Monthly Archives: May 2012


French Open Chaos!


French Open Chaos!

After riding the crest of a wave for the last few weeks with In play tennis trading again along came the Serena Williams v Virginie Razzano match. Yes I know if you didn’t make money on this one you should give up (ffs) but in reality this match was incredibly unusual and it was difficult to trade as there were so many factors to consider when it was all happening so fast. First of all Serena started as a 1.01 favourite which give or take a tick or two was fair enough for a multiple champion and former winner at RG that has never lost in the first round of a slam and until today had been in great form. Yes the signs were there in hindsight but we’ve all seen Serena tank a set, get angry and power through. Then we had the 5-1 lead in the tie-break, the tears of Serena, the 5-0 lead, Razzano’s cramp and shrieks and then the comeback, followed by double faults and multiple match points. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a match like it. . I was of the viewpoint that she never should have been favourite here at RG after seeing her struggle through some of her clay matches but never expected an upset here not even at 1 set all.
Make no mistake what happened yesterday was extremely rare. When you are watching such a match it’s hard to know when to enter the market. In a lot of matches where Serena goes 1-1 she’ll run away with the third so when I took her on at 1.17 hoping for a quick trade at about 1.05 which if she had taken even a small lead in the first set we would have easily seen, never did I imagine she would go 5-0 down! In hindsight my entry point was too early and I should have given it a bit of time particularly after seeing Serena in tears but let’s not forget this was a tough game but one which she was 2 points away from winning in straight sets. It cost me a fair whack of recent small profits trading, bringing my ’hourly rate’ down somewhat. Many people think trading is a piece of piss but there’s always one of these round the corner and they are hard to take after hours of hard work building up small green books.
So yet again I come back to the old dilemma of mine on whether the usually more lucrative in play trading is worth the trade off in terms of time spent doing it. I have probably traded too much in the last few days as I suspect many will do because of the excitement of a slam. After the first day I found it a little boring, with little market fluctuation and very little opportunities and when they came along in Azarenka and Serena’s matches, I think I was caught a little off guard and got in far too early.
So it’s back to the drawing board for me in the quest to find the perfect betting solution that optimises money making whilst fitting in with my desired lifestyle. I now know that trading up to 10 hours a day doesn’t fit in with it and so it’s time to change tactics again. Now that I’m getting good at pricing up markets properly, I think it might be time to revisit pre-match Kelly staking once again….
On a positive note my dutch of Nadal and Djokovic for a 20% return looks pretty good still and the 7.8 on Sharapova pretty huge now Serena is out. My tournament preview on the previous post actually reads pretty well with how the tournament is unfolding so far.






Tennis – French Open Preview


Tennis – French Open Preview

Below is my take on who I think are the main 4 contenders in both the Men’s and Women’s Frech open Tournament. Let’s hope it’s a great Roland Garros!

MENS

Nadal (1.73) – Playing very well but not at his invincible best.  Djokovic had chances against him but taking enough to win a 3 set match may prove even more difficult.
Djokovic  (4.3) – We all know how good Djokovic is on this surface and although he has lost to Nadal on slow clay twice recently, the first can be ignored because his mind was elsewhere and the second was a much closer match than the scoreboard suggested.
Federer (11) – No chance for Fed on this surface. I know he beat Djokovic here last year but I can’t see it happening again and no chance versus Nadal.
Ferrer (48) – Has impressed me recently. He has been close to taking a set of Nadal and his level is as close as it’s ever been to his in my opinion. Whether he’ll mentally ever believe he can beat Nadal though I’m not convinced.

Verdict – Dutch Nadal and Djokovic for around 20% return. I’ll be amazed if the winner comes from elsewhere. Don’t waste your money on Murray, Del Potro, Tsonga, Raonic, Isner as they just don’t cut it on this surface and as for talented clay courters like Almagro, Warinka, Simon and Monaco and Verdasco, they are just that talented but lack the mental strength to win a best of 5 set match in a grand slam against the very best.

Look out for – Brian Baker.  I’ve won loads recently backing the comeback kid and would love to see him have a good run here. Let’s be honest he has no chance of competing with the likes of Nadal and Djokovic yet but hopefully we may see him produce a good little run and get some juicy odds in the process.
WOMENS
Serena (3.35) – Looked great on clay recently and massively determined. I don’t expect her to win and I don’t think she should be favourite but her winning wouldn’t surprise you the form she is in.
Azarenka (4.9) – Will be there or thereabouts. If Sharapova and Serena don’t turn up then Azarenka could stroll to victory but she’s definitely beatable.
Sharapova  (7.8) – Playing arguably the best tennis of her career at the moment. She is moving better than ever and I would say mentally she up there with Serena as the strongest player. She hammered Azarenka on clay the last time they met and most of the time her serve looks unbreakable.
Kvitova (19) – Doesn’t have enough desire for me. Great serve and good ground strokes but poor movement and will be exposed here.
Verdict – Really like Sharapova at 7.8 here as she’s playing the best I’ve ever seen her play on clay and for long periods her game is devastating.  Never thought I’d be backing her in this tournament but she’s improved her game on this surface so much. In women’s tennis you shouldn’t count anyone out as it’s that unpredictable at times and Li Na, Stosur are former winners here and could be worth a punt at 14 and 16.5.
Look out for – Mona Barthel. She’s the most promising young player on the tour. She has great technique and power and has twice been close to beating Azarenka this year. Very unlikely to go all the way as she lacks the experience but can cause a few upsets.






Betfair Fixed Odds


Betfair Fixed Odds

So Betfair’s Fixed odds are live. In most cases they will be pretty pointless as the exchange prices will be superior and Betfair will probably just be hoping they can do a bit of trap betting and that some may get confused and place bets with them instead of the exchange! In quieter markets where there is little option but to take a horrific price or not get a bet on at all, there will now at least be the option to take a more realistic one, albeit one with a fairly hefty built-in overround of 9 or 10%. It doesn’t seem the best way of implementing this to me though and I don’t see why Betfair can’t seed the exchange markets themselves or at least allow other companies to for reduce commission as they have done in the past. Ah well, I doubt I’ll need to use the fixed odds myself but as long as the exchange model sticks around and doesn’t get tampered with I’ll be happy.
Just a quick note about a tennis player I’d never previously heard of, Brian Baker. He beat Monfils last night and made me a tidy sum after I saw some info posted about him on another website. He used to be number 2 in the world at Junior level when Murray, Djokovic and Monfils were Juniors. He’s been out of the game for a number of years professionally due to horrific injuries but is now back and has some very impressive wins over top US players. Some of his tennis last night was a delight to watch and it appears there is an American that can actually play well on clay. Monfils was not at his best but Baker’s talent was there for all to see and I’m looking forward to seeing how far he can go in the French Open. He’s 1.72 to get another win tonight against Kukushkin which I think is a decent price.






Tennis Trading – Do’s and Don’ts


Tennis Trading – Do’s and Don’ts

The tennis trading is going extremely well still which is a good job as my tennis bets are woeful. The tip of the day has hit a bad spell and it’s pretty much down to the tennis as it’s the only sport I’m not in profit in. It makes sense really as the unpredictability of tennis makes trading relatively easy and betting very difficult. I’m going to consider making it a football only tip of the day because i can’t take many more losing tennis bets!

As well as the tennis trading has gone, that’s not to say it couldn’t  have gone better. I still made a few mistakes a long the way as it had been a while since I had don a lot of trading and I have come up with a list of do’s and don’ts that sum up the good and bad things that I’ve done whilst trading recently. Enjoy.

Do’s
1)      Know your surfaces and the difference between blue and red clay for example!
2)      Make you sure you know the history of both players and any massive changes in current form. If you don’t know bet.
3)      Have a list of 3 main strategies that you know work for you and decide whether the match you are watching falls under one of these categories before you place a bet.
4)      Enter the market at the same initial stake each time. Decisions need to be made quickly without worrying about what stake you should use and varying staking will lead to hasty decisions when you’ve gone in too big.
5)      Respect the market. If the odds are 1.1 they may trade higher again but the fact is the player leading will win very close to 90% of the time on average as odds suggest so stake accordingly i.e. bet to win x if you are laying rather than bet with set liability.
6)      Leave the biggest green on the player you least expect to win. In my experience this pays massive dividends long term.
Don’ts
1)      Assume that strategies used in WTA work in ATP and vice versa. They are very different. Clue, one is dominated by the serve, the other isn’t  😉 
2)      Enter the market hoping for a few quick ticks and then get back out. It’s tempting to do sometimes but will contribute little to profits and cause panic when the market moves against you.
3)      Bet without live pics. You can get excellent value without watching a match but the uncertainty of not knowing exactly what’s going on often leads people to panic and make hasty decisions.
4)      Top up on extremely short odds. Traders will tell you that this is good but you never get anything like the same kind of value at the lower end in my experience not at all worth it particularly in WTA.
5)      Start believing all 1.05s are a lay, they aren’t and not all strong favs a set down should be backed either. There is no one strategy that fits all!
6)      Bet on short priced favs in mickey mouse tournaments. They are often just used as a warm up and there are a lot of non-triers who turn up to these just for the appearance fee.





Betting v Trading


Betting v Trading

Well first of all my experiment to increase turnover did not go well. I had a handful of good priced winners to start but after my final weeks prem selections failed to profit, I went on quite a streak of losers. The prem selections have been very profitable this season and finished with a more than respectable 17.88% and had QPR held out an extra 90 seconds I would have been well in profit for the day and looking at a final ROI of near 25%. As highlighted by this game, the difference between winning and losing can often be very marginal and betting is no different. The losing bets that followed this weren’t random bets, they were bets from profitable tipsters but whom were on a poor run and together with a poor run of my own saw a big loss after 4 days betting and a loss of about 15% of my betting funds, I halted proceedings. I wasn’t wasting hours trading but there was still some cost, putting the bets on and investing energy checking results etc.
Obviously I didn’t give this long enough and my fortunes could well have turned around the next few days or by the end of the week /month but I realised that 2% of my bank on a bet was too big for this approach and that it wasn’t for me. I read on the betfair forum that one  user who turns over 3 million a year and bets 0.02% has lost half of his bank before despite betting such a small % and even though it turned around for him pretty quickly and he has a 2% ROI, I realised that this method is not for me. I don’t think I could cope with such huge swings even if long term I did prove to have an edge.
So I begrudgingly decided to go back to the tried and tested tennis trading as I had a couple of free days. Low and behold I made all the money back that I had lost and won half again, making a profit in 15 out of 16 markets. This was by no means risky trading as I had a fixed liability on each match and this was no one-tic trading but taking advantage of pretty decent swings in the markets. I am actually really enjoying the tournament in Rome and it’s enthused me again about trading, especially as I have realised it suits me better and I find it much easier to profit short and long-term. I do wish that I didn’t have to spend quite so long doing it but I have figured if I can continue to do so well, then there’s no reason why I can’t up my fixed liability and make the same or money trading less markets.
I think the key is to be selective with the trading. It’s easy to get all obsessive about trading every match but the fact is there are 1000s of tennis matches per year and you really can’t trade them all. From now on I will only trade if a) I wanted to watch the match in the first place b) If I’m not doing anything else or don’t have anything else I need to do with my time. To do well at betting you have to turn over a lot of money. You can do this by getting the best price on a handful of ‘dead certs’, which I don’t have the balls or funds for or grind away making 1000s of small bets to show a decent return and I don’t think I have the patience or confidence that I can do this. My stats tell me that if you gave me £100 and I had to turn it into £200, I would be very confident of doing this trading in a short space of time with sensible liabilities but betting to achieve this would take me a hell of a lot longer. For me trading is definitely more lucrative than betting and aside from my tip of the day and prem selections I shall be betting no more!





Professional Gambling


Professional Gambling

I’ve made quite a lot of money betting recently compared with that I used to make just trading and when making fewer bets even though the stakes were bigger. This is down to 3 main reasons:

1) I now stake the same amount on every bet or entry trade.

2) This stake is a sensible % of my available funds.

3) I now price up markets and because of  2 I am not scared to put my money on higher priced selections that I think are value.

But because I have been trying to get the bets prices I have had my money scattered around in various bookmakers accounts and it’s been difficult to keep track of my overall ROI and moving funds has been a pain in the youknowhat. So I have decided to bet only with Betfair for a while just to see how well I’m now able to do and that if I was to scale up just how well could I do as a professional gambler and had more available funds at my disposal.

I aim to bring together a lot of the stuff I have mentioned on this blog, so things like:

1) Fixed staking to a sensible % of bank (be able to bet at least 50 times over).

2) Getting the best price (This will now involve unmatched bets sometimes if I feel the chances of getting matched will be good).

3) Getting on favs early before the price plummets and leave betting on massive underdogs until late on.

4) Making several inplay bets and letting more of them run, only trading out when I feel the result is of such a low or unknown expectancy that it would be better value to trade out.

5) Pricing up markets and working out the available odds to a % to see if there is value.

6) Using reputable free tipsters who have a proven track record.

7) Increasing turnover as much as possible and placing all  bets that I believe have a positive expectancy.

I now feel I am armed with enough knowledge and resources and bringing it all together to see what sort of ROI is possible weekly, monthly and yearly for a manual gambler such as myself will be very interesting. I want my inplay betting to be at a minimum and most of my bets will be done from my phone when I think a price is too good not to take on and watching a few tennis matches. I don’t want to give up on inplay betting just yet because I feel it’s more profitable but again I will do a comparison of pre-match and inplay in my analysis. I actually started this yesterday so will post a weekly summary next week. I will only be using tiny stakes because I’m hoping to increase turnover considerably and don’t want to risk much on this. It’s the ROI that I’m concerned with in this experiment as it will enable to see just what is possible.

My prem selections have formed a chunk of the profits I have made recently and I will be sad to see these end but luckily I’m also a high profile international football specialist too so roll on the Euros! If anyone is able to recommend any free tipsters that you think I might not be aware of then please post a comment and let me know!

So here are my final value prem selections of the season. You can see how I have priced them up percentage wise in the sheet: http://www.betfairbanter.co.uk/PremierLeagueBets.xlsx Hopefully we can stay above 20% ROI for the season. I think this would be an incredible achievement and hopefully some of you have been following these and made some good profit. All being well I should find time to post these again next season.

Home
Away
Selection
Best Odds
Chelsea
Blackburn
Blackburn
12
Everton
Newcastle
Newcastle
3.6
Man City
QPR
Draw
10
Norwich
Aston Villa
Draw
3.5
Stoke
Bolton
Stoke
2.5
Sunderland
Man Utd
Sunderland
7.5
Swansea
Liverpool
Liverpool
2.15
Tottenham
Fulham
Fulham
9
West Brom
Arsenal
Arsenal
1.7
Wigan
Wolves
Wigan
1.62





Liverpool v Chelsea II


Liverpool v Chelsea II

It was a bit of an uneventful weekend for me, even though I backed the draw at Villa v Spurs and was on Wigan last night. There were far too many draws (As I said there may well be a few posts back) but you can’t price the draw much lower  than what some of them were or they just aren’t value. Norwich almost caused an upset for us and if they had of done we’d have been laughing all the way to the bank. Instead it was a -25.56% return but nothing to cry about with the ROI still 23.98.

So on to tonight then and will Liverpool get revenge for their cup final defeat and will Chelsea have their minds on the Champions League final? Quite Possibly. However, Liverpool do not win this game anything close to 50% of the time and 2.12 is too short for me. A draw wouldn’t surprise me but the value has to be on Chelsea for this one. Maybe Fernando can bag a winner against his old club and prove they were wrong to sell him.

Home
Away
Selection
Best Odds
Liverpool
Chelsea
Chelsea
3.6






Penultimate Prem Picks!


Penultimate Prem Picks!

How’s that for a bit of aliteration for you?! Just a super quick post this evening with this weekend’s selections…

Home
Away
Selection
Best Odds
Arsenal
Norwich
Norwich
15
Newcastle
Man City
Newcastle
5
Aston Villa
Tottenham
Draw
3.8
Bolton
West Brom
West Brom
3.8
Wolves
Everton
Everton
1.75
QPR
Stoke
Stoke
4.5
Fulham
Sunderland
Draw
3.6
Man Utd
Swansea
Swansea
19
Blackburn
Wigan
Wigan
2.9

Spreadsheet updated: http://www.betfairbanter.co.uk/PremierLeagueBets.xlsx






Time – the most precious commodity


Time – the most precious commodity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIoCV1IUtfQ  Funnily enough this article was also posted by Cassini at Green All Over after I had already planned to do this post! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2135649/Online-gambling-Are-creating-epidemic-addiction.html . I’m sure very few Betfair players would recognise themselves as problem gamblers especially those who lose very little or even win a little but just because you are not losing money doesn’t mean that you don’t have a problem. I am honest enough with myself to admit that I have spent too much time, energy and focus on trading on the exchanges to a point where it has had a detrimental effect on other areas of my life. This may not have been catastrophic for me and often include rather trivial things like staying up in the early ours to trade a match, forgetting to take care of something because I was too wrapped up in trading or even not wanting to watch a film with the Mrs so I could trade Whothefuckonova v Whogivesashizniacki but I fear that for some people it has had more drastic consequences.
Whilst I’d never completely discourage anyone from online betting or in play trading and would actually go as far as to say it’s up there with my favourite hobbies, I do think that it has opened up a can of worms as far as Gambling addiction is concerned. I’ve been thinking about this for a while after seeing various family and friends get into betting and after watching this sad BBC3 programme
Each time I see a new blog of some young person who has discovered the exchange and think’s it some kind of golden ticket, it saddens me slightly. Some have quit their jobs or stopped trying to find work in their long quest to try and profit from the exchanges. There are a few people I know who have wasted thousands gambling but in many respects I feel more for those addicted to in play trading as for some it’s going to be a lot of wasted hours that they will never get back. Money is important but time much more precious. Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate trading all of a sudden and will certainly not stop doing it myself but it has dawned on me that the introduction of in play betting in particular leads to a certain type of addiction which we haven’t experienced before where hours, days, weeks, months, years are wasted instead of the usual hundreds or thousands of pounds. For those of you who have played championship manager, I’m pretty sure I surpassed the don’t forget to wash phase a long time ago.
For many Gambling is an escape from something in their own lives and due to the fact that never before has it been more possible to make a living from betting, people feel that they can control their own destiny by doing something that they enjoy. Little do they realise just how much the odds are stacked against them and even if they do succeed at what cost will it be? Certainly at the cost of their social life, unsociable hours and putting other lifer goals and experiences on hold. At times I myself have traded matches to earn money when I could have done some overtime and earned three or four times as much in the same time and thinks when you think about it, it just doesn’t make sense. I guess trading is a hobby and it is enjoyable and this is part of the reason I made that particular choice but I think it’s also about proving it can be done or that one day your bank will grow or you can scale up because you have proven your results as if that means they can guarantee future profits. For nearly all, this day will never come and for those it does come for I am pretty certain it doesn’t feel quite as special as they imagined.
Of course addiction is not just a problem where gambling is concerned. Some people are addicted to sex, the internet, even work but in play betting is a bit of a honey trap that makes addiction all the more possible. Thinking about this recently that has made me recognise just how precious time is and that as much as I enjoy betting it’s time I toned it down, particularly where in play trading is concerned. Everything in moderation as they say!
On a final thought, here is a video I saw posted on a blog a while back showing a lecture on time management by Randy Pausch a US professor of computer science who knew he had only a few months to live and died shortly after this was filmed.






Chelsea v Newcastle – Bolton v Tottenham


Chelsea v Newcastle – Bolton v Tottenham

A very nice win on Fulham last night at 5/1 and it could have been even better had Everton held on. I actually thought the draw was very likely too but it’s hard to justify having it any greater than the 30% I had it in any match and the attacking way in which Everton had been playing meant I saw greater value in backing them.
The other cup Finalists Chelsea play tonight and I’m pretty sure they’ll make changes like Liverpool too making 1.53 very short. Newcastle are dangerous at their best but took a right hiding form Wigan at the weekend. You would expect this game to be open with both teams feeling they need to win to be in with a chance of 4th and that potential champions league spot with Tottenham likely to beat Spurs tonight. Chelsea may get there on their own merit, making 4th spot worthless, if they can beat Bayern but I’m sure they won’t be resting on this laurel but neither team will feel completely out of it if it’s a draw too. The draw price is quite high as Chelsea have been rather resilient this season, scoring few but not conceding too many either and with many replacements this could be a low scoring affair. Newcastle will certainly be aiming to be much tighter at the back than they were in their last game.
In tonight’s other fixture Bolton host Tottenham and will feel they need to get a result to ease their relegation fears. I’m not too sure they’ll be settling for a point here as although they have more winnable games to come against Stoke and WBA nothing can be taken for granted at this late stage. So if it’s an open affair Spurs should win by at least a couple and if Bolton were to try and shut up shop or park the bus I still think they’d make a mistake and Tottenham will score as I don’t think they are not good enough defensively to employ this tactic. I was very impressed with Spurs in their last game, even with Blackburn playing so negatively. They look to be back to their best and Harry and his team will feel hard done by in terms of the England job and this will provide added motivation.
Home
Away
Selection
Best Odds
Chelsea
Newcastle
Draw
4.6
Bolton
Tottenham
Tottenham
1.95