Here's the outcome of my mid-week football trading.
Salzburg v Liverpool
This match was one of two earlier kickoffs this evening. Liverpool has pretty much won the English Premier League title, but they had to win this Champions League match, away to Salzburg, to confirm their path to the last 16.
Knowing that they were likely to push for the win and starting their formidable front three that consists of Salah, Mane and Firmino, I expected goals.
Salzburg started their Norweigan Wonderkid, Erling Haaland, who’s scored 16 goals in 14 Austrian Bundesliga appearances this season. It won’t be long until the top sides make an offer for his services.
I opened some orders into the “Over 1.5 goals” market, looking to lock in a profit after the first goal.
It was 0-0 at half-time meaning that most, but not all, of my orders were matched. The goal arrived later than I anticipated. Keita scoring for Liverpool in the 57th minute with Salah doubling their lead a minute later, hitting the back of the net from a tight angle. Liverpool went on to win the match 2-0, and I made a small profit.
Liverpool finished top of their group with Napoli finishing second. Salzburg will play in the Europa League while Genk finished bottom of Group E.
I’m not convinced about trading the “Over 1.5 goals” market yet. The returns seem minimal, and it goes against my principles of trading with a positive risk to reward ratio.
I was looking at risk: reward ratio of approx 5:1, meaning if I lost the trade, I would need five more of these returns to break-even! Something I need to consider going forward.
For this method of trading, to return a profit in the long term, I’ll need an impressive winning strike rate.
Benfica v Zenit
Champions League Group stage
Earlier in the day, I reviewed the Champions League games that I believed was likely to produce goals. Based on my selection criteria, most of tonight's matches were expected to create goals.
I watched the Inter v Barcelona game on TV, but at half time I scanned the scores in the rest of the evening games to see which matches were level and if I could “Lay the Draw” during the second half.
This Benfica v Zenit game was currently 0-0. Analysing Zenit’s away form, they haven’t drawn 0-0 in any of their last ten away games.
Benfica at home have drawn 0-0 just the once in their last ten games, and have won all of their previous five games at home, so I was expecting at least a goal. I went ahead and placed some orders into the market.
Benfica took the lead in the 47th minute. Due to the early second-half goal, only one of my orders was matched, resulting in minimal returns. I removed the liability from the trade and cheered Benfica on to win the game.
Benfica scored their second in the 58th minute and again in the 80th minute, winning 3-0. Therefore a winning trade.
Benfica finished in third place in the group, ahead of Zenit who finished 4th.
Leeds v Hull City
This wasn’t a game I expected to trade because Leeds have been impressive at home recently, winning all of their last five games so I thought they’d be way ahead at half-time with no angle or value available to open a position in the market.
When I noticed the score was 0-0, I decided to open some orders to “Lay the Draw”. I placed two orders at two different prices.
The trade worked out to be favourable. Leeds scored in the 73rd minute from an own goal, and therefore I could lock in a profit. It was a little frustrating that only one of my orders was taken. The second-order I had open in the market was just five ticks away from being matched. It meant I didn’t make much of a profit in this trade.
To improve the earnings a little more, I decided to remove the liability instead of cashing out. The risk was if the match ended in a draw, this would be a scratch, break-even outcome.
Good news for me is that Leeds went on to win the game 2-0 and go top of the Championship on 46 points. West Brom is one point behind but has a game in hand.
I had two wins from laying the draw this evening. But because I’m entering when the odds are slightly high, and I’m placing orders into the market, waiting for the odds to decrease, it means there’s a chance I won’t get too many orders matched before a goal goes in and therefore returning small profits.
That being said, it's all about protecting my bank first, using reasonable stakes and controlling the liability, then looking at the potential profits later. I’m willing to risk around 2% liability when entering a trade.
Shakhtar v Atalanta
With the score 0-0 at half-time, I placed a couple of orders into the market opposing the current scoreline.
The goal arrived in the 66th minute when Atalanta took the lead.
Unfortunately for me only one of my orders was matched so this (with some frustration) returned a small profit. Atalanta went on to win 0-3.
PSG v Galatasaray
Before the game started, I expected plenty of goals. I decided to drip-feed some orders into the market from the start to create more value, compared to using one full stake at minimal odds.
The goal arrived in the 35th minute when PSG took the lead. A second goal was scored moments later, making it 2-0.
Like with the earlier game, only one of my orders was matched, so once again, the profits were minimal. I question whether it’s worth the risk if I’m winning so little?
Leverkusen v Juventus
The score was level at half-time, so I decided to open a few orders in the goals market, expecting at least one goal in the second half.
Finally, all of my orders were matched when Ronaldo scored a goal in the 74th minute. I cashed out for a decent win.
Olympiakos v Crvena Zvezda
This match was still 0-0 during the score second half. Olympiakos playing at home, needed a win to finish third in the group and qualify for the Europa League. I decided to Lay the Draw with just the one stake this time.
Well, the goal arrived - just! A penalty for Olympiakos was converted in the 86th minute. 1-0 to the home side and a winning trade for me.
It was a decent night of football trading.
The trouble I see with drip-feeding orders into the market is if there's any early goal I won't get all of my orders matched and the returns will be minimal.
Today is Election day. As I write this note to myself for my blog, who knows who the Prime Minister will be in the morning.
Getafe v Krasnodar
I have short-listed several Europa League games where at least one side needs a result to qualify for the knockout rounds.
This match was one of those games, so when I noticed the score was level during the second half, I decided to Lay The Draw.
I didn’t have to wait too long as a goal arrived in the 76th minute.
It worked out for me when Getafe scored two more goals and won the match 3-0. A winning trade!
I started the week at £710.54.
P&L = +£38.56
Balance is now £749.10
Wow, I'm a little surprised that I've had eight wins from 8 trades this week. Of course, most of those were minimal returns due to the fact only some of my orders being matched. The main thing is it's been a profitable mid-week. One of the wins returned just £0.82!
Let's see how the weekend goes, starting with (eek!) Friday 13th!
This week I set a target to use a more in-depth examination in the team's recent form and stats before adding them to my shortlist of matches to trade. I'm using this approach to help me find opportunities to enter the markets earlier.
If I enter the markets earlier in the game, it's likely to be after 10+ minutes has been played to see how active or sluggish the game starts.
I've been discussing some ideas on entry and exit times with a couple of other traders this week, which has been enjoyable. As I mentioned in my last blog post, it's good to share ideas with others.
NEC Nijmegen v Jong Utrecht
Dutch Eerste Divisie
I use three or four sources of information when looking at pre-match stats. The majority of them expected goals in this game.
NEC were odds-on favourites priced at 1.33, so I was surprised to see it was 0-0 approaching the 70th minute.
I looked at “Flashscore”, and it seemed NEC were on top. I loaded up a stream on Betfair to observe the game myself and soon after I decided to enter the market, opposing the current score.
Time ticked by, and in the end, it resulted in a losing trade. The final result was 0-0. You can't win them all!
CSA v Fluminense
Brazil Serie A
It was getting late, but while I was preparing for tomorrow's games, I noticed this match was about to start in Brazil. Both teams have "not" scored many goals in the first half, and I considered entering the first half goals market.
While I put the kettle on to make myself a “decaf” cup of tea (as it was late), I decided to back “Under 1.5 FHG”, with the plan to cash out for a small loss if there was an early goal.
After 30 minutes the game was dull, with minimal chances for either side. I decided to remove the liability in case of two late goals before half-time. I now had a “risk-free” trade.
It worked out well as the half-time score was 0-0, so a winning trade.
Fluminense went on to win the game 0-1. It appeared I profiled this game accurately - it must have been the decaf tea.
Ipswich v Wycombe
English League 1
Ipswich were favourites priced at 2.00.
After analysing the pre-match stats, I concluded there would be early goals between these two sides and entered the market in the first half.
The first half ended 0-0, so I stuck to my rules and exited the position with a loss. The final result was 0-0, so I accepted I profiled this match incorrectly. Pre-match stats won't always predict what happens in the next game and I have to accept the variance when trading football.
Grimsby v Cheltenham
English League 2
For this trade, I tried something new. OK, It’s not new; it’s something I haven’t done for some time. I decided to set up Bet Angel to automate this trade. One of the challenges I face is the emotional side of trading.
After reading a lot of trading books, it seems traders hint at using bots to take the emotion away from it all.
I profiled this match between two evenly rated teams, and therefore I was expecting a tight game with a limited number of goals. I decided to back the "unders" market — not something I often do.
I loaded the details into Bet Angel, configured my entry and exit rules and sat in my lounge to watch the Tottenham v Olympiakos game on TV.
When I returned to my laptop, it was pleasing to see it was a winning trade. At half-time, I instructed the bot to cash out for a profit if it was 0-0.
The game went on to finish 0-0.
Hull v Preston
Like with the trade yesterday, I expected this game to make a slow start. I placed my trade backing the "unders" goal market. I established an exit price if I felt the game was looking active.
As it turned out, the game did begin quicker than I anticipated, and the "under" goals market was going up in price and not reducing with the time decay. Witnessing this, I decided to take action and get out of this trade.
At times like this, I have to be flexible and manage my trades and not just sit on my hands doing nothing. It's why we trade and not bet.
This trade returned a minimal profit — nothing too exciting.
West Brom v Bristol City
I spent the morning doing my analysis, and for me, this game was ticking all of the boxes for a lively game, especially for the odds-on favourites West Brom.
I decided to enter the “overs” goal market when the match went in-play.
It went according to plan. West Brom took an early lead, so I was in profit. I removed the liability from the trade and let it run for a bit longer before cashing out.
West Brom scored a second goal in the first half, resulting in a winning trade.
Liverpool v Napoli
Champions League Group Stage
I attached this match to my shortlist to see if I could open a position in the second half.
At half time Napoli, priced at 7.50 before the game, was leading 0-1 at Anfield. I felt confident that Liverpool would get back into this game, so I layed the “under” goal market, needing the one goal.
The goal was scored in the 65th minute, so I removed the liability from my open position. If there were a second goal, it would be a profitable trade.
I felt relaxed as I knew the worst-case scenario is that I make nothing, but potentially a healthy Risk: Reward profit.
It wasn’t to be as the match finished 1-1. I felt OK with this as I believe more times than not, I would have traded the same way based on this scenario. I’d rather have a break-even trade than a red, losing trade.
(Note - It was a small loss by the time my order was matched while exiting the trade, but it was only pennies as you’ll see in the summary below.)
AZ Alkmaar v Partizan Belgrade
Europa League Group Stage
After witnessing Man United lose earlier in the day, the door was open for AZ to top their group if they beat Partizan. When I noticed they were 0-2 down at half-time, I believed they would pull a goal back and get back into the game.
During the second half, I opened a position in the goals market, expecting at least a goal so I can remove my liability but also push on for a second goal to win this trade. I set myself a stop loss should there be no further goals.
As the game advanced, Partizan looked the better team and could have made it 3-0, but that was OK as all I needed was at least a goal from either side. AZ hit the bar, the Betfair “Suspended” notice appeared, but it wasn’t to be. The price had hit my Stop-Loss, so I stayed true to my trading rules and exited for a loss.
Typically, AZ pulled the game back level, scoring two late goals in the 88th and 92nd minute. I expected this, but unfortunatly for me it happened too late in the game to make a profit.
Lazio v CFR Cluj
Europa League Group Stage
I expected to see some early goals between these two sides. Looking at Lazio’s last four or five home games, there’s been at least two goals in the first half. I added this to my notes and decided to trade the first half goals market.
The first goal arrived midway through the first half, which allowed me to remove my liability to create a "risk-free" situation and cheer on the teams on for a second goal.
Half-time finished 1-0, so it was a break-even trade. No loss, but no win either.
Lazio kept their lead and won the game 1-0.
Sevilla v Qarabag
Europa League Group Stage
(Do we call them Sevilla or Seville? They are from Seville, but I’m reading online that it’s spelt Sevilla, with an “a” at the end.)
Unlike the Lazio game, I wasn’t expecting early goals in this match based on Sevilla’s previous form at home. I decided to wait until the second half.
As anticipated the score was 0-0 at half-time. Sevilla, who were odds on favourites priced at 1.36, playing at home was expected to win. They had plenty of possession in the first half. I decided to enter the goals market, looking for a goal. I was confident it wouldn’t end 0-0.
I didn’t have to wait long. Sevilla scored in the 61st minute, and as a result, I won my first trade of the day.
Overall, I placed three trades on Thursday. One loss, One break-even, and finally one winning trade.
The week started with £654.27.
The balance is now £651 (+150% ROI since I started in August)
Well, not the best of weeks. A negative return. I'm hoping the final weekend of November will be profitable and I hit the monthly targets I've set myself.
Stay positive green everyone!
I've been away from the laptop quite a bit recently so just the one post this week.
I have some news. I have set myself a mini-challenge, and because of this, I have paused placing trades with my main trading bank!
Wait; what, why?
Hold on there's a good reason. Children In Need is next week, so I had a thought and decided to deposit an additional £200 into my Betfair account and trade this balance for a week. All profits will be donated to Children In Need. I may not earn much of a profit, or any profit at all, but anything I do make over the £200 will be donated.
This week-long challenge away from my usual trading may impact the "potential" profits in November, but I feel it's well worth it. I hope I make enough to donate!
With little time in front of Trading HQ (aka my laptop) there's a lack of detail for my trades this past weekend but here's how it went.
A new month, full of optimism and as I have mentioned in my last post, I aim to use between 2 and 2.5% stakes.
Barnsley v Bristol C
This trade was a scratch trade or a small £0.15 profit to be honest, on the under/over 2.5 goals market.
Bohemian v Slovacko
Lost this trade. -£10.56
Overall Friday was a negative P&L. Not a great way to start a new month.
On Saturday morning I watched the rugby final with some friends. I don't want to remind myself about the result, but if I'm honest, South Africa deserved to win. England didn't turn up.
In the afternoon I went to see Cambridge Utd v Crawley Town with my Sister. She offered to drive this time, so I managed to place some trades on my phone during both legs of the journey. Cambridge Utd went on to win 2-1, and no I'm not a Cambridge Utd supporter, I like to visit various grounds and watch all levels of football.
Hammarby v Hacken
I won this trade +£5.41
Bologna v Inter
An excellent winning trade opposing the score when it was 0-0 +£11.76
St. Gallen v Sion
Swiss Super League
Small win +£5.39
Saturday's profits helped to make up for the loss on Friday.
Admiral v Hartberg
I won this opposing the 0-0 scoreline +£11.76
Basel v Xamax
Swiss Super League
I lost this trade -£12.00
Porto v Ave
Another loss on Sunday -£12.00
Braga v Famalicao
The last trade of the weekend returned +£13.73
Overall the weekend P&L was profitable.
In parallel to my Children In Need trades, I entered one midweek trade in the market. It was the Silkeborg v Brondby game. Unfortunately for me, the only midweek trade using my main trading bank was a loss of -12.00.
I started November with £588.12
P&L last weekend and Monday was +£1.64, so a little over break even.
Current balance is now £589.76 (ROI 126% since 1-August-19)
Children In Need Challenge
Between Monday 4th November and Sunday 11th November all profits from my (additional) £200 trading bank will be donated to charity.
These are the results so far.
P&L so far is +£30.83. Currently up 15%
Let's see where I finish on Sunday. I will try my best to secure a profit!
I anticipate being in front of the laptop this weekend so I can capture more details regarding my trades.
Happy Halloween everyone. The month of October comes to a close but before I reflect on the month of sports trading, I'll post my mid-week results.
Basaksehir v Trabzonspor
Turkey Super Lig
A game I shortlisted earlier in the day, expecting goals. At half time the score was still level at 0-0, so I entered the market, opposing the current score, anticipating a goal.
The goal arrived midway through the second half. Former Liverpool and Chelsea striker, Daniel Sturridge scored a penalty making it 0-1 to Trabzonspor. A winning trade to start the week.
Sandhausen v Wehen
Another game I shortlisted earlier in the day. (See, I'm learning from my mistakes that I mention in my last post. I'm entering games I have identified pre-match!)
At half time the score was 0-0. Looking at the first half stats and it being a game on my shortlist, I entered the goals market, opposing the current score.
It wasn't to be. Although Sandhausen went a man down in the 63rd minute, there were no further goals in this bottom of the table clash. The game ended 0-0, and so this was a losing trade, wiping out the profits from the earlier game.
Monday finished with one win, one loss, so a break-even day.
Brescia v Inter Milan
This match was the only trade that met my pre-match criteria. It was a game shown on BT Sport, so I sat and watched this match from the comfort of my living room.
Inter were winning 0-1 at half time. The second half started lively with Balotelli going close to scoring for Brescia early on. At this point in the match I sensed there were more goals in the game, so I layed the goals market expecting more goals.
I didn't have to wait for long. Inter Milan made it 0-2 in the 63rd minute. I came out of the trade with a profit, in what was to be my final trade of October. Inter Milan went on to win the match 1-2.
No further trades for me this week. Other commitments and Trick or Treating with the family on Halloween night.
I started the week with £579.32
Midweek P&L +£8.80
Balance is now £588.12 (ROI +126% since 1-August-19)
My thoughts as I look back in October.
The good news is that I hit my minimum target of 15% ROI a month. I have posted an update in the "Monthly Report section."
Compared to September, I believe the most significant difference in my trading is that I was staking between 4-9% of the bank in September. I made a conscious decision to revert to a more conservative staking plan between 1-2% of the bank this month. Is that playing too safe, I wonder?
My preferred style of trading since September has been to trade the second-half, where I'm expecting one or more goals. If I'm honest with myself, it's a preferred style of trading, to expect more goals (or not) rather than backing or opposing a particular team.
I tried some first-half trading in August and a few more attempts this month, and I will keep looking for an angle for trades in the first half, but I'm not convinced by it at the moment. Maybe I will find something in the future but going into November; I'm sticking with second-half trading.
What're my plans for November?
Good luck to my fellow sports traders in November! Stay green!
International football is in the rear view mirror, and I'm looking forward to trading the domestic and European club competitions.
This week, aside from working my day job and trading sport, I've been considering my goals. I was listening to a podcast on setting goals and how it helps us to keep focused on what we want to achieve. This week I started jotting down some goals on this thing called "paper" with this fantastic item called a "pen". I don't want to drift from day to day, placing trades, recording the P&L with no objective or goal in mind. I'm convinced that if I carried on without a purpose, I might start to think of trading as a chore and lose interest in it.
Don't get me wrong; I'm enjoying the journey, but I'm someone who wants to work towards an objective. I do it in other areas of my life, so why not with my sports trading. Heck, starting this blog was a goal of mine.
So how did this week go?
As I write this post, the two trades seems a distant memory and rightfully so. Not the best of days.
Bodo/Glimt v Mjondalen
Bodo/Glimt, odds on favourite and showing some decent form at home against a side who have been struggling. Approaching the midway point of the second half the score is 0-0, although the home team have been dominant in the second half with 64 % of possession and two attempts on goal.
I decide to enter the market and oppose the current score.
It wasn't to be. The game finished 0-0, so this was a losing trade.
Lens v Auxerre
French Ligue 1
Lens was pre-match favourites priced around 1.80 against Auxerre who were 5.25. During the second half, the score was still 0-0. After analysing the in-play stats, I expected at least a goal in the second half, so I entered the market feeling confident.
As with the earlier game in Norway. The worst possible outcome. The game finished 0-0 and therefore another losing trade. What can I say, I managed to trade two games that both finished 0-0.
I closed the laptop down and went to bed, crying my eyes out. OK, maybe I didn't do that, but I did close the computer down. I wanted to prevent myself from discovering potential (hopeful?) trades in obscure places of the world with single figure market liquidity to "try" and make up the loss.
After yesterday losing day, I was still feeling hopeful of a positive week of trading. Talking to fellow sports traders on Twitter and Telegram helped me "get back on the horse" as they say.
Atletico v Bayern Leverkusen
Champions League group stage
I got fortunate with this trade. With the game poised at 0-0 in the second half, I entered the market, expecting a goal. The goal eventually arrived, but rather than cashing out; I decided to remove the liability to increase the profits if there was a second goal. If there were no further goals, it would be a scratch outcome. Either way, I wouldn't lose.
A few moments later, I was checking some other scores on my phone but inadvertently placed a second trade on this Atletico Madrid game. Suddenly I was in a negative situation if there was another goal. I had to react quickly and clicked the green cashout button. I locked in a profit regardless of the score, but with a reduced amount if there was a second goal.
As it happened, there were no further goals, so I won the trade. If I had not "thumbed" an additional trade into the market and reacted by cashing out, I would have had a scratch trade. I got lucky with this.
Preston v Leeds
Not much to tell regarding this trade but I believed Leeds would get something out of this match even when it was still 0-0 in the second half. Rather than backing Leeds, I entered a trade in the goals market. One goal would see a scratch trade, maybe a small profit, but two goals would be an even higher profit.
Well, the goals came late. Preston scoring in the 74th minute and then Leeds scored to make it 1-1 in the 87th minute. An excellent return for this winning trade.
Juventus v Lokomotiv
I entered the market, expecting Juventus to get back into the match when they were 0-1 down. The goal arrived too late in the game for me to make any real profit as the price only decreased down to my entry price; therefore, I made £0.01 after commission. A wins a win, or maybe I'll call it a scratch.
Another round of Champions League matches to trade.
Ajax v Chelsea
Champions League group stage.
I put this game on the TV in the second half. After some time, I believed there were goals in the game. I wasn't sure what team would score, so I entered the market opposing the current score.
Chelsea took the lead late in the second half, and as a result, this was a winning trade.
Bristol City v Charlton
Wow, talk about a late winner and a fantastic last-minute winning trade.
I had entered the market in the second half laying the draw with the score at 1-1. I don't tend to Lay The Draw (LTD) often, but I did for this match. I was prepared to accept the loss and even typed the negative amount into my Excel tracking sheet when the Flashscore audible sounded. I looked across to my other monitor to see Bristol City had scored in the 98th minute. Yes, that's in the eight-minute of injury time! What a way to win a trade.
Derby Country v Wigan
With the score still 0-0 in the second half, following my analysing of the in-play stats, I decided to oppose the current score late in the second half.
Talk about a day of late, winning trades. Derby scored in the 92nd minute. Like with the Bristol City game this evening, I won a trade in the final seconds of the match. Couldn't I believe my luck? (or shall I take credit for my match profiling skills?). Either way, a lovely end to the days trading.
Europa League action this evening.
Porto v Rangers
Something new for me. I have been doing some research and reading articles and media posts from fellow traders who trade in the first half of the matches. You've probably worked out by now I prefer to enter in the second half.
After some research, I entered the market in the first half expecting a goal before half time. Call it beginners luck or well planned, but either way, I won this trade when Porto scored in the 36th minute. I'm wondering if this something to look into more?
CSKA Moscow v Ferencvaros
Like with the Porto v Rangers game, after doing some pre-match research I decided to enter the market expecting at least a goal before half time.
Ah well, it didn't work out this time. The match was 0-0 at half time, so I lost this trade. But...
It wasn't over for me, as I returned to my second half trading method. Midway through the second half with the score still 0-0, I entered the market opposing the scoreline.
Farencvaros scored in the 86th minute, making it 0-1, and as a result, I won the (second) trade.
Sporting v Rosenborg
This was another first-half trade that I lost as it stayed 0-0 at half time. I was surprised as Sporting were pressing for a goal from the start.
One win from 3 first half trades. It's only a small sample size, but I'm not sure about this method yet. I will likely paper trade this for the next 20 or 30 trades, so I don't damage my bank.
Thursday ended with a small loss.
After an awful start, the midweek trading turned out to be profitable. I'm still considering what stake size to use starting in November. I have a week left to come to a decision.
I read a comment received from Mark in my last blog post asking if I will share the odds I enter for my trades. I'll think about this for my future posts, but in general, I trade the second half of the games when odds in the correct score, draw or goals market has reduced due to time decay. Thanks for your comment, Mark.
I started the week at £572.90.
P&L for the week +£23.02
Total balance now sits at £595.92. An ROI of 129% since 1-August-19
A new week, a new month and so I’m putting the loss from the weekend behind me.
Monday and Tuesday - No Trading.
Genk v Napoli
After some crazy results in the Champions League last night I wasn’t too sure it was a good idea to enter the markets for tonight’s games. But you couldn’t stop me, and so this was one game I decided to trade.
The score was level at half time. A quick look at the stats and it seems Napoli have either won or lost away from home in recent times, and so I was expecting a goal, regardless if they score or concede. Looking at Genk's form, they have had just the one 0-0 in the last ten home games. This pre-match form along with plenty of attempts on goal in the first half, means I was expected goals.
Well, not the confidence booster I was looking for after the weekend. My pre-determined stop price was met, and so I had to stay disciplined and exit the trade for a loss. I'm glad I did though as the game ended up staying 0-0.
Barcelona v Inter
No problems trading this one. I was confident there would be goals in this game especially when I notice Barcelona losing at home. Either they're going to score or concede while pushing forward for the goal. Therefore, I opposed the current score.
This trade worked out well — Suarez with the equaliser in the second half and a winning trade.
Wednesday finished one win and one loss.
This trade was a bizarre one. Late on Wednesday night I shortlisted a Korean K-League game. The game was starting at 8 am in the morning. I took the kids to school, returned home and made a cup of coffee then sat down in from of my laptop to look at the stats. Here's what happened.
Gyeongnam v Jeonbuk
Jeonbuk sits second in the K-League and has an impressive away record. At 0-0, I felt this was a game to get involved in as I expect goals. I enter the trade, opposing the score, and sit back and let the market do it’s thing.
It wasn't long until the goal arrived and there was a nice win to start the day! Well, at least that’s what I thought!
I was a little confused as the Betfair market for the under 0.5 goals wasn't suspended or even closed. If people were not aware of the current score, they could still trade the market even though the score was 0-1. I felt OK about it as my trade was matched before the goal and I had won the trade.
After the game, I noticed that the winning funds were not in my account. After searching around my Betfair account, I saw they had flagged the trade as "void". Huh? Why? I posted a tweet to Betfair Customer Care.
I browsed social media and saw other sports traders tweeting they were having the same issue. Dionysios @bettingMayhem was experiencing the same issue. It was crazy!
Why was I being punished because Betfair were not managing the markets correctly and more to the point, how was my trade "unfair" when I entered the market before a goal had been scored?
I sent Betfair a Direct Message and provided them with supporting information such as the time of my trade, and the transaction ID. I then waited....and waited and continued to wait.
A few hours later, I was checking my Betfair account and, to my surprise, Betfair has now given me my winnings on the K-League game. I guess they admitted they were being unreasonable and honoured my winning trade. So, in the end it worked out - but damn, it does raise some eyebrows. What if I had not contacted them?
Moral of the story - Make sure I take a screenshot and keep a record of the transaction ID in case I need it as a reference!
Not many trades this week as I was away Monday and Tuesday.
I started the week with: £504.27
Mid-week P&L +£4.93 (Woah! you slow down there Craig!)
Current Balance is now: £509.20 (+95% ROI since 1-August-19)
Oh, one last thing. Betfair contacted me about changing my plan with them. I chose the "Basic package" which means I now pay 2% commission instead of the 5%. I don't get all the free spins, this offer or that offer - but I prefer to spend less commission.
I had a lot on this week, so my sports trading had to take a step back, but I still managed to make a profit, as you'll see below.
I managed to read some more chapters from Mark Douglas in one of his trading books. This quote stood out for me: "Be rigid in your rules, flexible in your expectations."
How true is this? I need to set realistic expectations. When trading we won't win every trade, so I don't expect to - but I must still stick to my trading rules.
Jong PSV v Cambuur
Dutch Eerste Divisie
Jong PSV who sit at the bottom of the table were hosting pre-match favourites Cambuur on Monday evening. At half time the score was still goalless. I was looking at the stats and see that Cambuur had 58% of the possession with eight attempts on goal. I had a feeling there might be goals in this, especially against a team bottom of the table.
The game was scrappy and not very entertaining from what I heard, but I was happy when Cambuur scored, and as a result, this was a winning trade.
Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim
1-1 at half time. Wolfsburg is unbeaten at home. Went in with smaller stake though based on the fact they have had four 1-1 scorelines at home in the last ten.
As it turned out, this was a losing trade. As I mentioned, Wolfsburg has had four 1-1 scorelines at home and Monday was no different. It stayed 1-1, and so I exited at my Stop-Loss price, and therefore I was out with a losing trade.
Overall I started the week winning one and losing one from the two Monday trades.
The Carabo cup games took place on Tuesday. Although cup games can be challenging to profile before the games, I find there's some value to be found in-play based on the stats from the first half.
Colchester v Tottenham
Tottenham were odds-on favourites at 1.22 against League 2 side Colchester. Although Tottenham put a 2so-called" weaker side out, i expected them to win the game, so when I saw the score was still 0-0 in the second half I decided to lay under 0.5 goals
Well this was somewhat of a surprise. Colchester held on to the 0-0 scoreline and went ahead and beat the Premier League side on penalties. A losing trade for me and another away loss for Pochettino's side.
I also saw that League 2 side Crawley Town beat Championship side Stoke City on penalties. They're going well in the cup after beating Norwich in the previous round.
Brescia v Juventus
Whenever Juventis are playing I always add them to my shortlist and monitor what the result is at half time to see if theres an opportunity to get involved. At half time the score was level at 1-1. I looked at the stats and felt there was more goals in this game. I waited to see how the second half started and then entered, opposing the current score.
I didn't have to wait long when Juventus took the lead making it 1-2. A winning trade that helped cover the loss in the Colchester v Tottenham game.
Overall another break even day on Tuesday. Just like Monday. Won 1, lost one today.
Just the one trade on this day as I had other engagements and couldn't dedicate much time to the evening of football.
Napoli v Cagliari
Napoli was priced at 1.18 odds before the game. The markets were confident of a home win here. I shortlisted the game so I could monitor the game and see how and when I could enter the market.
At half time it was still 0-0. I waited for sometime later in the second half to enter the trade with the score still 0-0. I layed under 0.5 goals, expecting Napoli to get a late winner.
To my surprise, Cagliari scored late in the game to take the lead, and hold on for a shock away win. Not what I or the market was expecting, but I wasn't too bothered. It was still a winning trade.
No further trades as I had some other commitments to attend to. I was tempted to put a cheeky trade on at the last minute, but I resisted the urge.
A somewhat quiet week of football trading. Five trades in total. A small profit, but I'm pleased with any profit. The good news I have now DOUBLED MY STARTING BANK.
Started the week's trading with £517.13
P&L for the week +£9.04
The balance is now £526.17, an ROI of 102% since 1-August-19 when I started.
It's so damn annoying when you profile a match, and you are entering the trade in-play, but then you miss out because of the delay Betfair impose with in-play trading. On Monday I was looking at the match between Djurgarden and Helsingborg in the Swedish Allsvenskan.
The score was still 0-0, but I was anticipating a goal. Djurgarden has been impressive at home, losing just the once in their last ten games. Helsingborg on the other day have been poor away from home. The match was pretty open with seven shots on target between them in the first half. All of this was leading me towards entering the market and laying the current score.
I decide to go ahead and place my lay order. The match is in-play, so I have to wait 8 seconds for the order to be matched and then.....the market is "SUSPENDED!" There was the goal I expected. I quickly checked (in vain) to see if my lay order had gone through, beating the 8-second delay. It had not! The order was cancelled with 3 seconds remaining when the market was suspended. I hate the feeling of leaving money on the table. I was correct in my assumption there would be a goal, but I was seconds too late! So that's how my Monday started. I did manage to get on another trade.
St Pauli v Hamburg
German Bundesliga 2
I had profiled this match earlier in the day as a potential trade. St Pauli was the home underdogs but had taken the lead in the 18th minute. At halftime, the score was still 1-0 to St Pauli. I watched the start of the second half to see how Hamburg, the pre-match favourites would respond. They must have received an earful from their coach because Hamburg came out for the second half looking lively and so it was time to enter the market. Before doing so, I check the stats. Hamburg has not lost away from home in their last five games. They have scored 61% of their goals in the second half this season. All of this was the trigger to enter the market. Rather than oppose St Pauli, I decided to lay the Unders market.
Laying the Unders market proved to be the correct decision as Hamburg, although on top at the start of the second half, were caught out while defending a free-kick, allowing St Pauli to score a soft goal. Their second of the match and for me, a winning trade.
I was still annoyed about missing out on the earlier game, but at least this second trade of the day proved to be successful.
Champions League is back. It's great to watch, but I'm not sure how best to trade the games (yet!), so I decided to reduce my stakes for these games.
Inter Milan v Slavia Prague
This was one of the early kick offs. Inter Milan were pre-match favourites priced at 1.61. Slavia Prague were priced at 5.75.
I watched the first half and was impressed with Slavia Prague given their underdog status. They held Conte's Inter Milan side to a 0-0 scoreline at half time. I sent out a tweet saying I was going to see how the second half would start then look to enter a trade. I was expecting goals, especially given Inter Milan's form at home recently.
I entered the trade around the 55th minute, laying the "Unders 0.5 goals" market. I didn't have to wait long as Slavia Prague took a surprising lead in the 63rd minute. A winning trade and made it two from two mid-week trades so far.
I continued to watch the game, although I was now out of the trade. Inter Milan went on to score an equaliser in the final minutes of the game and for a moment looked to try and get the win. If they had won the game, I believe it would have been harsh on Slavia Prague as they deserved a point from the match.
Coventry v AFC Wimbledon
This was a game I shortlisted earlier in the day. Coventry is doing well in League 1 this season, but AFC Wimbledon is struggling, especially away from home. Earlier in the day, I made a note to monitor this game at half time to see if there was an opportunity to get involved. As it happened, it was 1-1 at Half time, and I expected Coventry to go on and win this. Therefore I opposed the scoreline and traded the under 2.5 goals market.
The trade didn't work out. Neither side could find a goal before the price had hit my pre-determined stop loss and so I exited the trade for a loss. It just so happens Coventry went on to get the winner late on in the game. Too late for me, though.
Napoli v Liverpool
If I'm honest, I didn't add this match to my shortlist. I was watching the game, and although it was 0-0 at half time, I felt there were goals in the match. I entered this trade based on what I saw with my own eyes more so than looking at form or stats. I layed Under 0.5 goals and waited for a goal.
Like with the Coventry v AFC Wimbledon game, neither side could hit the back of the net, and I was watching the price on the Betfair Exchange getting closer to my stop loss. A few minutes later, the score was still 0-0, but staying disciplined and in line with my trading rules I exited for a loss. Napoli went on to beat Liverpool 2-0, but it was too late for me. I expected goals, but I needed them to arrive earlier in the second half. Oh well, nothing to hide, it's just another loss which is part of trading.
Tuesday was a frustrating day with one win from 3 trades, so a red day.
It's apparent, looking at the week do dar that that being disciplined and getting out with my stop loss, although I have just a 50% Win strike rate I am still in profit. If I had been trading with an adverse Risk to reward ratio, I would have been in a losing situation after these four trades. It shows me I'm on the right track.
A couple of Champions league trades on Wednesday. I decided to use smaller stakes because I feel there's a lack of form within the competition and most of my trades will be based on what I see in the first half.
Atletico Madrid v Juventus
On paper, this match was one to watch, and so I did just that. I sat down on the sofa with a glass of red and observed a great game of football. At half time I chose to enter the market, expecting goals and layed the "Correct Score".
Juventus extended their lead making it 2-0 and therefore a successful trade. I continued to watch and enjoy the match with Atletico Madrid pulling off a comeback, equalising from a corner in the 90th minute, making it 2-2. Kieran Trippier with the assist seems to be settling well in Madrid.
Leverkusen v Lokomotiv
While watching the Atletico Madrid v Juventus game, I saw some other scores coming through on TV and one of which was Leverkusen, pre-match favourites at home, losing 1-2. This caught my attention, so I checked the stats on my mobile app. It appeared Leverkusen were having a lot of the possession and had a chance of getting back into the game. I decided to lay the "correct score" with a small stake. A lower stake than usual because a) it's the Champions League and 2) I wasn't watching the game - the Atletico Madrid game was on TV.
Throughout the second half, I kept an eye on the Leverkusen score and monitored the Betfair Exchange prices. In the end, Leverkusen couldn't find the goal, and Lokomotiv couldn't extend their lead, so I exited at my stop-loss price, for a loss.
Wednesday ended with one win and one losing trade.
It wasn't a great week for the Premier League side in the Champions League. Only Man City got the win. A draw for Tottenham and losses for both Liverpool and Chelsea.
Qarabag v Sevilla
Sevilla were pre-match favourites priced around 1.83. At half-time, the score was still 0-0. A quick look at the recent form shows Sevilla have not lost away in the league this season. I chose to lay Under 0.5 goals in this match, fully expecting a goal in the second half.
I didn't have to wait long. Chicharito, their new signing from West Ham, scored after 62 minutes. A winning trade! Sevilla, as many expected, went on to win the game 0-3 away from home.
Man United v FC Astana
Man United were clear favourites. The market was offering short odds of just 1.28. I took a look at their starting line up, and I wasn't sure why the odds were so low, seeing as many of the regular players were not starting the game. Ole appears to be resting his players for the Premier League games.
Although Man United didn't have their greatest side out, they were still at home against a so-called weaker team and was surprised to see the score was still 0-0 in the second half.
Due to the under strengthed Man United side, and it is a Europa League match, I entered a trade but with a lower stake. I layed under 0.5 goals.
It worked out to be a successful trade when Greenwood scored in the 73rd minute, just before my stop-loss price was about to be met.
Wolves v Braga
Like with the Man United game, I expected Wolves to win this game. The pre-match odds for Wolves were around 1.70, so the market agreed with me (or should I say I agreed with the market). The score was 0-0 in the second half, and I expected goals, so I layed the unders market.
I was made to sweat a little as my stop-loss was approaching and I was due to exit for a loss, but then Braga scored in the 71st minute to take the lead and therefore a winning trade. I didn't expect them to win the game, but when trading the goals market, as I've mentioned before, I don't care. All I need is a goal.
Braga held on to win the match 0-1 away to Wolves, so a good result for them.
Overall the mid-week trades were profitable. A tricky start at the beginning but three from 3 successful trades on Thursday helped.
Balance at the start of the week: £414.60
P&L for the week: +£27.33
Starting balance on the 1st August was £260. The balance is now £441.93.
My trading methods are coming along nicely. I'm documenting my entry and exit points and sticking to my rules. So far, so good. I hope I can keep this up, as it's still a small sample size of trades.
Trading the football during an International week can be slow. Roll on next week, I say! I did manage to find some trades, but as it wasn't club football, I decided to use smaller stakes.
AFC Wimbledon v Brighton U-21
Alert! Alert! I went against my trading style for this one.
I was accompanying a friend to a non-league football match, under the lights (albeit a dim, not so bright set of floodlights) on a September evening.
At half time, in between ordering a pint and a packet of salt n vinegar crisps, I was browsing Twitter and checking the Flashscore app. One match stood out. I saw that League 1 side, AFC Wimbledon, playing at home, were level at half-time versus Brighton's Under 21's in the EFL cup. With this, I placed my pint to one side, opened up the Betfair mobile App and decided to lay the "under 0.5 goals". Wait, what was that Craig? Yeah, I know, I traded a fixture using my mobile phone! It wasn't the first time I've done this. I remember one Friday night doing the same thing.
I want to add, I was aware of this risk, and used a minimal stake. Merely in case, I lost 4G connection or if I was engrossed in the Tony Pulis style of football being played in front of me and miss my stop-loss price.
I didn't take a screenshot of this trade, but the goal arrived early in the second half, so albeit a little risky, this was a small win.
Armenia v Italy
Euro 2020 Qualifier
I'm not sure if I like trading international games, so I used smaller stakes.
I entered this trade because Italy, who sit unbeaten at the top of Group J, was level at half-time, 1-1. As well as the score being level, Armenia had a player sent off just before the break.
I opened a trade, placing a Lay on the "Under 2.5 goals". I anticipated Italy would score a goal and go onto win the game against the ten men of Armenia.
As it turned out, there were no further goals before the price had decreased and hit my stop-loss price. Sticking to my rules, I exited the trade for a loss.
Typically Italy scored three minutes later. They went on to win 1-3 away to Armenia. It's so annoying when this happens, but I'm pleased I've stuck to the rules in my trading plan.
Israel v North Macedonia
Euro 2020 Qualifier
The second trade of the day and the final midweek trade was a match between Israel and North Macedonia. I felt confident about this trade.
Studying the stats, I saw that Israel had the majority of possession, 60%. They were also the market's pre-match favourites so expected to win. Finally, glancing at their home form, it's been pretty impressive over the last five home games.
Surprisingly the score was 0-0 at half time. You might ask, why don't I back Israel if all the form and stats are in their favour? My reason is that this is the wonderful game of football!! An underdog can score or steal a win in any game. So when trading the "under" x.5 goal market, while I'm expecting the likes of Israel to score and win, but I'm covering myself should there be a surprise and the underdogs, North Macedonia score. Either way, a goal is a winning trade for me, rather than backing a team to perform.
As it This trade turned out to be successful as Israel scored a goal approaching the 55th minute. The earnings from this trade covered the earlier Armenia v Italy loss plus a little more.
North Macedonia made it 1-1 late in the second have and that's how the game finished. This is why I explained I was trading the goals market and not the match odds market.
I placed just the three trades since Monday. One of them was a risky trade using my mobile phone. I've had a (small) profitable week though! I wonder how you all like to trade football during the international break?
Balance carried over from the weekend: £334.18
Mid-week P&L +£13.75
Balance: £347.93 (+33.8% ROI of the starting balance)
I'm pleased with the gains so far!
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%)
"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.