things are moving quite smoothly, albeit at a slow pace!

Now on to the part I have been focusing most on this season: the 'outrights'. It's difficult to place an exact P+L on my trades as a lot of them are still in motion, but my expert conclusion is: it is going alright. To expand on this point I will show you all of my moves over the last few months and explain how they went.

The best trade so far. Top two selections backed at start of year and after Chelsea's collapse both prices went below 3 making an easy trade out. Since United have gone ahead I have layed the low price of 1.86 on the top selection, and backed City/United at 5.7, as can probably be deduced from the picture. £175 initially wagered, if cashed out now total profit would be £78.

Layed Chelsea at 2.2 for £121 shortly before their collapse and traded out at 2.9. They went as high as 6.8 during the sacking of Di Matteo however, meaning I could have taken a much higher profit. I was a tad premature to trade out of this one.

Perhaps with the previous trade in mind, I did the opposite of this one and missed the opportune moment to trade out. They traded as high as 1.8 after I layed at 1.27, but recent form has seen their price drop again and I only managed to trade out £15 at the top price. Will stay in for a bit longer, if I cashed out now I would take a profit of £18.

The Chelsea loss was made over the summer so that can be ignored. The Arsenal bet I struggled with hugely, as the form of the sides listed here are so unpredictable I found it hard to manage. I think the trick with this one is to not look at the fixture lists, but to just lay low and wait for the inevitable dip in form from either team. Total profit £15 from risk of £186.

This was a fairly simple one, a back at 1.733 for £200 and a lay at 1.399 after just a few weeks. I initially left the profit on Spurs to finish top 6, but thought it best to spread it later on, especially at low odds.

Fulham I chose to back from the beginning, and after their good start to the season I had hoped I could trade out. Liquidity was a problem here though and I only managed to get half of my liability out, choosing to stay in for a bit longer. Their form however, dropped, and if I was to trade out now I would take a scratch. I will stay in for now though. Secondly we have West Brom, who had a brilliant start to the season and I chose to lay them at 1.283 anticipating the inevitable dip. It came and they went up to 1.65 briefly before regaining form and now they are back to 1.31. On this occasion, I mixed greed with their fixture list and decided to stay in for a bit longer for a better price. I will wait for a bit longer as I don't imagine they can continue this all season. If I traded now I would take another scratch.

Another fairly simple one, I backed Everton at 2.388 for £100 and Liverpool's woeful form has made this quite simple. I am in the process of trading out, I just need a bit more liquidity. 

There are a few here so I'll keep it simple. Stoke: I was wrong, they have been superb, 100% loss. At least it is only £12. Norwich I really thought would actually go down, but was wrong again (so it seems so far anyway). Luckily all I needed was their poor start to take a £31 profit from an £82 stake. Similarly I backed Reading for relegation early on, but was a bit premature in trading out on this one, taking only a £10 profit on each outcome. Since, I have layed Reading at 1.29 as I think they have the potential to see a higher price before the end of the season. With QPR I made a big investment and so far it hasn't paid off. I may wait until the end of the transfer window before deciding what to do. Layed at 1.872, if I traded now I would have a £32 loss. With Sunderland I made the decision to back at odds of 4.7 a few weeks back, and it is now looking like a foolish decision. If I traded now I would take a £33 loss.

As I said before I thought Norwich would be down there, and their good start gave me the chance to square up here, but I missed the chance to green all round. I could have taken a £14 profit on all outcomes but I thought the price would go lower. I was wrong.

Poor decision to get involved with this league. I was taken by last year's outcome and this year just isn't turning out the same way. I chose to take a loss early on as I didn't think it would get much better, and so far that has turned out to be wise.

Current balance 'in-play': £456 of the £500 bank.
Best call of the season so far: Backing United/City, City/United in the straight forecast.
Worst call of the season so far: Stoke to be relegated. 

Well there you have it. That is how it is going for me this season, I hope I wasn't too long-winded for you. In the coming weeks I will be compiling some data on who still has who to play, and then taking up a few new positions based on this. I will also most likely do a 2012 review in the next week or two, just as I did last year for 2011. Based on what I have provided here, I would say that I am very pleased with the start I have made to the season, and feel that my target of £500 profit is within reach. Should I fall short however, I will be happy as long as I make a decent profit on my maiden season trading in this way.

Happy New Year everyone, I am looking forward to 2013 already.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

This is just a short message to wish everyone a very happy Christmas. I was going to do a review of the weekend's football but, to be quite honest, I cannot be bothered! I have plenty more chocolate and other delicacies to enjoy between now and New Year, and everything I talk about will be different in two days anyway (after the Boxing Day fixtures). The Christmas calendar is one of my favourite times in the football season, meaning I will probably be enjoying the games whilst eating, rather than trading!

I hope you all have an excellent Christmas, I will be back after a short festive break.

Festive fixtures - England vs Germany, 'No Man's Land', December 25th 1915.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Last Post Ever

This will be the last post ever on this blog, or in fact any blog, if the Mayans are correct about the end of the world today. If that is to be the case then this post is largely pointless, but I am a gambling man and I'm willing to make a little punt on waking up bright eyed and ready for the weekend's fixtures tomorrow morning. Worst Bet of the Week award goes to the man who placed 50p on the world ending with Coral at 1,000,000/1. Absolute genius. 

Anyway, back to betting talk and I was given a Christmas treat earlier by Sporting Bet who are offering a £100 free bet if you make 10 bets of £10 between now and New Year's Day. This is a massive offer, and you should be able to make £70 at least by matching it effectively. The beauty of it is the minimum odds on the qualifying bets are 1.2, meaning you can find close match odds for a tiny liability. I have already placed all of my qualifying bets, making a small loss of around £5 and it took me less than half an hour, easy money. If you're planning on doing this bet, I would act quickly as Sporting Bet have been known to withdraw their offers rather swiftly after building up big liabilities. I'm sure they won't be the only ones to offer a Christmas gift, so I look forward to that.

Back in the Premier League my lay of West Brom for the top 10 at 1.283 is continuing to flourish as the Baggies are now out to 1.67 after collecting just one point from their last four matches. It was good news down at the bottom of the table as QPR finally won a match, and the market reacted massively jumping them from 1.62 to 1.87 for relegation. This, combined with a thrashing at the hands of Arsenal, had a knock on effect on Reading who are now as low as 1.16 to go down. This is a trying time of year for the lower teams and those who have relied upon a good starting 11 but lack depth in squad are likely to struggle. I expect this to be a crucial factor in QPR's rise out of the relegation zone.

Up at the top, United and City pulled further away from Chelsea after their exploits in Japan allowed Spurs to pull level with them on points in third place. They now sit 1.66 for a top 3 finish and, although they dispelled suggestions they might be jet-lagged by thrashing Leeds in midweek, I just wonder how they will handle 4 games in 11 days, especially with tough games away to Norwich and Everton. They still remain 4 points worse off than at the same time last season, although with a game in a hand this time, which is remarkable considering the level of their investment over the summer months. The previously depressed Arsenal fans have now realised that they are just 2 points off 3rd place, and it is surely not long before they nominate Wenger for a knighthood for the trillionth season in a row. They're now at 1.96 for a top 4 finish, while Spurs are 2.36. One to keep an eye on may be the price of 4.2 for them to finish in the top 3, although liquidity is currently a problem in that market.

That's all from me now, I need to do some last minute Christmas shopping! Enjoy your weekends people, hopefully we will still be here tomorrow for some festive fixtures.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Deadlock is Broken

After many weeks and 16 matches of see-sawing in the Premier League, we now have a clear favourite for the title for the first time this season. Having bounced around at odds of 2s and 3s in weeks previous, Manchester United are now odds-on at 1.61 to win the title, having pulled 6 points clear after Sunday's derby. Manchester City are yet to go below evens this season, while Chelsea were only matched as low as 3.35, despite their electrifying start.

To suggest the title race is over however is preposterous, and anyone uttering those words really knows little about football, particularly English football. Laying United at 1.61 is almost definite to see a return at some point in the campaign, but a more appealing lay looks to be the EVENS on United 1st/City 2nd in the straight forecast, as it allows for more variables to affect the bet. This means that even in the unlikely event that City do not put up a fight for their crown, the bet will still prosper if City are pressured for 2nd place by Chelsea or another contender. Odds of 3.5 on City 1st/United 2nd are also worth considering, although liquidity is currently an issue in that market.

At the other end of the table the boys are beginning to be sorted from the men, and both QPR (1.61) and Reading (1.34) remain odds-on for relegation, though all could change tonight with the 6-pointer between Sunderland and Reading. At present, QPR's price appears to be being maintained at a higher point than it perhaps should be, with the side currently 8 points from safety, which is presumably due to the Redknapp effect. Every winless week however sees them slip that little bit lower, and if there is no win very soon, then it won't be long before their price slips sub 1.5. Further up, we have Sunderland at 3.75, Aston Villa at 3.75 and Wigan at 3.15, which are particularly generous prices considering the form of these teams thus far. The trick is however picking the team which will continue to plummet. At this stage last year, Wigan were only two points worse off than this season, and found themselves bottom of the table by match week 22, six games from now. Paradoxically, Sunderland surged up the table, while Villa maintained a steady pace in mid-table. Although these stats are hardly foolproof, especially considering Sunderland's surge was largely due to a managerial change around this stage last season, it is a decent guide and is certainly worth considering.

The next 5 fixtures for each team are as follows:

WIGAN- Norwich (A), Arsenal (H), Everton (A), Villa (A), Man Utd (H).
SUNDERLAND - Reading (H), Man Utd (A), Southampton (A), Man City (H), Spurs (H).
ASTON VILLA - Liverpool (A), Chelsea (A), Spurs (H), Wigan (H), Swansea (A).

Each of the three appear to have a tricky Christmas period in store, and there isn't really a great deal of difference between any of the lists. Although Sunderland have the most home matches, they are against top 6 teams (tonight's match excluded) and if they were to win tonight, it would certainly be worth looking at their relegation price as a back-to-lay option. Villa likewise could see themselves further in the cesspit after their next three games, but the match at home to Wigan will be a crucial 6 pointer.

That's all from me, I hope you enjoy your week.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Snooker Carnage

There was drama in the UK Championship last night as Neil Robertson and Mark Selby played out an  epic in the quarter finals. In the best of 11 match, Robertson raced into a 4-0 lead and was matched as low as 1.04, before totally capitulating and losing 6-4. Selby was matched as high as 85 in-play to win the tournament, and now sits favourite at 2.5 meaning someone had a nice cash out this morning. Elsewhere, pre tournament favourite Judd Trump crashed out in the first round and 17 year old Luca Brecel impressed before eventually being edged out by Shaun Murphy in the quarters. I watched Brecel at the World Championships last year and he certainly seems destined for big things, I think we may be seeing much more of him over the next few years.

Over in football the big match is obviously the derby this weekend and Bet365 are treating us to another of their £50 in play free bets. Apart from this, I probably won't get much of a chance to trade this weekend due to end-of-term university work, but I did manage to take a £25 profit over the last week. I'm currently waiting for my bet on Everton to win the league 'without the top 6' to be matched, as at the moment this looks like a straight battle between them and Liverpool, and the latter look distinctly unimpressive so far, especially with Europe to contend with as well. Last week the big match for me was Bayern vs Dortmund, with Dortmund desperately needing a win to kick start their title charge. It was not to be however, and the match finished 1-1 leaving Bayern's odds of winning the title still around 1.11.

I decided not to take Newcastle to finish top 10 as there were too many factors in the way for me. I do  still admire them and the players they possess though, and I will be hoping they recapture last years form. Only time will tell if I made the right decision here. Enjoy your weekend.