After spending time sitting on the beach or beside a pool, drinking a variety of beverages, it's going to be interesting to see if the time away from my sports trading desk, to recharge the batteries will have a positive impact on my trading.
While I was away, I read (or listened via Audible) a few books. "The World According to Harry" by Harry Redknapp himself and I then read once again "Trading in the Zone" by Mark Douglas. I would recommend reading both books. "Trading in the Zone" reminded me of how important the mindset is with my trading. I read somewhere that trading is 20% strategy and 80% mindset. The mindset includes areas such as my emotions, am I tired, stressed, feeling confident or chasing losses? Am I thinking about risk and money management and not letting the losses get to me? This, for me, is an area I want to improve on, more so than the strategies and methods I use.
I thought about my style of trading and what makes me feel comfortable. I concluded (while sipping on a Mojito by the pool) for me, it's about producing a positive Risk to Reward ratio. I know I sound like a broken record with this point, but I have to keep recognising that I need to trade with a positive R: R.
The small, but frequent 10-15% profits, only to lose one or two 80-100% of my stake frustrates me. I don't think these little, but regular wins are my style of trading. But hey! Let's find out.
Just a couple of trades today. Both of them were Europa League qualifiers.
Rangers v Legia
Rangers were obvious favourites at home with pre-match odds of 1.57. Legia was around 6.50 with the market makers. It's a game I shortlisted earlier in the day as a possible trade to enter if the match was level at halftime. I felt Rangers, managed by Steven Gerrard, playing at home, would push on in the second half to qualify for the group stages.
As it happened, the score was still 0-0 at halftime, and so as intended, I entered the market. I layed the "Under 1.5 goals" looking for either side to score a goal in the second half. As I've done before, I set myself a mental note to exit for a -50% loss of my stake if there were no goals.
Well, it wasn't meant to be as the game was still 0-0 after 75 mins and so I stuck to my trading plan and took a loss.
Rangers did finally score and won the game 1-0 in the last minute.
Guimaraes v FCSB
Portuguese side Guimaraes were home favourites, hosting FCSB, formerly known as Steaua Bucharest. Like with the Rangers game, this was a match I shortlisted to monitor and enter at half time if the game was still level.
The score was 0-0 at half time with plenty of opportunities, but neither side was taking their chances. I entered the market, Laying "Under 1.5 goals".
The goal came in the 52nd minute. Wonderful! Now I waited to see if there was a second goal. I set myself a mental note to get out before the price decreased to my original entry price if there are no further goals.
Unfortunately for me, there were no further goals, and due to the Betfair exchange price decay, the odds were descending back down towards my entry. I stuck to my plan and exited for a scratch trade. No win, but no loss either. I called these my "Break-Even" trades in my Forex trading days.
I've only been back a day, so just a couple of trades this week. One loss and one "break-even" trade. That's OK though, let's see how the weekend works out. Stay positive Craig!
Balance was £286.59
Total week’s P&L -£9.41
Current Bank £277.18 (ROI +6.6%)
I must admit I enjoy trading on a Friday. I think it's because I break down my sessions into mid-week trading and then weekend trading. Friday, I guess, brings hope and excitement to a weekend of sport and trading.
My weekend of trading sport online will be shorter than usual as I'm heading off to enjoy some sunshine, sit on a beach and drink some cold cocktails with the family. I might even find a bar to watch the football, but I won't be trading.
Jeonbuj v Ulsan Hyundai
Although the score was 0-0 in this K-League encounter, both sides were looking for a goal. Jeonbuk were favourites and had three shots on target. Ulsan Hyundai (Hmm, do the players get a free Hyundai?) had two shots on target, so a combined total of 5 shots on goal but still neither team could find the net.
At Halftime, I decided to Lay the "Under 1.5 goals" market, anticipating a goal in the second half, and as it turned out, the home team scored in the 50th minute. I waited for the Betfair odds to calm down and settle before I thought about cashing out, but I then decided to stay in with this trade but have a price I would exit for a small profit. If there were a second goal, and the way the game was being played, I believed there could be, it would be a full return on my stake.
Two minutes later, in the 52nd minute, the home team scored again and went 2-0 up. I was correct in my judgement to not be so keen to cash out and instead stay in the market with a manual (and mental) stop-loss price to get out if there wasn't further goals. A nice winning trade.
It was an excellent start to the weekend. I wish I entered with a more significant stake now, but I wasn't too sure on the history and stats of these teams in the K-League. If it was a more familiar league, I might well have increased my stakes.
Randers v FC Copenhagen
I shortlisted this match as a possible trade because Copenhagen sits at the top of the Danish league against Randers. I wasn't going to get involved from the start but looked for an angle to trade the second half.
In the first half Copenhagen had all of the possession and four shots on target. Randers, the home side didn't have a single shot on target. Surprisingly the score remained 0-0. Reviewing my trading plan, like with the previous K-League game today, I made the decision to enter the trade and Lay "Under 1.5 goals". I was expecting a goal from either side which would lock in a break even trade or maybe a small profit. If there was no goal within the first 20-25 mins, I was planning on exiting the trade with a small loss.
The second half started brightly. Within the first 10 minutes there was a goal mouth scramble, 3 shots on target in 20 seconds, but neither side could hit the back of the net. After 20 odd minutes there was still no goals. Sticking to the rules in my trading plan, I was disciplined enough to exit this trade with a small loss. It's tough having to exit when you see the red negative numbers on the Betfair screen, but I know there's plenty of times when the returns will be profitable. I felt I still made a good decision to enter this trade based on the stats and the way the game was being played. It just wasn't meant to be.
As it turned out Copenhagen scored the winner in the 90th minute but I was out of this trade a long time ago.
Huddersfield v Fulham
Okay this trade was risky. I placed this trade using the Betfair app on my mobile phone to show a friend how I was trading football matches. The game was live on TV in front of us, and he was asking "how do you trade the match?"
I don't like to trade by using my mobile phone. I know some people might be OK with this, but I prefer to be sat in front of my monitors to trade. Also, doing this on a Friday night, socialising with a friend, not 100% concentrating on the game wasn't the best thing to do.
I still ensured I profiled the game before I entered a trade at half time. I looked at the stats and had watched the first half and believed there were goals in the game. Huddersfield is low in confidence while Fulham, under Scott Parker, is expected to do well this season and I couldn't see the game ending goalless. So, like with the earlier trades today I layed the "under 1.5 goals" market getting odds of 1.65.
So, I'm there glued to the TV with my friend sat next to me. I explained to him all I need is a goal to at least lock in a small profit. If there are two goals, then the profits will be more significant. He was intrigued by watching the Betfair app lighting up the latest prices in front of us.
Six minutes into the second have Fulham scored to make it 0-1. Like with today’s K-League game, I chose to stay in for a little longer and see if there was likely to be a second goal for maximum profit. I was still staying disciplined and set myself a mental stop loss to exit if the were no further goals and the odds declined.
As it happened, the price never got close to where I was planning to exit for a small loss. Huddersfield equalised in the 57th minute. The goal was only just scored with the ball creeping over the goal line. The referee was alerted to this by the watch they all wear now. Goal-line technology came to Huddersfield's rescue, but more importantly for me, it was the second goal of the match, and I cashed out with maximum profits.
Very happy with this result. Fulham went on to win the game 1-2. Plenty of boos from the Huddersfield fans at the end of the game.
Overall a decent start to the weekend. Three trades. Two wins and one loss. Let's see what Saturday brings.
Aston Villa v Bournemouth
English Premier League
After dashing around doing some errands before I go away tomorrow, I arrived home and scanned the list of halftime scores. I noticed Aston Villa were losing 0-2 at home to Bournemouth. After examining the stats, it was apparent Aston Villa were seemingly unfortunate to be losing the match. They had 60% possession and the same number of shots on target as Bournemouth.
I chose to Lay the "Under 3.5 goals" and get out of the trade midway through the half if there was no goal. This approach of trading has become more apparent these past couple of days and helps keep my loss amount lower than my profits and maintain a positive Risk: Reward ratio.
As the second half progressed, Aston Villa produced the majority of possession, but in the end, there was no goal, and so kept my discipline and at the 67th-minute exit for a loss with the score still 0-2.
Something I'm aware of is when using stop losses and exiting the trade before the end of the game; a goal is still possible. This is what happened as Aston Villa scored a goal in the 71st minute, just four minutes after I was out of this trade. Oh well. You win some, and you lose some.
Mechelen v Cercle Brugge
Belgium Jupiler League
Mechelen was the home favourites. At halftime they found themselves 0-1 down although having 65% of the possession. Now granted they didn't have a shot on goal, so I reviewed their home form to see if it was a game I should enter. At home, they've won 4 of their last five games. Cercle Brugge, on the other hand, had drawn one and lost four away from home. I expected Mechelen, as the home favourites to get back into the game in the second half. I layed "Under 2.5 goals" and set myself a stop-loss should there be no goals.
It took 15 mins until I felt relaxed as a goal came in the 60th minute. Mechelen, as I expected, brought the game level. I stayed in the market, with a price in mind (and written down as a reminder) to get out if I didn't believe another goal was coming.
Mechelen scored their second of the game 6 minutes later and took the lead 2-1. This was an excellent trade. Mechelen went on to win the game 3-1, so I was happy with the way I called this game.
Belenenses v Benfica
Portuguese Primeira Liga
I wasn't expecting to get involved in this trade at the start. Benfica were heavy odds on favourites with odds around 1.14, and so offered no value. I thought they'd be winning this easily at halftime and I wouldn't have an angle to get involved.
Surprisingly the score was 0-0 at halftime. I thought "I need to get involved". I scanned the stats from the first half and noticed Benfica only had 48% possession, but they had created eleven goal attempts. I was confident Benfica would get a goal in the second half, but rather than backing Benfica there could well be an upset here, so I traded the goals market if for any reason Belenenses scored. I was sure there would be goals, though.
I layed "under 1.5 goals" and then managed the trade depending on if there was a goal or not.
As expected, Benfica scored in the 59th minute. This was excellent news. I made a note of a price I would exit with at least a scratch trade if there were no more goals. That way, I can let the trade run and the profits increase. I stayed in the trade to see if Benfica or Belenenses would get a goal.
As the game progressed, Benfica was dominating the game, but it was getting close towards the end of the game, and the price was dropping down towards the odds I said I would get out for a scratch (break-even) trade. A few moments later, I adhered to my plan and clicked the Betfair cash out button for a scratch trade. No win, but no loss. It worked out I made a small loss by the time Betfairs cash out button had submitted the order, but it was pennies, so nothing to lose sleep over.
As it happened, Benfica did score a second, but it was not until the 92nd minute in injury time. I was well out of the market at this stage with a scratch trade, or as I said, a tiny loss. I was happy with this though because I was disciplined to exit at the stop-loss which will protect my bank in the long term.
That's all the trading I'm doing for the weekend. No more until I get back from my holidays. Overall, I'm satisfied with how the weekend went. I sense I'm starting to manage my trades better, cutting my losses and finding ways to let my trades run and increase my profits.
I'm still considering hiding my balance on screen in Betfair and review the P&L less often. I mentioned in a previous post that sometimes reviewing the P&L on a daily or weekly basis can have a negative effect on the mindset. For now though, let's see where I'm at.
At the start of the weekends trading it was at £262.34. Slightly above the starting balance.
Current balance is now £286.59 which is an ROI of +10.2% on the starting bank since I started this blog at the beginning of August.
I'm happy with a 10% return after a couple of weeks. It's early days though and I'm sure there's more highs and lows around the corner.
Now I need to go and pack some clothes for my trip!
Reviewing my trading journal
I was awake early on Monday morning, so before heading to work, I spent some time looking back at my previous trades. I believe it's worth the time to assess your last trades and recognise what you can learn from them. It can be a chore to keep a record, but if I want to be successful at this, I will stick to it.
While I was looking at my notes, I started to consider rather than trading a particular team to win or take the lead; I should use some of the trading methods I possess to trade the goal scoring market. This approach means I'm not relying on a team, be it either the favourite or underdog, to produce a result for me. It's something I've included in my "trading toolbox" this week.
Goteborg v Falkenbergs
After profiling this game, Goteborg were odds-on favourites at home against Falkensbergs, and they were expected to win this outright. Something in my mind said to wait before getting involved, so I chose to remain out of the market until halftime.
At halftime, the away side, Falkenbergs were leading 0-1. The exciting thing for me was Falkenbergs produced many chances compared to Goteborg. Eleven attempts at goals compared to Goteborgs single attempt. It revealed they were certainly going for it, and perhaps they could score another goal. On the flip side, Goteborg being at home, with their supporters watching on, would undoubtedly come out looking to score in the second half.
I decided to back the "over 2.5 goals" market, expecting either side to score. Instead of using 100% of my stake from the start, I chose to drip-feed my orders into the market as the second half progressed. The first order was matched at 1.92.
Goteborg drew level after 68 minutes. The score was 1-1. Not all of my orders were matched, meaning my profit was less than if I had entered 100% of my stake at the start. Slightly frustrated as I felt I left some money on the table, but it was a winning trade, and I have to be happy with this.
There were no more goals in the match, and the game ended 1-1.
Rostock v Stuttgart
German Cup, 1st Round
Being this was a Cup match I'm hesitant to get involved with more significant stakes, but if I notice a game with one team stronger than the opposition, I look for an angle to enter the market.
Although Stuttgart was the away team, the market had them as pre-match favourites and expected to win this outright. As there's not much historical information to study between the teams, I decided to wait until halftime.
At halftime, the favourites Stuttgart were winning 0-1 away from home. Viewing the stats, it appeared it was a game lacking shots on target. Scanning my trading plan, based on the stats in the first half, I chose to Back the "Under 2.5 goals" market and exit the trade midway through the second half. My reasoning here is the game might re-start at a slow pace because Stuttgart is leading and they will unlikely be charging forward for another goal and instead protect their lead. I planned to reduce my liability if and when I could do so in case an early goal was scored, causing a negative return. I backed the under market at 2.08.
As the match progressed, I was confident there wouldn't be an early goal. There weren't many clear cut chances from either team, so I pressed on staying in the trade until around the 65th minute before cashing out for a profit with the score still at 0-1.
As it turned out, the game finished 0-1 to Stuttgart who progresses onto the next round of the German Cup.
Two winning trades to start the week. Much better!
Salford City v Leeds
It was such a silly trade looking back on it. I had my reasons for entering, though, but in hindsight, it wasn't the right call.
Leeds were the favourite's away to newly promoted, Salford City in this cup game. In the first half, Leeds had plenty of chances but only had a slender 0-1 lead. At halftime, I thought Leeds might come out in the second half, happy to maintain the scoreline and keep hold of their lead. I didn't see them necessarily push on, so I decided to back the "Under 2.5 goals" market and then lay lower and cash out after a few minutes if there are no goals. I got into the market with odds of 2.20.
Leeds started the second half quickly and scored their second goal of the night in the 50th minute. I didn't expect that. I followed my "What If" scenario in my trading plan and reluctantly cashed out for a loss.
Looking at this trade again, I should have considered Leeds might want to put this game to bed as soon as possible. They were playing a lower league side as well, so it was likely they could score early, and that's what they did. The final score was 0-3 to Leeds. I profiled this game incorrectly, but I'll get over it.
Brentford v Cambridge United
I was somewhat confident about this one. At halftime, Cambridge was surprisingly ahead 0-1 away to Championship side Brentford. Studying the stats, Brentford had over 70% of possession in the first half. With Brentford dominating the first half, I decided to get involved and back the "over 2.5 goals" market. Brentford, at home, in a cup match I was sure they would come out looking to at least draw level.
As it transpired, they did just that and scored in the 69th minute. The goal arrived later than I thought, but it was OK as I still cashed out for a profit. A small win though. I was entering the market in increments, placing my orders into the market throughout the second half, but only one order matched before the goal arrived. A little frustrated that the profits were so low.
Surprisingly Cambridge went on to win this tie, beating Brentford on penalties.
Swansea v Northampton
Like with the Brentford game, I felt positive entering this market at half time with the scoreline at 0-0. Swansea was the Championship side, at home in front of their fans in a cup match. Surely they would come out and grab a win here in this game? I decided to back the "over 1.5 goals" market and then cash out when (or "if") either team scored.
As it turned out, I won this trade in the second half, not because Swansea scored first but the underdogs, Northampton took the lead. A surprise to me, but it wasn't a concern because I was trading the "over x.5 goal" market, so I cashed out for a small profit. Again only one of my orders were matched in the market, so I made a tiny profit. I'm now considering I raise my stakes for these x.5 goal market trades. The wins so far have been minimal.
In the end, Swansea went on to win this game 3-1, and they progress through to the next round.
I wanted to get involved in the Shanghai SIPG v Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League, but I was too late entering. The score was 1-1 at Halftime, and I was considering trading the over 3.5 goals.
The goal came in the 48th minute, but I was hesitant and waiting for the odds to increase a little to get more value. Maybe this was too greedy? Consequently, I missed out on this trade. Sometimes missing a trade hurts just like a loss does, at least it does for me. I hate leaving money on the table! (If only I had entered sooner is all I kept saying to myself.)
No further trades for me this week. I was thinking of trading the Europa Cup qualifiers, but I'm busy with the family and can't commit to trading in front of the laptop. (Ooh maybe I'm learning from my earlier mistakes?)
Looking back on the week I've had a decent winning strike rate, but with the over/under market, I seem to be making tiny, somewhat worthless profits from staggering my entries into the market and then an early goal comes in before I am fully matched. I'll stick with it, but I might need to tweak how I enter these kinds of trades.
Feel free to leave your comments on any suggestions you might have below.
I'll now wait until Friday to start my weekend trades.
The bank was £256.92 at the start of the week. Slightly down on my starting balance.
Total P&L for the week +£5.42
A winning strike rate of 80%. I won 4 from five trades.
The bank is now at £262.34 which to date is an ROI 0.9%
Oh wow that’s nothing to shout home about is it? BUT I’m pleased I have made up for my weekend's losses and back, very slightly, in the green. I feel like I should be returning bigger profits though!
Well, it's not a great start. After Thursday's losing trade on Legia Warsaw, Friday wasn't much better.
The good news is the Premier League is back! Oh, how I've missed you! I've been looking forward to the Premier League season starting again. The first match of the new season was live on Sky, between European Champions Liverpool, and the Championship winners, Norwich. Liverpool were clear favourites with the public before the game, priced at 1.15. No value for me and the market was not wrong as they took a 4-0 lead after only 30 minutes. I sat there watching the game, fearing the worse for Norwich and their fans as I thought the way the game has started, it could end up finishing with a crazy scoreline like 7-0 on their return back to the Premier League. As it turned out, Norwich played a lot better in the second half and pulled a goal back. Norwich held on to win the second half at Anfield and restored some pride, but the score ended 4-1. I couldn't decide how best to enter the market, so instead, I began trading in other European competitions.
Anderlecht v Mechelen
Over in Belgium Anderlecht were playing at home against Mechelen and were slight odds-on favourites at 1.95. I was considering getting involved and backing them from the start, but the recent home form put me off, so I sat back and observed the first half to see how to get involved at halftime.
Just before halftime, Mechelen received a red card and went down to ten men. As a result, Anderlecht's odds dropped to 1.40. The score was 0-0, but Anderlecht was on top, having 69% of the first-half possession. With an extra man advantage in the second half, I backed Anderlecht with 50% of my stake to start with at 1.40.
As the second half progressed, I was feeling anxious. The score remained 0-0. Anderlecht couldn't seem to benefit from having the extra man advantage. Surely this wouldn't finish 0-0, like with Thursday night's Legia Warsaw trade, can it? Well, my fears were proved to be correct, and the match concluded with the game ending 0-0. Anderlecht missed the chance to win this one, and I missed the opportunity to win the trade. A frustrating trade to lose and to rub salt into my wounds, it was my second loss in a row with a match finishing 0-0.
Portimonense v Belenenses
A game I profiled earlier in the day was this game in Portugal. Portimonense were at home, with the pre-match market pricing them at 1.61. Due to the lack of pre-match form, I held off entering the market until halftime.
At halftime the score was still, yes you guessed it, 0-0. Portimonense had 59% of the possession, with nine attempts at goal. They appeared to be on top in the game. The stats being in Portimonense favour was the trigger for me to enter the market and back them.
I was watching this game in Portugal using Betfair's live stream on my laptop, with the Liverpool game on TV, in Ultra HD. (I love my Sky Q box!). As the Portimonense game advanced into the second half, the score was still level. I'll be honest; my confidence was fading as I felt this could be my third losing trade and more to the point my third game in a row that finished with a scoreline of 0-0.
Fast forward to the 90th minute. My chin was resting in my hands; I'm staring at the blurry Betfair live stream. Not saying anything to my family, or moving my head in any direction, I just stared ahead. How could it still be 0-0?
The whistle blew to confirm my despair. Another losing trade. Another 0-0 draw. A third losing trade in succession. The last three trades I thought were opportunities to get involved, but it wasn't working out for me. Before starting this blog, I mentioned in my opening post, the maximum number of trades I've previously lost in a row was three. Well, here I am again.
As I opened up Evernote and wrote my trading notes, I started to doubt myself. Where was I going wrong? Was I impatient? Was I incorrectly profiling the games? The stats were looking positive; the market had priced the home teams as favourites. In the Anderlecht game, they even had a man advantage but still couldn't overcome the opposition and score. Maybe the lack of early-season pre-match form was the problem? But then this was the reason for me to enter the market at halftime and not from the first minute.
I've mentioned before that I'm a member of the "Ultimate Football Trading" course created by Ben Michaels. After the evening's trading, I decided to head over to the site, log in and watch one Ben's on-demand case study recording to review how Ben traded a regular Saturday afternoons football at halftime, in the French league. I needed to remind myself how he approached the games at halftime and see if I could pick something up to help me overcome this slump. Afterwards, I felt slightly better. I believe I've been approaching my trades as Ben shared in the video - although not precisely as he does. After all, I use a mixture of what Ben's course provides along with other sources of information I have gathered over the months to create my methods and style of trading sport. It was getting late. There was nothing else I could do about the recent results, so I closed my laptop down, thought about my mindset and staying positive and watched "The Class of '92: Full Time". OK, I admit I binged three episodes before I went to bed. I'm fascinated with how football clubs are managed behind the scenes, and it'll be interesting to see how Salford City handle this season. (No spoilers here, in case you haven't watched the series!)
My profits since I started last week have nearly been wiped out, but I have my starting bank still intact, so I have to look at the positives. It's all about learning and trying to stick with this for the long term and see where it takes me. Onto Saturday!
An early start to the day as the kids were up and wanting me to make them breakfast. It gave me an excuse to finish off the "Class of '92" series as well. Today was a new day for trading sport and time to forget about Friday's trades.
Tokyo v Vegalta Sendai
Tokyo sits at the top of the J-League in Japan and hosts Sendai. Looking at their previous form they've won 4 of their last five games at home. The market has then as odd-on favourites. It ticks a lot of boxes for me, so I enter at the start, backing Tokyo for 1.89.
Watching the game via a live stream, Sendai the underdogs, started the game well. After 30 minutes, the score was still level at 0-0, and the possession was about even. I was thinking about my state of mind if this finished 0-0 like the last three games. As it turned out it was 0-0 at half time. I thought it was best to go have a quick walk because all I keep seeing on screen "0-0". I am starting to hate that scoreline with a passion. In a way, I was laughing at myself as well. You have to see the humour in this. Have I picked four back to back 0-0 correct scores? Imagine that in an accumulator?
60th minute and Tokyo are awarded a penalty. I was glued to the live stream; fingers crossed that the penalty would be converted. The Tokyo player then did a hop, skip and jump as he runs up to the ball and chips it into the hands of the goalkeeper. What a terrible penalty! I couldn't believe it. The score was staying 0-0. But then my sadness became hopeful once again. The referee deemed the goalkeeper had left the goal line before making the save. The penalty was retaken. This time the Tokyo penalty taker, with his stupid run-up, puts it away. Yes! 1-0. I felt lucky as it was a harsh decision on the goalkeeper, but I'm glad the referee spotted it — a winning trade.
Leeds v Nottingham Forest
Leeds are favourites for the Championship title. I also read they have a decent form at home, so I decided to go into the market and back them from the start but with a reduced stake. The market had them as clear favourites. I got a price of 1.60.
At half time the score was 0-0. (Don't laugh now!). Looking at the stats, Leeds were all over them. I felt confident Leeds would still take the lead with this trade.
The goal finally came in the 60th minute, which Leeds deserved. I did partial cash out with the lay odds of 1.15 as Leeds were so dominant. Towards the end, Nottingham Forest pulled it back to 1-1, so I didn't win as much as I wanted, but it was still a small win for me. Two wins today! Much better.
I should have left the trading well alone today. I failed miserably with my composure and my mindset. Another reason I should have left the trading is that I was occupied with family commitments and couldn't concentrate 100%. Remember I mentioned this as an error of mine at the start of this journey?
So what happened?
CSKA Moscow v Sochi
Russian Premier League
I felt confident about this one. CSKA Moscow was at home against Sochi who was bottom of the table. Before the game, I took a look at their home record. They have won 4 of the last five at home. This form versus a team struggling in the league led me to enter the trade at the start. I backed CSKA Moscow with the majority of my stake.
Ten minutes to go it was still 0-0, CSKA Moscow were putting on the pressure, but they couldn't break down Sochi's stubborn defence, and that's how it ended. What a load of (curse!). Not much more to say other than this loss hurt. A losing trade hurts more when I knew I shouldn't have been trading. Of course, it wouldn't have made a difference to the result, but it just felt terrible.
Later in the evening, I was available to sit down and trade, so I looked at the market. I put some trades on games in the Italian Cup that were underway. Due to them being cup games, I used small stakes. In a way, I have to admit I was probably hoping to regain some of the CSKA Moscow trade loss, but it was more to the fact I wanted to end the weekend with some wins, albeit not significant gains. Mindset is something I'm usually OK with, but today I hold my hand up and say that wasn't the case.
Empoli v Reggina
Straight to the point. Empoli were odds on favourites but was drawing mid-way through the second half. I couldn't see it ending a draw so I layed the draw. Empoli scored moments later and won 2-1. A winning trade.
Aurola v Petrolero
This game had a lot of action, shots on goal, and both teams seemed to be going for it. The score was 1-0, and I felt there were more goals in it. I backed "Over 2.5 goals", but with the idea to exit after the next goal. I'm trading after all, not betting. Aurola made it 2-0, so I cashed out for a small win. The final score was 2-1 so it ended up over 2.5 goals anyway.
Livorno v Carpi
Just like the Empoli game Livorno were odds on before the match but were still level 0-0. So again I layed the draw expecting Livorno to win the game in the second half. As it turned out, Carpi scored the goal and went onto win the match. Still, I didn't care who won; I just needed a goal — another small victory.
Not a great weekend overall. I've decided I am going to read some chapters from "Trading in the Zone" By Mark Douglas this week. I've read it before, but I feel I need to help myself get back in the zone. The good news is that I have recognised this situation. It's something I've made myself aware of this weekend.
From the P&L point of view, I'm now below my starting bank. I'm considering the idea of not viewing my P&L every few days. I read somewhere that this can also cause you to over trade and play on the mind. Maybe I'll click the option to "hide balance" in my Betfair account and only review the P&L monthly. Something I'll think about.
The bank was £279.03 at the start of the weekend.
Total P&L for the weekend -£22.11
ROI on the starting bank of £260 is -1.2%.
It hurts I was up 7% before the weekend and now I’m 1.2% down, but I’m still here and I have the bank to keep going. Lets see where this week takes me.
Tuesday night 06-August-19
A lack of midweek league football meant I entered trades in either the domestic cups or European competitions. Like with the opening weekend, I decided to stick with the reduced stakes until there are more games to study and become more confident in my selections.
Portsmouth v Birmingham
This trade was one I'll look back on and criticise myself. It's one to take note of (here in this blog) and learn.
Portsmouth was at home with pre-match odds of 1.75. The markets had Birmingham, who were playing away from home at 5.25.
Birmingham, a Championship side, I felt would be a side high in confidence after there win at the weekend away at Brentford. Portsmouth, playing in a lower league, lost at the weekend. I thought their pre-match odds of 1.75 were too short.
As it was a game in a domestic cup with little prestige, I decided to wait until the match was underway before I entered the market. As it turned out, Portsmouth took a 2-0 lead, and their odds were lower at 1.06/1.07. I felt I could sneak a few ticks profit from the market if Birmingham got a goal back making the scoreline 2-1, not necessarily draw or win the game. I, therefore, opposed Portsmouth and layed them at 1.07 with minimal liability. Well, the trade went against me, as Portsmouth extended their lead to 3-0 early in the second half. After the third goal went in, I cashed out for a loss.
In hindsight, Portsmouth is expected to do well this season. The market makers set this price for a good reason. The stats were not too convincing for Birmingham either. They had slightly more possession, but that was about it. Everything else was in Portsmouth favour. I suppose the only positive to take away from this losing trade is that I entered the market with a small amount of liability but "if" it had worked out, I could have made a decent profit.
I traded a couple of games on Wednesday. Once again, both were cup games.
S. Bratislava v Dundalk
Europa League - Qualifier
S. Bratislava was at 1.42. Dundalk, a team, flying the Irish flag in the Europa League, was priced at 8.00. I wanted to back the home team, Bratislava. I looked at their stats and observed they had won 4 of their last five games at home. With the odds in their favour and satisfactory home form, I backed the home team from the start.
At half time the score was still 0-0. I was tempted to add more money into the market and back Bratislava with a significant stake, but the stats were not impressing me. I decided to leave it alone and stick with my current stake.
As the second half advanced, Bratislava was increasing the pressure. After 70 mins with the score still level at 0-0, they had 56% possession, had ten shots at goal with 2 of them on target. The game seemed to be getting away from Dundalk, so I decided to add a little more into the market and backed Bratislava again.
The goal for Bratislava finally came in the 86th minute to put them 1-0 up. Phew! Better late than never. I cashed out for a profit.
Galatasaray v Akhisarsport
Turkish Super Cup
The odds were heavily in Galatasaray's favour with a price of 1.29. Akhisarsport was at 13.00. The Turkish football season hasn't yet started, but after looking at Galatasaray's from last season, I was confident enough to go in with my usual outlay from the beginning. I backed them at 1.29.
After 30 mins of the game had passed in the first half, the score was still 0-0. Galatasaray's odds were increasing, but I always felt they would take the lead, so I added a little more into the market and backed them again. The goal for Galatasaray came nine minutes later in the 39th minute. As a result, I cashed out for a profit.
A successful Wednesday evening trading sport, which helped overcome the small loss on Tuesday.
A couple of games traded this evening in the Europa Cup.
Feyenoord v Dinamo Tbilisi
Europa League Qualifier
Feyenoord at home was always something I wanted to get involved in against a team of lesser quality. Feyenoord were odds on at 1.38 with Tbilisi at 9.40.
I backed Feyenoord from the start using 50% of my stake. I was planning to enter the market again if the score was level at half-time.
It never got to that as the goal came in the 43rd minute and I cashed out for a profit.
The final result was a comfortable 4-0 win.
Legia Warsaw v Atromitos
Europa League Qualifier
This was a match I entered at half time. The score was 0-0, but odds on favourites, Legia Warsaw, was all over Atromitos in the first 45 mins. I backed Legia Warsaw with 50% of my reduced stake at 1.75, keeping the stakes low because it's a cup game and if I'm honest, I don't have a lot of knowledge on either team.
Legia Warsaw playing at home, with decent stats in their favour, I decided to get involved.
In the end, it wasn't to be. I was hesitant in adding another 50% of my stake so I never increased the amount on Legia. The 2nd half stats for Legia Warsaw were 76%, 13 shots and 7 of those on target but they couldn't score, and the game ended 0-0. I used a strategy that in this scenario, with these kinds of stats suggested I should stay in the trade until the end. Therefore I lost 100% of my reduced stake.
This concludes my midweek trading.
The Bank at the start of this mid-week trading : £274.59
Total P/L for the week +£4.44 profit
Total P/L on the starting bank of £260 +£19.03 (+7.3% to date)
A little frustrated, irritated, upset and all of those feelings because the last trade of the week wiped a sizable sum from the profit. At least it was a positive return albeit peanuts! Once the season is underway, and I can read some form, I’ll be increasing the stake size.
Friday 2nd August 2019
The opening weekend of the English football leagues started in style. On Friday evening I sat down and watched newly promoted, Luton host Jonathan Woodgates Middlesbrough. What a game it was, ending 3-3. I didn't trade it as the match didn't meet my criteria, but a thoroughly enjoyable game to watch.
This weekend was the first set of trades on record since creating this blog.
Auxerre v Le Mans
French Ligue 2
My first trade was on Friday evening. A match from the French Ligue 2 between Auxerre and Le Mans. Auxerre were odds on at 1.66. Le Mans, playing away was at odds of 5.50.
Because it's early in the season, there wasn't much in the way of form to look at, so I decided to wait until half-time to get an idea of how the game played out.
The match was level at half-time. Auxerre had 59% possession with 8 shots vs Le Mans 4 chances. The fact it was still level was a little surprising. I was slightly confident Auxerre would get a goal in the second half, and the match criteria met the rules I have in my trading plan; therefore, I backed them to win in the 2nd half.
A goal for Auxerre arrived in the 75th minute, putting them 1-0 up. As the markets settled, I cashed out for a profit, securing a good start to the weekend of trading sport. The game ended 2-0
One thing I will say is at half-time I was considering how much my stake should be. In my opening post, I worked out I would use £25 stakes, but for this Auxerre trade, I decided to use a smaller stake because the season is just underway, and there's a lack of current form.
Saturday 3rd August 2019
Brentford v Birmingham
Like with my trade between Auxerre and Le Mans, I reduced the size of my stake as it's the first game of the season. Brentford were priced slightly odds on at 1.95. Birmingham was at odds of 4.33.
At half time Birmingham was winning 0-1. After looking at the stats, I was confident that Brentford, at home, would pull a goal back.
I studied my trading plan and decided that for this game and situation, I would oppose Birmingham and layed them at odds of 2.18. I was quietly confident that Brentford would score in the second half.
Midway through the second half, somehow against all the attacking pressure from Brentford, Birmingham was still leading. Once more, I referred to my trading plan and decided with the stats strongly in Brentford's favour; I would lay Birmingham again, at reduced odds. I just needed Brentford to pull a goal back.
As it turned out, Birmingham held onto the lead and finished winning the game 0-1 away from home. Oh well, it was a losing trade. It happens.
Looking back at the stats and reviewing how I traded this game, I was irritated it wasn't a successful trade, but at the same time, I was pleased I stuck to my rules. It just wasn't meant to be.
Hibs v St. Mirren.
Scottish Premier League
This trade was a struggle. Betfair announced before this weekend that some of their games were going to be unmanaged. This game was one of them. As a result, the odds were all over the place, and it felt erratic.
Hibs were odds on favourites at 1.44 with St. Mirren clear outsiders with odds at 8.00. At half-time, unexpectedly the score was 0-0. I reviewed the stats and decided to back Hibs at 1.79 to win in the second half.
I had to sweat on this one. Approaching the last 10 minutes of the game, it was still level. I was thinking of cashing out for a loss, but my rules for this particular scenario and the strategy I was applying meant I would stay in this trade until the end. Thankfully I stuck to my rules as Hibs took the lead in the 85th minute. I cashed out for a win.
Odd v Lillestrom
This match was to be my final trade of the weekend because I was busy with the family on Sunday. You'll recall in my opening post that I was now going to avoid juggling family commitments and trading sport at the same time.
The season has been underway for a while in Norway, so I entered this trade with my full stake. After some research, I decided to back Odd who were odds on favourite to win at home vs Lillestrom. Odd was sitting 3rd in their league, and the recent form suggested to me they should win this. Lillestrom hasn't been great away from home. I got matched at odds of 1.64 with half my stake from the start.
At half-time, the game was still 0-0. I considered adding more into the market as I was confident Odd would take the lead in the second half, but my trading plan revealed that the setup wasn't there to get in at this time.
Lillestrom took the lead in 52nd minute. Arrgh I was gutted. I was starting to think OK, maybe this trade won't work out for me. I looked at the stats and thought Odd could still get a goal in this game and if it's earlier enough maybe even turn it around and win. If they got the goal, the odds would likely come back in, and I may be in a position to still make a profit. With this scenario, I re-entered the market again and backed Odd at higher odds of 4.60.
Odd equalised in the 65th minute, making it 1-1. I decided at this time to reduce my liability but not cash out yet as I felt, according to the stats, Odd might nick a win here. I was right on this occasion. Odd scored and took the lead in the 81st minute. They went on to win 2-1, and it worked out to be successful trade for me.
The first weekend of capturing my trades in this blog was overall a success. 3 of the 4 trades made a profit.
Starting Bank: £260
What have I learned from trading sport this weekend?
I need to be wary of games that are not actively managed by Betfair. The market and movement of prices made it a challenge.
Trading two active matches at a time is likely to be my limit. Any more than two games, I feel I would get overwhelmed. Maybe I will be OK trading three or more games at a time in the coming weeks, but let me say managing the Brentford and the Hibs game at the same time this weekend kept me on my toes.
"Trading sports online is to back (in favour) a team or individual and then lay (oppose) at a lower price (odds) for a profit before the sporting event finishes. Alternatively lay (oppose) a sports team or individual and then back at a higher price (odds) for a profit." - SportsTraydor.