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.
"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.