This year’s US Open didn’t seem great for trading swings especially on the women’s side. Do you think grand slams are less easy to trade than other tournaments?
I don’t think they’re more difficult to trade than other tournaments because the higher the profile tournament the more ‘mug money’ there will probably be but I do prefer swing trading 3 set matches over 5 set matches so the men’s 5 set format in Grand Slams doesn’t suit me as much. However, saying that, there are some prevalent strategies that can be applied to 5 set matches that come from 3 set matches. For example, if a player struggles for fitness in the latter stages of 3 set matches (current examples would be Klizan, Sock and Rosol) then they’re hardly going to thrive in the 4th and 5th sets of Grand Slam matches. Also there’s the 5 set winner strategy that I’ve written about in the men’s tournament that I apply in the markets too, so I suppose it’s all compensated.
The other problem with Slams is that in the early stages there’s so many matches in a short space of time that trader’s money is very stretched and liquidity often isn’t great. It’s pretty frustrating when you identify a nice edge on a match and then you can’t get trades matched.
What are your biggest wins and biggest losses?
I don’t want to talk about financial amounts, but Gilles Simon vs Roberto Bautista-Agut this year in Monte Carlo was my best result of the year. 13 breaks in 21 games with the underdog winning was pretty much as good as it gets. My only regret was that it didn’t go to a 3rd set!
How are your stats collected for your tennis ratings services – how can subscribers be sure they’re accurate?
I’m pretty open with my subscribers who ask me how I find the data – that’s a very common request. I will tell them how I calculate pretty much anything except my projected hold formula. But even then I will tell them what areas I look at for it so they can try and perform their own analysis/research should they wish.
A fair few of the stats I use in the services are in the public domain as well so if they weren’t accurate people would quickly realise, and I’d look an idiot! So that’s pretty good motivation to keep things accurate – not to mention the fact that I use the data for myself so I have to be pretty meticulous…
Do you do any trading on Betdaq or any other exchanges?
I don’t, but I would if liquidity was better. Betfair needs some healthy competition but the problem is it’s a catch-22 situation. They won’t get it until they lose customers to Betdaq, and the customers won’t move until the liquidity is better.
What is your take on trading without pictures?
I do it but I prefer streamed matches for obvious reasons. The problem is scoring services such as flashscores (which I find the best) is still about 5-10 seconds behind the live pictures, which are 3-5 seconds behind the live action! So you have a much smaller window of time to get trades matched before the next point starts. They’re probably much better for long term trades e.g. laying the player a break up or laying the player that’s won the first set as opposed to short term trades such as laying the server. Mid game trades such as backing players with a high projected hold when losing on serve are much more difficult without live streams.
Have you ever looked at automating your trading?
I haven’t, because I’m nowhere near good enough with computers or programming to even contemplate how to go about doing so.
If you could give 3 tips for currently losing traders what would they be?
1. Stake small – if you can’t win staking small, you won’t win staking big. And using small stakes will enable you to try out methods without much pressure.
2. Do a lot of research – when you are backing a player, someone else is laying that player. If you don’t do that research then the trader laying the player will almost certainly be more knowledgeable than you at that point, and will probably have a much better reason for laying that player than you have for backing them.
3. Don’t tilt and keep disciplined – if you’re not trading well, or don’t have an edge in the upcoming matches, just switch your PC off. Only trade on events that your research shows you have an edge in – it can be pretty boring and frustrating waiting for opportunities but it’s key to do so. Don’t trade on sports you have no real knowledge or edge on through boredom or frustration or chasing losses. If I had to make a 4th point here, it would be that – sticking to 1-3 sports maximum is pretty vital. I don’t think you can profitably trade 5+ sports long-term doing your own research. I would imagine anyone doing this probably gets information from others, or doesn’t sleep!
How do you think the tennis trading experience could be improved in future?
Giving Betfair more competition, although I don’t necessarily think this will happen. Pinnacle are apparently looking to improve their in-play offerings, which I’m definitely looking forward to.
What would you do if trading was no more and banned like it has been in other countries?
That’s a tough question to answer. Personally I don’t think that will happen – the UK is a pretty liberal country and from what I understand the Government generates income from the gambling companies. We see with things like smoking that the Government aren’t keen to outlaw something that is perceived as bad but generates them significant income so it’s not something I’m overly concerned about.
Are there any people you follow on Twitter for info, tips or tennis related banter that you can recommend?
There are plenty and I’m reluctant to answer this question because I’m going to miss so many out who are great! I’ll just give a few that I can think of from the top of my head. @hotdog6969 is pretty much a tennis encyclopedia, a super knowledgeable guy. @seancalvert1 shows a good profit from his tips and I enjoy reading his previews. @puntdotcom is probably the trader that most people aspire to be and @sportdw has a very diverse knowledge of all sports including a focus on the lower tennis tours, and also has a good website with some very interesting articles on.
Many thanks to Dan. There is a lot of useful information here for aspiring tennis traders. I think it’s great that we finally have someone who provides guides and strategies that are backed up by statistical data as opposed of the pre-historic back all favourites a set down or in a certain odds range type rubbish that have been floating around the internet for years.
Follow Dan on twitter @tennisratings and subscribe to his services via his website www.tennisratings.co.uk. Quote ‘Betting Tools’ and you will be eligible for the special offer.