Monthly Archives: March 2013

Sticking to the plan


Sticking to the plan

So the end of the first week of my challenge and I’m sure you’re all desperate to find out how I got on. Well pretty well it turns out. The starting bank was £200, with £100 in Betfair, £50 in Betdaq and £50 in Pinnacle Sports. In one week I’ve turned this into £230.71. That’s an increase of 15.3%. It took 32 bets and 10 tennis trades to do so and shows you what is realistically possible. Of course you could have just stuck your whole  £200 n a 1.15 shot and hoped for the best but this is aiming to show you what is realistically achievable using a measured approach. This shows you just how well you can do when sticking to a plan. Much like the Red Bull team at the weekend, you may get away with not sticking to a plan and over staking on a dead cert on one occasion but is it worth the risk and the stress that it causes. The one time that it does is unlikely to be compensated by the other times you got away with it. Incidentally I do believe that racing drivers hsould be allowe dto just race but the most favourable overall outcome for the team was to stay in position. Whether or not this is deemd as fixing a result is another matter.

Starting Bank: £200
Bank now:      £230.71

Here are the screen shots I promised:

The ROI of my bets was 10.53%, you can see the sheet with all my bets and trade results here The ROI is something like what I expected having sourced out some really good tipsters and making sure I got the best prices from Betfair and pinnacle. Note that Betdaq only saw my money twice and the markets are still a bit too quiet to get involved in especially for the trading side of things but it is looking better than it was.
Trading went superbly well, again as I expected as I’m a bit of a trading pro these days and had one small loss out of 10 markets that I traded on. Some of the time I even did this at work using only the scoreboard. You might think how can you trade when you can’t see what’s going on? Well the answer is pretty easily since you’re more likely to overreact when you’re watching and anyone who watched the Vinci v Suarez Navarro match would have been sure at various points that Suarez Navarro would win. She didn’t.
Trying to get the best odds when I find a tip form a good source was a bit more tiring than I thought. Checking the prices across 3 bookies, then updating in my spreadsheet all felt a lot like work and isn’t feel quite as easy as you’d expect. Luckily all 3 of the accounts I’m using have apps now and I was able to get my bets on the move.
I actually made a mistake with the trading in that I used 5% instead of the 10% I stated I would be using. This probably allowed for a fairer comparison with the bets which were only using 1% as it turned out but obviously had I used 10%, the overall profit would have been nearly double.
When it comes to the bets you may think that 32 bets to make a measly £6.75 is pathetic but when you look what this means when you scale the figures it actually looks pretty damn good. If we had but £200 on each bet instead of £2 then our return would have been £675. Not bad for a week’s work eh. With the trading had we used a liability of £1000 instead of £10, we would have made a sum of £2311 and just goes to show that this is where the money is if you have time to do it. A week is a relatively short period to analyse but I’m confident of continuing in the same vein.
The aim of this challenge however  is to get a £200 into a large one and considering this I think 1% for bets and 5% for trades was a tad conservative. If I had been using the kind of figures I just showed the possibilities for then I wouldn’t want to use a % bigger than this but I think in order to grow the bank we should take a little more risk and I will now be using 2% for bets and 10% for trades. I did think about recalculating the %’s after each bet to further enhance growth but I still think this may end up a bit too volatile for my own liking, not to mention difficult to keep track of.
I’ll finish off with a 5 things I learnt from the past week and which should enable to do even better: 

1) I need to be a bit more selective with odds on bets. Looking at my excel sheet these bets were the least likely to affect my P/L in a positive way and too many of these is not worth the effort, so better to be selective and improve the strike rate.  

2) Betting on horse is a now go. The only option is betfair who don’t offer best price and there’s no tmuch liquidity until right before the off. The horrendous losing streaks you can get and the fact that I know little about racing also puts me off and I’m not going to be following any racing tipsters from now on.

3) Betdaq is not viable for regular tennis trading yet. It’s still dominated by bots that are giving much worse prices around the betfair ones.

4) My entry and exit points whilst trading were excellent but I should always leave more money on the player I least expect to win. This is not just because match results are unpredictable but it also would have given me more chances for further trades without risking more money. Moving all the green to one player at short odds also doesn’t help long term form my experience!

5) I must remember to compare pices at all times. Only 2 winning bets that I paid commission with Betfair would have increased my ROI by 1% had I not paid any commsison and bet with Pinnacle Sports. A lot of the time Pinnacle also have better prices on football even discounting commsision and making more bets with them will increase my profits further.

My Betting Challenge

My Betting Challenge

I’ve had a bit of a break with the blogging as setting up and designing my new websites and have taken up a lot of my spare time. During this time I have still been betting and trading but it’s been a bit haphazard and much like the new look for this blog I aim to take a more professional and structured approach the introduction of this new challenge. I will detail this challenge at the end of this blog after telling you a bit about my journey with betting and trading so far.
I’ve said before that I find trading tennis quite easy to make money from but it is hard to find the time to do that much of it and to make it worth my time. I traded over 30 matches on the Australian Open back in January mainly to make sure I got a bonus from Betfair and I managed to profit in around 25 of those matches. The small stakes that I used and have always used for my trading are such that if I have spent all those hours doing overtime in my actual job I would have made much more money. Of course, the money is not the only reason I bet trade but it’s a big part of it and staying up till early hours to trade tennis isn’t enjoyable enough to justify the tiredness!
So I can see why the Sultan from CentreCourtTrading blog has been frustrated about not being able to upscale his trading and I believe that it can be easier to make more with access to greater funds but there are certainly no guarantees and using bigger stakes brings a new set of potential problems and limitations. Building up from a small bank can be done but it takes a lot of time and patience and is especially hard if you are withdrawing profits too.
I actually have access to much more money than I bet with but I have been somewhat unwilling to use more of my own money so far. I think this is because I worry that I might start to get it wrong or I might react badly to the first couple of higher stakes trades and act impulsively and mainly that I’d feel a bit guilty using large risking large amounts of money to gamble with that could be used for something else.
Another problem that I’ve had is that I have always continued to bet too and my betting has been pretty bad long term. Because my aim has been to start from a small amount and grow organically, I’ve often become inpatient by losses, taken bets that I didn’t really believe in and overestimated my ‘edge’ using ‘Kelly’. I love betting though and I believe I can find value but not in enough bets to make it worthwhile. If I chose a handful of bets a month I think I’d do ok. I even had a very good year with my premier league selections and some success finding draws too but wins at level stakes from these wasn’t enough for me and I had to find more.
There are people out there who can find value in bets daily and I have seen the results to back this up but unfortunately I am not capable of this. Betting provides me with the excitement that trading doesn’t and it’s also not labour intensive. There is only one decision to make when placing a bet but with trading there is a multitude of potential decisions and this can be very stressful.
Over the past 5 years, I have learned as much as I’ll ever need to know about betting/trading and should have been able to turn that small bank into a pretty large one. If I stuck to trading alone I’m sure I would have achieved this but the stubbornness in me has made me want to make a success of both betting and trading and I still want to do this. Too often I’ve tried to use a Kelly type staking system with the betting and this has ultimately been my downfall. I’ve often grown the bank up nicely only to lose a large chunk of it by the classic Kelly faux pas in overestimating a short priced favourite. I think it’s about time I put all I have learned into practice.
Incidentally I also have a bot that I coded using a friend’s rating system of football matches that is currently being tested using small stakes. This does use a Kelly type formula for staking (spread very thinly across markets) but the computer is much better than me at calculating and assessing value! Now that this is all built it requires no work whatsoever and we leave it to pull in the results and place dozens of bets each weekend. It’s made a very nice profit for the first 2 months and there is a chance this could be our holy grail. It’s all very exciting to be honest but obviously I’m not building my hopes up too much as I appreciate how difficult these things are to achieve. But even armed with this I still have that burning desire to make a profit manually too and hence the new challenge…!
So my new challenge is to see how far I can get with a starting bank of £200. This is not a lot of money and lower than the amounts I’ve used in the past but this is a trial and I’m going to be making a lot of bets and spreading my money very thinly. It is also an amount pretty much everyone could have access to. Staking will be level stakes at 1% and trading entry points wil be to win 10% if a lay bet or using 10% for back bets. I will only recalculate the percentages each time I manage to grow the bank by 25%.
I will be splitting the bank 3 ways. £100 in Betfair, £50 in Betdaq and £50 in Pinnacle Sports. I have more in Betfair as I will use it the most particularly for trading. Over the last few years Pinnacle have had better prices in many tennis and football matches and I want to take advantage of this. They also price up tennis qualifiers too and it’s a god alternative for quieter markets where there just isn’t enough liquidity on Betfair. Liquidity is also an issue at Betdaq but some of the tennis matches are liquid enough to trade on now and I would be silly not to do some on there when commission is only 3%. I also think that they will have plenty of offers on now that they have been taken over by Ladbrokes. I am an advocate of getting the best price when betting but managing this challenge over 15 bookmaker’s accounts would be a logistical nightmare. The key with the 3 that I have chosen is that betting with them is scalable. They also won’t limit me or ban me if I start making a profit and using these 3 I think I will be able to get the best odds 90% of the time.
I’ve mentioned that my own bet selections have been average at best and for that reason I shall mainly be using tipsters with proven records for bets, much in the same way that the portfolio investor has done. Hopefully I’ll be able to finally turn that small bank into a big one and if not at least shows such a profit that it’ll prove that it’s worth trying with more of my own funds. Screen shots will be provided and I will keep you updated at least once a week.

New Website!


New Website!

Last year I originally created a simple web page with all the betting related sites that I found really useful as I thought it would be good to have them all on one handy page and to keep people informed about any particularly good new ones. I thought it would be especially useful to people new to betting as we’ve all discovered a betting site that we wish we’d known about a year or two earlier! I have recently given the site a bit of an upgrade and made it look a tad more professional with the introduction of some other pages too.

The plan now is to provide lots of useful and interesting betting related content on this site whilst still keeping you all up-to-date with all the best betting related websites and apps. I will also be working on my own set of in-house tools which will include things like spread sheets and calculators and I will be showing you how to create a betting bot. This blog will hopefully have lots of interesting betting articles too. I may get some guest bloggers to post some articles from time to time but I have a lot of betting knowledge and experience myself and aim to share this.

I hope you all enjoy the site and it would be great if you could add to it by not only visiting but by commenting or posting in the forum. Please let me know if you have any ideas for improvement by emailing me at .