BBC Sport | Football | World Edition

Friday, 14 November 2014

This is how it should be done - Betfair take note.

Geeks Toy now in Beta
Important Please Read.

Due to the retirement of Betfairs current API, on Monday 10th November we were forced to migrate everybody onto Betfairs new API version.  Although this version had been on beta test for three weeks and we addressed the issues in the product as they came up, since Monday many issues have come to light that are causing some customers issues at this time.
 With the number of issues to be resolved and the amount of work we are doing in critical places to resolve these issues we cannot at this time maintain a release version of the software that we are confident for people to use for their betting and trading.
As such I have with regret taken the decision today to put Geeks Toy back into beta until we have the worst of these issues resolved.  I am hoping this won’t be for too long, but we need to be 100% confident of software operation before we can run it as a release version again, and with the current issues it is unacceptable to do so. 
I’d like to apologise everyone for this, and to say that Richard and I are working flat out to deal with the problems.  Once we are through the beta stage, all subscribers  will have the expiry date extended on their accounts to make up for this downtime.

In the meantime if you want to help us resolve the issues as quickly as possible, please continue using the software with small stakes, and please report any bugs you find here. 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Target fixation

Stubborn. Stubborn is the word that Mrs. Lambretta would use to describe me if we were on some bad ITV husband and wife show. I am stubborn, in simple terms. In real terms, I am determined, single-minded, driven, indefatigable and totally focused. However you choose to describe it, as long as it doesn't have a detrimental effect on your surrounding life, it's okay. But, there is a danger to the overall goal. Such focus can mean we lose sight of the very things that can help us succeed.

My stubborness means I shall not give up the endeavour to become a very profitable pre-race trader but it occurred to me that I've spent so many hours looking at the markets, football, golf, nags (I-R and PR) that it's possible I've become blind to what they are telling me. So, I am now resolved to taking a month off. No trading of any kind until Tuesday, October 28th. Why this date? Because the previous day I am attending Steve Howe's pre race trading course. Some of you will know the vast amounts I have invested in numerous training courses but, after viewing Steve's YouTube vids, I'm confident there is something different to all the others and that his style looks very similar to mine, only he makes good money and I make mistakes...

After so many years of trading so often, it'll be interesting to know what withdrawal looks like.

Stay green.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Belief. Where does yours come from?

First, I'll give mention to Caan Berry who has referenced a conversation we had earlier this week, in his latest post. That conversation sparked a train of thought, at stupid o'clock this morning, which led me to ask myself certain questions and relay them here.

Personally, trading is tough for me at present. The EPL is yet to show any real tradeable form, the change of codes in the nags, plus I'm waiting for some questions to be answered around cross matching in-running. In one of his many video blogs, Peter Webb suggests we are entering the time of year when many question their trading ability and some even give up, (Jan/Feb being the worst months). So, how do we ensure we do not fall foul and press on? Belief!

There's a DIY ad around at the moment, where people in it stand back and admiringly view the shed, shelf, paint job etc, that they have just completed, and we hear them proudly think "I did that".
We have all had moments like that. A job or promotion you wanted, a project you completed, something that made you both very proud but also surprised you in it's very achievement. That is the seat of belief. "I know I can do this because... "

Of the numerous schools of thought I subscribe to one is - taking the path with most resistance.
Sounds illogical, I know, but bear with me. During our conversation, Caan talked about how the Monday card was poor and, for a novice like me, can be difficult to trade. Perfect. If my ability to trade grows out of trading really difficult markets I can truly make the best of the easier ones. Where as, should I do all my learning on Saturday afternoons, my overall experience of the markets will be skewed and making good trades on the more difficult week days will prove really tough. This is how I forged my corporate career so, rightly, I believe it is the right approach
Another subscription is taking a lesson from every experience. Edison's much used quote of finding thousands of ways not to make a light bulb is the perfect example. Go back over your records, there are always trades we remember that confirm our ability to do things correctly. There are also trades that confirm our ability to get things wrong, the fact that you have a record of them and what you know to avoid should give you confidence and belief in your ability to continually hone your skills.

NB - I was about to publish this when I remembered a footnote I wanted to add: The most successful people we know are not successful because they have inherent ability, a natural talent. They all did one thing with great skill; they aligned themselves with people who had the knowledge they were lacking. In short, they asked for help...

Happily, there are some good games around this weekend. I see opportunity at Arsenal, Chelsea and Barca in particular.

Stay green and, above all, never give up - you don't know how close you might be.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Down versus Up

It's a simple equation, isn't it? Though, after taking a lot of time to trawl other blogs, trading service sites and numerous other info sources, it was surprising to me how little is mentioned about this aspect of trading. Or rather, how much emphasis is placed on telling us to think about it.
This should be the first thing we consider after a potential trade has been identified. Profitable pre race traders will always know their exit, particularly in swing trading, and it will rarely be equal or more than the potential up side.
When trading football, much focus is placed on stats, in particular when trading the Correct Score market, hence so many use "insurance" in other markets. Something I've personally moved away from due the long term erosion of profit, (in my experience). Probability combined with stats then compared to available prices is where value is found but, in reality, that value only comes from making the exact same trade, with the exact same set of circumstances again and again. More and more we seek better value trades but it's fast becoming apparent that that value is in ensuring we can make the trade with as little damage as possible.
Last week I tweeted that I had entered the Premiership Winners Market, backing Man Utd at 14's for their next four fixtures. My logic for entering being they had reached their rock bottom with the defeat at MK Dons and could only get better plus the other big sides each had tough fixtures across the same period. Seemingly, a draw with Burnley is an improvement but the market pushed them out to as high as 22.5. This was the real opportunity. Had both City and Chelsea won their games on Saturday, Utd would not have drifted by very much but a draw or loss by either side would result in Utd's price pushing down comparatively hard. After City's loss they came back to 16's, which is where I exited. Now with my original stake covered and free green for the next three fixtures.
When Chelsea went ahead against Everton, their price crashed to 1.11, possible downside 11 ticks, possible upside huge but my exit was 1.34 after Everton got their first. More than double the potential loss for an improbable outcome.

As my trading is now split 50/50 with football and trading nags in-running, the same principle must apply. My entries always begin with a lay so, you would assume my downside is a great deal higher than my up. Not the case, as my exit is planned and available before I enter, as such, my red is small compared to possible green.

In short; seek the value to protect your biggest asset, your bank.

Stay green.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Mis-Staking and Goal Profits

Further to my last post, I've been corresponding and endeavouring to help a couple of people with their in-running nag trading. Happily, there has been some success. So much so that one of them emailed yesterday to say they were about to increase their stakes, doing so by making a deposit into their BF account.
This may be obvious to some but to add to an account purely to increase staking levels is a fool's errand, IMO. Success must always be organic. If your trading is improving and profit levels are growing, there should be no need to deposit at all. In reality, the idea is purely down to a lack of patience - a virtue every trader must have.

Now, some of you may be aware that I rarely put up services to look at, only those that I think have something genuine to offer. You may also be aware, during the season proper, I like to be part of a live trading community. It makes for much more enjoyable winter evenings and the like, plus you are always likely to learn something and can help others too. A particular community came on to my radar towards the end of last season and they have gracefully accepted my request to join.
So far, I've not had the the opportunity to fully engage in the chatroom but, when I have, the atmosphere is excellent, the level of knowledge is equally as good and those leading things are always clear, concise and helpful - as are the other chatroom attendees.
There are numerous levels of membership but even the very basic gives access to the chatroom, certain trades of the day (I'm 100% so far), a massive list of helpful videos and, more importantly, a tool that offers up very good statistical data and info for you to make your own trading decisions around.
Learner or veteran, it is my opinion there is no better football trading service available at present than

NB: I'm not on commission.

Stay green.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Correlation's what you need...

So, after two years of corporate nonsense, tailored suits and polished Oxfords, I am once more a full time betting exchange trader... Praise the Lord and the baby Jesus!

Whilst football will very much underpin my trading as before, for some time I have been trading nags in-running and very lucrative it is too if, however, you know what you're doing. It's taken a great deal of time and effort to get this stage with it, a great deal of money too.
It's been suggested that trading nags in-running is somewhat de rigueur at present. I have no desire to be considered with the Joneses, a postive P&L is the only thing, in my opinion.
Anyway, one of the reasons I'm confident that my nag trading has improved to such an extent is the amount of time I have spent correlating my results. This is something I haven't paid a huge amount of attention to with football trading as the P&L spoke for itself, plus the variables are a lot complex with nags.
Thanks in no small part to the Betfairtradingmindgames P&L analysis spreadsheet, link below, the depth of knowledge around my nag trading is now enormous. My best day for trading is Monday, Friday is the worst. I should avoid trading at York as this track is responsible for 10% of my losses. Had you asked me prior which races are my strongest the answer would have been Sprints, turns out they rank amongst the worst.
The ability to understand my strengths and weaknesses within these markets ensures being able to target the right races on the right days at the right courses. And it really makes a difference...

Really looking forward to being part of the trading community again, really looking forward to posting a lot more regularly and cannot wait for the new season.

Far from being an expert, I know the in-running markets can be tough but, if it's your thing, I'll help where I can.

Stay green.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Costa Rica & Tournament Collapse.

Just a quick one;

Currently, Costa Rica are 80's in the Winners Market, however, they do not play the Netherlands until 9pm on Saturday. Odds suggest Belgium, France and Colombia will fall victim before this, their respective chances being divided between the remaining teams before the 9pm kick off. Not much of this reallocation will be passed on to Costa Rica but if Germany, Argentina or Brazil slip up, Costa Rica's price will plummet.
I don't fancy them to beat the Netherlands but there will be the option to lay them in Match Odds market to, at the very worst, recover initial stake.

Stay green.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Staying cool in a red hot situation!

Much is written about the importance of maintaining a cool and calm frame of mind when engaged with the markets. I don't wish to add to that list, save for a funny story that exemplifies exactly how the trader's mind should work.

Yesterday evening I made efforts to ensure my comfort during the games to come. Germany v Ghana on the TV, I fancied Over 4.5, entered and made a small back on 0-0 as cover. Decent first half, nothing to make me think I needed to change my position, I made for the kitchen to make a quick vegetable stir fry. Part of which, I thought, was a small Bell Pepper.
Prepped the food, fried it, added the Szechuan sauce, stuck it on a plate and made for the lounge to enjoy before the second half began. Very quickly it became clear that the Szechuan sauce had been incorrectly labelled as "Medium", as my mouth tongue and lips were burning! Realising I couldn't eat it with such heat intensity, it was left on the side while I quickly nipped to the loo before settling down for the aforementioned second half.
It was around the 48th minute that I began to feel very uncomfortable in the downstairs department. Around 49 minutes, my nether regions were beginning to burn, by the 51st minute my entire family jewels were immersed in a small glass of cold water which, soon after, became milk. It was at this stage I realised the Bell Pepper was in fact a Jalapeno, hence my meal being inedibly hot and the reason my crucial parts were in excruciating pain following, of course, my quick trip to the loo.
During my howling and leaping around, Mrs. Lambretta did some quick fire web research and learnt that Natural Yogurt is the best remedy for such a situation. She ran to her car and whizzed off to find some while I danced around the entire ground floor of Lambretta Towers. Here-in, Dear Reader, is the rub; on entering the lounge, despite the stress, pain and abject terror that amputation maybe the only result, upon seeing the scoreline had reached 2-2, approximately the 75 minute mark, somehow the mettle necessary to steel myself came to the fore and I managed to grab my phone and close my position for a very nice green.
Almost immediately after Mrs. Lambretta flew through the door with the yogurt that, after around 30 minutes, relieved me greatly. Happy to say, all is as it should be.

Stay green - And always read the label

Friday, 21 February 2014

The value of waiting.

Sporadic posts these days. I'm hoping to change that in the next couple of months with a change of circumstance...

Anyway, last night I was interested to read the tweet of one particular trader who had decided to enter the market because "a goal is coming" in the Spurs game. Intrigued, I checked the game stats to find that nothing pointed to a goal at all. Low SoT's, few corners etc. I queried his logic directly, to which he suggested that he was in fact "ahead of the stats". His theory, he thought, was evidenced by Spurs missing a sitter.
- it's worth noting at this stage that you cannot be ahead of stats. Stats, or lack of them, are scientific evidence of a likelihood, anything else is gut feel or, as it's known in the trade, taking a punt -
A full half hour later, the stats did indeed suggest a goal was coming.  I laid the 0-0, as had he, I got the goal I expected, he got the goal he, by then, was desperate for.
Now, this post is not to make him look foolish or me particularly clever (thought I am, really), but to point out the value in waiting for value to proffer itself. Unless you fancy a game to finish U2.5, you can gain significant uplift on profits by entering when the stats and the market are in your favour. Here's an example:
Swansea v Cardiff  3-0 - the market favoured O2.5 and CS reflected that but, both sides had very poor stats for first half goals. Add to this that, on average, the first goal in a game is scored around 27 minutes, you have a massive window where prices will drift, you can enter with a lesser liability or greater profit margin and you are also presented an opportunity to re-evaluate your thinking. Had you backed O2.5 in this game, you may have been closing your position at HT, certainly you'd be thinking how to reduce it, only to find you were right all along come 90 minutes.

In short, if you fancy goals in a game, don't jump in. Have an idea of when you think they will come and enter at that point, using stats to back you up. Those few extra ticks of profit will make a massive difference when you come to the yearly P&L.

Stay green.