BBC Sport | Football | World Edition

Saturday, 31 March 2012

And the winner is...

Right. First things first. After Full Time this afternoon I shall be asking certain sporting celeb's, through Twitter, to assist in drawing the prize winner for the Great Betfair Trading Prize bundle. So, you have until now and 4.45pm to get your donation in and your name in the draw. Don't delay, all details are here http://thoughtsofafootballtrader.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/greatest-betfair-trading-prize-bundle.html

Very busy day today. I love the sticks but I'm really glad to see the return of the flat proper. It heralds the arrival of Summer.
Today's footballing picks -
Villa v Chelsea 0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 0-2, 0-3
Everton v W Brom 1-1, 2-1, 1-2, 2-2
QPR v Arsenal. The Gunners have drawn just one of their last twelve away and QPR have drawn just two from the last twelve at home. LTD straight bet, but I'll look to cover 1-1 with some pre-match scalping.

Good luck in the draw, it's an amazing bundle of prizes that would help any trader, newbie or veteran. Plus every penny will help someone less fortunate.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

How much is enough?

Further to the last post, I received two emails asking about size of starting bank. Good question.
In the beginning, I allocated X amount to start my trading journey with and tried to work on the basis of adding 3% per day to double up within a month. All a bit pointless really, when you consider I had to learn to trade first.  Often we read about traders who see 5% of bank as an acceptable loss on a trade but what percentage of bank is being used to put that 5% in jeopardy?
I don't carry a large trading bank, there doesn't seem much point having more in your account than you need to trade with, unless you are expecting to have numerous losses, which is a whole other psychology question.
My month begins with X, ends with Y and the difference is withdrawn. I work to set stakes and liabilities so, at the start of the month, 90% of my trades will have the vast majority of my trading bank in the market. I do have reserves should I ever need to reload the bank but otherwise what's in there will do.
If you allocate a grand to start trading with but have no intention of using all of it, put back in your bank account whatever you don't expect to use. There may not be much but it will get some interest, plus it will ensure there is no temptation to over trade, over stake or give rise to thoughts such as "It's okay, I've still £X00 left...".

The San Siro was alive last night and, though a 0-0, it was still a very good game to watch. I had hoped to be laying HT 0-0 but after twenty minutes there had been just 3 SoT and a goal did not look forthcoming. I ended up dutching 0-0, 1-0 & 0-1 at HT. So, a nice green in the end.
None of tonight's fodder stands out. In-play for me.

Very grateful for the music suggestions, please keep them coming. Today I shall be mostly listening to...

The Tubeway Army - Replicas
The Best of Little Milton
Stereo MC's - Connected
The Buzzcocks - What do I get?
Springsteen - Darkness on the edge of town
Brainfreeze Breaks - DJ Shadow

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Keep on keeping on

I'm a very good Scrabble player, not great but very good. The reason I'm a very good Scrabble player is not because I studied the game or swallowed a dictionary, it's because I spent so much time playing against truly brilliant Scrabble players.
For many years a group of us would rent a cottage and, for the most part, we would play a lot of poker. Much of the down time from poker was spent in front of the fire playing the most excellent of word games. I lost every game, every game. But after some time I found that I could actually compete, then, playing the facebook version of the game, I actually beat one of the two truly brilliant players. I've never beaten him since, nor am I likely to again as he was unlikely to have been paying much attention when I did win, but I did win and am now Scrabbling force to be reckoned with.
What's my point? There are many aspects to each and every trader, sadly, so many of those who have become successful take pleasure in lauding their success in the faces of the countless many who are trying, and so few take time to help. I'm not qualified to be a mentor, nor would I want that pressure but, if I can do it, so can you. Being defeated is temporary, giving up makes it permanent.

I need some help. Sitting at my desk each day, for four+ hours, it doesn't take long to get through even the most extensive iTunes library. I'm desperate for some new tunes. If you could leave a comment with your fav album, that would be great.

Disappointed with Man U last night, they certainly did not look like a team driving home the dagger on their rivals. Still, they did give me some confidence in my Winners Market lay. I added 1-0 at HT for a decent green.
Don't fancy anything from today's card. Will go in-play on the televised games.

Whatever you trade, stay green

Remaining nameless on both sides, this post was inspired by a Twitter conversation but the message is for everyone who wants to make a success of sports trading.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Manchester Divided

Who's it going to be? I'm siding with United, for two reasons. They have the depth of experience when it comes to the final battle and they have a very favourable fixture list. However, for me, the market looks out of sync with the facts - Only four goals separate these two. Whilst United have a better run in, the only real difference in the level of team they each shall face is City being away to Arsenal, who will be keen to secure third place from Spurs. They still have to play each other, of course. That game being at the Etihad is a massive plus for City. And it would be no surprise if that game were the decider. We could expect the title to be won by the time City face Newcastle.
I fully expect Fulham to be brushed aside tonight, (2-0, 2-1, 3-0 to start with), but Utd then face three relegation scrappers, two are at OT, but it would be no surprise to see one of them get a point.
In truth, the title is now Utd's to lose but, at 1.42, they are too cheap for me. I'll be laying them after tonight's game, possibly even during, expecting them to trade a decent amount higher before they travel across town for the derby game.

Decent weekend of trading - Was probably too tired to trade nags effectively on Saturday. A day of peaks and toughs which, thankfully, ended with a green.
Football wise it was text book stuff. The lay of Spurs with 0-1 was never in danger. Sunderland v QPR looked to be going perfectly until the red card. 3-0 was covered and I was lucky to have greened up on 65 minutes, for around 45%. LTD at Stoke with 1-1 ended scratch.

Just the Man Utd game for today.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Wednesday results - Saturday's picks

Time is a very precious commodity in the Lambretta household right now, blog posting is suffering as a consequence.

For the most part, Wednesday's trades went very well. The dripped draw lay at QPR could not have been better. The back of City with 1-1 cover was perfect and, though the goal came from Stoke, the draw lay at WHL, came good too. The only one that really let me down was Everton v Arsenal. I took out half stake after the first then removed the rest after Drenthe had his perfectly good goal disallowed. For some reason, quite often, a disallowed goal will have an effect on the scoring possibility within a game, hence my removing stake. Just above scratch there.

Only three so far from tomorrow's card. Spurs have not beaten Chelsea at home for more than 20 years and, it's fair to say, Chelsea's form has improved. I'll be laying Spurs with trading cover on 0-1. 
Sunderland seem to be OK at home and against QPR, buoyed by their victory over Liverpool, they should be able to grab a point at worst. 1-0, 2-0, 1-1, 2-1,2-2. 
The currently available prices for City away at Stoke are too good to leave. LTD with cover on 1-1.

Have a great weekend. 

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Is there a definitive answer?

Though limping to its end, the re-furb of Lambretta Towers continues. This morning our plumber asked me what I did for a living. It's so difficult to explain sports trading at length but even to try and give a quick, "I can't be bothered to tell you" type answer will inevitably lead to having to explain at length anyway, then the recipient of the answer still doesn't have a farking clue what you're talking about. My answer to our plumber was "the percentage chance of something happening within a sporting event can be bought and sold like any other commodity". He's a nice guy and far from stupid but his blank expression and mono syllabic response was confirmation of yet another explanation gone over the head.
What we do is the very nucleus of commerce - we buy something for X and sell it for Y, ideally making a profit somewhere in-between. So why is it so difficult for those outside the trading world to understand? Please, someone, if there is an answer or response you use that is both quick and full, let me have it.

Blackburn looked decent last night. Interesting to read a smattering of a superlatives regarding Steve Kean this morning. Now 6 points north of the drop, Blackburn are likely to be safe but is it because Kean has done his job or because Messers McCarthy, Martinez and Hughes have not done theirs?
I traded Blackburn v Sunderland, 1-1, 2-1, 1-2, 2-2. Expecting a decent game with goals from both sides, Sunderland were lackluster and never looked like scoring from the off. I started scalping 0-0 from around 20 minutes and greened up to leave free bets. I let it run. I've drawn the conclusion that Martin O'Neill is a mid table manager at best and never likely to win anymore silverware unless he returns to Scotland.

Today's card is decent and there looks to be some value too. Chelsea have a decent record away to City but I like City at the currently available 1.95, with cover on the generous 8.4 for 1-1.
Spurs v Stoke is a stand out draw lay for me, despite the absence of Adebayor and King. Though the question of their mental state, after Saturday, might be worth asking.
 A total of 17 goals have been scored in the last four of the Everton v Arsenal fixture. Everton are without their strongest midfielders and the Over 2.5 price of 2.04 has to be traded for me.
Of the last 24 games played, home and away, between them QPR and Liverpool have just four draws. 1-0 is available at 15's, with trading cover there, I shall be drip laying the draw and scalping 0-0.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

BTW - There are just 10 days left to get your donation in and get you name down for this amazing bundle of prizes

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The calm after the storm

Cheltenham is over for another year. Not convinced it will go down as one of the greatest but it was good, both from a racing fan and trading perspective. The week ended very well and, surprisingly, the liquidity continued into most of yesterday. 
In addition to the bank growing nicely over the four days, many lessons were learnt. Most poignant would be forgetting about money and simply trading what's in front of me. Usually I have a target set for the day/week/month, which will keep me on track. But, more recently, I have found myself forcing the trade and getting involved when really the opportunities are not there. So, last week I turned off the account balance feature of AGT and just traded. The results are evident and I shall continue in this vain, not least because I find I am a great deal more relaxed and enjoying the action even more. From four cards traded yesterday, only one race finished with a red. 
Didn't like yesterday's football card at all. I did get involved with Fulham v Swansea, backing 1-0 and 2-1 and also laying Under 1.5, I ended with a scratch.
Today isn't that much better and, should I get the time away from Mother's Day, I'll focus on in-play. The one definite trade I shall be taking is LTD at Wolves, above my normal draw odds but I'll be dutching 1-1 & 2-2, currently available at very decent numbers and leaving the opportunity for a very decent green. 

I'm dabbling in a little dobbing on the dobbins - I've picked these out to trade 30% lower than SP
Well Green 1.45pm
Knapp Bridge Boy 2.15pm
Simonside 3.30pm
Etxalar 4.00pm

Whatever you trade, stay green and send Fabrice some love. Come on brother, you can do it. 











Wednesday, 14 March 2012

"Oh, I wish it could be Cheltenham everyday"

An amazing start to the festival.
This is my first year trading Cheltenham and the difference in the markets is incredible. The ability to open an in-running trade without any fear of the market moving against you is astonishing.
Today I'll be increasing stakes again and, rather than trying to trade the other meetings in-running too, I'll use them to practice my pre race trading.
I'm not a betting man anymore, the fact I would've been on Hurricane Fly suggests why, and yet I still had this enormous sense of anticipation and excitement all through yesterday morning. I even baked cakes with Mrs. Lambretta just to kill some time, and to get the mixture bowl after, obviously. A rare round of golf this morning, to fill the void.

There seemed to be a large number of people, on Twitter, who were laying Liverpool last night. They haven't been great at home this season but laying them was not an option for me. It's always cheaper to take scores against a side than lay them outright. If you're prepared to lose X on a straight lay, put that same amount into the Correct Score market and you're likely to see a much safer and better value return.

Only nags for me today. Whatever you trade, stay green.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

In like a lion, out like a lamb.

March always holds such promise. The festival is and always has been fantastic, though I don't go anymore. Like Royal Ascot and Epsom, Cheltenham used to be great occasion to attend but the drunken hoards, whose racing knowledge and appreciation could sit comfortably on the head of a pin, have put paid to that. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for attracting new blood into the sport, but the once a year beer monsters don't do the sport of kings any credit.

I'm full of anticipation for next week. Not least as it will be my first Cheltenham as a full time nag trader.

Thanks to Peter Webb's newsletter, I'm a little bit wiser as to what to expect from the markets and his description suggests, for a pre race rookie like me, I'm better off sticking with in-running.


The volume in next week's markets should mean I can comfortably increase stakes and I want to make sure I've got a good size bank to do so. This week's markets have been understandably thin, but the bank has built up nicely and today's focus will be on adding to that through the nag cards. Particularly as today's footy card is full of potential pit falls.


Bolton v QPR - Both entirely unpredictable but likely to have decent in-play opps.

Villa v Fulham - Urrr...No.

Chelsea v Stoke - With RDM at the helm, normal service should be resumed. 2-0, 2-1, 3-0 to start with.

Sunderland v Liverpool - Sunderland will be buoyed by their Cup win against Arsenal but I can't see 'pool losing. 1-0, 1-1, 0-2, 2-2.

Wolves v Backburn - No.

Everton v Spurs - I like this one. Should be a good game. Everton are putting together a nice little run and will want to continue. Spurs should have a near full squad. There have been a couple of 0-0's but I like Over 2.5 in this. Plus there should be some great in-play opps.


Don't forget the charity trading raffle - Bag a massive bundle of trading goodies right here
Please, please make sure you leave your name or Twitter username. Thanks.



Whatever you trade, stay green.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

I've run out of expletives...

...to lambast Betfair with. Here we are again, same time as last year, with a Betfair outage just before Cheltenham. The lack of stability and/or a solution to this ridiculous and unbelievably continuing situation stinks of an attitude of "we don't give a fuck, about users or Betdaq", because if they did, these outages would never happen.
I was really looking forward to today's trading. It's been a good week and the hope was that would continue. How confident am I likely to feel, should these idiots actually manage to get the site up and running again? It remains the necessary evil.
No wonder our friends in Ireland chose the ecclesiastical purple as their brand colour, soon they shall become holy.

After a break, not really planned, from LTD, I made a return to it this week. The three games I picked, because they got through my filters, were Reading, Southampton and West Ham. Interesting to note that of these only one actually had the home favourite scoring first, before the dreaded 70 minute mark. Southampton  left it until 74 minutes and West Ham actually went 0-1 down to Watford. I still made a profit on all games but only because I scalped where necessary. I'll stick to the dutching for now, it's a damn sight less work.

Not a big fan of tonight's card but 2-0, 2-1 & 3-0 look value at OT.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

PS. Betfair has just come back online.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

If you always do what you've always done...

...you'll always get what you've always got.

I like this old adage. It's one of those that keeps me motivated to seek the new and to overcome obstacles.
It might be, and I emphasize might, that I may have overcome another hurdle.
Recently I joined another pre race horse trading service. A service that seemed to offer something a little different and a little more involved than the myriad others available. Essentially, the service provider acts as a mentor. Regular interaction with critical and constructive feedback, I have sent a video which my mentor has then watched, pin pointed my weaknesses and given numerous pointers to avoid the same pit falls, I shall do the same again later this week. Now, had you asked me yesterday morning how much this new service had given me, I may have said relatively little, I've only been using it for a week but, yesterday afternoon, I set up my desk to have a Geek's Toy pre race set up on one PC and an in-running Geek's set up on the other, flicking to the latter at the official off time. It was a good day. Confident and comfortable, I really enjoyed my in-running trading, which was evident in the Camtasia video I watched at the end of each day, an exercise I do to eradicate silly errors.
Camtasia is not installed on the machine that had the pre race set up so, whilst I was sure the pre race trading had gone fairly well, I didn't really know how well, until I looked at the afternoon's P&L on that account.
Of 17 races, 14 were traded to a profit and the day ended only £0.24p short of my 3% of bank target. I am excited for today's card...

Yesterday's footy was decent. I posted West Ham for some strange reason but meant Reading, which went as expected. I was scalping 0-0 on that and Southampton to cover, but the Saints went ahead on 74 minutes. A nice green on both. The Benfica dutch was set & go and returned a very nice green.
The only downside on the night was a HT 0-0 lay at Birmingham, which didn't come off. A second half lay of 0-0 got back that red.
Not keen on either of the CL games or the FA Cup replay. I shall be LTD at West Ham today.

I'd like to thank everyone who has supported the Betfair Trading Charity Raffle so far, not just for donations but also for including on blog posts, retweets and Facebook etc. All details are here. You could win some fantastic trading related prizes.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

LTD - a slight return

Haven't had chance to round up the weekend, which was a little hit and miss.
Didn't really like the look of anything pre KO on Saturday. The card was spurious and there was nothing solid about it. Somewhat rare, I hadn't opened any trades at all by 3.45pm. On going through the stats, Stoke looked a decent shout for drip laying 0-0, 5 lays matched before Stoke got the winner. 
Even though the stats did not read as well as they normally need to for me to open, I did the same at WBA. Around 70 minutes I was considering closing for a small red but WBA had 5 SoT's to Chelsea's 2 (good riddance to bad rubbish) and I left the remaining lays in, 8 matched by the time WBA scored. So a pretty decent day, despite the lack of trading. 
Sunday was not dissimilar. Wasn't around for anything other than Spurs v Man U, for which I tweeted 1-1, 2-1, 1-2, 2-2 but, after seeing the absence of Bale, Parker and VDV, I decided to try in-play. Then ended up doing nothing. It was a very odd game. Spurs were unlucky to go behind but those absences were very telling. 
So, an unusually quiet weekend that ended with a decent green.

Tonight I'm going back to LTD. I can't get concrete scores in my head but both West Ham and Southampton look good shouts for going ahead and the Draw prices look value.
Benfica v Zenit should be a formality really, I'm going for 1-0, 1-1, 2-0, 2-1, 3-0

I've been really surprised by the lack of take up on the charity prize raffle. One lucky winner can scoop £900 worth of trading tools and services, all for just a £10 donation. All the details are here, please take another look. Thanks.

Whatever you trade, stay green.

Monday, 5 March 2012

The great Betfair trading charity raffle - Part II

It seems some people were a little confused over the raffle concept in my last post, so I'm writing it again in simpler terms here -
Below is a massive list of, Betfair trading related, prizes. One lucky winner will scoop all of them! In order to give yourself a chance of being that lucky winner, all you have to do is donate £10 to my charity bike ride fund for Doctors of the World. You can do so here http://www.justgiving.com/jonmurphy or by clicking Donate on the right of this post. Make sure you leave your full name or Twitter username, as anonymous donations cannot be identified. The winner will be drawn at random on March 31st.

Remember, not only does your donation give you a chance to win but it will also go towards securing the future of someone in a war torn, poverty or disaster stricken area.
Here's the amazing list of prizes -

Zero Hype - 3 months subscription -
The team at Zero Hype are dedicated to helping you become a better, more profitable trader. Their services and customer interaction is exceptional.

ZH Subscribe - A football trade and lay bet service
ZH Ratings - A nag service which also includes the high strike rate Lay of the Day
ZH High Rollers - A very specific nag laying service with a very high strike rate

Pre Match Trading - 3 months subscription
Put together by the enigmatic Emo, this incredible tool can identify price anomalies in the market, allowing you to enter, then wait for the market to correct itself. Take the green, use it as cover in a trade or take it in-play. A must for any football trader. 

Bet Angel Pro - 12 months software subscription.
By far the best, paid for, Betfair trading application on the market. Incorporating Soccer Mystic and Tennis trader price predicition tools. Using BAPro very quickly led to my having a far greater understanding of the markets and how they work.

Trade Shark Tennis - Lifetime membership.
This service has recently won two awards and they are well deserved. You will receive a copy of an e-book with enormously detailed strategy, plus lifetime access to a members only area giving you the trading tips for that day. This is the best tennis trading service and community out there.

Horse Racing Traders - Lifetime membership 
It is no exaggeration for me to say this service totally transformed my P&L. I had given up on nag trading but thought, when I came across this service, I would give it one last try, I now consider myself a pro nag trader... The service had been closed to protect certain aspects within but I managed to persuade the provider to allow just one more member.

Bonus Bagging - Lifetime membership 
I personally made more than £600 using this bank builder, and I didn't take up all the offers. It's free money!

BSN is the football traders database. An exceptionally handy tool that allows you to store your strategies in simple form and also assists in how you plan the trade, entry and exit points etc. It also comes with 12 football trading strategies built in, so you can get cracking straight away. To make things even easier than that, you also get access to Market Matcher, a trade finding tool that identifies which of the twelve strategies to implement in a game. Couldn't be easier. 

TradingFootball.eu - 6 month subscription.
The best online trading community. You are guaranteed to learn from these guys and their members. They now have a new Nag trading room too. Newbie or veteran this is a great service to be part of.

If you signed up to these services individually, it would set you back nearly £900.

There will also be two runner up prizes. Go on, give it a shot. www.justgiving.com/jonmurphy

Stay green. 

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The greatest Betfair trading prize bundle you're ever likely to see, and it's all for charity.

Let me get this bit out of the way first, then you can get to the really good bit.
In September, I'm cycling from London to Paris, in aid of Doctors of the World. A fantastic charity who do some really incredible work in war torn, poverty and disaster stricken areas. 
My target is to raise £1400, which doesn't sound like much, but this amount can help literally thousands of women and children. 
In order to reach and hopefully exceed this target, I contacted all the Betfair trading services and software providers I have used and asked them to donate prizes to help the cause. Each of them has been enormously generous, thanks to which, there is now a massive bundle of prizes to be raffled through this blog. There are a couple of runner up prizes but one lucky winner will scoop everything you see listed below...
(The opinions that accompany each prize listing are my own, but I have paid for and continue to profit from using each and every one of these tools, I therefore feel qualified to give that opinion).

TradingFootball.eu - 6 month subscription.
The best online trading community. You are guaranteed to learn from these guys and their members. They now have a new Nag trading room too. Newbie or veteran this is a great service to be part of.

Zero Hype - 3 months subscription -
The team at Zero Hype are dedicated to helping you become a better, more profitable trader. Their services and customer interaction is exceptional.
ZH Subscribe - A football trade and lay bet service
ZH Ratings - A nag service which also includes the high strike rate Lay of the Day
ZH High Rollers - A very specific nag laying service with a very high strike rate

Pre Match Trading - 3 months subscription
Put together by the enigmatic Emo, this incredible tool can identify price anomalies in the market, allowing you to enter, then wait for the market to correct itself. Take the green, use it as cover in a trade or take it in-play. A must for any football trader. 

Bet Angel Pro - 12 months software subscription.
By far the best, paid for, Betfair trading application on the market. Incorporating Soccer Mystic and Tennis trader price predicition tools. Using BAPro very quickly led to my having a far greater understanding of the markets and how they work.

Trade Shark Tennis - Lifetime membership.
This service has recently won two awards and they are well deserved. You will receive a copy of an e-book with enormously detailed strategy, plus lifetime access to a members only area giving you the trading tips for that day. This is the best tennis trading service and community out there.

Horse Racing Traders - Lifetime membership 
It is no exaggeration for me to say this service totally transformed my P&L. I had given up on nag trading but thought, when I came across this service, I would give it one last try, I now consider myself a pro nag trader... The service had been closed to protect certain aspects within but I managed to persuade the provider to allow just one more member.

Bonus Bagging - Lifetime membership 
I personally made more than £600 using this bank builder, and I didn't take up all the offers. It's free money!

BSN is the football traders database. An exceptionally handy tool that allows you to store your strategies in simple form and also assists in how you plan the trade, entry and exit points etc. It also comes with 12 football trading strategies built in, so you can get cracking straight away. To make things even easier than that, you also get access to Market Matcher, a trade finding tool that identifies which of the twelve strategies to implement in a game. Couldn't be easier. 

If you signed up to these services individually, it would set you back nearly £900.

So, how do you get your hands on this incredible set of prizes? Simple. Go to my JustGiving/jonmurphy page or click on the JustGiving button above, donate £10, or more, make sure you enter your full name or Twitter name and that's it. The winner and runners up will be drawn at random, hopefully by someone impressive from the world of sport, on March 31st. 
Remember, your £10 will not just give you the chance to win these amazing prizes, it will also go an awful long way to securing someone's future. 

Stay green and stay lucky. 

Lambretta.