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Monday, 28 November 2011

A welcome break and some re-learning

Had a few days off from most trading. The refurb of Lambretta Towers needs to be finished before Xmas, but the real benefit of being away from the markets has been exactly that - being away from the markets.
Prior to this little break I was becoming all consumed, particularly by nag trading. Consequently I was making mistakes. A great deal of time has been spent mentally re-learning the skills and rules learnt from horseracingtraders.com. Though I'm still using a bastardised version of these rules, it became obvious I had evolved them too far and therefore the edge they offer was no longer there. Today has been really refreshing in that I have traded totally within my rules and scored a very nice green, despite some mistakes, and still going. As my old friend Gundulf said "If it ain't broke..."
It becomes very easy to take a macro view on your situation when you remove yourself from it for a while, and a great deal easier to pinpoint errors.

I have been doing some football but not much. Laid a couple of draws at the weekend, West Ham was a nice 100%. Fulham were laid cheaply after going ahead, though the game did end with a small red after I drip laid 1-1. Only caught the very end of the Liverpool v City game which looked like a good game for the neutral but not the trader. Might have a dabble with Charlton v Huddersfield later but only in-play.
Tottenham did me anther massive favour by scoring the away win at W. Brom.

The Euro2012 draw is on Friday at 4.45pm on BBC2. This makes for great trading opportunities, if you can be quick. I'm still confident my England trade will be profitable and will certainly take some more should they drift, based on who is in their group.

X Factor could not have been better for me. Laid Misha B on Saturday as an outright and then laid Janet at 10's(!?) just before the eviction show. Really nice green on the remainder. Though I hope LittleMix win it, Marcus looks the winner but I fear he may become another Leon... whatever his name was.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

BTW - I think Mark at HRT(!) has opened up a few more spots.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

I've forgotten how to do it!

After nag trading yesterday, which ended with a decent green, it dawned on me that I was now trading nags in an entirely different way to that which I had so recently learnt. I wanted to watch back my Camtasia videos, so I could remember those skills, but the 30 day free trial is now over and the videos can only be watched using the Camtasia Studio. (If anyone knows a way around this, I'd be very grateful). In essence, what I've done is leave behind those original skills as the method evolved on it's own. The silly thing is, those skills work perfectly well and I want to combine the two again as I had previously.
The software mentioned in yesterday's post is so far proving next to useless, firing only two trades when the parameters meant almost every race qualified for a trade. Disappointingly, the Customer Service is proving pretty poor too. I'll name and shame if it doesn't improve.

Yesterday's trade was a dutch of Cov v Cardiff. Set and go stuff, resulting in a nice green. Stupidly I talked myself into dutching Man U v Benfica. The 2-2 was a scratch but I drip laid it and ended up with a rare football red.

Only interested in-play on tonight's fixtures.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Spurred on.

Regular readers will know I have been trading the crap out of the Spurs price over the course of this season, they did me a massive favour last night. Harry has suggested they can win the title, I suggest they won't.
Initially my intention was to trade out before they play Chelsea early in December but I'm reconsidering. Chelsea aren't really doing it and Spur's fixtures, leading up to late January, should be 3 pts or draws.
The draw price on last night's Spurs v Villa game didn't look like value to me, based on Mcleish's record and the run of recent draws by Villa. Instead I plumped for the dutch, around 2-0 and 2-1. It was a very nice green with very little work to do. Not only that but the HT 0-0 and 1-0 were drip laid and, on the 1-0, all but one lay was matched.
Watched the first half of the German game but it was dishwater and didn't look like doing anything so it was left.

Nag trading was back to normal with an average green. More importantly, my confidence and self belief remain intact.
I'm trying a new piece of software today which, in theory, will do the same as me in the nag markets, just by setting certain parameters. It can only do it once per race but it may be a handy addition. Watch this space.

Dutching the Cov v Cardiff game but nothing else today.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The fall that follows pride.

Battered, bruised, forlorn, dizzy and sapped of all energy, I walked away from my desk on Saturday. That most inevitable of days finally came to quash any thoughts of having mastered the nag markets.
It's not unusual for me to begin the day with a red, first race etc, but the second was a red too, a big one. I'm not a subscriber to the idea of stopping trading when these things happen, for me it just makes the approach to the next days trading all the more daunting. That said, if my mental state were not right, walking away would be the right option but my emotional state was still a positive one. A decent green on the next race before yet another hit. This led to much examination from which I was confident the issues were pin-pointed. Another decent green on the next and then another medium sized red. This certainly was time to stop.
Some of my own rules were broken and the price was paid but, equally, the markets behaved in a way I'm not familiar with. This last sentence is very telling, I'm expecting the markets to behave a certain way and any trader worth his salt knows one thing has nothing to do with the other and the markets are entirely unpredictable. It's a good lesson learnt and today will see a certain temperance within my trading. The biggest battle today will be to ensure it is temperance and not timidity.

Thankfully my old comfort blanket of football was there to wrap me up and put back some much needed confidence.
Friday night went well. Two good dutches in Bundesliga2. Paderborn was based on the 2-1 and that's how it finished. Duisburg was based on the 1-1 but that was 2-0 at HT, so a few sharp lays scored a small green.
Saturday was even better. My hope was to lay the draw after Arsenal went ahead and back 1-1. When Norwich went ahead they were cheap to lay and Arsenal equalised soon after.
The Everton v Wolves dutch went swimmingly as did the Swansea v Man U one.
Newcastle were unlucky against City. They defended really well and looked like keeping them out until a silly penalty was awarded. 3-1 was covered and it ended a scratch. (I try not to be negative about anyone and wouldn't wish harm to anybody's person but Mario Ballotelli is truly testing my last saintly nerve).
The B. Munich v Dortmund game was a draw lay for me, I closed for scratch on the Dortmund winner on 65 minutes.
Got back in time for the second half of Chelsea v Liverpool and immediately laid Liverpool. When the game hit 60 minutes, I began drip laying the draw, all were matched except the last at 1.25. Nice green on the football account for the weekend.

Villa have done well away so far this season, drawing four of the last five, but Spurs are a hungry animal right now and 'Arry is said to be back in the dug out tonight. The draw price is a little high at 4.5, so I'll wait until nearer KO before making a decision.
Can't really see an angle on the Bochum v Cottbus game but it's on Betfair video and will be worth a watch for some in-play bits.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Some decent football, finally.

Interesting as the England games were, it's not disappointing to see the back of an international break and get back to the leagues.
I'm a big fan of German football and tonight will be dutching the Paderborn and Duisburg games, around 2-1 and 1-1 respectively. Kaiserslautern v Leverkusen should be a good game but unpredictable, in-play there.
Tomorrow's card is tricky but, at first glance, there should be some opportunities. Everton v Wolves looks a good dutch, as does Swansea v Man U. City are too short for me, against an excellent Newcastle side who are yet to be beaten away this season, they may find it tough. A lay with 2-1 and 3-0 for me. Norwich v Arsenal looks like LTD material but, with the draw price at 4's, if and when Arsenal score the price shouldn't go too far, a draw lay with 1-1 in-play.

It's been a good but quite up and down week on the nags. But for two silly mistakes, yesterday would've doubled the previous best, in the end it was just below.
Each day the profits are withdrawn, though I haven't looked at the P&L, I know this month's target has been hit already. Looking at the calendar, for me, there are nine trading days left in November, which should mean getting close to 200% of target.
Each day the method I'm using seems to be moulding and evolving on it's own, showing a potentially staggering profit figure. The silly mistakes made yesterday are absolutely the types of mistake that can be avoided and eradicated. Mrs. Lambretta was on the receiving end of my bemoaning the mistakes, she very quickly restored my faith by reminding me I've only been doing this for 8 weeks, already the profit figures are way beyond expectation - her words "Imagine what figures you'll be hitting after eight months." Good point.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

England are value.

Over the last three months I have been backing England for Euro2012. Each time I watch them play, they reinforce my confidence and then more is added to my long term trade.
Though only a friendly, it was surprising not to see the England price contract, even slightly, after the win over Spain. Now, after overcoming the hoodoo of Sweden and doing so with very much a second eleven, the price still has remained the same.
England are better now than they have been for a very long time, in my opinion. With a new breed of very talented players coming through, mixed with some of the old guard, they can only get better.
Will they win? Maybe. More importantly will they trade a great deal lower than they currently are? Yes. I'm certain of it. My money is where my mouth is.

As suggested, the England v Sweden game was dutched to great success. Confidence in including the correct score in my list was so high that my usual dutching stakes were increased x4.
The Ireland v Estonia draw looked a very decent shout and, with the price shooting out to 10's after the first goal, it was very profitable.

Roll on the weekend. This lack of decent football is giving me withdrawal...

Stay green.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Taking the positives

Friday night was spent on the black stuff and, though I didn't have that many, a lack of sleep meant feeling very tired on sitting down to trade on Saturday afternoon. Knowing that my brain wasn't fully compos, tentative steps were made into the first race and a decent profit found. Confidence and focus increased, I approached the second with a bit more gusto, which cost 40% of the bank!
The first positive in the afternoon came from my emotional reaction to this, I barely had one. The ladders were opened for the third and I traded that and the next 7/8 races like a demon. Regaining the losses and adding just over 30% to the bank. This was the second positive - An ability to turn around a big red to a big green.
Over the remaining races, I could feel myself becoming more and more tired and this was reflected in the continually decreasing greens. An internal argument took place, the rational Lambretta being beaten by the greedy Lambretta. On the very last race of the day my reactions were ridiculously slow and 60% of the profit regained after the initial disaster was gifted back to the market.
The third positive, strangely not one I had been previously forced to learn - know when to stop. Making any profit means a good day's trading but coming back from a big dent and picking up all these positives made it a fantastic day.

Wasn't really that interested in the England game other than to see how well the team continued to gel. When England scored though, the market presented a great opportunity to back England and back 1-1 without any real fear of loss. It could've been arbed but I pushed the profit on to the 1-1 as Spain looked like getting the equaliser. They were, as ever, a joy to watch. Surprisingly, so were England. Very well organised at the back,  steadfast in midfield and industrious up front. Scott Parker is a revelation to this team and epitomises the spirit that has so long been lacking in the England squad.
I've already backed England for Euro2012, had another go on Saturday and will add to it over the remaining games leading up to next Summer. We haven't beaten Sweden in 43 years but I'll be surprised if we don't tomorrow. Worth a dutch I think.

No football.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Commerce, the X Factor and the size of the opportunity.

I'm sitting on a busy train,
making my way to London to get drunk, play cards and be silly with my mates. It's been hectic few days and this is the first chance I've had to update the blog.
Soon I'll be catching up with a mate. Amongst many other things, we'll be discussing trading the X Factor. So far, it's gone very well for me, that was until Frankie did a bit too much nosebag and royally farked up my green book. More annoyingly, Amelia Lily has never been out of the betting, somebody knew something. Every time I looked at the market, I thought about having a silly fiver, then changed my mind. That fiver would now be worth about £450. There's a stand on my desk which states "Opportunities always look bigger going than coming." Never more true than now.

Further to recent posts about trading psychology, there's another aspect worth considering. You cannot be an overly moralistic or principled person of you are going to succeed. Sports trading is not commerce, buying something for a quid and selling it for two is commerce. Rinsing another trader's account because you knew the market better is sports trading. If this question never raises itself to you, you have the perfect mindset for trading. You might also be a callous bastard, but you could be a fairly wealthy one.

Nag trading continues to go from strength to strength. Tuesday still remains my best day yet but Wednesday and Thursday were both better than the previous best. One race on Thursday bagged more than 400% of stake. Stakes are due to go up in December, it might get really scary then.

Still no football for me. A welcome day off.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Commerce, the X Factor and the size of the opportunity.

I'm sitting on a busy train,
making my way to London to get drunk, play cards and be silly with my mates. It's been hectic few days and this is the first chance I've had to update the blog.
Soon I'll be catching up with a mate. Amongst many other things, we'll be discussing trading the X Factor. So far, it's gone very well for me, that was until Frankie did a bit too much nosebag and royally farked up my green book. More annoyingly, Amelia Lily has never been out of the betting, somebody knew something. Every time I looked at the market, I thought about having a silly fiver, then changed my mind. That fiver would now be worth about £450. There's a stand on my desk which states "Opportunities always look bigger going than coming." Never more true than now.

Further to recent posts about trading psychology, there's another aspect worth considering. You cannot be an overly moralistic or principled person of you are going to succeed. Sports trading is not commerce, buying something for a quid and selling it for two is commerce. Rinsing another trader's account because you knew the market better is sports trading. If this question never raises itself to you, you have the perfect mindset for trading. You might also be a callous bastard, but you could be a fairly wealthy one.

Nag trading continues to go from strength to strength. Tuesday still remains my best day yet but Wednesday and Thursday were both better than the previous best. One race on Thursday bagged more than 400% of stake. Stakes are due to go up in December, it might get really scary then.

Still no football for me. A welcome day off.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The best nag day ever.

Yesterday was not just the greatest nag trading day I've ever had, it surpassed my previous best by a staggering 81%! Of the 19 races traded, every single one was traded to profit and the average profit figure per race was 114.6% of stake. By the end of the last race, I had accrued almost 22% of the target I set for the entire month.
The markets, in my opinion, behaved a little strangely, though I don't attribute yesterday's success to this. In fact, I got the impression someone was trying a new type of market manipulation which, if anything, made life a little more difficult than usual.
Pride, as they say, comes before a fall but it's not the amount of profit made, nor is it the number of successful races/trades that make yesterday so successful. A day like yesterday validates, qualifies and quantifies just how much my nag trading is improving and reinforces that all the time, effort and money has been totally worthwhile.
There are no expectations for today, I've learnt that lesson before, the hard way. Today is another trading day and it may bring similar success or not, the important thing is that I know days like yesterday, like losing days, can and will happen.

No football today.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

If successful, what would you do next?

Recent posts have mentioned what the difficulties are in becoming a sports trader and also the pros and cons of actually making it to full time trading. One thing not fully flagged up was; What are the reasons for becoming a trader? If you are currently striving, learning and endeavouring to reach a level where you can live comfortably from sports trading profits, what are your reasons for doing so?
You might say, I want to be my own boss, maybe you're doing it to have more time, perhaps you just want to earn more money than you do now.
So, lets say you've made it. You are your own boss, you have more time and you earn twice as much as what you did when you were employed. Now what are you going to do?
I won't lie, it's bloody great just having the above, though that novelty will not last. What will you do with the extra time, the extra money, the extra freedom?
Coming from a corporate background, my habit is to set goals to achieve and I do this every year. For 2011 they were to finish our home re-furb - I've been carrying a bit of timber so I wanted to get a lot fitter - lastly, there was a financial target that I wanted to hit. (We three are to become four in the New Year and I wanted to be sure the additional expenditure could be covered).
Work is being finished on Lambretta Towers as I type, much of it has been done by me. I haven't been in such good shape since my late teens and confidence is high that by Xmas Eve, the financial target will be hit.
None of the above could've been done were I still in gainful employment, certainly not in the same time frame.
Next year's goals are already being finalised and will be on my office wall, as this year's were, before January 1st.
If you won the lottery, after you've bought the houses, the cars, the gadgets, had the holidays and dabbled in philanthropy, what would you do after that? It's that kind of thinking except with a much greater sense of  achievement.

Not even bothering to look at the in-play coupon today.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Reilly's on the blower again

Where as all my previous, pre nag trading, Saturdays were spent jumping in and out of the football markets, now it's necessary for me choose my football trades in the morning and spend the afternoon rinsing the nag markets.
The three trades chosen for Saturday went perfectly. The Newcastle v Everton game was built around the 1-1 and included 2-1. Nice green.
The Arsenal v WBA dutch was built around the 2-1, I did expect a goal from the Baggies but 3-0 was included.
Chelsea, as expected, scored the text book away win.
Nags went swimmingly and this week Betfair managed to keep everything working until just before end of play. Today, however, they've managed to royally f@ck it up again and no trading can be done on this moody, miserable, Monday afternoon.
Sunday was equally as good as Saturday. Nags went brilliantly, despite only two cards. Football was fantastic -
Laid Leicester @ 1.97, they lost.
Laid the draw at Motherwell, came good eventually.
Laid Wolves at 1-0, @ 1.37, shot out to 2.34 after the equaliser.
Arbed the draw and 1-1 (see below) in both the Wolves and Fulham games. Nice green on both.
Dutched the Bolton v Stoke game. Small red.
X Factor trading on both nights went really well and, whilst I still have a small red on him, I don't expect Craig Colton to win and the green on all others is too good to hedge. Frankie staying was a massive boost to my book and Marcus' price has collapsed to around 4's. Bloody shame BF aren't running a book on the US version.

I've been tweeting some of my trades and yesterday did so for both draw and 1-1 arbs. This is a trade I use often and, though it's not for everyone, it proves very profitable for me. When the favourite scores in a game where the draw price is quite low, often the market will reset with the draw price still fairly low and may not be that much higher than it was pre KO. Usually though, the 1-1 price will be out of kilter and it's possible to back 1-1 and lay the draw for a nicely arbed profit. 2-2 or 3-3 are dangers but I will never take on a game where these scores have featured in recent games or H2H's.

No trading for me today.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Sah dur day!

Hoorah for the weekend. A plethora of sport and opportunities.
It's been a tough and somewhat sparse week. I'm looking forward to the busy-ness of the afternoon, jumping from one market to the next, spotting the potential and jumping on it.
Thursday's Lazio v Zurich draw was looking a little dodgy but Lazio got the winner on 62 minutes. Decent enough green.
Today, I shall be mostly trading, the Blackburn v Chelsea draw. Dutching the Arsenal v W. Brom and the Newcastle v Everton games. Chelsea have a huge point to prove and are likely to make this a text book away win. Arsenal should win but only Swansea have kept a clean sheet against the Baggies this season, so the dutch will be based around 2-1. Newcastle are without their new star Obertan but Everton are without Maroune Fellaini. Market suggests U2.5, my dutch will be around the 1-1 but will definitely include the overpriced 2-0.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The markets are a string of opportunity.

Lambretta Junior's little brother is due in January and we've been clearing out Lambretta Towers to make way for the new arrival. Essentially, this means everything Mrs. Lambretta no longer wants in the Ironing Room, soon to become Nursery, has to be crow barred into the little remaining cupboard space in my office. Which means it's me who has to sacrifice my own stuff in order to fit other stuff in.
Whilst going through what stuff to throw out, I found an old journal that I used to write notes in when I first began trading. Most of it is drivel to me now but there are a couple of passages that, given my newly regained verve and enthusiasm for nag trading, are very apt and relevant. The passages are notes made when I read the book Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas. Though it's aimed at stock traders, a great deal of it relates to nag trading.
One quote states (1) "The market is not your enemy or adversary. It is a string of opportunity." This I know now to be true but I remember the fury and frustration and thinking the market was working and conspiring against me.
There are many other little gems (2) "The market is a neutral entity that owes me nothing." (3) "Do not block information that conflicts with what you want to happen." (4) "Take absolute responsibility".
Then there are those that border on existentialism (5) "Be certain that certainty does not exist. All trades are random".
The one I like most is (6) "Mistakes are signposts to where focus is needed".
Though it's been a long time since I read the book or the notes, it's obvious now that the messages and ideas sank in and I employ them daily. As such, I would highly recommend the book to anyone thinking of trading nags. (You will notice each above quote is numbered. I have given layman's translations at the bottom of the page).

Last night was a bit hit and miss. Leeds were a massive let down. I knew the game had the potential to go a bit pear shaped but 0-4 at home...
Wasn't posted but I dutched the Derby v Cardiff game too. Basing it around the 1-1. Backed 0-1 and 0-2 at HT. Fell asleep reading the Mayan Prophecies and woke up to 0-3 FT. Thankfully the Inter game went as expected, 100%. The Benfica draw price never went low enough for me to get involved but the early goal saw the price fly up as high as 10's.
Not much about today. Lazio v Zurich looks interesting, a draw is no good to either team, with three of the group fighting for second.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

1) Enter, now. Scalp, there. You missed it.
2) See above
3) It's gone the wrong way. Get the f@ck out.
4) That's your own f@cking fault.
5) How the f@ck did that happen?
6) Stop f@cking about and do it properly.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Just a quick one

Yesterday's footy went well. The BATE v AC Milan game was easily dutched. Only four scores taken there; 0-1, 1-1, 0-2, 1-2. Job's a good 'un. Shame Dortmund couldn't find another but still a decent green.
Nags was not so good. Over confidence and expectancy ensured my first losing day for some time. However, it was the first day of the new fiscal month and the timing could not have been better, now I know I'll be properly focused for the rest of November.

Tonight I'll be dutching the Leeds v Blackpool game. 1-1, 2-0, 2-1, 2-2. Only going for the four from the off as this could easily go into Over 4.5 territory.
Draw wise, the Benfica v Basel price has been coming in all morning, along with the Benfica drift. If it gets low enough, I'll take it on. I like the look of the Inter v Lille game too. Inter won over there 0-1, Ranieri is finding his feet with the team and vice versa, plus Inter will want to secure the group. The draw looks well worth taking on to me but I'll scalp the 0-0, in case the winner comes late.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Month end. The first full month trading nags.

On the 1st of each month, as any business should, I take time to review what and how much has been achieved. Many of you will know that I recently became a member of a nag trading service which, without exaggeration, has transformed my P&L. The first 10 days of using the service were in September, and they showed the promise of what could be done. A very ambitious financial target was set for October. That target was reached with a day to spare and having that day spare meant an additional day to achieve November's target, which is almost double that of October.
Many traders don't believe in setting targets, it can lead to over-trading, trading over aggressively and general chasing. Wouldn't disagree with any of that but my background is corporate and I have to have a goal to achieve. That said, my targets are for the month not for the day. If, when approaching the end of the month, the target seems overly optimistic, in order that I don't over-trade, I can re-forecast. That too comes from a corporate background.
So, the nag bank has increased by 298% since the beginning of the month. The football bank has grown by a whopping 750%. Roll on November.

Tricky night last night. Valarenga were totally off the boil, a small red after Fredrikstad went 1-2 up. The Stoke v Newcastle game did as I thought it might, going over 2.5 goals with an unpredictable scoreline. It was one of the very rare occasions when I dutched 6 scores instead of 5 - 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-1, 1-2. Took cover on 2-2 and 1-3 but, with time left in what was a dodgy game, after the 1-3, more cover was needed and only a scratch could be found. Better scratch than red, always.

Tonight's fixtures are not easy. Dortmund looks a good shout but the price is just on the high side. AC Milan should beat the boys from the tractor factory, but it's cold over there and the tie is as good as done. May dutch that one with 1-1 and 1-2. The rest will be in-play.

Whatever you trade, stay green.